Friday, October 20, 2017

Autumn is Awesome!

It's really beautiful here right now!

We're loving every minute of it, knowing that snow is soon to come.

Preparation Day--Hiking Mt. Moiwa

We enjoyed visiting with our good friend Elder Yamashita

It's so pretty!  I wish I liked fish.

Yes, we really do work. 
We are in the midst of zone conferences and tomorrow we start the next round of 100+ interviews.

Our tallest Elders with our shortest Sister.  Yes!  She is standing.

Fall is our favorite time of year!

Sunday, October 8, 2017

She's 18!

Yesterday our baby celebrated her 18th Birthday.
Her addition to our family was a “meant-to-be” miracle.  She was (and is) the frosting on the cake!!
How we love our Kacie Dayle!
Other highlights of the week include General Conference and our monthly
Mission Leadership Council.
                This is a favorite message from the General Women’s Conference

These are our Leaders—obedient, hard-working and trusted!

Only in Japan-- Wasabi Kit Kats!

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Sweet is the Work!

          This past week was busy.  It was our 2nd time to have transfers.
              Monday night we had a delightful group of about 78 for Family Home Evening.

            There’s always a fun game, musical number, lesson, group picture and refreshments.
                                Tuesday evening we picked up our 10 new missionaries. 
     They weren’t on their flight, but were able to catch the next plane which arrived an hour later.
Wednesday, there is training, temple session, meeting their new trainers, and a testimony meeting.

                            Thursday after breakfast, they all head out to their new assignments.
The departing missionaries arrive, do a temple session, have their final interview, enjoy a traditional Sukiyaki dinner and have a testimony meeting.
Friday morning after breakfast, we head back to the airport to send our beloved missionaries to their homes.   Then we hurry back to meet any families that have come to personally pick up their missionary. 
Needless to say, it is BIG!  Hours & hours of preparation go into matching new companionships and placing them in the right area.  Lot of food is bought, prepared, consumed and cleaned up. Valiant men and women come and go.   All in all, it is a very sweet time!

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Earthquakes, Missiles and a Typhoon


Yes, we’ve been here only 11 weeks and have experienced these 3 things.  We’ve had two earthquakes, two early morning emergency alerts that a North Korean missile was flying over our Island and last Monday Kacie’s school was cancelled for a typhoon.  We are safe and well—and feeling very blessed as we realize that other areas have had terrible tragedies.
We’ve been busy doing regular mission stuff, but have found a few hours the past two Saturdays to have a family outing.  Last week, we decided to enjoy a bike ride and headed down the path right next to our house.  We were surprised that after only a few kilometers we were out of the city and in beautiful mountain terrain.  We loved our time together and enjoyed being out in nature.  

Yesterday, we visited a famous shrine.  There was a children's kendo tournament going on that we got to walk through and experience which was interesting.  Also there was a celebration day when 3,5, and 7 year-old children visit their shrine called Shichi-Go-San.  Families were coming and going and we loved seeing all the children dressed up for this special event.  The Japanese love to celebrate!!

It is always fascinating to learn about other religions.  This sign is posted beside a cleansing area outside of the Shinto Shrine.  We, too, believe that the purpose of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is to cleanse us of our sins so that we can live happy lives now and be clean and receive the Savior’s mercy at the day of judgement.  We, too, come before Deity--humbly communicating with our Heavenly Father to receive help to make our way back to Him.  We, too, try to walk beside our Savior down the straight and narrow path by following His example and keeping His commandments.  These truly are the Last Days!  May we all prepare by connecting with Heaven.
This meal is our all-time favorite—gyoza and curry rice!  YUM!

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Be Ambitious for Christ!

On Labor Day we had a fun outing to visit the famous statue of Dr. Clark who introduced modern agricultural techniques and Christianity to Sapporo in 1876.  He is known for his admonition to his students, “Boys, be ambitious!”—“Be ambitious for Christ.”  Our dear friend, Elder Yamashita, spoke of this statue in General Conference a year ago and we were excited to see it. 
Here is the link to the talk:

Kacie, being a former Fort Collins High School “Lambkin”, liked the sheep even better than the statue.

Later in the week our mission was visited by our new Area President, Elder Robert C. Gay of the Seventy and Sister Gay.  We brought all our missionaries in for two big zone conferences.  Elder Gay has vision and will help us to fulfill a modern day prophecy of dramatic growth to take place in Japan.  We are grateful for his insight and guidance.

          Zone Conference lunch.  The Sister on the front left was in Riley’s BYUI ward last winter.

Our Fearless Assistant!  Got to love missionaries!!

Monday, August 28, 2017

Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread

All of our pictures this week seemed to be of food, so that will be our theme.

I LOVE to eat!!  I love that our bodies need constant nourishment and I enjoy every bite.

                              Lunch together after District Training Meeting in Kotoni

         The Assistants and Office Elders have been telling us about this place that serves sushi for $1 (100 Yen)  a plate and we finally got to try it.

                       The best part is that the food is delivered to the table by Shinkansen (bullet train)!

      This shows the sushi and how you pay by how many plates you have stacked up in front of you.

Russ traveled 6 hours with his counselor to be at the Branch Conference for a sweet group of saints in far away Nemuro.  After their church service, and before heading back home, they enjoyed a curry-                                                                   rice lunch together.

Just like our bodies, our spirits need constant nourishment.  Jesus Christ is “The Bread of Life”.  We put Him into our life when we pray, read the scriptures, go to church and keep His commandments.  So let's dig in and give ourselves a spiritual feast!!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Baptisms are the Best!

Last Saturday we were able to attend a father/daughter baptism.  Oh, how sweet it was!  There is nothing better than becoming part of the Savior’s family and making covenants to keep His commandments.

 On Tuesday we had a youth activity at our house. 

Kacie started school this week.  She takes the subway.  It takes her close to an hour to walk to the subway, wait for the blue line, transfer to the orange line and then walk to the school.  She is a trooper!

This week was transfers.  We received 5 new missionaries and sent 9 Elders home.  It was BIG!  It included a lot of training, interviews and meals.

The lady on the left comes to help me with meals during transfer week.  Being the first time, I wasn’t sure how it worked.  I thought that maybe I was just supposed to stay out of her way, but that was not the case.  I am the apprentice in Japanese cuisine.  Language is a little bit of an issue, but she shows me what to do and I do it.

There is a tradition for the departing missionaries to have a fancy Sukiyaki dinner and testimony meeting the night before they leave. 

As of this writing, these 9 elders are on their way home.  Wow, what a week!!

Autumn is Awesome!

It's really beautiful here right now! We're loving every minute of it, knowing that snow is soon to come. Prep...