Monday, March 26, 2012

March 25, 2012 (Zhongli-3)

Dearest family and friends,

Oh, how I love all of you!

Okay, this week was not super eventful (read: no dogs ate my skirt), so sorry if this email isn't the most exciting. But, speaking of dogs, now all the dogs here KNOW how terrified I am of them and try to bite me, sort of. We were contacting an old grandpa on the street, and his dog was with him. The dog kept trying to bite the dangly part of my glove. Yikes, so I took it off. But then he kept following me and was kind of nipping at my skirt. Then, yesterday, biking to church. Biked past a dog, starts trotting along side of me, gets a little closer, grows and sort of nips. Enough that it made me lift my legs up off my pedals, out of his reach.

Drinks here - divine. Have I told you about the hot ginger milk drink with fresh ginger shaved into and black tapioca? And this week, I had this drink - like chocolate milk (cold), with the black tapiocas and these white grain things. Obsessed.

I feel like we had a lot of contacting this week. At the start of my mission, I really hated contacting a lot. But I'm trying to like it more and more. And now sometimes I LOVE it, and sometimes it's still not my favorite. But I really am liking it more and more. Contacting is an interesting way to meet people - I approach random people and ask them things like, "Do you have any relgious beliefs? Do you believe in God? Do you believe you have a soul? What is your life purpose?" Aka, super personal things that I would normally never ask people. Also, pray with people on the streets all the time. At first, I thought that was like the most embarrassing thing ever, but now I'm totally over it. Anyway, this week I contacted a woman - she's a Christian (it blows my mind because Christians here usually think that all Christian churches are exactly the same, so it doesn't really matter which one you belong to, so normally you don't have any luck when you contact them). Anyway, I asked if I could pray with her and asked if there was a goal in her life she wants to accomplish. She started telling me about some problems she was having, and then when I prayed with her, she was crying (because of these problems.) She didn't want to give me her number at first, but she eventually did. It's interesting to meet someone for 3 minutes, and have such intimate moments with them. Within 2 minutes of knowing her, she told me her problems, we prayed together, I hugged her and got her phone number. Weird, right? But, cool. I don't know if anything will come out of it, but I'm often reminded that Heavenly Father is in charge and I'm doing HIS work. If He needs us to meet someone 100 times with no success, just to help lead that person in the right direction, then that's still good, and we're still doing His work. We also had some success knocking doors this week. This cute young grandma let us into her home (never happens!) and let us have a first lesson with her.

We met with an investigator this week - it was only my second time meeting with her. She believes prayer is like this weird power and talks about UFO's a lot. (I wish my vocabulary extended to "X-Files." But, she is awesome and prays daily and reads scriptures daily, but not the Book of Mormon. We always want our investigators to read the Book of Mormon everyday, but for some reason, that's usually a hard commitment for people to keep.

English class was great, as always. I brought my skirt for show-and-tell and told them that story. They looooved it. Then, I made them play sharades (I say "made them" because that's like my least favorite game of all time). They also hated/loved it. Theresa/Pong JM (one of our new investigators) was avoiding eye contact with me, but I called on her anyway (one of my favorite things to do), and she didn't want to come up, but her team was begging her to, so I told her I would give her a not embarrassing one. Haha, they were all so great. One of the cards said, "A dog tries to bite you while riding your bike" and they loved that one. For the spiritual thought, we introduced the Book of Mormon to them. They asked a lot of questions this week - like the titles of God and why we use Christ's name when we pray - they asked who we are really praying to. One of the men in my class asked Tsai Jiemei after class about how you get answers to prayers. I was stoked that he asked her, because normally he seems to have no interest in the gospel part.

Thanks so much for all your love, emails, letters and support. Love you all immensely!

Love,

Natalie

Shout-outs:

Aunt Rolayne! Thank you for your email!

Aunt Bonnie! Thank you for sending me Roylane's email!

Aunt Schlesa! Thanks for your little email. Have fun at the new mall!

Ariel! Gah, stressful. I will write you soooon.

Allison/Kimi: So jealous/excited that you are in Seattle together. Have so much fun and write me huge emails about the trip and send tons of photos.

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