Wednesday, January 30, 2013

chronicle of Naivasha -taiwan - #1

Subject: Chronicle of Vasha
Nimen Hao! Zenme Yang!!?
Wow, so this has been such an adventure!! First I need to catch everyone up on my last couple of days at the MTC and then my trip across the pond, arrival, and now living in TAIWAN! wooot wooot!
Okay so the last few days at the MTC were AMAZING! I had so much fun with my district and teachers. We had lots of nice spiritual experiences, and last minute preparations that were just great! My teachers Brothers Liu, Workman, Visser, Nightingale, and Sister Hsiao were amazing at preparing us spiritually and mentally for this great work, and for that i thank them with all my heart! They also helped us to pick a goal to work on for our missions, and also to think about how we want to be able look back on our missions and feel. I decided for one of my many goals to:
Pick and attribute from every companion that Iwill strive to strengthen. I will then be able to strengthen my weaknesses and grow a love for my companionship while strengthening my relationship with them.
I am very excited about this goal and am sure that as Iwork on it, I'll also be able to work on my Charity, Humility, and Patience.
Quote of the Week: "If you will respond to the invitation to share your beliefs and feelings about the restored gospel of Jesus Chirst, a spirit of love, and a spirit of courage will be your constant companion." -Elder L. Tom Perry
So the trip to Taiwan went really well! We had a few of our missionaries sit by nonmembers and were able to share the gospel with them and place a few copies of the Book of Mormon and some cards. Which was AWESOME! Our flight from SLC to Seattle was late, so we got off the plane and straight onto the next! Then it was off to TAIWAN!!! It was a really long flight, and i did not really sleep, i was able to work on one of the elders puzzle books doing word searches and crossword puzzles for a few hours, talk to a few different people and for teh last few hours talk gospel with one of the elders which was great and spiritually uplifting :D Then we got off in Tokyo for about an 45 min layover. While there a man came up to us and wanted to know where we were going, etc because he had served his mission in Taipei....after about 10 minutes he asked where we all were from and it turns out that he's the father of someone i went to High School with! (Mitch Vance) So that was awesome!!! The missionaries continue to tease me becaue where ever we go, i always find someone that i happen to matter where in the world we are! hahahahaha
Then we flew from Tokyo --> Taipei!! While on that flight, Elder Gish and i were able to meet a lady named Guo Xiao Jie. She was AWESOME! She wanted to know why E. Gish was an elder when he was so young! and so we explained what missions were and shared a little bit about the gospel with her. We were able to learn a little about what she believed and she gave us some awesome tips on how to help other become interested in the Church even though she herself was not interested. We didn't push the subject, but know that we were able to plant the seed, especially because she said that she sees the missionaries all the time, and sometimes says hi to them. If her desire and preparedness grows, she definitely knows where to find us! She also was so sweet and wanted to make sure we had someone waiting for us at the airport to pick us up and take us to Taizhong. Real nice lady that i hope someday joins the church :D Oh and this conversations all took place in CHINESE!!! Boo yah! E. Gish and I make an awesome team hahahahahahahaha.
Then we got to Taipei.....And it began.....
So we got off of the plane and went to get our passports and visas checked. While we waited in line, a lady was ushering us into different lines to control the flow. She sees E. Gish and Green and goes..."Please wait a minute....please wait a minute...." Then when i get to the front of the line she looks at me and goes..."Ple....oh! Dong yi xia! Dong yi xia! )"(please wait a minute)....i was just like Oh No! It's begun! then i got to the desk where we get our passports checked and the lady is blabbering away at me in Chinese...all the while i can hear the other people talking to our white missionaries in english....and i just kept smiling, nodding my head, and saying "Dui!"....all the while hoping i wasn't agreeing to join the military or something! hahahaha then we were able to go get our luggage at the baggage claim!
Then we met up with President and Sister Bishop, and the Assistants and took a picture which i'm sure that you've already seen! Then we go to catch the bus....which happens to be the chartered bus...which is a PARTY BUS. It has curtains and neon lights and we spoke in a microphone and was soooo WEIRD....but awesome! then we had a 2 1/2 hour orientation while we drove down to Taizhong where we learned about the mission and introduced ourselves, etc. Then...finally we got to the mission home where the sisters were staying (the elders stayed with the Zone Leaders in the area) and were able to go to bed :D It was the best sleep that i'd had in weeks! A whole 5 hours straight :D
The next morning we woke up to go running at 6:30am and we ran over to a track, and then the Assistants had us set goals and try to make them (whether it was timing, or the amount of laps, etc) before 7:00am. I almost didn't make my goal because i was so tired, and my knee kinda hurt, but i was way to embarrassed to tell them that i didn't make my goal, and could not even imagine telling them my goal was less that it really was, so i pushed through and did it!!! woot woot! then we went home, showered, got ready, and went down to a delicious Taiwanese breakfast! Yumm Yumm! then we had more training and interviews with President Bishop. We also had Hotpot for lunch which was super good! and then more training in the afternoon with the Assistants. They taught us a lot about contacting, because we do that every single day while here. We practiced on the Assistants and one said that it was good that I was super friendly and genuine. One of the others was a Bendiren (local) and was sooo funny, he said that he was trying to act like a super shy person in our role play, but that he couldn't look away and break my eye-contact because I just draw him in....hahhaha funny, a little awkward, but good because i can use that to my advantage! I also had an awesome interview with Pres Bishop and he said that Iremind him of all of my "friends here in the mission" which is a good thing i suppose because they are all district and zone leaders! hahaha oh yeah! I know a TON of people here! well....mostly Elders...but still a ton!!! Elder Ryan Allen from Alpine is even in my Zone! And my friend Elder Nathan Erickson is Elder Gish's trainer which is super Hen Bang!!! :D After practicing contacting, we all walked to dinner and practicing contacting and getting peoples information the way to dinner which was super fun! and we got 3 different peoples' information! We then had a yummy traditional chinese dinner and then it was DAN JONES NIGHT!!!
Woot woot!! Dan Jones Night is a night where we go to the night market, stand up on a box, and preach our testimonies about the Book of Mormon and then go contacting with random missionaries! :D IT WAS SOOO FUN! I went first after the Assistants and Pres and Sis Bishop, and i just yelled my testimony in chinese all the while thrusting my BOM into the air :D I felt pretty legit hahahah almost like Dan Jones must have felt!....except not in English....then we went contacting and i was assigned to go with Sisters Cord and Wang.....who it turns out are in my Zone! Then we went back home, had a closing meeting to discuss Dan Jones and then off to bed!
The next morning was personal study/breakfast/more training and then getting our TRAINERS!!! My trainer's name is Maizoua Xiong. She grew up in Californina, but she was born in Thailand and her parents are from Laos. She is also 100% Hmong and is super Lihi! (fierce). Then we went to some random Hawaiian burger place which was really good! and then off to our Areas! I'm in Feng Yuan which is the northern most area in our whole mission. We have to be careful not to cross into the Taipei Mission sometimes.
The second day with my comp we got to go on an awesome 1 1/2 bike ride up a mountain to visit one of our less actives for 30 minutes hahahahhaa but the ride down was fun! I was convinced that i was gonna be sore after riding my bike all day everyday but.....I'm not at all!!! Woot Woot! i'm in better shape than i thought! hahahahah JK ;) but my butt was a little bit sore...but that's to be expected! The rest of our days have been filled with lessons, tracting, contacting, and riding our bikes. I've also had some pretty incredible food here that it wonderful. I've eaten some interesting things, but nothing bad at all!
Church was fantastic and I was invited to bear my testimony in sacrament meeting which went good....except for triping on the way down...but what's new hahahahaha. I actually fell asleep in RS for a teeny bit because i had no idea what was going on...and i was soooo tired! We also went to a recent convert's (RC) house for dinner and then FHE. Chen Jie Mei made us some delicious food, and then we taught them how FHE goes as a family, with a lesson, and then some games, etc. It was really fun! Our elders also came (Long and Xiong Zhanglao) and they are super awesome!
We also had English Proselyting which was really fun and we did at a night market on Saturday. This is were we hand our Flyers for our Ingwen Ban (English Class) and i'm aloud to speak english "Hi! Come to our FREE English Class!" basically how it goes hahahahaha. We have a couple of member girls how come with us sometimes and are super cute!
***That awkward moment when a Bendiren old man comes up to you in front of your companion and says "So Beautiful!" in English and then walks away....
***That awkward moment when you keep making awkward eyecontact with one of the Assistants during training, and then later during dinner drop a fish eye down his back...then retrieve it...while your mission president is watching and laughing....and then you hurry and pop it into your mouth and eat it to make the point you were trying to the whole time....
***That awkward moment when (after 1 1/2 hour bike ride up a mountain) a man in a tiny little pick up truck with his children in the front seat next to him, sees you and yells "HELLO!" and sticks his hand out the window for a High 5....which you awkwardly shake his hand and sorta bow...all the while straddling your bike...and then he ignores your companion and drives away because she looks 100% chinese....
***That awkward moment when you accidentally "Flirt to Convert" and now like eleven 20ish yr old Bendiren guys have promised to come to your English class while you were English Proselyting...and your'e still now really sure how it happened....
***That awkward moment when about 90% of your Investigators/RCLAs have mental illnesses...mainly bipolar, schizophrenia, and depression...with a few eating disorders thrown in here and there.....and you have one who thinks that she's being attacked by a wire, and she won't come to church because that's is where the attacks are the worst....
***That awkward moment when your investigator tells you that your perfume smells really good....but you aren't actually wearing any...just your deodorant and your own day's worth of sweaty muskiness....hahahahhahaha
Well this was a forever long email, and i'm sure my next won't be quite as long....but I LOVE IT HERE! it is sooo  much fun and i'm having the time of my life. i ride my bike around like a local (while still obeying all country laws and mission rules mum and dad!) weaving in and out of traffic, dodging trucks and car doors, stopping at street lights and contacting people on scooters....SO MUCH FUN!
Well the church is true, the work is good, and when we trust in the Lord, HE WILL ALWAYS HELP US! Shen zhufu nimen!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

email 9 mtc - hematuria

Subject: My time is slowly coming to a close! And as far as i know....I'm not dying! :)

Hello one and all!
Well i've had kind of a crazy week! Last week when i emailed, i felt 100% fine and was doing great :) Then on Wednesday, we had lots of excitement, and it just escalated as the week went on! On Wednesday morning, after personal study (Which was great because i studied 1 Samuel and learned all about young David) we went to gym. We usually go on splits to gym (that's why that picture from the Grounds girl was with a different missionary mum! And we get clothes from the older sisters who are leaving that's why you didnt recognize my sweater), sister latimer and ganowsky together to go to cardio, and Sister Anderson and I to the "fun" gym so she can play 4 square and so i can play volleyball. Close to the end of gym time, i realized that my temporary companion was gone! And i was the ONLY sister in the gym!!! I was really worried because i thought that maybe she left early with the other sisters and thought that i was going to leave with some others, so i started looking around for her. It turned out that she had decided to play basketball for a little bit and when she jumped up for the ball, she landed really badly on her ankle and was with the athletic trainers. So i went to her, and she was talking to a trainer. Because of the whole stomach flu epidemic going around, for that day only they had closed the health clinic at the mtc to those with other health problems/injuries and she had to go to the Student Health Center on BYU campus. I went with her, and she had to get an xray of her foot, so i just sat in the waiting room IN MY GYM CLOTHES waiting for an hour and a half while she saw various doctors.
(Funny side note/Awkward Moment!: This guy came in and sat down kind of by me in the waiting room. i think he had a cold or something, and he started up a conversation with me when he randomly asked how long i'd been waiting in line. I told him i was waiting for my companion and you could just see the shock on his face and he went really white, sat back, and was like "'re a missionary?!" then he paused....awkwardly asked where i was going...and then was super relieved when they called him name to see the doctor next. It was really funny and I was wearing my name tag in plain sight the whole time....but he got really awkward
While waiting i got to read like 15 chapters in Alma which was FANTASTIC! and a few general conference talks from the ENSIGN which they had in the waiting room....only at BYU....hahahaha sis A finally came out and we went back to the MTC in time to shower, eat lunch, and get to class. class right when sis gan and i were going to go teach, this HUGE wave of nausea hit me and i ran to the bathroom and threw up. I'd been having a lot of abdominal pain that day but had ignored it, so my teacher sent me back to our bedroom (if any missionary is feeling at all sick now, they teachers send them back to the dorms right away so that they don't get anyone else sick) and i stayed in the room the rest of the day/night. My companion told me that if i kept feeling super nauseated and in pain, that we would have to see the doctor in the morning, but i was convinced that i just had the same stomach bug everyone else had and wanted to just sleep it off. That day they also made a mtc-wide rule that if you were sick, you could be alone in your room without your companion as long as the door was open, or else too many people were missing class and getting sick from being cooped up with a sick person all day. So on thursday, my companion went to class in the morning, and then came woke me up, ambushed me in my sleepiness, made me put on sweats (i was wearing basketball shorts) and took me to the health clinic. When i got there i waited for 30 mins in the waiting room, 60 min alone in a exam room, and then the doctor spent about 2 minutes with me before he decided to send me to the BYU Health Center Urgent Care because i didn't have the flu, but he thought i might have Appendicits! So i went there and they tested me, and i came back negative for append but postive for Hematuria. So then....they told me i needed CT scan. They thought that i possible had a bladder problem (not infection) or kidney stones in my bowels? that were rubbing against the walls and causing me to bleed internally. So then i went BACK to the MTC health clinic to schedule my ct scan appointment and get a shuttle, then to get the Ct Scan (that took us about an hour and a half there or so) and then back to the MTC to get the results. BUt then they didnt have the results yet, so they sent me back (since i wasnt sick they let me go to class and gym :D) and then i went BACK to the doctors on Friday morning. They found out the CT scan was negative, but i was still having hematuria, so they then scheduled me to see the urologist at the hospital yesterday morning and i got an xray which came back negative, so NOW i have a scope scheduled for Monday morning, and if that comes back normal, then they'll just write me off (pain and nausea and all) and send me to Taiwan. They said that if i did have a problem though that i wouldn't be able to go to Taiwan until they fixed it. Basically now though, until they figure out if there is a problem or not, i cannot go to Taiwan.
But never fear, I know that the Lord called me on this mission for a reason, and that i will be able to go to taiwan. I was able to receive two amazing blessing from my District Leader Elder Gish. The first when we just thought that i had the flu, and the second when i was going to have to go and see all the additional doctors. I know that the Lord will help me, and that i will be able to do what the Lord requires of me if i just believe in him. We should never have fear, because we are meant to succeed. I have angels watching over me, and will receive the help that i require in order to do what the Lord requires :)
I love this gospel so very much, and am honored to have been a missionary of the Lord these 2 months. I cannot wait to see what the next 16 or so months have in store for me, and only hope that i might have the strength necessary to do what i must. I know that the Lord helps those who do their best and trust in him, and that i what i will do! I LOVE YOU ALL! and hope that you continue to read your scriptures and pray EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. for i know that the Lord will bless your efforts.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Urologist and hematuria - MTC pre - 9

Okay I went to the Urologist this morning to double check what is going on. I have hematuria which basically means blood in my urine. I can't see it, it is just mircroscopic and keeps showing up in the tests that they keep doing. Today i got a xray since the ct scan came back, and the xray was negative for any kidney stones (which they keep thinking i have but i do not) so they scheduled me to get a scope next monday at 1:30 pm at the Provo Hospital (which is where i went today). If the scope comes back negative, then they'll know that i'm not bleeding from any of my major organs down there (which is what they're mostly concerned about right now) and even though i have pain and nausea, they'll write it off and send me to Taiwan. If there is a problem that they find, then i won't go to Taiwan until they find out how to fix it. I do not have a bladder infection or anything. No pain when i pee, just pain in my lower right sharp knife pains. I truly do not believe that anything is wrong, but they keep wanting to do tests so that they don't get into trouble if i have health problems in Taiwan. I'm sorry this is causing you so much stress or if it is expensive for you :( I still think that i shouldn't have gone to the doctor in the first place, but my companion made me go. which just ended up snowballing into this mess. I'm sorry! The pain hurts, but it's definitely something i can live with no problem. I'll email my normal email tomorrow as well and try to send more pictures home :)
Latimer and Anderson are leaving the same time as us, but they are going to Taibei. Thank you for my necklace and getting the phone card!
I LOVED MY CALENDAR! It's fantastic :) I use it to show people my family :D and it's also really nice to have a calendar. Thanks for putting cute pictures of me on it hahaha :)
Oh and Elder Jenson said to tell you that your bread is the BEST BREAD HE"S EATEN EVERRR! hahaha he's a big fan :O) So is elder vomocil! Elder Lotulelei wanted to know if you could make more manapua....he is in love with them!
Have you seen luke? Tell him hey for me! And please tell Zane i say Hiiiii! I wrote him a letter in December, but i'm not sure if he ever got it. I used an address i had from forever ago, and it was all in Spanish. hahaha
Oh, and do you know ashton's apartment number? i have the address but not the apt number.
Oh and will you tell sawyer happy late birthday for me? His birthday was yesterday.
okay...let see i still have my long email tmrw that everyone can read so i'll leave things for that.
OH! i've also lost a lot of weight, (especially this last week hahaha, but throughout my stay here as well) could you get me some smaller garments? could you get me a few Caranessa bottoms in a XS and a few Caranessa tops in a 32T? That would be fantastic, and i'll send my way too big ones home with my other stuff. and I also am supposed to bring a carry-on when i go to taiwan with a few days clothes in it, could you ask ashton if i could pretty please use one of his old rugby bags? if not if you could find a small cheap one that would be great. I LOVE YOU SO MUCH! I'll talk to you tmrw :)
I hope you are both feeling better and enjoying being empty nesters ;) I'm glad you're figuring out your phone, so now you can text ashton and keep an eye on him. I've been praying that he'll figure things out and end it with Tess, because i've seen what having Girlfriends does to these elders here....he really shouldn't have a gf.
I LOVE YOU! don't forget to tell zane hey for me :)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

mtc 8th week

MUMMY, DADDY, PUMPKIN, and erryone else!!!
I love you all! You're the BEST! I also forgot to tell you a funny/awkward story in my last email! So i'll make sure there is one today for sure ;)  This week has been back to the usual schedule, but a few exciting things did happen!
Last week there was a lot of drama in the younger generation, and some of the sisters and elders were having problems....I was very stressed and wasn't sure what I needed to address with Pres Baker so he could handle it or if I should just take care of it I prayed about it! and decided to do what I could, and if the situations didn't improve then i would hand things over to him. It's sometimes hard (especially in the MTC) to know when to take care of things yourself especially because there are so many rules about different kinds of advice and relationships between different missionaries whether is a sister and a sister, an elder and an elder, or a sister and an elder. I was able to sit down with the missionaries though and talk through some of the issues. It's funny because they always ask me what I think, and I ALWAYS tell them straight up what I think. Even if it's not what they want to hear, actually especially if it's what they don't want to hear. And things worked out! I think the Lord assigned me that calling on purpose, because he knew that they would need a bold, blunt, honest sister to knock them off of their high horses. Especially because i've been humbled so many times that I know the importance of not being prideful. It all worked out in the end, they are all getting along now and love each other for the most part, and Pres Baker told me i did all the right things....and NOW I'VE BEEN RELEASED! just when I was starting to love my calling. But it's nice not having all the extra meetings now :)
Dex was very nice when he said that I did a good job in the talent show. It was a very intense song and the piano was of the mikes actually fell hahahahha but the MTC Mission Presidency was impressed so I guess that's alright :) I think that I'm going to audition again to play in another meeting or devotional, the presidency wives (who are in charge of musical numbers) were very enthusiastic when I asked them if I should or not. I'm also playing for sacrament next sunday (2nd jan sunday) but i haven't decided what yet!
Let's see what else.....OH YEAH! THere is a huge sickness epidemic spreading throughout the MTC! Sis Gan was really sick yesterday so we just stayed into our bedroom and I just read my grammar books and wrote letters while she tried to sleep it off. Tons of people are sick today though, so we won't even have the big devotional tonight, they are just going to broadcast it to our classrooms, and if anyone is sick, they are supposed to stay in their rooms. It is really bad timing because the health office and everything is closed because of new years. no one is allowed to shake hands, hug, high-five or anything! The sickness hit kind of on sunday and mostly yesterday and today though. GOOD NEWS: I FEEL GREAT! so don't worry about me at all! Most of the kids that are sick are just REALLY sick for about a and a half and then they feel fine! We'll all be careful about washing our hands and stuff though :)
I have lots and lots of snacks already actually that people have sent me, so I'm doing pretty good.
Okay Awkward Moment TIME:
.....that awkward moment when I reach out to touch an elder's arm to get his attention when someone bumps me from behind and I fall and end up stroking from his shoulder down to his hip....hahahahhaha and we both just look at each other in panic and then awkwardly walk away hahahahahha (don't worry though! It's all fine and we both knew it was an accident....we laugh it off now!)
.....that awkward moment when you're practicing your flashcards outloud and Pres Baker (who has really awesome pronunciation and tones hears you and corrects you....after a few minutes of this he looks at your card to see what you were trying to say and then goes...."Oh you had it right before....I thought you were saying something else..." hahahahhahahaha
.....that awkward moment when you are teaching your investigator and she's confused about why she needs to follow the commandments so you give her an all character BOM and think you've turned to 1 Nephi 3:7and teaching her about obedience, but you've really had her open up to 3 Nephi 3:7....go read it and then you'll understand why she was even more gunshy!" hahaahhahaha
Dui YesuJidu you xin xin bao kuo jianding di xiangxin ta shi shen de dushengzi, shi shijie de jiuzhu he jiushuzhu. Dui Jidu de xin xin hui  yindao women caiqu xindong. Women dui Yesu Jidu you xin xin shik, jiuhui jieshou he yunyong ta de shuzui ji jiaodao. You xinxin hui shi women jin quanli qu renshi jiuzhu, bian de geng xiang ta yiyang. women hui xiangyao xuexi tae jieming, bing qie jiayi fucong. jishi women renghui fancuo, dan women hui jinli zunshou ta de jieming he bi mian fanzui, lai biaoming women dui tade ai. women yong xinxin qiqiu neng huode liliang lai kefu you nuo. dang women peiyang chu dui mou xiang fuyin yuanze de xinxin, ru qidao, shi yinwei women xian dui yesujidu you zugou de xinxin, yin'er neng gou zunshou tade jieming.l dang women zunxing mou xiang jieming shi, women jiu cong jing yan zhong xue daole na xiang yuanze de zhen shi xing. Wo zhidao dang women you xinxin, shen neng gie women ziji. Feng Yesu Jidu de Ming. Amen
Okay...well my time is up, but i love you all and want you to know that i know that this church is true with all my heart.