Monday, June 24, 2013

Week 20 - June 18-24

Because of the increase of missionaries in our district this last transfer the boundaries were rearranged.  We now have a district of ten missionaries, all ten attend the Kumamoto and Nagamine wards (five elders and five sisters).  We now have our district meetings at the Kumamoto chapel which is next door.  We had been traveling to the Shimizu/Tsuboi chapel which is about a 45 minute bike ride for us.
Thursday we drove to Yatsushiro and inspected an apartment there.  The drive was beautiful.  The clouds were low and looked like the trees were steaming.
This is a picture of the apartment building.  
The apartment is out in the country and has many rice fields near.
 This is a flooded rice field with the green shoots coming up.  We have enjoyed watching the rice grow.  The patties are everywhere.  Farms are flooded with a road to the home. 
Saturday we went to a professional soccer game.  It was fun, I enjoy watching the flags.  
The stadium is amazing here in Kumamoto and there was even free parking. 
I enjoyed watching the Kumamon bear at the game.

Monday morning at 7am we had the Elders and Sister from Kumamoto over to watch the worldwide broadcast of “The Work of Salvation".    We watched it live.  A pancake breakfast following the broadcast was a fun treat for all of us.  

The sisters offered to show me how to make sushi, as I had tried and had some trouble.  We used what we had (tuna, spam, and eggs).  Some of the missionaries who were here helped roll it.  I was showed how to make two different types of sushi.  One with the rice and poppy seeds on the outside
 and the other had the rice inside the seaweed wrapper.  
They were beautiful to look at and tasted great!  What a combination of spam, egg and tuna!  They were delicious and enjoyed by all the elders and sisters that were here. 

We experienced our first monsoon this week and it was very mild, mostly rain and a little wind.  Our favorite grocery store was preparing for the storm when we went shopping  Friday afternoon.
The most damage we received was one of my tomatoes broke in the wind.  I taped it back together, staked it better and moved it to a wind protected area of the patio.  It looks like it is going to be fine.  I am glad as it is loaded with green cherry tomatoes.  

Monday, June 17, 2013

Week 19 - June 13-17

Time is really flying, another week has gone by.  At zone meeting on Tuesday the zone leaders asked for two volunteers.  Two brave Elders volunteered.  I wonder if they were ready for a test of their faith.  One Elder was asking to sit in the chair and then the task was given to the other Elder to cut his hair.  The zone leaders had done this to each other and said you had to have a lot of faith in your companion to let them cut your hair.  They challenged each companionship to do this before the next zone meeting.  Terry and I have no problem with this activity.  I had just cut his hair and mine could be trimmed.   

Sunday for Father’s Day Terry received this beautiful shirt tooth pick holder made by wife of one of the councilors in the Bishopric.  It has a dessert inside the beautifully wrapped package. 
The Elders and Sisters from the Kumamoto and Nagamine Wards came by about 8:30 p.m. and sang “Brightly Beams our Fathers Mercy” to him.  They brought over some Japanese cookies and curry.  We were both surprised and delighted at their thoughtfulness.

I invited a friend to participate in the Nagamine Ward Relief Society activity today.  The activity  was how to make summer desserts.  Pictured below are the desserts we made.  The first dessert is cubed tomatoes with a little brown sugar sprinkled on it and then chilled.  It was not very sweet but tasted great.  Dessert two is the one with the mint on it.  It is fresh grapefruit pieces in grapefruit juice and gelatin.  The third dessert is a sweet bean paste in a seaweed base.  They were all delicious but not as sweet as American deserts. I think my children may have enjoyed  these types of desserts had I made them for them.  I like the pretty colors.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Week 17-18 May 28-June 10

We taught two Eikaiwa class at the International Center this week.  When the class was over and it was time to leave we found were privileged to be part of a welcome for dignitaries from South Korea who had brought an art display for the center to show.  We saw them dressed in costumes and then enjoyed the beautiful art.  It was only up a few days because when we came back the next week it was gone.
There was a large variety of art for us to enjoy during our breaks and all very beautiful!  It was a real treat.
June 4, we enjoyed a district preparation day and took this picture.   The most interesting picture is everyone setting up their cameras for the picture.  We had a good time.  The young missionaries are so good to include us and make us feel useful.

We did an apartment check in Oita.  The Elders or both from Japan and had a wonderfully clean apartment especially since they had a poorly functioning vacuum cleaner and a washing machine that was not working as it should.  We enjoyed a wonderful time at the Joyful restaurant as a reward.  Joyful is a lot like Denny’s in the United States.  

On the drive home we went through Beppu where there or monkeys in the wild (not caged but human feed).  The monkeys are all on top of the hill where they had been feed not long ago.  Terry is on the walk to the hill top.
The city also had artistic sewer covers.  I like the monkeys and flowers.  They are heavy cast iron covers that are painted. The finished product adds so much beauty and interest to their side walks. 
 Do you like our monkey friend?
We could have had our picture taken with a monkey for a fee.  Here is the sign that tells us about it.  It was a little hard to read but maybe someday.  Our Japanese teacher is helping us work toward literacy.  We are reading hiragana and katakana now, but may not know the meaning of all the words we read.

We had a fun surprise dinner/birthday party for one of the sister missionaries on Sunday.  The Kumamoto Elders helped us celebrate.   Everyone did a good job of keeping it a surprise.  I made Chile for the group.  The cake is an oatmeal chocolate chip cake baked in a toaster oven. 
At the Japanese class at the International Center we learned the Kanji for the days of the week.  We see Saturday and Sunday a lot in the ward bulletin.  The Kanji is on top and the hiragana on the bottom.  Monday is the first day left to right.
The sister missionary received some very interesting chocolate.  It is tabasco flavored chocolate made in the United States.  She likes hot food.  The chocolate has a hot kick after you think it is all gone.   
Monday Terry and I biked to the sports complex.  It is beautiful.  It has a beautiful rubberized track.
Another picture of this beautiful complex.
We enjoyed biking around and looking at all the beauty there.