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Sunday, April 21, 2013

Week 11 - April 15 - 21, 2012 Japan Fukuoka Mission

Monday was a very fun preparation day.  Luetta and I finally make the big jump and bought bicycles.  Here I am, with both parked outside our apartment.  Luetta's is the white one and mine is in the back, it is blue.

It was dark before we thought to try and get a better picture, but is was marginal.  Here is my bike just outside our front door which goes immediatly into the metal spiral staircase, 99 steps to the bottom.  Of course we take the bikes down the elevator.  It has an all aluminum frame.

Tuesday we were able to help an Elder who needed to get a blood test at a hospital an unbikeable distance from their apartment.  A member in the Nagamine Ward is a doctor who works there and was able to help him.  Here is the hospital entrance and a beautiful orchid that was in the waiting room.

We took them out to eat since it was well after lunch when we were done and the blood test was a fasting test.  They seemed to enjoy it...

... and so did we.

Couldn't wait to get back to our apartment to try our bikes out more.

Last week we had walked to a non-members house and invited here to come listen to Conference, which she did to our delight.  We tried to find this members house by bike  on Wednesday to talk about the non-member and other things we could do to encourage her to become an investigator.  She lives next to a stream not far from our apartment.  Here are two pictures in this area.

And here is a link to the endomundo route using my i-pad touch.

I have been disappointed in the accuracy of the cycling trackers on the i-pod touch until I researched and found out it used cell tower triangulation to find your location (not true GPS), which is not very accurate.  From now on I will use my iphone which has true GPS.

Here is a repost of Thursday (it is on facebook but printed here for those who don't follow facebook.

"Today, we received a fantastic package of goodies that our children made at our house, on conference week-end. It contained wonderful popcorn balls, complete with pastel miniature marshmallows. This was an invention I came up with when... we send a gift box to our children when away from home. It has come full circle and I love it so much, thank you, thank you, thank you! It also has fudge with walnuts, wow, so good. The fudge is so creamy and good, I will have to think twice before I am willing to share. We keep 72 hour emergency food kits in our home which we eat at conference time and replenish so they won't get to old to eat. Last conference we had home made jerky (done in the scout approved way) which was still good and also fantastic. The picture of them in our kitchen making this was a delight and we so enjoyed the drawings by Dawna and Naomi."

Just before 9:00 p.m. had an interesting service project, which I wrote up as a spiritual thought for our Japanese MTC Skype classs.  "Our Mission President (Gustavson) often teaches that "No effort is wasted".  I believe this means that even though our efforts at any one time may seem insignificant, eventually, in some way, good will come from them.  We have been trying to promode Eikaiwa (English Conversation Class) in many ways.  One way we found was by getting our posters on what is known as "Community Boards".  These are advertising boards with room for 12 posters.  Although they can be used free of charge, you have to be present at a drawing to be selected.  Then travel to 20 locations around Kumamoto to put them up and take them down after the three week exposure time is up, then do it all over again.  This takes a lot of work and is especially hard for us due to the "odd to us" maps they use here, all in Japanese characters.  It has taken a lot of effort to get 40 of the 60 sites programed into our Garmin (GPS device).  So far we only know of one inquiry into Eikaiwa as a result of these posters, and that week the class had been canceled.  Nevertheless, we continue, expecting good results eventually.  However, an unexpected fruit of our labor came the other day when we got an emergency call from two elders who had a broken down bike, a flat tire (by the way they don't carry an extra tube or a way to fix flats) and they were looking at about a one hour walk back to their apartment and arriving much after they should be in.  We were glad we had sufficent knowledge and tools to locate the "Machi" (Japanese for small town within the larger Kumamoto) they were in and could identify the community board nearest to them, so we might be able to locate them with a minimum of driving back and forth and phone calls.  We were so happy when we were able to go directly to them in a direct route, needless to say, they were also very happy.  I believe that our efforts, with little results (in terms of English Class attendance) blessed the elders and gave us a wonderfull feeling of being helpful in the missionaryefforts,  I then bore my testimony that we should continue in our efforts even when we see no results immediatly, realizing that No GOOD efforts are wated, and all efforts in the Lord's Kingdom are GOOD.

Here is a scan of what the poster we use looks like.  The red headed missionary is an eye-catching advertisement for English Class.

On Friday we did some more biking after waling around our neighborhood passing out English Conversation Class flyer's.  Many accepted and many waved us off.  This wave off is a peculiar gesture used in Japan by holding your flat hand in front of your face perpendicular to your face and waving it back and forth.  It means no, or not interested, or maybe go away.

Here are more biking pictures as we explored the stream further south.

an interesting gate to the bike's only part of the trail.

Mom took this picture of a Grey Heron.  When we first came by he flew off before she could get a picture, but he came back for this picture and we got to see him catch and eat a samll fish.

Here is a link to this bike route:

And they day finishes with a nice sunset.

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I have worked 30 years at Del Monte Foods in Walnut Creek CA, 5 years at Ralston Purina in San Diego CA, 7 years at Carnation in Oconomowoc WI