Sunday, June 10, 2012

10 JUNE 2012

This week has been a little slow, but I will have to qualify that.   Calvin was recovering from his backache so he was glad for some "home" time.  But we did have two English classes, an institute class, a sewing project at the Church, and linger longer after Church (always an event not to be missed).  Also, I was glad not to have too much to do because I was asked to give a 15-20 minute talk next week (on the blessings of Paul's missionary journeys!) in sacrament meeting  and then we were asked to take up 15 minutes in district meeting this week on setting goals.  Both are to be given in Japanese!  So yeah, we had PLENTY to do! 


Just as a random thought, I thought I'd show you what is just outside of our apartment (and all around Ishinomaki):

There are at least 25 wires coming from this one pole alone.  Also they go every which way and and a bunch go directly into the apartments and there are other poles closeby.  I wonder what happened when there was 3 feet of water here during the tsunami.  Why didn't people get electrocuted?  So far (knock on wood) we haven't even had a power outage!

Making Curtain at Church

Friday we went to the Church and helped make norens which are curtains that hang as room dividers in Japan.  We made these as a stake project for the temporary housing units.  They hang on a rod as you enter the homes or as room dividers.  Being the seamstress that I am I have to say, that Sister Usui (standing in blue) just bought this Juki machine and it must be pretty nice.  It has a zillion different stitches and is electronic.  Mine (which I don't have any objection to) only does a straight stitch!

This is the finished project but unfortunately it is not being held straight so it looks like it is pulled funny.  It is not.  It just hangs from the top.  And it hangs down straight.   I hadn't really noticed them before in the homes but since we started making them I have seen them and some of them are pretty nice--like curtains and some even have sheers behind them and ties to make them look cute.  I have plans to make more in the future since the branch has a ton of fabric and they said I could have it!

Mr. Donut Strikes Again

I know I talked about Mr. Donut last week but we were at the grocery store this week and there was seriously this huge commotion and sometimes 10 people in line at the Mr. Donut stand (it must be a traveling phenomena).  I was AMAZED at how people were drawn to the line!:

The only other line that rivels this is the line at McDonald's at the food court!

These are the stacks of "dozen boxes."  The special price is that they are on sale for 100 yen (around $1.25) but they are normally around 136 yen I think (around $1.60) and if you buy a dozen they are 1000 yen ($12.50).  The workers were very busy!

Church in Ishinomaki

I took a few pictures at Church today.  Our Relief Society lesson (Notice the writing on the board--can you tell what the lesson was about?)   Today was actually a real treat because there were four of us sisters who spoke fluent English (one from Washington, one a sister who was born in Japan but has lived the past 40 years in Boise, one from Tonga, and me).  So when we broke up in groups to discuss parts of the lesson (we did have some English manuals!) we had an English group and that was so much easier than usual.  And we had an English group in Sunday School as well.

And the shokuji (meal) afterwards:

It was actually REALLY good today.  We have this once a month and the men and women take turns bringing the food.  Today it was the women's turn and there was curry/rice, noodles, chicken, pickled veggies, lot of other goodies and tons of desserts.  It's basically a potluck lunch.   The men were first in line because they were celebrating Father's Day (yes I know if it not until NEXT week but who's keeping track?):

And the sisters next:

Notice that the sisters know how to REALLY dig in!

Obsessive Compulsive?

So I mentioned at the beginning of this blog that we were asked to give a 15 minute presentation on goals.  One of the hardest things since we have gotten here for me has been setting goals.  NOT because I am not good at setting goals but because I can get obsessive about setting goals and so at home I don't usually even make a daily list of things to do unless it's really urgent because I get so uptight about completing the list.  So I find it better that I just list a few major items or not make a list at all.  Here in the mission, they want you to plan everything.  You get a daily planner, weekly goals, monthly goals, district goals, zone goals and mission goals.   Not to mention listening to General Authorities, Church leaders and others tell you what to do.  I already try to get everything done without setting goals.  Take for instance last night when I was baking cookies for Church today, while listening to the scriptures we are supposed to read for this week's institute, and crocheting hotpads at the same time!

So I thought I'd leave you with this quote from Elder M. Russell Ballard on setting goals and let you be the judge, am I compulsive for not?:

"I am so thoroughly convinced that if we don't set goals in our life and learn how to master the techniques of living to reach our goals, we can reach a ripe old age and look back on our life only to see that we reached but a small part of our full potential.  When one learns to master the principles of setting a goal, he will then be able to make a great difference in the results he attains in this life."

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