Sunday, June 28, 2015

Family Home Evening; Yamagata; Cherry Land

For our Family Home Evening this week, the missionaries sang a hymn.

We had a recent convert come for the first time.  She is delightful!

The Taylors prepared a fun match game and lesson

On our way to Kakuda on Thursday, we went by another castle site.  It took longer to get there than we expected, so we only had time to take a few photos.  We may have to try again when we have more time.

I think these stone walls are amazing!

On Friday we went to Yamagata to help the missionaries with some bike problems.

They fit very nicely in this van.  The mother of our bike repair man saw Alan bringing bikes again the other day.  She said, "you have a lot of bicycles!"  We keep coming back!

While we were in Yamagata, we decided to visit their museum.  Someone had told Alan that it is worth the time to see.

This building is built in western style.  This building was built in 1913 and was used for the government until 1975.

They had some interesting sculptures of former life in Yamagata

I liked these children's readers.  Like "Dick and Jane" but different.

These are called Kokeshi Dolls.  Very common in this area.

Typical sandals.  I even saw someone wearing them in the market the other day.  I heard them before I saw them.

A model from a parade

This was the accounting department.  The models are dressed in period costumes.

Old fashioned bank teller windows.

Outside, in the inner court yard, they were filming what looked like a soap opera.

They also had an art exhibit.  This is a painting of Yamadera.  We went there last month.

Then we visited the cherry farms.  The cherries are hand sorted and boxed.

We told this lady we wanted to buy some, so she boxed them up for us.

But Alan said, we're just going to eat them, so you don't have to box them up.  So, she just gave us some extras to eat in the car.

You can go there and pick the cherries yourself.  Or you can pay a fee and just go out and eat as much as you want!

They are beautiful.  And delicious!

This is "Cherry Land".  Bus loads of people come from all over for the cherries.

This is a Turkish place that cooks their meat on a stand up rotisserie.  Like a Kazakh doner.  One of the missionaries told us it was the best thing he has ever eaten.  It was pretty good.

And Turkish ice cream!

We sat outside and enjoyed the day.

The trees are very well protected from birds

And we stopped by the farmer's market on our way home.

They have the best pineapple ice cream this side of Hawaii here!

We had planned to go to a baseball game on Saturday, but it rained all day instead.

After church Sunday, the sisters prepared a lunch, then we divided into groups and went out delivering flyers about the church and English.

We had two birthdays in the family this past week:

Our "Middle" Child - Bryan

And my DH.  A year ago we had dinner with President and Sister Rasmussen.  This year with the Smith's.  Next year??  Who knows?

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Mission Tour, Osaki Hachimangu, Zuihoden

On Thursday this week, we had our Area President and his wife come for a mission tour.  On Friday, they met with the northern half of the mission.  This was the last assignment for President and Sister Ringwood.  They are being assigned to Utah in July.  They have been here in the Asia North Area for four years.  Their first assignment four years ago was also to the Sendai Mission.  It was only a couple of months after the earthquake had occurred.  They had a day of service that day.

We enjoyed being taught by the Smith's and the Ringwoods.  (Sister Ringwood is Elder Nelson's daughter.)  Part of what we discussed is about "Faith" and how to teach it.  Elder Ringwood talked about "Particles" of faith (hope, desire, belief).  Most Christian churches stop there, but it does not connect to "action".  In its simplest form Faith = Action.

Joseph Smith's experience is a good example.  He had a question which led to desire (hope) to get an answer, he pondered and read scriptures which led him to take the action of going to the Sacred Grove to pray, believing that he would get an answer.

He told the missionaries they should never feel like they are being rejected.  They are sent to find those who are prepared and if someone does not want to listen to their message, they can just chalk it up to the fact that they weren't prepared.

The stake R.S. served us a lovely lunch.  In the afternoon, we had a Q & A session.  Someone asked about the experience of speaking in General Conference.  And then we had more training about Moroni 10 and the exortations Moroni gives.

On Saturday, we went to visit a couple of sites here in Sendai.

This is a Shinto shrine in Sendai.  Osaki Hachimangu.  Originally built in 1607.  It is quite ornate.

Lots of color and carvings in this ornate work.

They carry this in their parades as part of their celebrations.

The red gates signify that this is a Shinto site.

One of the caretakers had a horse.  It was like being out in the woods.  We don't see many animals around here.

This is the Zuiho Temple near the site for the burial of three of the feudal lords of Sendai.  Zuihoden is the name of the site here.

It was a pretty steep hill, but not too many steps.

It was designated a national treasure in 1931, but the original was burned in 1945 (during WWII).  This is the burial site for the original Date Masumune.  He was known as the one-eyed dragon because he was missing an eye that he lost to an illness.

Since it was burned down, they eventually did an excavation at the site before reconstructing it beginning in the 1970s and completed about 1985.  It was rebuilt with fire-proof materials.

These dragons on the roof show one with the mouth open and the other one is closed.

This one may be an original that they put down where we could see it.

Some amazing carving and colors

Replicas of the armor that was discovered during the excavation.  They also had some large pots in the museum that were used to bury the bodies.  There were gold ingots in the bottom of the pots.

These are the two other feudal lords' burial sites.

Lots of beautiful hydrangeas here along the path.

And, Happy Father's Day to all the dads.

Alan got to speak in Sacrament Meeting today.  And, also got to teach the Priesthood lesson.

Here is Alan's parents.  His father passed away last year.

This is a group of temple missionaries at the Argentina temple in 1986.  Including my parents.

Today would have been my dad's 101st birthday.  And my parent's 77th wedding anniversary.