Friday, May 31, 2013

Week 15-16 May 14-27

May 14, Tuesday – We went to Y-son for a sushi dinner with two of her Chinese friends.  I shared the story about the tomato plant from the April 2013 General Conference by M Russell Ballard. I had given her a tomato plant earlier.  We showed her pictures of our family and shared our love for each of them.  We told her that we are in Japan because of our love for her and the people of Japan and asked if we could come back and share our message with her.  She said we could come back.

May 15, Wednesday – We biked to the International Center and parked our bikes in the city parking lot this time.  They have an attendant and charge you 100 yen for each bike.  It is very close the International Center where we teach English and attend a Japanese class.  Our Japanese teacher, KM, joined our English conversation class.  We have three students now and enjoying the opportunity to share English with them and practice our Japanese skills.

May 16, Thursday – Today we biked to check the Kumamoto Elders apartment and the Nagamini Sisters apartment.  We found six Elders at the Kumamoto Elders apartment.  The zone leaders live there and they were having splits with the Assistants to the President.  We used the car to shop for needed items for the two apartments.  I had e-mail the previous Kumamoto couple to find out were they found the toilet seat they replaced in our apartment.   We had not been able to find a simple no water/heat seat for the Krume Sisters apartment.  

We enjoyed Elder M’s art work on the wall in their apartment.  He illustrated one of his favorite scriptures 2 Nephi 28:30 “For behold, thus saith the Lord God:  I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom; for unto him that receiveth I will give more; and from then that shall say, We have enough, from them shall be taken away even that which they have.” 
May 17, 2013 – Friday  We had our MTC Skype class with Brother KJ and then headed to Omuta for an apartment check.  The Elders had a stove with only one burner working and their air conditioner/heater unit was not working.  We had them call their manager to see if the problem could be resolved and found out the church owned the air conditioner so it was our problem.  The branch members had bought them a heated rug to help keep them warm last winter.  After making the purchases we enjoyed lunch together before leaving for Kurume to replace a long needed broken toilet seat.  The Sister at Kurume were very happy with the new attached seat.

Terry and I enjoyed dinner with Sister L and Sister A at a favorite ramyun shop after installing the seat on their toilet. 
May 18, 2013 - Saturday  We had a MTC Skype Class with Brother AB in the morning.  We had study time, then taught Eikaiwa at two p.m.  In the evening we took a relaxing bike ride.  I enjoyed the beautiful wild flowers along the riverbank.

May 19, 2013 – Sunday  We attended meetings in both the Nagamini and Kumamoto Wards and two missionary correlations meeting.  A busy day reporting, planning and being feed spiritually.  

May 20, 2013 – Monday our district got together for lunch in Kumamoto before a two zone conference with President G the following day.  Elders from the Kagoshima District and the Kumamoto District arrived Monday night and stayed at the Elders apartment.  Elder M was looking for a service project for the group to do Monday evening.  We had them help us update times on the fliers for Eikaiwa at our apartment.  It was fun!  I made cookies and popcorn for all and we shared our seven year old granddaughter talk about the sweet peas she planted.

May 21, 2013 – Tuesday was the two zone conference.  The Kumamoto ward provided lunch which was great.  President and Sister G both spoke to us.  We presented our zone skits in the afternoon.  It was fun to be part of. 

May 22, 2013 – Wednesday we taught Eikaiwa at the International Center and then enjoyed learning more about the Japanese language with our teacher there.  We taught Eikaiwa again in the evening. 
May 23, 2013 – Thursday we got up early to catch the early Ferry to Nagasaki for two apartment checks.  Both the Elders and Sister received Celestial ratings.  We enjoyed lunch with the Elders but the Sister were busy so we bought them ice cream to enjoy later.  We went to a favorite Indian Kerry place.  I had Kerry and pan (bread).  It was delicious.
May 24, 2013 – Friday we drove to Isahaya where we checked an Elders apartment.  They to received a celestial rating so we again enjoyed lunch with great company.  This time we went to a place where you choose your own.  I tried a couple of different food items but totally forgot to take pictures.  We had no shopping to do so got done very early and therefor had time to drive around Unzen before boarding the Ferry for the return trip to Kumamoto.  
This is a picture of one of the hot springs we stopped at.  It smelled like sulfur and reminded me of sulfur springs swimming pool were I learned to swim. There were places you could get in the hot pools and the area had many older people there.  
Here are rice farm at the foot of the mountains and way in the back is a very small looking Unzen.  We had a hard time seeing it when we could stop so I took pictures while we were driving.  
On a clear day Mt Unzen can be seen from our patio in Kumamoto.  Most of the time it is to smoggy/foggy to see it. 

Monday afternoon Terry and bike to the Ferry.  It was a cloudy windy day.  We were blown down to the ferry but coming home was lots of work because of the wind and it is slightly up hill.  We saw beautiful flowers. 

 I enjoyed watching a crow and a egret enjoying the newly moved earth.  
This is a picture of Mt. Unzen from our side of the bay.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Week 14 - May 7-13, 2013

May 7, 2013 – Tuesday was district meeting at the Shimizu/Tsuboi chapel.  We bike to the chapel.  After the meeting the district went out for lunch together.  There was so many of us and it was during the lunch hour so we ended up splitting into two different groups.  We went with Elder Morris and Elder Rowell.  We enjoyed eating lunch on the street outside the restaurant.

May 8, 2013 – Wednesday we road our bikes to the International Center and taught an Eikaiwa class before our Japanese class there.  Kotuska Moto saw us teaching and ask about it.  We invited him to join us this week.  He sounded like he would come.  He is very interested in learning to speak better English.  We had a couple who saw our advertisement at the international center come to Eikaiwa in the evening.  We hope they will come back this week.  After class we went to the castle and took a picture for Mother’s Day for our mission mom, Sister Gustafson.

May 9, 2013 – Thursday, we visited Sister Adera Motsuda.  We are going to study the Seminary Book of Mormon program with her.  She is from the Philippines and speaks good English.  I made peanut butter cookies and we took them over to the Elders.  Two of them are concerned about gaining weight so I thought I would help them.  I think age will do a better job though.

May 10. 2013 – Friday, We had our two month review about the MTC Skype program with Maria Johnson and then class with Kent Johnson.  After our class we drove to Saga and surprise checked Elder Lawson and Otami’s apartment.  Elder Otami showed us the kanji for the upper/top sheet and bottom sheet.    Terry had me take a picture of them.  The top kanji is pictured on top.  Now you can all buy sheets for futons in Japan. 
We enjoyed lunch with the Elders at a okonomiyaki restaurant.  I ordered a vegetarian mix which had lots of grated cabbage in it.  It was very good.  The mix was brought to us and we cooked it on the grill which was in the center of our table.  A fun experience!     
May 11, 2013 – Saturday, We started the day with a Skype class from the MTC with Kent Johnson.  We did and apartment checks for the Krume sisters.  When we got back to Kumomato Sister Suzuki and Sister Kuribayashi brought their investigator, Aukachon over to our apartment.  The three of them made a Korean meal for her mother for Mother’s Day.  They made spam sushi as one of the dishes.  They ran out of rice so left the extra ingredients for us.  I cooked some more rice and made 4 sushi rolls later.
  Late in the evening we took President Hodson and his companion Elder Lee to the train station.  They were here for stake meetings.  Elder Hodson is the Branch President in Omuta.

May 12, 2013 – Sunday, we had a busy and wonderful mother’s day.  We enjoyed being able to have missionaries from Asia Skype from our apartment home.  We enjoyed mother’s day in the Kumamoto and Nagimini wards.  The flowers were prepared by a less active member of the Nagimini ward.  They have been beautiful on my kitchen table.  The missionaries gave me a beautiful book of birds around the world. 

May 13, 2013 – Monday, We enjoyed Skype calls from our family.  It is wonderful that we can talk to our family on preparation day which is Monday here and have it be Sunday in the United States.  We took down our 17 Eikaiwa posters as another three week period ended.  We are not doing to the drawing again this week as we have not had anyone come to Eikaiwa from the committee board advertisements we have put up the last month and a half.  We have had some response from our advertising at the International Center.  

After the posters were down we biked over to Lake Ezu.  It was a fun bike ride recommended by our Japanese teacher at the International Center.
Elder Koberstein would have loved to try the kayak/rowing shell we saw in the lake.
We enjoyed a beautiful sunset before heading back to our apartment.
Elder and Sister Koberstein on the bridge as the sun is starting to set.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Week 13 - April 30-May 6, 2013

April 30, Tuesday - We had district meeting at the Shimizu/Tsuboi chapel.  The picture is of our new district after transfers.  After the meeting we had bendos (lunch in a box) at the Kumamoto Castle and worked on our districts talent for the upcoming Zone Conference May 20th.  I enjoyed watching the turtles sun themselves.   
May 1, Wednesday – We taught our first Eikaiwa lesson at the International Center to two young employees.  They have a third friend who also is going to join us this coming week.  Terry went to the City Hall with two Elders from Shimizu/Tsuboi for the three week drawing for a spot again on the committee boards around Kumamoto.  So far we have had the most success in the free category with our advertisements at the International Center.  We seem to be making lots of friends there. 

May 2, Thursday – Terry and I drove to Sasebo and stayed at the Toyoko Inn.  We parked the car in an elevated parking garage.  We could see this beautiful Christian Church up the street from our hotel.  
May 3, Friday –  See Terry waiting for our car to return to ground level.   It was a different big city experience.  
We checked Elder Brackenbury and Elder Eckman’s apartment.  They live on the second floor but you can get mixed up as there are basements, we found.
They had a wonderfully clean apartment and received a celestial rating.  We took them out to lunch.  They selected Kebab Stand Plus.  It was a great place for lunch and the food was delicious.  Elder Eckman makes a napkin rose and gives it to the manager every time they eat their.  He showed Terry and me how to make it too. 
After finishing the apartment check we drove to Costco in Fukuoka.  It was not a good day to shop.  The schools were out for Golden Week and it was a very, very busy place to be.  We picked up Oatmeal, corn chips, cheese and rolls that are truly like the ones in California.

May 4, Saturday – We taught Eikaiwa and worked on checking the oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid and filled the tires on our car up.  Do you know how hard it is to do these things with limited language/reading skills?  We ask Elder Trane and Elder Arai to help us.  Elder Arai is from the Tokyo area of Japan.  He also lived 5 years in the Utah before his mission so had the skills to read the manual and speaks English.  We ended up taking the Elders to a service station and having them check for us.  Terry and I did manage to wash the car all by ourselves.

May 5, Sunday – We were invited to the Suzuki family from the Kumamoto Ward for dinner along with Elder Morris and Rowell and Sister Suzuki (no relation) and Kurhayashi.  It was wonderful food and good company.  We enjoyed visiting.  The Suzuki’s have two cute children.

May 6, Monday - We enjoyed talking to our family on Skype this morning while we did the laundry and some cleaning that needed to be done.  We had lunch and then biked to the castle.  Today is the last day of Golden Week here so there were many activities at the castle.  On the way we searched again for the wonderful little Kebab place by the covered mall that some Elders took us to after our district meeting.  We have looked before but could not find it.  Terry asked the Elders and today we found it but it was closed.  Unfortunately many businesses are closed on Monday in Japan.   
We enjoyed watching them give boat rides in the mote around the castle but decided it best not to take a ride  ourselves.  We heard drums and biked to them.  They had some fantastic drummers. 
 They also had some groups singing.  The music really filled the castle.  They must have known were to sing.  We enjoyed the activities and then biked home, a great p-day.