Sunday, August 30, 2015

Goodbyes, Family Home Evening, Costco (!), Concert

This is our missionary board.  The photos that are tilted are missionaries that are going home this coming week.  At the bottom, there are two rows of 17 each.  The first row is the group coming on September 1 and the second row arrives in October.  We're going to need a lot of trainers!

We started this week by telling Elder and Sister Taylor good bye as they completed their mission and returned home to Utah.  We wish them well!

That evening was Family Home Evening again.  The Nagamachi Sisters helped with the music.

The elders taught us a new game.  You do a charade and then act what you think you saw to pass on to someone else.  They were acting out snow boarding (I think).  I told them to be careful, because our daughter hurt her ankle pretending to pole vault in the living room!

A going home gift for Elder O.

A new Costco has opened (within our mission boundaries), so we went with the Smiths to check it out.

I think they liked it!  While we were eating, we all kept going "mmmm!"

No corn and no mayo!

I don't know what kind of leg this is.  One of the more unusual items we saw.

Three of these huge teddy bears were sold while we were there!

Taking the carts back to the parking lot on the roof.

Elder O asked Sister Smith to make tacos for his last dinner.  We were all thinking that was a great choice!  It was delicious!

Then it was time to say good bye again.

Well done Elder Omija!  We will miss you!

We were invited to a concert in Tagajo.  One of our ward members plays in the marimba group.  The younger kids played all kinds of percussion instruments (including trash cans and kitchen pans).  The big finale was Ravel's Bolero and they played the big Chinese gong.

For the encore, they opened the back of the stage which looks out to the ocean.  And they played "Under the Sea" from The Little Mermaid.

When we left the parking lot I said "Stop the car!!  There's the ocean!"  We hardly ever get to see it up close without a barrier wall.  There was even a little parking lot.

There were about 15 or 20 surfers out on the water.  It's been rainy and stormy all week, so I guess surf's up!

Congratulations to our niece Tina and her husband Kevin.  Their son, Lucas, just returned from his mission to Honduras.  

And our niece Ann's son has returned from Argentina.

Missionaries coming and going all over the place!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

August 23, 2015 - The Calm Before the Storm?

This little boy and his parents visited Tagajo Ward.  He was enjoying his snack (rice balls.)

We took Elder R for his driving test this week.  Here he is chatting with his new friend from Nepal.

Hooray!  He passed the test!

We went back to the Walbro factory on Thursday.  One of my students had gone to New York City (!) during the break.  We enjoyed hearing about his experiences in the Big Apple!  He enjoyed seeing the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building and Grand Central Station and eating pizza and lots of things.  And he brought me a little gift!

We have learned that our friends, the Taylors need to return home for medical treatments.  We've been trying to learn their duties so we can try to fill their shoes.  We will probably not learn to play the harmonica like Elder Taylor though!  They will be missed!

Lots of stuff going on at home:

Will & Sandy's anniversary.  Happy 14 years to them!

I'll keep using this picture until you send me a new one!

Also, Heather and Nate's 9th Anniversary!

Looks like a warm, sunny Arizona day!

Pretty little Amber turned 3!

Nolan turned 30 something

And our Daniel Francisco Duron was baptized!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

August 16, 2015

It has been another fun, interesting week.  On Monday, we went out to dinner with the Smiths and Taylors to celebrate my birthday.

Tuesday was our return visit to the dentist to get the top teeth cleaned.  And, we were treated to another performance.  This is a story board stage.

As the story progresses, the picture is changed.  She even told the story in English for us!

This week has been a holiday called Obon.  Everyone goes to visit the graves of their ancestors.  The factory at Kakuda was closed Thursday and Friday.  We noticed a lot of traffic on the roads.  Only two people came to our Eikaiwa on Wednesday (no children).

The Sakamotos invited the missionaries to their house for a BBQ

The Elders were working at the grill

And the Sisters made pizzas as fast as they could

The corn was from her garden

Then Sister Sakamoto showed us how to make sushi

They didn't look as fancy as the ones at the restaurants, but it tasted good!

All of the graves are decorated with beautiful flowers.

Friday we had our Sendai Zone Conference.  How did I not take any photos??  It was great though.  They all sang to the birthday missionaries from July through September.  I shared my Hershey Bar with our sisters because they had never had one!!

On Saturday, we drove out to the farmer's market.  It has been a while since we went.

They had lots of good fruits and vegetables.

And some weird-looking ones

We met a new friend, Brandon, from Jamaica who wants to come to church.

And our dear Sister Ishikawa came to visit at church today with her sister and mother.  It was great fun to see her again.

Our Abby turned 6 and started First Grade this week!

Little sister Chloe started Pre-School

Daniel turned 8!!

And, our favorite SIL of the day, Lamar had a birthday too!