Today's topic is brought to you by a typo in my mom's email. I don't know what she meant to write, but what I read was "will you be able to bring me anything?"
Two days ago at church the mother of an elder serving in Fukuoka gave a talk at church. I actually know this elder, because he was in the MTC with me. His English was way good so I asked him questions about the language all the time. This week he wrote his mom thanking her for all the chores he's done for him up to this point because now he's doing it all. It sounded more tender than that in Japanese. But when she mentioned it in her talk, she teared up and I realized how much it meant to her to hear that.
So this is what I'm bringing home to my own mom.
-Chore diligence Yes we still have no dishwasher, my habit to wash dishes immediately after a meal is an instinct. A ritual. Never have I left clothes forgotten in the washer because I CAN'T. There are four sisters' worth of clothes to wash.
-Brazilian and Japanese recipes. Self explanatory.
-An out of this world tolerance for spicy foods Don't get me wrong, I ate spicy foods before my mission. But in Japan I've been neck to neck with Peruvian, Philippine, and Chinese friends. HOLY MOLY DO THEY LOVE SPICY FOODS. One family who fed me countless times on my mission would simply cut a chili pepper in pieces, throw it into lemon juice and put that in anything. A Philippina I knew put whole chili peppers into her vinegar. Like the vinegar she uses day to day. And apparently according to Chinese people, if you're not crying over a meal it's not a good one. All this has compiled to a Sister Goldsberry who doesn't flinch at any spice. So, because I eat spicy foods with a dead pan face, it almost gives the impression that the food must not be that spicy. This lead to an event at a popular noodle restaurant in my area. I love the spicy noodles in this joint. Sister P. was feeling bold one day and ordered the same I got. I assured her three times she was punching the extra spicy button and she assured me: "I want what you get!" The result was I had to finish her share for her as she treated her bloody nose. That's right, blood came out of her nose over this bowl of noodles.
-A love for my mother's home country Wednesday was a special miracle. Shibuya English class may be the biggest in all of Japan, but everyone leaves so fast after class that we hardly find any investigators from it. We'd had enough, and our leaders decided I should put on a Guatemala night. We broadcasted it as best we could. One student actually had a ticket to be in the stadium where a Japanese astronaut was going to report on his six month mission, and she CANCELLED IT. She said she could watch it on tv later. But hearing about Guatemala from a native was a once in a lifetime opportunity. SHE PICKED ME OVER AN ASTRONAUT. From 8:00-8:30 I got to talk all about my mother's home country. It was a huge hit! Every single student stayed I think! The elders brought fake mustaches and passed them around. I made ceviche and yellow rice and we had to stretch it out to make sure everyone got some. There were no leftovers, everyone loved it. We took so many pictures. We met two new investigators there too! I will always be proud of being half Guatemalan. I will always keep up my Spanish. Actually, funny story, everyone in the Ward always exaggerates my heritage and the rumor is I was born in Guatemala. I don't even want to correct them. People tell me all the time I don't have an American face or American hair and I absolutely love to introduce them to a country named Guatemala.
-A New Daughter Elder Holland tells the story of a man who's car breaks down twice on the same highway. The man finds a nice neighbor willing to help him out both times and this is the conversation between the man and the neighbor. How far have you come? he said. Thirty-four miles, I answered. How much farther do you have to go? Twenty-six hundred miles, I said. Well, you might make that trip, and your wife and those two little kiddies might make that trip, but none of you are going to make it in that car. He proved to be prophetic on all counts.
In my life, this has happened thousands of times. My car breaks down, and Christ sits me down and says I won't make it in that car and that something's gotta change. I've bought new radiators, changed directions many times already. Even with the car I'm driving now I know I won't make it to where I'm going (Celestial Kingdom.) Christ will pull me over many more times and advise me to improve. I know this is the opposite direction that I've been going, but I'm telling you one thing I'm not bringing home is that broken down car I'd been driving up until now! I'm not coming back the same broken Sister Goldsberry I was before I left on my mission. I wouldn't, I couldn't have made it this far in the broken state that I was.
Love you mom! See you soon! Sister Goldsberry