Monday, July 28, 2014

Getting things going again!

Hi Family!
First of all, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Lauren!!  I hope all your wishes came true!  (Also, I hope that where you are, it's still your birthday.  I dunno, I might have missed it by a couple of hours.  Over here, your birthday is in the past already.
Also, Hola!! to Noelle.  She's still in Ecuador, right?  Maybe I'll send an email to her in a few minutes.  I hope everything went well, and I can't wait to read any news you have about it!
Let me just tell you a whole bunch of stuff about this week, okay?

Well, we are still loving our new house in our new location, closer to downtown.  It means that we get to go into town more often, but we don't get to see the other missionaries all the time anymore.  Also, we have to figure out new places to email, cut hair, fix bikes, etc.  Right now, I'm in an old, dim, smoky room, with a bunch of Iban kids walking around trying to read my messages and snatch my computer as soon as I get off, and trying to type a letter with a broken space bar.

However smoky it is in here, though, it's better than outside these days.  It's about time for people to begin planting rice, so there is a lot of jungle being burned right now, and the air is hazy and thick everywhere.  On top of that, today is Hari Raya, a Muslim celebration of the end of Ramadan, so there are people crazy-driving everywhere.  I can't tell if what I'm breathing in is exhaust, fire smoke, or evaporated curry!  Actually the curry is really good - we went with a member to visit Malay people's houses today, and ate the food that they had placed out for visitors of all faiths, as a Hari Raya tradition.  It was a neat, once-in-a-mission experience that I failed to photograph adequately because my camera ran out of batteries early in the day.  I still don't know all that much about Hari Raya, so consult Wikipedia for more information.
This week, we considered starting a bug collection, considering how many giant moths we found.  I'll send you pictures of those in a minute. 

We also had a great week as far as working with members went.  We were able to visit the homes of several less active members, and meet one or two active member families, who fed us delicious dinners.  We will continue working to fulfill the plans and goals we have made for this area, including helping more less-active members attend church regularly.  This week, however, will probably be filled not with trips to unknown less-actives' homes, but with meetings with more active members, trying to encourage them fill out their family history packets.  Elder Durrant and I are planning to make food for the members who bring completed "My Family" booklets to the next family home evening, where they can enter their names into Family Search.

I'm confident that the food, at least, will be good, because I've learned this week that Elder Durrant is very good in the kitchen.  I've been an enjoyer of his scones, casserole, fritter, and rolls.  In an attempt to contribute something scrumptious, I tried making the onion butter pasta sauce.  I have learned that buying tomato puree, because the market doesn't have whole or cut tomatoes, is not the best option for pasta sauces, at least the way that we eat them.  I've also been experimenting with Shelly Snacks, which, aside from one charred edge, turned out pretty nicely.  Yum!!
Well, I'm glad to hear all the news that you send me, and I can't wait to hear more about Lauren's birthday, Ecuador, and all that happens at home!
I love you all, and I pray for you every day!  Send all my love to Grandparents, too!

Bug collection:  


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