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Archive for December, 2011

Ginza!

Friday, December 30th, 2011

Konnichi wa!

Last week, we were privileged to be able to go spend some time with Brother and Sister Lucas,  Brother and Sister Yokoyama, and Seika. We went to Ginza to spend some time down there. It was SO pretty!  I loved it!

So on the drive down to Ginza, we passed by this building in Tokyo that was so pretty. The lights were changing from green to red and back again.

Rebekah took these pictures. Aren’t they good?

It was so lit up down there. It was beautiful!

We walked up one side of the street and then down the other just looking at everything.

This building was decorated to look like a gift. That’s a bunch of lights!

This was one pretty tree. And it was big, too.

Here are the three young ladies in front of the tree. Seika-chan, Rebekah-chan, and myself, except in the opposite order.

See? Isn’t it pretty?

The wreath was really pretty, too.

Some of these stores just looked expensive.

For all the ladies out there, a 5 or 6 story Forever 21!! Now that’s what I’m talking about…. a huge Forever XXI!

If I remember right, this is the place that has been run by the same family for 300 years.

This place looks like a honeycomb on the outside.

Another ‘gifted’ building.

It was so neat to be walking down the street, looking at all the lights (Christmas light and non-Christmas lights) and hearing all the different Christmas songs being played in each store, and to be spending time with our newly ‘adopted’ parents (both sets), the Lucas’s and the Yokoyama’s, and our adopted sister, Seika. I loved every second of it.

This was hilarious! So this guy was on a little horse type thing and he was able to ride it. He would lean forward and then lean backwards. Each time, the horse would move. My dad said, “I hope they’re paying that guy a lot to sit out there like that.”

After changing to individual color, the big colored dome goes multi-colored.

This looks so old-school to be in downtown Tokyo.

Ginza is the most expensive spot in Japan (or is it Tokyo?) to buy property.

Here is Daddy doing his happy ‘Charles White” pose. ALC people know what I’m talking about. :)

GINZA STREET!!!

I just like the geometry in this one. This is the only geometry I like.

I didn’t even want to walk on the letters out front. Brother Lucas said that’s the type of store where when you walk in, you think they’re going to charge you $10 per breath you take.

Lights, lights, everywhere lights!

We passed by one shop that has these yummy looking sweets in it. But they were closed so we didn’t stop.

It’s so hard to believe that it’s almost 2012. When I saw all the ’2012′ signs downtown, it made me realize just how fast this year has flown by.

I like getting pictures when I’m at an angle where the shapes of the building look odd or outrageously high.

These little things were lining the street.

I turned and felt someone staring at me. It was this huge evergreen owl.

This is the newest Skyline something-or-another. I’m not good on car names.

We walked into this one building and there was this huge tree there. I think someone said that it was a prayer tree, or something like that. And we didn’t realize at first that there was a small sign at the bottom that said “No Photography”. But we had already taken our pictures.

The chandeliers were beautiful!

This purse is about US $3,000. Yeah, when you’re a person who doesn’t like to pay more than $15 to $20 for a purse, this is WAAAAAY too much! Although it’s a pretty purse, I wouldn’t carry this thing around. I’d rather sell it and just have the cash.

Has anyone else heard the saying, “Life was much easier when Apple’s and Blackberries were just fruits”?

I loved just looking at all of the lights.

This is really pretty, too. It’s so small but so pretty and….I’m not sure of another word to use to describe it.

I love these two colors together.

 

Do you notice how the majority of the people in the front row are the same height? Sister Yokoyama, Seika, Sister Lucas, myself, and Rebekah are all roughly the same height. I didn’t realize it until later though.

The way the lights were falling on this building were cool.

See how the street is just lined with lights?

Kirei!!

I love the symmetry of some of the buildings in Japan. They are so creative with their designs.

While we were downtown, we also went by the Tokyo Tower.

So….that’s all I have from Ginza. To the Yokoyama’s and the Lucas’s, we had such a good time with y’all last week! I’m so glad we were able to meet with y’all and spend so much time with y’all. I really enjoyed it.

Alright, that’s all I have from Ginza.

I love all y’all and God bless each of y’all.

 

Baby Dedication

Friday, December 30th, 2011

Hello again everyone! I hope y’all are ready because there are going to be several posts going up here soon. We have had so much going on here recently so there are a lot of pictures to put up here.

So last Sunday, we had a baby dedication for the two newest babies in the church, Joshua Thomas and Elorm Lotsu. Just for the record, these two babies are SO adorable and beautiful! Of course, I think all the babies (and some now toddlers) at Haijima are the cutest things ever.

So towards the beginning of service, Sister Lucas got up an spoke for a couple minutes.

Then Brother Lucas spoke. He preached that morning.

Brother Lucas had called the two sets of parents to go up to the front, which was the Thomas’s and the Lotsu’s.  He also asked if Brother Daniel and Sister Charity, my parents, and Brother Kwasi and Sister Victoria to go up to the front to pray for the families.

I think this is so cute!

Brother and Sister Thomas. By the way, Sister Thomas, I don’t know if I mentioned it on here, but it it SO good to have you back home. It has been over 1 year since we saw Sister Thomas last. It’s good to have her back home.

These are the other two super cute pictures.

And here is the Lotsu family.

Isn’t she a cutie?

Here’s Daddy holding Elorm.

We also had a spiritual baby dedication. Sister Elizabeth was baptized in the name of Jesus!! Praise God!

And yes, she did get the Holy Ghost! Welcome to the family, Sister Elizabeth!

There were so many people up there on the platform praying for/with Sister Elizabeth. Even the younger kids were up there praying for her.

After church, we stayed for the Japanese Christmas service. This is from the tasty food that we had at the fellowship afterwards.

Brother Lucas did a good job of cutting the chicken.

I love fellowships for two reasons the first one being that I get to be around all of my ‘family’ and the second reason being that I get to try a bunch of good food. Actually, that sounds bad. I get to try small amounts of a lot of different kinds of foods.

So….that’s it from the fellowship. We had a good time talking and just hanging out with everyone. I loved it!

Please come back to read some more. Like I mentioned in the beginning of this entry, we’ve had lot going on the past couple weeks so there are a lot of pictures to put up.

Love all y’all and God bless!

Rachel

 

 

 

 

Ibaraki Yokoso!

Monday, December 19th, 2011

Hello again!

I hope all y’all are doing well.

Last Sunday, my family and I were privileged to be able to go to the church in Ibaraki. It was awesome! The last time we were able to go to that church was 10 years ago or so. I remembered sitting on the right side of the church and seeing Brother and Sister Foksinski up there. Brother Foksinski was speaking English and Sister Foksinski was translating into Tagalog. That’s all I remember. But anyway, aside from the memories, or lack thereof, we had an awesome time with the Ibaraki church.

Isn’t this so cute? Sister Perlita Okonushi and her husband praying together right before service started.

Brother Yokoyama went down there (actually, I think it’s up there. I think it’s north of us) with us. And since they all speak Japanese, Brother Yokoyama was translating for my dad into Japanese.

Group picture!!! I always love getting group pictures!

And this is for the Millers (not the Dayton Millers, but the Bangladesh Millers). I saw this and I was like, “This is so cool! I just met these people last week!”

John is in the back left, and Matt is sitting down in the front on the left. Katie is on the far right.

This is awesome!

Okay….That’s all the pictures I got from when we went to Ibaraki. To everyone at the Ibaraki church, it was so good to be able to join y’all for service. Y’all are all so nice and so sweet! We love y’all!

Rachel

DCD 2011

Monday, December 19th, 2011

Good evening to all of my wonderful family and friends!

I hope you all have had a great last few weeks.  I know for us, it seems as if we have been running like crazy for the past few weeks. With my mom gone to the States, then my dad gone to Ishinomaki, then 3 of us went to Singapore for DCD 2011, everyone has been just going so fast.

First of all, before I get too far, I would like to say a big “NIHON YOKOSO” to Brother and Sister Lucas. They arrived in back in Japan the day after we left to go to Singapore, so they were here a full week before we (my dad, Rebekah, and myself) were able to see them again. But this past Saturday, when the three of us arrived back in Japan, Brother and Sister Lucas were so kind and picked us up from the airport and brought us to the house. Then they stayed for supper, which turned out to also be our Thanksgiving dinner, which, by the way, was OISHII!!!!!

Now, some of y’all knew, and some of y’all didn’t know, but we went to Singapore for the Deep Calleth Deep conference, which is an annual meeting held by Tabernacle of Joy from Singapore. Also, while we were there, Rebekah and I were able to attend an MK meeting (MK stands for Missionary Kid) . So  arrived in Singapore at 1:30 am on Saturday morning and Wen Qi and Charles were there to pick us up and my dad took a taxi to his hotel and Wen Qi and Charles took us to our hotel. When we got there, our room-mate, Katie Miller, was already sleeping so we very quietly got changed and ready for bed. By the time we both got in bed and asleep, it was almost 4:00 am. The next morning we were up and at ‘em by about 9:00 am so we could be ready to meet everyone by 11:00 am to go sightseeing. When we all woke up the next morning, we saw our room-mate for the first time ever. When she rolled over and looked at us, I said, “Hi! I’m Rachel. You must be Katie?” We all laughed and finished introducing ourselves. A little bit later, someone rang the doorbell. It was a lady, and I was sure it was Sister Carla Burton, but I didn’t know for sure since I had never met her. Anyway, so she gave Katie a hug and then she came up to Rebekah and myself and gave us a huge hug. And it wasn’t just a regular ‘nice-to-meet-you’ hug, it was a hug like you’d give someone that you’ve known forever. So anyway, we went down the hall and met Katie’s two brothers, Matthew and John (they’re twins). Katie is Rebekah’s age (15) and Matt and John are my age (18). So we all went downstairs to Wendy’s to eat some breakfast and then we went upstairs back to the hotel to wait on the Tour Guide team. We had an awesome time out sightseeing. Here are some pictures from while we were out that Saturday.

This was taken right before we went out. From left to right is: Shu Qiao, Rebekah, me, Ranice, Katie, Si Hui, and Mark. In the back is John (L) and Darrell (R). Matt wasn’t there yet and Sister Carla was taking the picture.

This is of one of the temples, or shrines (I’m not sure which one), that we went to. I’m not sure what religion it was though.

It was beautiful inside. I’m not sure who told me, maybe it was Ranice, but that all the gold inside, it’s real gold.

If I understood correctly, each of these little figures, it is supposed to ‘save’ a spot, or make it easier for someone, to make it to Heaven, or whatever the place of eternal peace is.

There were several other idols in there, but once you’ve seen one idol, you’re pretty much seen them all. They all look the same, just different color paints on them.

Moving on. We went to this place to get chicken rice (which is also oishii. Chicken rice is now on my list of favorite foods to eat) and while we were there, Ranice went and bought this little treat for everyone. She was so confident that we would like it, she bought each of us our own little container. It is a tofu type thing but it is sweet. As soon as you put it in your mouth, it literally falls apart and melts. It was so good! I loved it. This was after I took several bites of it. I had to make sure

This is for Max Woosley.

Something about this just caught my attention. Maybe it was the bright colored building at the end and all of the paper lanterns.

I’m not sure what type of temple this was. Maybe Hindu.

This is some sort of cactus (or is cacti the right word?) that was growing on the sidewalk down by Mosque Street.

This is down by Clark Quay, I think.

These things look/sound scary. You sit in that blue thing (the cylinder looking thing just to the right of the center) and then it’ll take you up in the air and back down, like a free fall type thing. Now, I like that Tower of Terror, but when I can’t see what it holding me up in the air and what is keeping me from flying away, I don’t like that so much.

And this thing was also delicious! I loved it! It is basically like a shaved ice, or a snow cone, but this had condensed milk, strawberries, and then the ice and it was so awesome tasting!

Sunday at church, we were able to see Brother Dabbs again. We met him and his family at DCD last year and we have been keeping in contact with his family through Twitter.  So Sunday, he asked if we could all get a picture together.

On Monday, we got up pretty early and took a van to Newton’s Circus, where we met everyone else that was going to DCD. From there we took a charter bus (actually there were 4 busses) to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

This was at Newton’s Circus. All three of them had their iPad’s out. From left to right: Matt, John, and Daddy.

As we were leaving Newton’s Circus, we saw this HUGE dog! We also saw several people trying to get a picture/video of the dog.

This is the no-man’s land in between Singapore and Malaysia. The water is so pretty!

Bryon, our bus captain, pointed out the national bird for Singapore. See it on top of all the buildings in the background? It is called the Construction Crane. :) I hope you all got that….

This was at the Chinese restaurant we stopped at in Malaysia to eat lunch. The food was awesome!

First course: rice and a miso soup type thing. The soy sauce is just an extra thing for the later courses.

The thing in the back left no one tried. The thing in the front was pretty good. It was like a fish cake thing. In the back right, that was something like a BBQ chicken wing.

I think this was the fish. It was SO good!

And tofu and some type of vegetable.

This maybe bok choy. This was also pretty tasty.

Is this chicken? Maybe. I don’t know. It was good, though.

Shrimp=yummy!

Tofu and mixed veggies.

After we got to Singapore, while we were looking at the scenery outside our window, I took this of Rebekah and Katie.

I didn’t realize that they matched until just now. No, this was not planned.

This is Matt. I know we all had been in Sister Carla’s room and he walked down to our room with me to get something to take back to Sister Carla’s. I told him, “I have to get your picture.” Sister Carla called it his Farmer Brown pants.

I like this quote that was up during prayer one night.

After church one night, after we got done hanging out in Sister Carla’s room, Matt carried John back to their room.

I’m not sure if you can see it or not, but John has a pretty little clip in his hair.

The last night of DCD, I was able to get my picture with the Wright brothers. Brother Joel Wright (who spoke at Combined Camp in June) is on the left and Brother David Wright is on the right. I had to ask Bridget to ask them because my voice was gone by this point. And Brother Joel Wright said, “Here, let me bend down a bit so I won’t look so tall.”

And…I had lost my glasses during altar call so I didn’t have them on. Most of the time though, I do have my glasses on. But I’ll tell y’all the story later. It’s pretty funny!

I also asked Sister Leah Lee if I could get my picture with her.

Here is the majority of the young men that were at DCD.

And all the girls needed their picture, too.

From left to right: Rebekah, Vijaya, Katie, Nalani, and me.

So, that’s all I’m going to put in this entry. I’ll be doing another DCD entry, so be looking out for it.

Love all y’all!

Rachel

 

 

 

 

 

 

DCD 2011: Entry II

Monday, December 19th, 2011

Hello again!! I hope you all have had a wonderful past couple weeks. I know it’s been a while since I posted anything but we’ve either had nothing going on or I’ve been too busy to post anything. So now I’m getting all of it done since I’m out of school until 9 Jan (yea!! long break).

So this is the second post about DCD 2011. I had two different camera’s there so in the first entry, I did the pictures from one camera and in this post, I’ll be doing pictures from my other camera and a couple other pictures that were sent to me.

On the first night of DCD, Brother Dabbs took our picture in front of the big DCD sign.

Pastor Dodjie Cargando was so kind to allow me to get a picture of him and my dad.

The view from our hotel was beautiful! By the way, if you ever go to Kuala Lumpur, the hotel’s name was Hotel Equatorial Bangi-Putrajaya.

While we were in Kuala Lumpur, Sister Carla took all of us MK’s to an aquarium. I think it was called The Aquaria. I could be wrong.

Matt said this fish felt like a woman’s unshaved leg. Sister Carla’s reply: “Um, how do you know what a woman’s unshaved leg feels like?”

I’m not sure if y’all can see this all the great, but this is John inside a glass (or plastic) half bubble thing.

And here is Katie and Mikayla in the same bubble.

There is only one eel in here, but with the reflection, it looks like two.

This is an electric Catfish from Africa. It’s a pretty ugly looking fish, if you ask me. I wonder how it tastes?

The Elephant Nose Fish isn’t the best looking fish either.

I just got this because I thought it was pretty.

This is a Myocastor Coypus. Better known as the Water Rat. :)

Here we saw the Kura-Kura Buaya: Alligator Snapping Turtle.

We also saw, from South America, the Buaya Kaiman: the Smooth-Fronted Caiman.

I’m still trying to figure out why I got a picture of a snake. I hate snakes!! Maybe it was because he has two faint pick lines going down the side of his (or her’s. I’m not sure which it is) head…

By the way, these things were monstrous!

So I hate spiders even more so I’m going to skip over the spider pictures. They only way I like to be close to a spider is when I’m killing it.

Next, after the spiders, we saw the worlds most poisonous frog. I didn’t get a picture of the name plate so I don’t know the name of it. It’s kind of pretty though.

This frog is the……something. I didn’t get the name on this one either. Sorry! I was having so much fun, I forgot about getting all the facts.

So…on a lot of what’s left, I didn’t get the name cards…which mean I don’t know a lot of the names….which also means that I’ll just be putting a lot of pictures and not a lot of descriptions.

We also saw this thing called a Coatimundi. It was so cute because Matt got down and was waving his hands back and forth in front of the glass playing with this…animal. But the video is too big to put on here. Sorry!

No this is not a real alligator…or crocodile..I’m not sure how to tell the difference. But anyway, this is just a statue.

I wouldn’t be this close if it was real, anyway.

I got these awesome under-water-looking pictures…but I wasn’t underwater.

I’m not sure where this was at during the whole thing. But isn’t he/she a gorgeous greeter?  :)

No this isn’t real either.

But this is real.

I thought this was SO pretty!

Of course, for those of y’all who know me pretty well, I like blue quite a bit.

Once again I ask myself, “Why in the world did I get a picture of a snake?”

Another beautiful greeter.

Here is where we went into the observation tunnel. It was so neat!

This dude is real and he is HUGE!

This guy isn’t the prettiest either. But he looks kind of soft…..does that sound weird?

At one end of the Observation Tunnel was Mr. Sea Diver. It looks almost the same as an astronauts suit.

I like the way the light is shining back behind the tail.

This picture has got to be my favorite picture from the aquarium, other than the group picture.

“My, what big teeth you have, Mr. Shark!” He also has 3 rows of teeth and if I remember right, there are about 1,000 teeth per row. Talk about trying to floss those teeth.

This is one pretty fish.

We had to get a shot of this. Matt stood under the sign of Matt the Octopus, which said, “Hi, I’m Matt”

Sorry if they’re a bit dark.

FISH FACE!!……no I’m serious. It really is a fish face.

I wonder how much this dude weighs?

Wave your hands people! Okay, so no one else was looking when I snapped this shot, but I thought it was cool none the less. There was a whole wall there made of this. Plus, with it being dark in there, and with lighting in the tanks the way it was, it just looked pretty cool.

These little creatures were some type of eel, but I forget their name.

JELLYFISH!! These little things are so cool….well, unless you get stung by one (do these jellyfish sting?). I like how you can literally see right through them.

That’s John on the other side, by the way.

I then went to stand on the same side John was just on in the picture above, and Katie went to where I was standing. I don’t know for sure if she knew I got her picture.

Mr. Seahorse! The only other time I have ever seen a seahorse was when we went to the Florida side of the Gulf of Mexico and a seahorse came up in a wave and landed in my hands. But that’s off the subject.

This last greeter doesn’t look so vicious. It looks more like a cute shark…minus the blood-stains around the mouth.

He/she looks a little meaner in this picture.

Yes, that’s my reflection in the back.

I think this was probably one of my favorite things there. It’s so pretty.

This was kind of cool looking, too.

When we got back to the hotel, it was raining off in the distance. See it?

But the clouds were beautiful in this direction.

Then we have gloomy skies again.

Awww! Kawaii! And for the record, I was not acting goofy in the back. I was talking to my dad, who was in the room next to us. You just can’t see my dad. But he’s there I promise!:)

And this is something special to me. My friend, Cheryl, gave this to me. The picture was taken in Singapore in June 2011 at Combined Camp. Cheryl, I’ll keep this forever! Love you bunches!

Some extra pictures that I have from DCD are below.

Here I am with Li Lin. My eyes are not closed, they were swollen.

And here I am with Cheryl.

Love you both so much!

And last of all, this was at the aquarium. Matt is in front of the piranha cage. (Is cage the right term to use?)

So…that’s all I have from DCD. I hope you all enjoy the pictures! And if you ever have the chance, go to DCD. It’s awesome!

I’ll try to get some more blog entries done here soon so come back for more!

Rachel