Sunday, September 28, 2014

Week 86 - September 22-28, 2014

Tuesday was zone training for the Kumamoto and Kumamoto 2 zones.  As a result we had many guests at our apartment for e-mail on Monday.  The Elders and Sister from other parts of Kumamoto Stake were in Kumamoto for district p-day activities on Monday and training on Tuesday.  Tuesday morning we picked up President and Sister Gustafson from the Eki.  They came from Fukuoka on the Shinkansen for the training.
Tuesday evening we started a six week Japanese class taught at Prefectural University of Kumamoto.  The university is across the street from the Kumamoto Church.  This past week we had the opportunity to learn as well as pass out a few Eikaiwa fliers.  The picture was taken a year ago on the campus.
Fall is here in Japan.  Businesses are decorated for fall and Halloween.  We find that the decorations are used but no trick-or-treating or Halloween parties.  Most Japanese have not been to a Halloween party unless they have attended one at Eikiawa.  The decorations are all that Japan has borrowed.

Thursday and Friday we inspected apartments for the Kumamoto/Nagamine Elders and Yatsushiro Elders.  We enjoyed lunch with the Elders in Yatsushiro and shopping at Costco for the Elders in Kumamoto and Nagamine. 
Saturday was a busy day at the Fukuoka Zoo.  I wonder if the beautiful blue sky and sun had anything to do with all who wanted to go to the zoo.  This picture was taken as we were drove into the temple/honbu/mission home parking.
It was also a very busy day at the temple too.
Scripture of the Week
John 14:21
He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me; and he that loveth me shall be loved by my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Week 85 - September 15-21, 2014

Monday was a holiday in Japan.  We took advantage of the holiday and invited a friend and her parents over for lunch and games.  After lunch we enjoyed playing "Yahtzee" and "Panda Chopsticks".  We had a fun time together.  The afternoon went way to fast.
Flowers are so beautiful here.  I biked past these flowers Tuesday on the way to the YMCA.  They were so pretty that I stopped and took a picture. 
Elder Koberstein and I are preparing for the 29th Cosmos Marathon.  I am thinking about competing in the "General Women above 40" category for the 5K race here in Japan on November 3rd.  Wednesday I decided that I needed to run a full 5K.  I did it both Wednesday and Friday this week.  Now to improve my time.  It is amazing what regular training, good coaching and good examples will do to motivate a person to change their life style.  Thank you to all that have helped me on my path to better health and lots of fun times participating in physical activities together.  Go Napa Ragnar Race team 2014!  I am so proud of your accomplishments this weekend.
Friday was our 45th wedding anniversary.  It is hard to believe it has been 45 years since we were married in the Logan, Utah Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints temple for "Time and Eternity".  That was a special day for me shared with my parents, Elder Koberstein's Grandmother Jensen, aunts and uncles and a cousin. 
 It was a beautiful day with a nice blue sky and the red, yellow and orange autumn leaves in abundance to be enjoyed as we drove from Logan, Utah through the canyons to Star Valley, Wyoming for the open house in our honor.  
I believe, as this quote by President Spencer W. Kimball teaches the importance of the decision of marriage.  "Marriage is perhaps the most vital of all the decisions and has the most far reaching effects, for it has to do not only with immediate happiness, but also with eternal joys.  It affects not only the two people involved, but also their families and particularly their children and their children's children down through the many generations.  In selecting a companions for life and for eternity, certainly the most  careful planning and thinking and praying and fasting should be done to be sure that of all the decisions, this one must not be wrong"  (Teachings of Presidents of the Church:  Spencer W. Kimball (2006), 193). 
Elder Koberstein and I decided to celebrate our years together by returning to the temple, in Fukuoka, Japan this time.  It was a good choice because it was a very rainy day as all the umbrellas show.
This is the Fukuoka temple as we drove in about sunset.  It was missing the usual crowded Saturday parking lot which made us wonder if it was open.  It was a nice quite night at the temple.  We really enjoyed the opportunity to be part of it.  We treated ourselves to a night at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Fukuoka and then attended the temple again on Saturday morning before returning to Kumamoto.
Scripture for the Week
Genesis 2:21-24
And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh:  she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Week 84 - September 8-14, 2014

On Monday we biked to Lake Ezu at sunset.  It was a perfect time to see the harvest moon over the lake.  It was beautiful.  The Japanese people take time to enjoy the beautiful harvest moon.  They get together as families to look at the moon according to our Eikaiwa students.  I think it is a great idea.
Akemi took this picture the same evening.  It is interesting as all four look similar in size but one is the moon.  This is her quote from Facebook about the picture.  "While I was running tonight, I saw beautiful "FULL" moon.  Can u guess which rounded object is the moon, that I'm talking about?"
Tuesday at our YMCA class our teacher is reviewing some of the things we have gone over before.  Above is a piece of one of our worksheets.  These are emergency services in Japan:   keesatsukan (police), shooboosha (firetruck) and kyuukyuusha (ambulance).  The emergency numbers are posted by each service.   We hear the kyuukyuusha from the neighboring red cross hospital on a regular basis.  
Our church is getting a new roof, at least new tar paper.  Tuesday we heard a lot of noise and saw a crane in the parking lot.  It was used to lift the heavy supplies up to the rooftop for the workmen.  It was only in the parking lot a few hours before it was done and left.   I almost missed it.  I took the picture as it was preparing to leave.
Right now there are many of these flowers blooming.  I see blossoms that are red to white in color.  I think they have an interesting blossom and no leaves.  Can anyone help me identify them.
Friday morning we went jogging at lake Ezu.  Some of the trees are starting to show signs of fall (leaves on the ground).  I think fall is upon us.  Lake Ezu is a beautiful place to jog but the scenery/wild life did not help my jogging time.  My time was slow, I think I enjoyed it to much.  
Saturday was our day to work at the temple.  We always enjoy our service there.  We then went to Costco and enjoyed an American Costco hot dog for dinner. 

Scripture of the Week
1 John 4:20-21
If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother when he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not see?
And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Week 83 - September 1-7, 2014

Tuesday was our last district meeting before transfers.  We had the opportunity to celebrate a birthday of one of the sister missionaries in our district.  She was very surprised!  It was so fun to be part of the surprise celebration.  Every companionship brought one dessert and we had lots of desserts to enjoy together.
We saw our first fall decorations at the YMCA when we went for our Japanese class this week.  Our teacher had been on vacations for the month of August.  It was good to have her back.
The Kumamoto Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints chapel is getting the roof worked on this week.  The weather has not cooperated much so work has been slow.  We have had lots of rain.
The restaurant area at the international center was open for customers this week.  It was not very busy and seems to have limited hours of operations.
Thursday morning found us heading to Nobeoka in the rain.  We had a apartment check for the Elder's there.  It is about a three and half hour drive from out apartment in Kumamoto.  The drive is so beautiful as the road winds though the volcanic mountains between the two cities.  This part of Japan is a beautiful green place.  Every thing has plenty of water to grow.  I enjoy the art work that is displayed on many of the tunnels entrances. 
The Elders in Nobeoka received a celestial apartment rating.  Their mothers would be proud of their new found cleaning skills,  Elder Koberstein and I took the opportunity to take them to lunch.  They chose the famous Nobeoka Nanban chicken again this round of apartment checks.  It is always a treat to have good food and good company for lunch.  I enjoy the cabbage salad that is often served.
Elder Koberstein and I drove to one of the Nobeoka beaches in the afternoon.  It was a very quite place with beautiful sand and a bay on the Pacific Ocean.  The waves were not surfing waves.  It looked like it would get deep very fast as the waves broke right at the shoreline.  We did not see the usual birds (sea gulls, cormorants, pelicans etc. that are common on the beaches in California).  In fact, it was noticeable barren of wild life and people.  I wonder if it is always so quiet.
We spent the night at the Hotel Route Inn in Nobeoka.  The hotel had a complementary breakfast for us in the morning.  I always enjoy the Japanese breakfast. 
I took the opportunity to try gouya (bitter melon) cooked a different way.  The dish was spicy not bitter as it is known to be.  I think it was so spicy one could not taste the usual bitterness.  It is in the brown dish on the right.  Gouya is a very different eating experience for the American palate. 

We arrived in Oita early for the apartment check so decided to go see the big ferry boat (fune) on the bay.  Our usual parking place was quite busy with a group of older men who were enjoying each others company and fishing.  This picture shows four men, only the one on the left is fishing.   Elder Koberstein had a nice nap while I watched the fishing activity out the front window of the car.
The Elders in Oita received a Celestial rating for their apartment.  They even treated us with chocolate chip muffins from a mix sent to them from America.  They choose to go to a Ramen shop for lunch.  The reason being, one of the Elders had been in Japan for nine months and not yet had ramen.  I ordered a Chinese ramen.  The green on the left hand side is sea weed.  It also had bamboo sprouts which are easy to see above the few kernels of  corn and chopped green onions in the center of the dish.  There is a slice of pork to finish the decorations of the top.  Ramen noodles and broth finish the dish.
The above pictures is my family with my parents right after Elder Koberstein and I were married.  I am sitting by my father on the left hand side of the picture.  Elder Koberstein is standing behind me on the left. 
My parents were always thoughtful and kind to each other.  They never said thing to hurt each other's feeling.  They did everything possible to make each other happy.  Their example taught me to love one another and serve one another.  They were always encouraging and supportive in things we attempted to do.  I always knew that I was important to them and that what I did was important to them.  I always felt loved and wanted to do those things that would bring honor to them and the HALE family name. 
My parents left a legacy for me and a hope that we will be a family forever.  This is conditional, I must take the steps necessary in this life to make that dream a reality.  "When people are married outside the temple, the marriage ends when one of the partners dies. 
When we are married in the temple by the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood, we are married for time and eternity.  If we keep our covenants with the Lord, our families will be united eternally as husband, wife, and children.  Death cannot separate us." Gospel Principles Chapter 36: The Family Can Be Eternal"  

Scripture of the Week
Genesis 1:28
And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it:  and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.