Week 22-July 2-9
Today is Terry’s birthday. We got up early and took the zone leaders to the train station. They have training today in Fukuoka at the mission home. Traffic reminded me of California rush hour traffic. It took us an hour to drive what should have taken 25 minutes at the most. I made him a oatmeal cake. We chose no icing and only one candle.
We are starting the celebration of Tanabata (七夕), people here celebrate this day by writing wishes, sometimes in the form of poetry, on small pieces of paper and hanging them on a bamboo tree. This is a tree inside the International Center. I wonder if it will have more decorations this week.
This week we inspected the Kumamoto apartments. Both the Sisters and the Elders received celestial ratings and both had time for lunch. We enjoyed lunch together at the Gray Gull. The army of God in Kumamoto is amazing. We are truly blessed to have associations with them.
Saturday after Ekiwai we drove to Nobeoka. It is a smaller city on the Pacific Coast. Missionaries were taken out of the area because the numbers of missionaries when down. This coming transfer there will be enough missionaries to have some there. The branch members are so happy. The zone leaders went to make sure the apartment was ready for the new occupants.
Nobeoka has a beautiful little chapel owned by the church. We enjoyed visiting two less active members with the branch president and one of his councilors Saturday evening after we got in town. Sunday we attended Fast and Testimony Meeting, Sunday School and Priesthood/Relief Society. It was wonderful to share testimonies with members of the branch and feel of their spirit.
We did enjoy the three and a half hour countryside roads.
The countryside is beautiful. The rice fields have really grown and some are starting to dry up. We see very few cows or large animals at all. The fields are mostly made into rice patties.
We drove though many little towns/farm areas.
This is one of a number to tunnels through mountains. I love the beautiful art displayed.
We are taking a Japaneses class at the Kumamoto International Center. Our teacher
bought this beautiful children's book for us to read. It is called Kaguyahimi.
The book opens from the back and the text is right to left and top to bottom. This is the
first page. The book is about a princes found inside a bamboo tree by an old man.
Monday evening Terry and I biked almost to the train station to see if this bridge was open for traffic as it would save us much time Tuesday morning as we took our zone leaders to the train station for a training at the mission home. As you can see we started our bike ride a little late.
We are loving our time in Kumamoto!!!!