Sunday, February 24, 2013


So this week's post will probably end up being the odds and ends of some random happenings around here.  (Notice:  "this 'n' that," "odds and ends," and "random happenings"!)  Sometimes I think that my English has really gone down the drain since we have been here.  I can only speak in extremely simple sentences and alot of the time I can't even remember the word I want to use.  But I digress, so . . .

Winning Artwork

On Monday we took the sisters to the mall to see some winning artwork.  They were the winners from some art contest (or something like that!) at the elementary school level, and two of our boys in the branch were winners!  Actually that is pretty amazing because there weren't that many paintings--maybe a couple from each grade.  These boys are brothers and their mother is a junior high art teacher so they come by this pretty naturally I guess. 

First a painting by Kouta, age 12 (The white is not a reflection; it actually had those white streaks in it.):

And next, Yuuta's painting, age 9 (In his the white streaks WERE a reflection!):


The long-awaited transfer of missionaries came and went.  (They have transfer days every six weeks.)  Two of our three missionaries have been here since September which is VERY long in mission transfers.  So we were expecting some changes.  But guess what?  Sister Chikamori who has only been here since December was transferred and the others are still here!    Here is Sister Chikamori the night before she left:

The branch president and his wife brought food to our English class as a goodby gift!

Happy Birthday

So Kouta and Yuuta (whose paintings I showed you) also had birthdays this past week.  We had a Primary activity on Saturday on missionary work and afterwards they honored them with a small birthday party.  So what do you think you would EAT at a birthday party here?

We sang "Happy Birthday" (words on the poster) and had rice balls, mochi, and hot Calpis (weak citrus drink).  Here is Calvin showing off his rice ball:

The only complaint I heard was against those miniscule green peas in the rice balls.  Some of the kids don't care for them I guess but really they were so small and far between!

Even in the Winter

The sisters are pretty amazing.  Even in the winter and with snow still coming down almost daily lately, the sisters don their helmets and bike around:

More Painting Classes

We had another painting activity at the Church yesterday.  I am always in awe at these things because my skills are so lacking.  These were the models (for those who wanted models):

And these were some of the results.  First our branch president's wife holding her painting and her husband's.  (The branch president's is the one of the flower!):

Then their 12-year-old son:

And Tatiana Taylor's (she's American).  We laughed because hers definitely looked American.  Who would guess you can tell nationality from paintings of vegetables?!:

So China

I have to tell you this funny story.  The dollar stores here are filled with tons of things--all from China!  We have been to China (when Nate lived there) and we learned that China is the land of fakes . . . as in they copy anything and everything, every brand, every style, etc.  But -- sometimes their copies are not as wonderful as the originals.  This week I bought some fabric at the dollar store.  This was the tag that accompanied it:

I really loved the fabric but the disclaimer, in part,  says:  "Please be careful not to make this material get wet.  The color may fade.  Being made by natural material, this may shrink in the washor (sic) may look like it has scratches."  The "natural material" this is made of is 100% polyester!  Sad to say, I bought it anyway!

Saying Goodby to Sister Bohnet

One of the sisters that we got really close to here is Sister Bohnet.  Her mission ended this week.  When we heard that her father was coming to pick her up and spend a week here, we volunteered to spend a day with them and show them around Ishinomaki.  It was so fun!

We went out to eat, again at the all-you-can eat place:

 And then we took them here to Ishinomaki and showed them the park above the area that was hit by the tsunami where you get a bird's eye view of what really happened.

We then went through an area of houses destroyed by the tsunami that are still standing:

And believe it or not, as we got a little closer to this house we noticed something interesting:  there were still things inside that were intact, like dishes on the cupboard shelves!:

Almost two years, and the place hasn't been looted!

Anyway, we ended up going to Matsushima for a quick tour there before everything shut down for the day (at 5:00 p.m. everything closes).  And then we let them board the train for Sendai since it would be way faster than us taking them (and cheaper!). 

I want to say how impressed I was with Sister Bohnet.  Even though her mission was over, she was still a missionary all day.  She talked to everyone she could, gave out pass along cards, and became emotional when she saw the devastation of the tsunami to the people she loved.  If you are reading this Sister Bohnet:  thank you; you are an inspiration. 

And the best part:  Sister Bohnet is from Orem!  We will see her again!

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