Thursday, August 26, 2010
As of now, I have ten more days in Macao. When we come here, we're pretty much at the mercy of the customs people as to how many days we can stay. First thirty, then twenty, then...? Some missionaries get thirty again. And again. And again. Some get seven. And then have to leave for fifty days. So last night me and two other missionaries were taken into a back room where they told us (in Mandarin, I had to translate for the two young Cantonese missionaries) that they can only ever give thirty and then twenty. They never have or can give more than that. So we had to go tell the people at immigration why we want to stay longer. Those people told us we have to leave in ten days. And probably not come back. So it's a huge pain in the "special move" that will have to happen in the middle of the transfer. They should just get us real visas and leave us for a few months. Oh well.
We run into the African Ping Pong champion everywhere, including at immigration. He was there to vouch for his friend Jimmy, who talked to me for a long time. Jimmy is from Jamaica and now lives in Tokyo with his son. He has long dreads and lots of piercings and travels around playing blues and Ragae. He has been to Utah and knows lots of Mormons. He tells me there is some heavy *poop going on in the world, like millions of dead alligators and fish in Bolivia and a comet headed for earth. He advised me to maybe start working on an ark.
But the other missionaries tell me he's just over-stayed in Macao and they see him sleeping on the street all the time. I dunno. He was nice.
Our investigators are going slowly. We have a lot of slowly progressing investigators. Elder So is having what some people call year and a half sickness, and has slowed down a lot. He has a hard time finding joy in the work. I think maybe he's just thinking about home a little too much. But you know, I think it would be terribly hard not to if you served in your own city, however large it is. I respect the natives here a lot.
The more humble I am, the better my language is. I cannot tell anyone that I learned Mandarin on my own, because each time I do I can't speak it. I would have to be a fool to keep believing it had nothing to do with humility and gratitude. Sometimes I am a fool though. Like the Nephites.
There is a new Mandarin Missionary coming! He is from Taiwan. I am pretty excited. He is actually already here, but I haven't met him. I'm all the way over here in Macao.
Sorry, I can't think of anything that is happening. I decided to try making some rye bread... I'm really tired all the time... I think my mission president might not trust me because in trainings when they ask for experiences to illustrate principles I am the only one who ever shares the kind where I didn't do it right and it didn't turn out well. Judging from what you hear the missionaries say, none of them need the training because they are already perfect, accept me. That's ok. Elder So says I'm just really honest. I guess that's true.
I love you all. This really is a lame email.
*he didn't say poop