Monday, July 22, 2013

Week 24 - July 17-22, 2013
Dear family,
This week was transfer week.  We had two missionaries leave Kumamoto, 
We were privileged to take one of them to the bus stop on Thursday.  The two new missionaries are Japanese.
Friday night was the Nagamine Ward Summer Festival or Natsumatsuri.  They asked Terry and I to provide a game.  We had a watermelon seed spitting contest.  The winner was an Elder who spit a seed past the end of the sidewalk.  
We had an interesting Ward Party in the Kumamoto ward on Saturday as well.  It was called a Nagashi Somen party.  Somen noodles for dinner are put down a bamboo trough for you to catch.  
The trough is set up so that water can be running through it continually.  One or two people slowly put cooked somen noodles (thin less that 1.5 mm dia.) in the water at the top and let them flow down with the water. You then catch them with your chopsticks and put the noodles in your bowl.  The bowl is filled has sauce, chopped vegetables and meats and coarsely grated cheese etc. of your choice.  You eat right where you are standing catching the noodles.  It was a fun experience.  The bamboo was fresh cut and very green giving the noodles a slightly different flavor. 
At our last interview with the mission President we ask for permission to have a “Why I Believe” fireside in the Kumamoto area.  He was excited as he had attended a “Why I Believe” fireside in Oakland, California before coming to Japan as a mission president.  He said he had thought about trying to do it in Fukuoka.   Travel distances in our mission make it impossible for all who desire to attend to do so in one place.
Sunday evening we had our first “Why I Believe” fireside in our apartment for the three wards and one branch in Kumamoto city.  The institute teacher was our guest speaker.  We also asked two recent converts from the Kumamoto ward to share their conversion story.  Our guest speaker shared two interesting scriptures.  The first one is Isaiah 18: 1-2 “Woe to the land shadowing with wings, which is beyond the rivers of Ethiopia:  That sendeth ambassadors by the sea, even in vessels of bulrushes upon the water, saying, Go ye swift messengers, to a people terrible from their beginning hitherto; a nation meted out and trodden down, whose land the rivers have spoiled!”.  The second scripture is  D&C 109:54 “Have mercy, O Lord, upon all the nations of the earth; have mercy upon the rulers of our land; may those principles, which were so honorable and nobly defended, namely, the Constitution of our land, by our fathers, be established forever.” 

How do you feel that these two scriptures are connected to Japan?

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