Sunday, July 17, 2011


When I first heard of going to help with "Mormon Helping Hands" in Sendai, it was here when the Warden's cousin sent it to me via facebook.  If you go to their site, you can see that the organization is having people come for a day to work.  These are people that are already in Japan or find themselves there for a day or so.  This is not our case.  We are not going with a day tour.  It's not cost effective nor am I going to just "find" myself in Japan for a day.  Wouldn't that be wonderful, though, to be able to transport yourself someplace on a whim?

We have opted to go for a week.  With this, comes the fact that we will be "on our own" for the most part.  Unlike the day-long trips, we have the responsibility to cover our own food and transportation.  We are, however, being provided an apartment.

The Church is not begging for helpers to come and "sell the farm" to get there, so please don't panic and do that.  This is something we, the Warden's cousins and I, are opting to do.  I just read the following on the Japan Sendai Mission website (this is directed to the web master):

"This summer, from the week of July 18th through the last week of August (for 2-day trips) and the end of September (for 1-day trips), the Church will sponsor Helping Hands Volunteer Tours for individuals, families, or small groups who wish to serve in Tohoku. The Church has contracted with a travel agency to run three bus tours weekly from Tokyo to affected areas in Tohoku. The bus fares, lodging, and some meals will be paid by the Church. Registration started on July 4. Volunteers from Japan and overseas can participate in these tours. Furthermore, if accompanied by a Church member, investigators or non-member friends may also participate.

"We would like to let all returned missionaries know about this opportunity. Would you be kind to post this information on your website and possibly distribute this information to all registered returned missionaries? Our desire is to invite as many people as possible to serve as volunteer in Tohoku area. If returned missionaries have Facebook or other social media tools, I would like them to share this information with their friends who are thinking about coming to Japan this summer."

From what I understand, this is NOT a cry for help.  It is, however, an invitation to come if you'd like.

At this point, I have a message to the Mormon Helping Hands office awaiting a response about whether they even have room for me.  I wanted to make sure I had some funds behind me (thank you so much!) before I made concrete plans.

Needless to say, I pulled out my old Japanese textbooks this morning.  If I'm going to be on my own, I'd better be able to do a little conversing.

One thing I learned this morning, from my study, was the fact that in Japanese, the verb is THE most important part of speech.  It effects every other part of the sentence.  Yes, it fits.  The Japanese are a people of action.  I can only hope that some of my actions will be of help to them.


vaxhacker said...

Awesome. I'm so impressed you're doing this. I know that if something happened like that in Taiwan, I would like to do the same (although I have no idea how I could possibly pull it off).

I'm curious what the writing on the shirt says. Since I know absolutely zero about reading Japanese kana letters (if I'm even saying that correctly), but given the similarity of the kanji to Chinese characters I know, obviously the bottom part says "The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-day Saints". In Chinese that was (when I was on my mission) "耶穌基督末世聖徒教會" which looks similar although that was later changed to "耶穌基督後期聖徒教會" since the previous one made "latter-day" sound too much like "armageddon", yeah, we're the Doomsday Church of Jesus Christ :)

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