Sunday, July 15, 2012


Some weeks just seemed packed.  Like this past week.  I was surprised when we downloaded our photos for this past week because it seemed like some happened a long time ago!  Besides that I distinctly remember that we did not have our camera at some photo-op moments this week.


Monday, our p-day, we were scheduled to go to the zoo with our district in the afternoon.  The zoo is right around the corner from the mission home and we needed to trade out out car there (long story but in a month we will be trading out again for a new one).  We took Marie and picked up two sisters from Tagajo (city on our way) who wanted to check our the clothes at the mission home that returning sisters had left for others to browse through and take what they wanted.  It was a "free shopping spree.":

The girls had a great time and after realizing that, it was true, the mission president's wife WANTED to get rid of the clothes, they were happy to oblige and left with bags FULL of clothes!

Just when we were going to leave for the zoo, we got a call.  THE ZOO IS CLOSED ON MONDAYS!  So we opted for Plan B:  We drove into Sendai, parked at the Church parking lot which is a 15 minute walk from the train station and downtown Sendai.  First, we walked to the train station and ate at Cold Stone!  Yes, you read right.  It was Marie's birthday in two days so we treated the girls to whatever they wanted.  This is where we forgot the camera so you will have to use your imagination.   You choose a creation (such as chocolate ice cream, nuts, brownies, syrup) and then they mix it together and you choose what you want it in:  cone, cup, waffle cup, etc.  It was a yummy experience, albeit a little more expensive than at home but we were in the celebrating mood.

Then we went across the street to this gigantic open air (but covered) mall that is about 4 blocks long and walked and gawked at all the stores and restaurants.  Such a girl-thing to do.  But it was fun and we headed back to drop off the sisters and go home ourselves. 


Tuesday was district meeting.  It was our district leader's last meeting since he will be heading back to his home in Boise this week since his 2 years is now over:

After district meeting, those who could went out to eat for lunch.  After much deliberation we chose an Italian restaurant and we were not disappointed.  It was really good and featured an all you can eat salad bar and bread bar plus drinks along with the meal.  Usually Italian is not that great in Japan but this was yummy.

We headed back and in the evening had English class.  We had a record number come:  9.  We had a good class and played a jenga-like game which is always a hit:


Wednesday afternoon we visited and played games with Mari and Moto:

Mari is the mother.  Moto is the daughter.  Moto has some severe mental problems.  She gets extremely depressed and suicidal at times.  This day she was quite good.  You can usually tell by her hair color and what she is wearing how things are going.  Sometimes we see her with wild hair colors (pink, blonde, or whatever catches her fancy) and wild outfits as well.  Anyway, we had a great visit and talked about the Church as well.  They are an active LDS family but Mari seldom comes because she can't leave Moto but her husband comes most of the time.  Moto will hardly ever come but has come a few times.  Her mental condition is really fragile to say the least.

Later in the afternoon we had a lesson planned with our investigator Abe san.  Then after the lesson a few members had an impromptu fellowshipping dinner/birthday party for Abe san and Marie:

The food turned out really good.  We had some sushi rolls, pasta, and I brought some BBQ chicken sandwiches.  Then we had cake and lemon bars for dessert.  I am getting these people Americanized.  They had never had BBQ chicken sandwiches or lemon bars and they loved both.  They were waiting for the exotic recipe for the chicken and  were probably surprised when I told them it was only chicken and Yoshida BBQ sauce (which has the same taste as BBQ sauce at home).  And I haven't found a Japanese person yet who doesn't believe I made the lemon bars and who doesn't love them (even the Japanese elders and sisters love them).

After the dinner was Institute class.  I think we went home exhausted!

I will just say here that Thursday was our family English class which is always a bit of excitement!

Temple Trip

Friday was our trip to the temple in Tokyo.  The driving time itself is about 5 1/2 hours each way.  The toll roads are a killer and it takes about $125 each way for the tolls.  The trains are around $200+ per person I think.

We wanted to make a stop on the way so we drove:

Yes, what would a trip to Tokyo be without stopping at Costco?  After loading up our cart until we couldn't get anything else in (and $500 later), we went to the food court and had hot dogs and pizza.  And believe it or not, the food court prices are surprisingly the same as in the states!  And the the same food quality and quantity.  Actually the ice  cream was even better because it it this creamy Japanese ice cream.

Then on to the temple:

The temple is ALWAYS the best!  So nice to relax, and feel the Spirit and the strength of those around you.  We stayed in the Church next to the temple which has dorm-type rooms downstairs and are cheap to stay in.  Not the Hilton but adequate.  They even have vending machines (which I wouldn't recommend):

Yes, for only 350 yen ($4) you can get french fries, rice balls, ramen, tako yaki (octopus balls), or chicken nuggets.  Really it didn't look so appetizing.  We went for McDonalds shrimp burgers and sushi sold on the street:

And then we were on our way home.  But one more observation.  When we were at Costco I bought a large container of liquid Tide made specifically for use in cold water since we have no hot water hookup for our washer.  I was a little hesitant since I had to pay $28 for that container of Tide.  BUT when we were shopping a little ways from the temple I saw the same container of Tide (maybe even a little smaller!):

It was 3999 yen--just OVER $50.00!  I breathed a sigh of relief.  I wasn't so crazy after all.

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