Saturday, May 30, 2015

Coconut Lime Chicken

I made this juicy chicken recipe from Menu Musings of a Modern American Mom after wanting to make it for a while now. I was afraid to because it has coconut milk and Sabrina will not eat anything with coconut or coconut flavor. So I just kept that ingredient a secret when she asked what was in it. And guess what. She loved it. We all did. Lucky for me she never reads my blog. Unfortunately, I left the serrano pepper out, but I bet it tastes great with it. I grilled the chicken instead of pan searing it.

Coconut Lime Chicken

1 (3 lb.) pkg. skinless, boneless chicken breasts
3 T. canola oil
Zest of 1 large lime
1 t. cumin
2 T. soy sauce
1 1/2 t. kosher salt
3 T. sugar
2 t. curry powder
3/4 - 1 c. canned coconut milk
Juice of 1 lime
1 serrano pepper, finely minced or cut into thin slivers, optional
1/4 c. chopped fresh cilantro

Slice chicken breasts in half, as if you were butterflying them.  Place them in a gallon zip top bag and flatten them uniformly with a meat pounder.   

In a bowl, add all of the marinade ingredients together:  oil, lime zest, cumin, soy sauce, salt, sugar, curry powder, coconut milk, lime juice, and Serrano pepper, if using.  Pour the marinade over the chicken in the zip top bag, squeeze the air out and allow to marinade at least 30 minutes, or preferably up to 2 hours in the fridge. 

After marinating, grill the chicken over moderately high heat in a pan with a bit of cooking spray or canola oil in it.  Get the pan really hot before you add the meat.  You want it to sear.  Allow to sit without moving it for several minutes on each side until just cooked.  The time will depend on the thickness of the meat.  While cooking the meat,  add the marinade to a small saucepan and bring to a full boil for at least 2-3 minutes.  This is sufficient to kill all of the bacteria in it.  Or you could double the marinade, divide in two, and just toss the part that you used for the chicken. 

Serve the chicken and a drizzle of the sauce over rice with chopped cilantro and fresh lime wedges. 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Reeni's Southwestern Potato Rounds

Oh, yummmmy! Seriously. I made these as a side dish, but they would be great for a party or just about whenever. The recipe is at Cinnamon-Spice and Everything Nice so go check out all her great recipes. I accidently bought mozzarella instead of cheddar so I used some of that and some of a Mexican blend I had. I also used fresh tomatoes and canned green chilies. I'm glad I have a little leftover because I'm having more today!

Reeni's Southwestern Potato Rounds
3 large Russett potatoes, sliced into 1/3-inch to 1/2-inch thich rounds
2 T. olive oil, divided
Salt and fresh black pepper
3 slices bacon
2 T. diced onion
1 c. canned black beans, rinsed and drained
1 c. corn
1/2 c. diced tomatoes and green chiles, drained
1/2 t. chili powder
2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
Sour cream
Green onions, chopped

Preheat oven to 400°. Lightly grease 2 medium-sized baking sheets with olive oil and lay the potatoes out in a single layer. Brush the tops lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake until fork-tender 25 - 30 minutes.
Line a small baking pan with foil and spray with nonstick spray. Lay out the bacon and bake about 10 minutes or until crispy. Remove to paper towels to drain and crumble when cooled.
Meanwhile add a tablespoon of olive oil to a frying pan set over medium-low heat. Add the onion, beans, corn, tomatoes and chili powder to the pan. Cook, stirring often about 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Let cool.
When the potatoes are fork tender remove from the oven and sprinkle the tops lightly with about half the cheese. Spoon the corn mixture over the tops. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top of each one followed by a sprinkle of bacon.
Preheat the broiler with the oven rack in the center. Place the potatoes in oven until the cheese melts and gets a little toasty about 5 minutes, checking often.
Serve with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of green onions, if desired.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Great Week

Alex didn't send his regular kind of email since he was able to go have a fun p-day. In his letter to me, he answered a few questions I had.
I am studying in Helaman right now, because our mission president has asked us to read a certain part in preparation for an upcoming meeting we have. In companion study, we have to recite some scriptures by memory in both Japanese and in English, and we read from the missionary handbook for ten minutes each day per our missionary president's request. We also share what we learned in personal study, and prepare for any lessons/go over the day's plans. The language is coming along well, and I actually translate for our recent convert every now and then. It is weird to think that I can think in both languages, and that when I get home none of you will understand Japanese. 
Then his letter to all:
I unfortunately don't have any time to email home to all of you this
week, because the sister missionaries want to do a district p-day
activity, and we need to catch a train in not too long from now, so I
need to get going in a bit.

I can say that this week has been full of stuff, and that I have been
on my feet and working until the moment my head hits the pillow. Thank
you all for your support and love!

The kanji of the week is 牛乳,  pronounced "gyu-nyu" and means milk from a cow.

Love you all from the bottom of my heart, and I pray for you always.


Elder _____

Later he sent these photos with no explanations or even the name of where they went. It looks like it was a good day! He told me that he took the panorama and the video at the end, but the others were from the other missionaries. I'm glad he got them!


Sunday, May 24, 2015

"The Future is as Bright as Your Faith"

I had the opportunity to give a talk in sacrament meeting today and was excited that the topic was one that I could use so many of my favorite quotes. If you didn't know, I'm a quote collector. It's cheaper than collecting antiques, you know? I actually used parts of some of my old blog posts in it, but you probably won't remember even if you read them in the past, so I'm sure it's okay.  

In 2009 April General Conference, President Monson gave a talk titled "Be of Good Cheer" and was speaking of discouraging things like the lagging economy, natural disasters, deteriorating morality and personal trials we are experiencing, then made this statement: “My beloved brothers and sisters, fear not. Be of good cheer. The future is as bright as your faith.”
Can our faith really determine our future?
After Brother P. gave me the topic, I mentioned it in a letter to Alex (my missionary son) and he sent me this thought. "In psychology, there is a phenomena that occurs (I can't remember what it's called) where, for example, if you are going to shoot a basketball and you think, "don't miss," then you're more likely to miss; on the contrary, if you think, "go in," you're more likely to make it. The same thing applies to other thoughts as well; if you keep a positive attitude as in through faith-things are more likely to turn out brighter.
This is true and is an important concept that we could talk about for quite a while. When we go through trials, we can become stronger if we choose to be positive and learn from them, or we can become angry and turn away from God. Trials themselves do not make us stronger. Our faith, or lack of it, determines how we will think and act and those decisions, as President Monson has said, determine our future. That faith that Pres. Monson is talking about though is not just happy thoughts and correct self-talk. Our faith must be in Jesus Christ, the atonement, Heavenly Father and His promises, timing and will.
Sometimes we think that if we have believe what we want to come true will come true, that is faith. My freshman year at BYU I had a roommate who was in a wheelchair, paralyzed when she was very young. One day some men came to give her a blessing to be healed. After the blessing, they kept telling her to get up and walk. She tried and tried, but could not walk. They chastised her, saying that she must not have enough faith. Unfortunately, they did not understand that, while Heavenly Father has the power to heal any infirmity, it may not always be His will to do so. Aligning our will with His, even when, or especially when, it isn’t what we would want, is having faith.

Elder Richard G. Scott, “Trust in the Lord,” Ensign, Nov 1995   "To exercise faith is to trust that the Lord knows what He is doing with you and that He can accomplish it for your eternal good even though you cannot understand how He can possibly do it. We are like infants in our understanding of eternal matters and their impact on us here in mortality. Yet at times we act as if we know it all. When you pass through trials for His purposes, as you trust Him, exercise faith in Him, He will help you. That support will generally come step by step, a portion at a time. While you are passing through each phase, the pain and difficulty that comes from being enlarged will continue. If all matters were immediately resolved at your first petition, you could not grow. **Your Father in Heaven and His Beloved Son love you perfectly. They would not require you to experience a moment more of difficulty than is absolutely needed for your personal benefit or for that of those you love."

Faith is not only believing that Heavenly Father exists and that Jesus really did suffer and die for each of us. It is knowing that our loving Heavenly Father knows us and sees us always. He is always aware of our heartaches and our joys, our weaknesses and our efforts to progress. The more I learn and grow in the gospel, the more I can see His hand in my life, especially during the most difficult times. Yet sometimes fear instead of faith is my first response.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, “‘Come unto Me’,” Ensign, Apr 1998,  “The Lord has probably spoken enough such comforting words to supply the whole universe, it would seem, and yet we see all around us unhappy Latter-day Saints, worried Latter-day Saints, and gloomy Latter-day Saints into whose troubled hearts not one of these innumerable consoling words seems to be allowed to enter.”

(Me) There is so much we have to learn! We have the fullness of the gospel, but we don’t all always seem to let that fullness seep into our souls completely. We believe parts of it, but misunderstand or only have partial faith in other important aspects. Otherwise, why would there be so many of us who are unhappy and discouraged? Trials are part of this life and we all have them, but Heavenly Father never leaves us alone in those trials. It is up to us if we are to come unto Christ and allow his love and peace to fill us even in difficult times.
Elder Holland went on to say: “I submit to you that may be one of the Savior's commandments that is, even in the hearts of otherwise faithful Latter-day Saints, almost universally disobeyed; and yet I wonder whether our resistance to this invitation could be any more grievous to the Lord's merciful heart. I can tell you this as a parent: As concerned as I would be if somewhere in their lives one of my children were seriously troubled or unhappy or disobedient, nevertheless I would be infinitely more devastated if I felt that at such a time that child could not trust me to help, or should feel his or her interest were unimportant to me or unsafe in my care. In that same spirit, I am convinced that none of us can appreciate how deeply it wounds the loving heart of the Savior of the world when he finds that his people do not feel confident in his care or secure in his hands or trust in his commandments.”   

Many times when I start to feel hopeless, I ask myself a simple question. “Do you believe or don’t you?” Since I’m talking to myself, I know what I mean. Do you believe that the atonement is enough? Do you believe that Heavenly Father keeps His promises? Do you believe that you are not alone? Do you believe that you can live in the Celestial Kingdom with your Heavenly Father someday? Just asking myself that question, “Do you believe or don’t you?” has jump started my hope again each time because I do believe.

My former stake president, President B. said in a stake conference,  “If God allows a trial to continue despite faith, prayers and blessings, then maybe God, who know you and what you need, may just be trying to use that trial to save you."

How can we expect to develop the Christ-like attributes of patience and long-suffering if we do not have to wait for resolutions to problems or suffer long?
Dallin H. Oaks, "Spirituality," Ensign, Nov 1985  "Seen with the perspective of eternity, a temporal setback can be an opportunity to develop soul power of eternal significance. Strength is forged in adversity. Faith is developed in a setting where we cannot see what lies ahead."

Although we know that we can live again with our Father in Heaven and with our families, we cannot see what lies ahead in this life and sometimes that is scary for us.

In "Be of Good Cheer," Pres. Monson read a part of a poem called “The Gate of the Year”
And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:
“Give me a light, that I may tread safely into the unknown!”
And he replied:
“Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God.
That shall be to you better than [a] light and safer than a known way.”

Sometimes I have that mixed up and think that if I could just see the way ahead, I would feel safe and secure, but as the poem says, walking hand in hand with our Heavenly Father is even better because He is the perfect guide. We are blessed to have the knowledge of the plan of salvation. When we focus on an eternal perspective instead of our current pain or trial, we can be lifted up and see a glorious future. The atonement makes all things that are wrong, right.
To have faith means that we believe that the atonement is enough. There are several parts to the atonement. One part is that Jesus Christ suffered for our sins that we may repent, be made clean, and live again with the Father.

President M. said in our last stake conference, "Repentance is a call to be happy. We can only receive blessings that our Heavenly Father has for us if we've repented."
When we repent we exercise our faith in the atonement, can be happy, and will be worthy of blessings waiting for us.

Another part of the atonement is that Jesus felt our sorrows, sicknesses, pains and heartaches so that he may know how to succor us. Alma 7:12 ...and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.

My favorite meaning of succor is “to run to”. Even though I can’t see him, I can just imagine at times when I feel especially burdened that Jesus is immediately aware of my heart and he comes running to be with me and to lift me. *The enabling power of the atonement can strengthen me to be stronger than I am alone and has helped me do things that I know I would not have been able to do. That power is real.

We are sent here to experience joy and happiness, but also trials and heartaches, but we are not sent to do it alone. Besides the Savior, one thing that has helped me is my patriarchal blessing and the promises that are there for me if I remain faithful.

Pres. Thomas S. Monson, Oct. 1986, "Your Patriarchal Blessing: A Liahona of Light"    "Your blessing is not to be folded neatly and tucked away. It is not to be framed or published. Rather, it is to be read. It is to be loved. It is to be followed. Your patriarchal blessing will see you through the darkest night. It will guide you through life’s dangers... Your patriarchal blessing is to you a personal Liahona to chart your course and guide your way."

Another thing that has helped me through difficult times is the covenants that I have made and keep. It takes faith to keep those covenants and it increases our faith when we do. I know that Heavenly Father is bound when I keep those covenants. I love that word bound in this sense. Being bound to Him is very reassuring and helps me see a better future. I’m grateful for the strength that comes from keeping my covenants.

Recently, I had the opportunity to help at BYU Women’s Conference and hear a little of the opening session.

Sis. Wendy Watson Nelson “There is nothing more important than making covenants with God and then keeping them with increasing precision because making covenants with God calls forth the divine within us and keeping our covenants with God allows him to pour his divine power into us.”  

In Oct. 2014 conference, Elder Klebingat said, “Selective obedience brings selective blessings.” I want all the blessings that my Heavenly Father has for me so I know that I need to keep all my covenants.

There was a Family Circus comic where one of the children asks the mother, “Do caterpillars know they are going to become butterflies, or does God want to surprise them?”

How blessed we are to know our eternal potential and to know that we will become butterflies someday. Just as the butterfly has to be patient inside the chrysalis, enduring the slow, possibly painful changes,, we can’t desire to have our wings with no trials and no perseverance. Maybe if the next time I’m tested by my circumstances, I can think that the pain is just my wings growing a bit more and I can have the patience to endure it and the faith to know Heavenly Father is in charge and He can see what I cannot.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Land of the Rising Sun

In my letter to Alex, I only asked a few questions so I'd be more likely to get answers. Yeah, that didn't help. I asked him to tell me the best and worst of his week. I used to ask him (and my girls) every night what his best and worst of the day was and I miss hearing it. I also asked him to tell me a story and asked if he had any questions about anything back home. I asked what was something he learned from the members in his new area so far. And then I asked him what was one of his favorite things about his companion. At least he answered the last question. Here's his response.

So much happens over here, that I'm not sure what would be my best of the week, but nothing bad has happened this week, so there's that. 

I don't have any stories to share off the top of my head either, sorry!
One of my favorite things about my companion? Hm... Probably the dance he does when he's bored. But he only does it in the apartment. I've learned sign language from the members here, or at least some signs. I don't know of anything off the top of my head that I've learned from them otherwise though. 
This was Alex's explanation of this week's photo session.
A member has ninja/samurai costume stuff and let
us use it last p-day. We had fun posing for it.

People may have wondered, as have I, why Japan is called "the land of
the rising sun." Part of it has to do with the Kanji 日本 (pronounced
knee-ho-n), which translated means Sun's origin, but I think there's
another reason for it: the sun rises at 4 o'clock every morning. Maybe
that's just crazy to me because I'm from Utah in a city that snuggles
the mountains like a giant teddy bear. I don't know.

I don't think I've done the above kanji before, so I think that will
suffice for the Kanji of the Week. Therefore, let's move on to the
summary of the week!

Monday: We skyped home in the morning, and then after we had all
finished we went to an indian curry place for lunch, and it was really
good. The nan bread there is super delicious. After that we went
shopping for various things (I didn't get anything personally), and
the majority of time was spent getting groceries. We then met a member
at the church, and got to dress up like ninjas and samurai. It was
fun, because we had stage weapons to play around with. At night, we
entered in records to our area book app.

Tuesday: We went in the early morning to seminary, and then a little
while after that went back to the church for District Training
Meeting, and that was great. I was able to feel the spirit so
strongly, and I really loved the spiritual message one of the sisters
gave about how we haven't been called to be loved, but to love; even
if we are hated in return. We then tried to hand out English class
fliers at a busy part of town, but the sky decided to rain, and rain
hard, so there weren't too many people out on the streets at the time.

After that, we biked over to a potential investigator's house (the
rain had let up a bit by that time), and we had a good lesson. The
children are crazy (in a good way), and the mother seemed to have some
interest in what we had to day. When we left, she saw that I had no
rain coat with me (I didn't think it was going to rain, so I didn't
pack one; I did have a sweater to keep me warm though), and so she
gave me a rain poncho to use.
We then had an English lesson with one of the sister missionaries'
investigators. The lesson went well, but the kids didn't want to stay
for the entire time. We ended up having to entertain them for the
entire time the sisters had a lesson about the gospel, but it was
okay, because they're fun kids.


Wednesday: We had a normal morning, and then we went to the church for
a sign language class the members have every week. It was lots of fun,
and I learned some new words there. We learned it from deaf members,
so I'm sure they're valid words too.

Right after that, we had a home teaching visit with a couple in the
ward who came to the class. We talked about the most recent
conference, and it was pretty funny listening to them talk about it,
because the husband didn't remember much, and the wife said "that's
because you were sleeping half the time!" So don't worry, if you fall
asleep during general conference, you're not alone; it happens to
people in Japan too.

We then entered in information into our iPads again, until it was time
for English class. I teach kids class with Elder G., and the only
kids to show up were the kids that we taught English to the previous
night. Since it was just them, it was a lot easier, and we just read
books with them in English.

 Thursday: We went again to seminary (I don't think I've mentioned yet
that we go every other day Monday-Friday, the other elders go on the
days we don't, so we can translate for a recent convert we have who
goes and doesn't speak Japanese), but besides that, the majority of
the day was spent entering in records to the area book app. We did,
however, take a break from being in the apartment and went to go see
if we could get into a sign language circle, or if they even existed
in this city, at the city hall. They didn't have any free ones though,
and the others were too long of a period for your average missionary
stay in addition to costing quite a bit of money.

 Friday: We had weekly planning right after studies, and then we
entered in the last of the records. That took the whole day basically,
but we did get to go to the church and shred the paper records, and do
an activity we do every week called "fun Friday." The only two people
to show up besides missionaries were a young woman member, and one of
the other elders' investigators. We had a good time with a special
musical number from the sister missionaries, a spiritual message, and
card games though, so I can't complain.

Saturday: We had DCS this day, and right after that, we got together
with some members and english class students and went to a park to
play soccer. We goofed around with the soccer ball for a while, and
ended up playing monkey in the middle for a while. We also played an
"actual" game of soccer, and that was fun!

When that ended, we changed back into regular missionary clothes, and
went to visit the person we visited on Tuesday. The mother had invited
her friend and her kids over, and we had a great time with them. The
gospel part of it was good, and they asked some good questions. After
that was English class again. Not too much to add about that though.

Sunday: We had a great time at church, and taking the sacrament is
always a great experience. After church, we had the priesthood men
gather and practice a song for the upcoming district conference we'll
be having soon. With only short practice, the men are already sounding
really good. We also had a lesson with our recent convert, and he is
doing well.

Besides that we stayed at the apartment the rest of the day and stayed
busy with studies. Also, every week on Sunday my companion has to do
call in reports with the zone leaders, so that took a chunk of time.

I hope you all have a great week, and that you can see the Lord's hand
in your lives. I love you all!


Elder ____ 

I'm not sure why he took a photo of this (or sent it to me). It's Elder H. looking at something through a small magnifying glass.

This tastes like liquid banana Laffy Taffy

On the left side at the bottom, this soda can says "Please shake the can at least 10 times before opening" and it has jelly cubes in it.


Tuesday, May 12, 2015


We got to Skype with Alex on Mother's Day for about an hour. It was fun to see him and he's looking good. He still doesn't like to converse much so we had to try to pull stories out of him. He did tell us that one thing that happened recently is that he was riding his bike down the road when a small bird flew right into his face. SMACK! That was quite a surprise for him.

Alex told us that he is going to spend the rest of his life as a missionary in Japan because he loves it so much. Of course, he can't do that, but I'm so glad that he's enjoying it while he's working.

He also mentioned that in the Aomori Prefecture where he lives, they have Christ's grave. How many of you have ever heard that he was buried in Japan? The local folklore says that he didn't actually die on the cross. His brother Isukiri did, when he took Jesus' place. Alex said they said he then took his brother's body to Japan where he lived for the rest of his life. When I looked up the story online, it says that Jesus took only his brother's ear with him, which is buried there next to Jesus. There is a museum there where you can pay to see the graves and buy Jesus mugs and things. Alex said most people there don't actually believe it, but the articles I read made it seem like some people really do believe it. Very interesting for a country where almost no one is Christian.

I grabbed this photo from online.
His letter this week:

This week I got to call home, and that means its been quite some time
since I've left on my mission. It was nice to talk to them, and I had
fun using my iPad to skype them.

The kanji of the week is: pronounced Nani, and means "what?"

This week's summary is going to be a bit shorter, because not all of
the week is on my electronic planner. But this is the last week that
I'll ever say that I forgot my planner, so that's good.

Monday: we went to a recycle shop, and at the end of the day we had a
meeting with all the missionaries in our district (4 elders and 3

Tuesday: we went to go fix a tire on one of the bikes, and somehow the
extra tire got stuck in my bike tire and pedal. We had to ask a person
who lived near by to help us out. It eventually came off after we cut
through it all. We got a new tire, and fixed the bikes the rest of the

Wednesday: we tried to go to a few parks, but no one was there again,
so we just housed for a while. We spent a long time traveling, so that
took most of the time before we went to English class. English class
itself was good, and I don't have anything new to add about it.

Thursday: we went to a far away park to check out a festival that a
member wanted us to go to. We had fun there, and we're able to see
lots. We also visited a member for home teaching, and we got a bunch
of snacks for a family home evening activity with the ward on

Friday: we took a long train ride up to Aomori city for a zone
training meeting. We had a great time there, and we're able to learn
lots. We then took another long ride back home, and studied for the
rest of the day.

Saturday: we basically only did preparation for the family home
evening event, and it was great. The sisters were great at explaining
what it was, and I had to translate for a recent convert who doesn't
know Japanese, but knows English. We had fun games and activities, and
it went well.

Sunday: we had church, and afterwards we had a pot luck with the
members. We also had a lesson with the the recent convert, and I got
to skype really quick with one of my MTC teachers. The Rest of the day
was fixing the bike the rest of the way, and studying.

I hope you all have a great week. I love you all!


Elder _______

Monday, May 4, 2015

New City, New Experiences

Alex sent just one photo and it was taken with his iPad so it's blurry when I blow it up. He didn't say much in his letter to me. I get to Skype with him next Sunday so maybe I'll find out more then, but if it's like the Christmas Skype, he won't talk much and no stories. We'll see.
I was able to be in contact with his other companion's moms on a Facebook group for moms of missionaries, but it doesn't seem like his current one's mom is on there. So no sharing pics or stories. Sad.
This is what he said about the new area in his letter to me:
The branch is bigger than the Yonezawa and is three hours instead of two, but it's hard to compare anything else. It is cooler, but not chilly most of the time. There are four Elders, and three sisters. The sisters are all Japanese, and one of the sisters that was supposed to come got appendicitis right before transfers, so she isn't here. Two sisters came in her place, but we don't know what's going to happen with transfers when the hospital says she can leave. 
Here's his letter to everyone:
This week was my first week in Hachinohe, and it has been fun. It is
quite bigger than Yonezawa, and I will definitely enjoy my time here.

The kanji of the week is: 花見 pronounced hanami, and means to have a
picnic while watching Sakura.

And now for the weeks events.

Monday: we went and did some last minute shopping and I got to say
good bye to some people. We had dinner at a member's house, and shared
a short message.

Tuesday: I can't remember too much from that day, but we did have
lunch with a friend of ours to say goodbye, and we also went to a
hanami party with some friends. We got lots of potential English class
students, and it seems like it will be really fun.

Wednesday: we rode a bus in the morning up to Sendai where I met Elder
H. (one of the other elders in Hachinohe), and then we took a 5
hour bus ride up to Hachinohe. When we got there, we walked to the
church, but it turned out that they cancelled. We eventually found the
other two, and went to the apartment for the night.

Thursday: we went to seminary early in the morning, and then tried to
find a lady's house that Elder B. had only been to once. We got
lost, and couldn't find it, so we just housed in the area. After a
while of that, we went to a park, but no one was there, so we just
housed some more before going and eating dinner.  We then went to
institute until the rest of the night.

Friday: we had weekly planning, and then we went and housed for a bit.
We didn't have too much time after that, so we ate dinner and then
went to the church. Ever Friday we do a thing called fun Friday in
Hachinohe, so we did that. But no one showed up, so we just played
card games and I played piano. The sister missionaries arrived, and we
talked for a little bit before we went back to the apartment for the

Saturday: we met a missionary couple at the church in the morning to
give the sister missionaries a bike (there are three of them and they
only had two bikes. We led them to their apartment, and then after
that they inspected our apartment. When we got back to the church, we
met sister B. unexpectedly.  We talked for a few minutes and did
some studies there while we waited for a member to come pick the two
of us up. When she came, she took us with a recent convert to her
house for s taco party. The recent convert doesn't speak any Japanese
really, so we went to translate for him. The tacos were delicious and
nostalgic, and we also got flan.
We also got to go to more parks, and had housed for a bit before
English class (they have two a week here). It was fun, and I got to
play more piano afterwards. Everyone loved it for some reason, and one
of the youth here kept asking me to play hymns she liked. It was good

Sunday: we had a great testimony meeting, and I was able to bear my
testimony. We also taught a class for one of the hours (it isn't that
usual). After church we had a lesson with the recent convert, and it
went well. It was really interesting teaching in English though. We
then housed for a bit before we went back to the apartment and had
studies for the rest of the day.

I hope you are all doing well, and that you know that I seriously care
about you all.


Elder _______

Japanese Cheesecake

My son Alex, who was in Japan for 2 years, has asked me a couple of times to make Japanese cheesecake. I've never had it before, so I di...