Sunday, April 29, 2012
Sunday, April 22, 2012
Friday, April 20, 2012
Monday, April 9, 2012
Okay, ready for the biggest/most terrifying news of the century?
President Grimley called me on move call day and said, "Sister Christensen, are you sitting down?"
I was like, "Yeah..."
And he was like, "You should be..." And he was kinda stalling, so I was like, "president Grimley! I'm nervous, hurry and talk!"
And he said, "Do you know a sister Victoria Chen?" (We started our missions together and her little sister and Niels are good friends.)
I told him I loved her and then he was like, "Good! She's coming to ZhongLi and you are both going to be co-senior companions."
So I was confused, thinking there was going to be another missionary coming along, as well, and so I asked President Grimley who else was coming and he was like, "Wait, what do you mean?" And I was like, "Oh! Like, just me and Sister Chen, senior companions?" And he was like, "Yes!"
You guys, YOU GUYS, terrified. Sister Chen is an American Taiwanese. Her parents stopped speaking Chinese to her when she was little so that'd she would know English. She's taken some Chinese in college and I'm for sure banking on her Chinese being better than mine, but we're still like brand new baby missionaries. I feel kind of freaked out, but also really good. I love Sister Chen and I know she is a rockstar missionary. While I was watching conference, I had the thought that my faith needs to be in Jesus Christ, not in Sister Chen's Chinese being better or in the investigators liking me as much as Tsai Jiemei, etc. Sometimes I get all fearful instead of faithful, like when I was pouring over the all Chinese map (aka, I cannot read anything on it) of ZhongLi with Tsai Jiemei last night or when our investigators tell Tsai Jiemei, "Oh, no! Who will help me get baptized now that you are leaving?!" (Seriously guys? C'mon. Just kidding.) I mostly feel good (even though I sorta feel like this will be a glorified MTC experience, ha) and I definitely know that this is what Heavenly Father wants me to do and if He trusts me and Sister Chen, then we can totally do it. I know this will be a huge time of learning and growth for me. Plus, this last week, we've had a ton of awesome people. An English class referral who already wants to get baptized and didn't understand the point of having lessons with us because she already knows she wants to get baptized. A woman who came to general conference with her two little boys - she is still a mystery to me. She said elders invited her, but it wasn't any of our elders. We're meeting with her this week. And a couple good people from contacting, who will maybe hopefully become our investigators. Heavenly Father is definitely watching out for me. I know this will be a time of immense growth and learning, and I'm excited for the tutelage I am getting/will continue to get from on high. But, with all that being said, pray really hard for me 'cause I'm still pant-breathing over all of it.
Speaking of General Conference, I'm happy to announce that the your team/my team game was alive and well here in Taiwan. While watching the young women conference, there was a choir of all young women. Tsai Jiemei leaned over to me, and said, "They're all on my team." Then one cute girl was fixing her shirt really noticeably while the camera was on her, and Tsai Jiemei leaned over to me and said, "She is your team." Haha! And the elders loved it as well, and kept exchanged glances with me as the camera would pan. Too good. And in my English class last week, I talked about prophets and general conference and invited them to come. This man named Bill totally came to Taoyuan (a neighboring city kinda far away) and ZhongLi to watch conference. Awesome!
We met a cute man and his family a couple weeks ago while knocking doors, and we still haven't had a lesson, but we've dropped by a couple times. His wife just had a baby (#4) and she is at her parents' now with the baby for like a month, so he's a lone parent right now. We dropped by last night to set up an appointment or hopefully teach a lesson, but we ended up going in and helping him clean the kitchen because he was trying to get it all cleaned up. It was just so fun and I was so happy last night. Proves that you're happy when you're serving. Hopefully him and his cutie family will become our investigators, as well. Oh, and we found out he is actually our church member. The details are a little fuzzy, but he said he got baptized because he accepts all Gods, so figures he should accept an American God, as well. We'll definitely talk to him about that and try to help him understand.
This week for English class (we had a ton of people come), and I made them play this game like telephone, except that every other person had to act something out. (Totally just love making them act things out.) They were all confused, because I was also confused and at one point, a man yelled out, "Confusion!" ha! So they finally got it and we played the game, and after I was like, "I know you all hate me for making you act things out, but it was fun right?" and they were all like, "Yeah, that was really fun! Where did you learn that game?" I said, "I sort of made it up." And this one guy was like, "You are a genius!" Ha, so good.
All right, I think that's all for this week. Love you all so much.
Celia, I wrote you a letter, but I still don't have your address, so I sent it to my parents. Let me know when you get it.
Tara! I got your beautiful letter - all the missionaries were obsessing over how cool/beautiful it is (I mean, wax seal and everything!) I also wrote you back! So hopefully this weekish you'll get a letter from me. Love you so much!
Mariko! Mariko! Yes! I loved hearing from you!! Harrison looks so much like Austin - so cutester! Love you!
Kimi and Analyn and Kristin Petersen: Got your letters, but haven't read them yet. Today I will! Can't wait! Thanks for sending. Love you all.
Sister Tsai with investigators
Our investigator Zong Siying and her friend
Sunday, April 1, 2012
Beloved family and friends,
This week we had a lesson with one of our investigators who has a problem with the word of wisdom. Last time when we taught it, she was like, no way, there is absolutely no way I can't drink tea and that tea is equal to air for her. So when we met with her again, we encouraged her and talked about faith and blessings that come from keeping commandments. She said she understands, but still no way. So then we knelt down to say a closing prayer, but she didn't say anything. She just started saying her own prayer and stayed on her knees for thirty minutes! And that tile was hard and cold; I had to change positions like 14 times, but she just stayed on her knees. When she finished, she said, "Okay, I'll try and do it." We were stoked. Unfortunately, she has drinken tea since then, but I do think her desire to follow is stronger and we'll keep working with her.
This week I had exchanges in Taoyuan, which was fun and we knocked on a door and had a first lesson with an awesome lady and her son.
This week we also went to Taipei to do temple tours. Temple tours is like the most tiring day ever, but also awesome. I really love being in the temple chapel. There is tons of art work and it just has a more sacred feeling, I think. Luckily, we ended up having tons of tours, which is awesome. If we don't have tours, then we are finding all day long and trying to get people to come. We had a bunch of awesome tours. The elders brought their investigator who has missed her baptism date. At the end of our tour, we talked about baptism and Tsai Jiemei bore a powerful testimony and the woman was like, "Yeah, I really do know all of this is so true and I will work hard to get baptized." It was cool. Tsai Jiemei can connect to people so well. She was Buddhist before getting baptized, so she always tells people. A lot of peole say, "Sorry, Buddhist, not interested." And Tsai Jiemei can bear her experience, and a lot of people listen to her. She is awesome. We also had a tour with this cutie kind of old couple from another part of Taiwan. They were really in awe of the temple and the grounds and willingly had a tour with us. We gave another tour to another one of the elder's investigator, and afterwards, he sat on the temple grounds and read the Book of Mormon for like an hour! Wah. And our wonderful mission president brought us a bag of these delicious little orange fruits called pi pa.
This week, we had a lesson with our investigator, her sister, her sister's little 3 year old boy, and their little fluffy brown poodle named Baby. This is how the lesson went from my point of view:
Little boy banging the tile floor and/or coffee table with a hammer, hard. So loud.
Baby runs up to Boy and jumps on him. He hugs Baby. Then starts hitting Baby. Baby runs away.
Baby goes to table and takes a bite of Boy's noodles.
Mom scold baby.
Boy runs to table and starts eating noodles.
Baby steals a sucker.
Mom wrestles sucker away.
Boy starts using his chopsticks to put noodles from bowl into the ash tray.
Baby steals sucker, again.
Boy starts to precariously put huge bowl of noodles towards his mouth to drink.
Mom scolds Baby who has chowed down on sucker.
Boy sees dog-eaten sucker on table. Starts trying to eat it.
Boy bangs hard on tile with hammer. Gets scolded.
Boy plays with my scripture case. Next thing I know, he has a huge pair of scissors and is trying to cut my case. I interrupt lesson to retrieve case.
Baby starts jumping all over me, trying to gnaw on my coat sleeve. I grab her and put her on my lap and hold her very tightly against me as I try to tell Mom to importance of going to church and how great Primary is.
Boy starts chopsticking noodles into the top part of his bottle.
I was so distracted, and really have no clue what was said during the lesson. I didn't even realize how hilarious it all was until I was writing it in my journal later.
Also, English class this week consisted of a conversation on dating, and me getting ropped into telling story of my first kiss. So embarrassing. The class was loving it. They also said funny things like, "My friend was on the bus and saw a spicy girl" and "Yeah, you know, if you see a hot mama..." I told them those things sounded weird. Ha, so funny.
Pictures - this week we contacted at Prince Street.
Delicious Chinese medicine soup. These awesome really skinny noodles with huge pork ribs and medicine tastes sort of nutmeg-ish. Super delicious. Tsai Jiemei said she feels like a dog whenever she eats it - I took a pic of our huge bone pile.
I love you all so much! Thanks for the emails. They sustain me so much and really help me feel of your support.
Allison! Do.not.even.feel.bad. Ha, I feel like I haven't written you in forever, so I was feeling all bad. Good luck thesising - you totally rock. Heather will love it, for sure. Have you gone to Seattle already? Can't wait to hear all about it and see pictures! Love you.
Aunt Bonnie! Yay! Loved getting an email from you! Thanks for the updates. Love you!