Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Week 38: I Am Eating BBQ Cheetos

Welcome again to my blog!

As the workers say in any store or restaurant you enter here in the Japan Land "いらっしゃいませ (irasshaimase)," which I'm pretty sure translates to "you are honorably existing."

Let's get right down to it, eh?


Happy Valentine's Day!

In Japan, the girls give chocolates (almost always handmade) to boys they fancy (or their friends too,) and then there is another day, next month, where the boy's return the chocolates: White Day. We did our part in giving out plenty of chocolates to our beloved investigators, Ward members, and yes, even the elders, but it seems like I will likely transfer away from this area before White Day. Maybe they'll celebrate it early for me?

Look how cute they are with their aprons and handkerchiefs/head things/what are those called anyways! Literally we sit down and then, seemingly simultaneously, they all pull out perfectly folded sets of smocks and they are ready to go in a matter of seconds! We didn't have anything to wear... We felt underdressed...

And then WE SET A BAPTISMAL DATE WITH OUR INVESTIGATOR! She loves pink, she loves English, she LOVES Madonna, and she loves the Gospel! She is literally my best friend and we chat on the phone for like an hour a night thank goodness our minutes are unlimited!!

And then--this ones a bit of a roller coaster--but one of the APs (assistants to the mission prez) was looking at my handwriting, and asked me if I was half Japanese because it was so good OH HOHOHO! (Okay it might have been because my name is Mae and that is also a Japanese name but uh... He also definitely complimented my handwriting okay???) BUT THEN literally the next day, when this hoodie-wearing college-student-looking gas company employee came into our home (in his socks, heehee! Japan is so funny) to change our gas alarm and had me sign some paperwork he CORRECTED MY HANDWRITING. It was so bad -- apparently -- that he couldn't read it! I saw apparently because what he wrote on the side as his correction looks exactly like what I wrote, whatever.
Look! The same, right?!?! (He's the one who scribbled on my original one, the left, and made it look all gross)

But the funny thing is the next day I realized I wrote the whole thing wrong anyway... I wrote MAH-EH, when it should have been MEH-EE... Didn't even get one part write.... Hehehe.... Yeah, I don't actually know Japanese, and this just proves it!

But the reason I actually told this story is because I thought it was really funny that the gas worker was just in his socks in our house. So Japan!

BY THE WAY, we saw a FOX crossing the street on the way home from English Conversation Class. A REAL LIVE FOX!!!

I was pretty stoked.

Oh yeah, you remember that investigator I just told you about? The one who loves Madonna and has a baptismal date, oh yeah that one. She legitimately ran to church on Sunday. She had texted us, telling us that she wouldn't be able to make it, and right when we are about to walk into the chapel (I say chapel but it's really just a room, but that's not important right now) she BURSTS through the double doors, panting and panting! And then she said "I remembered that it was important to take the sacrament so I ran here! Did I make it in time?"

Later that day when we were on the phone, my companion complimented her and said "You have great faith!" And she replied "ヘック え やる!" which, if translated correctly, translates pretty well to "Heck yeah I do!"

Again, she is literally my best friend.

While waiting for interviews with the president, this is how the most missionary or missionaries spend their time, singing hymns in a circle. Meanwhile, the other missionaries (me!) just take pictures of them. #MissionaryLyfe
Our Zone!
Everyone loves this picture because my hair is on point, apparently. Or rather, a-HAIR-antly.
I didn't know what to do with my hands and it was stressful, NEVER be in the middle of pictures!
Oh and by the way my MTC companion is in my zone and I love her. She's the redhead next to me!

I think that's about it! 


PS : Everyone seems to get a kick out of my weekly planner so I thought I would start including pictures of it at the end of my emails! If I remember. Probably won't. 

Don't try to make sense of anything that's written here by the way! It's all gibberish!

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Week 37:

Hey there folks and fam, and howdy!

PS I totally forgot to tell you like the biggest thing is mission history that happened recently. Haha, oops. You've probably hear it from other missionaries across the Internet, but worldwide, the missionary schedule has changed drastically! Well, the Japan Sapporo Mission hasn't changed all that much.... Except now lunch is only 30 minutes... How am I supposed to prepare a three course meal with dessert for my companion to prove my undying devotion to her through service in 30 minutes?!?

Somehow, I get by.

Like I freaking made her tacos 100% from scratch 


Speaking of mom in training, this week our Ward Mission Leader had the sister missionaries (and only the sister missionaries. Come on, we all know elders are useless in the kitchen) help prepare the Young Single Adult Activity feast (yes, the missionaries participate in YSA activities here. Members like to throw us into anything as anti-awkward protection. Missionaries are like the bridesmaids of Ward activities : we start the party.)

They asked us to bring our rice cooker. A Japanese Mormon's most fashionable accessory when traveling to a ward potluck. 


We even got to tag along for the shopping! (Which meant we were just following him, and the new Ward Missionary who I call Sister Mysterious Yoga Babe ((because she is mysterious, does yoga, and is also a babe(((can a missionary say that? This one does))) around a Japanese grocery store on a busy Saturday, trying not to put our large, foreigner bodies in the way of any of the poor, likely shocked shoppers.)

Pictures! Blurry, but they exist! (Tried to be low key and not a creeper when I took them so be a little forgiving here!)

And then we made hand roll sushi which was delicious, and authentically Japanese but I didn't take any pictures so sorrryyyyyyyy. Lots of raw fish, delish! (it actually is, people!
And on the way home, I collected some trash, and it was pretty so I took a photo! 
(Yes we have Baskin Robbins, but that's hard to say in a Japanese accent, so they call it 31!)
Snow I snow I always talk about the snow, but that's what Asahikawa is famous for, SNOW! This week was the Winter Festival (which is such a big deal they have an INTERNATIONAL ice sculpture competition!) which wasn't on P-Day... So I saw none of it! But for preparations there were these little guys EVERYWHERE!

The cutest little army ever!

And something you must know about life in Asahikawa, for one must take heed! If you are out after 8 on a Friday night... Monsters come out! Big snow-eating monsters!!
(Another crappy picture)

But these things were HUGE!! And on most nights there are normal bulldozers riding around town. I think people own them personally...? It's pretty funny seeing the most normal looking guy in his 30's in his sweats and graphic T rolling down the street in one of those. #HokkaidoThings

And that's about everything you need to know about my life right now!

I've quite run out of time, so until next week, please remember me in Japan's Siberia!


Monday, February 6, 2017

Week 36: 「久しぶりだね〜」 It's Been a Long Time

HEYO!! What is up what is up? Howdeedoodie or whatever the young people are saying these days....

Now that the pleasantries are over, I've got a lot to run through over the past couple weeks. Let's get this email started, shall we?


Elder Yamashita of the 70 (you may remember his talk about Being Ambitious, Ambitious for Christ... And also about Hokkaido, the island on which I presently reside) came and visited our mission! You can see him seated next to his wife, on the left of the attached photo.

Over half my mission is in the rest of this picture, but I looked fat in it, so I just cropped it so you can see what really matters :  classy important Japanese church members.

PS his wife is the nice, delightful version of that crazy pink lady from Harry Potter, Umbridge. She is crazy and intense, and I adore her.
So not only did Elder Yamashita visit the mission, but he also visited ME, and yes, I do mean personally. And by personally, yes I do mean a personal, one-on-one interview with the man himself.

What a terrifying call to get from the Assistant to the Mission President, as you are walking to an investigator's house one evening, completely hapless of the TERROR THAT AWAITS.

Yeah I was scared.

But it was awesome. He asked two questions about my normal life and then BAM, asked a question so real and true that I cried right then and there and wow it's like he could see right through me.

Then he and my mission president gave me a blessing.

Good times!



This was actually last transfer, but I am going to lay it down for you real fast. 

On the way to our investigator's house, we were on a bus, about to get off, I check my wallet, EMPTY!! I check my coin purse, EMPTY!! Not a useful yen to spend! So I get my companion to pay for me.


On the way back, at the bus stop, waiting for the bus to come, I think, oh I need to ask for my companion to pay for me again! She checks her wallet. NOTHING. She checks her coin purse. NADA, GOOSE EGG, ZILCH!! Now, we probably could have booked it home and made it before curfew, but I had no desire to run in these boots! So I almost jokingly pray aloud, "God, I really need a miracle over here!!"

And so I open my wallet. Like I thought, nothing.

And so I open my coin purse, and BAM!!!! ¥650 (approximately 7 American buckaroos in coin form) were just perched there all pretty and shiny in my wallet.


Yeah I was pretty much in shock that whole bus ride home.

A zone activity where we wrote our goals fancy Japanese style.
Me being artsy and stuff while we were trying to figure out our broken Area Book app.
Our darling investigator and English student being HILARIOUS this morning.
And a joke about Trump!
(It's not funny or clever so don't worry about trying to read it)


********(PS FOR DILIGENT READERS :;:;:;;;; I was going to put a bunch of puns in this email that would TIE to me saying I really need a bolo tie and I still want to do it in a future email but anyway I'm just laying it down here straight: I need a bolo tie, people! Every day I wear a button up shirt under a sweater and my outfits will not be complete until I have a bolo tie to spruce it up! I can't work in temperatures BOLO zero without a bolo tie! (an example of the aforepromised puns.) よろしく! = please treat me kindly = please do this for thing for me in Japanese weirdness culture/language/formality.))