Sunday, May 19, 2013


So on Saturday I realized I had hardly taken ANY photos all week!  It wasn't that nothing happened, but we just didn't seem to have our camera handy at the right time.  Like we didn't get any photos of us inspecting the young missionary apartments and cleaning out disgusting vents or even going out to this WONDERFUL Indian curry restaurant and gorging myself with this huge cheese-filled nam that I hate to admit:  I ATE IT ALL!  And we didn't take any photos of our district going out to eat at the 100 yen sushi place and again gorging ourselves.

And, of course, I didn't remember to take photos when we had the Relief Society presidency over and played PASS THE PIGS!  And I didn't get any photos of how we took our drapes to the cleaners and they came back with no hems and a big rip down the middle!  Really it wasn't their fault:  they were so sun-rotted that it was inevitable.  And we actually MADE money on the deal because they wanted to make us NEW drapes but we said if they would refund our money and let us keep the drapes (I could mend them) it would be fine.  So now we have newly mended sheers and cleaned and pressed drapes that look great.

Looking back, I guess none of the above was really PHOTO-WORTHY but at least you know some of the little things that happened this week!

Learning a New Cooking Trick

So one of the things I am really excited about that I learned about was a new way to make noodle soup!  On Monday, a non-member came over to the Church and taught us how to make suiton nabe--a kind of soup.  I was so impressed because she took some flour, a little salt and a little water and began kneading it together.  We took turns kneading until it became a nice smooth ball and then we set it aside to rest (the ball, not us!):

Then we cut some veggies and a little chicken:

We made a soup with all of that adding a little flavoring and soy sauce.  By then, the dough was nice and spongy.  We then broke off small pieces of the dough and made small thin pieces which were supposed to be the size and texture of your ear!  We added those to the soup:

We let it cook for a few minutes and it ended up like small flat noodles and was delicious!:

I will definitely do that again because it can be done in any kind of soup and it would be a great project for kids to help in the kitchen!

Saturday Service

Saturday we did our third-Saturday in the Month service at the handicapped temporary housing units.  We did hand massages as usual:

And I am getting smarter.  I took a bunch of things I had lying around the apartment that I don't really want:  some hotpads, eco bags, cosmetic bags, candies, flowers we made, etc. and let people have what they wanted!  A great way to dispose of my leftovers!

It has become a fun activity because over the last several months we have come to recognize the people there and they us.  They pretty much know I don't speak Japanese that well so they just smile and are glad that I brought something for them!

Computer Class

The Relief Society has been sponsoring computer/genealogy classes for the past few weeks (there are to be six in all I think).  Our branch president has access to several computers through his work (he works for the Church employment) so he has been our teacher.  But even though there aren't a lot of us, it has been really a great way to get to know a little more about doing genealogy work and the sisters are amazed at what they are able to do:

Daily Exercise

So most days I got for a walk around the area at about 6:00 a.m. give or take a half an hour.  Somehow I got talked into going with one of the sisters in the branch tomorrow at 5:00 a.m. (be at HER house at 5:00 a.m.!) and I am already not sure about this!  Anyway, getting back to my REGULAR walking, here are some of the things I see on my walk. 

First it is 6:00 a.m. and our neighbor downstairs ALREADY has her laundry hanging out for the day!:

Next, I thought I would mention that there are small neighborhood businesses EVERYWHERE.  Someone once mentioned to me that in America there are certain areas where there are houses and there are other areas where there are businesses.  Not in Japan.  They are all mixed together.  You will see both homes and businesses together wherever you go.  Here are some small businesses (I have NO IDEA what the business is!):

And right on a busy main street here is house with a large garden in front:

And this was Saturday and by 6:00 a.m. we had heard several cannons going off.  They were announcing "exercise day" at the various schools around the area.  Here is one that I passed:

The schools are huge--and I think this is an elementary and I am not even showing you the building next to it that is just about as big!  And there several schools around:  it's not like there is only one.

So then my walk continues on to what I would call the Jordan River Parkway of Ishinomaki.  It is a nice paved path between a river and a canal:

They are working on upgrading this parkway but it will not be done for quite a while.  The river:

And something funny:  Notice the fence:

I thought it was faux wood or something but then I realized, no, it was:

rebar and cement!  At least it's sturdy!  So that is my walk and I really love it.  At 6:00 a.m. the weather is usually wonderful.  The only thing I didn't get photos of were the people walking dogs.  One woman in particular who walks her dog:  She CARRIES the dog!  I have never seen the dog walk--she is always carrying it in a blanket, facing forward, so it can see where it is going I guess.

A Few More Tidbits

*  So I keep forgetting to talk about the musical road that we went on when we went to Mount Fuji.  There are only a few in the world.  As you drive along the road, the road has strategically placed grooves so that when you drive over those grooves, they create music that you can hear in your car!  The tune lasts for about 20 seconds or so I would guess.  It was pretty amazing.  There are signs before you get to it to alert you that it is coming up.

*  Sometimes I know I take our Church for granted.  I take sacred things in stride and don't reverence them as I should.  Today we had a lesson in Relief Society and priesthood (separately) on temples and temple work.  In the lesson they talked about the Nauvoo and Kirtland temples and how the people were so excited to have a temple.  I hadn't really realized how these people must have felt.  And then something amazing happened.  In our little branch of 30 or so adults I saw three people pull out their tickets that they had kept from the Nauvoo Temple dedication that they had gone to in the stake center.  That was twelve YEARS ago and these people STILL carried around their tickets because it was so important to them.  I was so humbled.  I have so much to learn.

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