I'd be interested in making the Kefir. I had it growing up in Germany - it
was a staple at our house. Really miss it.
I served in New Jersey. Can you guess what I learned how to do well?
DC- Gym, tan, Laundry?
The missionaries in the Japan Fukuoka Mission during the late 70s and early 80s
all ate eggs and rice for breakfast, usually soaked then with kyupi and ketchup.
30 years later, I still eat it from time to time as a comfort food. My Japanese
wife thinks it is disgusting.
I was a Mandarin Chinese Speaking missionary and I fell in love with the
culture. To this day I use the common "Ugh" sound that Chinese people
make when they are acknowledging something that is said. Kind of like the way
we say "uh huh." I also cannot eat asian food with a fork.
It just feels wrong!I wear slippers around the house in the manner
that the Chinese wear them. And I never wear shoes in a house which is
considered very disrespectful in the Chinese culture. Lastly, the
Chinese have a counting system using one hand that I still use today. I will
catch myself going into a restaurant and when the hostess asks "how
many?", I flash the hang loose sign which in chinese represents the number
My husband served in South Africa from '79 to '81 and, although he has
since left the Church, we still have a few Afrikaans words floating around the
house and we both LOVE Rooiboos tea :-)
Served in Japan twice. As a young missionary and as a senior couple missionary.
Can't eat disgusting "Uncle Ben's" long grain rice. Gag on
the stuff!!! Have to have Short grain rice cooked in a proper rice cooker (Not
a cheap $20 dollar one). Eat it almost daily now. Love it. Although I hate to
agree with UteNationAlum (I'm a U of U graduate too but I prefer Y
football) he is correct, eating Japanese food with a fork is like eating a
Whopper with chopsticks.Served with my wife in Canada. We use
"eh" a little but it can be annoying as the Japanese girls saying
"Ne" (as in neck) after every other word.
My son and I both had the blessing of most or all of our companions being
natives of the lands we served in (Mexico and Brazil, respectively), few of whom
spoke much if any English. My mission president even had a firm policy never to
put two Americans together. Not only did it give us a fluency far beyond what
most missionaries have an opportunity to develop, but it brought the local
culture home at night inside the missionary apartment with us. We were living
our languages and the culture 24/7. The interaction was a blessing to Yanks and
natives alike, as we (most of us, anyway) learned to respect and love both
cultures. I learned that there are some aspects of Brazilian culture (open
acceptance of others, unstinting hospitality, kindness being more important than
bleak honesty) that, really, are more in harmony with the Gospel of Jesus Christ
than their counterparts in my culture are.
I guess it isn't faith affirming but it is a reality the church is dealing
with. Many returning missionaries bring back with them a realization that
Mormon/utah culture is rather racist. It happens to many people who live
outside the US but it is more common and dramatic. I don't consider this
post disruptive or bashing but we shall see.
I'll have to use my alias on this one, but I really must tattle on my dh,
who served in Brazil back in the 1970's. Hopefully things have improved
there by now, but when and where he served, toilets could not process toilet
paper. Occasionally, I will find it in our little trash bin beside the toilet. I
simply remove the bin-liner and toss it without a fuss now. (As a new bride,
though, I threw fits until he explained himself.) It actually makes me smile to
think he's remembering those happy days when he served the Lord full-time
in a land so far from his home and customs.I wonder sometimes if
Sister Orson Scott Card has the same issue with her famous writer-husband. They
served together in the Brazil-São Paulo Mission.
I'm still regularly drinking Yerba Maté over a decade after serving in
Those of you that want kefir--look at your local grocery store. My mom used to
buy it back in the 70s in ordinary LA grocery stores all the time and
there's some in my fridge right now here in Colorado. It is not at all
exotic!! I bet Harman's has it in Utah, and Whole Foods does for sure. You
definitely do not need to make it from scratch unless you like to do that sort
of thing. My family loves the stuff.
Agree 100% with sixpacktr and SLCWatch on Japan - I did/do the same except I was
in Okayama mission. I love cooking an occasional okonomiyaki and oyako donburi.
And I think about all of the Japanese holidays as they come and go each year. I
have the benefit of traveling to Tokyo often on business though, so Japan is not
just a memory, but something I continue to be involved with. That's why I
sometimes point to my nose when pointing to myself.
My thought when reading this is I love that missions get sometimes sheltered LDS
young people out to see how the rest of the world lives. It makes us care about
other cultures ... makes us less ignorant, broadens our world view. Just as I
was thinking about that, I saw the comment by Sigmund5. Interesting to me are
the wide variety of responses and outlooks.
Three of my 6 sons have served missions so far..One son who served in Melbourne
as a Vietnamese speaker returned home, got his degree at BYU, and got a job in
Saigon. He comes home for visits, but he is so happy there and is doing amazing
work, both professionally and for the church! I am so thankful for
the love they have for those they have served! My sons became men of God in a
short 2 year span! We have all sorts of new "traditions" that are
included in our year now, and it's definitely made us more multi-cultural!
My husband served a mission in Seoul. Before his mission, he was a picky eater
who'd only order a "cheeseburger with nothing on it" but cheese.
After the mission, he could eat almost anything. Kimchi will do that to you! We
also lived in Korea after we married, and picked up the habit of accepting items
handed to us with two hands instead of one, removing our shoes at others'
homes, saying, "Why?" instead of "What?" if someone started
laughing, and eating far too much garlic than is culturally acceptable. Like
SLCWatch above, we only eat "sticky rice" and found a $200 rice cooker
is a must. When we returned from Korea, we found Americans to be much too
brash, loud, scented (with perfume, cologne), and...uh, fat...than we were
I served in England, so I learned to speak English as opposed to American.
You'd be surprised at some of the differences.
@ Utah NativeThat is funny that you bring up the grabbing things
with two hands custom. The Chinese are the same way and you made me realize
that I do that all the time!
Had a couple Australian companions in Japan. Came home loving Vegemite.
As an Englishman who served in the England Leeds Mission I still cannot shake
the habit of saying "fetch", on every fetching occasion. Quite funny
though, as when I say it in non church environments, eg at work, I often get
asked why I keep saying "Veg" !!!
Very surprised that no comments came from the Samoan group. You mention koko
Samoa, or palusami and you have a very excited audience. Koko Samoa is REAL
cocoa because you don't pollute it with milk. It's made from the
ground cacao bean and drunk hot with a bit of sugar. Palusami is cooked taro
leaves with coconut milk, salt and water in a softball-size ball (nowdays
wrapped in aluminum foil). Pani Popo is rolls in a pan of coconut sauce... Wow,
how the Polys and RMs from Samoa will think they're back in heaven when
they see, hear, or smell those delicacies! They are available at a couple of
local Utah County restaurants, but you can buy the ingredients and try them at