Sunday, June 26, 2011

From Rain to Heat June 20 - 26, 2011

The rain stopped midweek, but the temperature got up in the 100s with 80% humidity. Wow!
Monday was the Relief Society's basket making class. Christensen Shimai really enjoys attending these classes. One of the Shimai at the class got a migraine and Christensen Shimai called and asked the Choro to give her a blessing. She was in a lot of pain. One of the RS Shimai drove her to the Hospital right after the blessing.
Christensen Choro thought he was a young buck and jumped the brick fence to keep up with the young Choro. They didn't scrape up their forearm and rack up their ankle! They also had on their P-day clothes, not dress pants and a shirt and tie.
We took Ito Shimai to the Sports Depot and helped her get a ping pong paddle. She lost hers and needed something different than the ones at the Church that are pretty beat up.
That night we played games with the Outreach kids. Talk about fun games without any equipment. This one was to turn to your neighbor and tell them, without either of you cracking a smile, that you love them and why.

Basket instructor Kay Goshi and Maesawa Shimai (just before the migraine hit.) Basket glue in the bottle. Can't find the glue at the 100Yen shop so wood glue will have to do.

French fries in a bag. Very good...need about 5 bags to get the equivalent of a small serving here in the States. 99Yen a bag, about $1.25.

Tuesday evening we started playing taxi for the out of town Missionaries for the Mini-Zone Conference on Wednesday. They all arrived safely!
We got a call early Wednesday morning and had to go taxi the Tsuboi Choro to Conference as they had a flat tire on one of their bikes. We learned alot at Conference and got to meet the new Couple Missionary that have been called to Omuta, Sakamoto Choro and Shimai. This is their third mission!
We made one run to the Bus Station right after the meeting, took a break to have lunch with some of the missionaries, handed out the gallon bag of Butterscotch chip cookies to the missionaries and then made another Bus Station run before hauling the Tsuboi Choro back across town. There is a store close to Tsuboi that is on a small scale something like Walmart and we made a "Walmart" run for groceries before coming home.

One transfer old Assistant to the President, Bingham Choro. Might be a relative on the Farr side? Cookies in both hands!

Jeffery Choro in back and outgoing AP Oshima Choro.

Buckingham, DeFreitas(premed student),Christensen, de Horras, Nascimento and Kim Choro on steps of Joyful restaurant.

Wednesday evening we enjoyed a wonderful time teaching Eikaiwa and playing games. Obayashi Choro gave the spiritual thought for the first time in English. He did sooo good and was all smiles afterwards.

We enjoyed a slow hot day on Thursday. We taught English that night and took a bottle of maple syrup and a thank you note to the Aoki family for the wonderful dinner the week before.
Friday morning we traveled to Sasebo Naval Base to buy flags for the USA Eikaiwa on July 6th. We also bought Root Beer for floats that night. We decided to retire Wally our oven and bought a new oven.

Wally's replacement in English! Have not named it yet, maybe after we get more familiar so we know if it is a she or a he.

We traveled to Fukuoka on the back roads. The scenery was spectacular!!! It is good to get off the Expressway and see the country some times.

Rice paddies on both sides of this graveyard that was just off the road.

Some of the scenery taken at 60 kilometers an hour as there are very few scenic turnouts.

That night we went to dinner at the Royal Host with Elder and Sister Rogers and President and Sister Margetts. We were celebrating the Rogers' 50th wedding anniversary.

Saturday we had breakfast with the Margetts and walked in the Botanical Garden just above the Temple until it was time to meet with President Asao Miyashita.

Botanical Garden---we were drenched in sweat by the time we got to the Temple.

We were set apart as New Ordinance Temple Workers by President Miyashita, attended a session and then were trained. We had to leave before the training was finished in order to make it back to Kumamoto to Atufenua and Simoea Maui's baptism. We made it there in time for the Shimai to use our computer to "tweak" the program. Brother Jerry Rogers, our Ward Mission Leader, was the transportation for the Maui family and they were a little late so Barraclough Shimai, Takahashi Shimai, (six years in voice training) and I had time to run through the Baptism song, When I am Baptized, twice! The Maui family do not speak Japanese, so we needed to sing it in English. There were several investigators there to watch the baptism. One more next Tuesday and again next Sunday!!

Atu, Simoea, Josephine(baby), Tiute and Atu's cousin Katoa Sailusi. Little Mauiron was off playing with friends.

Double Zone Conference Picture Adachi Fufu(couple) second & third from front left, Pres. & Sister Margetts, Sister & Elder Aoyagi(2nd Quorum of Seventy), Christensen Fufu and Aps Oshima & Bingham Choro.

This week we have seen several examples of people that are now living the Gospel and the difference in their countenance. They now have a light about them. It is so exciting to see people with this light as they obey and live the commandments and so heart wrenching to see when they don't. May we each live worthy to have the Light of Christ shine in our countenance.

Elder and Sister Christensen
Mom and Dad
Grandpa and Grandma
Friend and Neighbor

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Rain! June 13 - 19, 2011

Yes it rained all week! Need to see the sun. Missed a full moon also. Darn, but a ray of sunshine....within the next two weeks the Kumamoto and Tsuboi/Shimizu Districts will have four baptisms.

Monday we washed and ironed, studied, bought groceries, and provided a place for the missionaries to email their families.

Tuesday we traveled to district meeting and learned about helping investigators accept commitments and recognize the blessings that come from obeying the commandments. We went to lunch together and enjoyed a wonderful lunch.

Wednesday we studied most of the day and went to Eikaiwa. Christensen Shimai's class was especially fun. There were 5 students and we all enjoyed learning together. Yes, Sueyoshi San gave us a most delicious melon.

Thursday, we woke up to the longest thunder we've ever heard. We studied most of the day again (maybe we just hid from the rain). Two of the Nakagawa family came to English class that night. It was fun with just two and we laughed most of the hour.

Friday it did not rain all day! Did not see the sun, but the day was lighter. Christensen Choro woke up early, 5:30 to be at the church for a service project cleaning up the sidewalk in front of the church. 20 minutes and 6 bags of garbage later he was home. He was surprised at all the garbage. Christensen Shimai went to get a haircut at Shimoda Shimai's hair salon, she got a head and neck rub, received a totami place setting, a very good hair cut and they wouldn't let her pay a dime. Her hairdresser, Shimoda Kyodai showed up to church on Sunday, first time we've seen him there...probably just checking out how the haircut looked! He got a phone call and left in the middle of the meeting so we didn't get to talk to him. We studied most of the day, went for a long walk and attended sports night. Christensen Shimai played bad mitten. She was terrific.!! Ha!

Ito Shimai and young Maki trying to beat her. Yes, this is in the church foyer.

Masuda Shimai whopping Christensen Shimai. Yep, no was being used by someone just to the right of us.

Saturday we woke up to morethunder. We studied, went to the store and walked in the rain until the umbrellas started leaking inside. We ate with the other missionaries at the Aoki home. Aoki Kyodai (Brother) is the Stake Patriarch. The food was the best ever. Especially the raw salmon. Aoki's two youngest daughters were there, Miyuki and three week old son and Nozomi who just returned from the US, New Jersey, where she has been trained as a Massuesse (sp).
She says missionaries get free massages.

Miyuki and baby, Nozomi's feet.
Sunday, Fathers Day, got a card, an email, and a call. Great day! Got a call from the Shimizu Bishops wife. She has a American friend that wants to learn more of the Gospel. She will make an appointment with her and let us know. Looking forward to this opportunity.

Father's Day dinner, pumpkin, broiled salmon, parslied, buttered potatoes and tomatoes.

Our front door apartment label.

Fire escape just outside our front door. We like those spiral stairs and take them daily. All eight flights of them.

These are the other stairs. We try to take them daily also.

Umbrella drying rack just outside our door. Hospital in the background. Sirens all the time. We found a fan for white noise so that we could sleep.

Our entryway, shoes are left here. Toilet room, good thing we are not bigger than we are.

Drying wet shoes. This is the extra bedroom where we dry clothes in the rainy season.

This is the laundry room, shower room, and bathroom sink. More of our extra bedroom.

This is "Wally" our oven. He is going to be replaced this weekend when we get to Sasebo. This is potato starch, could you guess? It makes a delicious crust on deep fried chicken and fish. We took this picture and found some at the store.

The message that keeps coming to us is Charity and obeying the commandments. The first commandment is to Love the Lord Thy God With All Thy Heart, Might, Mind and Strength. If we can do this we will have charity and obey the other commandments. We are going to continue to improve on this commandment and if we do the rest will fall into place.

Grandpa and Grandma
Dad and Mom
Tom and Bess

PS Bishop, that community garden sounds great!!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Two Zone Conference June 6 - 12, 2011

This was a week to prepare for Zone Conference and enjoy the rainy season.
Monday we had our weekly Ward Missionary Coordination meeting and Christensen Choro enjoyed a sick day. We also took Tsutamori Shimai back to the Hospital with a promise that she would come to Zone Conference Thursday.

Tuesday we had the Oyamas come up to the apartment and we called Kit Wareham to finalize their trip to Utah next week. Thank You Kit! They are excited about the places, people and things (ping pong) they are going to see.

Wednesday we were able to bring Tsutamori Shimai home from the hospital. Hope she will not have to go back for a long time.
We did more paper work and transported Kagoshima Zone missionaries from the bus stops to the apartments they were staying in that night. We knew some of the missionaries, but got to make many new friends doing this.

Little girl throwing a tantrum as her mother sent her on the way to school.

Rain does not stop people of Japan. It does slow down the Bicycles and Scooters though.

Thursday began early transporting missionary across town back here to the Zone Conference. There were two Zones attending, Kumamoto and Kagoshima Zones. We were trained about a new program given to the Mission Presidents. Elder Aoyagi and Sister Aoyagi of the Second Quorum of Seventy also instructed us on being good missionaries. It lasted until 4:30 pm with a break for lunch. Christensen Shimai was given a gluten free lunch by the people that prepared it! The people here are so thoughtful!

Gluten free angel!

After conference we spent the rest of the evening transporting missionaries back to the bus stops.

Martinez and Baba Choro

Hirst Choro


Kim and Hirst Choro waiting for Tom the Taxi man

Friday we began early again transporting the two Nobeoka missionaries to their bus stop. The traffic was the worst we had seen for a while. It took an hour and 15 minutes hours to get to the bus stop and 15 minutes to get home. Lucky we left early. In the afternoon we traveled with Kim Choro to a hospital in Ushiro to see Brother Matsunaga. He has been in the hospital for a couple months after he had his bike accident and broke a leg. He is doing great and looked fit. He will get out in four days!

Biggest smiles and goofy pictures as requested by the APs.

Atu Maui and two sons at Sports night
Atu and his wife Simone have set their Baptism date for the 26th of June!!!
On Saturday we woke up to the hardest rainstorm and thunder yet! We had bought a few things to take to Ligang and Wang Ying but were hesitant to head out in the storm. So we got the wise idea to scrub our front walkway in the rain. Bess did the scrubbing and Tom ran the bucket brigade to wash the black off into the parking lot below. What a difference it made...we just wish we had stayed with it and finished a little bit more.

Walk toward the "light"

We just thought that the rain on Saturday was bad. Sunday we had rivers for main roads and everyone was drenched as we walked into Church.
Bess gave the Relief Society lesson on Charity in English with Barraclough Shimai to translate! When the closing prayer was said the dear sister said she didn't understand much of the lesson but she felt the Spirit very strongly. After all that hard work! The RS shimai are trying so hard to help us feel welcome.
We are trying to find a way to reach the less active and nonmembers, Kasada Shimai, our RS president said she would like it if we had an English class and Bess taught a sewing class to them.
Now to find easy things to teach without having to translate much.
Sunday evening we had the older Single Adults over for a potluck dinner. There were about 10 plus the two Choro. Good food. Very interesting conversation. Japanese plus Japanese sign language for Masuda Shimai. Thank Heaven for Kim Choro who knows both.

Higashi Hikaru, Masuda, Takahiro Murakami, Yasunori Furuta, Obayashi and Kim Choro, Christensens, Yukito Furusho, Ku Tani Tomomichi (the other Tom) and??? The others left before we got the camera out.
Last, but not least, we received a call this afternoon from Pres. Margetts and our Temple President (lost name, will tell you later), we have been called as Ordinance Workers to serve on the fourth Saturday of each month starting in July for an English speaking session. We will go up on the 25th of June and be trained and set apart. Another Blessing!!

We love you!!
Thank you for your support and prayers.

Grandpa and Grandma
Dad and Mom
Tom and Bess