Thursday, March 30, 2017

Week 43: FOREIGN RELATIONS

Heyyoooooo! How we all doing today? It's Sistah Stew again, writing from the undergrounds of Sapporo Japan (on the subway choochoo) and I have a belly-full of really yummy bread. Everyone, Japan has good bread. I don't know how it compares to Europe, but it is GOOD. They get so creative! I just ate a deep fried egg salad sandwich! And I only feel a little bit guilty....

I DON'T THINK I HAVE TOLD YOU about one of the funniest things about being a foreigner in Japan. I call it... THE WHITE PERSON AFFECT. So you usually only see 1-2 foreigners a day, if you're lucky, and usually they are from some sort of Asian country. But mostly, everyone here is Japanese. Everyone. And white people REALLY stand out. So no matter how many people are in the train station, you will spot the only other white person in the room.

Okay sorry I'm interrupting but these 12 year old girls were staring at me in the subway so I waved at them and they giggled and they are so cute.

BUT ANYWAY!!! When you do see them you... can't help but stare. White people look so different! Their noses are so big... And they just stand out so much you have to stare! And then... The dreaded moment.  You inevitably make eye contact. And then something happens... A moment, between foreigner and foreigner where you both accept each other presence. You usually tilt your head a little in acknowledgement and then try and get away from them as fast as possible because AWKWARDDDD!!! Haha I love it. Just had one of those moments in the bread shop we were at. We both just kind of nodded at each other.
Yeah, you white too?
Yeah.
Coo.
Coo.

ASIA BE CRAZY, KIDS!!!

Highlights from this week.

We went with the elders to visit one of their female investigators who they then passed to us. When we went, unbeknownst to us (the elders knew they just don't tell us anything #classic #everytime #reallyboys?) there was a glorious feast being prepared on our behalf!
IT WAS SOME OF THE BEST FOOD I HAVE EVER HAD !! This lady who is the local leader of one of those worldwide television churches went all out. There were multiple courses, people!!  She gave us full avocados with shrimp and yummy stuff mixed in. There were little minny kiesches and really yummy seasonal Japanese foods. She bought us 31 Flavours
and then put it in HAND MADE WAFFLE BOWLS which she had made out of HAND MADE Mille fille dough. Also, SHE MADE US REAL MEAT. Legit marinated, pan-fried spare ribs. Needless to say, the elders were very happy.

It's still snowing. Thought it was done so I put my sandals out on the balcony. Nah man, still winter.
 
I look way better in blur.



DA ZONE. Some or my favorites stacked up in this building, gotta be happy about that.


Apparently I'm a really slow walker... Can you see my companion in the shadow of the building booking it to church? We weren't late or anything. I just think she really likes to read... (That's a pun on booking it, I don't know, I'm trying people)


Oh and by the way! We found a totally GOLDEN investigator who is a super chill dude with a beard, longboard, SnapBack, and a shoelace for a belt. Gotta love it. Passed him to the elders though... Hoping they find us a cute young mom in return.



THATS ALL FOR NOW.
BYE BYE!






Monday, March 20, 2017

Week 41: BACK FROM THE DEAD

HEY EVERYONE;;

IT'S BEEN A WHILE!!

This has to be so fast, so let's just give you the highlights!


I TRANSFERRED ;

I am now in the city! My area is called 東 (Higashi) (He Gaw Shee)

NEW COMPANION ;

Announcing.......


SISTER OLD VALLEY 

FACT SHEET :

She's adorable
She's Japanese
Her English is actually pretty good, so it's all lax over here
She looks like the Asian version of Kiera Knightly
She plays the ukulele, and she's totally pressuring me into buying one too

And that's all you need to know!

NOW LET'S GET YOU CAUGHT UP ON THE PAST FEW WEEKS

We play ping pong here!
 
One time we moved a billion boxes of cans of health drink from one grandma's house to another grandma's house. Don't tell anyone, but they were coffee flavored... Contraband!
I played sports for the first time in my life. District activity. Yeah, as expected, I'm really bad.
MY MISSION PRESIDENT (Native Japanese, speaks English) used the word "DICHOTOMY" in our interview. I was so impressed.

We ate Hokkaido's (the island I'm on) most famous meal, Ghengis Khan, which is just what they call lamb. The meat gives off such a delicious odor when you cook it, that you literally put your outer ware clothes in plastic bags before you cook it. So you don't smell like delicious meats. Well, if you want dogs to follow you home, you don't have to, but... Pets aren't allowed for missionaries...


Ate sushi twice in one day. Went out for pday lunch to a place where the fish on top was easily two or three times bigger than the rice. My companion from Honshu was very happy about "Hokkaido Size" (Hokkaido is like the Texas-Alaska of Japan.) Then we get home and our investigator calls us and is like "Let's go out for sushi tonight!" Fine with me!

Made brownies with our mission president's wife at the mission home. Passed them out to our investigators and less active members. They also fed us lunch. Our mission president makes a mean pulled pork sandwich.


The first person me and my new companion visited had the TINEST genkan (Genkan - the place where you take off your shoes before entering a home. As a missionary, you stare here a lot and talk when people won't actually let you in. Well, if you're lucky. Usually you don't even make it into the genkan!) ANYWAY, we were in a new member's TINY EENSY WEENSIE genkan for oh about an hour just chatting and all the sudden I felt WEIRD. Hot, then dizzy, then woo, when I started feeling nauseous mid-conversation I just grabbed my companion and was like "let's goooo nowwwww." Made it through the closing prayer and stumbled out of there. Made use of the word vomit in Japanese, glad I learned that vocab word. Stumbled around half-running through the city while my companion found me a place to sit, which ended up being a community gym. Laid on a table watching old ladies have teatime gossip time after tennis practice until the dizziness went away enough to walk home. Sleep until it was dark, then sleep again. No idea what happened, but I am so glad I didn't vomit in that man's genkan........

AND THAT'S ALL I GOT!


We missed our train and now we got to figure something else out...

Here's a picture of my planner with the train in my background!

LOVE YOU!!!

GOODNIGHT!



ALSO I WENT TO A POKEMON CENTER. MORE ON THAT LATER.





Monday, March 6, 2017

Week 39: Where, Oh Where Could Sister Stewart Be?

The title of my blog this week is the question you all should be asking yourselves Thursday morning (my time) because IT'S TRANSFERS PEOPLE, AND NOT EVEN I CAN ANSWER THAT QUESTION!

We get transfer calls tomorrow (or tonight, if you are training, and I will not be doing such) and it's really looking like I'm due for a transfer! If you haven't been keeping up, I am still in my first area.  Been 6 months in my darling little 旭川 and I am sad, sad, sad to leave it, but alas, we must press on!

And if I don't transfer, it will be quite awkward. I already said my goodbyes. I'll have to come to church next week with a disguise and pretend to be Sister Stewbard instead...


In other news, I went to the zoo (again.) Should have really shelled out for the year pass... I'll be counting my shekels from here on out...


There's lots of good stories to tell but I can't think of a clever way to string them together so I'm just going to jump in.


I WAS PRESENT AT 5 CONCERTS THIS WEEK!!

1 ) While housing, a grandma, who is a tutor for some fancy, ancient Japanese singing style that even 中澤姉妹, who I was on splits with, couldn't read, sang for us. Then told us to leave... But apparently you usually have to shell out the big bucks to hear that style of music so WOW!!

2 ) That same day, while visiting some investigators, we got the grandpa to sing some old folk song about Asahiwaka and I LOVED IT.

3 ) At the same investigators house, me and 中澤姉妹 performed a duet of Families Can Be Together Forever with ukulele accompaniment. Yes, we are that fancy.

4 ) I got one of my favourite members, who accidentally said that she was good at singing Japanese folk style, to sing for us. She was embarrassed, but MAN, JAPANESE FOLK MUSIC IS SO COOL.

5 ) At the zoo all of the wolves started howling together... A little different, but still a musical performance!

video

TWO PEOPLE MADE ME DO STRETCHES THIS WEEK!!

1 ) That same old man who performed for us.

2 ) My 63 year old best friend and investigator who was in a famous dance group.

I promised them I would stretch every day! Still have yet to make good on that promise...


THIS ONE DOESN'T HAVE A LIST, 

But when we were leaving that old couples house (singing and stretching) they made us take round three of our dessert course on the go and we were a little late so we were running through the snow with little pancake crepe waffle things in our hands and I thought it was super funny.

Just imagine two girls in skirts running through the night on ice-covered sidewalks holding little pancake crepes.


AND I AM NOT GOING TO LIST THEM,
But I have said so many goodbyes this week! 

Some of them have been really sad, But all of them have included me very seriously admonishing people to friend me on Facebook. 

I even got one to follow my Instagram! (63 year old bestie coming in clutch)

HERE IS ME SAYING GOODBYE TO MY EIKAIWA FLOCK 

MY CUTE LITTLE PUNKS (they respect me)


Well I have nothing else interesting to say except the other day someone literally calculated my bill on one of those Asian counter things man I can't think of the word but I have a picture.


And he had a calculator right next to him. 

(I don't know if I told you about this guy, but he is a grandpa who runs the art store and he has hiked Everest, is apart of a "Churchill Club," and apparently is the most respectable firefly of all of Hokkaido (yeah, I got no clue either, but he was so funny))



ANYWAY

My ride is here (our Ward Mission Leader is taking us up the the Blue Lake which is now the White Lake because it is almost certainly frozen over) so I best be on my way!


GOODBYE 

Talk to you next week from another church building in Hokkaido!!!