Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving in Japan, November 21 - 27, 2011

District Meeting on Tuesday is a good way to celebrate birthdays and it usually gives the missionaries a mid-morning snack. This day it was pineapple cake.

Stirland Choro 11/27, and Matsuhashi Shimai 11/23. Birthday celebration

We count our many blessings every day. This week with Thanksgiving we had extra blessings, we shared Thanksgiving dinner with some of the best people on earth! There was a lot of preparation for this meal. We asked Bishop Koide a couple of weeks ago if we could use the church oven, since ours was too small for a turkey. We measured the oven dimensions and then bought a turkey to fit at the Base. It turned out that a 14 pound turkey was as large as would fit in the oven. Our freezer was too small to hold the turkey so to the Shimai's freezer until time to defrost. We defrosted it a couple of days before and took the turkey down to the church Wednesday night to put in the fridge until we cooked it the next morning. When we got to the church we realized something startling, Japanese oven controls are in Japanese! We could not read them or understand it when it talked to us. (yes, talked to us) We called Clements and Nagafuchi Choro at 9:20 pm and said HELP!! They hurried to the church and assured us that they could turn it on in the morning. At 8 am we met them at the church and Nagafuchi Choro started the oven. The only problem, it turned itself off after 90 minutes. They assured us that they would be around to restart in when needed. At 10 am Tom ran to the store and Bess went to the church to check on the turkey. The turkey was cold. Bess found a Relief Society Sister that was in the building and had her set the turkey to bake and we postponed the dinner an hour. Nothing we do is fast here in Japan. We wondered if that turkey was going to up and fly!
Most of the Japanese had never tasted Turkey. They loved it...would have loved it more if it was cooked a bit more.

We ended up using Japanese sweet potatoes for yams. They turned out great! Bess cooked a delicious Pork roast . We also had corn, gravy, mashed potatoes, a fresh fruit salad, olives, hot rolls, dressing, and apple cidar to drink. We also caved in and had a rice cooker full of rice in case anyone was still hungry, only Junichi, our investigator was. There were many deserts provided in part by the Shimai. There was apple pie, ice cream, pecan pie, banana cream pie, pumpkin pie, and "darn good desert."

There were 13 of us and no one wanted to leave, but everyone got to take home left overs! We only had one casualty. Bess slowed down enough that a cold caught her Friday evening after making a big pot of Turkey soup. Thank goodness for the power of the Priesthood.

In the kitchen with Nagafuchi Choro

Tom loves hot rolls. 12 at a time.

Takaku, Nagafuchi and Iino Choro trying to decide which to taste first.

Clockwise from bottom left: Ichikawa,Takaku, Iino Choro, Tom, Nagafuchi Choro, Bess, Carroll Shimai, Villalobos and Clements Choro, (both from Utah Valley) Junichi, (investigator) Blau and Itohara Shimai. Itohara Shimai will probably leave for her Temple Square mission in two weeks as she finalized her Visa last Monday.

A room full of satisfied people!

Dessert time.

It was a great week. we were to joint teach two lessons, but one lesson was cancelled when Ichikawa Choro was hit by a car riding home from early morning Seminary Tuesday. He will be OK in a week or two. The bike will need a wheel replaced.

Sports night on Friday nights has really changed since we have been here. From soccer and rough sports to 3 year olds to 80 year olds enjoying a variety of sports.

Our first Christmas in Japan

Christmas tree with nativity set.

Another beautiful Japanese sunset!

The weather has teased just enough that the "long Johns," have come out. Thank goodness we know a bit more of where to buy things this year. So if it looks as though we have put on weight, we have, several layers of it.

We are so grateful for our blessings and the many bounties of life that we enjoy. We are grateful for ancestors that came over on the Mayflower many years ago and the wonderful example they and many others have left for us. We are thankful to have a Savior who loves us and has provided a way for us to come back into Our Heavenly Fathers' and His presence to live if we but repent, do our part and endure to the end. Thank you, all of you, for your friendship and support, without this life would be very lonely.

Please remember how very blessed those of you that live in the United States of America really are. That land is indeed a choice land above all others and will remain so if we live according to the commandments of God!

Grandpa and Grandma
Mom and Dad
Tom and Bess, Elder and Sister Christensen

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