Sunday, September 16, 2012


Sometimes we see change as bad.  Many people are afraid of change.  We are told that addictive behaviors can be marked  by sudden changes in personality.  Women look to THE CHANGE as not a good thing.  I have been reading in the Book of Mormon.  It is amazing to see that people can change from good to bad in a matter of a few short years.

However, Change Can Be Good!

This week I have been thinking about changes all around us.  Close to our apartment where we walk there is a canal.  It has actually been quite unsightly and the canal itself has been filled with trash--old tires, junk, etc.  I assume that it has not been cleaned up since before the tsunami and so I shudder to think what might really be in there since I am sure the tsunami deposited a lot of unwanted trash into it.  This is what we have been seeing:

But recently, there has been a HUGE cleanup effort going on.  There is actually a parkway above those weeds and now this is what it looks like:

Amazing isn't it?!!  My next example is our car.  We have been using an old, dented car for the past month.  It actually ran well for us (the previous owners will NOT vouch to that fact!) but it was quite old and was dented in several places:

This week we got a new car!   It came with only 40 kilometers on it, 4-WD, backup sensor, CD player, and great AC.  And it fits in great with our family because it is a Corolla!  Four of our six kids have Corollas so this makes the fifth.  In Japan there are different models of Corollas and we seem to have gotten a really nice one!

As I have been saying, we recently got new young sister missionaries in our area.  Sisters Fukuda and Shuto:

Can I just say that this change has made all the difference in the world.  We struggled giving lessons for nine months (I am NO help at all) and suddenly these sisters came in and are experts at giving lessons!  They are always prepared and bring with them visual aids and a great testimony of the Gospel. 

Back to our walking:  this is a photo of a yard I took a while back because it was so bad:

This week it suddenly transformed to this:

Yesterday, we were able to do another service project.  It was giving arm/hand massages at a temporary housing unit:

We love doing this for these people (mostly old and many disabled) and hope it helps them in this time of change in their lives.  We have noticed that the people in Ishinomaki have changed.  Now eighteen months since the tsunami they are getting back to living and and look to the future.  We seldom hear those fearful cries of what might happen again and many see the blessings they have had since that fateful day.  We hope that this change for the better continues.

Today we had our "linger longer" after Church known as "shokujikai" here. The sisters and the brothers take turns providing the meal. We remember a few months ago the branch president appealed to the brothers to "step up" and provide something good because the sisters were clearly doing a better job than they were. Today we came to Church (the brothers were in charge of the meal) and an hour before Church was to begin, there were several men preparing for the meal which would not be for four more hours! They did a great job and made soba (cold noodle soup eaten in the summer) for all:

So I hesitate to put these next pictures in but here goes.  This is a photo of me in May:

And this is the new dye-job:

So you have it.  Well it is a change!

The biggest change in our lives has been the tranformation from civilians to missionaries.  Sometimes this seems to be so easy;  other times it seems we struggle.  One day we miss our family terribly; another day we can't imagine leaving these wonderful people.  Sometimes we think we fit in pretty well; other times we KNOW we are foreigners.  When we go to the grocery store we see huge fish, octopus, tofu, and soy beans in every shape and form; we wonder where did the steak, turkey, sour cream, and tortillas go to? 

One day in the not-so-distant future we will return to all that we knew and loved before; all of this in Japan will be like a dream I am sure.  But right now we are satisfied with the change in our lives.

1 comment:

  1. The changes you have made have been a blessing to those of us who get to rub shoulders with your girls. What a blessing they have been to our ward and neighborhood. They have willing hearts and hands. They are brilliant teachers and amazing mothers. Bethany gave a fantastic talk today. She sure has a strong testimony!You should be proud of them. Your new hairdo is awesome, you look 29 again.