Sunday, January 25, 2009

Jan 25, 2009

Dear Family & Friends,

We were able to enjoy going to the temple on Wednesday and feel the reverent, peaceful feelings there. Then we went to a park where we were supposed to be able to enjoy a huge greenhouse full of exotic flowers. However, the greenhouse was closed for renovation and wouldn’t be open until 2011. From the outside it looked a lot like the greenhouse we went through at Denver Botanical Gardens a couple of years ago, so we remembered that and how beautiful the flowers were. We did enjoy just walking around the park and taking a few photos which we will put on our blog.

By the way, we have downloaded the photos that we wrote about last week of the Mochi tsuki taichai or Rice Cake Making Party, and of the girl who turned 20 this year and had the Coming of Age celebration. For those who have forgotten, our blog is: (don’t forget the 3 small L’s in the middle).

Wed. night was our first Eikaiwa for this semester. We had a large class of 10 people in our little classroom, some former students and some new ones. We talked about giving directions on a map. One thing that is really hard here is that they don’t have street names for every street on all the street corners, so you have to tell people how to get somewhere by describing landmarks. It can be soooooo confusing. We put street names on our pretend map and taught everyone about things like “kitty-corner”, cul-de-sac, u-turn, up/down a street, skywalk, pedestrian crossing bridge, etc., trying to help them learn English words for these things.

Today Jim gave a wonderful talk in Church about personal revelation. He told the story of how, when we were living in Colorado, the Spirit prompted him to move our family to Las Vegas. He didn’t know why, just that we had to do it. I knew it had to be God telling him, as he wouldn’t even put Las Vegas on the list of possible places we might consider living in. So he spent about 3 months finding a job and getting us ready to move. And then, 2 weeks after we arrived at my mom’s house to live while we were looking for a house of our own, my mother went to sleep and slept for 3 days and we were so worried about her that we took her to the doctor. They never could determine what had happened, just that she suddenly became very weak and tired and never completely covered. With my sister’s help, we took turns taking care of her until she passed away two years later. I am so grateful he was living worthy to receive that direction from God and willing to “go and do” what God asked him to do.

Our thought for the week is: “And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father, ‘I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.” 1 Nephi 3:7.

Our word for the week is: yuki which means snow. Saturday we had our first snow here in Tokyo!!! Of course, it was only a few flakes at a time for about an hour, and none of it stuck, but it was pretty and fun to see! Today is beautiful and sunny, still cold but so much nicer than it has been.

We had a special event this week in our family—our daughter-in-law, Shanna, gave birth to a baby girl that she was the surrogate mother for. The real mom and dad are from Sweden and flew to Phoenix just after the birth and will stay with Joseph and Shanna for two weeks while Shanna nurses the baby and the couple prepares the baby’s passport. They named her Cornelia!! Shanna and Cornelia are both doing fine. CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL!!

Hope you are all well and happy—we love you,

Jim & Pat

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