August 21, 2017


Nagasaki, Japan


Sister Steed

Hello from Nagasaki! - Week 22

Wow, I can't believe we're almost done with August! This summer is literally flying by. This week was the famous Buddhist holiday of おぼん which is basically Japan's day of the dead. There were tons of fireworks going off all day and around 6 pm everyone came out to the streets and they had these giant carts with boats on them with hanging lanterns. The idea is that they were inviting their ancestors who died and the spirits were coming back. They also kept banging drums and ringing bells and stuff and lighting off fireworks. It was so so neat. Not something you see every day!
Things have really started to pick up this week. We had interviews with the mission president this past week. He told me to start focusing on the Lord each day and go out because I love the Lord and not because I wanted to fulfill the goal of contacting 30 people per day or 1 scripture shared or whatever. He told me to focus on sharing the gospel and trying to love and serve others. Ever since I started doing that, things have really started to pick up. We have been able to see so many miracles this week. This week we found 4 people to teach which is the most I've ever gotten in the past 2 months. I'm so grateful that things are really looking up now that I am humbled and realized that I can't do this without the Savior.
Anyways so this week's email is #山の上に or for those who don't speak Japanese #ontopofamountain, or #climbeverymountain. Since I have spent so long here in Nagasaki and I call it my city now I want to impose a city motto of "climb every mountain". If any of you have been to San Francisco, imagine those hills but 100000x more of them. That's Nagasaki for you!! BUT, I love every single hill. Why? 1)because we can conquer them 2) because we'll do anything for the Lord and that includes riding to the top of the highest mountain in Nagasaki if I have to (already did that haha).
So the reason why I'm taking about Nagasaki's hilly landscape is because we literally biked probably an hour away from our house and then we biked up the steepest hill ever to find 4 less-actives. Did we conquer? YES! Did I die on the way and start crying while pedaling? MAYBE! But man was it fun. So we biked up to this mountain and on the way stopped and looked for less-actives. We ended up at this really cool park at the top with all these ancient trees and forest, where you could look out and see the entire city of Nagasaki. It was so incredibly amazing. There was also a statue there for Sakamoto Ryoma, the last samurai and it was so so cool. I literally felt that we were in Karate Kid. There was also a kid nearby doing karate so we might have been in the filming for the next Karate Kid. Anyways, yeah, so I died climbing up those hills and at the end of that day I just fell on my bed (futon) and literally slept the best in my life. It was such an analogy for life. Our life is like these hills in Nagasaki. You have ups and downs and sometimes you cry out asking where is God and why does this happen to me. But there's always the park at the top where you can look out at the beautiful view and you can look back and think to yourself "wow, I did that" and then you get the other side of the mountain that's all downhill. Life is seriously full of hard times and good times, but we can get through any hard time if we rely on the Lord and trust in Him. He knows when we need the Karate Kid mountain to push us and to help us learn something. And then he always blesses us at the end with the stunning view. It always works out in the end! Just keep pedaling.
Hope you all have a great week! さようなら! 愛しています!
-Sister Atwood


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