Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Almost home!

On our last evening in Guam, August 29, we had a lovely farewell dinner with President Zarbock and the wonderful Senior Missionaries with whom we have been serving.  They are precious people and we will cherish our memories of serving with them forever.

Sister Hurst, Elder and Sister Guercio (Mission Medical), Elder and Sister Martin (Office), Elder and Sister Thomas (Military Relations), Elder and Sister Hamilton (new Office), President Zarbock, Elder Hurst.  We departed early Thursday morning.

Our first stop on the way home was Osaka where we were met by Shigehiro and Michiko Sugimoto.  They drove us first to Nara, the capital of ancient Japan.  The deer who live in the park surrounding the Todai-ji Buddhist Temple are very aggressive if they know you have food!

From there we drove to Kyoto Prefecture to the town of Uji where we visited the Byodoin Temple.  Next stop was the city of Kyoto.  We spent the next day seeing the sights there which included the Nishiki Market and the Kiyomizu Temple.  Saturday we took a bullet train to Yamaguchi and the World Scout Jamboree.

We had the great opportunity of working at the LDS tent in the Faith and Beliefs area of the Jamboree.  Although under the auspices of the Young Men's Organization, the tent was organized by FamilySearch and included a My Family booklet activity on tablets, photo ops in front of three huge pictures of Christ and a temple and family history display, and an map pinning activity.  Scouts could earn the "Thomas S. Monson Award" by doing several of these activities.   We helped man the tent from about 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.  This is one of the beautiful photo backdrops in the tent.

Sunday morning we had Sacrament Meeting under a breezy porch.  About 300  were in attendance.  That evening we participated in a fireside in the nearby town of Ube given by Brother Stephen W. Owen, YM General President and Elder Aoyagi of the Asia North Area Presidency. 

A group of scouts from Taiwan reading a statement by President Monson about Scouting. 

We met many interesting people from all over the world.  Among them was Sister Jemima Nartey, Vice-Chairperson, World Scout Committee and Church member from Ghana.

He we are with some of the staff from the tent.  Front row:  Jim Green, Laura and Gary Dollar, Brent Summerhays, Back row:  Tom Hunsaker, ?,  Larry Call, Steve Anderson.

Sushi lunch with the Family History leadership of Asia:  Sister Hurst, Steve Tsai (Manager, Chinese), Hashick Hong, Regional Manager, Asia Area), Jun Hori, (Family Search, Japan), Keiji Sugimoto (Manager, Japan), Elder Hurst.

Tuesday night (August 4) farewell dinner with the Family History leadership.

Detail of meal pictured above.  The Japanese have such a way with everything, including food.  Lovely, simply lovely.  Jun drove us, along with Steve and Hashik to Fukuoka.  The others headed home and we had a day to spend in Fukuoka.  

We visited the Hakata Machiya Folk Museum and  Kushida Shinto Shrine.

The Sumiyoshi Shrine.

The Sumiyoshi Shrine

The Sumiyoshi Shrine.

Wednesday evening we attended the Fukuoka Temple.  It was wonderful to be back after 18 months.

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