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.