Sunday, March 31, 2013

April 1, 2013

Have I told you guys that whenever I show people my family picture, they always do a couple double takes and then ask which one is me. Which is always after telling them I'm the only girl in my family. C'mon guys!!! Apparently I look super, SUPER different. Then they always comment on my "rock" brother. They think Niels is handsome. (Then I always say, "Yeah, he think's he's handsome." And then they always crack up.) Sometimes they think Finn is a girl. HA! And they think Lars is cute. Everytime it's the same. Faj, President and Sister Day told me I look like you. Precious. But, mom, if they had met you, they probably would have said I look like you because I think more people think we look alike.

You guys, I'm getting home this month. It's crazy. Sometimes I get a little sad. Like last night, I was thinking of some members who invited us over for dinner, but we didn't go because we felt like we should stay in our area and find. (See,not getting too trunky.) But, I just got sad all of the sudden and thought about how much I'd miss them and miss not living close to them. I already want to come back to visit all my friends. And do all the cool taipei stuff I've never done because I'm one of the few missionaries who's never served there. But, I'm also really excited to come home and see all of you and move on to the next phase of my life. And wear cute clothes again and bike wearing jeans. But, really, love my mission. And excited for the time I have left.

This week wasn't super eventful. The other sisters hid in our apartment and scared us so bad. We screamed and then a neighbor came to check on us. Sister Huang was like, "Oh, sorry, Americans are loud." Hah! I love living with Sister Huang. She's getting trained by Sister Parker (who I also love). Sister is either talking and going a mile a minute, or really tired. Sister Parker said she received revelation about Sister Huang. Sister Huang always wants to sleep, but if she's talking, she's wide awake. So if she's getting tired, Sister Parker just gets her to talk and then she's fine. Sister Huang talks to us about Taiwan culture stuff all the time. She was telling us how sometimes they eat baby deers or "bambis" and then said in English, "Very cute. Very yummy." ha! The other day there was a big earthquake.

Okay, rambling. Sorry. This week I went on exchanges to Taidong with sister Zhong. Sister Zhong told me that she used to be a big partier and wasn't interested in church or God at all, but someone (she doesn't know who) gave her phone number to missionaries. She thought it was annoying,but then started going to English class and eventually met with the missionaries. She said she was really influeced by one of her sister missionaries. She said that she felt like she was so angelic and so perfect and she wanted to know how a person could be like that. She said she didn't get baptized for her,but she feels like if she didn't meet her, she might not have been so influenced to get baptized. I think it's cool that that missionary had such an impact on her, just because of who she was. It makes me want to be a lot more Christlike.

 Oh, no, have to go to the bathroom so bad. BAthroom doesn't really have a door. Trying to hold it.

Anyways, this week after English class, I invited one of the guys to meet with missionaries and he didn't want to. He said he believed in Jesus Christ, but he needed proof. I got to testify of the Book of Mormon and the Holy Ghost. You know how sometimes you have a dream, and like you're mad at your friend and then when you wake up, you're still mad at your friend? It's like your dream literally changes you a little bit? That's how the Holy Ghost works, I think. Just like in Mosiah 5:2, when the Holy Ghost communicates with us, He literally changes us - changes our nature, our disposition and helps us believe and know that Christ exists. It's hard to explain that influence, but it's sort of like a dream. He can literally help us change our very nature and gives us pure knowledge. I love what Joseph F Smith said, "When a man has the manifestation from the Holy Ghost, it leaves an indelibale impressiion on the soul, one that is not easily erased. It is Spirit speaking to Spirit and it comes with convincing force... The impressions of the Holy Ghost sink deeper into the soul and are more difficult to erase." Super cool. I'm trying to be ever aware of the enticings of the Holy Ghost, so I can put off the natural man.

This week, we thought we had a big miracle of talking finding a family. A man and his two children. He was really sincere and intent on listening to us. But, later we found out (not from him,but from the elders) that he is already the elders' investigator. Bummer.

We visited the Ma family and the littlest one said he's been teaching his friends at school about prayer and how to pray. PRECIOUS. Almost died when I heard. We taught 10 commandments this week and took turns drawing little pictures of the ten commandments. They're doing good. One of them has been testing but we're working really hard to help them hit their baptismal date.

Okay, got to GO. Love you all so much. Thanks for your love and support. God is so real.

Love, Natalie

Monday, March 25, 2013

March 25, 2013

I've noticed that a bunch of people here have scars on their faces from car/scooter accidents. Freaky, right? Also sometimes people take their huge dogs on their scooters with them. This morning, I saw a lady with a huge golden retriever sitting on the feet part of the scooter. Also, sometimes people let their birds hang out on the front of the scooter. And they still drive with the bird on their scooter. It's crazy and cool.

There's so many good things about being on a mission - all facets of being on a mission. Lately we love making fun of Elder Nelson for how awkward he'll be when he gets home. The other day he said to me, "That blazer is nice." I've been eating these dried fish skins that are sitting on my desk. They're not that good - it's like eating pretzels, you eat them just because they're there. We discovered divine coconut milk juice boxes this week. 

This week was really good. Running out of time, so I gotta write FAST.

Monday. Hiking and dinner at most hipster member's house. The Wan's. He cuts house and his wife used to be an artist. Their house is COOL. The floor is like big stone slab tiles. Their kitchen table is old, rustic wood. Taiwanese people are so funny because they always complain about how naughty their kids are, even when they're the best. They said they hoped their little five -year-old would be more normal when he grows up, but he's so cute and awesome right now. We played a game with them where we give them 2 options and they have to choose which one is more important. Their little boy kept choosing books over all other options, and then he choose all the church things. Aka, all the right answers. His parents were acting so shocked and were so happy with his choices. It was funny.

Tuesday night I went on exchanges for like an hour to help her meet an investigator- Megan, the American. Megan's car got a flat tire, so we last minute biked to her house. She lives at the top of this huge hill. We had fun booking it up the hill, getting lost and booking it up higher than we had to and then finally making it to her house. Had a little meeting with her and then called the district leader to say we were going to be home late, but ultimately biking faster than I ever have in my life, safely weaving in and out of traffic, and making it home in like SEVEN MINUTES. We were so proud of ourselves.

Wednesday. I feel like we see a lot of miracles from just talking to everyone. The other day, we had a plan to slowly make our way over to a former's house, talking to everyone we saw on the roadside. We ended up not having nearly enough time to make it to that former's house, but it was at least a plan and destination, so we decided to at least go that way, talking to everyone. I love talking to everyone, because it makes you do just that, talk to everyone, even though you might initially judge some people and wouldn't normally stop to talk to them. For example, we were biking in a more rural area (love this area!) and there was an older man - a farmer - in the field next to us. We stopped to talk to him. He's retired, but doesn't want to sit around watching TV, so he works on this farm. He talked about how he had a copy of the Book of Mormon. He mentioned, "Yeah, and those brothers! They're always arguing!" He said missionaries used to come and meet with him and his wife, but he never had a chance to come to church and him and his wife had a hard time understanding everything. But, he was really willing to leave his phone number and address and allow us to come visit him again. We also met a man right outside the family mart across the street from the church who wanted us to also meet his wife who owns the family mart. So we went in and chatted with both of them. They said their friend is our super active member, and that they could schedule with her to come and do a chapel tour and check out our church. So, of course we talked to that member about her getting in contact with them. 

Thursday. Contacting. Exchanges.

Friday. Zone conference. It was great. When we start meetings with president, he's just like, "Open up your scriptures to..." And then he just expounds the scriptures and it's so awesome. I love him. Him and Sister Day did a hilarious skit of a bad weekly planning session (but a lot of it was totally true - aka we need to be better at doing weekly planning). At the end of zone conference, he called me up to bear my testimony because it was my last zone conference (!!! :( ) and it was a really special, cool opportunity for me to bear my testimony then. I expressed how grateful I constantly am to Heavenly Father that He prompted me to come on a mission and that I finally followed that prompting. I bore testimony about how I've learned a lot about God's love for us. And then I bore testimony of how God will provide for our future as He has the past. I have more faith in the future than I usually have. I'm getting a little more faithful and I love it. (TARA, thanks for your letter. It was super inspiring. I have so much I want to say to you.) Then I went on exchanges in my area with a new sister chu. We got to drive back with President and Sister Day, which was the BEST. LOVE them. We chatted a lot. About their jobs, their real lives, how they gained their testimonies. President Day told us how perplexed he was by the low speed limits in Taiwan and Sister Day got mad at President Day for not stopping fast enough at red lights. Sister Day said she loves being on a mission because she loves us and she loves spending so much time with President Day. Precious. She said she doesn't want to leave. They're the best and so diligent and dedicated. They never complain even though they're crazy busy.

Saturday. Lessons, phone calls, exchanging back companions, member visit, etc.

Sunday night, we had a big miracle. We finally got to meet with an investigator Sister Ochoa and I contacted last transfer. He's getting married soon and we talked about the importance of families. We asked him if we could meet with him and his girlfriend, and he said that would be good. Last night, when we went to his little bread shop, their friends - a married couple - were there as well. They were all just sitting there, drinking tea and hanging out. We had a really wonderful meeting with them. They were super nice and friendly and all willing to commit to pray. They felt like they were our good friends. Ps, love when I make jokes in Chinese and people think I'm so funny. Best.

The Ma family is still doing really good. They didn't come to church on Sunday because they had to go to a cemetery, but other than that, they're doing good and progressing a lot. It's been a little bit challenging helping all of them progress equally and individually, but also together. We need to be better at following up, so we want to take more time to call them, visit them, and visit the oldest daughter at her work at a bread shop. The 14 year old is doing especially good. He writes in his journal daily, and also daily reads the Book of Mormon and prays. 

Our other really good investigator is Chen Min Feng. Her faith has grown so much; it's incredible to witness. She's taking baptism really seriously. At first, she wasn't sure if she wanted to set baptism, because she felt like before she wasn't ready, and she really wanted to make sure it was right. Recently, she's been feeling better and better about baptism. She said she feels good about it, and feels like she needs it. In order to help her hit her goal and to continue to increase her faith, we're going to meet with her 3 times a week. We're super happy that she's so willing to meet so often. 

Whew. Love you all so much. Especially Faj Mahal, Mom, Kai, Niels, Finny, Lars. Think of you and pray for you. The church is the best. The gospel is the truest.

Love, Sister Natalie

Zoe, did I tell you thanks for your letter a while ago? I loved it.
Emily Larsen. GOT YOUR EMAIL. love love love love you.

hiking detour.
beautiful cemetery 
delicious dessert. tortilla/crepe with ice cream and crushed peanuts inside.
fat noodles, my favorite.
waiting for zone conference to start.

Elder Farrell's trainee made this little star for him and put it on his bike. great chinglish.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

March 18, 2013 Last Transfer

I'm officially on my LAST TRANSFER. crazy.

Guess who my new companion is? My TRAINEE, Sister Evans. Yep, reunited! Crazy, right? This week was crazy busy. We did a last minute exchange on Tuesday and Wednesday, so we spent a lot of time on the train and I got to hang out with Taidong's Sister George. Then on Wednesday night, Sister Du sort of told me, but not really, that we were getting a move call that night. I was freaking out, so scared I was going to move because I really didn't want to move. But, Sister Du confessed that she found out she was going to move. (Can't trust missionaries with secrets, especially about move calls. She heard from another missionary.) Anyway, so on Thursday, we had the busiest day. I was crazy tired. We got lunch and dinner set up's when members found out she was moving, plus a bunch of set ups. We biked from one end of town to the other allll day and night long. We were wiped at the end of the day. Thursday night, Taidong sisters came to spend the night and Friday morning, Sister Du and Sister George got up super early to go to Taipei to get new companions. Yeah, didn't even get to go. Wahhh. 

Then like all the missionaries (like Sister Liao's new companion, elders in my district, and the zone leaders) started calling us to tell us who our new companions were. And, yeah, I was super shocked that I'm reunited with my trainee and I feel bad for her, because that'd be weird to go back with your trainer. Especially if your trainer is me. BUT, I did feel really good and peaceful about being with her again. I felt like a bad trainer, so I'm excited to have another chance to be her companion. She told me that she's always felt like she was a difficult trainee, and she always sort of wanted to do it again, or have another chance. Haha, funny.  So, yeah, companions again! Oh, OH! Yeah, and they didn't even tell me this until after the transfer meeting, but we're now splitting the area. So our apartment is a 4-person and I'm with Sister Parker and Sister Huang, who is getting trained. And she just came from DeGrey's ward. Finally I met someone who knows cousin DeGrey!! Anyway, they're in charge of Hua Lian and I'm in charge of Ji An, which is like the more rural country part of the city. Yeah, crazy. So the last few days have been crazy busy, just trying to get things ready to split and have more people move into our apartment and trying to help the Hua Lian sisters get all the information they need. Crazy busy.

On Sunday, we have district (stake) conference, so all the members of Eastern Taiwan came to HuaLian. The Ma family came and attentively sat through all two hours, but they got a little antsy the last 30 minutes. One little 9 year old gave an AWESOME talk about how her dad promised her he'd baptize her on her 9th birthday, but wasn't keeping the word of wisdom and wasn't baptized yet. But she prayed every night for it, and her mom was also full of faith and always told her to have faith and her dad ended up getting baptized and baptizing her. Precious.

The Ma family is so great and doing so good. Duh, I'll try to send a picture of them next week. We had a great lesson with them this week, where we talked about the Book of Mormon and our favorite stories. Then we read 1 Nephi chapter 1 together, and when Laban tries to kill Laman, they all had great reactions - half shocked/half cracking up. So funny. It was great. Zi Yao, who is close to being baptized, lives in Hualian, so she'll start meeting with the other sisters. This week will be filled with tons of finding because we don't have that many investigators in Jian. Saturday night, we found a couple new investigators and gave them Book of Mormons. I love explaining that the Book of Mormon will help them know God better and then I love when people are really enthusiastic and excited to accept a Book of Mormon on the street.

I'm sorry this email is so boring and non-exciting. I love you all so much. I'm really grateful I still have a transfer left to do this mission thing. The church and gospel are absolutely true.

Love, Sister Natalie

EMILY LARSEN. Hey. I heard you're home from Germany. TALK TO ME, GIRL.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

March 11, 2013

Editors note: I am here in Taiwan for a few days. Yesterday I went to church where Natalie served for 10+ months. She's a total rockstar there. Everyone loves her and was raving about how good a missionary she is and how much they love and miss her. I was able to have dinner with some of the members and a couple college student girls that she taught and were baptized. One of the girls was the best friend of one of my former students. It was a really cool experience. She wanted me to post some of my photos from the day.  Matt

Faj, I loved hearing and seeing all about you being in Taiwan. One of the elders in my district is companion-less right now and we had this great idea that you could be his companion for a day, but totally not allowed. But, it's been cool the past couple of days to know that you are here, too. The ward members keep asking if I'm going to see you. 

Sorry, this week I didn't write in my journal very much, so I'm trying to remember that things that happened. We're moving to a new apartment today, so most of our free time was spent packing and cleaning. Still have so much to do. Our new apartment is super cute, but we'll really miss our views of the ocean. And our new apartment is more in the city. More convenient, but not as beautiful. But, that's okay.

We continued to try to use the Spirit and prayer in our finding more this week, like last week. On Monday night, we found 2 new awesome investigators. I love trying to have faith and believe that when we're finding, we really are going to find people. Then we really do. And it's cool, because then the contacts are different and interesting. With one girl, we talked about the Book of Mormon and she was really willing to accept a copy and read it. With the other woman, we talked a lot about family because she is getting married soon. The gospel is truly for everyone. 

I feel like lately we've been meeting with new people who have already decided that they're not going to get baptized. So, that's been kind of hard, but at the same time, we have faith and hope that as they try the word of God and meet with us, their hearts can be softened and they can change. We'll see how it goes. Like, one of our new investigators decided to meet with us because she always rejects missionaries, but then always runs into them again. She feels like it's maybe destiny and wants to see. She's super awesome, has great questions, and is sincerely interested, but over the phone told me she decided she wouldn't get baptized. 

But, then we also have a ton of awesome people who are doing really good and progressing a lot. Example, the Ma family. Oh, man, they are so cute, especially the 10 year old. The 3 kids and the grandpa came to church again yesterday. I didn't see them because I attended the other ward, but Sister Du said that the grandpa wrote some scripture reference on his hand and then asked if he could have a copy of the Book of Mormon. AWESOME. Grandpa is still not a new investigator, because we haven't had a lesson with him. That's the hard thing about having family investigators sometimes - their schedules are all so different. 

We have a quiet, hesitant mom who is a former investigator. She said that her problem is that she doesn't have enough faith. We've been able to slowly see her progress and it's been cool. She said that she feels that she's received an answer to her prayer and that baptism is a good thing. I think she's getting more excited about it.

We have a little teenager, zi yao, who'll hopefully be getting baptized next week. She comes to church every Sunday, but is really scared of getting baptized because she doesn't want people to watch her. So we might just hold a super tiny baptismal service. 

We met with our American investigator. We had a wonderful member help our lesson - she's an RM who served in Chicago, so her English is great. We totally felt the Spirit in the lesson and me and Sister Du discussed afterwards that the times we felt the Spirit was when Lu jiemei was speaking and testifying. Her testimony is so strong and powerful. Whenever she testifies, I totally feel it. Oh, man, I want to be like that. I feel like so often when I testify, there's like no feeling - like I'm just saying things routinely instead of focusing on what I really want to convey or something. I don't know. I'm trying to work on that. I want people to feel it when I say it. This investigator really wants/needs evidence, so it was cool to just hear Lu jiemei testify and feel the truth of what she was saying.

On Saturday night, the ward had a going-away dinner party for Liu Ken Di, our old mm leader. He's going on his mission this week. The food was delicious and I love hanging out with our members. On Sunday night, we had a missionary fireside about families and the Plan of Salvation. Ken Di also gave a talk and it was sort of like his second going away party. He told everyone to wear purple, so that why a bunch of us are wearing purple in the picture of everyone.

This week, I ate so much delicious food. The most delicious was dou hua - it's like soy pudding stuff that I love and eat all the time. But this one had vanilla ice cream on top of the soy pudding, topped with honey, black sticky rice and these gummy/squishy things that they LOVE here and are hard to describe. We eat dou hua all the time and sister Du pointed out that every time we eat dou hua, I say, "This is so delicious, I could die." Ha. True. (picture included)

We've started setting baptismal dates with people for after I'm gone. WEIRD.

Love you all so, so SO much.

Love, Sister Nad.

Tara. can't wait.
Kimi. Duh. 
Allison. Also, duh, best idea ever.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

March 4, 2013

This week was glorious. I learned so much this week and I saw more miracles and awesome things happen this week than I have in like my whole mission combined. Not really. But this week was really great. 

On Monday the temple sisters came (Angela! the temple sisters are just the sisters who cover the area by the temple - they basically give people tours of the temple grounds and the chapel/church, so we just call them the temple sisters) to do exchanges with us. There was 3 of them because of some circumstances with transfers and one of them is going home this transfer. Anyway, on Monday it felt like when I was little waiting for cousins to get into town - Kjirsten to drive from CA to UT or Addison from TX to UT. Anyway, they got here and on Monday night, I went on exchanges with Sister Chen. We biked to a rural area - away from all the lights and noise - quiet country roads along dark rice paddies. Our lesson ended up not being able to meet with us, but we talked to her neighbor and had a good lesson with her about how the gospel blesses us and our families and we also tracted into an LA. It was fun to be companions again with Sister Chen and teach with her again and talk about the good old days when we were in Zhong Li for months and months together. At night, I slept on the couch and we moved her mattress right to the side of the couch and talked until, we think, 3 or 4 am. We were too scared to look, but we couldn't stop talking. It was great. I love her and so value her wisdom and advice. I'm glad we get to go home at the same time. 

On Tuesday, after hot pot and district meeting, I went on exchanges with Sister Ochoa. After we ate dinner that night, our lesson canceled and I told Sis. Ochoa I needed her help because I wasn't feeling super faithful/positive about finding that night. She was like, "It's okay! We just need to have faith and pray a lot." We had a contacting destination - A-Mart, like Wal-Mart, and decided to talk to everyone we encountered as we slowly made our way there. We really talked to every single person we saw, and started having immediate success. A mom and her son. A man standing outside a bread shop. He's getting married soon and we talked about how the gospel could bless his future marriage and family. We had a little lesson with him, and I totally felt the Spirit. Sister Ochoa and I tried to pray a lot - like every chance we had. That night, I really felt like I had the Spirit with me and I really understood the importance of having the Spirit. I know that that is true, but I could actually feel that having the Spirit with me - abundantly - and using the Spirit to try to know what to say to people made such a big difference. Once we got to the A-Mart, it was out of control - people started contacting us. First we contacted a man from Iran. He was so great, but said he wasn't into organized religion. I asked him if he believed there was truth, and if that truth could be connected to organized religion. He said that was possible. Then we pulled out the Book of Mormon. I love how simple and easy it is to testify of the Book of Mormon and if that is true, then Christ is real. He is super willing to start meeting with the Elders. As we were talking to him, this Haitian guy who I had ran into a few weeks ago at a restaurant (I just quickly gave him a card at the time), came by and called out to me and was like, "hey! I lost that card you gave me!" I started talking to him, gave him the website, and got his phone number to meet with the Elders. By that time, we said good bye to the Iranian and then this girl started talking to Sister Ochoa, and this guy started talking to me. Even though we try to always be together while contacting, this night there was no way! Too many people coming up to us. Basically we just talked to awesome, at least fairly interested people all night long. I was soaring. I felt like I could be a missionary for the rest of my life. Also, Sister Ochoa is from Mexico and I think her Chinese is extra beautiful. And while we were finding, the other sisters met with the Ma family and the three kids and the grandma all set baptismal dates!! Overjoyed.

On Wednesday, I went on exchanges with Sister Taylor and Sister Ochoa - tri-pan, yeah! We found this cute woman on the side of the road, sitting on a bench. We stopped and had a lesson with her. Then we had lunch together and started heading back to the train station, when the Haitian came riding by on his bike. We stopped and talked to him again. We found out he met with missionaries before in Haiti and had been to church a few times but wasn't sure how he felt about Joseph Smith. Sister Ochoa bore such beautiful, pure and powerful testimony of the truth of our message. The Spirit was there so strong and it felt so sacred. We set him up to meet with missionaries the next day. 

We met with our soon-to-be-baptized, Zi Yao, and she is doing good. We watched the Joseph Smith movie with her and after she hesitantly asked, "Is this really true?" We were so happy she asked and knelt and prayed with her right then. We're hoping she'll get a sure answer soon. But she's really excited about baptism and getting more and more ready. We also met with Gao jiemei - she's feeling scared about baptism (SATAN), but we read the Book of Mormon with her about how bad things/feelings come from Satan and good things and good feelings come from God. She felt a lot better after meeting with us and our wonderful member. 

Yesterday, church was so good. So stressful, but so good. The 3 Ma children, and their grandpa came for all three hours! The ward members did so good at taking care of them, especially the grandpa. The older men in the ward were totally taking care of him and speaking in their native Aboriginal dialect with him. And all the young women (and a young man) told us that the teenage boy is super attractive. Yeah! But, really, it was great having all of them at church with us.

Sunday night, we were at our mm leader's house, and after we on the college campus by his house. We prayed sincerely and faithfully and were able to meet a really awesome girl and have a lesson with her. She was like, "I don't know how to explain how I'm feeling... I've run into missionaries a lot before. Is it destiny?" Or something like that. Yeah! she seems really prepared and we're excited to keep meeting with her. 

This week was so good. I learned so much about the Holy Ghost, pure testimony, and about my weaknesses. 

Sorry. So rambly. love you all IMMENSELY.

love, sister nad.

Ps, forever ago, we were eating at this all-you-can-eat restaurant with the elders and members and one of the elders innocently commented on how I was eating a lot of food (stressed/chapped) and then he dropped his ice cream cone on the floor. It was awesome. 

temple sisters
eating stuffed squid and stuffed french toast. 

kayla kayla kayla write me write me write me.
angela: your letters ROCK. I looooved all the pictures! Gah, I'm so excited to see you again. praying praying praying you'll get into BYU. If you don't, Heavenly Father totally has other awesome plans for you. All the elders are so jealous that I have such an awesome investigator/recent convert.
KRISTIN. Do you read this? I got your package. YOU ARE THE BEST. I wanted to cry with joy when I saw so many 70% chocolate bars. Seriously. I love you so much. Writing you a big letter soon. And I loved your life updates as much as the chocolate. 

February 25, 2013

Editor's note: I have been in China the past two weeks where Western-based blogs are blocked. Sorry.

Thanks for all the emails! Faj, especially loved the second to last picture of everyone eating on the street. You, totally acting like a millionaire author again. Mom, email me again about the pierced ears thing. Kai, yes! I love when you email me. Love you. Niels. STOP. So glad I'm the oldest child so I don't have to live up to my brothers' standards. Finn. WRITE ME. Lars. You rock. Thanks for the email. Next family home evening, maybe you guys should all write me letters. 

Tons of hilarious things happened this week that I can't put out in public email, but I'll tell you stories when I get home.

I went on exchanges to Taidong this week. The way we do exchanges is hilarious and stressful. Because Hualian and Taidong are like 3 hours from each other, we take trains to this city halfway between and then switch companions/trains there. But, once we get there, we have literally one minute to get off our trains, find our new companion and get back on the train. Every time it's so stressful and I'm so disheveled, especially when I get confused and try to get my companion and I going on the train in the wrong direction. I loved hanging out with Liao jiemei in Taidong. She's so classy and fun to hang out with. I am obsessed with her hair, and we talked about shopping and haircuts on the train. And how we've learned to plan way better because of our missions. Du jiemei rocked Hualian while I was gone. They got 3 new investigators, 2 of which were from elder referrals, and they all sound really awesome. I'm excited to meet them this week. 

Remember that family we knocked into last Sunday night? They are still awesome! When we went back to their house, the grandma didn't meet with us, but the 2 boys and girl and the boys' mom did. The boys' mom is a Christian and doesn't personally have a huge interest in our message per say, but she is really encouraging of the boys meeting with us. We didn't have any time to extend baptism because our peike (the member there) talked a bunch, which was also awesome, but we have high hopes for them, especially because the 2 boys totally came to church on Sunday!! More on that in a second.

Saturday night, the elders had a baptism. A little boy whose father is inactive. The baptism service was one of the most stressful things of my life. Coryn, didn't you have a baptism where you went into the bathroom and cried really quick? That's how I felt after this baptism and it wasn't even mine- ha! Anyway, one of the elders whose baptism it was has been in the hospital all week because he got bit by some chigger and had a super high fever and it made his liver all weird, but he's on meds on is going to be totally fine. So, not the elders' fault that the baptism was a little out of control. And President Day and Sister Day were there. And I was stressed for all the investigators there, including the elders' new Ukrainian investigator, but I asked them how he liked at the baptism and said he was like, "Can I get baptized, too? Like after I take the lessons with you, can I get baptized?" Yeah! So cool. 

A bunch of people came to church, including our 14 year old Zi Yao and the 2 Ma family boys (the ones I referred to in the paragraph above.) Anyway, they were so cute. The 10 year old said he really liked primary and thought it was really fun. They came for all three hours. I sat next to them in sacrament meeting and towards the end, the little boy was getting really antsy, and I thought he was just really bored. I had already given him paper and pen to draw, but he wasn't using it. Anyway, after sacrament meeting, it turns out, he had to pee really bad and was waiting for it to be over. I felt so bad and told him he could've gone, and he hit his older brother (nicely) because he said he couldn't go til the meeting was over. Ha, poor little guy. Sundays are the most stressful, busy day ever. Everyone is calling your name and trying to get you at all these meetings, and you're trying to take care of all your investigators and help them meet members and then you have to meet with people after church. Whew, I was so tired after church on Sunday. 

On Sunday night, we had our last family home evening with our ward mission leader and the youth in the ward. Well, our last one with our mission leader. He's going on a mission to Taizhong next month!! DeGrey, you might meet him. His name is Liu Ken Di. Actually, you'll for sure meet him. Also, DeGrey, I asked my friend who is going to school in Taizhong to find out what area you're in. The other day, I got a referral from Zhang Hua and I was so excited because I was like, "Yes! My cousin sent a referral!!" And then it was from a sister. Bummed. I still hope we send each other a referral someday.  

Sunday night, we went to Lu family's house to eat. Love hanging out with them. The father and dad have a cute/funny father-daughter relationship. He's always teasing her and she secretly loves it.

Well, I can't think of anything else to say. Oh, temple sisters are coming on exchanges today - including Sister Vicky Chen, my bestie companion, so I am SUPER excited. Well, I love you all dearly. I think I still don't realize how cool it is that I am a missionary, (like you Niels, I feel like you totally get it), but I'm grateful every day for this experience and for the power I have because of my calling. I'm grateful that I have a testimony. I tell people it's the most valuable thing to me and it's true. If I didn't have a testimony, I really would feel lost. Everything that is important to me rests on my testimony and whether or not this church is true. Read the Book of Mormon and pray about (even if you already have) and God WILL answer you, I think that's so sublime - I don't even realize how cool it really is. Oh, we have a new investigator, an American. She's wonderful and smart and sincere. She's a Christian - she says her testimony is based on evidence. We had an interesting lesson with her. She's open-minded, but also not sure at all about the Book of Mormon. I couldn't emphasize enough that everything rests on the Book of Mormon - I'm so grateful to have it to use. It really is the basis of everything we share. And thank goodness the formula for finding out it's truth is simple and reliable and true - for everyone, no matter how smart or unlearned you are.

 I also realized how much laughing helps me. I've been crazy stressed lately (I know I"m always stressed, I'm REALLY working on it), but last week a bunch of funny stuff happened and it helped me feel way better and way more light. I believe Heavenly Father knows exactly how to help us. 

I love you all so dearly and think of you and pray for you often.

Love, Sister Nad

KAYLA. write me. write me.
Allison. Your house, YOUR HOUSE. Is sooo cute. Love the kitchen. Ooo, can't wait to see all of it. Thanks for the lengthy email and all your support in my life. Thinking about the anniversary pictures thing - probably would be so cute! I'll keep thinking about it. Ps, duh, I TOTALLY want to go to Alaska.