For New Year's Eve, the missionaries were asked to deep clean their apartments. New Years is a bigger holiday here than Christmas and is spent with families. This gives the missionaries a great opportunity to spend more time cleaning than they usually have time for.
So, first we headed south to Yamagata to pick up some extra bedding from the sisters down there. Now that we're losing so many sisters, there are extra supplies in some places that could be used elsewhere.
In the fall, these mountains were so beautifully colored. Now they're blanketed in white snow.
It was pretty slippery hauling stuff to the van.
Happy New Year! from the Yamagata Sisters.
Next stop was Ichinoseki, then Furukawa, Izumi, and Kitakami.
They can't believe that Elder Anderson made it all fit! And check out that Aggie sweatshirt! When we dropped off the bedding, one of the elders says "It's white!!!" Yeah!
We made one more stop in Tagajo. English was cancelled for NYE, but we swapped out some desks there.
For New Years' Day, we went with the Tagajo missionaries to Shiogama Jinja. It is the oldest one in Northern Japan (Tohoku).
Here's the place to wash before going up to the jinja.
It is a common tradition for Japanese people to go and visit a shrine on New Year's and make their wishes for the coming year. The traffic was heavy and some roads were blocked off.
Lots of stairs
You can see the dragon up by the bells
And you can see the ocean from up here!
A Japanese gardens looks lovely in the snow too.
We love these missionaries!
Down on the street, it's like a carnival atmosphere.
Some people called out "Happy New Year" to us. Also "Bon Jour"
Our next stop was at the Sakamoto's. They were throwing one of their famous barbeques.
The fire is getting the pizza oven ready.
And the grill was getting ready for the scallops, and oysters,
And soup, and shrimp (jumbos)
Elder H was not too crazy about his oyster!
But the pizza was awesome. And the chicken and the hot dogs, etc, etc!
Can you see the palm tree covered with snow? Great times!
Meanwhile, back in Tucson, it snowed on New Year's Eve!!
Who gets more excited about a couple inches of snow than desert kids! They had a blast!
And then, my son sends this photo in an email called "Lion in a Tree"
I was thinking "Are you kidding me? What were you thinking??" So the next day, he tells the rest of the story (in 3 words or less). "My backups". Will uses as few words as possible!
So I guess that was why he didn't look a bit worried!
On Friday, we went up to the Sendai Castle site. It is close by here and we pass it all the time. But, since it was a holiday, entrance was free. Hard to pass that up.
This is a model of the mountain we drive over & around all the time. It has a great vantage point for protection of the castle. Except, in 1945 during the war, it was hit and burned down.
Date's armor. He was the head warrior here in the 1600s.
A replica of the main hall.
The famous statue of Date.
A great view of Sendai
You can see the ocean from up here too.