Monday, October 10, 2016

Week 19: Peanut Butter, Pride, and Other Things From America

This week we had a visit from the SUPER SWEET, super rich, and SUPER DUPER AMERICAN couple missionaries that work in the mission home! When I say they are super American, I mean they are just that! A little slice of apple pie with ice cream on the side! So sweet!!!

They came to check the state of our apartment, but the thing I actually cared about was when they sold us bootleg peanut butter and oatmeal from the only Costco on the island out of the back of their van. It was great.

Another very American experiment happened this week. We were helping an investigator, who is a really old and funny grandpa in a wheelchair, pack up his house to move when he requested a song from the Americans present. He had us sing The National Anthem. And then he and the Japanese Elder sung Japan's National Anthem.

I don't know, I thought it was really funny. The most random place in Japan doing the most American thing possible. It was a great moment.
This week we had Zone Activity and I got to wear pants. :)
We played a game but all I cared about was wearing pants. :)
It was hard to put my skirt back on afterwards, oh how I miss pants!

But no matter! We press on!

Speaking of pressing on despite difficulty, here is an experience, written from the pen (or rather, iPad keyboard) of my companion...

Once upon a time there were two sister missionaries in a land far far away. In this land, whenever the sister missionaries would visit older folk (aka obaachans or grandmas) the older people would insist on giving them something to drink. And so.. Because those sister missionaries were not allowed to drink the most commonly drunken drink in the land (aka tea) the obaachan-tachi would usually give them juice, hot water, tea made from wheat, or carbonated soda. On this particular occasion they were served juice, which they humbly accepted. The sister missionaries then asked if they could sing with the obaachan together a few beautiful ballads (aka hymns) and commenced singing. Unfortunately for one of the sister missionaries, whenever she drinks something before singing, it usually makes air come up in short spurts from her stomach (aka burp) and so, as those sister missionaries were singing a beautiful ballad with the obaachan, one of the sister missionaries burped... And then the other one started uncontrollably laughing. (EDITORS NOTE: me) Fortunately for the two of them, the obaachan didn't seem to notice as they both tried to stifle their laughter. The one who had mistakenly let air out of her stomach somehow managed to continue singing, even though she was also struggling to hold back the laughter. They eventually got it together after singing all four verses... The ballad ended, and they testified of the truthfulness of the lyrics in the song."

I lost it, but somehow my companion kept singing.

I really hope that sweet old lady didn't notice....

Another thing that happened! A short story, but it illustrates a very interesting face about Japanese culture... They will do anything to make you leave without making you feel bad.
We knocked on a lady's door, she came to the door, she said she had already met missionaries like us before and, though she was terribly sorry, she did not listen to their message, and would not listen to ours. Then while apologizing many times, she walks into her house, grabs an onion, hands it to us, and closes the door.

Hey, whatever. Free onion, am I right?

This week, a week later than you lucky Americans, we watched GENERAL CONFERENCE!! As my Noble, Distinguished Zone Leader would say, "Yaaaaaay!"

Side story: my family has a Conference Tradition of making strawberry waffles for every conference so I decided I wanted to continue that tradition. I painstakingly translated the recipe, measured the ingredients, spent an elapsed 4 minutes making each waffle with a little microwaveable mold (Oh, Japan...) and then subsequently toasting them in the toaster, because they were made in a microwave and therefore soggy. And then, when all that was done, and a slathering of strawberry jam was applied, I bit into the fruits of my labors only to realize I had mistaken salt for sugar.

My companion took pity on me and made oatmeal for me.

But anyway, back to Conference! It was really fun!
The American missionaries got their own private screening in English!

Snacks were prepared!

Testimonies shared!

And naps taken... (We couldn't help it...)
Elder Too Cool For School District Leader (He thinks he's a really cool) used his ingenuity to warm up our pizza toast in front of the heater. Thanks!

And here we are, with our Noble and Distinguished Zone Leader counting the seconds down until pressing play!
Thank you for your continued readership!

Sister Stewart, signing off!



  1. You're welcome! I enjoy it so much each week!

  2. Really, Mackenzie! Salt for sugar! YUK! Oh my goodness I thought your mother would have taught you better than that. Oh, well, lesson learned. Loved your post this week. What an amazing experience you are having. Take care, have a good week, and may God Bless you ever more. Love you Kiddo!!! Love your Aunt Pam :)