My True Followers

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Week 81 August 18 - 24, 2014

It has been a great week, but not nearly as active as the week before when our son, Weston was here.

It is an honor to wear the missionary badge in our work here.  A little scratched and worn but it's been 19 months.  Under my name in English is my last name in Katagana followed by elder in Konji.  Below the line the name of "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints".

We are having an amazing experience learning about a culture so very foreign to the American and yet so much the same, as we are all Heavenly Father's children and have similar needs, wishes, and wants.

The language is certainly very different in the spoken format and especially in the written format.  We have learned more Japanese that I would have ever expected, but there is so much to learn.  I liken this experience to hiking over a mountain range.  You first see a hill (hiragana and katagana and basic language letters and sounds) and climb to the top, happy to have made it, and what do you see, the next higher hill (understanding a strange sentence syntax), so you go forward to the summit and what do you see, a small mountain (your first view at trying to memorize 1000's of new words), so you go to the top and what do you see a bigger mountain (the rest of the dictionary of vocabulary, particle usage, yoda like sentence structure, and then there is Konji, wow).  You get the idea,  a small mountain in the foreground obscures the bigger ones further away.  At each peak you think your a step away from significant progress and then the next peak makes you wonder where the end could be.

In any case, the wonderful people we meet in the church here and those non-members that we teach English to and take Japanese classes from, has developed a great love for them and the special Japanese culture.  I will always be so happy for all I am learning.

A mission experience is a treasure, and one to be hoped for,  I hope that all my grandsons, and many if not all my granddaughters will choose to have this experience.  The love you develop for a different area or country will always be with you and is the best recipe for world understanding, love, and peace.  You also come to value in a very deep, special way the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and what a treasure it is.

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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