Sunday, August 31, 2014

Week 82 - August 25-31, 2014

Monday when we went jogging to our surprise the grass had been cut and the crew was just finishing  gathering the long grass clippings and loading them in a truck.  The park looked great with its cut. 
On Wednesday, August 20th I was given this bitter gourd or gouya, home grown in one of my International Center Eikaiwa students gardens.  I had never eaten gouya but was told it was good for health. English words were lacking to explain that statement farther.  When I looked on line I found that it maybe the secret of the Okinawa Islander longevity.  The bitterness of the gourd might turn some people away from it but I learned the younger the gouya the less bitter it is.  I was given a very young one.  Gouya have may disease preventing and health promoting phyto chemical compounds.  There is a lot of information of its nutritional value on line.  Check it out if you are interested.
Having never cooked or eaten a gouya, my friend instructed me on one of her favorite ways to prepare it.  She likes to eat it for breakfast.  I cut it in half and put half of it back in the refrigerator in a plastic bag.  I sliced the other half length wise and then into thin slices.
I fried it in a frying pan with two slices of bacon cut in small pieces. 
I served it with a fried egg and toast.  It was not as bitter as I expected it to be.   I had been told more than once I would not like it because it was bitter.  Wednesday I than took pictures back to Eikaiwa to share with my students.  I was told you did not eat the cotton (white part in the middle) so I had to try again.
The second half had large seeds in the cotton so I don't think I would have eaten it.  I think I could learn to like gouya fixed this way.
 Wednesday we were able to see the progress of the remodel project at the International Center.  It will soon be completed.
Thursday was Kumamoto Zone I and II Zone Conference and interviews with President Gustafson.  As we walked from our apartment to the church I noticed an empty parking lot, not one car in the parking lot, but knew there were many missionaries inside.  Elder Koberstein had picked up President Gustafson and the AP's at the Eki and given them a ride to the church earlier in the morning.  As you can see a crew is working on the exterior of the church building currently.  The nets and scaffolding that is put up for the workmen in Japan is amazing and prevents paint and other things from damaging things close to the work area.
Friday found us on our way to Omuta where we checked a shimi apartment.  This is the parking lot by their apartment.  Having a bike would make parking much simpler (no car parking available).  They got a celestial rating and decided to go to  the Stamina Yakuniku for lunch.  We met the Omuta Elder's at Stamina having lunch too.  It started raining "cats and dogs" and the Elders had an appointment but no rain gear with them.  Elder Koberstein was able to give them a ride in the car to the appointment.  They will have to pick up their bikes later.  A small miracle or tender mercy that we were able to help them. 
Saturday evening we enjoy sushi at an investigators home.  It was served just the way I like it best, family style.  I could chose my own.  I enjoy ebi (shrimp), toka (octopus), unagi (eel) and tamago (egg) sushi.  Others present at the dinner where more than willing to eat the rest.  Following dinner the Elders gave a spiritual thought which led into a lesson and a baptismal challenge.

Scripture of the Week
John 6:38
For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me,

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