so as far as christmas is concerned. its not a very big deal. its just a sort of major holiday for christians. (there are bigger hoildays held by christians) but a lot of people will throw a tree up, christmas lights arent very popular though. i'll have to explain that in person haha.
but this upcoming week is going to be an awesome one! like last year, as many of the members as we can muster will be caroling to most of the members homes. we'll do it two nights this week, and i know its gonna be a blast! then friday we go to kuching for a missionary christams conference, then saturday is the branch christmas party. party every night! haha then of course next week is christmas week, and we already have many invites to peoples homes on christmas day. cant wait. this is surely the best transfer cycle to be finishing on. couldnt have dreamed a better place and way to finish.
we have been able to meet with our members, but not as many as we would like, but were also to do some good ol tracting. met a few good people, but mostly just waves of the hand indicating they dont want anyhting to do with us hahaha. So this past week was a pretty exciting week for the church in east malaysia. they had youth conference in Kuching, and ALL branches from east malaysia were invited. so as always, the youth who participated had an awesome time.
today we will hopefully be playing a local sport called takraw. its like volleyball with a shorter net, and you dont use your hands/arms. we just saw a group of guys playing near our house and we were watching them and asked if we could play with them. they obliged. so later today we will be doing that. should be a blast! in addition we will be playing badminton as a distrct of elders, and thatll be a blast.
in answer to your question mom.. I think i went on a mission largely out of duty, and also because of something that dad told me: you will be setting the best example you can for your younger brothers by going on a mission. once again out of "duty" to my brothers and family. I cant say i really knew what i was getting into haha.
i stayed on my mission because the joy and happiness i bring to others has has reflected back on me 10 fold. i have learned so much about the gospel, but more so about how people work and what things work and dont work in trying to help them live the gospel.
my mind has been opened to several new cultures, and a very different way of life. I believe every aspect of my being has been greatly affected by my mission. There really can be no other way to so dramatically improve yourself. the thing that I cant really figure out is that i have accomplished all of this while rarely focusing on myself. It is when I truly focus on the needs of people i barely know that i increase the most in love, patience and diligence. This is what must be understood by anyone considering serving a mission, but at the same time can only be understood by those who have served one!
I love you and cant wait to TALK to you about what we'll do when i go home.