Saturday, December 29, 2012

December 23, 2012 (Hualian)



Hey everyone,

Merry Christmas! Tonight we are taking the train to Taipei and staying at the mission home because tomorrow we're having a big multi-zone Christmas zone meeting thing. I'm super excited to go to Taipei and hang out with the other missionaries. 

I'm still getting used to this area. In some ways, it's really different, but it's mostly all the same. People are a lot more willing to talk to you here, I feel like, but sometimes it's hard to discern if they really have interest or not. We don't have very many investigators, but we are hoping to slowly and surely build up the area. We have two cute older women - the Wang sisters, who are getting baptized next week. They are from China and sometimes I totes can't tell what they are saying. They are cute. We helped them write their little testimonies to share at their baptims. We asked them their favorite scripture, and they just fanned through Du jiemei's scriptures and seemed to just randomly pick a marked scripture. It was great.

This week we also had our big Christmas party. A ton of people came and we were able to meet a couple people that could hopefully turn into investigators. The youth acted out the nativity and they did so awesome. Then a few little toddlers wearing lamb suits came crawling out onto the stage. Think of Asian tinies crawling while wearing little lamb suits! It was so cute I almost cried.

Speaking of youth, the youth here are SO GOOD. They are so strong and always hang out. Our mm leader, Daniel, (also SO GOOD - he's super super involved in the work and with us and the ward and is waiting for his mission call) hosts a fhe every sunday night - usually just a bunch of youth come. Last night we had it at his house - which is a cute tiny one room kitchen/living room thing. We always eat dinner together - which is usually noodles with melted peanut butter on them, and then last night we also had peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and these chewy black sesame things. Last night we had a gift exchange, which was so fun. The Elders just brought stuff from their house and one elder brought this fake leather jacket. This girl got it and she wasn't super stoked, but then for some reason, by the end of the game, all the teen girls wanted it and it ended up getting stolen by this one guy at the very end. The girls were freaking out and it was hilairous. Oh, and elder lin gave a stuffed animal igauana and it was so funny because a teen boy got it and he was like, "what is this??"" and elder lin was so funny because he was like, "what do you mean? it is so cute! i love that guy!" funnier in Chinese. I was cracking up. 

One cool contacting experience we had was that after visiting a former, we had just a few minutes left before we had to head home. We decided to knock a couple doors before heading home. We knocked on this one door, and an older woman was just like, "we bai bai!" Which everyone says, which means they worship ancestors and have no interest. But in the background, a younger woman was talking on the phone, and I waved at her and she came over. Turns out, she is christian, but she and her husband recently spent some time in vancouver and one of their friends there is lds, and he shared stuff about our church with them. She said she has a Book of Mormon and sometimes when the Bible is confusing, she'll use the book of mormon to help her understand it better. Awesome! We're hoping to make contact with her again this week. 

Also, this week, me and one of the temple sisters were on exchanges. We were out in the country and it was hot. Anyway, turns out, I got (no lie) approximately 75 bug bites on my legs from my knees down to my ankles. Turns out, most of them are some little flea bug thing that lives here and apparently has no translation. I HAVE NEVER BEEN MORE UNCOMFORTABLE IN MY WHOLE LIFE. Seriously. It is impossible to not itch. Not like a 4 year old saying it's hard to not itch or not pick a scab, it is truly physically impossible to not itch my legs. I have tried 7 million creams and all the ward members when they saw my legs yesterday started giving me tons of advice. I seriously need your prayers. It sounds silly, but I haven't been able to sleep and it's hard for me to focus on teaching, because I'm so itchy.  We're buying meat tenderizer today (what even is that?) because my district leader says that works on jelly fish stings, so I'm going to try it out. Sounds delicious. But, Taiwan people are the nicest and most hospitable. We met with an investigator the other day, and she gave me this ointment and gave me a bunch of new washcloths so I could put cold water on them. So nice. I'm super humbled by peoples' hospitality here. They are the nicest.

I think that's all for this week. I'm so excited to talk to you on Christmas day.
love, sister natalie

shout-outs!
Ariel: Thank you a million times! Waiting for more!
Celia: Also thank you a million times! Also waiting for more! Can't wait to see pictures of Lucy! How exciting!! What is vaughn and mags' address?
Lou: Thank you so much for the Christmas email! I love hearing from you! So, Hannah is at byu?
courney c. b. petersen- where are you|?? are you at the same address?
alicia harris- you too.





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