So good to hear from you (like always). We just had a big thanksgiving lunch at the Mission President's house and I was wondering what all of you were up to back home. I've been looking forward to finding out all day!
So to answer your question, no, people don't really celebrate thanksgiving here in Singapore. Actually, that's not entirely true. I guess a lot of the church members here have thanksgiving celebrations of sorts, but definitely not quite the same as back home. This morning we went to the American School here to play some good old, classic American football for a few hours. While we were leaving, we saw a local woman who was working at the school and one of the Elders called out "Happy Thanksgiving! Do you celebrate Thanksgiving?" to which she shouted back, "No, I'm not Christian." Who knew it was a Christian holiday, huh?
Anyway, our celebrations were really great. Almost felt like being back at home and celebrating Thanksgiving with everybody (except not quite so tasty). Sister Clark even commisioned our Elder from Singapore to find somewhere to buy a pumpkin so she could make us some home-made pumpkin pie. It was truly excellent.
This week has been going pretty well in terms of the work too. I really feel like I'm getting the hang of how to be a missionary and how to approach people to talk. I feel a little more confident and in control which I think helps other people want to talk to me a little more too. Plus we're working with a few really awesome investigators. The first is this guy named J***M***. He's really cool and although we've only met him twice, things are definitely coming along with him. He's a super, super receptive learner. The other day we were teaching him about the Plan of Salvation and were talking about Adam and Eve. I knew that he came from a Buddhist background, but he'd told us earlier that he'd read the first couple chapters of Genesis a few years back. So I asked him if he would tell me what he remembered about that story. He then went on on maybe like a five minute nearly flawless recitation of the story. He seemed to remember even every subtle detail. To understand exactly how crazy that is, I guess you'd have to understand that I'm in a country where people rarely have any idea what a "prophet" is, and most people I talk to haven't even heard of a person named Moses. It was awesome.
We're also teaching a teenage chinese girl named C***. Her boyfriend is a member but I think we're the first missionaries she's ever met with. Last night we asked her if she'd like to be baptized to which she replied basically, "Oh yeah, absolutely." It's just so good to find people so willing to accept the gospel. Sometimes that's rare here in Singapore.
The last really awesome people we met with this week is actually a family. The father's name is P ***, and they're actually from India so they don't have a family name at all. We usually just call them the "P family." Anyway, they have to be the most humble people I've ever met in my life. Just soo good and attentive. We planned on just stopping by and giving a lesson, but they wanted to feed us before we left. They didn't eat with us though, just set up the table so that we could eat first and they would just eat after we left. It would have been kind of akward, but you could just tell as they were doing it they just thought they were doing the decent, hospitable thing. We didn't even really know them, but they just took such good care of us. Such good people. P even walked us all the way to the bus stop, and then waited with us until the bus arrived. He showed me just how far I have to go in humility...
Unfortunately our meeting with that woman (whose friend had just died) I met didn't really pan out. By the time I was finally able to get a hold of her to confirm our appointment (I was dialing the phone number wrong!), she just told me she didn't think we could meet that day because it was raining. Just after that call she sent us a text saying that she was really happy with where she was in life, and didn't really want to meet with us. It's tough because I know we had so much to offer her, but I know that this isn't going to be the end of her exposure to the church either. God has a plan, and someday, somehow or another she'll hear the message of the gospel. It just wasn't time I guess.
Anyway, things are still going well here. Elder Merrill is awesome and I'm learning a lot from him everyday. It was really hot outside today, and I actually got a little sunburned playing football, but I don't think things really ever get much worse than this. The heat actually isn't nearly so bad as I was expecting. Good news I guess!
I love you so, so much! I can't wait to hear from you again!
Love, Elder Blissett (Kevin)