Original article posted by Greg:

But lots is weird to me. And I am weird to lots.

It’s crazy to think that the week is already over. I swear I just got here. And yet part of me says I’ve been in Taiwan for over 3 weeks. Like the part that thinks.

This week I had comparisions in my mind of riding bikes and the old Super Nintendo game, “F-zero”. (And what the heck does “F-Zero” mean anyway? Is it just a name that sounds like a fast racing game, where the cars reach insane speeds and hover in the air? I don’t know.) Based on my bicycle riding habits, if I were a car in F-zero I would be the yellow car. My compainion, elder smith, would be the red car. Which is a shame because I hate the yellow car. This paragraph will make sense to perhaps 3 people and I love it.

Yesterday I attempted to pass of the ‘first discussion’ on the path to becoming a ‘certified missionary’. I don’t think it went well, but that’s because I’m not going to be satisfied until it’s as close to perfect as I feel it can be. And yesterday it was quite distant from perfect. If perfect were a quaint country town in Iowa, my presentation of the first discussion was broken down in a purple river in Tucheng.

Yes, the river outside my apartment is purple today. And yes, my rendition of the first was broken down inside of it somewhere.

I really hate writing these emails in these gaming centers. They’re so cool. I want to spend hours and hours trying all of these spiffy Chinese computer games that I’m really not watching. It’s just frustrating to see new games, or new versions of old games (Defence of the Ancients is HUGE here. They sell retailed versions of DOTA in all the 7-11’s.) and wonder “Hey, what is that?”

Oh well. It’s really not a problem. Just a little reminder of fun times with friends doing geeky things.

I’ve started to get compliments on my Chinese, which is cool. I was contacting people on the street the other night and one of them said “Wow, how long have you been here in Taiwan?” To which I replied “Two weeks” to which they gasped and said “How long did you study Chinese before coming?” and I said “Two and a half months” to which they choked on something. It was fun. Then I asked if I could share the reason I’m learning Chinese and they were suddenly too busy to talk to me.

When you get a chance to watch Shrek again, pretend Shrek and Donkey are a missionary companionship. The general reaction of people is pretty accurate. Except for the romance part of it. That doesn’t happen really. At least not with me.

We’re teaching an awesome man named Chen. He is 50 years old and blind enough he can’t read the Book of Mormon. But he just LOVES to pray. It’s so fun to visit him. He is an amazing person and it’s a pleasure to teach him.

Mr. Chen was the first person I contacted all on my own. Or at least, the first to agree to hear the discussions. It freaked me out. I said “Hey, can we teach you about God and our relationship to him?” and he said “Sure.” (Except the conversation was all in Chinese.) I was so suprized that somebody said yes that I forgot how to say “When is convenient for you?” But after a few minutes my companion reminded me of how to do it.

I gots me a good companion. He has a bad habit of speaking in Strong Bad or Homestar voice because none of his other companions recognized it so they thought it was a funny voice – whereas I recognize it as part of ‘Babylon’ so he feels guilty.

I also knew what he was talking about when he said “Minor Sixth” to describe the ambulance siren. That impressed him.

Feel free to mail, but don’t expect anything back any time soon.

Rodney: Will send birthday gifts, but they will be late and may be merely a package of candy or two. Nova.
Blaine: Thanks so much for the LAN party. It was the best gift I’ve had for a long time.
Kayeleen: Thank you for being so good to me. You are a huge help. I will write you very soon.
Spencer: I can’t think of anything to say to you. Bwa ha ha ha.
Mom and dad: Um… Yeah. Whatever that thing was. I forget.

Life is good. I miss you all. The Church is true. In no particular order.

-Elder Greg Hamblin