This is what we woke up to this morning. At least the sun is shining! We actually had our first snow storm on Friday. It was raining as much as it was snowing, so nothing stuck. It was just kind of wet and miserable. We were surprised to see that some more snow had fallen during the night. Not too much here, but it was cold enough to be stuck to the windshield.
So, how cold was it? It was 10 degrees C. inside the apartment this morning, which is about 50 F. That's cold enough that you don't want to get out of bed. It's cold enough that you're grateful for a heated toilet seat. And cold enough that you want to warm up your clothes by the heater for a while before you try to put them on. But, it's not Kazakhstan cold. It would be considered cold by our Arizona friends though.
Our little kerosene heater does a pretty good job heating up our living room and kitchen area. And we warm up the bedroom in the evening. The rest of the place is shut off and avoided until we absolutely have to go there.
Sister Taylor gave us some rice bags to heat up in the microwave, so we're loving those!
On Tuesday, we had to take an elder to the airport. He's going home for some medical work. When we got there, we saw this huge line of school kids.
We thought, oh great, we have to wait for this? But they had set up a special line for them. Turns out these kids are going on a school trip to Okinawa.
We got Elder R checked in without a hitch. He was a bit early, but his wait in Tokyo was shorter than it usually is. And then we had a little time to look around the airport.
This is a balloon Christmas tree hanging from the ceiling.
These trees are a little more traditional.
We were interested to see this display at the airport.
They have planted cotton in some places that are no longer suitable for planting rice due to the tsunami damage. This fabric is woven from Tohoku cotton. It's very pretty.
And looky here, the bathrooms are suitable for little ones too.
They have this little museum at the airport so kids can come and check out the first class seats.
Our next assignment was to pick up this sweet sister. She just completed her mission in Nagoya. We picked her up at the airport and took her to the mission home. She was released by President Smith, then we took her to the eki so she could catch the train home to Morioka.
Here's another beautiful Christmas tree at the eki.
This week was Mission Leadership Council again. These are the zone leaders and sister training leaders that come for their monthly meeting. It's so great to have them around.
We also had a special visitor, Brother Richard Heaton, director of the Provo MTC. He was doing some training with the Japan missions and also picking up his daughter who completed her mission this week.
Later that afternoon, the Matsushige's came by to be released as well. They have been serving in Miyako and they were driving home. They have worked very hard and served very well. They just got word that a sister they found (they got brave and went tracting!) has accepted a baptism challenge.
Such sweet people! Well done!
That evening, Sister A. taught our little class about weather.
Most of the boys said they like snow days so they can have snow ball fights. Typical boys!
And this cute girl and her mother come for the intermediate class to work on their English. I recognized that her uniform was the same as all those kids at the airport. She did not get to go on the school trip to Okinawa, but she has applied for a visa to go to Australia for a semester.
And the sad thing is that I do not have a photo of the cutest thing that I saw all week. We saw a couple with their little girl at the store. I tried to say hello to her and then her mother told her to say "Konichiwa." Then she bowed to me! She put her arms down straight with her hands open and leaned over and bowed! Then waved good bye. It was so cute, so typically Japanese!