Sunday, March 13, 2011

One week in the apartment

Setting sun from apartment
View of church from apartment
It has been three weeks since we updated the blog. We will do better. The second week at the MTC was Office Specialist Training. Computer, we love computers! It was a tough week, after the spiritual high of the first week. Working in computer programs all day was not fun. We did attend the Tuesday night devotional which was great. Sister and Elder Patrick Kearon of the First Quorum of the Seventies spoke. They were very positive and uplifting. At the end we missionaries sang "Called to Serve". On the weekend we got hair cuts, shopped for last minute items, and attended a family dinner at the Poulson's house. It was so good to see everyone!
On Monday 28 Feb, we took the bus to the airport to fly to Japan. We were able to fly with the 7 new missionaries coming here and some going to the Sendai and Tokyo missions. They were such good Elders. They studied their scriptures and lessons all the way to Japan. The flight took two hours to Portland, 11 hours to Tokyo, and two hours to Fukuoka. We met President Albrecht, Tokyo Mission President, in the Tokyo airport. He directed us to where we needed to go, but we still got lost. Two missionaries were not able to get on the bus between terminals and we were separated, but they made it to the ticket counter before we did!
When we got to Fukuoka, President Margetts and Sister Margetts and the APs were waiting for us. It was so-o-o good to get there! We had a snack and went to our General Authority bedroom. We were introduced to Japanese Toilets. Oh, they are very nice, a warm seat, and a wash and dry!!

Fukuoka Temple and Bess (freezing)

New Choros in Fukuoka plus President Margetts and Tom.

Walter and Patricia Lowe.
We visited with the President the next morning and he said plans had changed and we would need to stay at a hotel for five nights while the Lowes were teaching us the area. So we got on the bus and headed for Kumamoto. When the bus let us off, no one was in sight to pick us up. We tried to talk to some soldiers to see if we were at the right bus stop. We had to call the Mission Office and have someone that could speak the language to find out if we were where we were supposed to be. We were, and about that time the Lowes came to get us!
Not a bad Room!
They took us to the Richmond Hotel and we unpacked and went on a tour of some of the City
We went to English Classes that night and met some on the ward members and investigators. Tom played ping pong with some of the best players we've ever seen. Went to dinner and got back to the hotel after 10 pm. We are not sure how the bed was since we did not move. The next day we tried to get a bank account, but could not since we didn't have a Gensin, (not sure how to spell this,) card. We tried to get a card, but have to wait two weeks. We went back to the room early, since the Lowes were going to Fukuoka to the temple with the missions that were going home. Getting food that Bess can eat has been a challenge, but we are learning. Bess tried her first Sushi too. We have two sister missionaries and two native elders. They have been so much help! The Shimais (Sisters) are Johnson from the state of Washington, Barraclough is from the Washington D.C. area. In fact we are wondering if Sean Peterson isn't serving in her home Stake?

Friday we continued learning and Saturday we went to the Relief Society's birthday party. This had to have been one of the funnest party's we've been to. There were two large tables full of beautiful food we could not recognize, dancing, skits and games. Everyone treated us like long lost friends giving us a large bouquet of flowers. Sunday we had the privilege to speak in both the Kumamoto and Nagamini Wards. (Scary for Bess, Tom enjoyed it.) Thank Heaven for the Shimais who translated for us. Monday we ran around all morning and half the afternoon getting the Lowes ready to leave. We took them to Fukuoka that evening and went to eat out with them and President and Sister Margetts. We then started home with the help with the GPS. We only got lost twice before we got out of Fukuoka, but we made it home!
This week has been busy learning to shop for food, household cleaning supplies, new cook tops for apartments, new chairs for our apartment, glutenfree flour, a camera for our computer (so we can call home see our family as we talk) and new drapes to replace our waterstained and shredded old ones. Try doing that not speaking Japanese!!!

We know that Our Heavenly Father is inspiring our mission President. There have not been Shimais here in Kumamoto for over a year and this week we have two who speak and read the Kanji and Hirigana that is needed to buy anything and to read street signs and store signs. They have been invaluable to us. Johnson Shimai is half Japanese. The two Choros (Elders) are native Japanese, they like to teach us language lessons but we think they are learning English faster than we are learning Japanese. Kurakawa Choro and Nishio Choro are our Zone Leaders and wonderful men. It is amazing how fast you learn to love others when you are serving God.

Johnson and Barraclough Shimai.

 Kurukawa and Nishio Choro are on the right of the picture of Choros. The other Choros are in our District. This picture was taken in a restuarant after District Meeting last Tuesday.

Elder Buckingham from Australia coming through the small door of the restaurant. Inside the restaurant

We had LiGang, a Chinese man from Mongolia here yesterday and an investigator, here yesterday with the Shimais. What a nice time, we fed them all ice cream (very expensive here) and Li helped Christensen Choro fix the computer so we could call home.
The people here are very gracious and loving. Everyone wants to help us in some way or another, and we are here to serve them!
We have a dinner engagement with Kumamoto Ward's first counselor in the Bishopric Tuesday evening. He was smart enough to invite the Shimais too so we could understand each other!!

1 comment:

  1. love love love all of the pictures! You both look like you are having fun:0) we miss you and hope the best for you as you serve! xoxoxo