Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Missing the Cold

Hi Family!
I'll type this as I read through the letter you sent me, so I can't say it's going to be well-formulated, but I hope I can answer some of your questions.

My companions right now are awesome!  Elder Harper just graduated from AP to "real missionary."  Just kidding about that, but he's super happy all the time, now that he's not sitting in an office or an airplane all the time.  He's from Boise, and went to BYU for a year before coming to Singapore.  He's a lot of fun to be with and a great leader.  Elder Wang is from Sichuan, China, so he can eat anything, no matter how spicy it is.  This week he made some noodles with Sichuan pepper, then picked all the pepper out of my serving and told me not to eat it or I wouldn't be able to feel my mouth.  Singaporean/Chinese spicy is not the same as Italian or American spicy; it skips the pleasant, enjoyable burn and just goes straight for the kill.  Elder Wang is also really funny, especially in our English grammar lessons.  I'm so glad I'm learning Chinese, not English.

Right now, there is an Elder Hunsaker staying with us, because his companion's arrival was delayed a couple weeks.  He is from Idaho Falls, and he says he really misses the cold right now.  His dad also went to Italy, Milano on his mission, probably about the same time that Mom and Dad were there.  Did you know an Elder Nathan Hunsaker in Italy?  Right now, Elder Hunsaker's eye is really swollen from some kind of infection, but he's remained pretty cheerful for one in so much discomfort and who doesn't speak Chinese like the rest of his company.
The Ward I'm in now is the Singapore 2nd Ward, which is the Chinese-speaking ward.  There are several (probably under 10) wards in Singapore, and 1 stake.  There are no other stakes in the mission, but there are a few branches.  In Singapore, there is a ward for Expatriates, (White people here for work or vacation or luxurious retirement), one for Filipinos, one for Chinese, and a few others that I don't know very much about.
I am really missing the snow and the cold right now.  I didn't really think I would miss it that badly, but every day is the same here, as far as the weather goes.  It's warm - just above unpleasantly warm - and really muggy.  If there's a breeze, its a fabulous day.  Every time I email and think about home, I just wish I could fill up my lungs with some clear, delicious, thin, high-altitude air.  This would be a nice place to retire, and drive a fancy car, and attend expensive concerts and stuff, but I think I prefer the environment of Cache Valley to this one.  I'm probably going to come back home and struggle for breath for the first months, after I've gotten used to the heavy air here.
I'm glad Noelle had a good birthday - a really good birthday, by the looks of that poster :)   I've never eaten at Herm's Inn, only driven past it, but it must have been good if you decided to go back.  I know the birthday is over, but I still send my best wishes!
 I was really confused for a minute when I saw that picture of Grandma standing next to me at home, but then I laughed a lot!  Nice work!  What did you do with my cutout?
Thank you so much for the Christmas package!  While I'm not exactly sure when it arrived, I picked it up on Thursday of this week.  The package was a little squished, and it was mostly open already, but no real damage was done (The CD case is broken, but the music is great!).  I love the ornaments with your faces and wishes on them!  It really made for a perfect Christmas present.  I'm working on something to send home, but... still working.  This may be a Chinese New Year package, instead of a Christmas package by the time it arrives, but know that I wish you all a very merry, warm, and healthy Christmas, and I'm excited to talk to you next week!
I love you all so much!

Me eating at a deelicious Chinese soup place

Me eating a "century egg"
Century egg . . . a really really old egg
Elders Baer, Harper, Wang, and Hunsaker

Eating the best Thai food at a new investigator's house!
Elder Hunsaker with a crazy huge pear!

Elder Baer with all three phases of Chinese learning. The equivalent of gathering all three rings of power.  Only once!
Chinese Elders and Sisters trying not to get wet
Elder Bear
Afternoon in Singapore

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