Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas 2011 Dec. 19 - 25, 2011

What a great experience being away from home for Christmas! We looked for service to do for others and did not worry about all the little things that we thought were important when we were home. We were blessed to give service to several families for Christmas.

Wednesday and Saturday we taught the "Story of the Candy Cane" in Eikaiwa. Here is a copy of that story in Japanese and English. We passed out candy canes and this story.




A candy maker in Indiana wanted to make a candy that would be a witness,
so he made the Christmas Candy Cane. He incorporated several symbols
for the birth, ministry, and death of Jesus Christ. He began with a stick of
pure white, hard candy: white to symbolize the Virgin Birth and the sinless
nature of Jesus, and hard to symbolize the Solid Rock, the Foundation of the
Church and firmness of the promises of God.

The candy maker made the candy in the form of a "J" to represent the precious
name of Jesus, who came to earth as our Savior. It could also represent the
staff of the Good Shepherd with which He reaches down into the ditches of the
world to lift out the fallen lambs who like all sheep have gone astray. Thinking
that the candy was somewhat plain, the candy maker stained it with red stripes.
He used three small stripes for the blood shed by Christ on the cross. So that
we could have the promise of eternal life.

Unfortunately, the candy became known as the Candy Cane. It became a
meaningless decoration seen at Christmas time. But meaning is still there for
all those who "Have eyes to see and ears to hear." We pray that this symbol will
again be used to witness to the wonder of Jesus and His great love that came down at Christmas.


Jyunichi, Mark-san, Kaoru-san, Maiko-san and Sueyoshi-san. First experience with candy cane!

The stress was relieved somewhat on Thursday when Tom, Bess, Clements and Watanabi Choro went to the Driver License center so Tom could take the driver test and get his Japanese License. It was fun to see the big building. The center serves all the people in Kumamoto. It has a twenty acre parking lot. A twenty acre driving range and the building it self is at least 700 feet long and 200 feet deep. It has three stories. There is a giant TV that the written scores of the people taking the new license test are posted on and one hears cheers and groans as the scores are posted.

When one has a license from another country the written test is ten true or false questions. It is so easy that even Tom passed it on the first try. He even passed the eye test without his glasses! Now that is scarey. The driving test is another matter. The driving course is typical Japanese roads. One major mistake and you are through. Two people ahead of Tom missed stopping at a stop sign and did not get to finish the course, but failed right there. Tom got to finish the course, but made too many mistakes to pass. Maybe next week.

Tom's first time out of the barn.

Drivers License building.

We went to the Temple Friday with our Stake and the missionaries. Also attended the Kumamoto Ward Christmas program that night. The program was very good and the food was delicious!

Christmas Eve was spent taking out gifts and receiving them. We also visited with four of our children and their families on Skype. It was so much fun to see and visit them. We found out we have a new granddaughter, Sarah. Jace and Sarah announced their marriage to us during the call. The little scamps were married in May before his last deployment and didn't tell anyone until last week. We are excited for them.

Christmas Day, Christmas Eve at home, We Skyped with Mom, Randy and Sue, Janese, Mitzi, and Chani. We have not seen them for 10 months and it was good to visit with them. We attended two Sacrament Meetings. During the Nagamini Ward, a beautiful shimai sang the song "O Holy Night" finishing in English. What a beautiful Christmas for all of the English speakers in the congregation. Bess couldn't stop the tears. Two choro and two shimai used our computer to visit with their families. That night we took time to open our presents to each other.

Our presents.

All the companionships were asked to send pictures to Honbu so they could make a Christmas video for President and Sister Margetts. This is the picture that Itohara, Carroll, and Uchida Shimai sent in.

The new construction across the street has a helipad on top.

May we all keep this wonderful feeling of Charity and Love in our hearts all through the year.

Grandpa and Grandma
Dad and Mom
Tom and Bess
Christensen Choro & Shimai

1 comment:

  1. Ok we finally are able to see your blog! ( We haven't been able to this point for some reason.) Now we will check in every week to see what is taking place in your lives! Love the many pictures... reminds me of my mission to Korea! Can't believe it's almost been a year! Love and miss you guys!

    Jeff and Mandy Family