My dearest, darlingest family of awesomeness: Gong Xi Fatt Cai!!
I owe all of you a HUGE apology for making my past few emails all weak-sauce like. Due to your natural awesomeness, you deserve to know MUCh more about what I’m doing. Since I think about you all the time, I feel like you know the stuff I’m doing anyway. I forget sometimes that I am, in fact, on the opposite side of the world. It is funny how the Lord has blessed me to feel so at home here. I feel pretty asian already 😉 Haha jokes. Man I’m so racist…
Ok, so there are a few stories I have forgotten to tell you that you simply must know about. Forst, I have had Durian. I know, how could I forget something so momentous as eating durian, but I did. Before I tell you the story, let me tell you about durian. You know that smell when you walk past a stinky garbage can of rotting fruit and other nasties? Its kind of sweet smelling in the most putrid way possible? Ok, take that and multiply it by three and a half, and that is what durian smells like. Personally, I don’t know WHY someone would eat something so nasty, because it seems like one of those things that if it smells that bad, it shouldn’t go into your body, you know? But alas…its a delicacy here and cost a lot…like 50 ringgit for one fruit. It has this funky spiky outside and the insides are big ol’ seeds covered in flesh. They are usually about the size of Mac’s head, I think. Well anyway, its said that unless you eat durian, you cannot say you served a mission in Malaysia. I had avoided it at all costs in KL, which was easy, ’cause sister Guzman didn’t like it, and sister Schriever couldn’t get any to make me eat. It must have been our first monday in Penang, but a man in the branch gave us some to eat. I was NOT going to due to my above stated theory, but at Family Home Evening for the single adults, Sister Bradfield popped it out and ate some. She was all “oh its not that bad,” so I unplugged my nose and ate a bit. Never again will I deny my instincts. It was easily the most vile thing ever to enter my mouth, and I’ve had some nasty stuff on my mission. This takes the cake, frosting AND candles. SO BAD! But it wasn’t the taste that made me gag for 1- minutes. Oh no, it was the texture. Imagine eating bad smelling Vasaline in a plastic bag, and you’ve got durian. I vowed right there to never eat such a thing again. I was coughing and gagging for the rest of the night.
We have been biking these last few weeks, and I had to break down and wear sunscreen. I know, I know, major disappointment to the family, I’m sure I’m being written out of wills as I type. But I didn’t get sunburnt this week, which would be the first week in three I haven’t. YAY for no skin cancer! Anyway, biking in a skirt is one of those things that I would never do unless I was a missionary. Due to the nature of skirts and bikes, we end up tucking our skirts into our shorts, so I’ve become very comfortable with the top four inches of knee flesh above my knee braces. I also have a very strong testimony of eyebrows. I used to be all like, “why do we have eyebrows?” It must be to make us look pretty. Not the case. They are excellent swear catchers and I want big caveman eyebrows now, cause we sweat BUCKETS. LIke, its nasty…I look like mom after a big workout 😉 AND THEN we get to teach people and hug nice fruity smelling asian women. I don’t enjoy it, I must say. However, I DO enjoy biking. I’m getting all skinny-like, and am slowly turning brown. AND I get to pretend I’m on a rocket ship when we petal off a red light. VROOM LIGHT SPEED!
So chinese new year. Its bigger than christmas and lasts longer too! Penang is 90 percent chinese (A big change from KL) so you would think the world was ending for Chinese New Year. And it pretty much does, because you cannot try to meet with anyone during the first few days of it. Aaaand it lasts two weeks. Awesome. It started on the 31st of January, so therefore there was all sorts of CNY shenanigans happening the night before. Midnight yielded fireworks like unto the fourth of july. We didn’t sleep for a while that night. Every night since then has sounded the same. Now if the sound of a gun goes off, we don’t even flinch. The whole city looks like that big ending scene in Mulan; lanterns and butterflies and stuff everywhere! We had a nice family, the L’s, invite us over for what is called steamboat. Its where they take all this fish based stuff and put it in a big bowl of broth over a hot plate and cook it until its hot. Then, you just take what you want and eat up! Because I’m allergic to shrimp, they made me my VERY OWN POT! It was so kind of them 🙂 We ate with chopsticks, and I totally proved my American-ness, because halfway through, I realized I had the chopsticks upside down. Awkward when the house full of Chinese people saw that. They laughed and laughed. And Laughed. The meal lasted about three hours (way too long, but we would offend them big time if we tried to leave) and I payed for it for much longer. That much fish should NOT enter someone’s body at once. But the message the elders shared turned into a really great testimony meeting. This family has just recently been reactivated, so to hear the mom bear her testimony in english and the dad translate was really beautiful. They are amazing.
This week I read through the entire book, “our heritage.” It talks all about the history of the church, focusing a lot on the struggles of the early pioneers. It was amazing to read first hand accounts of the faith these people had. I am blessed to come from such roots. I suggest ANYONE, member or nonmember, should read it. its a testimony builder for anyone.
This week was better than last appointment wise. WE had more handle on the city and more ideas of what the work is like here. We just need more new investigators. Everyone we’re teaching is a classic eternal investigator left to us by the old elders. They aren’t ready to change, so we will maybe drop them. We’ll see. We’re going to try tracting this week to find new investigators. We have a few places that we can knock doors at and some markets that people hang out at. It’ll be fun I guess.
I love you all so much! Keep being awesome missionaries! God loves you and so do I!
1. We were at our branch president’s house for another CNY meal and i found the two cutest things ever. A little asian girl and this tiny little puppy!
2. Me and my sweet bike, hog. We go places.
3. We found bagels!! They were ridiculously expensive, but they tasted like home.
4. My daughter took this picture. Emak means mother 🙂
5. Sometimes, Sister Bradfield falls asleep and I take pictures 😀 Companionship love at its finest.