I deeply, deeply apologize that last week was a bit of a bummer...I got caught up writing a big fat ol' report to President Hawks and then the next thing I knew we were out of time... :( 對不起.
So speaking of things that are big, old, and fat, this missionary who fulfills each one of the requirements to be described with those distinctive adjectives is now going to write you a big fat ol' email.
Last week was Temple Week, so that was wonderful. I love the temple. I'm excited to be able to go on a much more regular basis when I get home. Something funny about the temple is that because I have light sensitive migraines and the temple is always so white and bright, I always get headaches when I go through. But that's ok. It's a good headache.
We got to play some tennis today with Benji, a Prince sponsored coach from the Philippines. They had these carpet courts covered in sand, and it reminded me of Dad playing on carpet courts in Germany all those years ago. Super cool, super fun.
The Welcome Center is also bumpin'. We live right behind the chapel, so we can be in our desks doing studies and then get a call from the security guards that there are people in the church speaking Mandarin and we are in the building in our suits in less than 3 minutes. It's pretty cool. This week there were these 4 women who came down from Mainland China who wanted to learn more. Now...the thing with Christians and Mainland, speaking on a general scale of information gathered from 21 months as a Mandarin missionary, is they either know absolutely nothing about anything...never seen a Bible before, don't know anything about Christ other than his name....or they are absolutely straight out of Asian Alabama and they're throwing their arms all around and singing "Hallelujah's" and "Amens" after everything you say. We showed them to the chapel and I offered a prayer for us, and I honestly felt like I was starting my own cult there...they were like chanting and repeating everything I said and shouting praises to the rooftops, and then as soon as I said "Amen" another sister just picked it right up from where I left off and start swinging her arms around and just kept the prayer going....yeah it was rad.
We also had an amazing man named Edison walk in, and we shared some really special time. He is a humble, true Christian from India and felt a prompting to walk to a music store a different way than he usually does, and then saw this building and felt he should come in. After we met for a while, he told us he's going back to India that same night and he wants to have missionaries come and meet with him and his wife and two kids in their home. So we got that all arranged, and here's praying that it all goes as it should.
We were walking down the street the other day, and started talking to this white guy...when our contact was interrupted by about 30 people walking by in banana suits with alcohol in their hands singing at the top of their lungs. They walked past us and were like "Hey! Mormons! Come on a mission with us! Woohoo!" But in the end we decided there are better kinds of missions to be on, so we didn't go.
All in all, it was an awesome week and then some. I'm still loving every second I've got here! Trying hard to kick some spiritual butt but lots of times getting kicked in the butt, but it's all awesome. I love you all, thanks for your support and your prayers. They are greatly needed and appreciated.
Love, Elder Hafen