First of all, we were surprised to see this display at the supermarket the other day!
Looks like there's going to be some Halloween celebrations!
There's been a little demo going on in the neighborhood. Now they're beginning to pour footings. They poured an 8 inch thick cement footer for the foundation of the house to rest on. It had no rebar in it. Then they installed clips on the footer to help hold the rebar for the floor which will be poured soon. You can't tell from the photo, but the rebar spacing is about 1 foot square for the whole foundation. Rebar everywhere. So it looks like the footer is there to allow for movement in the house in case of earthquakes, but the floor of the house is going to be very strong.
We had a visit this week from one of our Area Presidency. Elder Scott Whiting of the 70 and his wife came to visit the mission. On Thursday they had a meeting in the northern part of the mission and on Friday, we met in Sendai. We had a very good meeting. We were taught what it means to be "Highly Favored" and how to become so.
Elder L. and K. Choro were good at taking notes for us as we discussed Nephi's qualities. We talked about how different things would have been if Laman and Lemuel had been more like Hyrum Smith and supported their younger brother instead of being jealous of him.
It was also great to see our missionaries! We love them.
Saturday was our stake temple day. A couple from our ward invited us to ride with them. We had to get permission from our Area President in order to leave the mission. They are temple workers and they go to the temple once a month.
They picked us up at 11:30 pm on Friday, handed us each a blanket and we got as comfortable as we could and started driving to Tokyo. We made a couple of pit stops to switch drivers, then kept going. We started to come into the city around 4 am. They have some crazy express ways and interchanges there. Good thing they knew where they were going!
We got to the temple around 5 am and slept for a while. When it began to get light, we walked around the neighborhood for a while. It had been many years since Alan had been there, but he kind of knew where he was. There's a lovely park across the street. There are several embassies in the neighborhood, so there's lots of foreigners in the area too. There is a story with a lot of imported food. We got a can of A & W Root Beer to bring home.
It's hard to get a good view because of all the trees and electrical wires!
This house was in the neighborhood behind the temple.
The parking lot has an elevator to get cars up to the next two levels.
Our stake session was at 8:00. It was nice to see many familiar faces that we knew from Sendai. We enjoyed being at the temple. It was larger inside than I expected. I did have trouble with a door for the bathroom in the waiting room. Until Alan realized that "duh, we're in Japan. It's a sliding door!"
After the session, we began the trip back to Sendai. It was around 1 pm when we left. We passed by the Tokyo Tower and the new Sky Tower. We had seen them in the dark, but it was nice to see them in the daylight too.
It's kind of a good trick to get a photo while driving by!
Alan talked Brother Satou into driving home a little different way so we could go to Costco. They could not imagine what would be so great about a big American store, but I think they liked it! It was kind of tricky to find. It looked like lots of people had found it. Very crowded!
There are many familiar standard items at the Costco. Muffins, bagels, corn chips, chocolate chips. Throw in a few local specialties like sushi and who knows what kind of fish & sea weed and rice cakes and you have some happy customers. We even saw a sumo wrestler looking guy walking through the store. (Didn't dare take his photo!)
One thing very interesting is how the people got in line to get their samples! No pushing and shoving here!
Lots of cash registers open and someone had to direct traffic to get everyone checked out.
The food court was a big hit. All the tables inside were full and the outside tables were full as well. It looks like Costco is going to do very well in Japan!
We continued on our way and made it back to Sendai just before 9 pm. There was an accident somewhere along the highway and that slowed us down quite a bit.
We really admire the Satous for their dedication to make this trip every month. And we thought it was hard to get to Mesa once a month! The gas is expensive and there are tolls on the expressways that run about $100 each way.