Sunday, July 27, 2014

Week 77 - July 21-27, 2014

Tuesday we had the opportunity to have lunch with the Nagamine/Kumamoto Sisters.  They chose all you can eat Yaku Niku.  I always enjoy the chicken, squid, spicy pork and vegetables(cabbage, carrots and onions).   It was fun to enjoy lunch with the sisters in our area after a celestial apartment check.
In the afternoon we attended our YMCA Japanese practice class.  At the end of our class we gave our teacher a copy of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Kumamoto Open House CD.  Our teacher had attended the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint's Eikiawa class before marrying and has very good English.
Another beautiful display at the International Center this week.
We are in the process of furnishing a shimi (sisters) apartment in Beppu.  Pictured above are futons.  Each package includes a bottom and top futon, bottom and top sheets and a pillow and pillow case.  The cost is 5705 yens per package.  A complete green checkered set is on display on the shelf next to the packaged futons.  What a deal for a bed!
We are shopping at second hand stores for furniture.  We asked where second hand stores were in Beppu and were shown this OFF HOUSE store.   
 We were looking for desks and chairs and found none but did found some very reasonable kitchen appliance stands ranging from 8640 to10800 yen.  A stand like this would be a place for a microwave, rice cooker and storage for kitchen items or food. We also found chest of draws ranging from 2160 to 3240 yen a piece.  Hope we have money in the budge to allows for these items after the necessities are purchased. 
 This is a view overlooking the city of Yufuin from the Sagirdai Overlook on the return trip from Beppu to Kumamoto.
This picture is taken from the same lookout point but looking up the mountain. 
Saturday was temple day for us.  We had the opportunity to work in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Fukuoka temple.  This is a picture of the back side of temple which faces the Fukuoka Zoo.  You can see the bus parking lot.  Kumamoto Stake reserves a bus on stake temple days for members of the stake.  It leaves from the Stake Center.  We stopped by Costco on the way back to Kumamoto.
Sunday evening we watched the DVD "Emma Smith, My Story" which was a fitting, relaxing end to a very busy week.  Emma is the wife of the Prophet Joseph Smith.  Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon and is the prophet called of God to organize The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints under direction from on high.  The Book of Mormon has a promise in it for those who read and want to know if it is true.  The promise is found in Moroni 10:4-5.  It is the "Scripture of the Week" this week. 
Scripture of the Week
Moroni 10:4-5
And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Week 76 - July 14-20, 2014

The hospital where we teach Eikiawa has beautiful art displays.  We enjoyed this display of summer fans this last week.  It is in the waiting area of the hospital (doctors offices).
 Another beautiful flower arrangement at the International center this week.  They often display flower that are in blossom locally as the white lilies have been of late.
These flowers seem almost to be volunteers.  They are growing in the parking lot at the apartment building for the Kumamoto/Nagamine Shimi (Sisters).  I took the picture after we checked their apartment this week.  Japan has amazing flowers. 

We also checked the Kumamoto/Nagamine and Yatsushiro Choro (Elders) apartments this week.  The missionaries had worked hard and had clean apartments.  We enjoyed lunches at all you can eat Yaku Niku and nan curry (curry and fried bread from India) with these faithful missionaries.
We had the Kumamoto Ward/building open house Saturday.  Members and missionaries invited friends, contacts and Eikiawa students to the event.  There was a program and then a wonderful potluck/taco rice dinner enjoyed by all in attendance.
Early in our mission we had the mission doctor from Tokyo come and share ideas with the missionaries on how to stay healthly while serving the Lord as a missionary.  He and his wife did the exercises above alternating exercising days and jogging days.  They are in their seventies and had served more than one mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since retiring.  Elder Koberstein and I decided to try their exercise routine. 
We had sons and daughters setting good examples of controlling their weight through exercising and eating habit changes.  We decided we needed to get on board with them, if we wanted to continue to enjoy the outdoor activities we all love with our children and grandchildren.
We started jogging 3 or 4 months ago.  We have consistently jogged for 30 minutes a day on Monday, Wednesday and Friday (even in the rain). We have sons and daughters whose advice to us when we started jogging was to start slow and work up to your goal.  One of our daughters recommended we use the C25K Free program for our ipod touch.  She had used it.  We downloaded it and started running.  It was quite an experience for me.  The first day I was not sure I could complete the 30 minute workout which included a 5 minute walk, then alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for the total of 20 minutes and last a 5 minute cool down walk.  
I hurt my knee before our mission and knee replacement was discussed.  When we started jogging it bothered me and so I pulled out the brace I had bought from the United States to wear.  With the brace on I have been able to jog.  I have consistently used the brace until Friday.  I forgot the brace and did not realize in until later in the day when I saw it on the bedroom shelf.  My knee had not bothered me.  Maybe my knee is getting stronger.  Some of our children told us muscles get stronger as you build up your activity slowly.  I am a believer. 
I see good results from this decision.  I have fought high blood pressure for a few years.  I had worked with weight watcher and lost over 40 pounds.  I thought I was exercising by biking but have found out that jogging is a much better form of exercise for ones heart.  My doctor here in Japan asked me about my blood pressure this last time we were in her office.  She had noticed it consistently much lower that before.  I was proud to tell her I was jogging.  I am so happy with the results I see.
 In summary, my blood pressure is lower, my knee seems to be getting stronger and maybe someday my running times will improve but for now I am just running.  I hope to find a grandchild to run a 5K with when I get home from Japan.  Any takers? 
Scripture of the Week
D&C 88:124
Cease to be idle; cease to be unclean; cease to find fault one with another; cease to sleep longer than is needful; retire to thy bed early, that ye may not be weary; arise early, that your bodies and your minds may be invigorated.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Week 75 - July 7 - 13, 2014

Monday was zone conference with President and Sister Gustafson.  They both spoke to us.  Sister Gustafson spoke on the mission motto.  Which is:
Obedience is the price
Faith is the power
Love is the motive
The Spirit is the key
Christ is the reason
She took much of her remarks from Naval Adm. William H. McRaven, ninth commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, at the University-wide Commencement at The University of Texas at Austin on May 17, 2014 talk.  To listen to his whole talk check out this site: 
"But, YOU are the class of 2014—the class that can affect the lives of 800 million people in the next century.  Start each day with a task completed.  Find someone to help you through life.  Respect everyone.  Know that life is not fair and that you will fail often, but if take you take some risks, step up when the times are toughest, face down the bullies, lift up the downtrodden and never, ever give up—if you do these things, then next generation and the generations that follow will live in a world far better than the one we have today and—what started here will indeed have changed the world—for the better.
Tuesday, as we walked though the covered mall to the YMCA Japanese practice class, we passed by a floral shop with the cutest flower arrangements.  At first glance I though the animals were living plants but as I looked closer I realized that they were just straw but very cute.
Tuesday evening we attend hospital Eikiawa.  This picture of Guilin, China hangs on one of the walls of the room we generally meet in.  We ask, "why"?  The students told us that they are sister hospitals with a hospital in Guilin, China and Heidelberg, Germany.  Guilin gave the hospital this beautiful picture of the their mountains.  The hospital staff communicates in English when the exchanges happen.  They work hard on English skills for these exchanges all year.
Wednesday was Elder Koberstein's birthday.  We started the day jogging in a light rain shower.  Elder Koberstein received a specially made e-card from a wonderful friend in Japan.  We decided to drive to the International Center instead of bike because of the impending Neoguri Typhoon.  We enjoyed our Japanese class but our English students felt that they wanted to go home before it got bad.  We did not have our Eikiawa class.  It was nice to have an extra hour to made dinner for Elder Koberstein on his birthday.
We had one student brave the upcoming Neoguri Typhoon for Eikaiwa Wednesday evening.   We enjoyed talking English with him and others in attendance.  We talked about what we should do to prepare for a typhoon.  One suggestion was to lay your bicycle on its side.  This is a friends Facebook picture of her bike.  She is prepared for the typhoon.  We brought ours bikes inside the apartment along with the tall tomato plants and watermelon vine from my patio garden. 
The Kumamoto/Nagimine missionaries and Eikiawa students sang "Happy Birthday" to Elder Koberstein and gave him three balloons with messages and a candy bar, a birthday card and a new pair of glasses that say Happy Birthday.  What an evening at Eikaiwa on Elder Koberstein's birthday.
Thursday was a scheduled inspection in Nobeoka but with the impending typhoon we cancelled it.  We were so happy that the typhoon was not strong when it got to Kumamoto.  We feel very blessed.
Friday we helped the Shimizu/Tsuboi Sister buy a second air conditioner and closet inserts so they could hang up their cloths in the new apartment.  Their apartment building has kanji and arrows for the elevator.  We took this picture to learn how they read. 
I found the same kanji in the ward bulletin on Sunday.  They were for the opening and closing prayers and songs.  Pictured is the opening song and prayer listed in the Kumamoto Ward.  The word for open is "hiraku" and close is "shimaru".  It was exciting to read more of the program at church.  It is such a blessing to be able to read the written materials around you every day.
  We saw and heard the first semi for this summer.  We heard them while jogging on Friday morning in the trees at the park.  This one came to visit us eight floors up.  It was outside our front door on Saturday evening.  They are amazingly large insects and make a very loud noise.  They tell us summer is here for real in Japan.
Saturday we worked in the Fukuoka Japan Temple.  This picture is from the zoo in January but I like the view of the temple and city behind it.  I love going to the temple.  It reminds me of the children's primary song:
I Love to See the Temple
by Janice Kapp Perry
I love to see the temple.
I'm going there someday
To feel the Holy Spirit,
To listen and to pray.
For the temple is a house of God,
A place of love and beauty,
I'll prepare myself while I am young; 
This is my sacred duty.
I love to see the temple.
I'll go inside someday,
I'll covenant with my Father;
I'll promise to obey,
For the temple is a holy place
Where we are sealed together.
As a child of God,
I've learned this truth;
A family is forever.

 Scripture of the Week
Enos 1:15
"...Whatsoever thing ye shall ask in faith, believing that ye shall receive in the name of Christ, ye shall receive it."  

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Week 74 - June 30-July 6, 2014

My cherry tomato plants think they are trees.  Japan has a lot of green house grown vegetables.  I wonder if these tomatoes are altered to grow up so that green house space is better used and it sure makes picking them much easier.  The wind likes to tip them over so they are now tied to the patio dividing wall.
Tuesday when we went to byoin (hospital) Eikaiwa, we arrived a few minutes early and I looked out the window and saw a Ferris wheel in the distance.  I was told it was at the dobutsuen (zoo).  We have not been to the zoo in Kumamoto yet.  We tried on one p-day but the zoo was closed on Monday so did not make it.  We had a fun bike ride instead.
This is the room we meet in for byoin Eikaiwa most of the time.  The picture is looking away from the big windows.
The tantabata tree was up at the International Center this week. 
I looked a long time to find my wish.  It is on pink paper in about the center of this picture, hanging almost horizontally on the tree.  I enjoyed being part of this Japanese tradition this year.
This tantabata tree was on display at the HIJOE Home Store where we took the Shimizu/Tusboi missionaries shopping for a few needed items for their apartment Thursday after inspection.  The tree is much smaller than the one at the International Center with wishes clustered on the lower part of the tree.
We had lunch together with the Shimizu/Tsuboi missionaries after their apartment inspection this week.  I enjoyed shrimp and chicken tempura, miso soup, cabbage salad and rice.  It was a treat!
The Fourth of July found us doing a missionaries apartment check in Omuta.  We had the opportunity to take the Elders there out to lunch at Stamine Yakuniku barbecue.  Elder Koberstein celebrated the Fourth of July with sorbet ice cream in red, white and blue while there.
One of our friends gave us beautiful red, white and blue cake pops she had made and
one of our sons share pictures of the fireworks he watched in Arizona.  All in all we had a wonderful Fourth of July full of friends, family and missionary work.  We are blessed!

Scripture of the Week
D&C 130:18-19
"Whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection.
And if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life though diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the advantage in the world to come."