We have been here a month and a half. Whew! What a busy month. We were required by Japanese law to get a foreigner registration card and photo, sign up and pay for Japanese National Health Insurance and Long Term Care Insurance (at a machine that is only in Japanese Kanji, no English), open a Japanese Post Office Bank Account (and learn how to use the machines), and figure out how to use a 7-11 Handy Bank (luckily in English) to withdraw money from America. We had to assess the house to see what was needed. The previous mission couple left some wonderful supplies, but we still needed to figure out how to go grocery shopping. There is a nice little market a block down the hill, with fruits, vegetables, milk, and misc. They are our neighbors and we are getting to know them. The bigger grocery stores are in the basements of the multi-level department stores, and are several miles away from us. We have found some American products such as small Skippy peanut butter, which helps when we need to take sandwiches with us. We try to eat local food: chicken and vegetables, yakisoba, curried rice and chicken. We eat a lot of bananas, mikans (clementine’s) , and Asian pears. We are very lucky.
We recently drove four hours, on toll roads, to go to Costco. We packed our peanut butter sandwiches and headed out about 7:00am, Monday. We got there about 11:00am. The parking lot was full. It was crowded inside, with people standing around the sample tables (just like in America). We filled two carts full of things. We stocked up on p-butter, jam, oatmeal, walnuts, almonds, TP, and misc. They accepted my American Exp/ card (I was grateful). We stopped at the Fukuoka Mission Home for some items, then headed home, arriving about 7:30pm. We definitely don’t want to do that very often, but it was definitely worth it.
It’s not easy being far from family, friends, home, and familiar conveniences. People have been very helpful at the government offices, post offices, 7-11, church, and everywhere. The people are so nice, and so very kind. We really like them and appreciate them. All our family and friends at home can take comfort knowing that the people are helping us here, and that Heavenly Father is helping us here. Sometimes when we get overwhelmed and think we can’t do it, Heavenly Father gives us a peace of mind and heart, and the courage to go forward and do things.