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Hello from the Land of Heated Toilet Seats

Yup, heated toilet seats, plus the lids are automated...they lower with just a nudge...ah, nirvana for the lazy man. And the mirror has a heated section right in the middle so when the room is steamy you can still see yourself....which, in and of itself, is generally not a pretty sight any more. :)

We are starting to adjust. Yesterday we walked with our suitcases to the "ekke" (sp?), which is the train station and put them in storage lockers for the day. Then we met a friend of Rebecca's who took us in her car (ah, the luxury) north of Sendai to Matsushima, a beautiful, scenic area where there were tons of people...all far I think we may have seen only 2 or 3 non-Japanese! Matsushima is right on the bay/ocean and there are hundreds of little tiny islands dotting the bay. We took a ferry ride for about an hour and enjoyed the scenery. Just "google" Matsushima and can find out more since my time is limited. The day had been cloudy but nice but on the way back to Sendai it started pouring again...glad we were in a car. We stopped by the ekke to "put more coins in our luggage meters" and then drove to the church for "eikawa"...English class. When we arrived, there were a bunch of young adult members practicing for a regional talent show at a young adult conference. The class started about 3;00 and Rebecca had been invited to teach a portion of it. It was really fun to watch her in action. I have taken tons of pictures and the pictures help tell the story much better than I can. We met more missionaries, including one who is the nephew of Bernie Leavitt.

After eikawa we walked back to the ekke with a good friend of rebeccas, stopping at a book store so she could buyu a bunch of books...while she and her friend shopped, Sherrie and I went to Mos Burger for some food since we hadn:t had anything to eat allday, unless you count the unidentified something that Rebecca made me eat from a stand in Matsushima...I think it was some sort of barbecued shellfish on a stick.

We had to hurry to get ot the ekke to echange our travel vouchers for a Japan Rail Pass (tourists can ride any train on the Japan Rail system for free...of course it costs about 300 dollars for the travel voucher and only tourists can buy them), make reservations for the Shinkansen (bullet train) and get up to the track. \we made it with about 3 minutes to spare. We have the first class pass so except for one other person we were alone in the car. It is just like first class in an airplane. Very nice and is it fast. 40 minutes from Sendai to Koriyama, a trip that Rebecca says takes 3 hours by bus.

The hotel that had our reservation turned out not to have our reservation but we didn:t like the location anyway so we moved to a hotel right downtown and relatively close to everything.

A friend of Rebecca picked us up in her car and drove us outside of Koriyama to a little restaurant, actually it was an all you can eat kind of place that has little bbqs at the table so you can cook your own meat. \All the raw meat is in a section just like in a supermarket and yo pick out what you want and take it back to your table and cook it. Plus there was tons of other food, as well...most of it pretty good. By the time we finished it was almost 10 and we were tired.

My time is closing out here and we are headed tochurch. It is Sunday morning.

I tried to send pictures yesterday but it didn:t work. will try again today.

Love, Dad

Day 3 - Saturday, June 30th - Matsushima, Eikawa (English class), and train to Koriyama