Sunday, August 10, 2008

August 10, 2008

Dear Family & Friends,

There is a feeling of nostalgia in the air. First of all, it is my (Pat’s) mother’s birthday. If she were alive, she would be 103 years old. So we have been thinking about our parents and siblings and children and grandchildren. Family is so important to us—we love you and miss you all very much.

Second, we saw a broadcast of the Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square performing with the Osmonds. That certainly took us back in time as they did a lot of the old hits and showed photos of the Osmonds from the time they started performing 50 years ago!!! What a trip down memory lane that was!! And made us think of many of our friends that we have shared stuff with through the years: my old friends from Vegas and BYU, our friends from Colorado and Henderson and Glendale, and our new friends from Payson. What an adventure we have had to know and still be in touch with so many great people. We want you to know how important you are to us and how much we have learned and grown because of you. Anyway—enough of that!!!

This past week Jim has been busy (that’s not unusual) but new stuff is complicating things—the Church is asking us to use a new and different bank card than the ones the missionaries have used previously. Well, it doesn’t work the same, so Jim is having to figure out different ways (or the same old ways) to do what the old card used to do. Lots of fun!?!!

I have been helping Sister Hill and our Recorder, Elder Lee, in making copies of pages to put in the Blue Books that each missionary has. They contain a variety of different kinds of informational and instructional things that the missionaries need to have, and they haven’t been kept up as much as they should have, so I have been giving Sister Hill copies of the pages so that she can give them to the missionaries who need them. I have probably made about 1,000 copies in the past week, maybe even more!! Thank heavens we just got a new copy machine that works like a dream and has made life much easier here in the honbu!!!!

Our thought for today is: “Ofttimes the wisdom of God appears as foolishness to men, but the greatest single lesson we can learn in mortality is that, when God speaks and a man obeys, man will always be right.” Pres. Monson, General Conference Priesthood Session, April 1986.

We are sad today—last Sunday the Bishop of the Ward here was released because he and his family are moving, and a new Bishop was put in. We will surely miss this family—they have made us feel very welcome even though they speak no English. They have made sure we had translation equipment and have asked how we are doing and if we need anything. We have had a special time with their son-in-law. His name is Kenji Okubo and he is an MBA student in the Marriott Graduate School of Business at BYU. He has been back here in Tokyo on a summer internship with He asked for our help to help him improve his English in preparation for a presentation he had to present to some of the American executives who were coming to Tokyo. We started helping him back in May, usually every or every other week, practicing with him as he went through his presentation, correcting his English both written and oral. He was a hard worker (otskare sama des) and made improvements each time. He finally gave the presentation last week and they seemed to really like it. Now we had to say goodbye to he and his wife and two children as they fly back to America next Saturday in preparation to begin his last year at BYU. He will graduate next April. We feel so good that we have helped to make a difference in his life—he has certainly made a difference in ours!

Well, the Olympics have started, and we are lucky enough to be only 1 hour ahead of China, and Japan broadcasts some of the events, especially the ones that have Japanese athletes in them. So I am able to keep up with some of the competitions. I will admit to being an “Olympic-aholic” and am glad I can still see parts of it. Jim watches some and reads or does other things the rest of the time.

Well, our love to all of you—Jim & Pat

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