We have been on our mission 9 months now. Time goes by so fast. We have learned several things in nine months, here are a few:
Trust in the Lord, with his help we can do anything.
Patience, patience, and more patience.
To love and serve all people.
To be able to lovingly accept service.
Studying the scriptures daily blesses our lives.
Japanese is a very hard language to learn.
Tagawa Shimai and Itohara Shimai enjoying a P-Day rest.
Blau Shimai and Bess wrapping Christmas presents to send home. Thank you Blau Shimai....
New paper on the doors of the Shimizu/Tsuboi apartment and miracle worker, Jouno Kyodai.
Wednesday was a wonderful day, Li called and said he had made up his mind to be baptized in "our Church". So many prayers are being answered. He then passed his Scooter test on Friday after failing it at least 3 times. Prayers are answered, after a test of our faith, in God's time not ours.
Thursday we traveled to Saga, Isahaya, Nagasaki and then Sasebo on Friday for apartment checks. These checks keep getting better as the missionaries learn what is expected to keep their apartments clean to have the Spirit reside with them.
Saga Elders, Tsukamoto (dying this transfer) and Nakamoto (new bean) with their Celestial reward.
Isahaya Elders, Hayase and Ogita wanted Baskin Robbins 31 flavors for a reward.
Friday was a wet and drippy day! Good thing the missionaries are always happy and positive.
Nagasaki Elders, Farb, Anstead, Oba and Pehrson were ready for Baskin Robbins takeout..
Sasebo Elders, Williams, Unice, Clayton and Stennett had the kitchen floor shiny and were ready to go get ice cream!
Bess at the Seaside Harbor Park in Nagasaki.
Ship in the Nagasaki harbor.
The building next door that was built around the corner house.
We stayed Friday night with new friends in Sasebo, Chris and Kris Priddis. They are from Orem, Utah. Kris has taught school at the Sasebo Base for four years. Jack and Diane Graham were visiting for the evening and doing their laundry. We all watched two DVDs, 17 Miracles and Matilda. We slept on the softest queen sized bed and we haven't felt so much at home since we left home! Also ordered some Pamela's Baking Mix from Amazon and had it shipped, free shipping, to Missouri where Chris and Kris are spending Thanksgiving with their son. They will bring it home and then "Black Cat" ship it to us. Small blessing?
Saturday morning, wet and drippy also. We picked up the Christmas gifts from the packaging store and mailed them. So our wonderful children and grandchildren, your small gifts are in the mail. Please let us know when you get them.
We picked up candy canes for Eikaiwa students and trinket gifts for the missionaries so we could play the game the family always plays at Christmas at Grandma's house. We bought the perfect size turkey to fit in the tiny Church oven. 21cm high by 29 cm wide and 30 cm deep. Also all the trimmings for Thanksgiving dinner complete with a pork roast. It's a good thing that the Church is so close as we will have to store the pumpkin and cream pies and "darn good dessert" down there as we bake them. We have all ten of the missionaries here in Kumamoto joining us for dinner. We told them that we were not having rice!!!!!! Pilgrims did not eat rice. (or darn good dessert)
When we arrived at the Mission Home to drop off groceries Saturday afternoon we received some very sad news, Elder Jensen, who we had been originally called to replace because he had cancer, died last week. The Jensens had served 7 missions.
Please set your goals to serve a mission. There are so many people that need to receive the Gospel message and the blessings you will receive are too many to count.
Sunday, Atu Maui gave a talk in Church. He chose Elder Tad R. Callister's talk about the Book of Mormon. Since he has only been a member for 4 months, this October Conference was the first one he had experienced. Bishop Koide talked, using President Henry B. Eyring's "A Witness" talk and President Dieter F. Uchtdorf's talk "Forget Me Not". That was the "shot in the arm" that we needed. Do not get discouraged, the Lord is there to help!
Bess gave the Relief Society Lesson today on Temple Work and Family History! Everything went well with the help of those wonderful translators. Too bad she had to admit that other than read what others have compiled, she has done very little Family History herself. There is no easy, in your own home, access to the New Family Search here in Japan, they have to go to the Stake House on Tuesday between 7 and 9 pm and have 2 people help them log into it.
Thirteenth Article of Faith
We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.
We love you all!
the Christensens, Bess and Tom
Grandma and Grandpa,
Mom and Dad