Dear family -
Hello! Thank you for your letters. Mother, I got the referral, I could read it fine and will send it out today! Shelly thanks for the pictures, encouragement, and fabulous stationary :). Shelly, especially thank Benjamin for me for his thoughtful letter. And you should all ask Amy to let you read the poem she wrote for me. It was awesome.
In other news I saw the biggest spider* the other day at the church by my bike. The spider I saw was bigger than my palm. And not just a big spindly daddy long leg, it was a legitimate spider. When it ran away, I could still hear it crunching as it walked through the leaves. It was that big. Just think of that the next time you are in the woods at night and hear a rustle.
Remember the saga of me hating my mattress? Well, the squeaky wheel gets the grease and finally Elder Porter and Elder Yang brought me another mattress. I was so excited they day they brought it Sister Brownell and I were going to have nightly planning on my new mattress instead of at our desks. Then I got home and I indeed had another mattress...but it was the exact same as my last one, not one of the newer ones. I was disappointed. The next day when I saw the office Elders, Elder Porter asked me if my new mattress was okay. "We noticed once we got it there it was the same as your old one...but I didn't know what to do, it was the only one we had..." He looked so... sincere/sheepish/wanting to please me that I couldn't complain about it anymore. I just said thank you, it was much better and shut up about it.
The day Sister Hampton left she and I switched mattresses (hers is a nice newer one). Sister Liu, being a charitable companion said that she would take the old mattress instead of giving it to the sister that hadn't moved in yet. So I have a new mattress. The other night I walked out to the bathroom and Sister Liu was stretching in the living room. I asked her what she was doing and she said her back had been hurting. So I wasn't just being a drama queen, it really was a terrible mattress. The princess and the pea indeed.
After President Monson's last conference address last week, I am trying to have more gratitude. For a couple days I have just been trying to express gratitude instead of asking for blessings in all my prayers. It has been difficult! It is not wrong to ask for blessings, but it certainly opened my eyes to how often I beseech the Lord for help. I have so many wonderful blessings. The promised blessing for gratitude is happiness. Who doesn't want to be more happy? And gratitude is such a simple way to achieve it. You don't have to go anywhere, spend any money, read a manual, take any classes, buy any products. Happiness is easier achieved than people think, and it's not a secret.
Alright, times up.
I love you all.
* I guess the other sisters found one of similar size in the womens bathroom this week! There was lots of screaming and the elders had to chase it around for about ten minutes before it got killed (haha). I never saw big spiders in the country in Yuanlin! Good thing or I would have been scared to death.
Cami's email to Donna:
Mmm, sounds delicious!
I took 5000 NT from my account Bank of America account today so if you would make sure it is okay and didn't overdraw I'd appreciate it. I have to send some things home soon, get Christmas presents, etc. Is there anything you would like from Asia while I am here? Perhaps a knock off coach bag to match Tinas :)
Love you, thanks for your letter. You have a birthday card too I ment to send it but it has stickers all over it and no where to put the address...long story...