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Archive for May, 2011

Activities from this weekend!

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

Hello!

I just had a few things to show you from Saturday, Sunday, and today.

First, Saturday morning, we went to Yokota to help pack some more backpacks to take up north. I didn’t get any pictures on my camera from that because I was taking pictures on Tammy Hogue’s camera (Tammy is over this whole work of Live to Give), and helping with the packs. Then we went to the church with my mom while the Japanese PI (Purpose Institute) students were finishing with their class.

This was during one of their breaks. Brother Sugita was giving Brother Yokoyama a massage. Brother Sugita is massage therapist. I’ve heard he is very powerful when he massages.

Sorry this one is blurry. I was trying to stay back but it came out kind of blurry. Maybe I should have gotten closer.

Here is what was on the back of some of the shirts that Tammy had made for people to buy.

And this is the front.

And here’s the whole shirt.

This is during the last class of PI.

I took  a few videos, but I’ll need to work on them a bit to put them on here (they are a tad too big. Like 0.7 or 1 mb. Not much, but it’s still too big). So as soon as I get those done, I’ll put them on a different blog entry.

Now, for the pictures from church Sunday.

I don’t remember exactly how these all went, as in if it was Sunday School of the main service. I guess it doesn’t really matter in the end.  :)

Here is Sister Felicia D.

And Sister Blessing Omorefe.

Here is Sister Ruth and her husband Brother Jerome.

Here you can see my dad and Brother Ephraim praying with Brother Thomas.

Here is Sister Ruth again.

I don’t remember this sister’s name for sure. I could guess what I think it is, but I don’t want to be wrong.

Here is Sister Felicia again.

I do know this was during the worship service. So all these above must be from Sunday School.

Here is Brother Daniel.

And Sister Victoria.

Now, I’m going to skip forward to today about 12:00 pm. Sister Blessing Apedo had invited Rebekah and I over for this afternoon. And we taught Peter how to hold Elizabeth.

In this picture, Peter looks JUST like Brother Paul!

I think Elizabeth looks scared in this one.

Here is Queenie. Actually, Elizabeth has many different nicknames. Queenie, Liz, Beth, Princess Elizabeth, Queen Elizabeth, princess, and several others.

Here is Rebekah and Peter.

After letting Peter “hold” Elizabeth (I still had a firm hold on her) I was holding Elizabeth in a sitting position on my lap and Peter came and tried to hug her. Then he sat down on my lap as well and tried to hug her again. In the end, this is what we did.

And here are all three of us. Peter looks a lot like Brother Paul in this picture too!

Here are all four of us. Peter looks like he’s sleeping and Elizabeth is watching Sister Blessing cook.

At one point, Peter walked into the entry way. When we looked in there, we saw he had my shoes on…on the wrong feet!

By the way, this is Rebekah’s foot, not mine. I wasn’t in there yet.

He probably thinking, “Yeah, I look good in these shoes. Definitely want some of these!”

I think he was trying to figure out how to operate my phone.

And last but definitely not least, here is the Princess again.

And just to add to that, Sister Blessing, all the food was AWESOME!!! Sister Blessing had prepared some jollof rice (the Ghanaian version of cajun rice), chicken, and chicken stew. It was OISHI DESU!!! Thank you, Sister Blessing!

And that, everyone, is all I have for now. But, by this time next week, there will be at least one long entry up, and maybe another. I don’t know. We will be going up north to Ishinomaki. It will be the four of us (my mom, my dad, Rebekah, and myself), Brother Yokoyama, Brother Ishibashi, Brother Obi, and Brother Omorefe going up there. We will be spending quite a bit of time with the Mizuno family so please continue to pray for that that we will be able to be a good witness to that family.

Thanks so much for all of the prayers and we ask that you continue praying for the nation of Japan.

Rachel

Trip to Yokohama

Saturday, May 21st, 2011

Hello everyone!

How is everyone doing?

Before I go any further, I want to say congratulations to someone from our home church in Dayton, Ohio. Sister Diane just recently (on Saturday y’alls time) got married and I just want to say a Japanese congratulations to her so….. Kokkon omedetou gozaimasu (I had help on that)! Congratulations Sister Diane!!! I love and miss you bunches and I wish y’all well!!

Okay, now for the pictures. We left Wednesday morning to go to Yokohama again and then to Camp Zama (an Army base about an hour from here) where my dad had a job interview on Thursday. But before that, we wanted to go by a house that we have looked at a couple times now. So while we got there a little early and stopped by this  park not too far from the house. And while we were there, we saw these slides that are sort of cool. And when I was little, they were the bomb! Instead of it being just plain plastic or metal, it has these little rollers on it. I remember when we were here before from 1999-2002, and I went to the elementary school on base at Yokota, whenever we went to parks, our main goal was to find on of these slides. An we always held contests to see who could get up the furthest and quickest. So when we went to this particular park, my mom saw this slide and was like, “Oh! Y’all get on that. Come on, I’ll get on it too!” So we all got on it.

Then we went to a 7-Eleven to grab a snack. While we were there, I saw some squid jerky (at least, I hope it was squid) and I wanted to see what it tasted like so my dad let me get some to try. Honestly, it was okay, but not my favorite jerky in the world. My favorite jerky is Brother Phelps’ bear and deer jerky. This was most definitely not bear or deer jerky!

And Rebekah and my dad got a strawberry Coolish. This was pretty good! I’ve now had the vanilla, chocolate, and now strawberry Coolishes. My favorite: chocolate all the way! Then vanilla and strawberry is next.

This is real close to that house we looked at. You can see what looks like houses for ever.

And here is Rebekah standing next to a light pole at the end of the steps.

And this is the view from the back yard of that house.

After looking at the house, we went somewhere with Sister Datsomor. I don’t remember where exactly it was but when we were pulling into the parking garage under the building, this is exactly how close we were to the little bar at the top. I could have reached out and grabbed it. I took this picture after we started going down the ramp.

I saw these and I started laughing. It’s a Red Bull car. It looks kind of funny actually… (sorry the first picture isn’t that good)

This is the only Red Lobster I’ve seen in Japan. But it also brought back memories from when we went there with my brother, Justin, my sister-in-law, Rachel, and my cousin, Tiffany. But that was….8 years ago, I think, by now. It was in Omaha, Nebraska. That was funny looking back now. :)

When my dad saw this, he said, “Girls, I know y’all have always wanted to go to the White House so here it it.”

Here is a police man on his motorcycle. We always say, “Hey, there’s the motorcycle cop!” My dad always says that he wants to ask them one day if he can get his picture on the motorcycle.

This was outside of a gas station (I think). It says “Never give up. Ganbaru”. Also, the kanji  says Nihon or Japan. Sorry it’s backwards.

And that is all I have for now. Please come back next week for more pictures. We have something very special coming up next week. And then two weeks later we go Singapore, and two weeks (or is it three weeks) later we go to Okinawa. So y’all all will have to come back quite a bit so y’all can see everything. It’s going to be a busy summer for the Pounders and for the blog. Oh, so much fun this summer!! I can’t wait!

Okay, that’s it.

Much love,

Rach

Church and other things :-)

Monday, May 16th, 2011

Konnichi wa tomodachi!

Hello friends!

Before I go any further, I want to say a big Japanese Happy Birthday to my nephew, Bryce, who will be turning 3 on the 23rd. So….

TANJOUBI OMEDETTO GOZAIMASU!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY BRYCE!!!!! Love ya little man!! Chris, please be sure to give him a great big hug from his Auntie Rachel!

Also today, May 16, is Brother Perry’s birthday. He turned 25 so tanjoubi omedetto gozaimasu to you as well, Brother Perry.

Okay, now to continue with everything else.

First, we went to Brother and Sister Datsomor’s house on Saturday. It was kind of funny because we got a little turned around on the way down there but we finally got there….45 minutes late. But anyway, we still had a great time. Sister Datsomor made some peanut soup (or ground nut soup or peanut butter soup) with fufu, and some bean stew with kakla (a bread-textured thing made from bananas). She also had some spring rolls that were made by one of the Filipino ladies in the church there. And Sister Datsomor, ALL of it was AWESOME!!! Tottemo oishi desu!!! And it was funny because Sister Datsomor knows how much I love peanut soup and she had mentioned something about getting more if we wanted any; for us to feel at home. Then she laughed and said, “Maybe I should put it in front of Sister Rachel instead.” We all laughed at that.  But we had a good time. The food was great and we were laughing pretty much the whole time. A little bit later, Lynda came over and her and Sister Datsomor practised the songs they were singing for church on Sunday.

Anyway, here are some pictures that were taken on the way down to Yokohama, where the Datsomor’s live.

When we saw this, we were like, “LOOK!! A Domino’s!!”

I totally love the way this building is built. I have no idea what it is, but it looks kind of old.

And I LOVE this car! I like the colors.

This is once we got sort of close to the Datsomor’s house. So, we had put in their home phone number (or what we thought was their home number) into the GPS. And we ended up right around in this area.

I had tried to get a couple more pictures but trying to take a picture while driving (my dad not me) and through a window with the sun glaring off of it is not an easy task to accomplish.

So anyway, we finally made it to the Datsomor’s house, although we got turned around and were 45 minutes late. When Sister Datsomor came out of their house, she said, “I thought you were turning Ghanaian!” That’s sorta an inside joke between the Ghanaians and all who know them. I love all of our Ghanaian friends!!! :-D

Now, for all the pictures from church Sunday. I wasn’t able to get that many pictures because I was holding Isaiah Shahid during the worship service and I wasn’t really worried about getting pictures. And I have to tell you about one neat baby. When Sister Shahid went up to pray, I took Isaiah for her. I looked down at one point during the service when the worship  reached a crescendo, and Isaiah was out! He was just snoozing and he stayed snoozing even while people were shouting and yelling. Even while I was jumping (easily so I wouldn’t hurt or wake him) he was still sleeping! I told Brother and Sister Shahid after church that they have a true apostolic baby when he can sleep through all that.

Anyway, here is a picture I took of Amma during the beginning of the worship.

Okay, that is all I have for now. This coming weekend (the 21st and 22nd) I’ll have a lot of pictures and then the following weekend (the 28th) I’ll have a LOT of pictures to show you, but I’m not telling you now what is going on. Y’all will just have to come back and see what is going on!

Love y’all!

Rachel

Haha No Hi Omedetto Gozaimasu!

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

Good evening!

First of all, I would like to say to all the mothers everywhere in the world, HAHA NO HI OMEDETTO GOZAIMASU!!!!! HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!!!

Now, for some pictures from church Sunday, which was Mother’s Day!

Here is my dad at the beginning of service.

And this is the Shahid family. They first arrived in Japan in February. They landed at Yokota( the base close to us) but they were taking the bus to Yokosuka, the Navy base where Brother Perry is. Anyway, then the earthquake and the tsunami happened, Brother Emmanuel Shahid went out to sea and his wife, Sister Sara Shahid, and their son, Isaiah, (8 months old) went back to California with her family. They are all back safely in Japan and they were able to join us Sunday for services.  Sister Shahid said she just cried Saturday night because she was thinking of how good it would be to finally be back in church. They are a really sweet family and their son is adorable! And Brother Shahid has an amazing testimony about how he came into the truth. And this is for all of my friends in Singapore, but I thought Sister Shahid looked a lot like Meghan Willoughby

And here are all the moms as they are receiving their gifts. I’m going to go through and name them all.

Left to right: Sister Yokoyama, Sister Blessing Omorefe, Sister Yamamoto, Sister Lourdis, Sister Shahid, and Sister Mateo.

Sister Harumi Omorefe, Sister Ofori, Sister Pauline, and Sister Charity.

My mom, Rebekah, back behind Rebekah is Sister Felicia Lotsu, Sister Blessing Apedo, Sister Harumi Omorefe, Sister Ofori, Sister Pauline, Sister Charity, and Sister Jackie.

And here Sister Felicia Kwarteng is added.

Here is Rebekah as she is handing out my mom’s mixed berry jam. We tried to come up with a name for it: Cari’s Berry Mix Jam, Cari’s Berry Jam, Cari’s Berry Mixed Berry Jam, and others. None of the names seemed to fit so we just left it at Mixed Berry Jam.

And here you can see all the mom’s along with Pricilla and Dixon.

This was after my dad asked how many of the moms were over 40. Sister Pauline was the last one to put her hand down (all but 3 or 4 people put their hands up).

This was the oldest mom. Actually, there were two ladies (I’m not saying their age) who were the same age, but Sister Yamamoto was older by 3 months. Her birthday is in September and Sister Lourdis’s birthday is in December so Sister Yamamoto won that time.

This is our youngest mother. Sister Blessing Apedo will always win that one!

Here is Pricilla holding her mom’s jam.

Here are all the mom’s praying right before my dad let them sit down.

After the mom’s received their gifts, Sister Yokoyama got up and sang “Worthy is the Lamb”. And let me tell you, she can sing!!!! I took a video of  it but the video is too big to put on here so I guess y’all will just have to take my word for it! :)

This is when my dad was speaking after all that.

After church we went out with the Shahid’s and Brother Perry to Coco Ichiban, a curry restaurant close to the house. Then we took them to get some tofu ice cream (which they loved, by the way). I took this of Isaiah while we were sitting in the car. Rebekah had been holding Isaiah while we were eating our ice cream and got him to go to sleep. He is so adorable!

One more thing, then I’ll let y’all go. I found this site a while back and while reading it, I was laughing SO hard! It is hilarious! It’s called, “You Know You’re an MK When….” (MK stands for missionary kid). Some of the things, I have to admit, are actually true, I know for me. But only a couple of them. Like number(s): 8, 10, 79 (JUST KIDDING!!!), 86 (instead of tear gas, ours was to keep up with the earthquake and tsunami online and answer all the phone calls), 88, 114 (this is the truth!!!), 131, and a few others. Okay, so maybe there are more than a couple that I can relate to. It’s still funny to be reading that and thinking, “Hey, I do that” or “Yeah, that’s the truth”. It’s so funny! I can only imagine how kids who have been on the field their entire lives, like the Timothy, Jason, and Andrew Lucas, and Meghan, Barak, and Mikayla Willoughby, can relate to all of these. I only mentioned those few because I actually know them, but it can be for people (missionaries) all across the world. Anyway, here is the link for all that: http://www.expat.or.id/info/missionarykid.html. You have to check it out! Some of these, I sort of mumbled (Like “You have your passport before you have a driver’s license”) because it is so true. I got my passport at 6 and I still don’t have my license. But I do know what a Visa is…both types!! :D

Okay, that is all I have for now. I hope all y’all had an awesome week, and I hope all of the mother’s out there had a great Mother’s Day.

Once again, Haha no hi omedetto gozaimasu! Happy Mother’s Day!

Daily Life in Japan

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

Hello everyone!

Before I do the Mother’s Day entry, there are several pictures from different times of the past couple months that I wanted to show all y’all. They are not from one particular place, just from all over.

This first picture is from when we went to the Showa Kinen Park (I did an entry on that, “Showa Kinen Park”, not too long ago). This was at the entry of the park.

This is also at Showa Park. I had helped Rebekah to put some cherry blossom flowers in her hair.

By the way, if you can’t tell, the cherry blossoms were BEAUTIFUL!!

This helicopter was flying overhead of us. I think it might has been a news helicopter.

And this is something I thought was pretty awesome. We were at the base, and we were walking from the BX (second floor) down to the eyeglass shop (first floor) and we passed by this sign in front of the commissary (also first floor). When I saw the sign, I was like, “REBEKAH! I cannot believe it!! There is a scripture on government property!!” Yes, I was being sarcastic, but also somewhat serious. In the States, it seems like EVERY government building is taking away every mention of God. Is it because we are overseas?

And now for the cool part! Rebekah and I walked to Tokyu as I was waiting for some guys to get done playing basketball so I could play for a while and we walked in and the bottom floor was packed with people. We walked up to the second floor so we could see everyone on the bottom floor better. Then we saw this guy.

He was doing this thing with the kids (at first) where they were playing the Japanese version of “Rock, paper, scissors” (Sorry. I don’t know the full name in Japanese). Anyways, whoever came out on top after all the rounds (until there was only one left), they won a watermelon. Judging by the sizes of the watermelon, I think some of the probably cost about $60.00 (US) or there abouts. Those kids were going crazy.

I love his hair! Lol!! JUST KIDDING!

With the watermelon game, they also had several other thing like arcade games, all around on the first floor.

Here is the watermelon man with his helper.

This is from when we went out to eat. At the restaurant we went to, they were having an American Grill day (something along those lines) and this is their cajun rice Japanese style, with seaweed on top. It was really good!

I didn’t get very many pictures of all the food because I was trying to maneuver around all the people (it was kind of busy in there) and handle my plate easily. It’s not an easy job to do, by the way.

These are just looking into the restaurant after we got done.

The yellow katakana say “Amerikan (American)” and the white katakana in the middle say “Hambaga (hamburger)”. I’m not for sure what the bottom katakana say. The first one is “ko” but I can’t remember the second katakana.

And they did have burgers. They were like the little slider burgers. Oishi!!

And some chicken with potatoes.

These were at one of the restaurants across the hall from the one we went to. Yes, you can order this. Rebekah said it looks mad. I like fish (some) but I’m not too big on eating a fish that looks like it is looking at me.

Anybody up for lobster?

This was in the grocery store part of Saty (a store in the mall). We went back into the fish section. Octopus! Yum! Just kidding, I’ve never tried octopus although I keep saying I’m going to.

These were also in Saty. They are little dogs made out of fake flowers for Mother’s Day.

As we were walking around, we went into one of the snack shops and saw this. Woah!! Okane (money)! I would like that million to be dollars not a million yen.

I was also going to try and see if I could put a video on here of Sister Yokoyama singing a solo during church Sunday, but the video is too big to put on here. Other than that, that is all I have for this entry!

Thanks so much for everything y’all are doing for the country of Japan. We all appreciate it from the bottom of our hearts!

Rachel

Japanese Culture I

Thursday, May 5th, 2011

Hello!

Before I go any further, I would like to say congratulations to my brother, Justin, and my sister-in-law, Rachel on the arrival of their new baby girl, Josine, or Josie. She’s a beautiful baby girl!! Also, I want to say congratulations to the Logan family on the arrival of their baby boy, Gabriel. He is so adorable!!

Now for the rest of it. My mom mentioned something to me earlier and I thought it was an awesome idea! I’m going to start every once in a while doing a Japanese Culture entry. We thought y’all might like to learn a bit more about the country of Japan. Some of this I am learning myself, so this will be a learning experience for all of us! :)

First, there is an article in the base newspaper, the Fuji Flyer, and it had some very interesting things in it. In this entry, I’ll only be putting in one of the articles, but in the near future, I’ll be putting in a couple of the others. I hope you all enjoy reading/learning about this as much as I did! :) Quite interesting!

Noodleology: Untangling the World of Noodles

Many countries claim to have invented the noodle, and whilst difficult to prove this, it is widely accepted that noodles probably originated in China some four thousand years ago. Noodles came to Japan later, brought with Buddhism from China by Japan’s first priests in the early ninth century.

However, they only really started to wriggle their way into  many more bowls, and restaurants, after the end of the Second World War.

At that time, food shortages led to a need for cheap, filling food, and after the war an influx of cheap imported flour from America meant that noodles fit the bill nicely.

In addition, many Japanese troops had returned home to Japan from China and continental East Asia with a taste for Chinese cuisine, and subsequently set up Chinese noodle restaurants across Japan.

Noodles saw another leap in popularity in 1958, when instant dried noodles were invented by Momofuku Ando. These instant ramen style noodles allowed anyone to make the meal by simply adding boiling water. Despite Japan’s food industry initially rejecting the product, in the year 2000, they were named as the greatest Japanese invention of the 20th century in a Japanese poll by the Fuji Research Institute.

Ramen

This style of noodle dish originated in China and the Japanese have since created their own take on it, with countless varieties of soup stock and variations now available.

Basically, ramen is noodles in a meat or fish based broth, served in a very large bowl, with a variety of popular toppings such as sliced pork (chaa-shu), egg (ajitama), and bamboo shoots (menma). As the dish has its origins in China, it is often eaten with Chinese style side dishes such as gyoza, and egg fried rice (cha-han).

The noodles used in ramen soups are thin, wiggly, wheat-based Chinese style noodles and are usually served al dente (Rachel note: ‘I’m not sure what that means’). That said, as with the differing soup bases, this varies from place to place and some stores may offer customers a choice on how well-done they’d like their noodles cooked.

For die-hard ramen fans, and for those who might like to try a taste of a few regional specialities without overeating, the Ramen Museum (Rachel note: ‘Yes, there is a Ramen Museum!’), in Shin-Yokohama aims to recreate the atmosphere of Tokyo in 1958; a time when ramen was establishing its popularity throughout the city, in theme-park style. A variety of restaurants serve up ramen from different areas in Japan and visitors can buy half-sized portions so they can sample more than one type of ramen without over-indulging  too much.

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Udon

Udon are white weat-flour noodles that are thicker, and generally softer, than both soba and ramen noodles. Similar to other noodle dishes in Japan, they are eaten either hot or cold (Rachel note: ‘I’ve had both hot and cold and I like both of them! Oishi desu!’), and toppings and tsuyu are added to spice-up, flavor, and accompany the main sustenance of the meal.

When udon is served hot, it is often served in a tsuyu soup similar in taste to the one used for hot soba dishes. It is not uncommon to find restaurants that will offer both soba and udon on their menus as a result of this.

Other examples of udon dishes include:

- Curry Udon: Udon noodles with vegetables in a meat curry sauce.

- Nabeyaki Udon: A kind of hot-pot, with fish or meat and vegetables cooked with udon noodles in a nabe-style pot.

- Yaki Udon: Udon noodles stir-fried in a soy-based sauce, with vegetables and meat, prepared in a similar way to the yakisoba dish.

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Soba

Soba noodles are native to Japan and are produced using a mixture of Japanese buckwheat and wheat-flour. They are a medium width, straight cut noodle that are of a darker appearance that the other noodles commonly eaten in Japan. The can be served both hot and cold.

When served hot, they are usually eaten from a bowl containing a midly flavoured dark colored soup, made from soy sauce and fish stock (dashi). Toppings are sometimes added, and they are chosen to reflect the seasons or to balance with other ingredients. Most of the toppings for soba are added without much cooking, although some are deep-fried (tempura style).

When soba is served cold, it is cooked first, then chilled, served on a plate or sieve-like bamboo tray called a zara. Often it is served with a separate cold dipping sauce called tsuyu. This sauce is made from a mixture of sweetened soy sauce, dashi fish stock and mirin. Wasabi and chopped scallions are also brought with the meal separately and then mixed by the diner into the dipping sauce before eating. Tempura may also be served with cold soba and usually a less powerful tsuyu. Dried seaweed flakes (nori) are also commonly added on top of cold soba once it has been placed on the zara tray.

The price and style of soba restaurants vary greatly. As a general rule, the interior and the exterior of the restaurant will give you an idea of what sort of price you can expect to pay for the soba inside. Informal soba-on-the-move stlye restaurants, like those found in busy train stations are unlikely to have the best tasting soba and likewise, you are unlikely to find soba for Y280 inside a restaurant that has been lovingly styled with all the aesthetic qualities of Zen Buddhism.

Somen

Somen noodles are very thin white noodles made from plain wheat-flour. Usually they are less than 1.33 mm in diameter and they are made in a very similar way to udon. In fact, the only real difference between the two noodle types is their diameter, and how they are eaten.

Although there are a few dishes containing somen noodles that may be eaten hot in the Winter; nyumen being the most well known of these. It’s far more likely that you will come across somen during a visit to Japan in the Summer months, and that it will be served cold.

In Summer, somen noodles chilled with ice are a very popular meal to help people stay cool in the heat. They are usually eaten with a mild tsuyu dipping sauce. Instead of using wasabi to flavor the tsuyu, such as with soba, the dipping sauce for somen has Welsh onion, ginger or myoga (an edible flower bud) added to it to give it a lighter taste more suited to the heat of a Japanese Summer.

Other Noodle Types and Dishes

Although among the lesser common types of noodles eaten in Japan, you may also come across other noodles and noodle dishes such as:

- Yakisoba noodles: Despite what the name may suggest, this popular Japanese noodle dish does not contain soba noodles. In fact, it uses noodles more similar to Chinese style noodles. Like ramen, this dish probably has its origins in China too, and it can be described as a variation of the well known traditional Chinese chow mein dish. Yakisoba is very popular street, or festival, food and it’s very common to see this dish being served at festivals during the Summer months anywhere in Japan.

- Instant Ramen Noodles: An article about noodles in Japan would not be complete without a section about, what we noted earlier as what has been called. – Japan’s greatest invention of the 20th century; instant ramen noodles.

Hugely popular, both inside and overseas, instant ramen noodles, despite their rumored health risks, show no sign of decreasing in popularity and it is estimated that, as of 2008, approximately 94 billion serving of instant noodles are eaten worldwide every year. 48% of these being consumed in China.

Instant noodles are still very popular in Japan too, as a quick, cheap convenience food and there are a multitude of brands and flavors available. Varieties range from the super budget, salt in bucket, style packs starting around Y150, through to some more pricier options for around Y200-Y500 which contain more toppings and usually come in a packet instead of a cup.

For fans of instant noodles, the original creator, and still the most popular brand in Japan, Nissin Food Products, have created  the “Instand Ramen Museum” in Osaka (www.nissin-noodles.com/english.ntm) where visitors can learn about how they are made, some history of the product and presumably buy a few packs in the gift shop.”

So, that, my friends, is the end of the article. There are a couple more interesting articles but I really don’t want to bore you with a long entry that doesn’t have pictures. I’ll try to see if I can find some that go with each article, but I can’t make any promises. I found all the pictures that I was able to for this entry. Sorry I couldn’t fine more! Gomen nasai!

That’s all for now. Thanks so much to everyone who is helping with the work in Japan.

Rachel

Japan UPC General Conference

Thursday, May 5th, 2011

Good morning!

I just wanted to share some pictures that my dad took when he went to Okinawa for the Japan UPC General Conference. So without further ado, here are the pictures from Okinawa!

This is the hotel where my dad, the Yokoyama’s, and the Datsomor’s stayed at. More people might have been there, but I know these stayed there for sure. This is called the Culture Resort Festone hotel.

And here is part of the convention center when the meetings were held.

And this is looking sort of in front of the convention center at the docks.

This is looking at the beach.

The water is so blue and pretty.

Would y’all like to know what the Katakana says? It says: “Toropikaru bichi”. The translation is right below in English. :)

Pretty water again.

I love this boat! It stands out among all of the conservative boats.

Now, to get to the good part, when the services are.

This is Brother Ellis speaking and Brother Matsui is translating into Japanese.

And here is Brother Lucas with one of the translators.

And Sister Ellis here.

And back outside the convention center again.

During the worship service one night.

Another one of the services.

Here is Brother Yokoyama and another one of the people translating.

And here is Brother Lucas and Brother Yokoyama.

And here is Brother Chan (I hope I am spelling that right) from Taiwan. With him is Brother Yokoyama who is translating into Japanese.

Here is Brother Chan as he was singing “You Are Awesome in This Place, Mighty God”.  He sang in both English and Chinese.

Brother Matsui speaking.

And here is Brother Lucas and Brother Yokoyama again.

And here is the sign that was hanging up over the screen.

Here is Brother Ellis and Brother Matsui again.

And that is all I have for this entry. I’ll try to have another entry up as soon as I possibly can. I’m not for sure when that will be, but I’m sure it will sometimes soon!

Love and miss all y’all!

Rachel

Combined Service 5-1-2011

Monday, May 2nd, 2011

Hello everyone!!!

I have some pictures from church this past Sunday (May 1, 2011). We had a combined service with the Japanese because of the Japan General Conference in Okinawa. My dad, the Yokoyama’s, the Matsui’s and several other’s in the churches here went to Okinawa. So here are the pictures from that.

Here is Brother Arai and Brother Daniel.

Here is Sister Ikeda.

And here is the whole crew. Sister Igarashi on the organ, Sister Ikeda, Yoshiki on the guitar, Brother Arai, and Brother Daniel.

Here’s Yoshiki.

And Brother Arai again.

And Brother Daniel again.

Here’s Yoshiki again. And just so y’all know, he plays the guitar really good! I’ve only seen him play the electric guitar, but it’s really good!

And Sister Ikeda again.

Here is Brother Arai again.

Next, for the preaching we were privileged to hear Brother Arai tell his testimony. And let me tell you, his testimony is REALLY neat! And I think in this picture, I can really tell a resemblance between Brother Arai and Yoshiki.

After Brother Arai got done, we sang another song. So here are some pictures from that. I won’t go through and name people, because it’s the same as the people above. :)

And that is all I have for this entry! I hope you all enjoy the blog entry as much as we enjoyed church! It was really good to be able to hear Brother Arai’s testimony. He told about how he met Sister Arai and how he came to church and how he got the Holy Ghost. It was really good! I wish everyone had been there to hear it!

Okay, that’s it for now. We love and miss all y’all and we thank everyone for all of the prayers for the country of Japan. JAPAN FOR JESUS!! AMERICA FOR JESUS!! AFRICA FOR JESUS!! INDIA FOR JESUS!! SINGAPORE FOR JESUS!! PAKISTAN FOR JESUS!! PHILIPPIANS FOR JESUS!! And maybe “EARTH FOR JESUS!!”?  Is that okay?

Please remember Japan in your prayers. We need the dark cloud pushed away from over Japan. Those from Haijima know what I’m talking about. Please send angels out with your authority that you all have in Jesus that they will come and hold back the enemy. As I wrote that, the story of Daniel came to my mind. When the angel finally appeared to Daniel after 3 weeks, what did the angel say? “Do not be afraid, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart on understanding this and humbling yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to your words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia was withstanding me for twenty-one days; then behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left there with the kings of Persia. Now I have come to give you an understanding  of what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision pertains to the days yet future.” (Daniel 10:12-14 New American Standard) What does that say? Well, to me, it is saying that even though we have been praying, it could be for anything, just because we haven’t seen anything happen yet, doesn’t mean that nothing is happening. It could just possibly mean that there is something major going on somewhere you cannot see. There have been many prophesies over Asia and we have yet to see anything. But after hearing Brother Yamamoto talking about the dark cloud, and Brother Stoneking saying that something was getting ready to hit Japan that would bring her to her knees, I have a better idea now of what Daniel was saying. All these years, through all of the prayers, there have been battles being fought of the princes of our “Persia”, Japan and the angles finally got through!! I’m getting goosebumps just writing about it! God has heard the prayers about the great revival in Asia. But He had to do some work before He could get through. And now it’s happening!!! Yesu-sama arigatou gozaimasu!!! Thank you, Jesus!!!

Okay, I’m really done now! Thank you again for everything all y’all are doing for the continent of Asia!!

Rachel

Yokota Backpack Packing

Monday, May 2nd, 2011

Konban wa!!

Good evening!!!

I hope everyone is doing well wherever in the world you are! Everyone here is doing great!!!

I just wanted to share some pictures with you all from Saturday and Sunday. We were invited (thank you Tammy!) to go help pack backpacks to send up north to hand out to kids. So Saturday we went to the base and finally found where we were supposed to be (we got a bit lost the day before) and we got busy packing. I took quite a few pictures but I was working, too! Honest! And after church on Sunday, we went back to the base to help finish the rest of the bags, clean up, separates the bags for the different groups taking the bags up, and do inventory of what all was left. Anyway, here are the pictures from Saturday and Sunday. I’ll let you know when I go from Saturday to Sunday.

This effort, Live to Give, was started by Tammy when one day, she was praying asking God, “What can I do to help the people that have been devastated by tsunami and earthquake?” This idea came to her, and now she has 50 people or so helping her with it.

Several signs were made and this is part of one of them.

And I don’t know every one’s name that was there, but those whose names I do know, I will tell you.

Here is Rebekah, a lady name Asuka, and another lady, working on tags. Everyone signed a tag and put their home state. These ladies were drawing on the back of the tags, hole-punching, and tying yarn on so the tags would stay on the bags. And I have to tell you about Asuka. Asuka works at the DFAS office (I have no idea what that stands for, but I do know Brother Yokoyama and Brother Matsui work there). Asuka’s parents live north of Sendai and have been in an evacuation center (if I remember correctly) and they have been overseeing whichever evacuation center they are at. Asuka has been helping Tammy by talking to DFAS people, among others. She had someone from the Yokota Air Base newspaper, the Fuji Flyer, to come and talk to Tammy and see what was going on. And this is what she said Sunday after the meeting, “Thank you for everything you are doing and thank you for helping my country. Arigatou gozaimasu (Thank you so much)”. Since all of you have also helped, I think you should know.

The first is of them working, the second is of them posing.

Here are several of the backpacks that we did.

These two guys made this sign, I think.

And this is for everyone who has helped. Prayers, donations, whatever you have done to help, this goes to you.

And this was halfway through the day. Some people had to leave so we went ahead and took the picture. We had 222 backpacks done by Saturday afternoon (a few more were done Sunday afternoon). And yes, I did order a shirt! I loved those!

Now, Saturday is through and we are going to Sunday after church.

One of the guys is going up to Sendai, I think, here in the next week or two, and we were loading his car up with almost a hundred bags for them to take.

Here is Tammy’s daughter, Kodi, Tammy, and one of the other guys there (I forgot his name. Sorry).

And here is Tammy and her husband, Chris.

Then the both of them smiling for the camera.

This guy’s car was loaded down!

And here is our car. Tammy also gave Haijima UPC 90 packs to take, along with a box of baby things. It was packed. Once, we went around a curve and a pack from the back come forward and smacked Rebekah right in the back of the head. I don’t think it hurt her too bad. We were all laughing! It was pretty funny!

And here is clean up time.

Sister Mateo.

Here are some of the guys from ALS (Airman Leadership School) signing the list for t-shirts.

And here are all the bags that were left after we loaded up two cars with 90 bags each.

And here are all the bags that were given to our church. And Rebekah of course! :)

All in all, there have been over 500 backpacks done. Thank you to everyone who helped. I know those children up north will greatly appreciate it!

Thanks again,

Rachel