Yup! It's Kenji! And here we are at the Indian restaurant. And Saturdays are "all-you-can-eat" days! We had curry, nan, pork rinds, curry potato balls, salad, pork, and drinks! So wonderful. Kenji said he liked the pork rinds and the chicken curry and of course the nan. I liked it all! Here we are with the owner:
Calvin was there too. He was the photographer.
One of the highlights of the week was going to Matsushima. First we bought some shrimp chips at 7-11 and we took them to the bridge in Matsushima because we wanted to see if we could get the seagulls to eat out of our hands. Look for yourselves:
There were tons of seagulls wanting to grab our shrimp chips. They look kind of like plain Cheetos.
Next we went to the island and went down the rope path to the beach:
Hey! We are good! And this is Miriana collecting shells at the beach:
Later we went to the Pokémon Center in Sendai. Hideki is a real Pokémon lover and thought it was awesome.
Miriana liked posing for the pictures:
Finally we ate ramen at the food court and you can tell we had a long day because Miriana could hardly keep her eyes open. Kenji said he never wants to go back to eating American ramen again. It was so good!
And going up was pretty intense too. But you can tell who the young 'uns are: The kids led the way!
We also visited a shrine and of course we had to wash our sins away with the purified water:
And we had to wake up the gods and ring the bell:
And after all of that we went to an all-you-can-eat place where you could cook your own meat and choose from a wide variety of food:
And eat as much sushi as you wanted:
And the best part: They had a COTTON CANDY machine!
Personally, I liked the choices of ice cream:
Who can resist, brown, pink, green, orange, white, yellow and blue? Just kidding, they were mango, vanilla, chocolate, melon, strawberry, lemon, and blueberry(?). They were good!
And we did LOTS of shopping, shopping, shopping. Not only did Sayuri want to buy but the kids had been saving their money and wanted to go to the dollar stores and to the recycle shops. They had a great time but really they were a little reluctant to part with their money.
And Saturday we took Sayuri, Hideki and Miriana to Sendai to go to Nagoya and we got to keep Kenji for a few extra days. That night the Young Men in the branch (there are three deacons) were learning to make fried shrimp and potato salad so Kenji and Calvin went over to participate:
And Sunday they finished their project and presented it to one of our members who is 93 years old and blind:
ALWAYS you have to have a group photo:
AND you have to eat the leftovers:
It has been great to have Kenji here and he found himself immersed in the branch as well. He helped pass the sacrament today (Sunday), sang a solo in sacrament meeting, and helped with our single adult family home evening tonight. He also took charge of the Book of Mormon bingo game. Too bad we will be leaving on Tuesday. He was even invited to a birthday party in two weeks!
One of our members gave us a gift this past week:
It was two ears of corn! It was warm and she said her nephew got it on the internet so it should be really good. It was good--even rivaled the Walker's corn (yup we should be back in time so save some for us!) but I still haven't figured out how you buy corn on the internet . . . .
Last week we also went with the sisters visiting. We went about 45 minutes away to Wakuya to visit Luisa Kimura who is a less active sister. When we got there she seemed overjoyed to see us. She is from the Philippines and married a Japanese man. Their home was destroyed in the tsunami so they are now living further inland in an apartment. When she found out we were from America she quickly changed from speaking Japanese to English which she was glad to do. She teaches English here in Japan.
She talked and talked and talked . . . probably for an hour and a half. It was really fun to learn all about her. I told her that Eric and Laura had served missions in Manila where she is from and we figured out if they were there the same time as she was. And they were. When I said "Watson" she said, "I remember that name. I think I knew him!" It was another of those moments that I knew things aren't just coincidences. God does have a plan.
Anyway, Luisa said she would come to Church on Sunday . . . and she did! Here she is with her daughter and the sister missionaries:
Everyone was so glad to see her again and she started crying the second she entered the building and said it felt like she had "come home." It was a great missionary moment. A time to see how the Gospel of Jesus Christ brings peace and happiness to us all.