Friday, August 22, 2008
Erika left for Utah this week as she reports to the MTC in Provo, Utah on Wednesday the 27th of August. She has been called to serve in the Japan Sapporo Mission. We could not be more excited for her or more proud of her. Here she is with Julie last month.
And with mom.
She will finish her mission before we finish ours. We will be about half way done when she comes home in 18 months. We will miss her, but it will be great to have her serving the same time we are. We look forward to hearing from her and sharing experiences. She spent the last 7 weeks here with us and she spent a couple of those in the mission field with other sisters. She attended all our zone conferences and toured the mission. She is well prepared to serve her own mission now.
It is an added blessing to have her serve under President and Sister Daniels. They know each other well as he served as her Stake President in Tokyo when she was in high school.
Have a great mission Sister McIntyre. We love you!
Monday, August 18, 2008
Thanks to everyone! Sister McIntyre was very happy. What a unique card...
Again, it was great to have the whole family here. Julie and Erika are off to Utah on Friday and then it will just be us, the boys and 100 missionaries! The boys start school this week, the girls leave and we get 11 new missionaries (9 from the US and three from Japan). We are losing 9 that are completing their missions. It is shaping up to be a busy week.
It was also Sister McIntyre's birthday!!! See the next entry!
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Saturday, August 16, 2008
It is hot and humid here in Japan. It is the middle of summer and Obon time. Oh - bone is how it is pronounced. That is the summer holiday when Japanese traditionally visit the graves of their ancestors. There are various ceremonies and rituals associated with Obon, but for most Japanese today it is simply summer vacation time. Many people go back to their home towns from the city and visit relatives and honor their ancestors by cleaning the grave sites and offering flowers.
As this is the last week we are all together as a family for a while, we decided to take a trip to see the two areas farthest from the mission home, Tanabe and Shingu. They are located in Wakayama prefecture and both are on the coast. Shingu actually borders Mie Prefecture and the Nagoya Mission boundaries. We left Tuesday morning (preparation day for the missionaries) and drove down to Tanabe (about 3 hours by car). We did not schedule to meet the missionaries until 6pm (at the end of their prep. day) so we visited the nearby beach called Ogigahama until late afternoon. We all had a great time. It was a nice beach with white sand, clear warm water, and not too crowded.
A view of the village called Minabe from our small (and not so nice) hotel in Tanabe. We had some study time and prayers with the Elders in the morning and then we were off to Shingu. That is another 3 hour drive along the coast the whole way. It was very beautiful country. We stopped a few times for pictures and exploring.
Some of the creatures they caught. Hashigui Iwa at low tide. The tide came in on our way home the next day. As in the above picture and below.High Tide coming in.
Also, on the way home all the kids jumped in the water at this pretty little beach between Shingu and Tanabe and James and Erika were stung by jellyfish. Can you see the stings? They decided to catch the small critters and wanted to take them home. They caught two, but we decided that it would not be a good idea to take them home. Erika's knee got stung. They were cute little things, but packed a strong sting.
Above are the Shingu Elders (Elder Melluish and Elder Maeno) with our family in front of the little church.
Here is shot of the whole building. The church is right behind everyone. The missionary apartment is upstairs on the 2nd floor.
While in Shingu, we had a small fireside to which 3 non-members came. There are only 3 active members in the branch so that was an exciting thing for everyone. With our family and the missionaries, we nearly filled the room. The next morning we visited Sister Shimamoto who lost one leg and cannot come to church. The missionaries take her the sacrament each week. We also visited the Iwamoto family, who are less active and invited them back to church. We spent an evening with Brother Tsuboi, the most active member and one of his friends he invited to the fireside, Mrs. Wada. We have heard since she is willing to hear the lessons.
The trip was a lot of fun for our family. The purpose was to visit the missionaries and members in these small areas and learn how we can better grow the church there and support the small groups of members. We felt blessed to meet these faithful few, who despite small numbers, remain faithful and true. We all loved Shingu and Tanabe. Though it may look like we had a lot of fun (which we did), our goal was to bless the lives of the members and we are grateful we were able to accomplish that.
Here are a few more fun pictures!
Sunday, August 10, 2008
Saturday, August 9, 2008
Erika met Ricky in Tokyo as she went down to see some old friends for a few days. Julie was working in Tokyo and finished today. Her and Jeff Evans met up with Ricky and Erika and rode back here on the shinkansen. It is about a three hour train ride on the super express. (The picture above shows Julie Erika Ricky and Jeff)
Ricky looks pretty tired! This is the cake James and Elders Kunihiro and Christy made for him to welcome him home. Ricky said he has not shaved since EFY which was three weeks ago. We wish he had!!
OK- He looks a little more "Genki" here! After testing out the basketball court, he was off to bed.
Sister McIntyre and I are off to Toyooka Branch tomorrow morning to speak. It is three hour drive and the meetings start at 10am. The kids will all attend Church here in Kobe. It is just across the driveway! Monday Sister McIntyre and I will meet President and Sister Evans here in Kobe Then Tuesday we are taking a road trip and visiting Tanabe and Shingu in the farthest away part of the mission (Southwestern Wakayama Prefecture). We will take the whole family and Jeff with us. The Shingu Branch is not in a stake and is under the direction on the mission president. Currently one of our missionaries, Elder Melluish, serves as Branch President. He and his companion, Elder Maeno, are excited for us to make it down to their area. We will post some pictures from our trip next week.