Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Sorry we are late; May 21 - 27, 2012

This was a very enjoyable busy week.  On Monday Sister Honda took us to the Kikuchi Gorge under Mt Aso.  The stream and surrounding vegetation could not have been more beautiful.
We love waterfalls
Will you marry me! Again?
Bess and Sister Honda
Sister Honda, everything is so green.
Monday morning, evening and Tuesday we transported missionaries for Specialized Training.

One of our favorite missionaries Tsutamori Shimai.

Tuesday Bess shopped to finish buying her accessories for her Yukata.

Wednesday we traveled to Fukuoka and then flew to Okinawa with President and Sister Margetts, Elder and Sister Rogers, Clements Choro and Ahn Choro.  We, the Rogers, Sister Margetts, and Elder and Sister Watson enjoyed sightseeing while the APs and President  Margetts did training and interviews with the young missionaries.
The sun was shining, so you need a new hat. Watson, Rogers, Christensen, and Margetts Shimai.
Only one Elder needed a hat with the sun. Rogers, Christensen, and Watson Choro.
Elder and Sister Watson at the War Memorial.

We went to the Okinawa Glass Factory.  Wonderful creations.
An oops creation at the glass factory.
At the airport with the Margetts.
The APs
A cafe in a tree.

We stayed in Fukuoka Friday night and attended the Temple on Saturday.  We also bought Tom two new suits.  We got home Saturday evening in time to attend the ward missionary meeting.  Got up early Sunday, Bess made two Zucchini Chocolate cakes for the evening guests, called Mom to celebrate her 85th birthday and still made it to church at 9am.  We made Texas Hash and shared it with Brother Oaks.  After dinner, the young single adults came to our home to learn about marriage.  Brother Oaks is a good teacher.

Brother Oaks and Tom.  Brother Oaks is leaving to go home next month. He will leave a big hole in our lives.
Young Single Adults, plus we "older" ones.
 Mosiah 2:17 And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn awisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the bservice of your cfellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.

This was shared with us today when we were inspecting apartments.  They thanked us for our service to them.  This makes us glad we chose to serve a mission.

Grandma and Grandpa,
Mom and Dad,
Bess and Tom

Sunday, May 20, 2012

May 14 - 20, 2012, we will slow down in August

Monday Barros and Lawson Choro came early and Skyped with their mothers for Mothers Day. Bess loved the messages she received for Mother's Day!!  Thank you!!


 We celebrated Mueller Shimai and Kano Choro's birthdays at District meeting on Tuesday.  We practiced getting commitments from those we teach.  That afternoon Brother Oaks took us on a tour of the Japanese Army Base here in Kumamoto.  The Base is very well maintained and beautiful.  Brother Oaks treated us to dinner at the cafe on base.  Tom has been trying to see over the fence since he got here.

Tom with a tank. Check out that smile!
Food from the base.  Yakisoba we think. The sea weed on top was still dancing!

Wednesday we did not have any new students at Eikaiwa, but we had a lot of fun.  For the game, we played "Gossip" in English.  The words at the end of the line were very interesting!

 We traveled to Nakatsu early Thursday morning. The apartment was really clean.  The elders called on Tuesday and said, "Oh, by the way could you bring us a new toilet seat?"  When we got there we found out why! 

We traveled on to Kitakyushu and also found a clean apartment.  We were very happy to go out to dinner with Villalobos and McConnell Choro.  We have missed Villalobos Choro!

Barrus and Mitton Choro, Nakatsu.

Villalobos and McConnell Choro at Kitakyushu.

View from our hotel window in Kitakyushu.
Friday we checked Yahata and Iizuka apartments.  The apartments we checked in the Fukuoka Zone were the best we have seen them.  Must be the treats.  What ever it is we are happy that they know how to clean!
Swasey and Unice Choro, Yahata Area
View from Yahata window of school girls practicing cheerleading.

View from Yahata window of school boys practicing something?

Iizuka Choro, Kurose and Koponen.
Saturday we enjoyed another Eikaiwa and the two students we taught.  It is so much fun to learn from them.  One is a civil engineer and the other is a professor teaching Economics

Sunday Bess taught the Relief Society lesson.  It is getting to be "old hat" for her. LOL 

Bess' family tree for her Relief Society lesson.

The song in Nehongo, "The Hearts of the Children turn to Their Fathers."  Shimai and Bess sang it as part of the lesson.

Saturday evening we were surprised when President Kasada, a member of the Stake Presidency asked Tom to speak for 15 minutes in the Saturday evening session of Stake Conference.  After Tom accepted, Bess was asked to speak for 5 minutes.  Sunday they had a change and asked Bess to speak for 10 minutes.  Good thing we have a month to prepare!

Sunday evening we had brother Oaks over for dinner, and then the Choro and Shimai and two member and two investigators came for Family Home Evening..

Brother Oaks showing us how to dance.  We played "Do unto Others."
  Our topic for Conference is "Blessings of the Temple".  We love to attend the temple and feel the Spirit that dwells there.  We are excited about sharing our experiences with members of our Stake and hope all people will become worthy and attend the temple.  Attending the temple leads us back to our Heavenly Father.  We love our family and do not want to be without them after this mortal death!       
Love, Grandma and Grandpa, Mom and Dad, Bess and Tom



Monday, May 14, 2012

Mothers Week 7 - 13 May 12

This week was Mother's Birthday as well as Mother's Day.  We started the Fukuoka Zone apartment inspections and enjoyed our time there.

Monday we found a park and lake. We had a good two mile walk.  Camera stands are handy little things to carry in a purse.
Tuesday we helped the Office Elders, Usui and Oba Choro, and Zone Leaders, Edwards and Yamada Choro, get needed supplies for their new home, a house.  Such things as drapes and fans are important.  The APs, also live in this house.

Tuesday we checked Hinode and Watanabe Shimai's apartment.  They were getting different furnishings donated by an investigator who was moving to Australia.  They donated some of their old to the Choro's house.
We visited with the clean Elders at Maebaru, Maxfield and Burton Choro.
After picking up the supplies for the "house"after 8pm we stopped for a late evening dinner with Oba and Yamada Choro.
Wednesday we started the day with two delightful Shimai, Kaneko and Tingey, in Fujisaki.
We finished the inspection day in Chikushino with Elders Murphy and Jeffery.  They are so clean. 
We then drove home and taught Eikaiwa. Three new students!  We have a lot of fun working with the students. They almost always teach us much more than we teach them.  They are better students though, they remember what they learn..
Thursday we found another park with a lake and pigeons.
We bought some Mothers Day flowers to plant.  These were bought in honor of Sister Margetts!  See the pink in the middle?
Thursday night at dance class, Bess got a dvd made of her and the teacher dancing.  No she will not share with anyone.  Don't ask!  It's embarrassing.
Saturday we picked up the office couple, Elder and Sister Rogers and took the back roads to Mt. Aso.  The top was closed again when we got there, but as we ate lunch it opened just long enough for us to see in the volcano.  We traveled on to the Shirakawa Fountainhead, where Tom likes to drop his phone in the water, and enjoyed the peace and quiet.  We took the Rogers back to the bus stop around 6 pm. A very enjoyable day!  
A Nagamini ward missionary meeting at 7:30 pm finished off our day.

Elder and Sister Rogers top of Mt Aso.

A time to remember!

Elder and Sister Rogers at Shirakawa Fountainhead springs..

Drinking that pure spring water.

Sunday Bess was surprised when we came home from a walk to find the missionaries and Brother Oaks in the apartment with dinner ready.  We had a great dinner and she got flowers and a card.  What a treat! A perfect evening!!  Thank you families that shared your loved ones with us.
Mothers Day guests, Mueller and Tokuzawa Shimai, Watanabe and Beckstrand Choro, Tom, Bess, and Brother Oaks
                                Mueller Shimai, Bess, and Tokuzawa Shimai.

                                 Beckstrand Choro, Bess and H. Watanabe Choro.

The apron gang are great cooks, servers, and dishwashers!.

Quote from Bess's journal, "Sunday-Mothers Day, Before our mission this was always a day that brought back all the mistakes, insecurities, hurts, and pure pain of memories of my lack as a mother and wife.  Here in the mission field I now understand the wonderful gift our Savior gave us of the Atonement!  It heals not only the pain of my own mistakes but also the pain of others actions.  I am so grateful for this knowledge.  I am learning to forgive, not only others, but also, myself.  I cannot change anyone but myself!  Others must learn this for themselves."

We love you all!!

Grandpa and Grandma
Dad and Mom
Tom and Bess

Sunday, May 6, 2012

30 April - 6 May 2012 , Golden Week

This week is one of the busiest weeks in Japan.  A week of several holidays.  A good week to enjoy staying close to home.  That is what we did.  On Monday we got to know the new missionaries better. We really enjoy learning about other people's lives and the things they have done.
Tuesday we had our first district meeting of the transfer.  Each of the companionships have changed, so there were many new missionaries to visit with.  We are happy to have Wada Choro, who served in Oita and is now in Omuta, as our new District Leader.  He gave us a very good lesson on listening to the people we teach.
Wada, Shimada, and Ikeda Choro.
Lawson Choro, Tokuzawa and Mueller Shimai, and Beckstrand Choro.  Enjoying Shabushabu for lunch.
H. Watanabe, Kano, Barros, Cox (behind the steam), Kanaida, and Lawson Choro.  Good lunch together!

The new arrival and addition to the Sopu family

Mother and baby.
 Wednesday we were the taxi driver again.  We picked  up Elder Farb and his mother, who are traveling the Mission before going home, at the Kotsu Center (bus station) and took them to our Eikaiwa.  It was fun to get to know them and they added to the Eikaiwa.  Elder Farb gave the spiritual thought on how and why to pray.  After class we took them back to the Kotsu Center..
Farb Choro, Sister Farb, Bess, and Tom

Brother En came to Eikaiwa see the Farbs.
Thursday we planned our last round of apartment inspections.  Our mission has gone by way too fast!  We made our hotel reservations and planned with some Choro to spend the day with them touring Miyajima when we are in Hiroshima this time. 

Thursday night was dance class.  It is getting a little better.  Still a lot of work!!

The rest of the week we shopped for apartment supplies, took long walks to meet people, had Li come to visit, helped the Zone Leaders, taught Saturday Eikaiwa, and attended Church.  Basically we stayed off the roads!

We also delivered a small Banana Cake with cream cheese frosting to our favorite gas station attendants.  They were very happy!! 

Friday night the phone rang and our Watanabe Kyodai, who used to be Choro, was calling.  Wow, what a happy end to the day! 

Saturday we received a letter from our Temple Square missionary, Sister Itohara.  We were so happy to hear from her.  It will be so fun to go find her when we get back to Utah.

We all need to learn to listen better.  If we use Christ as our example we can do a better job of listening.  Christ listened and waited to make sure He understood what was being said.  He was in no hurry to answer, but gave them his undivided attention.  Then a lot of times he answered with a question.  He did this to get further information, help them to think, show his interest in them, or to teach them.  He was an example of caring and teaching.  We all need to learn from Him and pattern our lives after His.

Mom and Dad,
Grandma and Grandpa,
Bess and Tom