Thursday, September 6, 2012

September in Matsudo

Hi family,
It's September already! When did that happen? I'm glad to hear you're all getting back into the routine of school and everything. My companion and I were talking about how we missed going back to school. She's going to grad school in New York next year and I'm not sure yet what the heck I want to do, so it was an interesting conversation!
I have some more fun food to talk about this week (as always). Probably the highlight was what I THOUGHT was a pizza miracle. I was having a really horrible day getting stressed out by missionary stuff, and then we had a break to do a role-play lesson with a single sister in the ward. It went well and she's a very sweet lady, and afterwards she fed us pizza for lunch! I'd been craving pizza for weeks, so to have one hand-delivered to me on such a bad day was a blessing. Or so I thought. Allow me to describe this pizza:
It was divided into four sections of toppings that went like this.
1. Pepperoni and hot dog
2. Canned corn and turkey
3. Potato gratin and tuna fish
4. Tomato and cuttlefish
Sometimes I really miss America.
But anyway, I got an email from Lacey asking for more photos of food, so here are some things I ate this week!
1. I don't have time to make bentos anymore, so on days when I need a quick lunch I'll usually just throw things in a bowl to try and keep portion control. This one has rice with sauce on it (the Japanese NEVER put sauce on rice), salad, ginger, and sweet potato.
2. My typical breakfast (i.e. almost every day) is cinnamon toast and plain yogurt or fruit.
3. On days I don't have toast I have American granola! In Japan we have a thing called "Fruits Basket" where members at church donate food storage stuff to the missionaries. Every once and a while a member goes to Costco and buys us granola! It is a delicious blessing, especially because it has fiber in it and Japanese food is quite fiber-low.
4. Something we eat very often is curry rice. It doesn't look that appetizing, but it's so good! You buy the stew stock and then add whatever meat or vegetables you want. This one I made with sweet potato, carrot, and pumpkin, but I've also had eggplant, green bean, and onion curry.
5. A member made us this very Japanese soba meal. In the summer, Nihonjin like to have cold buckwheat noodles which they dip in sauce mixed with green onion, raddish, and wasabi. I don't like it all that much, but Mano Shimai loves it. The member also served us tempura (batter-fried vegetables and shrimp) which was delicious.
Another question I got in emails was about Japanese economy. Honestly, I have no idea! Maybe I just don't have the vocabulary to talk about it, but it doesn't seem like people talk about economy or politics around me because I'm a missionary. Luckily I won't have to worry about it because we get our missionary money every month. Yay.
That's all I have time for, but I hope everyone is doing great! I'm so glad to hear about the Prestige debt blessing! That's awesome! And I'm glad you feel more at peace about Joy. I was thinking about her this morning listening to conference. I sure am glad for forever families. When I'm feeling like missionary work is hard and pointless here, I remember that all the millions of families here need to know how much God loves them and has provided a way for their relationships to last. Everyone needs to know that!
Thank you for all your support, family. I love ya!
Long Shimai

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