I had a really good birthday. Elder Manarani took me out for brunch at this "Snack asaitic" that is right by our house. There aren't very many restaurants outside of Noumea Center, but there are these "Snacks" that is just a little restaurant. We ate really really well... I ate a "Steack Frite Salade au Sauce Champinions", which I think I spelled wrong, but it was just steak, french fries, a little salad, and the steak had this really good mushroom sauce on it!! Mmm! Then we went and did service (which we do every Thursday) for this lady who lives in Robinson (a missionary sector not to far from us, where our district leader is) and we cut hedges. It was really fun and I fell in the hedge and thought I was going to die but I'm fine :) It's like a 15 foot tall hedge and I fell all the way to the bottom! Ha ha. I wasn't hurt or anything, but it was really funny. Then they surprised me with some cake, and sang happy birthday. This guy who served a mission in New Caledonia like 40 years ago told us stories.... :) They were way funny. So one of them was he was doing porte-a-porte with his companion. They knocked on this door and this big woman was facing away from the door watching tv. They tried to introduce themselves but she wouldn't listen. Eventually she called her daughter out to tell the missionaries to go away. She said well, I'm sorry, I'd like to talk to you but my mom is catholic and we don't accept missionaries. But the companion wouldn't give up! he kept saying no, it's important for your family! meh meh meh. She kept apologizing, and he kept insisting. Eventually the big lady got out of her chair. She pulled out this cross necklace and a locket thing and said look. We're catholic. This is Mary, this is Jospeh, and this is Jesus. Okay? In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost GET OUT! (Degage!!) SLAM door. Ha ha ha!
Later that day we tried some porte a porte, to no avail as usual. We eventually went home and found that Elder Amundsen and Elder Troutman had paid our apartment a visit.. They switched everything around!! Our desks were switched, they switched our beds, and everything in our closets! It was way funny. Elder Amundsen left me some pictures and wrote me a little card and they brought me a little cake with Matches as Candles. Ha ha! I was really really happy. Elder Amundsen is amazing and I'm really happy to have him as a friend.
Later that night we had this big thing of Letchi
(this little fruit that grows on trees here.. About the size of a plum, it's red, and it has a pointyish skin on it. You have to peel it off and there's this white fruit meat stuff inside, and a big seed. I don't really like them that much, but everyone else loves them and they literally grow on trees so they're in great great GREAT abundance.) and we gave it to our nice neighbors. Turns out it was the dad's birthday and they gave us 3 big slices of cake.. not knowing it was my birthday!
So that brings the cake count up to 3. Then I started making my cheesecake, but didn't have time so I had to put it off. I actually didn't end up eating it until 8-9 pm yesterday. :( Sorry. But I did eat that cake the neighbors gave us on my birthday, along with cake at service. Anyway, it ended up being a really good birthday. Everyone seemed to remember too, and that's all that really matters to me. As long as someone thinks about me or something.
Oh and we got video of unwrapping my awesome presents, and doing the candles with the CD of y'all singing happy birthday. :D:D:D It was almost like you were there!!!
Thanks for everything! I really really like the shirt, and I have fun explaining the people to my companion. I wear it every night. :) Don't worry about me ruining it in the dryer, that is something that simply doesn't exist in New Caledonia!
OH and also.... You were REALLY lucky that package didn't get searched at all!! I found out that they would have had to unwrap every present and look inside, and they probably would have just sent it back!!! But luckily they didn't search it at all! Oh and by the way... Don't ever send raw meat of any kind to me. Um, yeah. Didn't think you would, but just.. yeah. We had trouble with a package someone sent to a missionary here that had meat in it. Weird.
Also, I don't think I'm getting any of the letters people are sending to me these days. I think the post is being super super gay. Could you put a notice on my blog for me? (haha. done and done. :D)
I would like everyone to know, that I ALWAYS reply to every letter I get, and if you don't get a reply within 2 1/2 months, that means I Didn't get it and probably never will. I want people to like photocopy the letters they send, and if I never get them they can resend them, or forget about it. But if someone thinks I'm not sending letters to them anymore, it's not true and it's just because I never got the letter. also, make sure to always remember the CEDEX on the end of the address. (Mom, you forgot this one!! I'm lucky my package got to me.. :O)
Bureau de la Mission
98804 Noumea Cedex
The most important parts of the address are 15154 and 98804 so make sure you write these very clearly. Also it might help to have very plain white envelopes, with nothing written on it besides the addresses. I don't know if this is the problem or not, but just an idea.
Anyway, so I will tell you a short story. I went on an exchange with a missionary who had been here for only about 3-4ish weeks and is really terrible at french. It actually went really well. I was really scared, but it was fine! I got a taste of being a trainer. I felt weird speaking in english all day, and forgot how to say some words! I was not able to pray in English and did it all in French! He asked me lots of questions and I felt really really smart when I was able to answer them! It was really fun and made me feel really good and confident as a missionary and in my French skills.