Aaahhh... It's 8:09 PM, Japan Standard Time. As I begin to write this email, I have just finished off my Japanese pear-flavored water (a seasonal product,) am listening to Japanese Gospel Reggae written by a member in another area in the mission, am eating shrimp chips, and can hear laughter through different parts of the church coming from the elders in my zone. Thus ends the last evening of the missionaries' "New Years Break."
It's hard to get any work done, because it is very rude to interrupt everyone's New Years festivities, and because this is the one time of year that the Japanese spend as a family, we really don't want to butt in. So we just step out for a while.
Let's take a look into what a missionary vacation looks like, shall we?
Day 1 -- All Day Cleaning Day
This is missionary spring cleaning day!
Well, that's what it was supposed to be.... We had two "goches," which is the word for being fed by members, and the first one we took the wrong bus to... And she trapped us looking at her photos for 3
hours.... By the time we got back from lunch, we had around 12 minutes to clean before we shipped off to our dinner appointment.
Is this was missionaries in America feel like?
Day 2 -- Go Visit Members Day
This is the day when you are meant to stay longer at meal appointments, to strengthen the testimonies of members!
And this was the one day we did not have a meal appointment...
So us and the elders went walking, and bugged our favourite family (the one sister who married an American) and they fed us New Years mochi soup.
Day 3 -- All Day Book of Mormon Reading Day
This day we also had two meal appointments...
I only got ten chapters in....
Day 4 -- All Day P-Day
This is today! It's all day preparation day. We jammed in two fun activities! All the sisters in our zone went to the zoo in the morning, saw penguins walking literally feet from us, ran home to eat
food with everyone, provided by the members, and then went to an activity center that was really loud and sports-centered.... Didn't love it, to be honest.
Oh wait, penguins? You want to know about the Penguins? YEAH YOU DO!!
THEY DO A PENGUIN MARCH AT THE ZOO IN MY AREA.
They literally just escort a gaggle of penguins around the zoo, and then when they come close, they make you bow so you don't scare them when they come.
They literally make you bow to your penguin overlords.
(Look how close I am to penguins.)
It was great people.
But this little bonus was probably the second best thing at the zoo that day.
So that was great!
No pictures from the sport place, but when we were going home, the bus filled up really fast, and only some people could get on... The rest ran...... Felt bad, but whatevs!
The bus was so full I took a picture.
I felt like I was being bused to a weird Korean church. It was pretty cool.
So, you guys are probably curious about what New Years is like in Japan, huh? Let me tell you.
Well, first, it's called 正月 しよう が つ SHOGATSU
And second, you probably know more than me if you've asked Siri.
Well, I'll tell you what I know, and what I know, is that you eat food! Special food! Magical food! Food to increase your destiny and fate!!
It has been described as this : "It's like you look into a tide pool, and then eat everything you see." ;) It's fun to try new things!
Look at this blurry picture a cute 12 year old member took for me, when she fed us at their home!
Let me start at the cream colored things and go clockwise!
-Some egg-based thing that is yummy and sweet, probably for fertility.
-A sweet sweet potato thing! No idea how it affects your fate.
-Black Soy Beans that were super sweet and delicious. I think they affected my fate very well, due to their deliciousness.
-Herring fish eggs. These are definitely for fertility. They actually weren't terrible, I ate both easy.
-CRAB LEG!! My first crab. It's super sweet! Probably so you're not crabby all year.
-shrimp shrimp shrimp, that you get to tear apart yourself! Fate affect : ?
-(the things in the center) Kamaboko - basically chicken nuggets out of fish. They had chickens on them!!
-(The tin green thing) - sea weed with something salty sweet inside!
- and orange like thing that I don't know what it is in English.
-and a strawberry, because that's apparently a winter fruit in Japan. Literally everything is strawberry flavored right now.
Anyway I'm bored of writing now
Oh and people keep calling me fat.
I've lost weight since October.