Sunday, July 1, 2012


It's true.  We been on our missions for six months!  I asked Calvin what his feelings about this are.  This is what he said:  It has gone by fast; it seems like we just got here.  We have done, seen and experienced a lot of things.  I love the people who try hard to live honest, productives lives in the face of odds against them; and they are succeeding.  I have enjoyed the culture and the beautiful sites.  I wish I could stay longer as a missionary.  I look forward to seeing the family, fishing, gardening, genealogy, writing a personal history and family history,  and possibly more missions.  What I miss the most:  being in shape and exercising more!

My feelings:  I don't think I had very many expectations or foresight as to what this might be like.  The time has gone by rapidly and it has been an incredible journey.  The more I am here the more I realize that we are all God's children and all related as such.  I see more and more of the same things as I see at home:  hopes, dreams, enduring hardships, loving your family, trying even though it is sometimes hard, and the impact that the Gospel of Jesus Christ can have in your life.  The culture is different but that is just their way of coping with all of the above.  In the end, it seems like the more we are different, the more we are the same.  My greatest realization, I think, is that that God has a plan for us, there are no coincidences, and God loves us more than we can even imagine.

More Service

Tuesday we were at Omotehama doing oysters once again.  This time it was our zone (about 30 of the younger missionaries) and our mission president and his wife (President and Sister Rasmussen) were also there:

Most of the younger missionaries ended up stringing shells:

Until they looked like this:

Each time we go we find out a few more tidbits of information that we didn't know before.  This time we learned that from the stringing (above) they go into the ocean and somehow the oysters know how to spray their eggs onto the shells (apparently this is quite the timing process--the reproductive life of oysters!) and then they are retrieved and there are five days to get them back into the ocean on the ropes like we were doing.  The other incredible thing is that when they finally harvest the oysters two years later, there are 50 oysters attached to each shell!!  Yes, we did THOUSANDS of shells and that was just on our 4-hour shift!

We found out that there are different fishermen that are part of the co-op but they work independently of each other.  So this time we were helping a particular fisherman and his family:

They were working along side of us and really appreciated out help.  When we would take a break, the wife would set up a shady spot with a tarp and some places to sit and lay out a HUGE amount of snacks and drinks for us to eat:

And finally, the young sister missionaries worked hard for this photo:

Unplanned Eventful Day

Friday we didn't have much planned but it turned into a fun and eventful day.  It began when Marie came over to study English with us (since she just got her mission call, she wants to study some English because it is now required of all the missionaries in Japan to learn English).  We studied for a while, ate tacos for lunch and then went over to the Church because we thought there was a Relief Society activity at 1:00 p.m.  No one was there so we went over to another sister's house, only about three houses away since she is one of the counselors to see what was going on.  She said it was at 6:30 (originally they were going to have two sessions but cancelled the afternoon one) but invited us in.  She has a beauty shop at her home so was working a bit but we continued to teach Marie and had lots of snacks.  Calvin helped Takie (pronounced "talk-ee-ay) with an upcoming talk when she was finished with her work and then she asked me if I wanted my hair cut.  I was happy to oblige:

As you can see, she has a nice spacious salon and always does my hair for free (because it's a service she says so I can't pay!)  Hmmm. . . look closely and you may notice something different:  my hair is now ONE COLOR!  Not salt and pepper.  I have to say, with Takie you don't get too much of a choice.  She knows what she wants!

We got back home around 5:00 p.m. and I decided to make another batch of lemon bars for Relief Society.  We had eaten the first batch at lunch with Marie and then taken some to Takie's and they were such a hit that I decided to make more for Relief Society. 

At 6:30 we were back at the Church learning how to organize you home:

The teacher is a young and married and hardly 30 but she did a great job.  The Japanese are notorious for keeping STUFF and she read them the riot act about throwing out what was not needed--and also added organization skills.  I am always amazed when I go into people's houses how much STUFF they have especially since the tsunami was supposed to have destroyed almost everything! 

She also had this other BRILLIANT idea which could be used anywhere for Relief Society.  She had us divide into three groups and we were given the assignment to organize one area of the Church:  the cupboard, the refrigerator, and the kitchen (an area about 5 feet by 5 feet BEFORE adding the cabinets and stove!).  Anyway, we took about 20 minutes for that and the results and findings were amazing!  In the fridge there were eggs (no idea how long they had been there), other suspicious food, the ever present old ice in the Church freezer, etc.  We did the cupboard and it was pretty disorganized and non-functional.  It now looks like this:

The stuff on the middle counterspace are things that the Relief Society president announced today in Church that if they are not claimed, they get thrown away!

After the activity we enjoyed lemon bars and other cookies.

Then we had just enough time to go out to dinner with the young sister that taught the lesson and her husband who is in the branch presidency.  We went to a Indian (as in India) curry restaurant.  They insisted on paying because they said, "It doesn't cost much because we have a coupon!"  Yeah, who would have thought we would be hobnobbing with coupon people in Japan!  And for the record, it was really great food, you chose your curry (chicken, seafood, mutton, tomato base, cream, cheese, etc) and how hot or sweet you want it and it comes with rice or these giant elephant ear sized breads called nam (sp?):

And, of course, me being me, I grabbed another coupon on the way out and plan to go again before the 14th because that's when they expire!

For the Record

Just thought you'd like to know:  no typhoons or earthquakes over 6.0 this week (did have some over 4.0 though).  The weather is wonderful.  We still haven't turned on our air conditioner!

1 comment:

  1. That looks delicious and I definitely want to go there when I come and visit, whenever that may be. Yum!