Happy Thanksgiving. We had a project this morning, then ate. Our project was making notes to put into red envelopes for members to give their friends on Chinese New year. It was so much fun. I love writing in Chinese, though I can't even kind of remember how. I must check at least 2/3 of the characters I want to write to make sure I do it correctly, but it is still so fun. Especially because they had these AMAZING pens for us to use. I do not know where to get them, but I will find them and buy many.
Our eating was turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, green beans (with almonds and stuff on them), and gravy. Of course it was just great. Then came pumpkin pie which was not in the traditional shape, and had thick sugar cookie-esque crust, and was served upside down (cookie on top), but it was delicious and had whipped cream so everyone was happy.
Then I got very very stressed out trying to orchestrate my companion's exit from and re-entrance into Hong Kong. He had to go with the Macao Elders and then come back because the customs official was silly and stamped him as a visitor instead of activating his visa. It shouldn't have been a problem, but it was. Very much a problem. And the whole time the turkey in my stomach was telling me to just go to sleep and forget it all. But now it's all good and we'll probably even be able to make it to the second Thanksgiving dinner of the night.
So now I know Elder Edwards a little bit better. He is from Pleasant Grove, but has lived in BeiJing and somewhere else (Ireland? That is a really cool place, I don't know why I can't remember for sure). When you ask him what he likes he says he doesn't know. I got out of him that he likes computers and computer games. He was quite a programmer it seems and was able to tell his computer to kick his sister off Facebook at certain hours of the day. Sounds like something Mom would like to be able to do. He always orders the same food I do (usually making sure to ask me if it's ok first) and wishes he had studied Mandarin better in BeiJing. He's happy to be here and ready to work. He has the kind of faith that young missionaries so often do. He understandably feels hesitation about talking to people in Chinese, but is more than willing to contact foreigners, which is more than I can say. We are doing a lot of finding, but hopefully will be able to start teaching some less active members soon. Our investigators are good, but busy. It's hard to communicate the magnitude of our message to people. I don't even get it.
We made some doughnuts this week. We are all excited for Christmas to come, though I always say one should wait until after Thanksgiving at least to start celebrating in order to appreciate it most, but they all call me a scrooge or a grinch when I say those kinds of things. So I eventually gave in and made doughnuts. We're also going to try making some eggnog, as it is unavailable here and we all miss it.
Speaking of food, a surprisingly common question I hear is "what did your mom/do American moms feed babies and small children?" Many mothers want their children to grow up big and tall "like an American." So... any answers from moms? I always say apple sauce, but I thought I'd ask.
I love you all. I am so grateful to be here on Thanksgiving day and this past year and a bit. I am also grateful for you, my family. And my friends. And the church. And everything God has given to me.