Sunday, June 15, 2008

June 15

Dear Family & Friends,

Ohio go zaimas! (spelled like you say it, not the correct spelling) Good morning! How are you all doing?

We have had a very good week. Some frustrations, of course, but over all very good. We had a dai bo-oken yesterday in honor one of the missionaries birthdays and Father’s Day today—first we had a nice waffle breakfast at the mission home with the whole district (all 10 of us). Then we went to the Tama Zoo!! It is a great zoo with lots of fun animals. It is built on the side of a hill, much like the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs, CO., so you go up and down a lot. Some of the animals we got to see were a tiger, orangutans, zebras, giraffes, rhinos, chimpanzees, a Japanese pig (looked similar to the Javelina that live in Arizona), etc. We especially enjoyed the butterfly house (everywhere you looked, something was moving), and so many pretty colors!! And, the best was the Lion Bus. We drove around past about 20 lions total. Some were sleeping, some chewing on bones, some chasing each other, and some licking the bus (that’s right—licking! Apparently they put little pieces of meat on the bus so the lions come up and lick and bite us. This was almost scary!!) It was wonderful!! But we were exhausted by the time we got home (an hour trip by train and bus).

On Wed. we had our Zone Conference. The theme this time was on the Atonement of Jesus Christ. It was powerful as we studied scriptures about the Atonement, and then people told stories about how the Atonement had changed their lives or the lives of people they knew. Some were stories from earlier in their lives, others were stories from their missions. It is amazing the difference we see as people who have no purpose in life or who don’t know that they are children of God start to learn about the Gospel and the Plan and about Jesus Christ and his Atonement. There is an observable change in how they feel about themselves in how they dress and talk and act. There is the more subtle change in how they treat themselves and others. It is so amazing and powerful!! We are so grateful we can share this wonderful message and help people become happy and at peace with themselves and with God.

Two new words: “sodesune” (sodesnay) which means “I see” or “I understand” and

“aganai” (ah gan nye) which means “Atonement”

We love you all—Jim & Pat

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