Archive for April, 2010

Hanami Service; Sunday April 4, 2010

Sunday, April 11th, 2010

Konnichi wa!!!!

First of all, I would like to say…


Now, these are all pictures from our Hanami Service, or the flower viewing service. The church here does a service every year when the sakura(cherry blossoms) are out. And this year it was on Easter. It was kind of cold out, but the sakura were really pretty. And we had a good service too. And after the service, Brother Logan had gotten some games together for all the kids; from elementary to high school and everywhere in between. It was fun!!

This is first of Seika and I think one of Grace’s friends (Grace is Enos’s sister) on something that they have at the park. you get on this stand type thing that is about 4 foot off the ground, then you jump onto that rope and slide down. It is pretty fun. I remember there being a line to get on that thing before. And there was a line this time too. I tried to get on but…I fell!!! I made it made 6 foot away from the stand and then I slid off. It was kind of funny.


And this is Haley and Beck sitting over Sister Mateo and Jake, who are trying to keep warm. Then Sister Mateo told Beck to lay down so I could get their picture.



And these are all during church.




And this is Brother and Sister Yokoyama. Brother Yokoyama was speaking in Japanese and Sister Yokoyama was translating into English.



And this is all while we were plaing games. The elementary kids were doing race and all the older kids, from junior high and up, were doing like a obstacle course type thing. We had to run maybe 50 yards or so, then we had to get one of those little ball and mitt things, the ones that have velcro and the ball sticks to the mitt, and we had to throw it back and forth three times, then the person that didn’t run had to grab an egg, boiled egg, and walk or run, which ever, and go around four or five cones, then set it down, then pop a balloon. The first one to pop a balloon won. It was fun but challenging. But hey, who ever said that challenge was bad?!?!?!




This is the men playing soccer. And then the kids watching.



And then just some kids playing with the velcro tennis balls and mitts.


And now, the beautiful sakura!!!



That is all that I have for now! I hope all of you enjoy reading this as much I as enjoy writing this!!!

Miss everyone so much!!!

Youth Outing; April 3, 2010

Sunday, April 11th, 2010

Hello everyone!!!

Here are some pictures that I wanted to show everyone from a youth outing that we took…ice skating!!! It was really fun. There was both Japanese kids and International kids there. We had a blast. I thought I was going to do HORRIBLE because it’s been 10 + years since I last ice skated, but I told my dad it’s like riding a bicycle, it sort of comes back to you. So here are the pictures. I had Lisa take them for me. I was going to take me camera on the rink with me but my biggest fear was falling and shattering my camera. So I gave it to Lisa to hold for me. It was safer there than with me!!!

This, as you can all probably tell, is of me and Beck. This was after we first got our skates on  and were getting ready to walk into the skating rink.


And then us again actually on the rink.


Then Beck going around a little girl.


And this is Enos. You might think that he is like 16 or 17, but actually he is only 14. He’s just really tall.


And this is Joy. She didn’t go on the rink, but she, along with Lisa, Maa-me, and later, Bernice, Jesse, and Na-na, cheered us on as we passed them each time.


And me and Lisa. I had to take a break and Lisa wanted a picture.


And right now I do not have pictures on everyone else. But the list of people that went is; Brother Yokoyama, my dad, Hikaru, Hikaru’s sister (I don’t know her name), Lisa, Joy, Maa-me, Beck, me, Enos, and later Bernice and Jesse came with Bernice’s friend, Na-na. But we all had a blast. It was so much fun!! And as soon as I get some more pictures, I will try and put them on here.

Please come back to read the next entry.
Thanks again for all your prayers!!!

A whirlwind month!!!!

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

Hello Everyone!!!

Sorry that it has been so long since I have done a blog entry, but we have been SO busy!! So, in the blog entry, I’m going to try and sum up the past month to month and a half for you. I’ll only be putting in a few of the pictures. Mostly just the highlights. But before I get started, I know my dad already left an entry saying this, but I want to thank everyone for their prayers during these past weeks. Most of the church back home in Dayton already knew about my grandpa before we ever did, but my mom said that’s probably best because we know y’all were praying for us, before we found out that he had passed away. Thank you so much!!

Okay, first of all, some of you may have received an email from me, or maybe someone else told you from Dayton, but one Tuesday night my mom was not feeling very well so she stayed home from prayer. After being at the church for about 20 minutes, my dad received a call. My mom was on the other end out of breath saying, “Mark, the pain…it’s hurts so bad…and my hands are tingling”. So after getting off the phone with her, my dad came and got Beck and I and then went and told Brother Logan that we were leaving. After we got home, we ran upstairs to find my mom on the bed. She was crying and hyper-ventilating and couldn’t get up off the bed. My dad tried to help her off the bed but she just couldn’t get up. So Beck ran next door and got Kamata-san. Beck was crying and Kamata-san was trying to understand her and had to say, “It’s okay don’t cry…settle down…now, tell me what is wrong”. So after Beck got it out, Kamata-san ran to our house (well, the rest of the way), took off his shoes and was up the stairs. Now, I must say that from the time he took his shoes off till the time he reached my parents room was about 3 seconds tops and if you’ve ever been to our house or seen pictures, that is kind of hard to do, and you must REALLY be in a hurry. But after a couple minutes, he called the ambulance AND gets a hold of one of his best friends who has been a gate guard for like 20 something years.  And whats cool, is when the ambulance got here, they used this stretcher that was made of plastic, and what looked like sheets or something. It was so cool. It was made to easily get people up and down Japanese stairsteps. And in order for my dad to have a way home, he had to follow in the van…which meant that I got to ride in the ambulance with my mom. The Japanese ambulances are really cool!!! They have this little extension on the top so that people can stand up inside. So now, my dad has left in the van, and the ambulance driver is still sitting on the side of the street and then….PULLS OUT A MAP!!!! I’m thinking, ” Okay, my mom is in so much pain, she is saying that it is worse than having kids which means that it is really bad. And now the DRIVER is pulling out a map!!! This is so not good!!!” But after like 5-10 more minutes, we finally pull away. And when we get within 30 seconds of the base, the guy sitting in the back with me and my mom say, “I.D. card please” so I give him the I.D. cards and when they get to the gate, he practically jumps over the driver and sticks his whole arm out the window for the gate guard who doesn’t even look at them; he just waves us through. And then I see a police car sitting there with it’s lights on. As soon as we get through the gate, the police starts pulling off. And after we get to the hospital, we find out that the policeman is Kamata-san’s best friend!!! I honestly think that Kamata-san knows everyone. Well, at least all the important people!!! So after waiting in the hospital, and the doctor giving my mom morphine and some other medicine, the pain was finally under control. The doctor, nurse and the tech, were all very nice, said that they thought that she had a kidney stone but that they weren’t for sure, so they called the x-ray tech in and after the x-ray and a urine sample (which they tech said looked like fruit punch), they finally diagnosed her with a kidney stone!! And a few days later, this is what came out.


She wanted a picture of it next to her finger to show how small it was. And when it did come out, she looked at it and said, “WOW!! That thing is small!!! Is this what caused me so much pain???”

Now, the next couple weeks. We were very busy with school and my dad was studying, so not really much went on. But just so y’all can see the youth of the church…Jesse is on the far left, then Sally, Michelle, Lisa, Haley, Beck, and yours truly!!!


Now, to the most recent pictures. These were all taken while Justin and Rachel, my brother and sister-in-law, were here. This first picture was taken at the Kikuya restaurant in downtown Tokyo at a military hotel called the New Sanno.



And this was taken right outside of the Shibuya train station where it is said that thousands pass through EACH DAY!!! That’s a lot. We all stood there for like maybe 5-10 minutes and we saw about three hundred pass by. There was AT LEAST one hundred pass at a time.



This is all the people lining up waiting for the lights to change.


And this is the shinkansen, or the bullet train, that we took to Kyoto. The bullet train we were on was called the Nozomi and is one of the fastest bullet trains in Japan. It reaches speeds of 170 something km an hour. So it went FAST!! But in order to get to where we needed to, we had to get get up at 3 something or maybe 4 a.m. and walk from the New Sanno to one train station, take that train 3 stops, switch trains, take that train one stop, then sit for an hour at the station where the bullet train was. Then we rode the bullet train for 3 hours. It was more roomy than an airplane. It was NICE!!!



This is Justin and Rachel then me and Rachel.



And this is the Kyoto tower. It is actually a hotel on the bottom then 2 observatory decks.



And the train station.


And after leaving the station, we started walking to our hotel. It was supposed to be about 4 blocks away or so, but….it was just a little longer than that. Or maybe it just felt longer since we had all of our luggage. So when we got to the hotel, our rooms weren’t ready yet, so we walked down to a restaurant called Coco’s curry house. It has the best Japanese curry EVER!!! And there is this bread thing called a nan, but unfortunately, this Coco’s didn’t have any. So, it’s 11 a.m. and we are done eating, but we’re still sitting there talking about what we’re going to do for the rest of the day. Then my dad’s cell phone starts ringing and it is Sister Lucas calling from the states. She told my dad, “Brother Pounders, you need to get a hold of your mother-in-law. Something has happened.” My dad says, “What is going on?” Sister Lucas says, “you need to get a hold of her and as soon as you can.”  So we all get up and Justin says, “Dad, you and Cari run ahead to the hotel and we’ll walk back with Rachel and Rebekah.” So my parents leave and start walking back and as soon as Justin pays, we all start walking back as well. And the whole 10 minute walk back, Beck and I are trying to figure out, “Why did Nana call?? And how did she get a hold of the Lucas’s??  Then we start thinking,  “Maybe Buford (our dog) got killed. Or maybe Russell (my grandpa) had a heart attack. Or maybe Johnny (my mom’s aunt’s husband). Or maybe Aunt Dorthy (my mom’s aunt). Who is it???” But we just couldn’t figure it out. Then we said, “Well it can’t be Paw-paw because Dah (my grandma) would have called for that.” Finally, Rachel said, “Why don’t you just wait until your parents find out what is going on. No one knows anything yet so just wait.” So we get back to the hotel and Justin goes and buys us a frappachino from Starbucks and we go inside. When we go through the doors, I hear someone crying, and it sounds an awful lot like my mom. She says, “Well, I’m in Kyoto till tomorrow. There is nothing I can do right now. We can’t go back now.”  Right then I think, “No, something REALLY bad has happened!!!” I walk over to my dad and say, “Dad…what’s going on.” He says, ” Girls, go sit down”. I said, “Dad, no something is wrong. What is it?? (I think that’s the first time I told me dad no) Did someone die??” He says, ” Girls, I neeed you to go sit down” and I was like, “Dad, who died? Was it Russell? Johnny?? Aunt Dorthy?? Who??”. Then he just looks at me and Beck and says, “Girls,…..Paw-paw…..” That was all he needed to say. I know right then that my Paw-paw was gone. I walked over to ther chair and sat down and just started crying. I don’t think Justin and Rachel knew what to do. The lady at the desk was really nice. She brought us all a pack of tissues and when she heard my dad tell us what happened, and saw how upset we all were, she came over, crying, and told my dad, “Sir, I am so sorry”. And I think that she told someone to hurry up on our rooms so we could get up there since they still weren’t ready. After a few minutes, I don’t know how long for sure, we all went upstairs and Rachel plugged her computer up almost as soon as she walked in the door and started looking for tickets while my mom and dad were calling my grandma, my uncle, Brother and Sister Lucas, and Brother and Sister Yokoyama to let them all know what was going on. My grandma told my mom on the phone, “Cari, I told everyone that we were going to wait to do anything until you got here.” So to make a long story longer, we went out with Justin and Rachel while my parents stayed at the hotel. We were going to stay with my parents while Justin and Rachel went out but I asked my mom if we could go and she said she wanted us to go because if we sat at the hotel, we were just going to cry, so we could at least go see some things with Justin and Rachel. So we went out. We went and took the bus and walked to this absolutely HUGE pagoda temple thing and saw some other little neat things on the way. Everything from this point on is what we saw with them.

This cute little samurai dog. It almost looks as if he is posing.



The pagoda and temple.



And a group of Japanese kids, or rather teens, standing in front of the entrance. And then a far away picture of me and Beck in front of the entrance.



And then a close up. And then the pagoda.



And the Kyoto tower at a distance.  And this is the a museum type thing that the had in the back part. We got in for like 300 yen a piece. But what is funny is that you can go and but a post card with this picture on it, but I was actually there, so I got it for free!!!



And here you can see the pagoda, the shrine, and the museum. And Justin and Rachel in front of something in the museum thing.



And Justin and Rachel again. And in this picture, me and Justin were looking at something and Rachel said, “Hey turn around you two!!”



Then Rachel said, “Justin, look happy!! Uncross your arms!!” So he did this little pose. I wasn’t looking at the camera; I was laughing. Then Beck wanted her picture with Justin too.



And all the rest of these were taken the next day. This at first was the golden pavillion. It was first built to be a retired emperor’s house or something like that. The top outer layer is covered in gold. It is absolutely BEAUTIFUL!!! And it’s not just gold colored stuff. It’s actually gold!!



And the second picture is of Justin and Rachel in front of the golden pavillion.



Then me and Beck. Then all the kids. And then my parents.





And this is at one of the castles. This was really huge. And one cool thing about it, the floors are made of nighting gale wood, or something like that, and whenever they are being walked upon, the creak and sound like a nighting gale. It’s really cool, It was to help against people breaking in. I would’ve taken some pictures inside, but camera’s were prohibited.



And this is a wedding that we saw at one of the temples. It was SO COOL!!!!!



And here is a picture of me and Beck and three Japanese girls that we saw that were in kimono’s. Look, they all have pink on!!! I wonder if they planned that??


Well, that is all that I will do for now. I have a lot more pictures, maybe 400 with mine and Justin and Rachel’s, but I’m not putting all of them on here!!! I just wanted to show y’all the highlights of the last couple months.

Once again, I want to think y’all for all the prayer during the last few weeks, but please continue praying for us. Thank you so much.