|Setting sun from apartment|
|View of church from apartment|
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.|
|Not a bad Room!|
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!!