Thursday, March 1, 2012

Stars and Stripes Forever

Hi Everyone!!!
Happy Leap Day and Happy March!!! (Holy Cow it's March already!!!!)  Seriously this mission is flying by so fast it's kind of freaking me out a bit!  Thanks so much for the news.
I actually had quite a bit of money left over this month, so I think I'm finally starting to figure things out here!  (There was granola on sale for 15 HK (that's like $2 US) I bought 3 boxes. I also found a place that sells HUGE bags of raisins for 30HK ($3 US) and almonds for 100 HK ($10 US)!  I'm such a happy camper!
My new companion is awesome!!  We are having such a fun time together.  My language is improving so much!  On Monday she said she could start helping me correct my tones, so I've been talking slower and thinking more about how I say things.  We can't do it for too long or I forget how to talk normal all together (we had a meeting with the Elders right after language study on Monday, I couldn't figure out how to speak Cantonese, or English, it was pretty funny). It is really incredible though.  Sometimes I remind myself that I'm in China.  Wow!  Then I realize I'm speaking CHINESE with a girl FROM HONG KONG!!!  This is really truly a miracle!!!  On the MTR on the way to the language fireside (I'll write more in a bit).  Sister H. would read an English word from her note cards and I would say the Chinese, and then I would read a Chinese word from my notecards and she would say the English.  It was a great way for us both to practice and have feedback on our pronunciation.  I noticed a man watching us and the look on his face seemed to say "What is going on?!"  Hahaha I am often amazed that the sounds coming out of my mouth are actually a language and even more amazed when people understand!!!  Sister H. is so sweet and so willing to serve.  I am already learning so much from her about how to look for every single little opportunity I can serve anyone.  I’m also learning about how to enjoy every moment!  I am so excited to work with her this move!
A few weeks ago a radio station interviewed President Chan and the Assistants to the President (Aps) about how the missionaries learn Cantonese so fast.  This inspired a Language fireside that was held last Sunday.  Several missionaries spoke about the ways we use to learn Cantonese. They specifically focused on prayer and the Book of Mormon, because these are the two methods that are the same for every missionary, the rest (note cards, sounds and tones, and whatever else) change for every missionary.  They also had some of the native Hong Kong missionaries share how they learn English.  It was really cool and I learned a lot!!!  It was a bit of a kick off for the new English class curriculum that will start this month.  I'm excited, but also nervous, because I know how to speak English, but I don't know how to explain it!!  (I wish I remembered more from language structure last fall!!)

Right now Heavenly Father is blessing us a lot.  Just this week, we taught three different people who seem really excited about the gospel and especially the Book of Mormon.  Y. is still doing great!  The biggest barrier for everyone here is coming to church!!!  AH!!!  School and work is really REALLY intense here!!  Students don't usually finish school until 5, and they have tutoring on Saturdays and Sundays.  It's really sad. 
This week things have really been clicking.  I was sad to see Sister C. leave, :( but I know it has been really good for me this week to have to lead the area and show Sister H. around and help her get to know the ward.  I have more confidence in my ability to teach and talk to people and I really feel my love for this work and these people growing.  This is something I've been praying for and it's finally happening!  It is AMAZING!!!  We did three hours of finding yesterday and came home EXAUSTED!!  I didn't realize it was three hours until we finally walked into the chapel and collapsed on the couches and looked at our watches! I also was able to find my way from Tiu Keng Len to Po Lam!  I was happy about that!
While we were finding yesterday, we passed IVY, a college in Tiu Keng Lang (try to find it on google Earth, it's a cool looking building) and all of the sudden I heard a band playing "The Stars and Stripes Forever."  I could kind of see into the court yard and saw a small band playing!!!  Wow!!!  that was a weird collision of worlds and lives.  It was strange to hear a march I associate with 4th of July and pretty much anything musical I've done in my live in the US half way across the world in China!!!  haha
I'm still running!!!  It is still sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo good!!! We've also had a goal to finish planning on time so I have a bit more time in the evenings I used some of this time to do Yoga the other night, it felt so incredibly great!!! (except for when I was doing a side plank and sister wan tickled me. . . and when I was doing crow? (I think) and couldn't balance because sister Wan and Kiene were laughing at me) hahaThank you soooooo much for your love and support. and for writing me every week!!
I love you!!!!
Sister Nelson, Kasey or whoever you want to call me!! 

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