Monday, December 19, 2011


On March 11, 2011 there was a 9.0 earthquake centered in Sendai, Japan which is our mission area.  After the earthquake there was a tsunami which was actually more devastating.  As a sidenote, when the earthquake struck, my mother and daughter-in-law were traveling to Japan and were about one hour from landing in Tokyo.  Because of this, we were following the events very carefully and trying to find out where they were.  We were watching the cable news stations and basically saw the tsunami as it happened.  My mother and daughter-in-law ended up being diverted to northern Japan and were fine, although they returned to the states earlier than expected because there was so much turmoil in Japan.

This touching video shows the destruction and aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami.  When we go to Japan in three weeks we will be in Ishinomaki, about 35 miles north of Sendai.  Ishinomaki is one of the main areas focused on in this video.

Arigato from Japan Earthquake Victims


Sunday, December 4, 2011


Random Thoughts

So we have one month until D-Day (departure day).  Everyone keeps reminding us that we are just about ready to leave but it doesn't seem so real to me.  Mostly because 6 months ago it seemed like, well, 6 months away and now it seems unreal that it could be that we will leave so soon.

I must admit part of me just wants to get out of here and find out what we are up against.  The other part of me tells me to relax and enjoy what I have here.

We have been told that we will be living in Ishinomaki.  These are some pictures of our apartment which looks pretty nice:

Notice the photo on the left bottom.   There is a microwave on a cart and something next to it on the next cart.  That is the oven.   The only oven in the apartment!  Also there is no central heating--only a small space heater in the livingroom area which can only be on when we are in the apartment and awake.  So winters can get fairly cold.  Temperatures are close to Utah but lots of humidity since we are next to the ocean.

Some other things about Ishinomaki.  It has a population of around 160,000.  Those of you from Utah it is roughly the population of West Jordan and Taylorsville combined--not too big.  Anyway, when the tsunami hit last March, Ishinomaki was one of the hardest hit.  I read figures as of last June there were 3,000 deaths and 3,000 missing!  Can you imagine that here  in Taylorsville and West Jordan -- we are stunned when a family is killed in a car crash!  So on to the next pictures.  These are photos of  the cleanup effort and the piles of debris left from the tsunami:

Is that amazing or what?  If you want more info on the tsunami in Ishinomaki just google "Ishinomaki Japan" and you will see videos of what happened.  It is incredible. 

All in all, we are pretty much packed and ready to go.  We have been having Japanese language lessons at the MTC (mission training center) in Provo about twice a week.  They have been very helpful.  For those of you wondering, Calvin went on a mission to Japan in the early 70's and my Japanese is shaky at best.  Right now we are just trying to get a few more things in order and hopefully enjoy the spirit of the Christmas season.  We are excited to have our whole family here in Utah for Christmas before we head off.  

Monday, October 24, 2011



Over the past few months we have had several questions about our mission asked of us.  Here a few of the questions and answers (to the best of our ability) for you:

1.  Where are you going on your mission?
Answer:  Sendai, Japan (site of the earthquake and tsunami)

2.  When do you leave?
Answer:  We leave on Monday, January 2, 2012 and spend 5 days at the Mission Training Center (MTC) in Provo, Utah.  We will come back to our home for 2 days and then leave for Japan on Monday, January 9, 2012.

3.  How long will you be gone? 
Answer:  18 months

4.  How much does this cost?
Answer:  The Church gets us a furnished apartment with utilities and then we reimburse the Church up to $1400.  That means that if the cost of the apartment and utilities is more than $1400 we only reimburse $1400.  If the cost is less, we pay the lesser amount.  We then have to pay our own food, other living expenses, car rental ($150 per month) and gas.  The bottom line is that in Japan we will probably be paying the $1400 plus other expenses and the total would be around $2200 a month.   Other missions may be quite a bit less expensive since the apartments may only be $300-$500.  Our airfare to and from Japan is also paid by the Church.

5.  What has compelled you to do this?
Answer:  We have always thought about doing this.  The need is great in strengthening the Church throughout the world and we also expect to do service, especially in the relief effort of the earthquake and tsunami.  Also the President and Prophet of our Church has urged older retired couples to serve missions along with younger missionaries.
6.  How will you keep in touch with your family? 
Answer:  We will be taking our laptop and using Skype, email, facebook, etc.  The rules for older missionaries is much more lenient than for the younger missionaries.  We have had children and grandchildren  in foreign countries before. Now we will be the ones in a foreign land!  In case of an emergency (serious illness, death or even a wedding) we can get temporary leave of absence but we would have to pay our own airfare.

7.  Is someone going to be living in your house in Utah?
Answer:  Our youngest daughter Bethany and her husband and children are planning on living in our home beginning the summerof 2012.  We also have three other daughters and their families living in the SLC area and wonderful neighbors to help keep an eye on things.
8. Now that you know where you are going, how do you feel about going?
Answer:  We have probably felt every emotion there is (excited, scared, worried, hopeful, etc) but mostly we now feel a great sense of peace at being able to go do this great work.


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Where to Start?

It's difficult to know how to begin this blog.  Calvin and I have been thinking about this time of our life for a long time.  Finally, about a year ago we decided the timing was right.  Calvin will be retiring the end of September and we will be leaving for our mission on January 2, 2012. 

Looking back, actually submitting our papers ran fairly smoothly.  We were told that it would be nice to submit our papers 6-9 months in advance so we decided to try to have everything ready by June 1.  We began a few months before with doctor's and dentist appointments and filling out forms online. 

On July 6, 2011 we received our call to the Japan Sendai mission.  What a surprise!  It is humbling to know that the Lord feels we can make a difference in a land that has been so devastated by an earthquake and tsunami and where the people surely need spiritual and emotional help as well.  We only hope we can do what the Lord intends for us to do.