Tuesday, April 14, 2015


Five weeks ago Travis was transferred to Traiguen, Chile--a beautiful rural village about four hours south of where he was serving. There are about 75 members of the Church in the Branch (local congregation) with two sets of missionaries proselyting the whole area. I think it is a nice change for Travis--much calmer and more peaceful than Boca Sur. His new companion is Elder S. from Florida and they get along great.
This photo reminds me of the scripture in Doctrine and Covenants, Section 4, "For behold the field is white already to harvest . . ." A perfect visual of missionary work. Thanks, Elder Woodfield.

Monday, March 9, 2015


Hiroshima was the number one place Brian wanted me to experience while in Japan and, wow, it was an emotional, poignant, and thought-provoking place. We began at what is now known as the A-bomb Dome.
We then crossed the river to Hiroshima's Peace Memorial Park. Our first stop was the Children's Peace Monument which honors Sadako Sasaki and all the other children who died in the blast or from radiation sicknesses later on. Sadako's story of folding just under a thousand paper cranes before she died at age 12 of Leukemia is impactful yet heartbreaking.
The cases behind the monument house paper cranes donated from school children from around the world.
The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum was really well done, yet made me feel so very sad.
Memorial Cenotaph
Me ringing the Bell of Peace
Our trip to Japan had come to a close. Those ten days were quite the adventure. I learned so much about the Japanese culture, food, and history. I'd love to go back again some day!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Eclectic Curiosities

This collection of photos I took in Japan I have named eclectic curiosities--things that caught my eye and, perhaps, made me take a second look.

Japan is replete with vending machines. There were no street venders or food trucks, but there were plenty of vending machines that sold all kinds of interesting items.
It wasn't unusual for us to find English words associated with Japanese products that made me wonder. For example, this thirst quencher was labeled "sweat".
"Cute" is the only way I can describe these construction barricades.
Can you pick out the yellow duck variety on the ferry dock to Miyojima Island?
I rode in the cleanest and most well-kept taxicab I've ever seen--complete with curtains and lace-covered headrests and seats.
On rainy days everyone in Tokyo carried an umbrella and it seemed like the umbrella of choice was a clear plastic one with a simple white handle. I'm not sure why these appealed to me so much, but luckily there came a day when this inexpensive purchase was warranted. I never had the opportunity, however, to lock it in an umbrella stand like this one at Osaka University.
School groups of all ages were sight-seeing right along with us everywhere we went. These adorable little ones in Hiroshima reminded me of Madeline.
Curtains like these (called Noren, I believe) hang outside many restaurants and shops.
Origami is alive and well in Japan. Our tour guide made the green crane for me.
In Japan, willow brooms aren't merely Halloween decor. They actually serve their purpose as the implement of choice at the Parks and National Treasure sights we visited.
Whizzing by the countryside I found a cemetery,
and rice paddies,
and more cuteness.
A trip to Japan wouldn't be complete without wasabi or pumpkin-flavored KitKats and other unique confections.
We had one more day to spend in this amazing country and it would be in Hiroshima.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Miyojima Island

Brian had been to Japan several times before I accompanied him on this trip, so he insisted that I see Hiroshima. Early the next morning we left our "base of operations" in Osaka and headed south via the Shinkansen. After a quick check-in at our hotel we took a local train to the ferry terminal where we boarded a ferry that took us to Miyojima Island--a beautiful and peaceful haven of green.
Miyojima's iconic O-torii gate sits at the entrance to a cove which houses an ancient Shinto shrine.
Groups of school children were a common sight as we toured Japan, and we were pleasantly surprised to find tame deer on Miyojima just like we saw in Nara.
One of Brian's colleagues who had served as a missionary for our Church in Japan years ago suggested we visit Miyojima Island, and we're so glad we did. It was a fun place to explore.
Can you see the torii gate?
Brian and I on Miyojima Island
the five-storied pagoda
a bride and groom?
We decided to take a cable car to the top of Mount Misen where the views are spectacular. However, it was a cloudy and rainy day for us so we never got the full effect.
The next day (our last day in Japan) would be spent at Hiroshima's Peace Memorial Park.