Sunday, October 19, 2008

October 9th through the 19th Summary and Osaka Kita Stake Conference

The past 10 days we have been making the rounds meeting and interviewing the missionaries in their various districts. We first started interviews with the missionaries in the Kobe Zone and conducted those at the mission offices. We then spent a day in Osaka at the Abeno church interviewing two districts there. The Abeno church (above) is in the heart of Osaka and is at least 40 years old. I have the exact date it was built somewhere.Above is a different angle. The van is the mission president's vehicle. Believe me it gets a lot of kilometers put on it.Here we are a little closer up at Abeno with some of the Abeno district missionaries. It looks like Sisters Sadler and Yamashita and Elders Stufflebean, Williams and Fruen are with us.

We also made a trip to the Mikunigoaka church in the Sakai zone for interviews. Below is a picture of the district standing in front of the church with Sister McIntyre. The church used to be a fire station. The big garage doors on the left are where the fire engines would pull in and park. They make a nice place for our van now though.

What would the week be without finding an inexpensive all you can eat restaurant with the missionaries. In Mikunigoaka, the district took us to a nice shabu shabu place for lunch and they showed us how much they could eat. It seems they really look forward to doing this once a month or so when we come. The missionaries live on a very conservative budget, but seem to save enough for a meal out as a district once in while.This past week we also made another trip to the Fukuchiyama branch. Here is a picture of the little church in a building we have rented out. We also took another picture of the Fukuchiyama Castle on the way home.

We have made Fukuchiyama a small zone consiting of two districts and 10 missionaries. It includes 4 small branches in the beautiful mountains between Kobe and the Sea of Japan.

Our week was topped off with a great Stake Conference in the Osaka Kita (North) Stake. The Stake President, President Kido, presided at the conference and he asked both Sister McIntyre and I to speak and participate in the two days of meetings. The theme of the conference was "becoming the light of the world" or "let your light shine." The main focus was on sharing the gospel so it was a wonderful missionary focused two days. On Saturday, I was asked to speak in the adult session as well as meet with President Kido and all the bishops and ward mission leaders in a priesthood leadership meeting. On Sunday both Sister McIntyre and I spoke in the main session and Ricky and James also attended with us. We are grateful to the stake presidency and all those others who treated us so kindly. We were given flowers to wear and provided with delicious meals between meetings. The missionary spirit is strong in this stake and we are seeing great blessings in each of the wards. Special thanks to Sister Kido and Tanaka for the meals and Presidents Kido, Matsubara and Tanaka of the stake presidency. Next time we need to take a picture with them!

Tomorrow Elder and Sister Evans arrive to start a mission tour which will consist of two combined zone conferences held on Tuesday and Wednesday. We are looking forward to being trained by a General Authority of the church.


Vanalee said...

Wow!! What an exciting busy time for all of you. I love hearing about all the things you are doing. I sure miss Ricky and Julie in seminary this year. Today we had a baptism... a sweet Japanese sister who has recently returned to Japan after living in the US. She was introduced to the church by the good example of some members in Michigan.

julie said...

You guys went to that shabu shabu restaraunt without me?! I need real food!!! It looks like its been a busy month, but keep up all the good work. I can't wait to go back and see all the new missionaries on the 24th. Tell the Evans I said hi!

Sally Sorenson said...

I was happy to find your website. Robert (Elder Sorenson)sent his email a few hours earlier than usual this week, and we missed the 1 hour window to send him the 4 pictures for the mission CD. Can we send them directly to you?
Sister Sally Sorenson