Monday, October 15, 2012

October 15, 2012 (Zhongli)

This week we had such an epic baptism. It was the other sisters' investigators and it was held after English class - which was weird and awesome. For the spiritual part of the lesson, we're just like, "All right, everyone, let's go watch a baptism!" Anyway, so me and Sister Crofts are sitting up there as the baptism service is starting, and Elder Patrick, our beloved district leader, runs up and beckons for us to leave. We go downstairs and the baptismal font was empty - no water! This is a big deal, because a.) it had just barely been all the way filled up and b.) it had been filled with warm water, which there is not very much of and c.) takes like 45 minutes to fill up, and people would be coming down in like 20 or something. So we were trying to figure out how to fix it and we got the clever idea to grab the hose from outside, bring it in through the font window, so it's be filling up from two places. Anyway, it was a little frantic as we tried to get the font filled as fast as we could (with cold water), and I had a fun time hanging out in the font, because I had to hold the hose in through the window until the water got too deep. We prayed that everything would still go smoothly for the baptism and right before the people came into the room, Elder Deal checked the hose out of the window and she got baptized by immersion in one dip. Yeah for traumatic baptisms! 

Conference was the best, right? We biked as a big missionary bike pack (my favorite!) about an hour to Tao yuan, to watch conference at the stake center. When that one man (sorry forgot his name) testified of how children don't need baptism and the power of the Resurrection of the truth of it, I was overcome with the Spirit. I was so touched as he testified of the resurrection and I felt that the resurrection is a real thing and even though I sometimes wonder about it, I felt that I have no need to worry. He also testified that all the things the prophets have spoken concerning it are true. I'm so grateful for prophets and apostles. 

Oh, man, I can't think of anything else that happened this week....

Lately, I've been getting all bummed out on finding. Lately we have not been getting a lot of new investigators. Stressful. Last night, we were contacting on a busy street corner by a university and night market. I almost started crying because everyone rejected us and I thought about Jesus Christ, and how even though He is the Christ, people rejected Him too. And it's not even about getting rejected, I think missionaries get used to that (and Taiwan is the best, because people are so nice and often talk to us) as much as that I always want to be at the right place at the right time and sometimes I feel like I'm not being the best tool for the Lord. I know there are prepared people and there's got to be a ton of them, right? "Eternal life hangs in the balance", as Elder Holland says, but sometimes we don't find them. And I'm worried that I'm not as in-tune with the Spirit as I want and need to be. Anyway, I am doing good though. I'm grateful and feel honored and humbled and super loved by the Lord as He allows me to do His work. I only have like 6 months left on my mission, and I hope to still accomplish a lot. Even though I don't know what those things are. Yeah, goal setting - still a weakness!! Well, I love this gospel and I know that it is true. I'm so grateful for the ordinances, doctrines, and commandments that make up the church and gospel. This church, this gospel, is the best thing in the whole entire world. This week we met with one of our beloved investigators whose progress is really slow as far as missionary work goes, but I love working with her and her little family so much. Anyway, she was confused and perplexed at how we can have so much faith towards the future. We realized with her that that was the big difference between her and us. She doesn't have very much faith and we have a lot in comparison. And the difference is huge. But I always tell her that what we have - the faith, the happiness, the assurance of God's existence, etc. - is all completely attainable. 

Our all-knowing and all-loving Father in Heaven lets us learn line upon line, precept upon precept. Oh, also lately I made a decision. Because I worry easily, and I'm always worried about the future, despite what phase of life I'm in. But, the other day I decided I'm done worrying about the future. In my entire past, God has blessed me with soooo, so, so much, He has helped me have success and joy in all areas of my life, and in retrospect, there has never been any need to worry about anything. I'm trying to face the future with complete faith and confidence in God. He loves me, as He loves all of us. And He only wants the absolute best for us. I want everyone to come unto Christ, because it's the best life you'll live.

I love all of you so much. Thinking about all of you makes me want to be a better missionary. I've been too blessed.

Love, Sister Natalie Christensen

Niels- yeah, for realz cryptic email. I haven't finished the letter or sent it yet, so don't worry! Sending it in the near future!
Emily Brown - I'm already dying at your description of Russia. In love.
Lou- I love hearing from you!! Where is Hannah at school? When I get home, we're having a girl day when you're family is all out of town. I'm serious!
Kayler- got your letter. loooove you.
kjirst! loved hearing from you! cracking up in your letter.
trevor - look at me! not worrying so much!

[No photos were attached to this email; Natalie said that her email has been acting up]

pictures: Check out my zone leaders' ties!!
I LOVE THIS PICTURE. Fillin' up the font. Aka just doing the Lord's work.
Inside of a convenient store/mirror photo.
all of us sisters in the zone watching relief society conference together.
Taiwan - one day had all these beautiful taiwan flag streamers across the road.

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