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.