Saturday, October 29, 2011

24 - 30 Oct 2011, A Subway Sandwich

We started the week with Oobayashi Choro having a dream of a great big pinata full of candy for the 2 Nov Halloween Eikaiwa party. We started the pinata Monday and left the young missionaries working on it during the week while we were in Hiroshima checking apartments and eating Spicy Italian sandwiches. A pinata requires a lot of work to last one minute at the party.

Oobayashi Choro, Blau and Ito Shimai and Bess greasing the balloon. The start of the "Dream."

We found another US Military Base. Iwakuni Marine Air Base has 5000 Marines. It is just south of Hiroshima and has a two, yes, we said a two story PX and two hotels. They also fly all over the the world. We could fly to Utah and back for about $28 when we get off our mission if they have space available. They also have fast foods like Subway, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut. Tom loves the spicy Italian sandwich.

Tuesday we traveled to Hiroshima and stopped at the Air Base and enjoyed. We met the Servicemen's Branch President Wilson at the Church. He led us to the Base and he showed us around. He and his wife have lived there one year. They teach school and are looking to buy a house and make it their home.

Crossing over the bridge at the top of the Kyushu Island.

Wednesday we checked the Hamada Choro's apartment that is one and a half hours from Hiroshima and on the far north edge of the mission.

P. Stratford and Bagley Choro of Hamada.

All the color we could find on our drive .

Back south to the Yasufuruichi Choro next, we had dinner together and stayed for their Eikaiwa Halloween party. Over thirty people came and we all had a good time.

Everett and B. Beckstrand Choro of Yasufuruichi.

Mummy Wrap!!

Thursday we checked Takasu, Hatsukaichi and Hikari.

Watanabe (not AP) and Mitton Choro of Takasu.

Rhodes and Shima Choro of Hatsukaichi.

Nascimento, Zone Leader, and Kurose Choro at Hikari.
We had dinner with the Hikari missionaries. We ate the dish that Hiroshima is famous for Okonomiyaki. Bess had hers without the noodles and pancake, but on a bed of rice. It was delicious!!

Friday we traveled to Kure, Saijo, and Mihara and had dinner at the 7eleven. We were worn out.

Stevenson and Rushing Choro of Kure. Rushing dies this transfer.

Hodson and Ainge Choro of Saijo. Ainge dies this transfer also.

Shimada and Zone leader, Nagafuichi Choro at Mihara.

Saturday we slept in until 7:30 and went back to Iwakuni Marine Air Base to pick up somethings we had forgotten plus a suit for Tom that actually fits him. His other two are way too big.

Meet "Millie" our navi. This is after we were on the Expressway past Iwakuni.

Saturday as we drove home it started to rain in Fukuoka. We arrived home just in time to attend the Adult Session of Stake Conference. The theme was Obedience. Halfway through Tom was glad he had obeyed the mission rules and had two pair of glasses since the one of the nose pieces one fell off. Li came and sat by us. He was wondering where to find a job. He had an interview on Sunday, but was not wanting to go. At the end of the meeting President Kasada, of the Stake Presidency, walked up to him and said to not worry about a job, you are working for me building houses. He will have Sundays off. The answer to prayers! We sure love Li as does everyone that knows him.

II Nephi 1
9 Wherefore, I, Lehi, have obtained a apromise, that binasmuch as those whom the Lord God shall bring out of the land of Jerusalem shall keep his commandments, they shall cprosper upon the face of this land; and they shall be kept from all other nations, that they may possess this land unto themselves. And if it so be that they shall dkeep his commandments they shall be blessed upon the face of this land, and there shall be none to molest them, nor to take away the land of their einheritance; and they shall dwell safely forever.

Still raining on Sunday. The Conference theme was "Feeling the Spirit". The speakers, which included President and Sister Marigetts, talked about how listening to the Spirit has helped them and others in their lives.

As President Monson said in October Conference: "It may appear to you at times that those out in the world are having much more fun than you are. Some of you may feel restricted by the code of conduct to which we in the Church adhere. My brothers and sisters, I declare to you, however, that there is nothing which can bring more joy into our lives or more peace to our souls than the Spirit which can come to us as we follow the Savior and keep the commandments. That Spirit cannot be present at the kinds of activities in which so much of the world participates. The Apostle Paul declared the truth: “The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”4 The term natural man can refer to any of us if we allow ourselves to be so.

Elementary school children and their $3 to $4 hundred dollar backpacks. No kidding!!

New buildings across by the Hospital.

We love all of you and want the best for you!

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

Saturday, October 22, 2011

What wonderful Missionaries Oct 17 - 23, 2011

Missionaries for breakfast? Clements Choro drew dish duty while companion Oobayashi Choro made a power point presentation for the Zone training we had Monday evening.
Monday was a two Zone Preparation Day. The missionaries from the Kumamoto Zone and Kagoshima Zone met here in Kumamoto and enjoyed games and each other for a half a day.

Balloon stomp with a twist---two teams-each team had a King or Queen-when your King or Queen lost their balloon you lost. New "bean" J. Beckstrand from St. George, UT on the piano.

Dodge Ball with a twist. As you are hit with a ball you move to the back of the opposite team. When you can catch a ball you return to your own team.

Zone training Monday night was on having Faith, Hope, and Love.
Moroni 7:
And what is it that ye shall ahope for? Behold I say unto you that ye shall have bhope through the atonement of Christ and the power of his resurrection, to be raised unto life ceternal, and this because of your faith in him according to the promise.

42 Wherefore, if a man have afaith he bmust needs have hope; for without faith there cannot be any hope.

47 But acharity is the pure blove of Christ, and it endureth cforever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.

Tuesday we enjoyed a two Zone Leadership Conference and the theme was to focus on the roots of the gospel. If we do that the branches and leaves will grow as they should. We need to pray and read scriptures every day. We need to study the Atonement of Christ and have faith in him.
Moroni 7:
33 And Christ hath said: aIf ye will have bfaith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is cexpedient in me.
We have so many great missionaries in the two zones! It was good to see all of them again.

Kagoshima and Kumamoto Zone Missionaries.

Yoha Shimai (who dies in two and a half weeks) and Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cake. Arigato, Adele for sharing the recipe years ago.

Triffitt and Nishio Choro. They were here in Kumamoto when we first arrived. gomen nasai, Elysse, we thought it was of Triffitt and Watabe Choro.

Wednesday through Friday we traveled to the: Fukuoka Elders, Fukuoka Sisters, Office Elders, Iizuka Elders, Yahata Elders, Kitakyushu Elders, Nakatsu Elders, and Chikushino Elders apartments to check them. The Missionaries are really doing good at keeping their apartments clean! They are all working so hard and helping others.

Gregory and Ushiro Choro, Fukuoka Elders

Uchida and Tingey Shimai, Fukuoka Sisters.

Ikari and Ogita Choro, Yahata Elders cleaning a ceiling vent.

Ogita and Ikari Choro, happy Celestial with no time to buy ice cream as they had a lesson to teach.

Cox and Frazier Choro, Iizuka Elders.

Buckingham and Newman Choro, Kitakyushu Elders, ice cream and apartment supplies.

Farb and Buckner Choro, Nakatsu Elders.

De Jong and Guevara Choro, Chikushino Elders.

Gardens tucked everywhere.

Rice reeds. Closest thing we can find to corn stalks.

Friday night we went to the Hard Rock Cafe with President and Sister Margetts and Elder and Sister Rogers to celebrate our 35th anniversary. We split a 12 oz. New York steak between us and could not finish it. How times and the size of the bellies have changed. Thanks for the money for the steak Mom!

Anniversary gift from the Rogers and Margetts.

Saturday we attended a session at the temple and then officiated the English session. We got home just in time to have a Birthday Party for Oobayashi Choro and meet the new Shimai that had arrived that day, Itohara Shimai from Yamaguchi. She is going to Temple Square on a mission, but has not received her Visa yet. The Shimai had an apartment key and had the cake and ice cream all ready when we arrived just before the Choro.

Clements and Oobayashi Choro, Blau, Ito, Tagawa and Itohara Shimai.

Oobayashi Choro thinks we are going to make a pinata this big.. LOL!

A broken $5 dollar balloon and a Clown.

Today we said goodby to a friend that is leaving tomorrow for the MTC. California, San Fernando Mission you are getting the best! Good luck Stewart Shimai!

Bess, Sayuri and Tom.

Hiroshima Zone this week and then home until after transfers.

We are grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ that makes it so possible to love others and let go of the anger and hurt that cankers our souls. He lives and loves each one of us. His Atonement will heal each of us if we will repent and go forward in obedience and faith.

Dad and Mom
Grandpa and Grandma
Tom and Bess

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Week that was? 10-16 Oct 2011

The week started at 3:30 Monday morning. In Japan when there is a holiday on Monday, the Temples open during the day so people can attend. The Kumamoto Stake took a 5o person bus and many cars so the members could attend the temple. We took our three Shimai; Blau, Tagawa, and Ito to the Temple. Our Choro rode the bus.

Ichikawa and Iino Choro, Tom and Bess, Ito, Tagawa and Blau Shimai at the Temple.

We had an enjoyable day and we were even able to stop at Costco on the way home. We thought that the San Diego Costco the night before Thanksgiving was busy until we went to Fukuoka on a holiday!

Finally we found a nativity set that we like. Not sure how we are going to get it home. It barely fit in the trunk.
Tuesday was Iino Choro's Birthday. Bess made banana cake, his favorite, and we celebrated at District meeting.

S. Okada, Abe, and Iino Choro.

Tagawa and A.Ito Shimai, Takaku, Fontanet, S. Okada, Stirland and Iino Choro. Tagawa Shimai's birthday was on the 9th of October.

We had picked up a couple of copies the October, Liahona while we were at Honbu on Monday. It is a special addition on the Book of Mormon. It is a great reference! We dropped the copies off to the Maui family and Li Gang on the way back to the apartment. Tuesday night we had a special treat, Maesawa Kyodai brought his daughter with him to teach us Japanese. She has just returned from her mission and is a very lovely and talented young lady.
Wednesday, we traveled back to Fukuoka and checked apartments on the way in.

We checked the Kurume Shimai, Hattanda and Furusawa.

Statue going into Kurume.

Maebaru Choro,Ward and Bushman.

Fujisaki Choro, Thayne and Kanaida Choro. Forgot to take a picture there.
All three apartments, Celestial!!
3 Nephi 20:41 ...... be ye cclean that bear the vessels of the Lord.
We usually spend between two and three hours with the missionaries at their apartment, cleaning, training and shopping for supplies and ice cream. It is so much fun to get a spiritual lift from these spiritual giants that are here in the mission. We feel like Elder Kazuhiko Yamashita said in Conference this month, " I am thankful that missionaries are called by the Lord, that they respond to that call, and that they are serving throughout the world."
We stopped by the Mission Home to drop off De Freitas Choro's retainer that he left behind when he transferred and were rewarded by going to the Hard Rock Cafe for dinner with President and Sister Margetts and Elder and Sister Rogers!

Thursday we checked the Shimonoseki, Ube, and Yamaguchi apartments. We took Zone Leaders Peterson and Hiratsuka Choro of the Yamaguchi apartment to dinner, what a treat!

Kano and Munro Choro, Shimonoseki.

Sato and Uno Shimai, Ube.

Peterson and Hiratsuka Choro, Yamaguchi Zone Leaders. New stove and supper!!

Yamaguchi was absolutely beautiful with flowers everywhere. They are having Japanese Summer Olympic games there this past week.

Friday we checked the Hufu, Tokuyama, and Yanai apartments. All the apartments this time are well maintained. We also took Allen and Tanaka Choro to dinner. What a great experience to get to know these Missionaries. When we eat with them they also help Bess get the food she needs. On the way back to the Hotel, we drove through a terrible rain storm. It was pretty scary in the dark with all the traffic and lights shining in our eyes. With a lot of prayer we made it back safely.

Hofu Choro, Cottle and LaMare.

Tom and Peterson Choro fixing the air conditioner/heater at Tokuyama, Peterson was on a Junkai (splits) with Koyama Choro.

Koyama and Peterson Choro. Tokuyama.

Allen and Tanaka Choro, Yanai.

Saturday we were barely able to get out of bed and drive home. We made it and are looking forward to two more weeks of travel before we slow down.

The bridge that connects the Kyushu and Honshu Islands.

View from the rest stop by the bridge.

Our Shimai are wonderful!! We were about to drop when we reached home, but this lifted our spirits.

Mom & Dad
Grandma and Grandpa
Bess and Tom