Monday, August 20, 2012

19 August 2012 (Zhongli-23)

In the city of Long Tan

Dear everyone,

Thanks for the million emails this week. !! Faj, thanks for all the reminders about how good and awesome my life is; I totally know it. But it's good to get your reminders, because sometimes I forget a little bit. But, seriously, my life, so good.

This week, we biked about an hour to a city called Long Tan - it's another area that only has one set of Elders. So we bike there to help them do English class. SO FUN. I miss long bike rides (Ashley McKell, can I get a what-what!). The way there is all uphill, so the way back is extra fun. Plus, Long Tan is super pretty; that's where those lake pictures are from. And Long Tan has delicious food. (Nothing like the food the parentals ate this weekend - geeeez. Beautiful food.) Anyway, BUT, biking back - the wind was huge and strong. And the wind just grabbed my bike handlebars and made them swing out from under me - I went tumbling/somersaulting over the top of my bike and then my bike completely flipped over the top of me. Super yikes. First time in my life I got hurt from not my own fault. I'm totally fine, but I have a few sick bruises and my ribs hurt. Yeah! Oh, and this week, a scooter rear ended my bike. Ankle banged up from that one. Actually, I seriously feel suuuper protected, because that fall coming back from Long Tan was scary, but I'm totally fine.

Oh, we had an awesome lesson this week with our ice cream shop owner investigators. They're crazy busy and so haven't been progressing much lately, but they need the gospel soooo badly. So, we haven't met with them for a few weeks, but we finally met with them again, recommitted them to baptism, talked to them about reading, praying, etc. I told them we would start sharing commandments with them and promised them blessings. I felt like a psychologist during the lesson, because I kept being like, "So, I think you're feeling... blah blah blah." And the husband would be pensive, and be like, "Yeah, I think that's it!" It was awesome. I really love teaching so much. And I loooove the people I teach. Niels, I know right? It's so easy to love people here on a mission. I hope I keep having a lot of love for people like this. Anyway, I forgot to set up with them again, but the next day the husband called me to see when we were coming back. YESSS. And then I called him the other night and he wanted me to pray on the phone for his daughter to hear. DOULBE YESSS. Also, love that I say phone prayers all the time. Sometimes I even call my investigators (a select few) and sing to them on the phone. Who am I turning into?? Trevor, less inhibited, can I get a what-what!

We had interviews with President Day this week. He is 100% different than President Grimley. It is crazy. But, interviews were awesome. He challenged me to read the New Testament and know 1000 characters before I have interviews again. Yess, stoked. I love reading assignments and I'm trying so hard to read that little Book of Mormon in characters.

Sister Evans' Chinese is progressing and she's getting better and better at contacting, and will even contact by herself. Yesss!

Church - still so stressful. I wish you guys could see a video of me at church - I bet it would be hilarious to watch. I'm just all like running around, and trying to talk to everyone, and everyone is trying to talk to me. And Sister Chen described me as having a look of stress on my face, and she knows I have a goal of someone I'm trying to talk to or something I need to do, but I don't vocalize it, so I just look like a basketcase. True - I can't vocalize what I need to get done at church, so I end up being vague and bossy. Ha, poor Sister Evans. What a trooper.

Also, cutie Xu Hao Yun and her little 11 year old brother, Zhen Wei came to church with us this week! So happy! We biked to pick them up and then we all biked to church together. It was adorable. And I was cracking up because Hao Yun was in a sort of ticked mood (I think mostly because she didn't want to wear a helmet - I was like, "Wearing it is no big deal!" And she was like, "Um, yes, it is a big deal. It looks stupid.") And she banged her bike on the side of the door as she was bring her bike out the door way, and she was like, "Ah! I'm so angry!" And I was cracking up, because that's exactly how I am. And then she got mad at me for laughing, and I laughed more. Oh, love her so much. Love them both so much, except Zhen Wei thinks church is the most boring thing ever. Gahhh, so nervous about that one. Any advice? I'm bringing snacks next week.

Our recent convert, Li Qiu Feng is doing super awesome and even came back early from Hua Lian, so she could go to church with us. She's the greatest!

I love you all so much. I'm so grateful to have the gospel in my life and for this time I have to serve a mission. I love these Taiwanese people so, so, so much.

Sister Natalie Christensen

Ashley Mckell: wahhh, loved hearing from you! What's your address?? I wanna write you!
Ariel: AHHHHHH! Also, can't WAIT to get your letter.
Analyn: I love love love your letters. Sorry about the bad news you told me. Hope everything with California goes well. I'm not gonna write again til I get your CA address, so write me as soon as you're there, so I can write you back!
Nicole Valencia: Ah! I need to write you!! Have you moved to Salt Lake yet? I need your new address!
Coryn Cope: Missss you. Pretty sure it's my turn to write you, but you should write me again. I need an update!!
Sandovals: Hello! How are you all doing, especially Vycci? miss and love you all!
Grandma and Grandpa: THANK YOU for the note and money. You guys are the sweetest. Miss you and love you.
Trev4: YOU ARE SO COOL. I love you.
Emily Brown: You prob won't read this, but your letters are so inspiring.

Long Tan

With Li Qiu Feng

With Teresa

MTC buddy, Sister Burton

Biking to church

Sister Evans, Natalie, and a burrito

Delicious donuts

An embarrassing photo that eludes a proper caption

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