Sunday, September 25, 2011

Fall is Here!!!!!! Sept 19 - 25, 2011

Temperatures in the 70s during the day and 60s at night. What a welcome relief. One more very busy week. The Stake put on a Relief Society Program most of Monday with mini workshops, a program, and a display of hand crafted items.

Chinese dumplings at the Koidais. Gluten free!!

That night we went with Oobayashi and Masson Choro, Ito and Itu Shimai to Bishop Koidai's home to have dinner and receive instructions on what he wants us to do to help the Nagamini Ward. He said he needs our help teaching the ward members not to judge and to learn to be member missionaries.
3 Nephi 14:2
  • 2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged; and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

We are not sure how to do this, we are praying for guidance. Since we started praying to love others unconditionally we have enjoyed other people more and have found good in everyone. It has been fun to take goodies to lots of people and make friends.
At District meeting on Tuesday the lesson taught by Elder Yo was to not judge people. The Lord works in mysterious ways, but this is a knock on the head! Elder Yo taught us to not judge at first appearances, but to see everyone as a child of God.
Matthew 7:1 & 2
1 aJudge not, that ye be not bjudged.

2 For with what ajudgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what bmeasure ye mete, it shall be cmeasured to you again. We think this maybe be important!

The mean looking man in the middle is actually a friend of Yo Choro's. A good man!

Lunch time activity, De Freitas Choro making an animal of the handwipes.

Tom, Bess, DeFreitas and Masson Choro( like that face?)

Iino and Clements Choro, rabbit and duck

Ito Shimai's baby chick.

Iino, Clements Choro, Itu and Ito Shimai.

Oobayashi and Yo Choro, Tsutamori and Matsuhashi Shimai. Yo Choro dies Thursday and goes back to Korea.

Fontenet, Hill, Kwon and Abe Choro.

Wednesday and Thursday we got to travel the Kagaoshima Zone and judge the missionaries apartments as to their cleanliness? We try to be fair. This is the only time we will go to Kagoshima as the Sakamoto Fufu will check them until they go home. We trained the Sakamoto Fufu on what was expected and gave them the forms. They will do a great job and the missionaries are going to love them. The missionaries there are the best, but then we say that where ever we travel!

A little of Kagoshima scenery.

Edwards and Stirland Choro. Their Sendai apartment was Celestial and the ice cream was on sale!

Cleaning the air conditioner/heater vents. Good Choro!

C. Williams and Ushiro Choro of the Kagoshima apartment, Celestial, and they move into a new apartment next transfer.

Hattori and Yoha Shimai of Taniyama. Celestial! Inspection only took 15 minutes! Baskin and Robbins!!

Friday we helped with the Stake Service Project. It was along a river by the bay. We cleaned up the trash that had been multiplying for some time. It was hard work, but the members from ages one to 70 were there to clean up this place. The City employees were very excited. They said we accomplished half of what they need to do this fall. Everyone worked hard and enjoyed serving others.

Tom and Bess, tired, but it was fun to play in the plants and dirt.

Tobias Sopu and Tom shooting the breeze? Notice the bird?

Notice the dragon flies in the center of picture. Tons of them everywhere.

DeFreitas Choro, Bess and Tom relaxing waiting for the group picture.

Some of the Nagamini and Kumamoto Ward members.

Friday night we jointed with Tsuboi Choro for a lesson for Mayumi and then we attended a baptism for Miyose, a 20 year old man. What a great day! Then we bagged Sports Night and had a movie night on our computer. We watched the missionary DVD, The District, complete with intermissions every 5 to 6 minutes.

Masson Choro and Miyose.

We were able to attend the temple on Saturday and serve the dead. We love to attend the Temple. It is fun working the English section and helping the Japanese with their English.

Traffic in Fukuoka was horrible. Tom is a very patient driver, now.

Cruise ship docked in Fukuoka.

Sunday we attended Tsuboi Ward with Sister Kawabe. She is doing so good, but her children are not coming yet. The Sacrament meeting speaker was Elder Tashiiro. We were praying for the gift of interpretation of tongues when a lady came and sat behind us and translated for us. Prayers are answered. It was a good meeting and we met a new investigator, Aki, that looks and acts like a member. It was her first Sacrament Meeting and what a good one for the first. Bess got a bad headache and did not attend the Nagamime Ward, but Tom and the Choro were able to give her a blessing so she could be up to taking the missionaries to Mt. Aso on Monday. We will share picture of that next week!

President Spencer W. Kimball has explained the relationship of following the will of God and of performing the ordinance of administration for the sick: “We are assured by the Lord that the sick will be healed if the ordinance is performed, if there is sufficient faith, and if the ill one is ‘not appointed unto death.’ (See D&C 42:44–48.)

This is how pears come packaged. Just thought you would enjoy this!

Love you all!
Mom and Dad
Grandma and Grandpa
The Christensens, Bess and Tom

Sunday, September 18, 2011

From HOT! to WET! Sept. 12 to 18, 2011

This was a busy week with two worn out bodies at the end of the week. We taught another Joint lesson to Mayumi-chan on Monday night. We were both able to testify of times that our prayers have been answered through the Holy Ghost. Tom told about when the Spirit helped him find Dad on the Boulder Top when he never came back. Bess told about the time she was prompted three times to slow down just before a turn. The oncoming small truck came around on the wrong side of the road just missing her. We both have many experiences when our prayers have been answered and love sharing them. After the lesson we stayed at the Tsuboi Ward for a Family Home Evening and dinner. There were about twenty (ni jyu) people there. We all got along well and enjoyed the word games we played and the dinner was oishi, (delicious.) We got our first taste of corn on the cob. It was very good, but was cut in 2 inch lengths.

On Tuesday, the day before our Mini-Zone Conference we had a Zone P-day. We played softball and had 10 player on each team. The interesting thing about this was that over half of the missionaries had never played softball or baseball before! We played from noon until 2:30. There was not a cloud in the sky. Not sure why some missionaries were not blistered by the sun, but they weren't. The hardest part was finding a pitcher that could put the ball over the plate. So Tom was chosen to do the pitching. Bess couldn't get on base after he started to pitch so when the last two Shimai showed up she gladly gave up her place and picked up the camera. It was an enjoyable game. Every one hit the ball and ran the bases!

Hill Choro, Wow, did he connect with that one!

The changeable Tom. The old coaching days came back quickly.

Matsuhashi Shimai.

Kwon Choro, he has never played before.

Itu Shimai, she caught on quickly.

Abe Choro, Keeps us laughing constantly.

Clements, Iino and Zaico Choro. Zaico Choro dies this transfer.

Tsutamori Shimai. Not supposed to be in the sun.

Cleaning the field after playing.

Tuesday night we had our Japanese class with Maesawa Kyodai. We need to work harder! Today, Sunday, he came to Sacrament Meeting and passed the sacrament so maybe we won't work too hard.

Wednesday was Zone Conference. We spent the day transporting missionaries and learning how to help the members help the missionaries find people to teach. This is the key to missionary work and we need to work harder to do this.

Wednesday evening we taught Eikaiwa and was suprised when Mayumi-chan and Yoshi -kun came to our class. They helped Bess with a teaching moment about modest dressing. Koidai Bishippu just sat in the back of the class next to Tom holding a very straight face. Thank you Mayumi-chan and Yoshi-kun. Investigator and newly baptized.

Early morning Friday we were on the road to Miyakonojo down in the Kagoshima Zone for our maiden voyage. Somehow "Millie" the navi thought we needed to go north to Oita. We, thank Heaven, knew that wasn't right so we changed the setting to the Church in Miyakonojo and called the Choro to come find us there. They live about 200 feet from the Church which is a good thing as their fridge doesn't work and they have been storing their food at the Church. Nishio Choro at Honbu told them to go get a new one. They also needed two new study chairs, two futons and a fan. Some Choro are almost too good to be true, At least Stennett and R. Stratford Choro are. They were Celestial also.

Stennett and R. Stratford. Celestial!!

While we were inspecting there Rob called and told us the wonderful news that he had passed his Law Bar exam. He will be sworn in on Halloween Day. Yippee!!

The rain was coming down in torrents as we traveled east to Miyazaki to stay Friday night. We didn't see much of the country because of the rain. Saturday we checked Tsukamoto and Lemon Choro's apartment. Celestial! However they are being patient Choro, they have three of their four glass doors broken and taped up. A member told them that a earthquake caused the breaks. We will call Nishio Choro Monday to tell him.

Tsukamoto and Lemon Choro. Celestial!!

The Choro took us to the Shimai's apartment so we could mark it with the navi. Someone had a good time entering Kagoshima addresses in our navi!
Kobayashi and Shichijo Shimai were Celestial. We delivered their new whiteboard, bought ice cream and headed home in the rain.

Kobayashi and Shichijo Shimai. Celestial!!

We made it home in time to attend Setsu-kun and Nozomi-chan's wedding reception at 6:30 at the Church. What a difference in receptions from what we are used too. They showed videos of the Temple, sang Hymns, fed us all, over 200, good food and told stories of the Bride and Groom in their earlier years. This wonderful couple both served in the Sapporo Japan mission. We gave up and came home at 9:30 pm. The party didn't break up until after 11pm.

Nozomi-chan and Setsu-kun.

One of three tables of food.

We found a Club cab pickup. notice the size of it.

We love all of you and hope you will pray and read the Book of Mormon each day.
After each day we say "this was the funnest day ever"! Serving the Lord is very rewarding!

Mom and Dad,
Grandma and Grandpa,
The Christensens, Bess and Tom

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Heat is Back, Sept 5 - 11, 2011

We thought fall was here, Wrong! This has been a great week with many wonderful experiences. We were able to do a joint lesson with the Tsubio Choro on Monday teaching Mayumi-chan. The lesson was on the power and gift of the Holy Ghost. We were both able to bear our testimonies twice and tell of the blessings we have received from the Holy Ghost. Bess shared the scripture Moroni 7: 12-13.

12 Wherefore, all things which are agood cometh of God; and that which is bevil cometh of the devil; for the devil is an enemy unto God, and fighteth against him continually, and inviteth and enticeth to csin, and to do that which is evil continually.

13 But behold, that which is of God inviteth and enticeth to do agood continually; wherefore, every thing which inviteth and benticeth to do cgood, and to love God, and to serve him, is dinspired of God.

It seemed to be the right scripture at the right time. We ended with prayer and got word today that Mayumi-chan has set the date of October 15 for her baptism!!!

Our Japanese lesson this week started Monday night with a surprise visit from our wonderful teacher Maesawa Kyodai, bringing us some additional material that he wanted us to study for Tuesday night. We studied Japanese most of the day on Tuesday, with time out to read and underline the Book of Mormon. We are enjoying the lessons very much and are starting to recognize some words.

We were invited to have lunch and tour the Suizenji Jojuen Garden with Elder and Sister Tashiro from the Quorum of the Seventy on Friday. We were nervous, at least Tom was. The Tashiro's speak very little English and we do not speak any Japanese. So after Tom's fretting most of Friday morning we were picked up by the Tashiros. We went to a hotel for a buffet and enjoyed a wonderful meal. We all had our electronic translators out and we we able to understand each other very well. Thanks to Bess's prayer that morning. We found out we had things in common, both married 35 years and of course children, the gospel, and the love of missionary work. After lunch we drove to the Suizenji Jojuen Garden. What a treat! The Garden is beautiful! We enjoyed the time together and gained another testimony of prayer.
Alma 33:6
  • 6 And again, O God, when I did turn to my house thou didst hear me in my prayer.

Tom and Elder and Sister Tashiro

Crane looking for lunch at the Suizenji Jojuen Garden.

We were able to teach English Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. We have some new people that have come to class. We really enjoying teaching and interacting with the Japanese people.

Sports night is always fun. We enjoy visiting with the Oyamas, they are still waiting for their mission call to come back. It has been at least 2 months. They have been studying both English and Chinese. Oyama Kyodai's English has improved very much since June. He wants to go to the US rather than China like Oyama Shimai.

Ping Pong action and visiting.

New Eikaiwa student from Shimizu/Tsuboi.

Clements Choro birthday.

Birthday boy Shun-kun four (yon) years old.

Saturday's new Eikaiwa Student. We did not say a young student.

Pam from Eikaiwa. She comes on Wednesday and Saturday. Pam has been coming for 10 years or more. We think it's her social outing. She also comes to Church on occasion but says her husband won't even talk about her taking the lessons.

Three pictures from our early morning walks on the Canal.

These are honestly the brooms they use over here.

Japanese Mafia building across the street from the Tsuboi Ward Church. We walk around it to our parking on Sunday. Directly across from this building is a Pachinko Parlor. (gambling)
On Tom's birthday Mayumi-chan told him to read the Book of Mormon and pray every day. We hope you each will do this and realize the blessings from doing so.

Dad and Mom
Grandpa and Grandma
Tom and Bess