My True Followers

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Week 68 May 19 - 25, 2014

Not many pictures this week.  Every Tuesday we have a Japanese class at the local YMCA in downtown Kumamoto.  Here is a picture of the entrance.  Our teacher claims to have only learned English through High School, but her knowledge of speaking and even detailed grammar is very good.

Here is a typical 5K run that I do on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  The chart if very cool as you can easily pick out the biking to and from with the higher speeds, and many stops/slow downs due to traveling in a busy urban area.  You also easily pick out the 5 minute warm up and cool downs which have a lower speed than the running time in between them.

And here is the map of the course.  Our apartment is the upper right end of the red route marker.  The baseball park with the running course around it is at the lower, left.

Using my bike garmin I can collect all this data.  I am now trying to improve my pace.  Here is the pace chart by lap.  The course requires 8 laps for  5K.

Time Dist. Mi Pace mph Pace m/mi Dist. Km
03:46.7 0.38 6.1 9.84 0.61
03:56.2 0.38 5.9 10.17 0.61
03:45.2 0.38 6.1 9.84 0.61
03:50.1 0.39 6.1 9.84 0.63
03:46.2 0.39 6.3 9.52 0.63
03:52.3 0.39 6.1 9.84 0.63
03:51.8 0.39 6.1 9.84 0.63
03:44.0 0.39 6.3 9.52 0.63
30:32.5 3.09 6.13 9.80 4.97

The overall pace was 9.8 minutes per mile.  The best lap was 5 and 8 at 9.52 min/mi.  It use to be that I would always slow down in the middle laps so I am trying to improve them, while keeping my attempt to go faster on the last two laps.

Saturday was a trip to the temple which is always a wonderful experience.

The end of another wonderful spring week in Kumamto Japan.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Week 67 May 12 - 18, 2014

Monday, preparation day was rainy and mothers day in the US.  We had missionaries over to skype home and some of our children called us it was fun, but no pictures.

I am now running 5K three times a week (MWF) and so I just bought some new running shoes, the size is 28.5 cm and Nike Free 5.0 style. They are very light. My method of selecting them was very precise, I went through all the stacks of shoes at the local Sports Depot in Kumamoto and found three shoes that were my size and rejected the two that were wide, leaving me with the best choice.  I have run in them several times now and they are very comfortable.  The name free means more freedom of motion, they are very flexable and are a step closer to barefoot running.  They do make a funny noise when running that sounds like runners are behind me, sometimes I look to make sure.

In Japan you can stop by any hospital and find one of these blood pressure machines and see how you are doing. Recently, after biking some, I got 121/63.  Remember I do missionary biking, not exercise biking.

Saturday we tried some contacting at our favorite place lake Ezu.  Here is Luetta by an interesting rock and landscaping.

Near by some ducks were quacking away.

We had a fun experience of contacting 5 people and one couple that spoke very little english indicated they could not come to english class since they work on that day.  The man said he was Buddist and I said that was OK.  Then he noticed the イエスキリスト (Jesus Christ) on the flyer and said he was interested in Christ and wanted a phone number to call to learn more.  We pointed out the phone number the flier, since he was unwilling to give us his number.  Now we hope he actually calls.

Sunday, I had been asked by the Nagamine ward to give a talk on 十分の一税 (Jūbun'no ichi).
 If you look you will see my name in the program below, コバーステイン著炉。

It was translated and I finished my talk by giving my testimony in Japanese.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Week 66 May 5 - 11, 2014

Preparation day was on Tuesday this transfer week.  So we biked downtown Kumamoto to see what parts of Golden week celebration we could see.   Only saw one performance by the Kumamoto castle wall.

Here is the sunset on this beautiful spring day.

Wednesday was Japanese and English class at the International Center.  On the way back we passed the houses that are being built outside our apartment balcony.  They just started the foundation for the fifth one on a lot not much bigger than our fairly small lot in California.  See the foundation in the forground left of this picture.  This spot of land is similar to the front yard of the larger house behind it now.  That is two of the five, the third is to the right of it.

And here are houses four and five.

This is parking for the two larger houses in the back.

The smaller houses have parking in front as below.

Thursday the eighth had a rather cloudy sunset.  Rainy season is typically in June, just around the corner.

Saturday we took a trip to the Fukuoka Temple and helped a friend of ours do the ordinance work for some of her ancestors.  It was  a wonderful experience.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Week 65 April 28 - May 4, 2014

Last preparation day it was rainy so we mostly stayed in with missionaries coming over to email.  We reserve the morning for Skyping with our family which is always so much fun.

This week we went to Beppu for apartment inspection.  It was a rainy day

with some fog through the mountains, luckily it cleared up after a short while.

The Elders got a "Celestial rating" again and they chose to go out to lunch as a reward and took us to the same Yaki Niku we went to last time.  It is delicious, but hard on our waist lines as it is all you can eat in one hour.  The Elders can really put it away, so so can we.

That night we stayed in a small Toyoka hotel room and studied.

Friday we inspected the Oita Elders Apartment.  First we has a traditional breakfast in the Toyoka Inn.  I am getting more use to this style, the rolls and jam were out when we got there.

On the way to the elders apartment we passed the Oita castle, of which only the stone walls are standing, however it looks like they were tearing down a building inside, maybe to restore it like the Kumamoto Castle.

We also went to the water from that we have visited in the past, there were many fishermen there.

Also a large ferry boat across the bay.

In the water there were many jelly fish, here is one.

And here is a movie of it moving.

The Oita Elders got a "Celestial rating" and chose lunch.  You guessed it at an all you can eat Yaki Niku, only this one was all you can eat in 1 1/2 hour.  Ohhhhh.  The signs below are 食べ 放 題 (Tabe Hana Dai) or All You Can Eat (Buffet).

It taste so gooooooooood.  Eat your heart out Jen.

This apartment has in the past used a lot of tack put in the walls which is against mission policy.  The mission has to pay for damage to these wall when the apartment is changed.  Often times this can exceed the deposit amount.  To help them out we got four large sheets of foam plastic that you can place behind your desk and pin into as much as you want.  Area maps and inspirational pictures are very valuable to have readily visible.  We hope this helps.  Here we are with the car loaded.

After finishing at Oita we took a side trip to an astronomical observatory on the coast just south of Oita.  Here is Sekizaki Ocean and Astronimical Observatory Hall.  We couldn't stay late enough to see the telescope and observe the sky, maybe another day when our schedule is different.

They had Kinobori wind socks displayed all over for Kodomotachi day on May 5th.

This is the view from just outside the viewing room looking towards a local island.

There is also a small light house down by the shore.

Here is a pictogram of the area.  The distant lands are not visible above due to fog.

Here I am in the binocular observation room which is below the main observatory.

We finished off the day with a beautiful sunset on a beautiful spring day in Japan.

I didn't take this photo, but here is the telescope.

This photo of Sekizaki Ocean and Astronomical Observatory Hall is courtesy of TripAdvisor

On Saturday we did a little street contacting.  Here is one contact.  We did have some language issues.

Typically we will bike along where people are more open to visiting such as the river/canal.  We will ask them if the know English with "Anata wa, eigo ga hanase masuka? (あなたは、えいごがはなせますか?)" or something similar and give them an Eikaiwa flyer.  If they know english we can talk to them in greater depth.  This time we tried a bench and smiled at everyone going by and saying Konbanwa, if there was any positive response we will try to continue the contact.

Oh well a day in the life of a senkyoshi.

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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