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Saturday, November 9, 2013

Week 40: November 4 - 11, 2013, Serving in Fukuoka Japan

Well, Monday started our next adventure within an adventure.  We have been asked to fill in at the Mission Home until a replacement couple is called (2-3 months).  This means Luetta will be the Mission Home secretary and Terry will be the Mission Home financial person.  Here we are cleaning up before we move out.


And packing, it is a well know fact that things packed in suitcases never fit back in when you repack.


About 1 hour and 40 minutes on the expressway and we are in Fukuoka, with it's palm tree lined street(s).


We found out that the temple which is over the mission home and office is being refurbished.

 

This is a most unusual sculpture of a pigeon that marks the turn towards the church, and mission home.


We are able to walk up the hill behind the Temple / Mission home and back down the steps.  I counted them in Japanese and got 250. 


Here I am with the current mission couple, Elder and Sister Bues.  I was surprised to learn that he grew up the same extremely small Idaho city of Menan.


On Wednesday we took an hour in the afternoon to walk through the nearby Japanese Garden.  We were delighted to see a Japanese wedding couple having their photo's taken in the beautiful garden.




Here is Luetta with some of the water stream in the background, both are lovely.


The garden if keep very clean even of pine needles and fallen leaves by people such as these two Japanese women who consented to have their photos taken with our wives.


and then took a photo of our group.


More of the fantastic garden.



Here is close up of how the bonsai a pine tree.


In addition to man made streams it has a beautiful pond with fish.


And beautiful restful sounding water falls.


We all agreed we would love to have this a our backyard, but we would not be willing to keep it up.



 


We had a tight schedule as it was English class that night, so we stopped a close by restaurant and this salad and Pizza.  Both were very tasty.  There was seafood in the salad as well as seaweed.


The pizza crust was just like pie crust very flaky, not typical of western style, but tasty.


Here are more photos of the scaffolding around theTemple and Mission Home.  This is the path we have to use to drive to our parking lot.  It is very narrow but as most drivers here are accustomed to these tight paths.


To par we then turn into this breezeway.


In that breezeway one side is the entrance to the Mission Home and the other pictured here is a hall leading to the Mission office.  The missionaries typically park their bikes, here.  We are sad that ours have not arrived yet.


And in the distance is our parking space.


this is the entrance to the Mission Home where the President and his wife live and many of the new missionary activities take place as well as those going home.


Here is the scaffolding around the angel Moroni. 



 


 

This is the entrance to the Temple parking areas. 


This is Elder Bues office where I will be working, to keep the Mission finances in order.


On our preparation day which is now Saturday, we took a tour of a local shrine.  We will still be able to call on Monday morning (Sunday night in the states).  Here is the main street entrance gate to the shrine.



It is called the Gokoku shrine.


This the main gate to the actual shrine.


With some of the statues around the gate.



It is traditional to wash before entering the shrine, which often houses a temple.  I found this web site that gives typical Temple etiquette.  http://www.japanese-buddhism.com/temple-etiquette.html
Before entering the main shrine/temple you must be purified by washing.  I am doing it wrong here, but now I know better.





Here is one of the several temple worship rooms that you can view from outside.  I didn't enter because I was unsure if this was allowed, but it appears it is.  One of the rooms had ceremonies in progress, but we didn't take pictures out of respect of others beliefs.


Looking back to the entrance gate.


In the front was this wonderful statue of a family.  How appropriate.





We learned from elder Bues that you can buy a book and get what he called autographs for each shrine.  So I bought a book at the shrine office and got my first autograph in Kanji.  The writing is beautiful.


Next we walked past the fine arts building.  Here is a sculpture of a hare on cresssent
on bell.  Sometimes I don't understand these things, but I guess I would have to research it.


We then walked around lake Ohari.


Actually we cut the walk some by going over these bridges and on the islands.




Here is Luetta enjoying one of her favorite hobbies, tori o miru (watching birds or in this case photographing them).







A different angle on the fine art statue.


Finally back to our hotel.  It has a wonderful Christmas tree in the lobby.  Christmas decorations are popping up all over Kumamoto and Fukuoka.  The Japanese seem to love them.

 
God bless
Love Elder and Sister Koberstein
now in Fukuoka, Japan

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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