Just got finished reading "In the Valley of Seven Cities" by Stanley G. Sturges, which tells of the author's experiences as a medical missionary in Nepal. A few years ago I also read "On the Far Side of Liglig Mountain" and "Don't Let the Goats Eat the Loqwat Trees" by Thomas Hale, books which are along the same subject matter.
I was struck by the difference in attitudes in the two authors. While Hale's books were valuable in teaching the lesson that, when you're a missionary, the worst case scenario will happen, after reading Sturges' book I no longer appreciate Hale's completely negative attitude.
While Sturges faced his fair share of worst case scenarios, he kept a much more positive attitude through it all. He has many complimentary things to say about the Nepali people, both those he came to know personally and in general. Hale didn't seem to have a single good thing to say about this mountainous South Asian nation and it's people. His whole demeanor was that of a Westerner crying in his beer about these backward Hindu people and why they couldn't just adopt American Christian fundamentalist ways and have done with it.
Maybe Sturges' being a Seventh-day Adventist helped in these matters. His diet may have contributed to having less desire for typical Western food and other attitudes of his particular denomination could have helped in other areas.