ききはきかい)- Crisis is the Opportunity

As if one ambulance ride wasn’t enough, this week I got the rare chance of riding in an ambulance, going to the emergency room, going to a clinic, and being quarantined in our apartment for two and a half days with a highly contagious virus. Not bad for my second week. Not many can say they’re as intimate with the Japanese medical system as I can after such a short a time in this fabulous country.

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It’s not quite as bad as it sounds, just bad timing all around. I woke up Tuesday morning with a raging fever that, once it broke 40°C (104 degrees Fahrenheit), merited a doctor’s visit. But, because all the clinics were closed at that point, the head mission office said we needed to call the ambulance. However, since I hadn’t gotten my Japanese medical insurance card in the mail yet, that ride ended up being fairly expensive. The next day my fever broke, but we were inside all day while I recovered.

On Thursday we traveled to a different area and I taught and worked with some other missionaries while my regular companion was at a leadership conference. It was pretty wet so I got nice and soaked. Probably not wise after being sick. But I got to teach eikaiwa (English conversation lessons) and it was fabulous! Teaching English is such a quality time.

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On Friday, we realized that I had blisters all over my hands and feet and was starting to get red dots on my legs. Fearing the worst (not death, chicken pox) we were able to make a last-minute appointment with a clinic, but it was 20 minutes from the time we called, and we were at a park in Yokohama thirty minutes away. We biked like our lives depended on it, in skirts and blouses up this ridiculously steep hill. I was sweating buckets and two Japanese women in a car next to us were dying of laughter as we did all our interval-style sprints up this monstrous hill.

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Solar panels and clothes line-drying!

Luckily, I didn’t have chicken pox, I had some other similar virus, but it meant I had to stay indoors for a few days until I wasn’t contagious. We were pretty frustrated, because we wanted to be out and working. But twice in one day, we came upon a scripture and heard it from our mission leader on the phone : it was from ア ルマー(Alma) 32:6, where the servants of the king cried because robbers had scattered their flocks, and Ammon rejoiced because he saw this crisis as an opportunity to serve them. According to Wada shimai, 機器は機械(ききはきかい)- that is, “crisis is the opportunity.”

So I spent by days being quarantined on a strict study schedule, doing whatever work I could from home and studying Japanese and kanji from the 聖書やモルモン書
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A scripture that really stood out to me this week was about charity. Cooped up in an apartment all day 24/7 with another person means you end up needing a lot of charity. Obviously we should have endless charity anyways, but it’s always good to have a reminder I think:

“1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.”

– 1 Corinthians, Chapter 13 –

Basically, without charity, no matter who I talk to or who I teach, it would mean nothing. That’s something I really want to improve upon in the coming months.
Aside from that saga, it’s been reaffirmed: in Japan, everything is cute! Even the garbage truck is cute! It has this cute little ice cream truck-like melody that it plays when picking up the trash, and on the back there is a little bunny character. 
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