Sunday, January 4, 2009

January 4, 2009

Dear Family & Friends,


Thank you to everyone who sent us Christmas cards and letters, both regular and email. We are only part-way through reading all of them, but we are loving the memories of our friendship that they bring with them. And we are glad to know that you are enjoying our weekly emails.

This past week we had a special treat—our dear friends, Steve and Gayle Halversen and their son Zach, stopped by to visit us after enjoying Christmas with their son, Kimball, who is in the Air Force stationed in Okinawa.

So our word for the week is an old one: dai bo-oken (dye bo-oken) which means “great adventure.” And we had one!! On Monday, Sis. Hill took us to the airport in her van to pick the Halversens up. We took them to a giant ferris wheel where they got a good overview of the city of Tokyo and even saw Mt. Fuji in the distance. On Tuesday we went to the temple, walked around a nice Japanese park, went to the Tokyo Tower and enjoyed the 360 degree view from part-way up, walked the Shibuya Crossing (most people crossing an intersection at one time in the world), walked through Shinjuku Station (busiest train station in the world), and went home for a quiet dinner. Wednesday we took them to Asakusa to do some major shopping (Gayle) and see the temple, the Buddhas, and the grounds. It was pretty cold but we enjoyed it. Since it was New Year’s Eve, we stayed up late at the Hills to welcome in the New Year. To keep us awake, we watched a movie and actually missed saying Happy New Year until the movie was over at 1:00 a.m.!! Thursday we slept in and ate breakfast at 10:00 a.m. Then we took the Halversens to the airport by way of the trains. It went smoothly and we were able to visit a little before sending them through security. We had such a good time and loved showing our mission to some of our closest friends. Wish you could all come and hang with us. We can take a few days off to show you around!!

Well, we survived this past three weeks of non-stop mail. Packages would come through all day long—and one day alone we had 30 packages at one time!! WOW!!!!! Plus all the cards and letters. And then we thought after Christmas that that would die down. What we didn’t know is that the Japanese don’t send a lot of Christmas letters, but they do send New Year’s cards. So we had a lot of them go through our office. They are mostly postcards with the address and note on one side and a photo of the family and brief rundown of news. I liked the simplicity of it and it was fun to see all the photos of cute friends and families. So now maybe the mail will slow down a little!! (No, they can keep sending it—the missionaries look forward to it too much!!!)

Our thought for the day is: “And now, Israel, what doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the Lord thy God with all they heart and with all thy soul.” Deuteronomy 10:12. “I don’t worry too much about the future, and I don’t worry very much about the past. The past is gone, and you can’t change, you can’t correct it. The future, you can anticipate, but you can’t necessarily do very much about it. It is the present you have to deal with. Reach out for every good opportunity to do what you ought to do.” Pres. Hinckley.

Hopefully we will all make each minute count and do many good things that will bring lots of good memories. Life is what you make of it, make it the best.

We love you—

Jim & Pat

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