Sunday, July 26, 2015

Fire Dancing, Transfers, Neighborhood Party, Memorial

Monday was a national holiday here.  They have a holiday every three months.  This one was Marine or Sea Day.  

We were so happy to have a special visitor.  A former elder and AP. It was great to see Brother (Elder) K again.

After our staff meeting, we went over to the Nagamachi chapel for their celebration.  They had a curry pot luck lunch and some activities for the children and a craft activity for the women.  The youth were doing a car wash to earn money for camp.

Cute little girls enjoying their curry lunch.

In the afternoon, we went out to Tagajo for their ward party.

Barbecue and Pizza!

And a send-off for some of our elders.  One going home and two transferring.

Catch your noodles as they go down the bamboo slide!

When it got dark, it was time for the fire dancing.  Then we walked down to the river to see the fire flies.

On Tuesday, we went to the airport to pick up 8 new sisters.  These are the trainers anxiously awaiting their new companions.  One of these sisters recently returned to the mission after being home recuperating for a few weeks.

What a great group of sisters!

They looked even better after a good night's sleep.

Thursday morning, it was time for training of new leaders.

Then in the afternoon, the returning missionaries came in for their exit interviews.

And bright and early Friday morning, it's back to the airport to say goodbye to 16 elders and one sister.  They returned to Japan, Canada, Tahiti, Australia, and 13 to the USA (Portland, Boise, Phoenix, Saint George and all the rest (9 elders) to the SLC airport).

This is quite a change to the mission dynamics to lose so many elders but gain some great sisters!

Then we went to lunch to celebrate another successful transfer.

How about this Eiffel Tower of onion rings?  I didn't get a photo of the hamburgers.  We all ate them up like we hadn't had a good hamburger for a long time!

Saturday was our neighborhood party at the park.  These school kids did a cute song and dance.  I may have found my new exercise routine!  

This little girl was loving her cotton candy!

Lots of good food too.  Noodle stir-fry, corn on the cob, pineapple spears, fried potatoes (french fries), cotton candy, soup, and shaved ice.  Oh yes, also some fried squid!

Some traditional music

And less traditional

And a few familiar faces!  We saw the neighborhood people we met at the Christmas party.

One tall, blond American kind of stood out in the crowd!

I even got invited to do the circle dance.  A couple more times around the circle, I would have had it down pat.

The day had started out wet and stormy, but it turned into a lovely evening.

We found different sizes of peaches at the market this week.

This is a photo of Brother Tomimatsu from the Tagajo ward who passed away recently.  After church today, we held a memorial service for him.  Many people mentioned how faithful he was to get to the church early each Sunday to prepare and pass the sacrament.

They put his photo on the chair where he always sat.  Such a sweet, friendly man.

We were happy to hear that our Bryan and Gabi have traveled safely to Brazil.  They will be living there for at least a few years!  We wish them well there!  How is it that I miss them more in Brazil than home in the US?

And Happy Fourth Birthday to our Chloe Paige!  Heather & Nate's middle girl.

Until next week!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

July 19, 2015

I loved seeing the beautiful sky and clouds on the way home from church today.  We have had so many cloudy days that we love seeing the blue sky!

This week when he headed to English, we thought, well, if no kids come tonight, we'll just come home early.  But, kids did come.  Practically every one we have ever had all came on the same night!

We had to divide up into two groups because some of them are better at English.  Elder B took the older group.  But we had to be in the same room.

They all enjoyed the game afterwards.

We went back out to Kakuda this Thursday.  Last week they were shut down.  Many of the employees went on the company trip to Osaka's Universal Studios Japan.  One of our students brought goodies for us.  Cute little cookies with a character on them.  This one had Big Bird.  We didn't know the name of the little pink character on the package.  I told them I'd ask my grandkids for help.

It's going to be Transfer Week again.  The phone calls went out this weekend.  We are losing three of our Tagajo elders.  One is returning home, the other two are transferring.  We will get one elder from another area plus two sisters (!)  One of them will be fresh from the MTC.

We took a group photo for our returning elder.  As he spoke in church today, it was like getting to hear a homecoming talk.  He has truly come to love the people of Japan.

The ward gave him a going home card and let everyone express their good wishes.  It's going to be another week with lots of goodbyes!

Our big news from home this week is that these two little boys are getting a new baby brother for Christmas!  Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy!

We heard that a new couple has been called to serve as humanitarian missionaries in Astana, Kazakhstan.  It is the same assignment we had a few years ago.  We wish them all the best and know that they will come to love the Kazakh people like we did.  And, they are from our same stake in Tucson!  Amazing!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

It's Not a Hamburger! MLC, Sendai, Ward Conference

We found this old movie poster the other day.

We found this surprise on my desk one morning.

It did kind of look like a hamburger.  But it was chocolate cookies from some of our favorite sisters!

It was MLC again this week.  So fun to see the missionaries.  We'll be saying good bye to several (6) of these elders soon.

When we went to Eikaiwa, we noticed that Elder M was favoring his arm.  He had taken a little fall off his bike.  Luckily, we have a couple of nurses that were happy to help out.  They made a sling for his arm out of saran wrap from the kitchen!  The x-rays showed a potential break, but they just told him to come back in a couple weeks for a recheck.  It still looked swollen today, so....

We didn't go out to Kakuda this week.  The factory was closed for a few days.  We went out and found a bakery and a pizza parlor that were recommended to us.  The goodies were packaged up so pretty.

And, they even tasted as good as they look.  A fruit tart and apple pie.  There's even a little ice pack to keep it cold.

Saturday, we went into Sendai to search out some restaurants we'd heard about.  We saw all these people lined up at the mall.

Probably like a thousand people.  The security guards had signs to tell how long of a wait it was going to be.  (90 min, 60 min, 30 min)  (30 minutes per section and we saw at least 5 groups)  So, we asked the girl at McDonald's what was the big attraction.  She said it was for "Gift Cards".  Whatever!

This little hamburger joint is on a lot of the travel brochures we see

It's located down a little side street not far from the main part of the city.

Who knew they had a Casa Del Sol here?

And a Pepe Gonzales Restaurant with Japanese mariachis??  We may have to come back when they're actually open.

This is a Teddy's Hamburger Place

And Billy's New York Deli.  (Well, that's its name anyway.)  Tasted pretty good.  And we found a muffin shop close to the Kamisugi chapel.

We walked by a school that had these cute portable planters.  You can fold down the top to store during the winter.

So, it was a little bit warm to be hiking all over the city, but it was a pretty nice day.

Sunday was our ward conference.

They had a lunch afterwards before the meetings with the stake leaders.

We got to meet our new little friend Ryo

And see his big sister again!  She was giving everyone a high five.

Our first peaches (mo mos) of the season.  Very juicy!

We had a couple of birthdays this week.  These photos are from the stake trek last summer.

Jacob Alan Duron turned sweet 16 (!)

And here is our favorite Peruvian DIL, Sandy with our William

This is a photo of my grandmother, Grace Hadfield and her 10 children.  My mother is the pretty girl in the back.  The William and Grace Hadfield reunion was held this weekend in Logan.

Our Seth was our representative for our family.  Here he is with my sister Karine and Gordon and their granddaughter, Lauren.

Families are Forever!