This week we had a couple of good experiences. Friday we were able to teach, in English, Gospel Vocabulary words to the Seminary Students. Seminary here starts a 6 am and is held all year round but Hachi-gatsu (August) and the students actually want to be there. It was amazing to see how quick they could turn in their scriptures to Scripture Mastery Scriptures even when given the clues in English. The class is a variety of ages, along with the High School students there are two teachers, two young men who are preparing to serve missions, four older women, a seven year old girl, an eleven year old girl and Fukuhara Bishoppu (bishop) that attend. Bess taught, (Tom is a great support man keeping her on when she loses her place) and did a great job at teaching and helping the students sound out, read and pronounce words like: Stake President, Relief Society, and Melchizedek Priesthood. All these word are foreign to them. They will need them at least at the MTC on the way to serve their missions. It was so fun to work with the youth again!!
Seminary students? Notice the one passed out on the table on right side of picture, he had a hard time staying awake for some of the class. Nariaki, the tall one on right side back leaves for his mission to Nogoya Japan on Ku-gatsu (Sept) 5th. He is working with the Choro to learn his Preach My Gospel lessons before he gets to the MTC. He likes our pineapple cake so we are going to make one for him this week. Good thing we replaced "Wally!"
We have been meeting once a week with a Brother Maesawa for a little over a month. He is a less active brother with a daughter and son on a mission. He is helping use to learn Japanese. We need that. He spends hours preparing for the 1 1/2 hour class he teaches us. He comes to our apartment and says he feels comfortable with us. He does not like crowds, but is now coming to priesthood meeting. His wife is in the Relief Society Presidency and was the person we gave a Priesthood blessing to a couple of months ago.
We also had the privilege to attend and work at the Temple on Saturday. We gave Tobias a ride to the Temple, since he works the English session with us. He is 29, but we learn so much from being around him. This week he taught us about the importance of attending the Temple. Tom met two missionaries at the Temple, one newly returned from a Canadian Mission last week and his brother who is leaving for the Tokyo Mission next week. The family was really nice.
We have been walking along the Canal each morning early before the traffic gets too heavy. It is beautiful and we enjoy greeting others that are walking. Also we finally are lifting weights, it is fun to watch Tom do something besides the pushups and crunches. He found new muscles, at least new spots that hurt. Bess always has spots that hurt, she is sooooo out of shape.
Bess taught the Relief Society Lesson in English again this week. "On the Road to Damascus" by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, April Conference 2011. Studied, prayed hard for help and studied more and could not get a clue on how to present this lesson before the class started. Thank Heaven for the Gift of the Holy Ghost. It was a wonderful experience!!
We love all of you and hope you will strive to attend the Temple regularly wherever you are. We have taken attending the Manti Temple for granted and we thought the hour trip was just about too much for us. Here we travel two hours one way and pay $80 in tolls each time we go. We live closer to the Temple than most people that attend. We met one couple there this week from Okinawa. They flew to Sasebo, rented a car at the Base and drove to the Temple without a "navi." We are so blessed to be as close as we are and get to go to the Temple at least once a month.
The Christensens, Bess and Tom
Mom and Dad
Grandma and Grandpa