First, I wanted to show you a photo actually from last week. In Japan the people celebrate food. Right now it is cherry season. And even though they are expensive, the Yamagata cherries are the favorite. Here are some branch members savoring their cherries:
Happy Birthday Souta!
Last Sunday we were invited to Souta Kawatsuna's sixth birthday party. Really he looks to be about four but he is six and is so cute. He has two older brothers and there was another family from the branch with two other boys so it was quite lively. The kids love to make an agenda for their parties:
So I think we had an introduction, opening song, prayer, dinner and I am not sure what else but the kids were very organized. They even planned a game and a closing prayer. Dinner was do-it-yourself sushi which seems to be the choice of this family's kids since we have done that before. Everyone seems to LOVE the food. Notice that it is FINGER-LICKING good!
Then there was the traditional cake and candles. There were SEVEN candles but who's counting?!
And, of course, the birthday photo:
I told you this was a food blog and so on Monday the Kikuchis called and asked us if we wanted to go out to lunch at a ramen place:
Actually I was excited since I really do love Japanese ramen and they have a spicy Chinese version that is so good! Calvin had a COLD version of the spicy ramen which was totally different: it had fresh veggies on top!
Lunch with the Stake President and Stake Patriarch
On Tuesday we were invited to lunch with the stake patriarch, Bro. Hayasaka and his wife. Also there was the stake president and his wife, President and Sister Sugawara there. Pretty impressive, huh?! Brother Hayasaka was in the same mission as Calvin eons ago and so they talked prior mission talk. The food was amazing! And we took tons home!
Wednesday we had district meeting and afterwards we went to lunch (of course) at our favorite all-you-can-eat place:
Someone should alert some of these restaurants that we are keeping them in business! It was good to be with the whole district plus the zone leaders. So sad to see them for the last time.
Norie Palmer Comes!
For almost six months before we came to Japan, we had Japanese lessons from Sister Norie Palmer at the MTC. Sister Palmer came to Japan this past week (she is from Japan) and came to visit all of the missionaries she had taught. She spent a week meeting with everyone! That included mission presidents, temple workers, and other missionaries. It was quite amazing that she did that since she traveled a great distance to do so. Then she is spending the next three weeks with her mother in Japan.
We picked up Norie at the station after our English class on Wednesday and she stayed with us overnight. In the morning we visited some of the tsunami sites even though it was raining like CRAZY!
It was probably the MOST rain we have seen here and many of the streets were pretty flooded but it didn't seem to be stopping anyone from driving.
Afterwards we headed to Matsushima and had lunch:
I had to take this photo because I have been wanting to order this for a long time even though it was mostly Calvin that ate it! It is basically raw whatever and fish eggs on top of rice. It was good but it is Calvin that is the raw fish connoisseur. Here we are at in Matsushima:
It was actually not that bad of weather the rest of the day when we were in Matsushima considering the prior downpour. It was raining a little but not bad. Norie loved the Japanese gardens and we even fed the seagulls some shrimp chips on the bridge! After Matsushima we headed to the mission home.
It was just in time for dinner! The office staff, President and Sister Rasmussen and Norie and we went to dinner around the corner at an Okomiyake place. Basically it is a pancake looking thing with eggs and veggies in it. It was really good but we were stuffed, having eaten lunch not that long ago! We didn't get a photo, sorry.
Friday: More Food
On Friday, Takie and Sister Date invited us to Taikanso overlooking Matsushima once again!