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Sunday, October 5, 2014

Week 87 September 29 - October 5 2014

Just a few random things to mention this week.

A while back I showed pictures of a bridge under re-construction.  It had this green beam, that we thought would indicate a heightened bridge.  We were wrong it is a construction aid to make a crane to lift materials and bridge parts.  The crane beam can be moved left or right and the crane with its pulleys can move back and forth on the green bean.  You can see it in this picture.

A friend of ours gave us these two huge Asian pears.  They taste wonderful and were protected by much packaging.

Here is the packaging removed.

At the international center this week there was a display of Philippine banana's but they got the orientation wrong.  Banana's grow pointing up.

The rice crop in southern Japan is now being harvested in some fields and this one is ready with heads heavy with rice.

Some place have modern mechanized methods of harvesting the rice but here is a field that has been hand cup and hung on bamboo racks for drying.

We believe these fully plastic wrapped cylinders are rice straw.

This Friday we got to do our 5 K run at the ocean in Oita again.  At the start end was a wonderful park and wharf.  We came back after breakfast and got these pictures.  Here is the park entrance.

The wharf.

While buying items for the Beppu Sisters we came across these posts being sold.  They are made from the common Sugi (cedar) trees in Kyushu.  These posts are made from the heart wood and thus on sale.  The Konji says in a literal translation "post lumber sale location"

Here is a Internet photo of typical pre-cut wood used in home building in Japan.  We saw this out our balcony this summer, as a load of this pre-cut lumber was delivered and it was erected very quickly.

Here is a image of a tunnel we went through with a cross section of Sugi trees above it showing the long trunks.

This Friday typhoon Phanphon was coming directly at Kyushu as evidenced by this satellite image.

I took this sunset image as it was approaching, you see the fantastic cloud formations of the rotating structure.

 On Sunday a weather forcast showed the typhoon had side swiped Kyushu and is headed for Tokyo.

Here is a sunset after it had passed, we had fairly heavy winds and some rain, but we were blessed to miss the worst of it.

I have followed with quite a bit of interest the ESA mission to a comet, Rosetta.  The images have been delightful.  The comet is starting to become active as it gets closer to the sun as this composite image shows.  I wonder how active it will get.  A lander is set to land on the comet on November 12th.

The comet is named 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko and is composed of a duck shaped (almost like two fused parts).  The dust and gas is being emitted from the neck of these two parts.

The Cosmos is a beautiful and wondrous place.  There are so many things that have yet to be fully understood.  The spiritual realms of knowledge are just as wonderful and I look forward to the day when we see how they all mesh together.  It is such a wonderful experience being here in Japan and help as many as we can to understand how wondrous and great is the knowledge of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and his creations.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Week 86 September 22 - 28 2014

October is nearly upon us and the temperatures and humidity are just starting to moderate.  This is a welcome change.  The real hard thing is humidity, living in the western United States, where it is almost always dry, it had been hard to get use to it.  Even in the winter the high humidity's make it feel colder.

We had a busy week and my wife's blog gives more detail:

Saturday was our last temple service day for a month due to closure during the week-end General Conference is shown in Japan.  We enjoy, so much our opportunity to be of service there.

We took the opportunity of being in Fukuoka to go to Costco again.  One of the missionary apartments decided to get food from Costco instead of going out to lunch.

The Fukuoka, Japan Costco is all decked out for the three big U.S. holidays for the rest of the year.

First is Halloween.  It is not celebrated by all Japanese, but we do in our English class at the church and every store and many locations have decorations for sale or on display.

Next is Thanksgiving which is not celebrated at all among the Japanese, but American's like to have a Thanksgiving feast if possible and Costco has the only turkeys we have ever seen here.

Then is Christmas, which is widely celebrated here.  Eventually we will see decorations at all major stores, just like in the U.S.

Costco is helping out.

The snow people here are not exactly Christmas but are often associated with it.

They even help out with Christian tradtions of Christmas.

It will be a wonderful fun time of year for the next three months.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Week 85 September 15 - 21, 2014

Monday we had invited Akemi Tsukano and here parents over for a lunch and games.  Here we are at lunch.  It was a lot of fun even though Akemi took longer to eat than the rest of us as she was the only translator.  The games were Yahtzee and Panda Chopsticks.

Here is a collage that Akemi made of the activity.  She is very artistic.

Wednesday at Eikaiwa, I took this photo of one of the after class activities.  Here Elder Kirkham had demonstrated how to make a bowline knot on handed.  The two elders felt that their scouting abilities was the best talent they had to share in this class and it is very interesting.  One time they made a Catapult.

At the International Center on Wednesday we got two treats from Canada, that a member of the staff had recently visited.  I ate the cookie and it had the very wonderful flavor of Maple Syrup.

Work continues on the Kumamoto Stake Center roof, easily visible from our eighth floor front door.  Almost all areas are done except the roof over the chapel and the cultural hall.

Friday we went to Fukuoka to commemorate our 45th wedding anniversary.  First dinner of nan curry at Joyti's, it was wonderful as always.

Did I mention it was a rainy day.

My nan curry,

and Luetta's

Yum, Yum.

On to the temple for an evening session.

After staying at a local hotel and eating breakfast

we did a two sessions on Saturday (sealing and endowment).  A very special week-end 45 years after starting our marriage in the Logan, Utah Temple.

On Sunday we were treated to a special gift from Akemi for our anniversary of two cakes, very beautiful.

Here is Akemi, a very special kind hearted friend.

May God bless you all as He has us in our lives.  In the Temple we are sealed as couples and families for time and all eternity.

Malachi 4:5,6

¶Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord:
 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.
On September 21, 1823 Elijah returned to the earth and restored the sealing power to bind families together for time and all eternity (i.e. turning the hearts toward each other of fathers/mothers to sons/daughters.  I am so grateful for this wonderful restoration.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Week 84 September 8 - 14, 2014

Monday evening we biked to Lake Ezu to scope out where to part our bikes and run.  This was the evening of the Harvest Moon and it was beautiful.  Here is a photo I took showing the reflection of the very bright moon on the lake.

During our Frequent trips to downtown Kumamoto we pass over a bridge that is being reconstructed.  We are not sure where this is going, but it look like they are going to elevate the bridge/roadway.  Here is the first of the elevated beams about 10 meters above the old bridge/roadway.

More beams ready to be bolted into place.

Here is a distant photo showing the new temporary bridge in the foreground and the raised beam behind it.

Another angle on the new beam showing the elevating structures.

This is a photograph of the Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko from the ESA Rosetta spacecraft.  It is amazing, you can see boulders on the apparently steep foreground section of the Comet, stuck there by its very week gravity.  I think if a person was there he could throw them into orbit or beyond.  I love astronomy, these are God's creations. 

On Friday we did our run around Lake Ezu, here we are at the underpass from the bike parking lot.  We started our run just on the other side of the top of the bridge.

On the east side of the lake is a dirt path that we run on, the other side is a paved path.

On Saturday we went to serve in the Fukuoka Temple.  This is a special opportunity we have been given on our mission, which we greatly enjoy.

After our day of service we visit the local Costco and buy some yummy American food and have a hot dog.  This is another building near Costco with local Palm trees.

Saturday night after the temple day it was clear to the north of our apartment.  I went to the roof top and took this 10 second exposure of the stars.  Can you find the Cassiopia constellation?

Did I mention that I love astronomy.

  • Alma 30:44

    44 But Alma said unto him: Thou hast had signs enough; will ye tempt your God? Will ye say, Show unto me a sign, when ye have the testimony of all these thy brethren, and also all the holy prophets? The scriptures are laid before thee, yea, and all things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator.

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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