Saturday, January 31, 2009

Jan 09 Wakayama Tour with Assistants

After the holidays and zone conferences, Sister McIntyre and I spent most of our time making the regular transfer interview visits. Our last zone was Wakayama. We travelled to Iwade with the assistants on the 28th and interviewed part of the zone there. After lunch, Sister McIntyre returned to Kobe by train and the assistants, Elders Bohman and Rasmussen, accompanied me by car to the farther locations of the zone. Periodically I like to visit these areas personally rather than have the missionaries come to me. We cannot do this all the time in all areas, but we try to balance our visits. We drove to Gobo from Iwade on Thursday afternoon and I interviewed Elders Harris and Neider there.Here are the elders in front of the Gobo church building. This is actually the back of the building. The church is on the second floor. Gobo is a smaller branch in the Sakai Stake.
Above is Elder Neider and I standing in front of the Gobo apartment. After interviews and an apartment inspection, we drove to Tanabe which is further down the coast of Wakayama. That evening I interviewed elders Christensen and Drake and the assistants helped teach their weekly English class at the church.
The next morning we took a picture in front of the Church. Tanabe has a nice little building chapel. It is also a smaller branch in the Sakai Stake. Thursday morning we had study and morning schedule with the elders and then departed to Shingu.
Here are the assistants and elders Drake and Christensen in front of the Tanabe apartment building. They live on the 7th floor with a great view of the ocean. The drive to Shingu is several hours from Tanabe. There are two routes, the coast or the mountains. We took the coastal route down and returned via the mountains. At one of the rest stops we found a governmental experimental breeding laboratory. They are breeding wild bore with domestic pigs. We took a picture or two and actually saw some inobuta (a cross between a Inoshii/bore and a Buta/pig). This was just something you do not see everyday!

Above is the mom and dad and here are the inobuta children. They do use them for meat. They were very friendly and cute though.
About half way down the coast is the Hashiguiiwa rocks in the ocean. The assistants took advantage of this famous photo spot.
Once in Shingu I had the chance to interview elders Fell and Schmidt and the assistants spent some time with their English class and on splits proselyting. Friday the 30th, in the morning we spent our study time together in the Shingu apartment then started our journey home. The drive back to Kobe can take anywhere from 5-6 hours.
Took a quick picture in front of the Shingu church before leaving.
On the way home on the mountain route, about lunch time we found and stopped at a little restaurant on the side of the road. It specialized in unique "local" cuisine. (picture above) The elders were brave and wanted to try some so we had a quick lunch consisting of wild bore meat (inoshishi donburi) over rice, wild bore meat curry, deer meat fried rice and to top it off some raw deer meat sashimi. A nice family owned and managed the place and we visited with them for a few minutes and were able to leave some information about the church. The food was good!
Sister McIntyre and I also attended the Sakai Stake Conference this month. Elder Stevenson of the seventy presided and Elder Bin Kikuchi, an area seventy, accompanied him. I spoke in the priesthood leadership session Saturday and the main session on Sunday and Sister McIntyre spoke in the Saturday evening session. It was a great conference. We also held a new member meeting with Elder and Sister Stevenson, Elder Kikuchi and President Sugimoto of the Sakai Stake after the meetings on Sunday. We saw several new converts we know that have joined the church since we arrived. It was great to see the work moving forward and the fruits of everyone's efforts. Time is moving so fast. January is gone and February begins. Some areas in the mission are quite cold. Toyooka has lots of snow. Spring will be here soon!

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