Thank you Australian Postal Service... August 4 2011

So I'll just start out with the most recent interesting story. Yesterday afternoon when our Zone leader got back from training in Hong Kong he said we had mail. I was pretty excited since it was for us sisters. "any for me??!" well.. the answer was yes, but he said "yeah but i think the one for you is pretty sad" no clue what that meant but then he pulled the letter out. take a look at the first picture... so elliott sent me a letter that got ripped to shreds in australia apparently. "damaged by machinery" is the official declaration. So elliott, if you get the top half returned in another envelope by the australian postal service, know that i have half of the letter hahaaha!

Okay other than that, things in macau are AWESOME. we're so busy but not at the same time. I think filipinos are more similar to chileans and mexicans, in that they are totally willing to talk to you but not as willing to commit to anything. Its a huge change from chinese work where no one even talks to you ahhaha. But I love it. Even when there are no international people around, the chinese people here in macau are SO NICE. They'll stop and talk to you a lot more often than hong kong people will. And there are tons of indonesians, filipinos, vietnamese, nepalese, thai, etc people that we talk to all the time. Its kind of funny too, because this week we had days where most of the people we met were of one or the other of these.

example. Day 1 of mostly straight finding- indonesians. We pulled back three to the church. M, one of them, had been a domestic worker in saudi arabia for several years and her employer would beat her all the time. then she heard about jesus christ and god and started praying every day. She felt like she should quit after a while and then when she said she was going to terminate her contract early, her employer apologized and thanked her for everything she did and asked her to stay. she stayed for a couple more years and they had a great relationship. anyways she was really good and translated for her friend K who didnt speak chinese or english. later in the day a member showed up with her indonesian friend who doesnt speak chinese or english either- we taught a lesson with her friend acting as translator. Its so difficult to teach lessons with a translator!! I need the gift of tongues to the MAX now.

Day 2 of mostly straight finding- vietnamese. im serious almost everyone we talked to turned out to be vietnamese. such nice people. Two were willing to come back with us to the church and were really excited that we have pamphlets and stuff in vietnamese.

day 3 of mostly straight finding- Nepalese (spl?) We met like a billion nepalese men yesterday. I went on splits and we walked around the reservoir. It was so much fun!! It makes me work hard to have to explain things in very simple english, but I love the challenge.

Its amazing the people we meet and their sacrifices for their families. I realize i prettttty much have nothing to complain about in my life- i mean, these people work so hard in these terrible conditions at times, so their family can have food, shelter and especially education. When i asked one of the nepalese men yesterday why he was here he told me because his teenage daughter needs to go to a good school. I have so much respect for that but it makes me think... there has GOT to be another way because their families need them there too. but i dont see a solution. My companion, worked in fields since she was 10 and then started working in hong kong so her brother and sister could go to school, and paid for 5 of her cousins to go to college. Luckily she had a great employer but many people are not so lucky.

It puts a whole new meaning into the work for me, because the hope and the joy of the gospel can help them so much! I mean, its important for everyone, but the urgency for me feels greater working in the international branch, and probably since i am nearing the end of my mission too. Macau is a more relaxed place, you can even feel it in the air, but that is what makes working hard so much fun. because you can work harder than ever but still feel like you're having a good time. The brazilian sister, sister b is AWESOME and she's our ward correlator. she's got some great ideas on how to help this branch and get everyone involved. Its like everyone wants to help, even though they have very little time and are probably so tired. the YSA in the branch want to have an activity to go finding this week. seriously theyre so excited about it. that would never happen like this in chinese work. haha. but i still love my chinese, especially the macanese. seriously. They're the best! I thought i would really miss my old area but i think this is just so exciting to be here in macau and working with these people, having a crazy, HARD WORKING filipina as a companion. im so grateful like sister d she's willing to get up early to go running (actually shes usually up a few min earlier than i am just waiting for me to get up.)

ok well theres so much more iw ant to say. sorry i had so little time to take pics this week. but maybe next week i'll have more. its so pretty here!!! ok love you all! the other pic is the view from our apt.

sis black