こんにちは、みんなさん!How is it going in your various places? It is going quite well here in Miyakonojo-shi, Japan.

Before I forget: Yes, my P-Day is on my Monday (your Sunday). We usually get on around 10:00 a.m. my time, so if you want to email me in time for me to read it that week it will have to be sent by 6:00 p.m. your time. However, if you are unable to do so that is fine with me. I am just glad to read everybody’s experiences, even if it is a week later!

Anyway, we had a great week this week. On Thursday we had a Zone Training Meeting in Taniyama, which is about a two-hour train ride from Miyakonojo. It was wonderful. Our mission is focusing a lot on teaching young people – high school and college students as well as young families – so a large portion of our training was focused on how to approach those different groups. We came up with quite a few ideas that should be fun to implement.

Elder Jensen and I are teaching an elderly couple (at least 80 years old; probably older), the Aratakes. They are great! The husband does not have very good use of his legs, so apparently he crawls around on his hands and knees when he works in his garden. He also has a speech impediment, so it can be somewhat difficult to understand him (especially since I cannot really translate Nihongo yet, anyway), but it is great to talk to them. His wife is tiny! She is definitely shorter than Mom, and isn’t even bent over with age, either. They also have a cat named Alma. I was not there for the first meeting with them (Elder Jensen and his previous companion met them the week before I arrived), but apparently the wife was quite happy to see the name Alma in the Book of Mormon. She usually gives us broccoli whenever we visit (sometimes other foods as well, like rice), and we have taken to calling it Alma’s broccoli. Alma the cat is very friendly and cute. He follows her around everywhere.

We also had another lesson with Miki chan last night. We are trying to meet with here parents and help them learn more about the church so they will give permission for her to be baptized, but she is very worried about how her mother might respond. Apparently her mother is a very strong-willed woman, and Miki chan is afraid of what she might say to (or yell at) us. I assured her that it will not matter because I will not understand what her mother is saying, anyway. 🙂 However, we would like it to go smoothly when we meet her parents, so we will need to put some great thought and prayer into how we should approach the situation.

Today we are going on a picnic with the Kuroki kazoku (family). They are the ones with whom we have been having Miki chan’s lessons (she is currently dating their son). It looks like it will be a nice day for picnic-ing; I will keep my fingers crossed. They are a great kazoku, and have been a very strong part of the branch here, but unfortunately (as I think I mentioned last week) they are moving this Tuesday! It is quite zannen (unfortunate). They will be sorely missed.

Speaking of the Kuroki kazoku and food, as I stated previously we usually have Miki chan’s lessons at their home, and then we have dinner with them afterward. Last night they cooked Yakinku (Japanese barbecue). It was amazing. There were three meats: beef, pork, and chicken neck (the last was good, but very interesting). You will be interested to hear that I ate some salad (with tomatoes) and fried mushrooms, bell peppers, eggplant, and pumpkin. I still do not like salad, tomatoes, mushrooms, eggplant, bell peppers, or pumpkin (unless the pumpkin is in spice bread; then it is nice), although most of those things I will eat in small chunks mixed with other foods (such as stir fry). However, mushrooms are not so good. I did eat them, though, and I have not yet died, which is good. 🙂

Here is a picture of (real) ramen:

It was good.

I am just about out of time. Here is a picture of me in front of a Sakura (cherry blossom) tree near our apartment:

This is a close up of the sakura:

This is the view from the front of our apartment (the building in the lower front is the church):

And this is from the back (the Sakura tree to the left is the one seen in the pictures above):

Well, I will let Elders Henrie and Smith use the computer now. Have a wonderful day, a superb week, and a hunky-dory year! 藍してます!


Madsen ちょうろ (Elder)


One thought on “Sakura

  1. I am trying to locate a Brother Kuroki that I taught 40 years ago while serving in Miyakonojo. I was just wondering if the Kuroki family mentioned might be Brother Kuroki’s family. I am just trying to reconnect. Thank you for any help.

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