AHHHH! I just found this "draft" tucked in the bowels of my other posts. I have no idea why it didn't get published back when I wrote it, but I am glad that I at least saw it now. (P.S. I have since had jellaf rice, and when made not to spicy, it's very good). Enjoy
I realize that I have not been very good at keeping up on my blog, and even worse in my journal, so I just wanted to share a few thoughts. We enjoyed a testimony meeting at church today, and I realized that I love these people! As the members stood to bear their testimonies, I felt an incredible amount of love for each one. I know I shouldn't be surprised at that, and I'm not. I think I was just surprised at how much I love them, and maybe at how quickly. We have been in this ward for one month now and because our numbers are few, I believe that I have had interactions with every member. Each one loves the Lord and is striving to live as He would want them to. We all have that in common. In our Stake here in the Wandsworth area of London, there are 62 languages spoken by the people. For the most part, they all speak English, but it is still with a heavy accent from their native country. Many dress differently, and eat different foods than I am used to. But regardless of where you are from, we are all children of our Father in Heaven and He loves us all. I am so grateful to be here, to feel the love and support of my family and friends back home and also of my new family and friends here. This is an amazing experience!
Speaking of different foods, I have an embarrassing yet pretty funny story to share. Our first few days here in London, we attended a pot luck dinner for the missionary couple whose flat we took over. They were returning home after serving here for 18 months and the members wanted to have a going away party. There was so much food! Lots of rice dishes, things with fish heads in it, and an assortment of other unidentified foods. Because there was so much food, I was able to fill my plate with relatively safe looking foods. As I was going down the line, a sister said to me in her heavy Jamaican accent, "you did not take some of my Jellaf rice", but here is what I heard, "you did not take some of my Jell-O rice". Of course I was very confused and asking for clarification, I asked "Jell-O rice?" She laughed and laughed, thinking that it was so funny that I would think she said Jell-O instead of Jellaf. Now remember, here in England they have a tenancy to drop off the last part of a word. It didn't make sense to me that she would have put Jell-O in rice, but the fish heads didn't make much sense to me either, so who am I to question. Either way, at that point I had to go back and take some. Apparently Jellaf rice is an African dish and I am here to tell you that while it looks harmless, it is very spicy! After the dinner, I went up to her and said, "you did not warn me that your rice was so hot". Again she laughed and laughed. She told all of her friends what I had said and insisted on having her picture taken with me. That dumb American who thought Jellaf rice was Jell-O rice. When I saw her at Stake Conference several weeks later, she gave me a big hug and told all her friends about me again. I'm glad that I could make her day, but I have to admit, I hope I never have to eat Jellaf rice again!