Dear Family & Friends,
This last week was transfer week so we stayed close to home. We have 14 missionaries leave, including one of the Assistants to the President, Elder Innes. We will miss him a lot—he made us feel welcome when we first arrived and was always concerned about how we were doing. His mom, dad, and a brother came to pick him up and brought us a bag of Swedish Fish and a bag of Mars candy Mini Mix. That was so thoughtful and so welcome!! We had three other missionaries whose parents picked them us and they will tour around Japan before heading home. The missionaries who left were some of the hardest workers of the mission and will be sorely missed!!!
Another change was that Elder Muroi, our Commissary, has been transferred back into the field and Elder Murase is our new Commissary. He is also native Japanese and speaks English with less confidence, but tries hard and works hard. We still have Elder Olson and Elder Lee, but changes might come in August at the next transfer time. Our new Assistant is Elder Daniels from Washington state. He is very nice and pleasant to be around.
We hope to download the photos of Nikko today or in the next few days, but have been too busy to do it sooner.
Our word for this week is: otsukare sama des (oat skarday sama des) which means “you are a very hard worker and I respect you.” Otsukare is hard worker, sama is a word you would use to address someone more important than you and is used when talking about God, and des means “is” or “are”. We are glad to have wonderful family and friends who are “otsukare sama des!”
Love, Elder & Sister Hartzell (Jim & Pat)