Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Hawaii and Jet Lag

I arrived in South Dakota June 20 with basically no jet lag! Usually coming to the US from Japan is worse than going the other way. This time I seem to have found a cure, spend a day in Hawaii on the way to SD! I got to live Tuesday two times, the second time in Hawaii. That was a great place to be if you have to live a day over again! I guess two overnight flights on which I was completely exhausted causing me to get 3 or 4 hours of sleep helped with getting set on the right time once I got here.

I was planning to just spend the day at the beach in Hawaii. But, once I got there I decided to go to Pearl Harbor. My grandpa was in the Navy, so in honor of him, I spent the day at the Arizona Memorial, climbing around on the Bowfin submarine, and at the submarine museum. It was a good day and I enjoyed learning more about the history around that fateful day in 1941.

On the way back to Japan I only have 2 hours in Hawaii so I won't be doing much sightseeing. I will lose a day going that way this time. Hopefully I will recover from jet lag as quickly going back!

Thursday, June 14, 2007


Today my grandpa went to be with Jesus. I am listening to Selah's Greatest Hymns CD right now because my grandpa loved hymns. He used to be the song leader at their church when my mom was little-before the time of worship leaders who got paid. Grandpa loved Jesus.
When we were little my grandparents lived in Alaska so before I was two we got to ride in a plane and go visit them. I, of course, don't remember that visit. But, I do remember the next two times. I also remember that my grandparents traveled all over the world learning about new cultures and places. Maybe that is where I got my desire to travel and explore the world.
Grandpa worked hard. I don't know what it was like growing up in his house but it seems he worked hard to provide his family a good life. We always lived far away so just got to visit them occasionally. I remember when I was in third grade my mom's whole family came for Christmas-thanks to my uncle's wedding in Minnesota days after Christmas. We had just moved into a new house and my mom got to be the proud hostess-although knowing her now I am sure she was a nervous wreck, right mom?:) I got a watch with a white band and one of those lifesaver books that were so popular back then. I must have gotten other stuff too because I remember that my stocking was overflowing. But what I remember most is that Grandma and Grandpa walked to my school in the snow to walk home with my sister and me. My grandma called my grandpa "Pa" except I thought she was saying "Paul." It was the first time I heard his name, I thought. I am not sure how long it took me to figure it out, but for quite some time I thought his name was Paul-it is WIlliam!
It seems every time Grandma and Grandpa came to visit us in SD there was a storm. When I was in maybe kindergarten or first grade they came for Easter and we had a blizzard. There was so much snow we couldn't go out the backdoor. And, I think church was cancelled. My aunts hid the colored eggs for my sister and me to find for hours. We thought this was great fun! Apparently, they were quite bored with this game! Then there was the time they came at Christmas. We had a lot of snow that year, too, but we plodded up to the Cities for the wedding and then got snowed in up there! Sometime around junior high years they came for Thanksgiving. My grandma had a horrible nose bleed and had to go to the hospital. I think she probably thought the doctor was going to ride up on his horse. I think it was that Thanksgiving they got snowed in, too. I guess they should have come in the summer more!
If you have read this far you must be a relative! Thanks for walking down memory lane with me. Grandpa will be missed just as Grandma is. However, we know they are rejoicing with Jesus in a place where their hearts and bodies are not sick.

Saturday, June 9, 2007


This week we had our annual missionary summer conference, four days of fun, business, study, and fellowship. This year we met in an area known for its pottery. Our speaker is a missionary who studied art and shared with us about the Potter and the clay weaving in how to make pottery. Then one afternoon we went to a shop and made our own pottery. It was lots of fun! We got to use the wheel or make something all by hand. I wanted to make square plates so I rolled them out like I was making pizza. They let me make a cup on the wheel with the left over clay-we had enough clay to make two things. We also visited a vinegar museum and a Coca-Cola bottling company.

There were sweet times of fellowship and prayer. And, of course, we ate a lot! We saw old slides of the current missionaries during their first years here in Japan. Lots of fun and laughs! The final night was the power point seminar, everyone with laptops out learning how to make slides, instead of going to develop them! Another entertaining night!:) We were successful, though, in learning a few new tricks which will be useful!

Monday, June 4, 2007

Ten Years and Counting

Yesterday I went to Tsu for the Joy Chapel 10th birthday party. (Going to Tsu takes about two and a half hours by train.) Joy Chapel is a bilingual worship service that was started in 1997, obviously. I was a short term missionary at that time, now known as a defined term missionary (DTM). We had lots of fun planning these services and trying to tell the Bible story in as many creative ways as possible so that some might understand what God was saying through His word. The pastor or one of the deacons of the Tsu church always shared a message in Japanese and we did just about everything else in English.
At the birthday party yesterday a couple shared their testimonies. She became a Christian as a teenager and has been a regular Joy Chapel attender since the beginning. She met her husband at work and asked him repeatedly to come to church with her. He finally relented when she invited him to Joy Chapel-it was in the evening and all of the other activities he was usually involved in happened in the mornings or afternoons. Actually, he came almost from the beginning in 1997. In 2001, he finally decided it was time to answer the door of his heart and let Jesus come in. They were married in October. Now they are expecting their second child and are doing their best to raise their children in a Christian environment, living their faith together as a family.
Also at the party we had balloons, cake, pizza, and prizes. Above is a picture of two of the little girls helping draw numbers for the prizes.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Inconvenient Convenience

Next week is our missionary summer retreat. I am part of the planning committee and one of my jobs is to make muffins for breakfast one morning. So, earlier this week I decided to make the muffins and freeze them, one less thing to do on Monday before leaving. I made one batch in the afternoon and then around dinner time made the second batch.
I was feeling very proud of myself for making dinner-actually cooking-and making muffins, all to be ready about the same time. Can anyone say "Pride comes before a fall!"?
I have a wonderful oven, a gas oven I got when I moved to Kyoto. I usually turn the gas valve on before using it and off after I finish. Since I had already used my oven that day the gas was already turned on. Oh, one more thing, the oven also has a microwave feature.
So, about halfway through the 18 minute baking time I was thinking that I hadn't heard the gas kick in but I knew it was turned on. I listened for a few seconds to see if I could hear it and noticed that the oven door was covered with condensation. I had never seen that happen before. Finally, I noticed that I had pushed the microwave button instead of the oven button when starting up!
I ended up with muffins as hard as rocks and had to make yet another batch!
Sometimes modern conveniences turn out to be inconvenient-due to user errors!