Monday, June 23, 2014

June 2014 - Arriving at Sendai Japan

We left the MTC on Friday morning.  We got to the SLC airport in plenty of time.  It was nice to get the bags all checked and through security.  We had a few minutes left on the phone so Alan could call his mother and tell her good bye.

Just as we were boarding the plane, a couple asked where we were going.  When we told them Japan Sendai, they said "Tell Sister Rollins hello from her Bishop" !!  Sister Rollins works in the Sendai Mission Office as well.  That little tender mercy told us that the Lord knew where we were today and he just let us have a little message to remind us that he is watching over us!

We changed planes in Los Angeles.  There was only about an hour and we had to change terminals.  We hopped a ride on an airplane cart that took us underground so we didn't have to go through security again.

Then the long flight from LA to Tokyo.  It was about 11 hours.  Daylight the whole time.  Finally we landed in Tokyo around 4 pm.  But now it was no longer Friday, it was Saturday.  It was another short layover.  We had to collect our bags and put them through security again and find the gate for the flight to Sendai.

That was a pretty short flight.  We sat on the runway quite a while before take off though which made it seem longer than it really was.

It was so good to see some smiling faces (and name tags) waiting for us at the airport.

Elder and Sister Noonchester, us, Sister and President Rasmussen and Sister Rollins.  (Sister Kakuda was unable to come)

We were driven to the Mission Home and had a short visit with the Rasmussens.  Then hit the sack trying to recover from the travel.  We stayed in the "GA" room at the mission home because they had not been able to get the keys for our apartment yet.  The Rasmussens left early Sunday for meetings and were gone most of the week.  Elder and Sister Noonchester drove us to Tagajo for our Sunday meetings.

The Tagajo chapel was damaged in the earthquake and tsunami of March 2011.  The water flooded the downstairs.  The members had to meet in a different building until it was repaired.

Sunday afternoon we ate with Sister Rollins and the Noonchesters, then we thought we needed a little rest.  We ended up sleeping about 12 hours!  It's hard to believe we could sleep that much.

In the morning, we went to the office to begin our training.

Tuesday morning, I went with Sister Rollins and Sister Kakuda to their English group at their branch.  Several sisters come each week to practice English.  "Ekaiwa"

On Wednesday, we went with the Noonchesters to a second-hand shop that has good Japanese items.  The shopkeeper wanted to dress me in a kimono, so I let her.

It was really very beautiful.

Our next stop was a hair salon owned by a family in the Tagajo branch.  Their daughter served a mission at Temple Square.  They love to take care of the missionaries.  We met two elders leaving as we arrived.  E/S Noonchester were getting haircuts.  Alan wanted a massage.  So they started working on him.

Then put the dryer on him.

I've never seen a dryer bonnet quite this big before!  He got an awesome head and neck massage, then a trim with a straight razor.

While they were working on them, the sister asked if I would like to try a kimono.  So, of course, I agreed.  You don't get that opportunity every day.  But some days, you get it twice!

After this, we went to the Ekiawa group at Tagojo Branch.  Another full day.  And did I mention the earthquakes??  Yes, we've had several small tremors and one pretty good one where there was no mistaking that it was really an earthquake!

Thursday we attended Zone Conference.

This is the Sendai Zone with our Stake President and his wife.  Elders A and N were doing some banking, so they missed their photo op.  We were spiritually fed and physically fed with a delicious lunch by the sisters in the stake.

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