Saturday, May 26, 2012

May 20 (Zhongli-11)

Beautiful Taiwan out of the train window.

Dear everyone,
We just got move calls and me and Chen Jiemei are staying together here for another transfer and I am so stoked!
Our brand new convert, Zhong Shi Ying, is just doing so good. She's totally changed since baptism - like a week ago. She's just so happy and she said she feels like since her baptism, she has more self-esteem. Wah, it's so cool to see.
Also, Dong Jiemei got baptized on Saturday, and confirmed yesterday and wah, I'm just so happy that she got baptized and I love her so much. Listen to how precious she is - we told her she needed to prepare a small spiritual thought to share after her baptism. She was a little bit nervous, but when she got up to give her talk, she held up this little sign (attached to a stick) that she had made that had all her favorite scripture references on it. She talked about all the scriptures and why she liked them and then talked about how her favorite commandment is the Word of Wisdom. (I love that she has a favorite commandment.) She is so cute and great! Also, the other day, in a lesson, I said like, "I know that what my companion said is true" and Dong Jiemei started cracking up, so I was like, "What??" And she was like, "You should make signs that say, "I know what they said is true" so that during church, if you agree with the speaker, you can just hold up that sign. I bet a lot more people would come to church." Wah, I was cracking up when she said that.
My dear friend Analyn sent me this super beautiful poem this week as part of her letter to me, and I've been thinking about it a lot. It's about how God wants us to be happy despite of our trials and hard things. It's called A Brief for the Defense by Jack Gilbert. You should all go look it up, because it's just so good, and I can't read poetry right now and you all can, so, go read some poetry for me. Anyway, the last line of the poem is, "To hear the faint sound of oars in the silence as a rowboat/ comes slowly out and then goes back is truly worth/ all the years of sorrow that are to come." I really love that line, and I feel like that's how the Spirit feels. Lately, when I feel the Spirit really strong, it's like this feeling of all my happy, peaceful, content feelings I've had or moments I've experienced all compacted in one feeling. And I think when we feel the Spirit, it's enough to sustain through the hard times - knowing that there really is a God, our Heavenly Father, who loves us and that when we die, we can all live with our families together forever and eternally improve and progress.
Hm, can't think of what else to say. My English class is still awesome and funny. Last week, I described a bunch of funny youtube videos to them and they were cracking up. I love my English class. The elders make fun of me because we use 90% of our English meeting planning my English class.
Love you all so much! Thanks for all your letters and pictures!
Love, Natalie

Analyn, obviously loved the poem and your letters! Thank you! So good to hear from you. I loved the update on your family also.
KC Childs: Do you still read my blog? I miss you! Write me, HINT HINT. ha.
Coryn: Wah, you're home! Sent you a letter!
Emily Larsen: Do you know how much I love your juicy provo updates? Slash your letters are always so funny, I wanna die. Also, thank you for the pictures. You are looking so cutie cute.

I eat so much meat here.

 Me and Zhong Shi Ying, with her freaky red contacts, cutie short hair cut, and Sister Chen's missionary badge. We were talking with her about going on a mission and she was pretending to be a missionary and it was hilarious.

Dong Jiemei's baptism!!

 Me and Sister Chen made a sign that said, "I know what she said is true" so we could take pictures and give them to Dong Jiemei. This one got cut off, but I think it's so cute.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

May 16 (Zhongli-10)

view of Zhong Li from our apt window.

Dearest family and friends,
Sorry for not writing on Monday. Today is our temple day, so they changed p-day to today. Sorry forgot to tell you last week.
The most exciting thing that happened this week was that our cutie 17-year-old investigator, Zhong Shi Ying, got baptized and confirmed! I'm so happy for her. She was so cute after she came out of the font, she was giggling and was like, "That was so fun!" She's so great and I admire her so much. Then on Monday (the day after she was confirmed), we asked her to be the member at a lesson with a new investigator and her testimony was so powerful and she totally helped the girl understand why we should/why it is awesome to pray everyday. It made me and Chen Jiemei so proud! She's doing so great.
Oh, last p-day, we went to an amusement park, and you should all be proud, I rode on this really tall and terrifying ride. And I was TERRIFIED. I screamed so loud and spasticly the whole time, and when I got tired of screaming, I was accidentally making this dying animal noises because I was still so scared. I didn't realize how embarrassing it was until after, and all the elders were cracking up.
I really love being a missionary and I'm sooo glad that I was prompted to go on a mission and that I finnnallly turned my mission papers in and got to come here to Taiwan. I love Taiwan and I love being a missionary here. The people here are so good! Members and investigators are always giving us bread, fruit, drinks, etc. They are the best, nicest people in the world. I love serving with my compy comp so much. She's such a rockstar! Such a hardworker! We're having so much fun being here in Zhong Li together. We had an awesome zone training yesterday and I just love President Grimley so much. Oh, also, I had to give a talk, and I started going over my time limit, so the person conducting the meeting starting putting the podium up and down, and at first I didn't notice, and then I did, and I was so awkward and embarrassing, like, "Oh! Uh, ahh! Uh, sorry! Okay, so. Uh." And hurried and finished. Ha, embarrassing.
Sorry, most rambly email ever. Don't know what to say.
Love you all so much!
Love, Natalie

Thank you Emily, Analyn, Coryn, and Kayla for writing me! I haven't read your letters yet but I will today! Wah, love you all so much! Ps, Coryn, you're home!! Whaaat?! Crazy. I'm so glad you wrote - this week on my to-do list, I was planning on figuring out a way to get your address, so thanks for writing!

 Delicious and dangerous all-you-can-eat hot pot. The meat looked so cool. I eat so much meat here. Weird.

 Me with Xin Zhun (my last area convert - she came to Zhong Li) and Dong Jiemei - i LOVE her and she's getting baptized this week.

 cutie Shi Ying, again

 With Zhong Shi Ying and her bestie who got baptized same day as her.

cutie Shi Ying

District picture.

Monday, May 7, 2012

May 6, 2012 (Zhongli-9)

Me and Chen JM with our AWESOME investigator Cai JM

You guys!

This week, we did temple tours. I love doing temple tours, even though they are always kind of stressful. We had no set-ups, so we were outside trying to find people to give tours to all day. We carry a big book of temple pictures and try to get people to look at it, or try to bring them inside for tours. So, we were outside the temple and Sister Chen went to talk to this one person and the next person who walked by was a not-Taiwanese person, and I kind of hate talking to people not from Taiwan, because they are kind of scary and often negative towards religion, but since he was the only guy on the street (with a Taiwanese person), I had to go talk to him. And, so funny, because I walked up and started to say hi, and he was like, "Why are you so happy?!" And I started to say something about the gospel making me happy, and he was like, "No, seriously, why are you so happy?" And he kept being like, "Seriously, you are kind of overwhelming me, you need to calm down." He was actually really funny/nice about it (like smiling, and laughing), but it was making me crack up so I was trying to calm down. Anyway, he is from Spain and we all talked in Chinese, so his Chinese had an interesting accent. I also met this lady on the street, and we totally bonded. I taught her how to pray and she was totally like, "Ah, this feeling! It's so cool. I can't explain it." So cool to see people have that reaction to prayer. BUT, then she totally wouldn't set-up or give me her number. I was like, "C'mon! You felt it!" But she wouldn't. Bummer. She was so cute and funny though.

In other news, our cutie Chen children dropped us, actually their parents dropped us, because they want them to focus on school and stuff. Sad.

We have an awesome investigator who is a recent convert's good friend. Ah, she's so good. She is so cute and happy. It's so cute, because some investigators tell us that every time they see us/get to meet with us, they are just so happy and excited. It's so great to see people so happy about the gospel.

Okay, weirdest thing (MOA friends, listen up), I was on the train with a bunch of missionaries headed to stake conference and I saw this big tall blond guy who looked kind of familiar, and then I saw Laura Clayton behind him!!! I know, right?! I was so shocked to see her. And seriously, huge coincidence that we were in the same train, in the same train car at the same time. So weird. Her husband served here, so they were visiting.

That's all that happened this week! I love you all dearly!!

Love, Natalie

KIMI and ALLISON! I loooved getting your huge emails and tons of cute pictures! You both make me want short hair. I can't wait to write you guys back!
Emily! Sooo stoked to get your big letter - I'll for sure let you know when I get it! Make sure you tell me your mission address.
Danny! Sooo excited to hear from you and so stoked and Vycci is pregnant! I'll remember you guys in my prayers!
Courtney CB Petersen! Yesss! Got your letter. Ate it up. So good. I'll write you soooon.
Sister Grandma Esther Wynder! Ahhh, loved getting your little note. And I love that you sent Sister Chen a postcard. We totally talk about you all the time. 

1. Me and Laura Clayton, moa friend. I'm nice and red.
2. That pig freaked me out for reals.
3. Me and Cai JM on an old street in Taoyuan.
4. Always sweaty and disheveled.