Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Stake Conferences in Osaka and Osaka North - May 2011

We attended 4 stake conferences in May. We got pictures with the stake presidencies and presiding general authority at two. Osaka Stake Presidency with Elder Choi who presided at the conference.
The Osaka North Stake Conference was also presided over by Elder Choi. Here we are with the stake presidency, Elder Choi and Elder Nakatsuka our Area Seventy. President Morii, third from the right, who is now counselor in the stake presidency, was my companion when we served as zone leaders in the Japan Tokyo South Mission 30 years ago.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Returning Group - May 2011

Last week we saw off our last group of missionaries before completing our three years of service here. It was a large group of 15 great missionaries.
Sister Smith, Elders Spohr, Probasco, Starks, Nielson, Kodama, Imi, Shinozaki, Kimura, McConnell, Wiser, Thayer, Bowman and Maeda.
Some the returning elders fill out forms and write final messages in the office before their farewell dinner.

We had the chance to meet Elder Spohr's family (who we have know for years from Tokyo) and Elder Slater's family.
Elder Wiser was also picked up by his family. His father served as our bishop in Tokyo several years ago.

Some of the elders enjoyed helping prepare the table for dinner at their farewell dinner.

Front row below- Sister Smith, Elders Nielson, Starks, Wiser, McConnell and Bowman.
Back row - Elders Slater, Shinozaki, Kimura, Imi, Kodama, Spohr, Probasco, Thayer and Maeda.

Congratulations everyone on a job well done!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Random Shots - May 2011

The new sisters all got aprons from Sister McIntyre. These are the last sisters we will welcome to the mission.

After 5 days in a row of zone conferences, we took the boys and the assistants out to dinner at our favorite Brazilian restaurant.

Delicious as usual.

Four missionaries got aprons from Sister McIntyre. Three traveling training assistants, Elders Kimura, Spohr and Slater and Elder Osaka who worked for several transfers in the office.

We celebrated Elder Camacho's birthday while he was passing through Kobe this past week. We had a big group there as it was transfer week and new missionaries were all with us.

Elder Camacho got a face cookie.

Service Project in Sendai Tsunami Zone - Ricky and James

This weekend James and Ricky travelled to the earthquake and tsunami devastated areas to help in the clean up efforts. They joined youth from the church in the Tokyo area in this service project. In this town, the residents still do not have running water and the sewers and gutters are clogged with mud and sewage and other debris. The boys spent hours shoveling the muck out of the gutters and into bags for disposal. A very dirty job.The following pictures show what is left of several communities and underscores the severity of the disaster. In these areas, all they could do is continue to sort and pile up all the trash and debris into big piles for future removal. There used to be homes here.

Piles of debris from destroyed homes.
Some homes were still standing and even had people living on the upper floors. But the bottom floors were gutted.

Homes were completely washed away from this area.

A photo album washed away by the waves.
Inside what is left of a house.
It looks like a war zone.
This car was washed into this cemetery and rests upon several graves.

The soil is covered with mud which has dried and cracked. It will need to be cleared before anything can be planted again.
Overturned ship in the middle of the road.
This used to be a ramen noodle shop.

James, Ricky, Curtis and Morgan wishing the ramen shop was still open.
Ricky and James stand in front of the closed train station in this village.
There is so much more work to be done in the affected areas. It is hard and dirty work, but must be done. There are still towns and villages that have not been cleaned up yet. The coastal regions will take some time to return to normal if they ever can.

Friday, May 27, 2011

New Missionaries Arrive - May 2011

We welcomed 12 new missionaries to the mission this week. They are a wonderful group!

This is last group we will receive before we complete our service here in Kobe.

Final Group of Tokyo Missionaries Return to Tokyo Mission

Today in Kobe we said goodbye to the remaining 17 Tokyo missionaries. It was regular transfer day and many missionaries were in Kobe to see them off and meet up with their new companions.
It was a happy reunion for many...
And sad good-bye's as well.
Through this experience many new friends were made.
Knowledge was shared and all were uplifted and benefited by the interaction of the past couple months.Lots of handshakes and hugs were exchanged.
Hearts were touched and lives were changed.
These are experiences that will not be forgotten. Both the Kobe and Tokyo Missions have certainly been strengthened by these unfortunate events in Japan.The Lord works in mysterious ways. And the work continues to move forward with more power and faith than before!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Birthdays in Japan - Sister Priddis and Morgan Hunsaker

Sister Priddis has a birthday recently and got an Apron and Face Cookie from Sister McIntyre

One of Ricky's friends from Tokyo, Morgan, visit and had his birthday here. He got a cookie too!
We also all went to eat at the burger pit, a great place for Kobe Beef burgers!