This cool statue is in Aizu at a samauri house. We went there on Friday.
On Thursday, we went back to the Kakuda factory. They had been closed down for Golden Week. On the way, we saw the progress of the rice fields.
You can see that the starts have been planted. There are little tractors that they use for the planting. They can plant about 6 rows at a time. Can you imagine doing this all by hand?
This week the mission received a new "utility" van. It's a diesel. The elders like it because it's big and noisy!
It's a challenge to get in and out gracefully, especially in a skirt!
But it is easy to carry lots of bikes and stuff around.
We went to Aizu to help the missionaries. The sisters had some things to get rid of and the elders needed some things. And we picked up a broken bike.
They needed some new futons. We picked up their old ones. A neighbor lady here in Sendai donated about 30 futons to the mission. That has come in handy.
Their tatamis are wearing out, so we were able to get some rugs for them.
While in Aizu, we spent a little time at the Samaurai house. The last time we were in Aizu, we visited the castle. This was also very interesting.
They have models showing what life was like here.
This is an old rice machine. It polishes the rice. It removes the brown covering on the grain.
And this rice mill is powered by a water wheel
When their place was invaded, the women killed themselves. This one woman was unsuccessful, but begged the invader to finish the job for her.
There are lots of amazing kimonos, pottery and tools here.
And some cute kids practicing their English on us!
And some archery too.
Then we were on to Yonezawa. It is the first time I've been here. Alan and Elder Taylor came down here one time before.
The elders here also had some things to get rid of.
And Elder A showed them how to fix their chairs.
We had picked up some old clothes in Aizu, so they went "shopping" to see if anything fit! We're trying to solve the problem they have of their futons getting wet from condensation. They are sleeping on a laminate floor, so there's no air circulating.
And we saw this man fixing his thatched roof!
On our way home, we passed through Yamagata. What a beautiful valley.
The hillsides are covered with these orchards and vineyards that are all covered in plastic greenhouses.
And, looky here! Costco is supposed to open in the summer of 2015!
On Saturday, the Tagajo Ward helped a family with a wedding. (Or a vow renewal?) Anyway, they had a nice little ceremony (they even asked Elder A and I to say a few words). The Elders sang "The Army of Helaman". After it was over, they reenacted it so everyone could get out their cameras to take photos.
It was raining, so they did the confetti inside.
Since we were already half way there, we continued on to Ishinomaki. The elders had some bad futons here too.
Who gets the pink ones?
Also, the other day we woke up with a pretty big earthquake (6.8). It gets kind of noisy when the windows and doors rattle. But no damage. This shows that our oatmeal got shook up. It's about two inches higher on the back side of the bottles!
Happy 7th Birthday to our sweet Kanela Rose.
And that cake!! Wow!!