Saturday, September 8, 2012


I was trying to think of a catchy title for this post.  My intent was to say that we are scheduled to be here until September 13, 2013 so now the countdown is that everyday we experience here will be the last one of those dates we will be here.  For example, on September 20th it will be the last September 20th that we experience here in Japan.  That brings us many mixed feelings.  We will be happy to get back to friends and family, but sad to see our days as missionaries gone.  Also sad not to be around our wonderful friends here.

Rice Fields

I posted a photo of the many rice fields here several months ago.  The rice plants began as green shoots in fields of water.  But now they are like this:

They are now fields of yellow.  The little rice kernels are in the bent over heads of rice.  We have been told that in about a month the harvest will begin.  Individually, the plants are bent over and look like this:

Japanese Ice Cream

The ice cream here is very good!  The Japanese pride themselves on their ice cream, especially that from up north in Hokkaido.  So having said that I think I am now on a quest to see how many different flavors of SOFT ice cream I can eat.  This may actually be a challenge for me because I am usually a vanilla purist.  But this week I began my quest with sesame flavored ice cream.  And not those little brown sesame seeds.  These are ground up BLACK sesame seeds:

Yes, the ice cream was extremely GRAY.  But it wasn't bad.  Just tasted like sesame seeds.  I will have to start making a list of flavors and keep you posted (literally!).

Relief Society Activity

Yesterday we had a Relief Society activity on food storage.  I quite like the fact that the branch has decided to have monthly activities.  Everyone seems to like them.  Anyway, there was a display of different food storage item possibilities.  Most of the items were fairly normal (just different packaging).  There were canned tomatoes, corn, rice, oil,  water, cold cereal, mayonnaise, soy sauce, and probably a few things you (or I) wouldn't recognize!:

Then we had a cooking demonstration using some of the items.  The two sisters in the middle are our new sister missionaries who arrived just in time for the demonstration:

And finally the finished meal:  noodle soup, canned fruit (in the cups), mochi which was so interesting and easy I am going to have to make some.  Usually mochi is mooshed up rice but this was made of potato starch, skim milk, and sugar rolled in kinako powder.  And guess what else?!  Dried wakame (remember that--the seaweed) which had been reconstituted and embellised with some canned tuna!  (The corn on the cob was just an extra treat someone brought!)

All in all quite tasty and we even got recipes!

Tasty Lunch

We were in Sendai this past week and stopped for lunch at the eki (train station).  We got the lunch special which was a bit of everything:

Literally a bit of everything:  soup, rice, fish, veggies, shrimp, pickled veggies, tempura, and a sweet tofu for dessert!

Reading the Scriptures

Since being here on a mission I have had a lot more time to read and get immersed in the scriptures.  Each time I read the Book of Mormon I have tried to focus on something different (one time I underlined the words faith, repentance, baptism, and Holy Ghost in different colors).  Anyway, I recently began reading the Book of Mormon and listening to Discussions on the Book of Mormon--a round table discussion of the Book of Mormon broken down into segments of a few chapters each.  You may have seen this on KBYU but they are really informative and helpful in learning more about the chapters as you read.  There are four BYU professors in each segment (not always the same professors) and they just talk about different things they got from certain chapters.  For example, they may be talking about Alma 1-4.

 If you are interested in this Google "Discussions on the Book of Mormon" and see for yourself.  You will probably have to go to "all seasons" and "view list" to go to where you want to go.  Or if you want to get some insight into what will be taught in Sunday School the next week you can do that also.  There are 70 discussions in this series!  Each session is about 26 minutes long.

Another series is called "Insights into Isaiah."  It is a similar series on Isaiah that I am planning on listening to.  There are 30 discussions in this series.

Happy reading!

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