Dear Family and Friends,
Ohiyo gozaimas!! (Good morning!)
This past week we have been gearing up for Transfer Week that starts today (Monday, August 18, 2008), so we will have a lot more to report when it is over. I am pretty much caught up with stuff, but poor Elder Hartzell is really struggling with the new financial card system for the missionaries. Reimbursements have become a big problem that he is trying to find the best solution for. Please pray for him!!
We had two dai bo-okens (big adventures) this past weekend. Friday night we were invited over to some friends’ house, a young couple in the Ward named the Josens. In their tiny apartment they had 7 missionaries plus an extra friend and served us some wonderful food called “okono miyaki.” It was so delicious!!! I don’t know that I could fix it at home as you have a special sauce you put on it. You fry some meat, then add some vegetables, then take them out, pour out a batter and put the meat and vegetables in it and cook it all together. Then serve it with mayonnaise and the sauce over the top of it. (At least I think that’s how it’s made as I couldn’t see very well from where I was sitting). I took brownies for dessert and they were a huge hit!!!
The second dai bo-oken was to the Shinagawa Aquarium. Now I know we went to the other aquarium at Sea Life Park, but this one had both a dolphin and a sea lion show, and we really enjoyed watching both. It was an extremely hot day and the humidity was horrendous. We had to keep buying bottled water that was cold (they don’t have drinking fountains here so you have to buy their water. The Kirin Company must make tons of money) and sports drinks, etc. in the vending machines. This aquarium also had a tunnel you could walk through where the fish are swimming all around you, and a shark tank. It was really quite nice, but super crowded. Because we went on a Saturday, when school was out, and during a holiday called Obone (when the people go to the graves of their ancestors to honor them because they believe they have returned to their graves to be with their descendents), so we had 3 strikes against us: there were tons of people there and we could hardly move in some places. Good thing we are not super claustrophobic!!!
What we have been able to watch of the Olympics has been great!! Though they have way more badminton, table tennis, judo, and wrestling than I like to watch, and not enough gymnastics and equestrian events and diving. And they really focus on the Japanese athletes—what’s up with that? Oh, yeah, I’m in Japan!!!!!
Our scripture for the day is: “Therefore now let your hands by strengthened, and be ye valiant.” 2 Samuel 2:7.
This applies not only to missionaries but to everyone, we all need to be strengthened and valiant.
We hope you are all doing well—and keep the emails coming!!
Love, Jim & Pat