Thursday, June 25, 2009

Our son, Ryan, with one of his most recent converts in Taiwan
Our daughter, Lauren (far right) with a recent baptism in Hong Kong
Sister Daniels and Shannon at the flower farms
A Buddhist Temple and Shrine in Hokkaido

The flower farms in Hokkaido
Elders Thurber, Watanabe, Tashiro, Nelson, Daniels eating lavendar ice cream
The missionaries at work
Hokkaido Flower Farms
Asahikawa Zone Activity and barbeque with Elder Mauai helping with the hot dogs

Asahikawa Zone Activity
We celebrated Elder Park's birthday after the Odori Zone DTM
Morning football with the Ebetsu Sisters: Left to right front row: Sisters Miyawaki, Kawachi, Mayama, Kaneko. Back Row: Elders Muscle man Gremmert, Dickson, Watanabe, Ogura, Nelson and Daniels
This was the first time that Sister Kawachi had played ultimate football. She is working on catching the football with her hands and not her head.
We did not let a little rain and some small puddles get in the way of morning exercise with the Odori District: Dickson, Ogura, Cambell, Watanabe, Nelson, Gremmert, Crompton, Furukawa, Sato, Hansen, Hosan, Daniels

After many years of faithful service, Elder Bin Kikuchi was released as our Area Authority Seventy in Japan. We hosted a dinner with the three Stake Presidencies, the District President, The Mission Presidency and our new Area Authority Seventy, Elder Nishihara

Friday, June 19, 2009

We welcomed four new Zone Leaders to our ZL Council meeting: Elders Williams, Senba, Park and Christian as well as one new AP, Elder Nelson. Elder Nelson is from Canada and is a little sensitive about being grouped in with the Americans. Front Row: Elders Lottermoser, Senba, Watanabe and Nelson. Back Row: Elders Mauai, Sakahashi, Williams, Yoneda, Park, Jankowski, Yoza, Christian.
We need to keep an eye on our Japanese missionaries and make sure we explain the proper eating protocol for American food. At ZL Council meeting, we had hot dogs and chips. Sister Daniels also made a chinese chicken salad. Before we could explain, all of the Japanese Elders had used the chinese chicken salad as a condiment on their  hot dogs. We had a similar experience with our sisters at breakfast. We did not adequately explain that the picante sauce was for the eggs and the syrup was for the pancakes.
We start our ZL Council meeting on P-Day so we can get a little basketball in. You can see how Elder Nelson aggressively hand checks.
We also have a traditional best ball park golf tournament as part of our ZL Council activities.

Every once in a while, we need to include some pictures of our family. Eli turned one in May and is happy living with his parents in Santa Monica
Lunch with some of the sisters after transfer. It was the first time to eat soup curry. From left to right: Sisters Kyoda, Uchida,Ogita, White, Matsumoto, Tsuji
Most of our missionaries need to transit through the main Sapporo Train Station on transfers. It provides a short opportunity for missionaries to visit. Front Row: Elders Thurber and Naganuma. Back Row (LtoR) Elders Weloth, Lazenby and Christensen.
Of our 20 missionaries, 17 are from Japan. Sister Hosan is from Mongolia and we have two from the USA. In this picture - Sisters Uchida, Hosan, Ogita, Mimaki, Hansen
Elders Crompton, Allen and Todd

Elders Ogura, Urata, Senba, Fry, Sato and Brother Unamoto

Monday, June 15, 2009

For the past 17 years, Sapporo has hosted a dance festival with over 10,000 participants. The Yosakoi festival last for about five days and is one continuous parade of synchronized dances with all of the participants wearing similar costumes. Unfortunately it rained on Saturday when we went to Ohdori Park to watch it but we still enjoyed the event.
Shannon will finish 9th grade at the Hokkaido International School this week. She will depart for the States on the 27th of this month. She has decided to spend her Sophomore year in Santa Barbara and will be living with our friends, the Eltons. We will miss her but we are excited for her to ride her horse again and experience all of the activities that Santa Barbara offers.

President and Sister McArthur from the Japan Missionary Training Center traveled to Sapporo this weekend. He was speaking at a fireside in the Atsubetsu Ward. We then hosted a small meeting with our Japanese missionaries who had gone through the JMTC to seek their opinions on what could be improved to assist in their preparation for entering the mission field.

We hosted a meeting on Sunday for our Single Adult leaders in Sapporo. We are establishing an Outreach Program targeted at the Single Adults. The idea is to have multiple activities each week for the SAs that they can bring their friends to. We also hope that the missionaries investigators will be integrated into the efforts and that we will see an increase in missionary activities. We were informed that we should expect around 9-13 people for dinner. Terry planned accordingly. You can imagine our surprise when 26 people showed up. It was a great turn out and we are excited to launch the program in Sapporo. We then intend to launch it in Hakodate, Obihiro, and Asahikawa.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Shannon decided to try early morning seminary out with the students from our home ward in Kotoni.
It is always sad to say goodbye to our missionaries. We lost Elder Muratta (who was one of our previous APs), Elder Handy (ZL), Sister White and Sister Ogita, Elder Nielson (ZL) and Elder Shrack (previous AP). They were wonderful missionaries. Sister Ogita's parents pick her up and participated in our last supper and testimony meeting. We were able to have dinner with Elder Nielson's parents last night. His father has worked with my brother, Ron, for about 25 years.
We immediately introduce our new missionaries to our morning exercise. We played ultimate frisbee one morning and basketball the next. On the front row from left to right: Sisters Kyoda, Nishimuro, Uchida and Arae. Back row: Elders Nelson (our newest AP), Gremmert, Raymond, Watanabe and Akasaka
Our office staff, trainers and new missionaries. Sister Uchida is companions with Sister Kyoda in Shin Kotoni, Sister Arae is companions with Sister Nishimuro in Eniwa. Elder Lazenby (3rd from right is companions with Elder Weloth in Suehiro. The rest of the missionaries are our office staff

We received three new missionaries this transfer. Elder Lazenby is from Yucaipa, California. He is a convert to the church and dreamed of serving a mission to Japan. Sister Uchida is from outside of Tokyo. Her family are all active and her father is serving as a Bishop. Sister Arae is also a recent convert to the church. She joined the church about two years ago, studied English at BYU ESL and decided to serve a mission while she was living in Utah. We had a wonderful testimony meeting with them and they will excellent missionaries.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Elder and Sister Bednar visited our Mission in April. They stayed three days in Hokkaido and presided at the Asahikawa Stake Conference.
Our Mission Conference with Elder and Sister Bednar

Asia North Mission President's Seminar. Front Row L to R: President Hill (Tokyo) Elder Stevenson, Elder Evans, President Goo (Korea) President Iwaasa (Fukuoka). Back Row: Brother Rich (Director of Temporal Affairs) Elder Marker (Area Presidency Executive Secretary) Presidents McIntyre (Kobe), Tateoka (Sendai), Traveler (Nagoya), Daniels (Sapporo), Jennings (Korea Pusan), Burton (Seoul), Dowdle (Guam), Isa (Hiroshima), Perriton (Korea Dae Jung)

Friday, June 5, 2009

Morning exercise (ultimate football) with the Shinkotoni District and grandsons. From left to right: President Daniels, Easton and Tyson Merrell, Elders Suzuki, Watanabe, Akasaka, Hilton, Sisters Kyoda and Miyawaki, Elders Todd and Gremmert.
Odori and Atsubetsu Zone Conferences. From Left to Right: Sisters Sato, Matsumoto, Nishime, Hosan, Mayama, Kawachi, Makise, Furukawa, Kyoda, Ogita, McIntyre, Kaneko, and Miyawaki. Sister Nishimuro directed the choir and Sister Tsuji played the piano.
P day activity with the Obihiro Zone. Park Golf is unique to Hokkaido and a wonderful way to spend a p-day. Left to Right: Elders Watanabe, Raymond, Dadivas, Lawler, Hattori, Williams, Shrack, Geslison, Daniels, Lottermoser, Sisters Hansen and Mimaki, Elders Ogura, Nakashima, Muratta, Kokusho, and Sato.
Easton posing in President Daniels' office
Morning basketball with  Easton and Matt Merrell and the Kotoni District. From Left to Right: President Daniels, Easton and Matt Merrell, Elders Lemme, Nakama, Geslison, Sisters Tsuji and McIntyre and Elder Christian.
The Nippon Ham Fighters are the professional baseball team that plays in Hokkaido. They won the world series of Japan two years ago.
Our oldest daughter Jordan with the rest of her family (Matt, Tyson, Easton and Brennen) visited us for almost two weeks in June.