Dear Family & Friends,
Except for poor Jim slaving away in the Financial Office, this has been what I would call a “more normal week.” I have been able to catch up with things in the office. We had a baptism after church on Sunday (our third since we have been here!!), Office Staff meeting on Monday, Zone Leader Conference on Tuesday, Tokyo Zone Interviews on Wednesday, regular office stuff on Thursday, travel to Ikebukaro to do banking on Friday, clean and do laundry on Saturday plus babysitting two of Pres. & Sis. Hill’s grandchildren who are here visiting. This next week is preparation for Transfer Week, which is next week.
Our phrases for this week are greetings: Ohaiyo gozaimas – Good Morning, Konichiwa – Good Afternoon, Kon ban wa – Good Evening. (I might have already done these, but since my computer died, I don’t know what I have written and what I haven’t, Sorry). When we are walking around, if people look at you they will generally respond if you greet them. But if they are not looking at you, only about half will respond if you say something. Some are very open and friendly, most are more quiet and reserved. And it doesn’t matter what ages they are—this applies to everyone. Sounds like anywhere else you might live. But you always bow when you greet people—I am really getting used to it and will probably do it for awhile after our mission until I have been back in America for awhile. I find it quite nice and respectful.
We have been saddened by the earthquake in China and the Tsumani in Myanmar. We are so grateful for the Gospel which gives us peace and the Church which provides help in so many different emergencies. Of course, the places have to be willing to let people in to help. We pray that the people will receive the help they need.
Our good friends, the Halversens, are taking a group of people on a tour to Egypt and Israel, like the tour we did with them 12 years ago. We wish them well and will be reliving our most memorable trip as they are going to the places we got to visit. We will be forever grateful for the experiences we had in those places. And we loved our extra visit with our dear friends, the Dotans, who live in Rehovot, Israel. We hope to return again some day!
We have enjoyed the emails you have been sending us so that we can keep in touch with how everyone is doing. We love you all very much—
Elder and Sister Hartzell (Jim & Pat)