Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Gonna be a NEW YEAR :)

gong xi fa cai! (chinese new year greeting)
     whats up family!  how're ya'll?  it sounds cold back home.  it's cold here, but only if you are using the air con.  last week seemed to be pretty good for you.  i heard about ol jimmer in the white people ward.  that's pretty crazy but it is funny that they turn around and lost.  the jazz always find a mid season slump.  they'll be back on top soon.  no doubt.  the wilkins have cute daughters if i recall. abbie's house sounds fun.  that would be hard to fix up in the winter.  how long before they can move in.  8 acres? wow. that's a lot of acres.  i hope they are successful.  thanks for celebrating my birthday ha ha.  that is cool.
     well this week was good.  everybody is gearing up for chinese new year.  i believe it is the 3rd of feb.  it's huge.  i'm not sure why.  all i know is that if we get invited to people's houses that we give them 2 or 4 oranges and then say gong xi fa cai and they give us red envelopes with money inside.  the envelope is called ang pow.  last year sugi was here and he got like 120 dollars in ang pow.  ha ha i don't count on getting that much but an extra 20 bucks would be cool.  i'd say thats a good tradition.  i'm trying to remember a few other chinese phrases so that i impress the chinese people.  ha ha they love it if a white man knows something in chinese.
     we had a baptism on saturday!!!! oh yeah!  pretty sweet.  it was kim.  i had the privelage of baptizing her.  her full name is Doan Ngoc Kim Anh and its not pronounced like it looks so it was actually tough to memorize ha ha.  the water was cold and the numbers were few but it was a great meeting.  the two talks were good and her testimony was pretty good too.  she was confirmed on sunday at sacrament meeting.  i think she'll do good.  she likes the spirit at church.  the rest of our investigators are doing good as well.  it will be hard to meet anybody this week because of the holidays. oh well.
     major milestone a few days ago.  i accomplished a mission goal.  i had a goal to eat rice for breakfast lunch and dinner.  i did it!  ha ha sugi cooked rice two mornings for breakfast.  so on monday i thought sure i'll see if i can eat rice for lunch and dinner also.  ha ha so now i have experienced the asian culture.  i feel a rice belly coming on.  oh well.  i won't do that again. 
     another goal is coming into fruition.  i thought to myself a while ago that if i serve a mission in asia everyone will expect me to know how to use chopsticks.  thats not really the norm in this part of asia.  most people in malaysia and indonesia use a spoon or their hands.  but here in singapore there is a ton of chinese people so they have chopsticks right next to the fork and spoons.  i have been eating as many meals as i can with chopsticks.  i must say i'm getting pretty good.  i've made some big progress.  they don't use chopsticks only.  they also use a big spoon.  that is how you eat all of the rice.  but if it is at all sticky then i can pick up rice pretty well.
     i bought a new camera.  it's pretty sweet.  it is not the model i intended to buy but the sales man talked me into it.  it is a good one.  it is a panasonic 14 megapixel underwater camera.  i like it.  the pictures are pretty sharp.
     well yesterday elder dass made it back to singapore.  he only got a 13 day chop.  most likely he'll be transferred out next week and i'll train a new missionary that is coming in on wednesday.  elder sugi tried to get to his area in malaysia but they wouldn't let him enter the country.  so now he will serve in another part of singapore.  i'll still see him around.  there are a few other passport problems around the mission.  elders were entering back into Kuching in east malaysia and the immigration guy said i know what you mormons are doing here going around from door to door and stuff.  that elder only got a two week chop.  i think this is because we changed our policy to wear our missionary clothing and say straight up that we're from the church instead of that we're just visiting friends.  interesting.  so pray for us.  like president Monson says pray that the hearts of the leaders of countries will be softened for missionary work.  our mission could use that.
     i feel like there is more to tell you but i can't hink of it.  oh well.  have a good week and a happy lunar new year.  say hello to everyone.  dad don't forget to tell me about your muslim/book of mormon theories and about the singles wards.  i am interested to know your theories.  and don't get to excited about the fortune cookie thing.  it was probably refering to your son who will recieve tons of ang pow this week!  if you haven't send "forever strong" then don't.  we found it at a member's house. ok bye
elder petersen

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