Sunday, March 3, 2013


Okay, I have to admit it is only March 3rd but I couldn't help myself calling this blog "March Forth."   Besides sometimes I feel like my English really has gotten bad so if I think of anything even remotely clever it is a good feeling!

The major thing that happened this week was that TWO general authorities came and spoke to us.  They were Bishop Davies of the Presiding Bishopric and Elder Yamashita of the Seventy.  They both came together and we were able to hear them twice.  On Thursday evening they spoke to the Sendai stake; and on Friday morning they spoke to about 40 of us missionaries here in the mission.  When the general authorities come to the mission it is so nice because we not only get to hear them in a very small setting but we also get a photo op and get to shake hands and speak with them briefly as well. 

Unfortunately we haven't gotten the photos yet so I cannot show you the picture:  hopefully next week.   Anyway, it is always a boost to have these men speak to us.  Being a missionary can be discouraging at times, but when we hear words of encouragement and hope it is wonderful.

District Meeting

Having said that about the meetings we attended, we also had district meeting on Thursday morning.  We had a few transfers a couple of weeks ago so this was our first time being together as a new group.  I should maybe explain that every six weeks we have transfers.  At that time the mission president announces who will be transferred and where.  It is definitely a time of anticipation and excitement!  So new to our district are Sister Tada and Elder Palmer.  Since our mission is not that large (around 80 missionaries) we get to know most of the missionaries even if they are not in our district but getting to know them weekly definitely is so fun. 

And in case you want to know what we talk about in district meeting, here is the wipeboard which tells all:

After our meeting we had lunch together.  It was a potluck and I must say that these current missionaries in our district know how to cook!  I thought I did well by bringing BBQ chicken sandwiches but others brought meatballs, beef and veggies, potato casserole, rice, and drinks.

Instead of going back to our apartment after district meeting we decided to go to Sendai and chill for a while since we had our evening meeting with the stake that evening.  We only had a couple of hours to look around and do some shopping. 

Here are a couple of pictures we took.  First some strawberries:  They are really huge and packaged individually so they don't get bruised.  They also cost about $15 for 12 strawberries.  That is a lot but if you saw how big and nice they were you might not be quite so shocked.

HOWEVER,  the next one did shock me!  In Japan if you see a cartoon or simple drawing of a cantaloupe or musk melon it is a round circle with what appears to be a cross on the top (the cross-bar is always pretty long).  I am not sure why this is but they are also pretty pricey:

So this ONE MELON was 5250 yen which translates in the neighborhood of $55!  We were showing some of the members the picture today at Church to see if they had any comments.  Basically they said, "Yeah, they are kind of expensive.  I don't buy them unless they are closer to $15-20!"  Sheesh I don't really even care for them THAT much so I usually wait until one of my neighbors gives them to me for free!

The REAL reason we went shopping at the Sendai train station is that they have the biggest bags of powdered sugar I have seen in Japan for the cheapest price.  This may not seem like a bargain but believe me it is:  a one kilo bag (2.2 lb) is 399 yen ($4.50).  Also we found a big bag of raisins and I have been wanting to make raisin filled cookies.

And I have admitted to others that I think I am getting TOO used to prices in Japan.  I am willing to pay much more than I used to for food here.  And I do like the restaurant ramen here but I think it is kind of expensive:  usually about $8 for a fairly large bowl.  But it is really good, especially the spicy ramen.

Wood Carving

One of our English students has two hobbies.  One is hiking (he has hiked many mountains in Japan especially) and the other is wood carving.  The amazing thing about the hiking is that he is close to 70 years old and his plan is to climb 20 peaks this year between April and September!  And I thought my walking the halls and rooms of the Church for an hour a day was impressive!

Anyway, he had a wood carving display in a nearby town on Saturday that we went to see.  Here he is:

This picture took him a year to do:

And I liked this because it actually looks kind of like something you would see in America:

The letters form the word "arigato" (thank you).  The letter on the left side of the heart is the letter "to" and the letter on the right side of the heart is the letter that makes the "O" be a long "O" sound.  Anyway, thought it was clever and if I see anything else like it for sale I will be tempted to buy it!

Also at the display of crafts were these owls (symbols of happiness) made of pine cones.  I thought they were cute:

And on our way home we stopped at our favorite Indian curry restaurant.  So here is Calvin eating his "nam" which is a big fry bread which you break off and dip into curry:

Yes, it does look quite massive!  But it tastes wonderful!  I am wondering where you get a recipe for it! 


This is not a very long blog this week (you may be relieved!) but next week promises to be longer since we are dying Easter eggs with the Primary and no one has EVER done that before!  And then we are having an Easter egg hunt. 

But really it seems like the weeks and months fly by.  Someone asked me this week when we were going home.   When I said, "September" he said, "Wow, that seems soon!"  And at that moment I knew just what he meant. 

Next month is our branch member, Marie's, wedding.  Then in June and July some of our family are coming for a visit, and after that . . . "Wow that seems soon!"

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