One thing I've been meaning to write about but keep forgetting is this. It is interesting to note the different meanings words have in different cultures. In America we say, "We are LDS" and they say, "Oh, you're not Christian" and we say, "Yes we are!" Here we say "We're LDS" and they say "Oh, you're Christian" and my native companion says, "No we aren't." (translated from the original Chinese). Here, Christian means we believe in Christ and think you should too. Please start going to a church. I said something about this to my companion, and now he explains it a bit more when they ask that. Because we actually are Christian. It's just funny the mindsets people have about religion and how they differ.
I have been baking lately. It's hard without a real oven, but our toaster oven in this new apartment is rather large and works rather well. If anyone has interesting bread recipes, please send them. Also, why do you punch bread down? Also, if you leave bread to rise all day long is that bad? Also, what is the point of baking powder and baking soda?
They have all the commercial aspects of Christmas here. Those are nice, but it's hard to find the other aspects of Christmas. I read part of a talk by President Eyring called "I'll be home for Christmas.” In it he said, "What all of us long for in our hearts, at Christmas and always, is to feel bound together in love with the sweet assurance that it can last forever." That is so beautifully put. And that is why being a missionary is worth it. That assurance can still be there, and I can share that with others. It is a great honor and privilege to give my time back to God. Even though it is sometimes hard. But really, I think this is by far the easiest mission in the world. I never have to leave a ward I have come to love (or, only once anyway). I see the nine potential companions every week and can prepare for challenges I foresee before we are companions. People come for us to teach and baptize in a day. Easy. How will I ever grow?
I love you all so much! Merry Christmas!