Dear Friends and Family,
The whole month of July has been wet and muggy. A friend at English club told us that in a couple of weeks the humidity should decrease and the monsoon season should be over. We can’t wait! A wet, dense fog at 80 degrees is a new experience for us. And even rain at 75 degrees is new. Any kind of exertion like walking causes us to sweat profusely and it doesn’t evaporate. It has been very difficult to dry clothes, especially towels. This week it took 2 or 3 days for them to dry and then they smelled like an old wet dog. I went and bought some new lighter ones that may dry more easily. Well, that’s enough from the complaint department.
Our humanitarian project for 25 beds for a children’s home was approved. We are in the middle of submitting another one for the disabled children’s orphanage. And we made another visit this week with our new translator to a support group for parents of children with chronic illness or disability. Their two room office was in the basement of a shabby building and it was a mess. Although we are unable to help fix up buildings, I hope there is something we can do for them. They have one child who needs an operation and wondered if we could help, but we cannot. Our guidelines are to do things for groups and not individuals. That is the second time we have been asked about money to help with an operation and it is sad to tell them that we cannot help. Medical care is free here but it is only basic care. Anything extra like some surgeries or cancer care you have to pay for yourself or forget it.
Our young friend Kate has been a delight to us. She brought a thin layered tort to family home evening last Monday and saved the day for me because I sat down in a chair to rest for a minute and fell asleep. That isn’t like me but I awoke to her ringing our bell at 6:15 and everyone usually arrives at 6:30 so there wasn’t time for me to bake anything. It looked like it must have taken her all day to make it. She said that she would rather hang around with us than with her friends because we talk about important things and they don’t. Keep in mind she is 19 years old.
Russians here who can afford to, go to some town in China to go shopping. I haven’t been able to figure out the name of the town yet. A young girl in our English Club group (probably 19 or 20) went there and brought back some little figurines for me. One symbolized money, another one peace or harmony and she wasn’t sure about the third one. She also brought me a small figure of Jesus. I was so touched by her thoughtfulness and her gift because she doesn’t believe in God but she knows that I do. She is so shy that it took her a while to work up the courage to give them to me. She is one of the many that I just want to bring home with me.
We look forward each Monday to seeing our grandsons on Skype. That keeps us going. When we left, the patriarchal grandfather clock that came from Jim’s grandfather found a new home with our son. It will go to his oldest son Cole who is 3. The 2 year old Tyler felt left out so our son went to our storage unit and got my buffalo head and said that was for him. I love to hear him argue with me and say “my buffalo” when I tell him it belongs to Grandma. Of course, I could hardly deny those boys anything. We miss home but the work we are here to do is sweet. We pray that each of you enjoy the sweetness of God’s choicest blessings! Love, Elder and Sister