Saturday, September 24, 2011
It's been just over a year since we arrived in Japan. So much has happened and we still have months left. Since my last posting we arrived in Japan just before Typhoon Talas was scheduled to hit mainland Japan. We had shipped our car from Okinawa a few days early to avoid the bad weather, but apparently not early enough. The ferry pulled into a port near Nagoya for a week to wait out the storm. We didn't get much bad weather here in Fussa, but there were some deaths reported due to flash floods and mud slides. Then two weeks later Typhoon Roke rolled in (see picture above). It seems kind a funny to us to see how it was headed straight for Okinawa and then stalled, switched directions, and headed straight for mainland Japan. People here are commenting on us being "disaster magnets". We only had about 12 hours of heavy rain here in Fussa, but have read of large trees being toppled on yards at some nearby military bases.
We celebrated our birthdays in September. Elder Arnell turned 63 on Sept 13th and Sister Arnell turned 58 on September 16th. The Musashino District missionaries had a birthday party for us and we all went bowling after sharing rootbeer floats and games at the Kichijoji Ward building.
We have visited the three branches--Zama, Yokota, and Yokusuka--where LDS Military members attend. We were in Okinawa for five months and due to summer PCS (permanent change of station) moves there are a lot of new families as well as many old acquaintances that have moved on to new assignments. It almost feels like we are starting our mission all over again. We hope to get Institute classes started up again, at least in Yokota and Yokosuka. It was nice to visit with our mission President, Steve Albrecht and his wife, LeAnn and also the other Sr. Missionary couple, Elder and Sister Hobbs. We are the last of the missionaries to return that were sent away after the earthquake.
We did get notified that another military relations couple, Elder Michael and Sister Jo Johnson, will be arriving mid-November and will be serving down in the Yokosuka base area. We also know our approximate departure date for our mission--January 26, 2012. That's about four months from tomorrow!! I am sure the time will just fly by.