We also had a fun, longer bike ride for us. We went north this time to just north of Kikuyo. It is just short of half way to the center of the ancient Aso volcano caldera where the city of Aso is now located. It would be a steep climb the rest of the way up to the currently active caldera.
We are on our way there:
We passed a rice field. The rice plants are getting big, but no rice heads are developing yet.
However, here is harvested corn field with one lone stalk left.
We passed our favorite raman noodle place with a side view of the dragon head on the roof.
We also passed over the Shirakawa river (a different part of the one that goes through downtown Kumamoto).
Here is a photo of a typical watering ditch here in Japan. They even have them on the very edge of roads, uncovered. I always am fearful of driving a wheel into them and then I would be stuck really bad.
We also passed very beautify flower called a Cockscomb (or Kato in Japanese).
We went to visit a less active member who is from the United States, teaching English in Japan. We have tried several times in the past by car but never found him home and the same thing happened today. However while we were there a huge storm appeared to the west with lightening and thunder, none had been predicted. Here is a picture of the Family Mart across from where we visited and the storm clouds in the background. I bought some water and asked a big plastic bag to cover my electronics.
We were unsuccessful in trying to out run it and got fully soaked. However by the time we made it back to our area (machi of Obiyama) we met the missionaries. The area had not rained and the roads were dry, but we were soaked. They were very surprised. What bad luck we are having with rain.
We were glad this adventure was over.
Wednesday we rode to the International Center and taught English for one hour and had our two hour Japanese class. That night we taught English class. Here what it looks like with Luetta teaching.
Thursday we tried another bike ride, but would you believe it, it rained on us again, totally soaked.
Here are some flowers we saw along the way and pictures at the lake we visited.
Japan has many gates, some with an arch and some without, here is one half of one without.
A fun slide for children playing in the water.
Luetta in front of the boats that can be rented.
Me in front of the snack shop.
A Japanese dinner Cruise getting to go out on the lake. Notice all the shoes at the end of the red carpet. Inside are many short tables for sitting around.
On Friday we had apartment inspection at Yatsushiro and since they had kept it clean to a "Celestial" standard we took them to lunch. Here I am with my spicy noodles that came out with a hot coal underneath keeping the boiling for quite a while. They were delicious.
Saturday was a very special day, Kumamoto Ward had it's first baptism since we came here. The Elders found and taught him. When we first came here the Elders had three baptism almost in a row and we wondered if that was typical, it wasn't. A lot of spiritual blood, sweat, and tears are paid for finding the elect of God.
Sunday was, as always a great day of language immersion. We attend seven hours of meetings that are conducted in Japanese (with only a little translation in one of them). We do have an English Sunday School class in the Nagamine ward which we enjoy a lot. It is taught by a brother from Tonga who is here pursuing a doctorate degree and knows English perfectly.
In addition to this, we had our second, "Why I Believe" fireside. We had the local area seventy speak last, with two members who related their conversion stories all separated by two musical numbers. It was very enjoyable. Refreshments afterwards were made by Luetta, Banana Bread and Pumpkin Bread and to drink Mitsuya Cider (a carbonated drink) as well as Calpis soda (a favorite of ours). Our mission is to big to have this kind of fireside mission wide, so we asked if we could do it for our area only. The Mission President had been thinking already of doing it in the Fukuoka zone, so he is real interested in how it will go for us. In fact, we invited him to been our key speaker next month and he accepted.