So...many of you know that our son, Nate, is in Asia.
We could almost hear the ecstatic scream half way around the world as he set foot on beloved Japanese soil!
He has been looking forward to returning to his ol' stompin' grounds for over six years! About that long ago, he played drums in a jazz band that performed at Universal Studios Japan. He was living in the boundaries of Jen's mission for a year. She even visited him when he was there!
This trip, Nate will also visit Korea - the land of his mission.
And yes...the nice people at the airport allowed him to check his garbage can drum set!
He worked for weeks to build a portable set that he could carry, pull, store extra items in, set up anywhere, and still be within airline luggage checking limits...not to mention one from which he could make music! We nicknamed him "Maurice" (from Disney's Beauty and the Beast - haha, and only because Nate kept calling himself crazy! What an invention - complete with attached plastic buckets, a cymbal, bass pedal, foot tambourine, etc.! He sits on a bucket to play the set, which is also stored inside the Rubbermaid garbage can/drum. You can see from the pic that his garbage can set is labeled with his name (right side up to transport, and upside down for when it is a drum). Amazing, right? Nate said he is glad he put padlocks on the lid to keep it shut (and protect the innards) - because people keep trying to put trash in it! :) You can see more pics of his adventures on Face Book.
On May 9, Nate and his friend Yuri rented a car and took a morning road trip from Osaka to Tokushima.
...and look who they found there!!!
Nate had contacted Sister Jen's mission president who gave him permission to see her!!!
She is doing great and her Japanese speaking skills are fantastic - really doing well speaking this complicated language! We are so grateful all this worked out, and these two kids of ours got to see each other half-way around the world from their home in Bluffdale!
Miracles do happen...
On Mother's day (Monday in Japan)
we Skyped (sound only) our sweet missionary and had a glorious conversation - clear as a bell - another miracle!
The conversation included:
Souliers in California
Andersons in Colorado
Andersons in Georgia
Nate in Korea
And her Utah Sibs and Family
From our conversation we learned:
Sister Jen sleeps on a futon and hangs her clothes on a clothesline to dry.
Her apartment has a washer and a shower.
She studies for about four hours each day.
Her legs are really strong from biking two or more hours every day.
She can not see the ocean from where she lives, but there is a beautiful river nearby.
The rainstorms in Japan can be fierce - the windows of her apartment rattle!
The strangest food she has eaten is octopus.
There are wonderful people who take good care of the missionaries.
That the Japanese language is hard for her to speak but she is getting better at it! The
nieces and nephews told her that the "Madgab Game" she challenged them to do (see
letter on May 1st) is hard to figure out - so they know she is doing amazingly well
She was on TV the other day answering a question about Japanese food.
She prays a lot!
Sister Jen loves her mission and is so grateful for all the love and support!!!
When we were trying to make the call and were having some difficulty, I emailed the mission president's wife, Sister Zinke. When the call went through to Sister Jen, I let her know that we worked it out. Here is her reply:
I am so glad that you were able to figure it out! She is such a sweetheart...we love her so much! We are grateful for her cheerful service! Hope your day was wonderful.