Sunday, April 29, 2012

April 30, 2012 (Zhongli-8)

Dear Big House, (When Chinese people say everyone, it translates to big house. Cute, right?)
[actually a better translation is "big family."]

This week has been so good. This week we had a special missionary meeting with Elder Gong from the 70, and his wife and President and his wife. It was so good. We talked a lot of Joseph Smith and the First Vision and when Elder Gong recited the words of Joseph Smith from the first vision, the Spirit was so strong - it was like you could feel a tangible power of light and goodness in the room. This work is so true. The gospel is so true. Joseph Smith really is a prophet of God. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love us, watch over us, and guide this work. I know these things are true and I want everyone to be able to know, because this is the only way to have true happiness and live with our families again after we die. I love telling people they can see their families after they die - it's the best thing ever. My love for God has grown so much, and I feel like I understand His love for me a little bit more.

This week was totally miracle week and really developed my faith in and testimony of God. By Saturday, we still hadn't met tons of our goals. For example, we had 6 member present lessons and needed to get 7 more to hit our goals for the week. So we were kind of bummed, but just set our goals really high for Sunday, and we totally met all of our goals! It was seriously so amazing. We had 11 people at church, which was a ton! People came who we didn't even expect, 2 English class students randomly came, and a new member brought his awesome friend, etc. So we had member-present lessons like crazy yesterday with all this people and amazingly hit all these goals in one day. It was so cool, especially because we didn't do anything - it was all Heavenly Father. Ahhh, this church is so true and it's so important for people to know it.

Me and Sister Chen have developed a bad habit of occasionally cracking up in lessons - one time during a prayer and occasionally during hyms. (The time during the prayer was with our golden investigator, Dong Jiemei, and she started cracking up, too.) It's terrible! We're so stressed about it! We don't even know what it is. Oh, and we taught Dong Jiemei the Law of Chastity this week, and our Chinese was so painfully slow, so our member was probably dying, so she just took over the lesson. Haha. Oh, and perfect example of how Chinese people don't understand sarcasm: When we taught Dong Jiemei the ten commandments, she read, "Thou shalt not kill" and I was like, "Now, we know you have a problem with this one." And it was way awkward, poor Dong Jiemei was just quiet and looked down at her scriptures, like she was confused, and we were like, "kidding! kidding!" And even the member was a little confused, too, we think and then the member was like, "Oh, they were joking! That was just a joke!" Ahh, so awkward and so hilarious.

This week we contacted this awesome man named Fred, and this week we had a lesson with him and his wife and his daughter at their ice cream/delicious treat store. Love having investigators who own an ice cream store. They treated us to divine black sesame ice cream. So good.

I love you all so much and hope everything is going well for all of you. Thanks for your love, support and prayers.

Also, this week me and Sister Chen hit our one-year-left-in-taiwan mark. Weird.

Love, Natalie

Celia: thank you for your long email! I loved hearing mission experiences and thank you so much for the good advice. I love you so much!
Analyn: I got your awesome letter and can't wait to write you back! So happy about Andrew! I'm really excited for you guys.

The pictures of us with yellow things on our heads are actually really funny. It was raining, and me and Chen Jiemei are terrified of acid rain + balding, so we only had that one rain thing and we both put it on our heads, not even trying to be funny, and then we realized it was the most hilarious/embarrassing thing in the world. We were laughing so hard and so self-conscious.

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