Sunday, September 27, 2015

Michinoku Park, Matsushima, Mascots and Misawa

On Monday afternoon we took Grandma and Craig out to Michinoku Park.  It was very crowded since it was "Silver Days" to show respect to the elderly.  But, we were late enough in the day that a lot of people were starting to leave to go home.

When we were entering the park, the ticket lady asked how old we are.  Come to find out that Grandma got in for free because she's over 65!

They had some groups playing music

The weather was lovely

And nice flowers.

This man was amused that we were so interested in his shirt.  Go Aggies!

These cute boys had Tucson shirts!  One of them chased after us to say "Bye Bye!"

Not really sure what this is, but he's big and made of rice stalks.

Later we went across the street and got some fruit at the farmer's market and some pineapple ice cream from our friend.  He gave us a discount on the ice cream too, plus an extra bag of popcorn!

On Tuesday, President & Sister Smith came over to the office to say hello

We had lunch at the noodle shop

Then went out to visit Matsushima

It was about an hour ride around some of the islands

And the seagulls followed us back.

Across the road are some caves

And someone taking their dog for a stroll.  It was also crowded, but a beautiful day.

Wednesday, we were invited to the Sakomoto's for a pizza barbeque

Then before you know it, it's Thursday and time to take them to the airport.

As we left the airport, they were ringing the chimes outside.

As we were driving out to Kakuda for English, one of us realized that we were low on gas.  At that very moment, we saw some super heroes waving us into the gas station.  I thought I'd sneak over and take their photo, but they lined up and posed and then told me to pose with them.

My friend at English said that they are the mascots for the oil company.

And we got a free box of Kleenex and they checked our tires for us besides the normal amazing service we get at the gas station.  (Window washing and collect our trash.)

That evening, we had dinner with Elder and Sister Harmon before they returned home Friday morning.  We have now sent about 6 couples home and have had two couples arrive.

The Harmons were serving as Military Relations Missionaries.

Saturday, we drove up to Misawa to check on their house.  The President has decided to keep it in the hopes that we'll have a new couple called soon.  Anyone know a retired military couple?  It is in an English speaking ward.

We also stopped by the Misawa Elder's apartment to pick up some of their trash.  The weather turned rainy again once Grandma and Craig went home.

We had lunch at this cute Japanese Tex-Mex Restaurant.

It was a pretty long day on the road, but it was beautiful to see the fall colors starting to come on and the rice fields being harvested.

After church Sunday, we had a little "Tako Yaki" party

Alan loves to "supervise" (assist)

When we got home, we enjoyed watching the Women's Conference.  It began at 9 am Sunday morning here, just as we're leaving for church.  It was great!

We were sorry to hear of Elder Scott's passing this week.  I enjoyed reviewing some of his messages and always appreciated how kindly he spoke about his sweet wife.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

We have visitors!

How do you start off a visit to Japan?  With Indo-Curry!

Grandma and Craig arrived in Sendai on Thursday evening.  It was a rainy day, so their flight was late, but they made it safe & sound.  And, of course, tired.

The news about our flooding, and the volcano south of Tokyo, not to mention a tsunami warning after the earthquake in Chile was not enough to scare them off.

After we took care of a few things at the office, we went to lunch at our favorite Indo Curry shop to say "Namaste" to our friends there.  We drove out to the shrine by the lake that Sister Nukui took us to last year.  It's a really beautiful drive.  They were amazed at the foliage on the mountains.  

This is the remains of two old trees that grew together

It has beautiful carving on the base that shows the Chinese flute that we heard at the concert.

We're seeing a few signs of fall on its way

This is another shrine in Sendai

They had lots of children's art on display

Lots of international flags in these pictures

And for dinner, we went to the sushi bar.  They liked the tempura, didn't try the sushi.

These cute kids were being real friendly until I pulled out the camera.

Saturday morning, we went to Aizuwakamatsu.  This shows where the mud slide happened last week.  They've cleaned up most of the solar panels, but the road was still closed to thru traffic.

When we got to the castle, (Tsuruga-jo Castle) we discovered that some kind of children's festival was going on.

There were lots of kids and lots of parents.

We waited and waited, then decided to go on into the castle.

From the top of the castle, we heard the children sing, then one group did a dance

And let some balloons fly

Gotta love these cute little samaurais!

At the samaurai house

Sunday morning we went to church.  I was assigned to talk about a Japanese hymn "Let Us Treat Each Other Kindly".  Talk about preaching to the choir!  So, my DH helped translate my talk until we got to the scriptures and quotes from President Monson.  Then one of our sister missionaries stepped in because she can read Japanese!

We told the "Silver Boxes" story based on Ephesians 4:29.  There were some confused looks, but I think we got the idea across.  One of the sisters said that I did a great job, but Elder A's translating was not so good.  Not that they understand English or anything!

And, as a bonus for visiting the Tagajo Ward, Grandma was invited to bear her testimony.  She was thrilled!  Elder H helped her out.

On the way home, we drove by the disaster area where the tsunami hit, and stopped to watch some surfers for a while.

A beautiful Sabbath day!

We marked our 41st anniversary this past week.  It was so amazing to receive so many kind wishes from our friends all over the world!