Thursday, March 31, 2011

Leadership Training in Kobe March 29-31, 2011

We had our biggest Leadership Training ever in Kobe this past week with 62 missionaries attending. Our numbers increased as we have added many missionaries from the Tokyo Mission to our ranks.
We studied the doctrines in the lessons and practiced teaching skills during the intensive three day training.
We had a wonderful time together.
We ate together.
We played together.
We smiled and laughed together.
We taught together.
We coached each other.
We listened to each other.
We learned together.

We evaluated each other.
We now have over 160 missionaries in the mission. This was a great chance for missionaries from different missions to work together and learn from each other.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Birthdays in Kobe End of March 2011

Elder Crapo, recently transferred from Tokyo, was in Kobe for training on his birthday and was treated to a face cookie from Sister McIntyre.Elder Maeda visited Kobe on his birthday to celebrate it with President McIntyre whose birthday was the same day.President got a face cookie too!The missionaries in the Kobe District decorated the office and had a small party for President McIntyre and Elder Maeda. Sister Julie McIntyre serving in Okinawa sent dad a cool T-shirt. The missionaries got president a pair of cool basketball shoes signed by each missionary in the district. President tried them on and wore them during preparation day in the office. Before the party, everyone had lunch together at the Burger Pit where they enjoyed delicious Kobe beef hamburgers and fries. It was a great preparation day in Kobe.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Family Day with James - Visit to Kinosaki, Miyazu and the Tango Peninsula for Onsen and Crab

Spring break for James and we took a short trip to the Sea of Japan to enjoy the hot springs and delicious crab which is nearing the end of the season. The area is located between the Maizuru and Toyooka Branches in the Fukuchiyama District. We left Monday evening and stayed at a little inn on the Tango Peninsula.
The coastline is beautiful. These small towns are mainly supported by fishing. The area is very famous for crab which is in season from about December through March.

It is very rural. This is the little one car train that runs along the coast in these parts.
The crabs are quite large! James was not watching and I had to jump in to try and save mom.

I was too late and Sister McIntyre was eaten by this mean crab near Mihama Beach.

Dad and James mourning the loss of mom.

Fresh crabs just off the boats. And we found mom. She escaped the giant crab!Rika got revenge on the giant crab as she devoured several of his smaller cousins that night.
It was all you can eat!
James tried this little one but did not seem to enjoy the insides. I decided to stick with the larger size legs and claws.
The hotel had a great bath, nice futons and cool Japanese yukata.It also had a veiw of the ocean from the top floor.
It was a short trip but a lot of fun. Japan has so many beautiful and fun places. There is also a lot of great food! We were back in Kobe by Tuesday late afternoon and it was back to work.

Maizuru "Hikiage" Port

On our recent trip to the Maizuru area we visited an historical site with significance to our family. Maizuru is a large port on the Sea of Japan side of Honshu. Today it is an active fishing port as well as a base for the Japanese Naval Self Defense Forces.

At the end of WWII the port was used as a repatriation point for Japanese families who had been living in China, Manchuria and Russia during the war. One of the closest ports to Korea and China, rescue ships traveled to the port loaded with thousands of Japanese who were left destitute on foreign soil when the Japanese empire fell and surrendered to the US. This is the dock where the refugees landed and began their repatriation to Japan. Sister McIntyre's maternal grandfather was sent to Manchuria with his family during WWII. He, like most young men at the time, was drafted into the Japanese military. He was sent overseas to work with his wife. It was while living there that Sister McIntyre's mother was born. At the end of the war, many of the families living in parts of China, Manchuria and Siberia were left to survive on their own as the Japanese army had been defeated and was powerless and destitute. There was no food and no way to get back to their homeland. While many of the Japanese families living there had befriended locals, it goes without saying that in general there were not kind feelings towards the Japanese who had invaded these lands and occupied them for several years. To make things worse, the Russian soldiers were not kind to the Japanese families as they came in and took over where the Japanese had once ruled. Many of the Japanese women dressed like men and boys and cut their hair short so the Russian soldiers would leave them alone.Many Japanese woman and children perished in China waiting to be rescued. This is a monument commemorating the arrival and repatriation of these Japanese back to their country. Sister McIntyre's grandfather helped his wife and two daughters (Sister McIntyre's mother and aunt) find a rescue ship and eventually make their way back to Japan. He, unfortunately could not make the trip and died of starvation in Dalian, China. War is a terrible thing and innocent people on both sides of a conflict are hurt and affected. Certainly many Japanese soldiers did unthinkable things to the people throughout Asia as the war expanded and Japan occupied these countries. But there were also many innocent Japanese caught in the conflict. Observation deck overlooking Maizuru port.

Displays at the repatriation museum in Maizuru. A photo of a rescue ship like the one Sister McIntyre's mother sailed on from Dalian, China to Maizuru, Japan.
Models of the various ships used for repatriation.
View of the arrival dock where Sister McIntyre's mother arrived as seen from the observation deck.
This map shows the various locations in China and Russia of Japanese cemeteries and grave sites where Japanese left behind are buried.
Mom boards an abandoned fishing boat in Maizuru.
In 1986, about 5 years after Sister McIntyre's baptism, her mother joined the church in Fukushima, Japan. President McIntyre, who was a teacher at the MTC in Provo at the time, was the teacher that taught the missionaries who went to the Sendai mission and taught her the gospel and baptized her. She currently is a member of the Fukushima Ward, Sendai Stake.