Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentines Day

 Well another week has passed by so quickly.  We stay so busy at the office and I am so tired when we come home that I hardly have the energy to do much else besides the basics.  Last Saturday afternoon the Howards came over to play games.  I bought these yummy french pastries for us to share.   Sister Howard always brings popcorn.  We have a good time munching on goodies and playing either Mexican Train or Hand and Foot.
 One evening this week we were driving home and I wanted to take pictures of these tents.  All over the streets of Montreal, people put up these tents in their driveways and also on the paths to their front doors.  The tents shelter the cars and the people from all of the snow and bad weather.
 I was surprised the first time I saw a block full of tents, but now we're used to them.  Although winter snows are not gone, quite a few of the tents have been taken down.  I guess the Montrealers are hoping for spring.  I think they have a long wait coming because it's still very cold and just today we had another snow storm.

 This morning we both woke up to find an identical Valentine's card to each other besides some other goodies.  I thought it was so funny.  Of all the cards that we could have gotten, we picked the very same one.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Monuments Men

 Today after working at the office we decided to go and see The Monuments Men.  It was a really good film.  This true story was very interesting and I really enjoyed it a lot.
The film follows a platoon of 7 men during World War II who are given the task of saving many great pieces of art as well as other culturally important items before their impending destruction by Hilter.
 I loved seeing the Bruges Madonna and Child and vividly remembered going there to see it in personl when we were in Belgium.  It truly is a beautiful piece of art and one of those that was saved by the men.

 I also remember the gorgeous cathedral which houses the Madonna and Child.  Belgium and France are full of many beautiful cathedrals and churches.  Unfortunately they are now mostly empty except for the tourists.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

New Hampshire

 Last Saturday we went to New Hampshire with Sister Abrams to do some church banking business.  The state is just beautiful.  We passed little rivers like the one above except they were all frozen over.  We saw beautiful little covered bridges and lots of lovely countryside.  I can just image how lovely it is in the spring and autumn.  It has been a lot of fun to visit some of the New England States and to experience how beautiful they are.

 We visited Dartmouth College campus which was also so pretty.  We saw lots of students walking around with skis.  They were either going to classes or just going to have fun.
 We drove through Lebanon and I though that was such an unusual name for a US city.  It is, however, a very lovely little city.   We had a long, busy, but nice day even though we had to drive about 30mph because of the little snow storm that we had to travel through.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Chinese New Year 2014

 Happy Chinese New Year 2014 was on Friday the 31st.  In our mission we have a young Elder who was born in China and came to the US when he was a teenager.  Elder Geng and I have become quite good friends.  About a month ago he gave me a Chinese cook book which I really really appreciated.
About a week and a half ago he came into the office and said to me, "You're Chinese, so you're invited to our ward New Year's Celebration."  I'm not Chinese, of course, but because I was born in Shanghai he likes to think that I am.  We decided that it would be really fun to go.  It was a pot luck, but instead of cooking, I took the easy way out.  I went to a Chinese take-out place and bought lots of Chinese noodles with beef.  I really am not a Chinese cook and besides that we work at the office until after 5:00.  As it turned out, they had sooo much food that I needn't have worried.  There was plenty of delicious food and they kept bringing more and more out.  Also when we were leaving, I saw a ton more food in the kitchen.
 We had such a fun time.  Everyone was very, very, especially nice to us.  When we first got there, the missionaries welcomed us and then we spent quite a long time talking to some of the young adults.  They were so nice and we enjoyed talking to them.  After that we went into the cultural hall.  Of course, we didn't understand a single word of what was going on at the party, but we certainly could tell what was going on.  Also, people would come over, talk to us and translate for us.  Everyone welcomed us, young and old alike.  We sat at a table and several people came over to sit with us, to talk to us, and again translated.  We felt so welcomed and loved.  The cultural hall was a large one and it was full of people.  We later learned that about half of those people were investigators of the church.  It was really impressing.  Some of the ladies were wearing beautiful, long Chinese gowns and some of the men had the Chinese silk shirts.  After the dinner there was a very nice program.  First some little children played the piano and then there was a beautiful violin/piano duet.  The duet played classical Chinese music and it was really lovely.  After that there were some games.  We were so glad that we decided to go.
 All of these photos are from google because I didn't remember to take my camera, but the variety of food was vast.  There were tons of dumplings of different kinds and everyone had their fill of delicious food.  While we were watching and listening to the program, they passed around plates of sunflower seeds roasted with soy sauce for people to munch on.