Sunday, July 29, 2012

July 29, 2012 (Zhongli-20)

Okay, this week was pretty awesome. Mostly funny stories. 

Last Monday started with about a 30 minute bike ride out of town to a member's house to have dinner. It was a really pretty ride, so I was going to get my camera out to take a picture of the scenery. Sister Chen can always bike and deal with her camera at the same time, so I figured I could too. But, one-handed was a little too hard, so I just rested both my arms on my handlebars as I tried to get my camera out. FAIL. Handlebars slipped from underneath my arms, and I tumbled to the ground. Elders biking behind me. Wearing a skirt. So embarrassing. I got up and was cracking up/DYING and there was a farmer in the field seeing if I was alright. The elders said I flipped over my handlebars. Cha right. Wasn't that epic. Two of the elders had eaten a huge lunch and weren't hungry at all, so Sister Chen and I had a lot of fun during dinner being like, "Elder Robinson, have you tried this dish yet?" And then the hostess would be like, "Ohh! Try it, try it!" And dish him up a ton. Haha, we think we are so funny.

Also, at mm meeting this week, I was trying to tell my mm leader that we were going to heart attack our investigator's door, and I used the word for heart attack, and he was way confused. And the elder was like, "I'm pretty sure that doesn't translate over." So, after he understood what we were going to do he kept being like, "Love vs heart attack, VERY different!" Patting his chest, "This is heart attack, right?" And then writes "love" in English (and Chinese) and draws a heart. So funny. I was cracking up. Love speaking another language.

Faj, an elder in my district loves to impersonate me speaking Chinese and it's sooo funny. I'll get a video of him doing it and show you. He always says, "Wo juede..." while looking up at the sky. You'll totally think it's funny.

This week after English class, one of the students gifted me a present and a note. The note had an especially good part that said, "Well, though you're a bit plumpy (no offense), sometimes a little clumsy (again no offense)..." PLUMPY? Geez. C'mon guys! I've been eating so much brown rice and carrots lately. NO USE.

We have a super golden investigator, QF. She's hopefully getting baptized in a few weeks. She's the one who's been bringing her cutie little cousin to church with her. After sharing the plan of salvation with them, little cousin called me and asked what the requirements are to go to the Celestial Kingdom. So precious, right?

Cutie Jia Yu is healed from her accident and getting baptized soooon. We had a lesson with her about the priesthood and she's really excited to get a blessing this week to give her some extra help.

We also tracted into this awesome ABC from outside of Boston. I totally tried to convert her to the gospel through Brandon Flowers. She is like 17, super cute, loves being Asian and is randomly thinking about going to BYU when she graduates. She is soooo good. We met with her and gave her the Book of Mormon, and she's really excited to read it. We'll only have her for a couple more weeks before she goes back to Boston, but I'm so glad we have a little bit of time to meet with her.

We're also teaching another awesome girl who is Taiwanese, but lives in London, so she's going back to London in a couple weeks. But, she's also so cool.

Last night, as we were biking to a member's house for dinner, we biked past the church and I noticed two girls go in who I didn't recognize, so we stopped and ended up having a lesson and setting baptismal dates with them. Awesome! This is totally the Lord's work and He totally helps us do His work.

Oh, and yesterday I got called on sort of last minute to give a talk to combined rs and priesthood. They wanted me to speak about why I wanted to come on a mission. My three reasons were 1) I love God and He loves me; 2) I know the Plan of Salvation and my eternal purpose and 3) Through the gospel, we have priesthood. Our mm leader had to hold up a sign that said, "Time up" because I was talking too long. Yeeahh, love talking too long in Chinese. Kidding, my Chinese still sucks.

Sorry this email is sooo rambly.

Love you all so, so, so much, I can hardly stand it!

Love, Sister Nad

Pictures: . district picture. etc.

Celiaaaa: thank you! love you forever. I sent you a letter a couple days ago. Send me your new address when you move. Wah, endlessly jealous right now.
Allison! Weird favor, can you change my facebook pic back to the one with the yellow shirt and glasses? I want the Faj Mahal to get those glasses for me, so I'm gonna tell him to look at my facebook prof pic. Awkward when people's pictures change while they are on their mission? Yes. Oh well. Oh, and can you add a Xu or Shu or Hsu Jia Ling or Erica something if she has added me? Thanks.
Alicia Harris: overjoyed! I'll write you soooon.
Erin Kolu. I still love the letter you sent.

Jia Yu with kitty and cutie little ward girl

Sunday, July 22, 2012

July 22, 2012 (Zhongli-19)

Natalie and her MTC teacher, Sister Fan

Dearest family and friends,

First off, can Lars please get an email? I haven't heard from him in FOREVER and I feel like I'll die if I don't hear from him soon. Finn, you too, you hang-car. Still love you, but write meeeee.

Jia Yu, our scooter accident investigator, is doing better, but still not quite sure when she'll be able to get baptized. Before her accident, the ward mission leader (one of my favorite people in the world - parents, if you come to taiwan, you'll def meet him), was telling me how I need to take really good care of her before her baptism and call her everyday, etc because Satan's influence is strong. And when she got in the car accident, he was like, "I knew something was going to happen." Anyway, but she's doing good. She'll be super touched when I tell her that you guys have been praying for her.

Last week, for p-day, me and the sisters biked all the way out to the beach = super far, but super fun. I miss long bike rides sooo much. On the way home, we got caught in POURING rain, so we were soaked at the end.

We had a lot of cool experiences this week. Really simple things, but still so cool. A lesson with a girl I found who actually got baptized like 10 years ago, and has said that our church has always felt different and wants to start coming back to church. A restoration lesson with Hao Yun (17) and Zhen Wei (11). Hao Yun believes it's all true and Zhen Wei says that he can't believe it would be that simple, and have deity appear. Cutie little guy. Having a lesson with our 2 investigators who own the breakfast shop. I haven't seen them in foreverrr, because now we have to do studies in the morning. Having a lesson with cutie mom, Qian jiemei who reads the Book of Mormon every night and says that she's starting to have more feelings towards the book of Mormon and shared a favorite verse with us, that helped her realize that even though it's an ancient book, it still applies to us today and that God is always the same. Having a lesson with Qiu Feng who said that the first day she met with us, she was sad and in a bad mood, but meeting with us helped her feel really good and close to God and she felt the gospel could help her. And then having her bring her little 11 year old cousin to church with her. Qiu Feng told me that she told her little cousin about the Plan of Salvation, because her dad has passed away. Qiu Feng told me she told her she would be able to see her dad again. Doing temple tours in Taipei. Love temple tours. Also, ran into my beloved MTC teacher, Sister Fan. I about had a heart attack. Having lots of people at church. Awesome and also extremely stressful. I am continually pant breathing inside and trying to appear really calm on the outside. Running up after to sacrament to one of my favorite members and being like, "Quick! we have tons of investigators here! Come take one to primary!" Our members are the best. Having a lesson with the Zhuang family. The parents are meeting with us, just so that they can know what their daughters are learning. This week we taught the Plan of Salvation and the spirit was so present and strong. They were really interested in learning the plan of salvation. We have such simple, powerful, beautiful messages. So grateful I have this time to be a missionary. I really love this work. Thanks everyone for all your support and prayers.

temple grounds at sunset
me with my trainee, my trainer (one of the temple sisters) and her comp
beautiful skies lately
me and sister fan!

Wah, love you all so immensely!

Kimberly! You can't just tell me that Jen is in the MTC and not even tell me where she is going!!! Where is she going and when did she decide to go on a mission? Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close - I know, right? So good. I cried too. Love you so much.
Ariel! Sending you a letter
Celia! Sending you a letter, too.
Kayler! Gahhh, can't wait to get your letter. dying. I NEED to see more wedding pictures! FAJ MAHAL, will you send me more wedding pictures?
Courtney Cute Baby: So long haven't heard from you. Your turn to write me, right? hint hint.
Alicia Harris: I love you a lot. what's your address right now?
Schmutzes: I love you all and miss you and think of you often. Kent I had a dream and you were playing drums on the side of the street.
Allison: I owe you a letter. Also, just love you so much.

Natalie with her trainee, her trainer, and her comp.

Friday, July 20, 2012

July 15, 2012 (Zhongli-18)

Me and Sister winters and Sister Wang, my trainer.

Dear everyone!

Wahhh, love you and miss you all so much!

Okay, so biggest news of this week is that our cutie Zhong Jia Yu who was supposed to get baptized on Saturday, got in a car/scooter accident on Thursday night. She's okay, but her face, arms, and knees are all banged up. So she has bandages on them that can't get wet right now, so I don't know when she'll get baptized. She's practically perfect though. When we were with her, she told us, after her accident she thanked Heavenly Father that it wasn't any worse than it was. And when we prayed with her, she thanked God that she could have a trial to help her better prepare for baptism. Geez, so golden. So good. Anyway, I've been really sensitive about it, because I feel all this pressure and the other day she rode up to the church, and one of the elders was like, "Oh, she totally could've gotten baptized!" And I totally bit his head off - I was like, "Do you see her?! She has bandages everywhere!" He was like, "Whoa, I know, I can see. Joking!" Ha, so funny. Anyway, so she's doing great and will hopefully be getting baptized in the near future.

This week I also went to a leadership training meeting in Taipei, so I got to go on exchanges with Chen Jiemei, yeah! So fun. The meeting was awesome. Our cutie president wants us to focus on finding families. Cool. Also, my beloved mtc comp, Sister Winters was there. I never see her, because she's serving on the East Coast, way far away. It's cool to see her, because I realized how much our Chinese has progressed, since we started together.

Oh, and on Wednesday, we all went to the temple. When I was in the Celestial room, I was praying and I just felt this feeling like I didn't want to leave and that my prayers had more power and the people I was praying for were getting blessed more because of the power of the temple. It was a cool feeling.

Sorry, seriously nothing has happened this week, because it's only been a few days since my last p-day. I feel like we haven't experienced a lot of success lately. Boo. I feel like I'm in Taiwan where there are millions of people, so there's got to be hundreds of prepared people everywhere I go. So, I'm trying to be more faithful, more humble, be better at following the Spirit. You know, the usual.

All right, sorry so short. I'm peacing out. Love you all!

Ariel: Brobro, love finnnally hearing from you, BUT dying a little bit because none of the pictures loaded. Re-send them, yeah?
Kimi/Allison: So happy you guys were all just together! SEND PICTURES! looove you guyzz.
Niels: John Bennion said his nephew is serving in my mission. Who is it? And which Rockstar Diary sister is it?
Lars: Do you have a story about prayer you can tell me? Like, was there a time you had a cool experience with praying? Or how do you know Heavenly Father listens to your prayers? Also, my little investigator who is 11 wants to be pen pals with you!! His name is John. You should write him a letter and tell him some things about you and the USA and I'll give it to him.
erin kolu: love you! can you tell tara jibson to write me pronto? thanks!

All of us sisters with Jia Yu.

My favorite baby. (Her mom cut her hair the other day - ha, so cute!)

Little eggs cooked on the street.
Brother Shen, hosing down everyone's cars after church so they wouldn't be so hot.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

July 10, 2012 (Zhongli-17)

Dear everyone!

I am a somewhat frantic, disheveled trainer (Faj, you would looove seeing me right now), but my trainee is really sweet, nice, and patient. For example, this week we were coming home on the train from exchanges, and were rushing to a lesson at the church with Zhong Jia Yu, our cutie investigator who's getting baptized this week. She was super nervous about getting baptized, so I was also super nervous. We set up this appointment to meet with her right before her baptismal interview. Anyway, so on the train going home, I somehow got on this train that doesn't stop at our city, but instead goes like 30 minutes out of our zone to Xin Zhu. Ahh, there was so much pant-breathing going on. Trying to call all the elders and sisters to be at the church for Jia Yu and having to confess to my district leader, etc. Then I finally just called Jia Yu and had a phone lesson with her, which included some minor interruptions, as we had to hurry and switch trains. Then when I got on that train, I basically announced to the whole train that I had just been on the wrong train and I kept double and triple checking with these women that the train really would go to Zhong Li. They kept reassuring me, but then I saw the cities passing and for some reason I got nervous that the train was going the wrong way, so again I got up and asked these women and they were like, "We are POSTIVIE. We will TELL you when we get to your city." Ha, they were so cute and nice. Then, because Jia Yu and I were reviewing the law of chastity over the phone as well, I had to say awkward words like pornography, and this boy was giving me weird looks. Anyway, finally got back to the church to see her at the END of her interview. But, she's doing so great and so happy and not even nervous anymore. Getting baptized this week.

A similar thing happened last night, a misunderstanding between where we would be meeting with Jia Yu, so I made my trainee and I book it all the way across town to her house to have a short meeting with her before booking it back to our mm meeting. Ah, my trainee and these people seriously have so much patience towards me.

Okay, so yesterday I met my new mission president and his wife. Oh, man, loooove them. It's funny because they are completely 100% opposite from President Grimley and his wife. They are from the South, and really relaxed and laid back. Sister Day (president's wife) calls us sweetie and honey and talked about how much she loved baking. They talked about their little hometown in Tennessee and how much they love the South and their three grandkids. So cute. Also, something funny, the native missionaries here (especially the elders) get taught the funniest English things from their American companions. So, for example, one of my favorite elders ever, Sheng Zhanglao yesterday said, "I kid you not", but it actually sounded like, "Kick your nuts", so we were all cracking up. Then yesterday, we all had to get up and introduce ourselves and when Elder Sheng got up, he said to the President, "Are you from Tennessee?" President, "Yes, but let's hear something about you!" Elder Sheng: "But, are you from Tennessee?" President: Yes. Elder Sheng: Oh, 'cause you're the only ten I see!" Oh, man, we were cracking up. So brave. So funny. Later, we found out that Elder Sheng had already said that to him at Zone Leader Council. But Elder Sheng was like, "I think it was better this time - more people were laughing." Ha. Also, I went on exchanges with this awesome Taiwanese girl, and she talked so much which I loved, and she kept telling me these stories of all the elders teaching her bad things and gangster phrases without her knowing what they really mean and then her saying them to the assistant and stuff. So funny.

Hm, this week we were bikeless for a few days which was a huge pain, because we just had to walk around to do street contacting. Anyway, so one day, we planned to go to this one street, but then before we were going, we prayed and I had this thought that we should go to this park, where there are always old, uninterested people. So I didn't think it'd be good. But I prayed again to check and felt good about going and as we were walking there, we met this awesome girl who became our new investigator and wants to meet with us at a set time every week. So awesome! It's cool how real the gift of the Holy Ghost is. I'm still trying to learn how to trust it and rely on it and figure out how to recognize it and trust promptings.

Wellll, I love all of you so, so much. Miss you all and thanks so much for all your love and support.

cute little store with cute little robot thing on the wall
Elders Kang and Davis with McDonald's. (Lately Elder Davis has been sick, and Elder Kang loooves it. He always giggles when Elder Davis is talking about his health.)
Elders Robinson and Sheng

love, Sister Natalie Christensen

Niels. What a ROCKSTAR. I can't WAIT to hear about New Jersey. Wah, you're already totally on fire.
Faj and Mom: Thanks for all the emails and PHOTOS. Ahh, love them.
FINN: write me for real.
LARS! Can you get an email account? Looove you.
TREVOR: Jordan? Bruce?
Ariel: Write meeee.
Robret and Crachel: AHHHHA. so much pant breathing! Ah, so exciting! You guys, YOU GUYS! love you/loved hearing from you! Kayla thinks Collin is the cutest.
Kayla: I keep getting your letters and I love them always.
Analyn: Your letters. So beautiful and wisdom-filled. Thank you.
Extended family: I love all of you so much. And write me and I'll write you!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

1 July 2012 (Zhongli-16)

New greenies

All right everyone, I have an exciting announcement. I CAN SPEAK CHINESE. I mean, I still don't know if I feel confident enough to add it to the facebook languages I can speak, but you guys, seriously so stoked! I think Heavenly Father is giving me tons of extra help. But, this week I just realized that I understand a lot of what people say to me, or at least a lot more than I used to. I can say a lot of things that I want to say, I can speak faster and remember more. I love Chinese so, so, so much. I love studying it, and I'm not even ticked anymore when I study words that all have the same words, but different tones. I love it so much. People here will tell me that my Chinese is so good and I speak so good, and the next person will tell me that my Chinese sucks. Sooo, you know. But, I finally feel like I'm improving and progressing in the language, and feel less terrfied about speaking Chinese to the Faj Mahal when I get home.

This week was out of control. Tons happened. This week me and sister Chen moved to a  new apartment, which was a huge pain (carrying big plastic bins on the back of our bikes, etc.). But, our new apartment = cutest ever! My bedroom is the cutest, with these fakie dark hard wood floors, up in this little elevated room with a big window. I love sleeping in there so much. Our shower is ultra fancy, with these jet streams that come out the sides, which are actually really ticklish and always making me jerk around in the shower. Ha.

I was terrrrified to pick up my trainer. I kept squeezing Sister Chen's arm really hard as we were waiting to meet them and she was like, "You are putting fingerprints in my arm!" But, it's all well. My trainee is Sister Evans, from Nauvoo, IL. She's really sweet and cute and really determined to work hard, which is awesome. She loves contacting, so that's good because we do that a lot. I feel like the worst teacher/trainer, but oh well. God is helping me so much. Seriously, I feel so magnified. It's cool. Oh, so I cover Zhong Li now.

You guys, I really just love my mission so much. Taiwan Taipei mission is the best mission for me. I love Zhong Li, I love my ward, I love our investigators, I love Chinese. Everything is so good.

So, the other day, we were biking (me and Sister Chen) and we passed this little family walking on the side of the road and I especially noticed them because they had a developmentally disabled daughter with them, and you know how much I love them! So I kinda felt like I should turn back and give them a phamplet, so I turned around and talked to them for a second, but they didn't really seem to have any interest, but whatever. But, then they came to English class and set up to meet with us. So this week, we went to their home and visited them and then they came to church on Sunday! So, they have a 17 year old daughter and an 11 year son, who both set baptismal dates. The mom doesn't want to right now because of Buddhism, but she's super supportive of her kids and came to church with them. Anyway, the little 11 year old looks like Andrew Yu from our home ward, which makes me love him more. He sat next to me in sacrament meeting and was so cute and funny. After the sacrament, he leaned over to me and was like, "How do they (the sacrament passers) know where to go?" Haha. And then he asked how much longer the meeting was and when I told him after that, there was still more, he was like, "I didn't eat lunch yet today." Haha. Our other investigator sitting in front of us brought some gauvas for her little boys, so I gave him a gauva. Anyway, he's so cute and funny. Then I went to Sunday School with the two sisters. The lesson was about Ammon cutting off all the arms and bringing them to the king. You know how adolescent sunday school classes are - the students hardly paying attention, and not participating, and then my poor investigator was a little creeped out by the story. Haha, oh you guys, you should see how much I'm inwardly pant-breathing on a mission. Actually, I would say I get less stressed about stuff like that. Sometimes our members bring up word of wisdom and all this stuff on first lessons, and I"m actually pretty calm about it. Yeah! Actually Sister Chen hates that I always gasp really dramatically cause it freaks her out, but she realized that if she says, "Okay, don't get stressed out, but I need to tell you something...", I totally freak out. I'm like, "What? What is it? Just tell me! Hurry, tell me!" Haha, so funny.

I love our investigators who own the ice cream shop. We stopped by to visit them the other day and ended up having a lesson. I rambled off all this stuff about the Atonement I've been thinking about and Fred, the husband, kept having to get up and do stuff (for the shop), but he was like, "I love it! I love what you are saying!" So precious. Love them so much and their little daughter is also so cute and adorable. I really hope that  they progress in the gospel. They also asked me tons of hard questions, but I wasn't even stressed about answering them! But, seriously, just love my investigators so much and I've realized the more I love them, the easier it is to teach them and help them progress and be a little bit bold, because you know me, I do not like being bold. I brought a recently returned from Taipei mission missionary to help us be a member present at one of their lessons and it was awesome. His name is Xu Wen Guo and he is one of the best missionaries in the world. He's so good at listening and teaching according to needs. Ah, so inspired everytime he helps our lessons. Anyway, he really helped their lesson this week.

Oh, and one of the pictures is from when I had a lesson with a mom and her baby and a member and her baby and the member's baby was freaked out by the other baby and cried whenever he came close. Hilarious! That lesson was out of control. It was taught as we were sitting on the floor and babies were crying the whole time. I love being a missionary.

This is what Niels said in his last letter: I feel like Natalie and I are going to be chunky dweebos when we come back. OUR family is the coolest. Lars is even gettting cool. Oh I saw him with that bandana and semi shaggy hair.

Ha, seriously so true.

Shout outs!
Faj Mahal,
I have been getting your postcards and poetry. Ahhh, love them so much! I love getting mail from all of you. I love hearing from you guys. Speaking of, FINN AND BARDLE, I miss you guys and want you to write me. KAI, you too. I pray for you all the time and hope you're doing okay. Mom, thanks so much for the package and little notebooks. So nice of you! Faj, didn't you say you recently got a cool blessing? Tell me about it. I need my voting ballot too, and blurbs about the canidates. Thank you! Oh, Faj, it's so funny to think of you as a 101 teacher. I've been hitting tones hard with my new comp this week. We practice tones a lot, because, thanks to your testimony, I know how important they are. I bet you think your students are big kindergarten babies all the time.

Erin, thank you for FINALLLLY writing me. Loved your letter. Cracked up multiple times. I love anything that happens at the moa, aka you writing your letter at the moa. Loved it.

Analyn, you are the BEST letter writer in the world. Thanks so much for allll your letters! I can't even keep up. Love hearing your voice through your letters.

Kay'ler, I haven't even finished reading your letter, but I love it so much. cracking up. Send me way more.

CELIA write meeee. Did you get my last letter?

ARIEl you toooo. Loooove you.

Trev4, love you, Brobro. Miss you. Are you in the middle east?

Emily Brown, are you in the mtc yet? Sars, I need to write you.

KJIRSTEN, write me.

Allison, did you ever get that ninja card? love you.

Kimi, still loved your last letter. thanks. love you!

Moving day