On Tuesday I took another walk around the Fukuoka Botanical Gardens, but this time with my sweet wife:
The weather here is often clear but usually very chilly, thus the Gortex rain coat and gloves.
Always a great break from the mission office activities.
On Wednesday we went with a new Assistant to the President to get our driver license's translated. This is a necessary prerequisite to applying to take tests to get a Japanese licence. AP's need to be able to drive. We had to go to the City Hall first to get a residency certificate and were happy that we could get ours for Kumamoto. Then on to the JAF (the same or equivalent to the AAA in the states). We had been told to bring a five year driving record from California when we can and we found out why. We had renewed our California Driver Licence about a month before we can to make sure it didn't expire before we came home. We may need to drive immediately on arrival. Well, Japan requires you have proof of having a licence 3 months before entering Japan. We had to go back to our apartment, get the papers, and return to get our licence translated. What a bother.
Interestingly, after this the new AP went to try to get his licence, but found out he was also a few days short of the three month time to hold his licence in his home country, Canada. It will take him a long time to get the needed paperwork, possibly longer than the remaining two transfers. He came back to the mission office very sad. However, I had noticed an email about getting Japanese driver's licence and at the end it said some countries have arrangements where you don't have to take the tests to get the licence and Canada was one of them. Lets hope the three month time is also waived.
It was a rainy day.
On Saturday, our preparation day, we attend our two Japanese classes. The one in the morning we biked to, and afterward took a side trip to a nearby Sports Depo. I was hoping to find a good bicycle computer with maps and directions but no luck. However, this store was in an interesting part of town.
There is a huge ferris wheel in the shopping center where we were headed, apparently named after a whale.
So we took a ride to see what we could see from the top.
This looking toward Fujisaki, a machi of Fukuoka. Fujisaki is where we take our Japanese classes.
A beautiful marina, expensive boats.
The shopping center is called Pier walk (in English).
A long view of a church near the water.
Part of the shopping center.
A view over the marina out into the Fukuoka bay.
Here is a closer view of the church. I think it is a church due to the small cross on one of the lower steeples. However, we can't be sure, because Japan make huge building that look very much like a church that are used for weddings. I'm guessing it's a Catholic church. One of my Japanese teachers said that he was a Protestant Christian. He asked what church I was a missionary for and didn't recognize our long name, Matsujitsu sēto Iesu Kirisuto Kyōkai, but recognized Mormon (Morumon).
Here is the adjacent empty gondola, the best part it the seats were heated.
The name of the shopping mall with my sweet wife.
A view back to Fukuoka, with a long view of the Fukuoka tower. This tower is the tallest building in Fukuoka and was built for a famous festival/fair.
When we got closer we took this shot.
With a most interesting sculpture in the the plaza.
An we were delighted at our favorite Scottish restaurant with fish and chips.
It's been a fun week, Oh, we also got a great work done at the mission office. One of the checks I cashed at the Bank, came with a free gift. This gift was a paper band around 1 million yen of paper currency. I paid a lot of big bills this week.