OK, so on to the real missionary news. Yes, this Christmas was Brendan's last call home. We were able to talk to him for over an hour and this time the connection was really good (at least from our end). When we are talking about calling home, we are really talking about skyping home. That way we not only get to talk to him, we also get to see him as well. Brendan's sister and her husband were not physically with us, so we skyped them in also. It was a wonderful thing. Mostly talking and joking and all of the normal Nicholes family banter. If you have read any of the missionary blogs from our other kids, they all have a really great sense of humor, so when I say that there was mostly talking and joking, there really was a lot of laughing and humor going on. We talked about how things have changed around the house while he has been gone. The snow which made for a White Christmas. What we were doing for Christmas as well as what Brendan was doing that day. When his homecoming talk would be and what the plans were for the night he gets home. It was really a lot of fun and with Brendan's last call, that closes out our missionary era as parents, since Brendan is our last. The next time we have a missionary skype home, it will probably be us calling our kids from somewhere in the world, some day.
So here are a couple of funny stories. If you haven't realized this before, Canada is a very diverse country. If you thought that the U.S. was a melting pot for world cultures, you have never been to Canada. Most of the people that Brendan teaches are not originally from Canada. Many are from various African countries, others from the Philippines and a lot from Asian countries. So Brendan has really developed a taste for Asian food. Some of the Asian members in the area take them out to real Asian restaurants for dinner. I mean, restaurants where if you don't speak the language, you don't order your food and that has been the case for Brendan and his companion. What this means is that the Asian people who are hosting you, end up ordering for you as well. Here is the problem with that, according to Brendan:
"When you let the Chinese people order, you get a whole new world of food options you never thought existed. This week alone I have eaten everything from pig intestine to coagulated pig blood. With a little raw everything in between. But I am not complaining. To tell you the truth, I loved the blood and the intestine was not bad. Also we all ate peppers that came straight from you know where! ha-ha, I took it like a champ the best I could. But my companion and our member friend were flowing out their noses and eyes. Too fun. Anyways, I guess I'm Chinese now. "
The next story we will only be able to set up for now. Only because it hasn't happened yet, but will. For Brendan's final P-day in the mission, he and a few other missionaries got permission to enter a basketball tournament. The last thing that Brendan told us about this tournament was that it was going to be his greatest P-day ever and that if he emailed home on his last P-day, it would be a picture of a bunch of tall white guys standing on the podium in their white shirts, ties and name tags. We will get the rest of this story next week after Brendan gets home. Or you can ask him about it the next time you see him.
Brendan's companion after eating some very spicey chinese food.
Christmas is coming