Saturday, January 4, 2014

Week 48 - December 31, 2013 - January 4, 2014

This week was transfer week for the mission.  We had 16 new missionaries arrive from the Missionary Training Center (MTC) and ten missionaries that finished up their missions and returned home.  It was a busy week shuffling suit cases from/to the Hakata train/bus Station and the Airport to honbu.  The mission rented one more van so as to be able to do this job efficiently.  Elder Koberstein was given the opportunity to drive this extra van full of luggage and missionaries.  It was an interesting experience.

On transfer day we started runs at 6 am.  It was dark outside for the first drop off.  At our ten o'clock run we met four of our missionaries from Kumamoto who were being transferred and traveling though Hakata Stations.  It was bitter sweet to say good by as they move to different areas.
This picture is looking away from Hakata Station at the taxis parking lot.  I took the picture from the spot where we were parked.  It amazed me how many taxis were waiting for riders.
The week before transfer week all missionary mail is held at honbu so that it can be forwarded to the missionaries in the area they will be serving in.  Pictured is the weeks worth of mail ready for pickup by the mailman.  It is amazing the volume of mail we receive for the mission in one week.  Some of it is probably because of the Christmas holidays this time though.
Sister Funakoshi from the Fukuoka Ward invited us over for a traditional Japanese New Years meal.  Each food on the plate has meaning.  It was beautiful displayed on beautiful dishes and very much enjoyed by me.
Our main course was mochi soup.  Mochi (餅) is a Japanese rice cake made of mochigome, a short-grain japonica glutinous rice.  The rice is cooked then pounded into paste and molded into the desired shape.  It is a traditional food for the New Year.  Families get together to made mochi as it is a lot of pounding.  The mochi is on the bottom of the soup dish.  This soup had a piece of fish, mushroom and a green spinach like vegetable grown in Fukuoka along with the mochi.
It was time to take down the Christmas decorations and hard to do it at the same time.  I enjoyed them so much.  Christmas is a wonderful time of year!  We enjoyed Skype call with family and then an afternoon bike ride.
We passed this exhibit on our bike ride.  They were brightened up for the New Year!  All are dressed in red.

  This is a picture by one of the large rivers near the ocean.
 We biked pass the Fukuoka Dome where the Paul MaCartney concert was held mid November when he was here on tour.  You can see the bottom part of the Hilton building that is next to it on the left hand side of the photo.
We happened to saw the Paul MaCartney truck arrive in Fukuoka last November.
This is a picture of the big Hilton Hotel is next to the Fukuoka Dome from the back side and bay.  It is an amazing building but the photo doesn't do it justice
This is the Fukuoka Dome from the bay.
I got practice doing stairs with bike runs on them.  Maybe I will learn to be proficient at them yet.
The route we took was amazing and not possible by car.
We enjoyed watching the Common Pochard (Aythya Ferina), a Eurasian species of duck, feeding.  One groups we saw was eating bread fed to them by people and the other group we saw was catching little fish.  It was fun to watch them catching and eating little fish.  I did not realized duck ate fish.
The biking goal for the afternoon was to bike to the bay and then to Costco for hot dog just for fun.  We got started to late and did not make it quite to Costco because of the time.  A fun day and Costco waits for another days adventure.  The picture was taken in September of me eating a hot dog at Costco.

Scripture for the week: 
Doctrine and Covenants 58:  27-28

Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness;

For the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves, and inasmuch as men do good they shall in nowise lose their reward.                                    

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