Monday, November 12, 2012

I am now in Macau!!!

Hello Mom, Dad, Kelli and Nathanael!
Wow!  It sounds like you did have a good week!!  Thank you so much for sending me all of the pictures and telling me all about it!
Did you know Obama's the new president!  Well, if he is good or bad, I can't take any blame or claim because I still haven't received my absentee ballot.  Oh well, I guess it's good not to have to worry about.  
Are you ready for my new move call?
Drumroll please. . .  
I am now in Macau!!!  With, wait for it. . . SISTER HINTZE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  and SISTER CLEMENTS!!!!  AND I'm serving in the International branch!  add to that!  I'm in the same apartment as Sister Cook and her companion is Sister Chan who is also AWESOME!  
I'm realizing now that I had been in Tolo Harbor for 7 months and although I love that area, I needed a change!!!  It feels sooooo good to be in a new place and even doing a new kind of missionary work!  Macau is really cool.  There's is a lot of different architecture so it's a bit more European.  It has a totally different feel to it.  Sister Chan (our roommate) described it well, she said, "Macau is like a hospital for your heart." 
Our apartment is HUGE!!! There are only 5 of us, but there is a huge room that is pretty much just for our clothes, 2 bathrooms and a very nice living room/desk area.  AND we have a balcony!!!  It's soooo cool!  Thursday morning we went running to a place called "broken church."  It's the front of an old Catholic church and it has a cool fort nearby.  Did I mention that we went RUNNING?!!!  Haha this morning we went on a hike.  We started at a beach on an island called TaiPa and then we hiked up a mountain to a cool Buddhist temple.  It was the biggest and coolest I've seen yet, even the temple at Big Buddah wasn't as cool!  We were going to look at some pandas, but the place was closed.  Other great things about Macau include a US mart which has Westen Family brand cereal in big bags!! and CLIF BARS and Grapenuts!!! Saturday night we had a Birthday party with our ward and Sunday was church.  Our ward is so fun!  The majority of the people are Filipino, and  they are all short, adorable and hilarious!! They call me and Sister Hintze the "Twin Towers" and several times I heard them say, "Excuse me Giant sisters."  We have 11 missionaries in our district and one senior couple.  They are Elder and Sister Welling.  I couldn't think of a more fun senior couple mission.  They fuhjaak. . .(shoot I just forgot how to say that in English) oh they are responsible for some of the organizational stuff here, like finances, Family History  and such. Sister Welling teaches free piano and ukulele lessons AND they also get to teach investigators.  In fact, an adorable old lady that they taught got baptized on Sunday.  It was cool to see how excited they were.  It's also fun to have 11 missionaries all serving in the same chapel.  We have a set of Elders and Sisters for both the Chinese and International branches, and then one set of Mandarin Elders who I think kind of cover both.  
In church on Sunday I got to try interpreting for a sister from Indonesia, she doesn't speak English, but does speak Cantonese, so we interpret for her.  It's not great, but we can get the idea across, and we can still use our Chinese.  Even though we don't teach in Chinese, it is still very nice to know Chinese to get around and talk with people on the street.  
Finding here is so much fun, we get to meet a lot of cool people and we have had a lot of miracles already!!! For example, we went finding in a garden on TaiPa on Saturday.  As we were walking, I heard a Philippine man say, Hello Sisters! (of course people only say that if they are familiar with our church!)  It turns out he is a member, but just hasn't come since he moved to Macau, and also wasn't sure where the church was.  We explained where it was, exchanged numbers and invited him to come to church the next evening.  We finished talking to him and not even 2 minutes later, we found another Sister who was also a member, but hadn't come in awhile and we had a similar conversation.  THEN! less then a minute after we finished talking to her another lady came up and said, "are you from the Mormon church?"  We said, "Yes!" Then she said, "Where is your church?  I've been here 3 weeks and haven't been able to find the church!"  She started crying as she told us about her 2 sons who were getting ready to serve missions.  One is deaf and will probably be going to Utah.  She told us how she joined the church several years ago and has been to the temple and sealed to her family.  We were able to explain where the church was.  Her Holiday is on Thursday, not Sunday so she can't come to church, but she said, "I will come to the church as much as I can!"  She was also able to get in contact with the Branch President.  Later in the day, we found a family who said they would come to church!  The man used to go to church before with his friend.  I'm not sure why they weren't there yesterday, but we'll call them again tonight and see if we can start meeting with them!
We met a man from South America yesterday, and as we were talking, the only 2 Portuguese-speaking members of our branch walked up!  It was so perfect!  We saw the man on the street today.  Hopefully we can teach him soon!
Moving went well. I did send a box home, with some letters and my old planners and some other things (including your Christmas Gifts!!!). It cost about 25 US, and I sent it by ship because I figured there was no rush and it was a lot cheaper!  I'm really hoping/wanting/endeavoring to make this  the only box I mail home.  My suitcases are pretty full right now though.  A lot of it is stuff I am planning to leave here.
Well, I've got to go!!   I love you all! 
Sister Lin and I in Sha Tin at a place called "10,000 Buddahs"
Sister Hintze, Siser Clements and I using some playground equipment we found near the beach today.

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