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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.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Week 83 September 1 - 7, 2014014

Monday was the first day of September, amazing, how time flies.  It seems like we were just looking forward to our son's visit and now it is over and well past.

I started off the week with a 5K run.  It was a good run and I got a personal best with a 9.02 min/mile pace.  Here is my pace chart showing my progress.  This charts shows Wednesday and Friday after the personal best.

On Tuesday we restarted our YMCA Japanese class near the Shimizu/Tsuboi Chapel.  On the way there we go over a bridge over the Shirakawa river.  This bridge had a temporary bridge built parallel to it and the old one is being reconstructed.  Apparently they will make it taller something.  Stay tuned.  Here they had a large crane lifting the huge I-beams into place on the new column risers.

 Here the work men are fastening the beam into place.

More risers along the rest of the bridge.  I took this picture from the temporary bridge next to it.

At the YMCA in the Kamitori shopping mall, it is all decked out for Halloween.  It is so early.

Our teacher had been in Tokyo helping her sister with here children that were on school vacation.  She brought us back a present of cookies typical of the area.   They were very good.

The Stake Center next to our apartment that we attend church at had a scafolding erected on the back side.  We didn't know what it was for when it first went up.  But it appears from this that at least one thing will be new roofing tar.

On Wednesday we went to our Japanese and English classes at the International Center.  The remodel in the lobby is now done with a new Cafe, "link Cafe".  It is all very nice.  We had great classes, our Japanese teacher has been able to start helping us read the Book of Mormon in Japanese.  We really appreciate this help.

Thursday and Friday we inspected apartments in Nobeoka and Oita.  This is a new route for us and the link between Nobeoka and Oita we have never taken before.  It was very beautiful with many mountains and valleys and tunnels.  Here we started our trip in heavy rain.

and in many locations heavy fog/clouds along the mountain ravines.

In Nobeoka the Elders got a Celestial rating on their cleaning and we took them to lunch.  This is Nanban Chicken, I got the spicy sauce and it was very good, and non fattening, at least the salad.

At Nobeoka we had time to visit the beach area, which we had not go to before.  Here I am in a grassy area near the beach.

A look towards the mountain over the river outlet areas.  There are actually two rivers that enter the ocean here, but apparently don't mix until the ocean.

A fishing boat was plying the waters off the beach.

Here is Luetta with the ocean background.

We stayed at the Hotel Route-Inn.  Here a picture of it with it's name in Katagana on top.

We enjoyed an included breakfast the next day.  It was mostly traditional, except I couldn't pass up the french fries they had out.  This seemed very unusual, maybe just for westerners.  Mizo, very traditional for breakfast is in the upper left.  The lower left bowl is a vegetable very popular in Okinawa called Goya.  It is very bitter in its raw state, but this was fryed up with some vegetable and very spicy.  It was pretty good.  Many Westerners can't stand Goya.

Next we drove to Oita and inspected the Elders apartment there.  They also got a Celestial rating and so we took them out to lunch.  One of the Elders had been out 8 months and not tried Japanese Ramen, so that's where we went.  I got the spicy one with TanTan vegetables.  Nobody knew what that vegetable was, but it was good.

Oh well after delivering some baking pans to the Beppu Sisters, that they wanted we returned home.  We passed many rice fields which are starting to take on a yellowish cast as the approach maturity.  Harvest time is just around the corner.  The end of our second rice cultivation season.

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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