Friday, July 3, 2015

Triple Zone Apartment Inspection Adventures

Sometimes my heart is so full of love, it feels like it could burst and send off beautiful fireworks.  That’s the way we feel working with the missionaries, the members, and the Kagoshima community.  A few months ago our mission president and his wife asked us to visit and inspect missionary apartments in other zones.  We ended up inspecting our regular Kagoshima Zone, and Kumamoto Zones 1 and 2.  Three zones!  We really need some new senior couples to replace the ones that finished their missions and returned home.  We felt honored and thankful that the president and his wife and the Lord would trust us with this assignment.  We prayed, pondered, and mapped out how we could get it all done.  We made phone calls to seventeen apartments to tentatively line up appointments, then had to call them all back again to finalize them.  They were so good to adjust their schedules so we could accomplish this task.  Just talking on the phone we felt so much love, admiration, and appreciation for them, even before ever meeting them.  We received permission to stay in the empty Kumamoto Senior Couple’s Apartment.  We drove there after our Sunday block of meetings and spent the night.  We got up early Monday morning to go to Kumamoto Zone 1, which consisted of twenty elders and sisters.  We not only mapped it out, but also typed it all into our GPS unit.  Some apartments were more difficult to find.  They were behind buildings and down narrow streets and the GPS only got us nearby.  Somehow we did it.  The missionaries did a great job of cleaning.  They also made us feel loved and welcome.  We rewarded them with treats:  Salsa, cheese, flat tortillas, bags or Doritos, and fruit.  We went back to Kumamoto the following Sunday evening also and spent the night in preparation to inspect Kumamoto Zone 2, which consisted of fourteen elders and sisters.  These were all a lot further away, one the other side of the island of Kyushu from where we were staying.  They also adapted their schedules so we could accomplish this assignment.  We split up our Kagoshima Zone inspection visits into several days.  We also made a commitment to not miss teaching our English classes twice each week, visit our part-member and less-active families, teach Zumba, and attend our mission and district meetings and our regular Sunday meetings.  We were blessed in so many ways, but especially with safety as we drove over 2,000 kilometers (1,242 miles) much of it on unknown roads.  Our missionaries are great!
Kumamoto Stake Center is to the left and the Senior Couple Apartment is the high rise to the right.

Inside the Kumamoto Senior Couple's Apartment.

Senior Couple's Kitchen.

We went through a lot of toll booths and we had a lot of rain.  

Missionary Kitchen--nice and clean.

Orderly Missionary Futon and Clothes Closet.

Another Missionary Kitchen and Food Pantry.  They use a lot of little shelves for storage.

Typical view from many of the missionary apartments.

This costal stretch of highway had a lot of fog and these were road protectors.

More road fog protectors.

An interesting pedestrian bridge in a coastal fog.

Steam coming from hot springs scattered throughout the hills in Beppu and Oita.

We travel through a lot of long tunnels, some several kilometers long.

The rain is a blessing to the rice farms found along all of the highways. 

One of the interesting things we see along the streets on our journey. 

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