Dear Family and Friends,
This last week we had several long days at the office. Sometimes I would stay and sometimes I would head home before Jim. Last Friday was not only end of the week stuff where we had to travel to Ikebukuro to two different banks and had lunch, then to a third bank on the way home, but they (Jim and Elder Iida) also had to prepare the month-end reports. So Jim came home with me at 6:00, had dinner, then went back to continue working, finally getting home at about 10:30 p.m. He doesn’t know what he will do when Elder Iida is transferred in less than 2 weeks and he will be on his own. There will still be two Japanese elders in the office, so if he or I have trouble reading anything, we can ask them for help.
Yesterday we went on our first adventure by ourselves. We traveled by subway to the Tokyo Temple (took 50 minutes and one train change) and went through a session there. Then we traveled by subway to Ginza (took about 25 minutes) where we hoped to find help at the Apple store, but they didn’t have what we needed. Then we came back home by subway (35 minutes) and transferred to the train (15 minutes). Of course we have to walk to all the stations and up and down lots of steps so we are surely getting our exercise. We are grateful for those ekis or stations that have escalators for going up. Here you stand on the left and people pass you on the right. There is only room for two people abreast so they are always full. The Japanese have built wonderful subway, train and bus systems so it makes it nice to get just about anywhere. We are learning to read the maps, and the more we do, the more we realize they have English everywhere that helps us get where we are going.
I would like to introduce two of our missionaries:
Elder Jacob Lee is my (Pat’s) trainer. He was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. The family moved to Provo, Utah, when he was 8. His mother is Japanese and a convert to the church when she was young. His father is from a long-time Mormon family with pioneer ancestors. They met at BYU-Hawaii. He is the oldest of three—one brother and one sister. He is a classical pianist who started learning when he was in Kindergarten. He loves to play the piano and I have heard a CD he made of a concert and he is very impressive. He also likes downhill skiing and video games.
Elder Takayuki Iida is Jim’s trainer. He is from Nagoya City, which is the third largest city in Japan. He is the eldest of 4 children, with one younger brother and two younger sisters. He was raised in the church. His mother joined when she was 16 and his dad when he was 19. He has training and has worked as a pharmacist for two years. After his mission, he will go back for 2 to 3 more years to get his PhD in Gene Therapy. He wants to do research. His hobbies are: eating out (he loves food and knows all the best restaurants), riding his motorcycle in the country, and playing billiards (what is the difference between that and pool?). He has a girlfriend waiting for him at home. He learned English in school, but learned how to speak it better on his mission.
These are both great young men and we are so glad we know them.
Elders Lee and Iida came over for dinner this evening. Afterwards Elder Iida shared his favorite scripture which comes from the Book of Mormon, the book of second Nephi chapter 18: it says “ Therefore, hold up your light that it may shine unto the world. Behold I (Jesus Christ) am the light which ye shall hold up – that which ye have seen me do. Behold ye see that I have prayed unto the Father, and ye all have witnessed.” He said it was his favorite because he learned it by observing his mother and how she served others. She was doing what Christ had taught and Elder Iida observed that when he was a boy and it has been a guide to him in his life. We believe that is a great principle of the gospel of Jesus Christ, we need to follow the examples Christ taught by the way he lived his life. Doing unto others what Christ would do even if they sometimes don’t even appreciate it. Christ is our light we need to reflect his light by our words and works with others around us.
We love you all and love getting your emails. Hope to hear from you when you get a chance,
Love, Jim & Pat