Tuesday, August 24, 2010

It's my one anniversary year. I'm still not sure how that is correct Chinese grammar, but I'll trust the natives. At first I thought she was saying one week year, so she wrote the characters out, but actually week and anniversary are the same character as well. Chinese is crazy. But I love it.

To celebrate we ate Thai food. It was good, but I think that it isn't really better here than in America. When a Thai person immigrates anywhere else and opens a restaurant, it's really good. The geographic distance does not effect the quality. It seems to me. The atmosphere seems to affect it the same here and at home. If you pay a lot for an atmospheric Thai restaurant, then that's what you get and the food quality suffers. Ask my dad if you want to know good Thai places near you.

When I was in Pen 2 (international branch in Hong Kong) each Sunday a group of Indonesians came who wanted to feed us fried noodles. Every time. Super spicy. I thought that's all they ate in Indonesia. So when Abie told me the Indonesians were making dinner on Sunday I wasn't too excited. Ok, the noodles are pretty good I guess. I need to repent of ever thinking Indonesian food was boring or not yummy. It turns out it can be down right awesome. Similar to Thai food in many ways (chicken saute with peanut sauce? Lots of lemongrass? Yes please). It was some of the best food I've been given by members. Ever. In my whole life.

That's a little hard to say though, because I love dumplings so much. We bought some the other day. I could eat pork dumplings forever and ever.

And not to leave the Western style food out, on Tuesday the Senior couple made us dinner, which was good. Then I ate the desert. Carrot cake. About six months ago my companion (who was Elder So) had something he called carrot cake. It wasn't anything like what I was expecting. It wasn't sweet, or cake, and it had no cream cheese frosting. In fact it was just a white blob that they cut up and fried. Since then I've thought longingly of real carrot cake every time I saw a white blob (which happens more often than you might think). So if I thought I was happy before that cake, it was nothing compared to after. I love carrot cake.

Speaking of cake, we go running about four or five times a week. I can scarcely believe it. It seems I have gotten to the fabled place where I don't have to fight myself each morning to get up and out. I just do it. We run a mile and a half. We're going to make it two. I feel great. What the heck?

We have a potential investigator from Nigeria who sometimes comes to church and activities, but is always too busy to meet with us. The other day he came to our branch ping pong tournament. I played him second round. He beat me. I scored one point. Turns out he was the African Champion. "But that was before. Now I'm no good." Ha. I guess maybe he's right though, I did score one point after all.

Our investigators are slowly progressing. Maya, our best investigator, didn't come to church and her phone stopped working at the same time. I prayed and prayed that she would come back to church. After over a week of nothing from her, I prayed one last time that she would come to church the next day (Sunday). I knew she could, but I also decided that if she didn't I would just leave her for the next Elders who found her. Maybe we were just preparing her for later when she could be even more golden.
She came to church!
I know that this work is true and the most important thing I can be doing right now. I still have a year, which will probably go by faster than the first one did. I hope I can continue to learn and grow like I have this past year. The biggest thing I've learned is to be humble. I'm pretty bad at it, but it helps so much. Also, keep moving forward. Mistakes are what we do, so get over it and move on. I'm also bad at that.
Love you!

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