The Light
"Japan Kobe Mission: A Zion Mission"
June 2000

"I am the light that ye shall hold up." --3 Nephi 18:24

President's Message - June 2000

One half of the year 2000 is almost behind us. Your faithfulness and diligence have made it a good year up to this point. In the service of the Lord, time moves so rapidly. Hymn 266 reminds us of this truth:

"The time is far spent; there is little remaining
To publish glad tidings by sea and by land.
Then hasten, ye heralds; go forward proclaiming:
Repent, far the kingdom of heaven's at hand."

"Shrink not from your duty, however unpleasant,
But follow the Savior, your pattern and friend.
Our little afflictions, tho painful at present,
Ere long, with the righteous, in glory will end."

"Be fixed in your purpose, for Satan will try you;
The weight of your calling he perfectly knows.
Your path may be thorny, but Jesus is nigh you;
His arm is sufficient, tho demons oppose.

These inspired words come from section 33 of the Doctrine and Covenants. This is a short section which is filled with admonitions from the lord about the work such as in verse 3, "For behold the field is white already to harvest; and it is the eleventh hour, and the last time I shall call laborers into my vineyard." The time for the preparation of Japan is now and we are those laborers. In verse 9 the Lord admonishes us, "Yea, open your mouths and spare not, and you shall be laden with sheaves upon your backs, for lo, I am with you."

Whatever individual challenges or struggles we may be experiencing, we need to put these aside and press forward diligently, sparing not, knowing that "I am with you." We need to focus our diligence on finding prepared people to teach, and on helping members learn how to introduce their prepared friends and acquaintances. Then we need to teach these people a powerful first discussion that will help those who are ready to recognize the spirit and the truth of our message and want to proceed toward baptism.

Hymn 224 captures where we are this month, "I have work enough to do, ere the sun goes down." Let us perform that work with diligence. Let us focus our diligence on the most important tasks of our calling. Let us go to bed each night, knowing that someone has heard the message of the restoration and that the Lord has sustained us in His work. There is no greater thing that we can be doing!

I love you and thank you for your hard work and sacrifice.

President Robertson

Dear Wonderful Missionaries,

Occasionally someone will ask me if it's hard to do our jobs as Mission President and "Mom". This happened again very recently. I almost felt guilty about the true answer. Working with 153 dedicated, diligent, devoted servants of the Lord who continually overcome the same obstacles as great missionaries of old did (hunger, thirst, persecution, fatigue) and continue to "susume" through any kind of weather, who never swear, who adapt to a variety of conditions and companions, who value their time in the Lord's service and try hard not to waste it, who genuinely care about others and willingly sacrifice in their behalf, (etc.) is not such a bad job!!! In fact, realizing that we only have uust over a third of our mission remaining just makes us want to be with you all the more. We love working with you! Many of you have taught us much about true discipleship and what it entails. Thank you!

There are no official national holidays during June in Japan. (After the big Golden Week celebrations, it's time to work again.) Of course there's Father's Day on the 18th and there is the month-long celebration of "ame" (rain, not candy--za nen). Yes, it is the rainy season--so be extra cautious about when and how you air your futons. However, there is a celebration during the first week of July (on the 7th) called "Tanebata" (see.the Japan Times article). It's fun to see the colorful Tanzaku and decorated bamboo branches. Last year we were at the airport on the 7th and saw several  people carrying these branches. My Japanese students in the states used to decorate thelr walls with them. What a good opportunity to enjoy and share some "bunka" and then teach people the true source to look to for all of life's important wishes and desires to be fulfilled.

In Eikaiwa you could once again use seasonal events to develop lesson plans. A beginning class could learn phrases to describe the weather then practice conversation about it. A middle class might answer the question, "If you were writing a wish on a tanzaku what would you write?" Then you could talk about hope or the concrete vs. the abstract or mortal desires vs. eternal ones. A more advanced class could share news headlines and discuss their implications. Once again, we've seen that effort and caring in the management and preparation for Eikaiwa can pay rich dividends. And don't forget before you teach to invite the Spirit to be with you. Often when I ask converts about what started them on the road to conversion, they will respond by saying something about the Spirit accompanying the wonderful missionaries. So, Minna san, Gambatte!!!

Please watch out for the adversary. Don't let him get you. And don't think he won't try!

Also, please be careful about eating regular, balanced meals and drinking a lot of water. Many times a short or long term fatigue has been remedied by being more careful about nutrition.

Also, keep those apartments clean! The morale improves greatly when your environment is clean (ask the Honbu staff for testimonials!)

And, especially don't forget that we love you! It's SO truel

Love, Sister Robertson

Father's Day

One of the truly great people in our existence is our Father. Even our Father in Heaven. When we stop and try to remember Father's Day during the month, remember especially the Father of our Spirits. It is His great blessings that keep us going. He is the master of everything that we do and everything that we an going to be doing. It is His plan that we so diligently try to explain to the many others we visit each day. It is quite easy to forget that when we are so busy with our fast moving lives here on earth. Don't you suppose that it will be just as busy on the other side when we get there? When Christ left the earth for that short period, He was teaching the other spirits just as we are doing now with the live ones. We will always be missionaries with a kind, loving, gentle Father that loves us. He expects us to do right just as our mortal Fathers would tell us too.

Take a few minutes to write to your Father during this important holiday and let him know how you feel about him. You might take the time to let your other Father know by prayer how you feel about Him also. They both are so important in our lives and need to know how you are doing.

Tanabata Festival

  1. The Tanabata Festival is celebrated on July 7th.
  2. It is also called the Star Festival
  3. We are told that once a year on the evening of this day, the Herdboy Star (Altair) and the Weaver Star (Vega) of the Milky Way meet.
  4. The festival has its origins in an ancient Chinese legend.
  5. Children write their wishes on tanzaku.
  6. Tanzaku are oblong pieces of colored paper on which poems are written.
  7. Children make many other decorations with pieces of colored paper, as well as tanzaku.
  8. Children tie tanzaku and other decorations on bamboo branches.
  9. It is said that our wishes will come true if we pray to these two stars, Altair and Vega.
  10. It is also said that if it rains, the Milky Way will be flooded and the two stars will not be able to meet.
  11. Today the legendary romance has been somewhat lost as a result of outer space exploration.

Nama-age to yasai

(Fried tofu w/ vegetables)

2 blocks of fried tofu, cut-up (nama-age)
1 or 2 green peppers, cut-up
1 large green onion, sliced
100 g. thinly-sliced pork (komagiri niku)*
1 small thinly-sliced carrot
Shoyu Sauce
1/2 cup shoyu
1 cup sugar (or more to taste)
1 tsp. grated ginger root (tsuchi shoga)
1 clove or garlic, grated, mashed, or chopped (nin niku)

* The pork is usually packaged in neat slices in the market. However, they sell the same thing cheaper if you get the packages that have the messed-up form of the thin-sliced meat. These contain the ends and smaller or broken slices. But they work just as well and are less expensive.

Brown the pork in a small amount of oil. Add the vegetables. Flavor with the sauce. Add the tofu and mix gently to flavor everything. Serve with or over rice.

Good recipe for missionaries because it is:

Go for it!


June 7th

David Eldridge  St. George, Utah
Bryan Hendrickson Gilbert, Arizona
Justin Whitmore Gainesville, Georgia

June 15th

Yoshinori Fukunaga     Kawagoe-shi, Saitama-ken
Kousaku Mizoguchi Kitakyushu-shi, Fukuoka
Yuka Inamura Yokohama City, Fukuoka


June 8th

Dennis Anderson Orem, Utah
Bradley Clark Pleasant Grove, Utah
Grahm Coder Alpine, Utah
Cameron Masters   University Place, Washington 
Stephen Moyer Downington, Pennsylvania
Brian Stevenson Modesto, California
Jonathan West Centerville, Utah
Mark Amakasu La Vern, California
Mizue Kinjo Naha-shi, Okinawa-ken
Masako Waga Akita-shi, Akita-ken
Lleullyn Wright Tokoroa, New Zealand

Birthdays in June

2ndChelton Spendlove
Motomitsu Shimoji
3rdNicholas Watts
4thAkira Koike
8thJoseph Otterstrom
9thJohn Wells
12thIan Bell
Trevor Conger
13thSamuel Howard
18thYoshinori Fukunaga
22nd    Brian Gledhill
25thChristian Chesley
26thStephen Osborne
29thMichael Spiller

Baptisms for May

Tatsuji HishiMay 5
Sachiko MurakamiMay 7
Rushiyana YamadaMay 7
Yae MiyazakiMay 7
Nobue OhashiMay 7
Maki AraoMay 13
SakaMay 14
Akihisa MorimotoMay 14
Takeshi TakamaMay 14
Katsuya HiguchiMay 14
Yuko ShibuyaMay 21
Takao MoritaMay 21
Manabu OnishiMay 21
Serai LyMay 21



Jesus answered, "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." --John 3:5

And to confirm those who are baptized into the church, by the laying on of hands by the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost, according to the scriptures. --D&C 20:41

Message from the Recorder (Blatchford Choro)

Elders & Sisters, isn't it awesome to be a called servant of the Lord in the Japan Kobe Mission, right now, today! Truly we are blessed to be here.

I want to thank everyone for their hard work and efforts, especially in helping me to do my job. Last month, the Japan Kobe Mission had the highest number of baptisms in the Asia North Area, and thanks to you and your diligence working with ward and branch leaders, we also had the most correct and complete record of those baptisms. Thank you!

A few notes to remind you. Please send the Confirmation and Baptism record together, immediately after they are confirmed. Also, keep working with your bishops and clerks so that they fill out the Confirmation record and give it to you the day of confirmation. Then take that record, along with the Baptism record that the missionaries filled out and first fax, and then mail them to the Honbu. I make calls a couple times a week to follow-up on records, so if you ever have any questions, don't hesitate to call and ask.

As regarding DL STATS: DLs, please make sure to collect the information and fax it to me by the Saturday following the due date. (ie two days after the stats week-ends) Also, please fax them to me, not just to your ZL. I realize that this is difficult in some cases, but I would really appreciate it if you could fax them directly to me, even if you have to use the fax at the nearest Lawson store.

One more thing. I have noticed that the way the "MTD Results" box on the Stats Sheets, is subject to various interpretation. Maybe this will clear up some of the confusion. First of all, the results that are written in that box begin from the beginning of the current month! It does not go back one month from the current date. For example: If you are in the first week of May, you don't count converts from the third week of April. You start counting again from the beginning of the Stats Month. And the other thing is that the beginning of the Stats Month is not necessarily the 1st. Stats go on a 7 day rotation, and not all months have a perfect multiple of sevens. So most months will start on the 3rd or even the 28th of the month previous. Please be careful of this when you total up your MTDs.

Other than that, know that I love you and appreciate your efforts, and that the success that we am seeing as a mission is because of your faith, charity and work.

Blatchford Choro

Message from the Financial Secretary

It seems that I am understanding things a little better now after a month or so here in the Honbu. There are still some of the programs that I goof-up on now and again. Please call me and let me know if something is wrong with your finances (other than you are broke) so I might help you out. Karner Choro has done a remarkable job of teaching me the procedures and kudos should be given out for his patience and accuracy.

We are still having a problem with new missionaries coming into the Mission and opening a bank account. The bank tells us that we must have the new missionaries there before we can open an account. The president and myself are trying to work out a method to satisfy the bank's needs. In the meantime, it might be necessary to put funds into the new missionaries companions account. I'm sure that each of the trainers is absolutely honest and benevolent in all respects. Even Amakasu Choro!

I love and respect each of you and please write in English if at all possible on your reimbursement sheets. I am trying to learn some Nihongo but at my age my mind doesn't think that fast. I think that they call it a Senior Moment".

Take care! Elder Pyper

Message from the Mission Supply Manager

How are you all, my beloved Elders and Sisters? I'm simply marvelous here, thank you.

Today let me start my message with several things that I have to ask of you:

  1. If there is anything to be repaired at your apartment (ie toilet, bath, sink, etc), please be sure to call the mission office first. You shouldn't call the repairman directly.
  2. Please send the utility bills (gas, electricity, water, telephone) to the mission home with the name of your apartment. Be careful not to throw the bill away.
  3. Please keep your apartment nice and clean. Also, don't make holes with pins or nails. You cannot have ropes to hang your laundry in your rooms. If you already do, please take them out. Please don't break shoji (screen doors), and be careful not to let your hair go into the pipe of the washroom. If you find anything broken or wrong, even after you transfer, please report that to the mission home immediately. Remember that we can save so much of the Lord's money if we are careful.
  4. Please avoid those things that cause trouble to your neighbors. Putting garbage or bikes in other than where they should be put, is an example. Please fold up the futons, and keep them in the closet. If you keep them on the tatami mats all the time, you'll get mold on the tatami mats.
  5. When you order something, please use the order forms. I've made some new forms for orders. This way, I can deliver what you've ordered more surely and effectively.

I'm always grateful for your marvelous work. May God's hand be upon you wonderful missionaries in the Japan Kobe Mission.

With Love, Elder Kirigaya

Message from the Secretary

It has been a delight to get to know as many of you as I have. I'm sure I'll be talking to each one of you in the future. If there is anything that I might help you with, please let me know. I realize that I have been very blessed by being here with those that are so close to the Lord and having such special talents as to be able to convert these great Japanese people in their native language. I expected this mission to be somewhat of a hardship, but it has not been. We marvel it the people, shops, markets and native ingenuity the Japanese have in most everything that they do. It is amazing that they can use such small space to accomplish the things that they do. Each of you have a good week and keep up the good work for the Lord in baptisms and conversions in this part of His vineyard. Sister Pyper.