Sunday, September 23, 2012

September 20, 2012

Hellooooooooo family,
Konnichiwa! I was really excited to hear about the new flooring in the house! I bet it looks way awesome. You guys work so hard.
I have some more photos for you this week, especially of food (as expected).
1. We met an Eikaiwa student to give her a tour of the church, and at the end she unexpectedly gave us some treats! I thought they were hilarious---each one is shaped like a little old Asian face. They're cake-like on the outside and on the inside there's anko (a slightly sweet bean paste). Giving storebought desserts to friends is way more common here than it is in America. The Japanese have a long history with giving fancy gifts.
2. One of the members of Matsudo ward runs a business in her home teaching housewives how to bake bread! We visited her this week, had a practice lesson, she fed us, and left us with some amazing homemade bread. Even storebought bread in Japan is SO GOOD. How many times have I emailed home about the bread now? Eight or nine? I really can't even describe it. It rivals the bread we ate in France.
3. There's a less-active member of the ward whose husband owns and runs a bento shop next to their home. Bento shops are like fast-food restaurants here in Matsudo (and probably most of Japan). They have a variety of lunches to choose from and the workers assemble it quickly. Typical bentos have a ton of rice, meat or fish, and pickled stuff. Anyway, we've been trying to visit the less-active sister every week this transfer but she's hardly ever home, so we usually buy bentos from her husband while we're there. This particular bento has rice with umeboshi (a sour pickled plum to preserve the rice, plus it's traditional), mystery pickled things (tasted okay), hamburg (basically like meatloaf), french fries, and spaghetti underneath the hamburg if you can believe that.
4. After a particularly itchy day, I took a photo of my mosquito-bitten pale legs! Also make sure to enjoy the fabulous tan line I'm developing on my feet. At least there's always purple nail polish.
5. I continue to use my drawing to do missionary work, one of the few things I can actually do well in Japan. Since our ward is so big, I spend a ton of time making birthday cards and thank you cards for members. I feel like in Japan there's an obligation to make my drawings extra cute-sy.
6. and 7. The long-awaited JAPANESE TOILET PICTURE! (This one is for you, Julianne.) This particular toilet is in our church building, but most look like this. You can probably understand now my apprehension to press any of the buttons. Not only can I not read any of the kanji, there are graphic icons that show what might happen. One of these days.
8. Mano Shimai and I went to take more purikura with one of our investigators! Her name is Noriko-chan and we probably won't be able to teach her much because her mom belongs to a different church, but she's way cute and loves God.
I hope everyone is doing great at home working hard, studying the scriptures, and building love. Tanner goes to South America like tomorrow right? That's crazy! I bet he'll be great.
Love you all~
Long Shimai

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