Sunday, June 22, 2014

Week 72 - June 16-22, 2014

This week, Tuesday was transfer calls.  That means that young missionaries maybe reassigned to a new area and companion by the mission president.  It was also preparation day and raining. 
We drove the car to the YMCA Japanese class, parking at the Tusboi/Shimizu church and walking from there.  In class we reviewed how to talk about what you are about to do/doko ni ikimasu kawhat we did yesterday/kino wa nani o shimashita kawhat you are going to do/__wa nani o shimashita ka and what we want to do/__ tai desu.  It was a good lesson in that a lot of the material was review for us and as a bonus we had a chance to talk to a native speaker. 
Wednesday found us at the Inter National Center.  A few weeks ago I was looking a the children's books section during our break.  The book On That Summer Day by Shomei Yoh caught my eye.  That book is written about August 9, 1945 in Nagasaki.  Each page is written in both English and Japanese.  I wanted to check it out for a week to read it.  The lady at the desk said no that I understood.  My Japanese is limited so I asked our teacher why they would not let me check it out.  I had previously checked out books from that shelf.  He found out that it was signed copy or the book.  The author of the book lives in Kumamoto.  I could not check it out.  Our teacher ordered the book for us and we are now reading it in Japanese.  It has been very interesting.  He helps us with the Japanese and then enjoys having both of us read it in English to him.  It is a story about the bombing of Nagasaki.  It has been quite the experience to read this book with our teacher.  History can be taught so well using children's picture books. 
Thursday was transfer day for those missionaries moving.  We had two elders in the Nagamine Ward transferring and one of the sisters in the Kumamoto Ward.  Early Thursday morning Elder Koberstein and I had the opportunity to take the three transferred missionaries to the bus stop where their new adventure began.  We also had the opportunity to meet the three incoming missionaries latter in the day at the same bus stop.  It is always fun to welcome new missionaries to our zone when they arrive but hard to say goodbye to those leaving.  A busy day of driving.
We saw a bamboo tree for the celebration of Tanabata at the hospital on Friday when we dropped in to check our blood pressure.  Tanabata is a celebration where people write wishes on small pieces of paper and hang them on a bamboo branch.  Some families decorate bamboo branches and hang them outside the door of their home.  It is celebrated between July 7 and August 7.  The following quote explains more about the festival.  It is from the article "Japanese Tanabata Festival" by Shizuko Mishima on line. 

It's said that tanabata's origin dates back to more than 2,000 years ago with an old Chinese tale.  Once there was a weaver princess named Orihime and a cow herder prince named Hikoboshi living in space.  After they got together, they were playing all the time and forgot about their jobs.  The king was angry at them and separated them on opposite sides of the Amanogawa River (Milky Way).  The king allowed them to meet only once a year on the seventh day of the seventh month in the lunar calendar.  Tanabata literally means the night of the seventh, and it's also know as the star festival.  It's believed that Orihime and Hikoboshi can't see each other if the day is rainy, so people pray for good weather and also make wishes for themselves.

Saturday was move day for the Shimizu/Tsuboi sisters.  They were changing apartments.  That meant moving from an older home in a residential area to an newer apartment building closer to the Shimizu/Tsuboi chapel.  They now live on the eighth floor and chose to move even though it was raining. The ward members were so supportive of the missionaries and made the move go really fast.  Moving is always so much work.  We were so glad to be able to help them with it.
Today was the Japan area stake conference broadcast from Salt Lake City with Elder D. Todd Christofferson from the quorum of the twelve apostles presiding.  We attended the English section of it.  I was surprised how many of the speakers spoke in Japanese first and then their talks were translate into English for us. 

The church is amazing.  I know it is the work of a loving Heavenly Father.  He gives help to ordinary people to do his extra ordinary work here on earth.  I am amazed as I watch the missionaries teach the gospel simply in Japanese to those they come in contact with.  For many missionaries Japanese is their second language. 

Scripture of the Week
D&C 6:22-23
Verily, verily, I say unto you, if you desire a further witness, cast your mind upon the night that you cried unto me in your heart, that you might know concerning the truth of these things.
Did I not speak peace to your mind concerning the matter?  What greater witness can you have than from God?

1 comment:

Delirious said...

I remember those transfer days. It's nice that you get to keep your companion. ;) I've been working with an Elder on facebook to help teach an acquaintance in India. He is finishing his mission next week. He sure has been a good missionary!