Monday, April 14, 2008

April 14 News

Dear Family & Friends,

This week has been really busy. Our missionary trainers have left us to do more and more on our own. So not only Jim has been staying late at the office, but so have I. Our regular hours are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., but not this last week. We have been staying until 9:30. And on Friday, Jim came home for dinner with me, then went back to work until 10:30 p.m.!! Poor guy was exhausted. There is also a lot to do to get ready for transfers this week—April 14th & 15th the missionaries who are done will go home; then on Wed., all the other missionaries trade around to different companions; and on Thurs. the new missionaries come (this time we are expecting 17 which is a lot!), and on Friday we train them and give them their new companions. I’ll let you know next week how it all went.

On Thursday Pres. Hill took all of us to Shabu Shabu again, this time to celebrate my birthday a week early as next week some of the missionaries will be gone from the honbu. All the good food and you cook it yourself on the table. !!! On Friday Jim & I went to Ikebukaro by ourselves for the first time and did just fine. You will laugh—we ate dinner at Subway! No kidding—and it was pretty good. It was just the same as the ones in America with a few different things such as no yellow peppers or Jalapenos. The menu wasn’t quite as extensive, but had a lot of the old faithfuls including my favorite, the Club. Saturday we went by ourselves to Hiro-o where the Area Office is which is our main headquarters for all of Japan, South Korea, and Micronesia (this is spread out the distance of the United States coast to coast, but has only 7,000 members of the church). We got to meet other senior couples who are serving here and it was fun to hear some of their stories. Some of them have been here for years (they live here because of the husband’s work), and some have been on their 2nd or 3rd mission here. Lots of nice people.

We had the sister missionaries over for dinner (there are two serving here in our district). Sis. McMurtry was born in Brigham City, UT, and raised near Kirtland, Ohio. She is the 5th of 7 children—3 brothers and a sister older, and two sisters younger. All the older ones have gone on missions to places such as California, Argentina, and the Canary Islands. She just graduated from BYU in Math Education and loves to teach. She did her student teaching in Payson, UT!! She played basketball in high school, loves other sports, camping, hiking, fun swimming, etc. Her mother teaches music and has different musical instruments at home so she plays the piano and cello.

Sis. Matsumoto was born in Fukuoka Prefecture. She has one older brother and one younger sister. She was raised Buddhist, but her parents changed from one temple to another, so she didn’t go to just one place. She joined the church when she was 21. Her sister joined, too, when she was 19. Her parents weren’t too upset about her but, under 20 is still under parent’s supervision and they were angry with her sister. She has worked lots of different jobs, but she wants to study interior design and learn about furniture especially. She loves to sing, write songs, play guitar. Also likes basketball, and to have fun and laugh and preach the gospel.

These are both delightful young women!

We finally were able to watch Conference this weekend. It was truly a wonderful experience! There were a number of talks that really touched us. The solemn assembly was especially moving. We can remember doing it for Pres. Hinckley in 1995 when it was in the Tabernacle. I was so excited to see Elder Christofferson become an apostle because I know him. I served with him in student government at BYU. He even sealed our son and daughter-in-law, Larry and Holly, in the Mt. Timpanogas Temple. He was always a great person so I am not surprised by his call, just pleased. Some other talks that touched me were Sis. Lant (Family Traditions of Righteousness), Pres. Eyring (the Church is both true and living), Elder Gerald Lund (opening our hearts to the Holy Ghost), Pres. Uchtdorf (small degrees of error, and faith of our father, and Father), Sister Tanner (I Delight in . . .), Elder Ballards (Young Mothers), and the several talks by Pres. Monson, (in the Priesthood session about making a difference in the world – the greatest force in the world today is the power of God as it works through men, and Sunday morning session where he spoke of following the Lords path that leads to eternal life, and not the dead end ones of man, and sharing the history of his grandparents, and his closing tender comments about his sweet wife), Elder Packer (the keys of the kingdom), Elder Bednar (How to make our prayers meaningful), and Elder Holland (God continues to speak today). Of course, all of them were marvelous, what great counsel!!!

Well, TTFN (that’s all for now—quoting Tigger), we love you,

Jim & Pat

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