Monday, November 11, 2013

A few exciting points of my week

Hello Family,

Well, today I have no idea where to begin a well-formulated letter, so I’ll just give you a few exciting points of my week. 

Marina Bay skyline
1.  One of our errands early in the week brought us past Marina Bay after dark, so I was able to snap a few obviously rushed pictures of the more famous part of Singapore:  “blurry photographic evidence...” of the cityscape across the bay and the Merlion.
Marina Bay skyline

The Merlion

mission pamphlets
The Battle of the Office Copier
2.  I went on exchanges with Elder Gottfredson, an Elder assigned to work in the mission office building.  While there, I unpacked about a billion pamphlets, some of which can be seen in the included picture, and I fought an hours-long battle with a huge printer.  After I finally subdued it, we became friends and it printed out 120 copies of a 12-page packet to which I had made several nifty improvements under the awe-stricken stare of the office Elders.

 3.  I positively identified that thing that always flies around that one lamppost as some sort of bat.

4.  I had the interesting experience of being chased down by someone saying, “Hey, you two!  Are you Mormons?  Can you teach me about your church?”  We handed him a Book of Mormon and our namecard, and while we took down his name and number, we explained a little about the restoration.  Other sisters here in Singapore have already begun teaching him!

5.  I tried lots of . . . (failed adjective) . . . food.   The report:

     ·         sugarcane drink:  tolerable

     ·         octopus:  pretty good

     ·         dried cuttlefish:  highly recommended!

     ·         pig liver:  not fantastic

     ·         unidentified meat, probably crab:  not bad

     ·         Auricularia Auricula-judae (fungus):  too spicy!

      Here's a tasty pasta that a less active member gave us on Sunday.  I still don't know what all those things are, but they tasted really good!

Viewer discretion advised

My own cooking!
To top all of that, I made Penne all’Arrabbiata last Monday!  Despite the taste of the thin-sliced pork-something-or-other instead of bacon, it tasted like home, and was carefully savored horked down in 4 minutes by the four of us.   

I thought of home again this week when I visited the home of a member family who fed us a Primavera-like pasta and salad.  After the meal, we shared a message with the family about family scripture study, family prayer and family home evening.  These are things that this convert family are trying to implement currently, we discovered.  I was so glad to finally meet with a family, because we were together in a setting in which I could feel so much love.  That's probably the biggest reason I miss home: because we always talked and ate and read and prayed together, it really was a place of safety and love.  It's funny that since I've been away from home, my testimony of the power of family study, prayer, and family home evening has grown.  I am glad that you will continue to do these important things together so that the Spirit can always be felt at home and you can have the Lord's protection and guidance.  I already pray for this, and I love you so much!



Oh, and here's an experience from my journal which I wanted to send home.  [I hope I'm not too insensitive in sharing my first impressions (first experience) with a mass.]

"Okay, things started off today with the 12:15 mass at Novena Church.  I was surprised at what happened there, because I am not familiar with any other Christian traditions.  There were a few announcements and a recited greeting from the congregation, then a few recited prayers led by the pastor before the communion with bread and wine.  It was pretty good (the service, not the wine) except the pastor was a pretty poor public speaker, and I was left wondering why I was supposed to buy his ham. Really.  Also, I couldn’t concentrate on reading the Book of Mormon, because everyone kept standing up and sitting down and praying out loud.  Anyway, I thought I could do better preaching than that, because I would teach plain, simple truth from the Book of Mormon.  I really felt like a lot of people there were earnestly searching for something I sadly knew they wouldn’t find there.  I realized the value of simple, restored truth and how it really does answer questions of the soul.  I think we need to do a better job of focusing on doctrine when we teach and less on application.  I think that’s when the Holy Ghost will testify, and after that is when people have the opportunity for true conversion."

I also had an experience this week with an investigator who wanted me to bless a cross so that it would protect her as she slept.  She also bought a cross for me to keep, as a token of her apology for drinking and then sleeping instead of coming to sacrament meeting.  I didn't really know what to do with it, so I put it behind Elder Fabiano's pop-tarts on the top shelf.  I'm now just waiting to see how long it takes before he notices.     (If that's too irreverent, you probably don't want to put that last part on the blog...)

[How many missionaries are in your apartment?]

We have 4, including Elder Fabiano (part Samoan, part Italian) and Elder Wadsworth, who was in the MTC with me for a couple of weeks.  He's been out six weeks longer than me.

This was another less active member coming with us to teach a lesson.  As we waited at a bus stop, she pulled out cookies that she made us.  She has worked her way up to manager of a coffee shop on the other side of the island.  Last week, she made me some super-delicious pasta carbonara.

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