Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Cooking Class

Dad, remember the time when I made homemade lemonade when I was 13 or 14? It was back in the old house. That's how I remember. You were really skeptical. I don't think you tried any. At first I was really sad, but then when I tried it and it turned out really, super yummy, I was glad that I had more to myself. Well, I made lemonade for my kiddies today. I'm going to take lemons and talk about them and we'll roll the lemon and squeeze the juice out and pretend to add sugar and water and then I'll pull out the pitcher full of the already prepared lemonade. It turned out so good and it made so much! I'm really quite proud of myself.

Oh! I can't believe I almost forgot! Yesterday was one of the best days in Fuqing! I found cheese at the store! And for class, I made salsa. My original plan was to make guacamole, but they didn't have avocados at the store. I was really nervous for my salsa, too. All it was was a tomato, some cilantro, a little bit of green onion and some seasoning Mom sent me (thank goodness for that, because the stuff I bought at the store did not smell appetizing at all). Wow! It was so good! The closest thing I could find to tortilla chips were Lays potato chips. They did the job, but because they're thinner it was a little harder to pick stuff up. And then for dinner we had grilled cheese and fried potatoes!!! Jessica made the grilled cheese and Nikki made the fried potatoes. We are getting really good at improvising and working with what we have. My belly was quite satisfied.

After dinner we had to teach the older kids. It was hard. I really struggled with coming up with things to say to them. They could understand basic things, but I couldn't carry on a conversation with them. Next time will be interesting. As soon as we were done with that, Jessica invited me to do her pole dancing workout. It was interesting. She takes classes in Sandy back home. I'm glad I went with her because I did something active, but it wasn't as hard as the stuff I would do.

So, conclusion, it's been a good week. A nice kick off for the Beijing trip. We leave tomorrow morning from Fuzhou, the capital of our province that is just a half hour away, for Xi'an. It will take us a little more than 24 hours to get there. We'll arrive in Xi'an on the first, the beginning of the national holiday, and we'll be there until the third. Then we'll be on a train overnight to Beijing and hopefully arrive in plenty of time to get ready for church. We'll be gone until the tenth of October. Should be a good trip. I'm super excited.

I love you, Dad. I'll be thinking of you and the fact that there are no golf courses here, to speak of.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

THERE'S AN EPIDEMIC! We didn't teach for three days straight. The first day was because so many of us were sick and the other two were because the kids were too sick. So we had a lot of time on our hands, Dad. The first day, I had a little bit of a sore throat, but I definitely wasn't one of the sicker ones. Lauren and I took that opportunity to deep clean our room. We washed our concrete floor three times. It was pretty dusty and dirty. I attempted to wipe the walls down, but the sheet rock would just come off on the sponge, so I kinda gave up on that. The next day, I was running out of Airborne so I didn't want to use it so much, which may have been a mistake because I was a little worse. I didn't do much that day. We kinda all stayed in an just chilled. We did walk down to the round-about for some yummy yummy dumplings. I really want to see if the people at the dumpling place will teach me how to make them in exchange for teaching them English. How cool would that be?! But then again, maybe I don't want to find out what's in them. We'll see.
Yesterday was a very filled day. We were so sick of just sitting around, so we went on an expedition. There's a temple on the mountain we're at the foot of. We think it's Taoist, but we're not entirely sure. Whatever it was it was gorgeous! But before our trek up the mountain side, a few of us needed to go to the bank to exchange money. It was at the third bank that they finally accepted our cash and my passport. The second we didn't really try. It had a line, and the third one didn't. The lady helping me was so nice and patient. It's funny how much you really can communicate with someone even though they don't speak the same language. I had to keep asking her for smaller bills because we had to divvy it amongst o
urselves. I felt so bad and slightly embarrassed, but she was nice about it. Good ole Bank of China.

From there, we headed toward the foot of the mountain where the entrance to the temple grounds was. We took a cable car up and wandered around the first temple. There were cute Chinese women everywhere. One in particular showed us around and took us to all the different rooms. I wish I could have understood what she was explaining to us. After exploring the first temple, only three of us stayed to explore the rest of the mountain. It only cost us 25 yuan (a little more than 3 bucks, roughly). There were temples scattered all over the mountain!! It was a fun day. There was one part that was like a cave- went straight into the mountain. It was eerie but awesome. Then we ran into some people who loved us. They took like 50 pictures of us. Some with us actually posing with them, and some just of us walking. They were so cute. Leaning on us and holding our hands. Oh, don't worry, Dad, we still have all our money. I just think they were excited to see three American girls. So cute!

Lauren, Tina and I had been at it for about five and a half hours when we decided to head down the mountain to find something to eat. Lauren had to pee so bad. I had peed up on the mountain at the temple in a nice little trough. That was a first. But Lauren did not heed my warning when I said she should go. She ended up going in a wall of bushes off the side of the road while Tina and I kept watch. It was hilarious! We were laughing the whole time. As soon as she came out, Tina pointed at her hands and said, "You better sanitize those babies." She's hilarious. Love her.

Our stomachs were on the verge of collapsing when we made it to Martin Luther King's. It's this place called MLK. I actually think it's MKL, but we call it what we want. It's a chicken sandwich place. Talk about yummy! No dark meat, just good quality chicken. On our walk home, Tina and I got some milk tea. It's this really milky, creamy drink with tapioca balls in the bottom. Filled us the rest of the way up. Lauren got the Chinese version of shaved ice. And then we saw our faces all over the city! Our school put of posters with a picture of our group on it all over the place! It was so weird. So Lauren stole one and now it's in the supply room.

It was a good thing we left when we did, because twenty minutes after our arrival we were on our way back out to the city center. Sixty years of communism!! Wahoo! It was a rehearsal that we went to see. Lots of people singing loudly in Chinese and waving different flags. It was interesting, but not our choice of entertainment. There was a little boy totally enthralled by two nearly deflated balloons. We started playing with him. He loved it, and so did we.

A long day finally came to an end and I was able to take a shower. Never felt so good! Nice and warm, too. But little did I know that this was not the end of my evening. We ended up having four other girls in our apartment until 2 a.m. just talking. It was fun! Good day.

That was my day, Dad. How was yours? I love you.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Beach Day!

We went to the beach today, Dad. It was a little overcast still from that big storm last night, but it was still pretty warm. It took us an hour and a half to get there. We almost had our driver just give up. We were super frustrated with him. In addition to getting us lost and taking so long to get there, he also became a dog killer in the process. Lauren, Katrina and I were in the back seat and turned around after we felt the van run over something. Oh, how we wish we had not turned around. Needless to say, the driver did not get lunch like we had planned to give him.

Once we got there, I was so excited! There was this real funky lighthouse that we walked to, but the majority of our time there was spent on the sand and in the water. It was so cool! I was on a beach in China!!! As cool as it was though, it was so frustrating, Dad. There was garbage in the water and on the beach. I could have hit someone. Biggest pet peeve right there. But I still had a blast. We would see if we could jump over the really big waves. Jeshua tried to launch me and Lauren over one, but it didn't really work. I've never had more fun at a beach! Because it was overcast, I was forced to just play in the water. There was no laying on a towel. As nice as that would have been to just lay in the heat, I'm glad it turned out to be overcast.

Lauren and I were also buried in the sand up to our waist! We got so sandy. It was a really fun day trip. Once I got home I was in the shower. I felt so gross. And then we watched Earth. The happiest movie ever! That movie makes me happy to be alive. And it more than testifies that we have a Heavenly Father who created this beautiful planet and us as well. It makes me excited for life and what's ahead of me. I just get giddy thinking about it, Dad. I'm so excited to be going to BYU this winter. Hopefully the college life will be fun there. It'll be interesting dating there. I remember that I didn't want to go there straight out of high school because I didn't want to get married right away. I was a little silly. I'm also very excited to go back to school! Now that I'll be back at a big university I can take all sorts of classes! I already have some in mind. I can't wait, Dad. Tell Mom "Hi" and give her a kiss for me.

Friday, September 18, 2009


Lauren and I made a playlist thus named to prepare ourselves for a night like tonight. I've never seen I rain like this before, Dad! I la la la LOVED it! We were all in our room talking about our trip to Beijing when we saw flashes out the window. Next thing we know, it's coming down like lions and wolves--not just cats and dogs. Despite the fact that I had just showered, I went and danced in the rain.

Within a minute, I was soaked all the way through! It was so much fun to dance in the rain. We've been waiting for weeks for it to rain like this! Today definitely felt like the most humid day we have had so far, and now I know why. Rain was on it's way! We ran down to the track and ran around a little bit until the lightning scared us. It was so funny, Dad. We're all standing in a circle and we decide to take our pants off and just start running! It was hilarious. My pants were really hard to get back on because of how drenched they were and then a car was coming so we all laid flat on the ground. One of the most fun nights ever!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

I've really found myself here in China!

Dad, life doesn't get better than this. Life truly is so great! I could not be more glad that I'm here in China. So much has happened! I've learned so much and grown so much and have found what's really important in life and what I can do without.

I remember when you sat me down to talk about China. You asked why I was doing this when I talked about how much I wanted to go to Italy. You wondered why I wasn't planning that first. As soon as I explained my reasons and you understood that I was doing this to hopefully make it easier to get a scholarship to send me to Italy, you were behind me one hundred percent. Even if I don't get to go to Italy, I will never regret my decision to come to China. I've really found myself here, Dad.

It's different from just being at a semester of college. Moving away from home, I learned better habits and things like time management and self discipline, but living in a different country adds another factor. I've never clung tighter to the gospel and my Savior. Before, sure, I would read every day, but if I was tired, sometimes I would just read a few verses just to say I did it. That's the good version. Like Elder Oaks said, there are three degrees of quality: good, better and best.

I'm better at scripture study now. I love reading. There's always something waiting for me on the next page. What would it be like to have people read what I wrote several hundreds of years from now and be affected by it? I'm not directed by the Spirit like these men are in the scriptures. They have nations and generations they were entrusted with preaching the gospel to, which is what allowed them to write things that stand the test of time and can change a person's life in the 1850's and in this millennium. What a blessing!

In addition to having better study habits I have also improved with the small things--I'd like to think at least. I floss my teeth more now. I know I won't be seeing a dentist for a while and Mom reminded me that you said to floss the ones I want to keep, so I do. I pay more attention to what I'm eating and really try to make sure I am have some veggies every day, but if I don't, it's not entirely my fault because I can only really eat what the cafeteria serves. I sure hope I'm making you proud, Dad. My time here isn't even half over and I already know that it's going to change the rest of my life. Thank you for sitting me down and being the objective person you are by making sure I wanted to do this. Because of that talk, I knew I couldn't back out just because you had to leave. I knew you'd still want me to do this, and now I see why. I love you, Daddy.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Lee is a little angel!

Today was so great, Dad! I love these kids! There's this one, Lee. I've told you about him. I was helping my roommate, Lauren, with her lesson and he was in there. She did a marble chute and needed help controlling the kids once they started rolling the different balls down the ramp. When it wasn't Lee's turn he was either sitting in my lap (if the spot wasn't taken) or had his arm around my shoulders with his cheek pressed up against mine. It made my heart pitter patter! He's going to make my heart break when I have to leave him. Dad, he's such a little angel! His smile just makes my feel goods soar! There's something about this little boy. The other kids are great, don't get me wrong, but he loves me, dad. It's a good thing that none of theses kids are mine because then I couldn't have a favorite, but I totally do and he's it. Once the other kids saw what he was doing, they all started climbing all over me. Mia was in my lap, Lee pressed up against my cheek, and Newman was trying to squeeze a place to lay his head. Milo couldn't care less what the other kids were doing. He was having fun spinning on the floor. But Brock, when he wasn't entertained by the chute, was all over me too. It made me feel so good.

My kids are pretty good too. I just love Lee. But my kids are super smart. Today they were pretty much yelling at me trying to make sure they were heard saying what they needed to say so they could get a token. We made finger puppets today. Not the best lesson, but it still went well. In the picture, from left to right, is Dallin, Doug, Kara, Riley, Ashley, and Patch. Everyone is named after a friend but Patch. No other name would work for him. He's too cool for any other name. Dallin and Doug are the stinkers, but they're so smart! Ashley is good, but I think she has a speech problem. Kara has her days where she smart and then her days where she's a stinker. Patch is way smart and way helpful. Now that they've gotten used to my routine of doing things I really enj
oy teaching. Once Jeshua left after taking the pictures, Dallin got out of his seat to lock the door, and then he ran straight back to his seat with me having to ask him. They pretty much rock.

I hope you come and see me teach sometimes. I really enjoy, and it really does remind me of when I would help you with your primary class. I'm sure you're being there is why all of the classes are really good for me (except the all boy one- as much as I owe you for calming them down, some boys are just big stinkers and won't listen. Don't take it personally). I love you, Dad. I'm really having the time of my life here :)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

China. What a short name for such a huge country!

Hey, Dad! Favor! Remember how when I had papers to write for classes I'd always give them to you to read? To have another person tell me what can be made better? So, even though I'm not in school right now, I have to ask that favor of you. Sister Lewis, the branch Relief Society President, asked me to write a "get to know you" article for the newsletter. Her requirements were that I talk about my experience here in China so far, and that I include my testimony of my Savior. This is what I sent her. I hope it's okay, Dad. Let me know.

"China. What a short name for such a huge country jam-packed with adventure. I've only been here for a month and I feel as though I have so many tales to tell. My name is KC Christoffersen. I am from Taylorsville, Utah. I've gone to two years of college--one at Utah State University and one at Dixie State College. For a twenty-year-old I've experienced a lot. Growing up, we traveled a lot as a family. I got to see a lot of the U.S. Our little family of five was pretty tightly knit. Because of this, it was really hard losing my dad this past December in a car accident. But I've felt him near while I've been here.

"We left Utah August 17th and spent two days in Hong Kong. I was able to go with a group of some of the teachers to the temple to do baptisms. I cannot tell you how grateful I am that the gospel remains the same half way around the world from my home. It's a glorious thing when I don't have to worry about shopping for a new church with every move. We've been in Fuqing since the 20th. I never knew how diverse the world could be! There are so many new and different things I've already experienced and I'm not even half way through my stay here.

"Everything I've experienced has made me a much more grateful person. A few years ago in a Family Home Evening, my dad challenged us to have at least one prayer a week where we just gave thanks. I've tried to do that ever since. To always have my 'thank you's' out weigh my 'bless me's'. So, I've always considered myself fairly grateful, but my eyes have truly been opened to the tender mercies the Lord has given me in my life. Things like a hot shower, a soft bed, food I'm used to, family close by. As much as this has made me more grateful, it's also humbled me. I've learned to live without a hot shower or a soft bed because it's what I've been dealt.

"A month before my dad passed away, he had my mom put a quote on our fridge--'No misfortune is so bad that whining about it won't make it worse.' I love my dad, and I miss him. I decided that while I'm in China I would keep a blog to easily communicate with people back home and let them know what's going on. I write it to my dad. Telling him everything that's going on gives me a different perspective of the day than if I were to just relay events. He taught the Sunbeams, and the kids I teach are 4-5, so just a little older. There was one time when I was playing with the kids and I gave them a high five like my dad would give me when I was little. He'd hold my hand still at the wrist while he slapped my palm with his other hand several times, very fast. When I caught myself doing that, I just grinned.

"Elder Holland gave a talk about angels and how those closest to us beyond the veil choose to be around those they love the most. I've felt him around me so much. What a blessing the gospel is!! I know that it is through the atonement of Christ that I will be able to see my dad again. The gospel is also the cause for all of my joy. It is my anchor in the storm. My rock that I have built my life on."

Friday, September 11, 2009

Dad, I got to tuck in my kiddies tonight. They were so precious. We walked into the Kindergarten area and went into their room. The kids were watching some cheesy Asian movie. Like Power Rangers, Asian style. It was quite hilarious. As soon as Lauren, Tina and I walked in they all said hello to us. Lee came running toward me and sat on my lap the whole time we were in the common room watching the movie. He loved talking to me. Even with the language barrier, it was so great! He would look up at me and smile and point to the TV. My favorite- I started tickling his neck with my hair and when I stopped he grabbed my hair and started shaking it until I tickled him again. Cutest thing ever. It was then time for the kids to put their chairs away and get ready for bed. Incidentally, I saw a few little boys pee-pees because the door to the bathroom was open and they just stand above a trough. As soon as the little boys were done doing their business, I poked my head in and saw Lee at the sink. As soon as he saw me he put his cup away and ran to me and held my hand and took me to his wooden plank for a bed. I've been told that these are the rich kids. That the parents of these children spend a lot of money to send them away to school. While they sleep, they remain in the clothes they wore during the day. I wonder what it's like for the poor kids then. Once Lee laid down, I laid next to him. These kids are so cute, Dad! They love unconditionally. Most of the time they don't even know what I'm saying. They may not know anything I'm saying and just repeat things because they've caught on to the fact that they're rewarded for speaking English. But, Dad, Lee made my day. I was having a few rough moments today, and just having Lee sitting on my lap and showing me some genuine affection really lifted my spirits. They're so close to the Spirit and such innocent little souls, and so tender. One of the boys, Newman (named for the Seinfeld character), was crying. Just whimpering. It was so hard to watch. Lauren sat next to him to get him to calm down. It broke our hearts. Kara was sweet. She had her hair down when it's usually back. She's the prettiest little girl. I want to bring her and Lee back so bad! They make my heart happy. All of them remind me of teaching primary with you. Trying to keep their focus. Entertaining them. And falling in love with them. It's such a blessing to be around little kids. Your kids miss you, Dad. I don't think I told you, but I'm sure you saw it. Your kids made a book for you nine months ago saying how much they miss you. They loved you as their teacher. You brought the good snacks. You always had the good snacks around the house.

Well, I'm off to bed myself. Goodnight, Dad. Sleep tight. Don't let the bed bugs bite.

Wait!!! Will you tuck me in, Dad? I miss you.


DAD DAD DAD!!! Shanghai (pronounced Shung- high) was so super fun!! We left immediately after teaching on Friday for the bus station. Before the bus got there we had time to get some dinner so we went to our favorite hole in the wall for some noodles and dumplings. Once on the bus, I was reminded of how gross the sleeper buses are. This one was a lot louder too. And bouncy. It was interesting. We then reached a stop and the lady on the bus started yelling at us to get off. Apparently we had reached our destination already. Finding our way to the hostel wasn't too bad. In Shanghai they have this calling service to help you communicate with the taxi driver, and that first driver told the next two where to go. The Shanghai Blue Mountain Youth Hostel was right across from metro line 4 and in a really central part of the city. It was a pretty nice hostel too. We checked in at 7ish and put our stuff in the rooms that were ready and had breakfast there at the hostel- a fried egg, two pieces of toast, some ham, a banana and an orange drink. It was such a luxury!

A group of 8 of us then went to the Shanghai Wild Life park. It was so frustrating at first because it took us so long to get there! I really thought the taxi driver was taking advantage of us. The ride cost 130 yuan (about $20), which is really expensive over here. But once there, I didn't care. We were at the wild life park!! I was so excited! Tickets for the park were 100 yuan. This was definitely a more expensive day, but so worth it. Once in the park, we stopped at the pigeon pavilion and if I just held out my arm three pigeons would land on it. It was pretty cool. But not as cool as the rest of the day.

Right after that, I got to take a ride on a camel. He wasn't stinky at all. It was fun riding him too because the hump was floppy and he swayed more than a horse does. Plus it's cool to say that I've ridden a camel. But not nearly as cool as saying a got lifted up by an elephants trunk!! DAD! Elephants are hairy! Did you know that?! I did not. It was so fun to be picked up by the trunk. We stayed there with the elephant for a while. Her name was Mary. She liked something about my shirt or something on my backpack because she kept reaching her trunk out towards me. It was hilarious. It resulted in elephant snot getting on my shirt, but I couldn't care less. In fact, now I can say that that's the shirt that got snotted on by an elephant. My cool ranking just went up a few points because of the snot.

After the elephant was the baby goats. They were so cute. Brand new, too. Lauren, my roommate, caught the cutest one. It was black with a white dot on it's head. She let me hold it.

If you thought I'd done a lot by now, you might be correct. But none of it amounted to what happened the second half of the day. I held a baby tiger. A one month old tiger. Yeah, I held it. In my arms. Pretty much the coolest thing ever!! It was so adorable. I was the first one to hold it and by the third person, it was whining, so a few of us got to feed it too. Ah! So cool!

The lemurs were next. We walked through this dome and didn't see much until one of the last turns. I was eating an apple and there was a lemur on a tree and I lured it close to me with the apple core. Maybe not the smartest thing, but I still have nine fingers. Wait. . . Ten. I have ten. But it was so much fun that when we saw an apple core in the garbage can outside, Jeshua picked it out and broke it so we could go back.

Well, we hadn't eaten since 8 and it was now 2:30. We were famished! And guess what was for lunch?! A teriyaki burger from Carl's Jr.!! Talk about a little piece of heaven. Oh! And I can't forget the chili cheese fries and the Coldstone!!! It was much needed and as good, if not better, than any other meal I have had so far in my life.

Despite how achey my feet were, I pushed to stay out, so five of us walked around People's Square and Nanjing Road. This city really comes to life at night. We were taken to a little shop with a back room where we bought some DVDs. We did a lot of wandering after that. It was cool just to see all the people and all the lights. We didn't return to the hostel until 9:30 or so and we were pooped. But what a fabulous day!!

Sunday. I love Sundays! Lately, they've been hard because we've had to do church over a teleconference in our supply room where it doesn't really feel like church, but we actually got to sit among a congregation today! Remember the DeVris? Of course you do. I got a hold of Tonya last night and she gave me directions. I love the Shanghai metro. It's so nice and convenient- cheap, clean, easy to understand. So we just took the metro there and we even beat them there. It was fast and testimony meeting and I bore my testimony about how if it weren't for the gospel to keep me grounded here, I wouldn't be able to be doing as well as I'm doing. The gospel gives me so much strength when every thing else has changed. The Lord is the one constant in my life. He is the only person I can rely on. It is through him and him alone that I am happy. Even though I'm in a place where things are so different and I have 'less' than I do back home, I'm still so blessed. I have my health and my family and the knowledge that I can be with them forever. Sunday School and Relief Society were equally good. We got three dinner invites. The Devris offered, of course, so we went there.

THAT was the best meal I've had in my life. It was like an early Thanksgiving. Roast, crock pot veggies, creamed veggies, mashed potatoes, croissants, brownies, ice cream and some chinese cookies that were really good. I have not come away from a meal feeling so full for a while. And Cameron was nervous there wasn't going to be enough food to go around for the seven of us and the nine of them, but there were even some leftovers! Loaves of bread and fishes. That's all I have to say. It was pretty much a miracle. They were so nice. So hospitable. They talked to us for a while. We were there for a couple hours. They gave us the in's too. Told us where to shop and a few other places to visit. We stopped by the underground shopping at the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum metro stop. Jackpot!! I got a 32 centimeter strand of pink pearls; a pretty, gold chinese dress; a green, chinese robe; an outfit for Grace; and some cool chopsticks. What a day.

Our last day in Shanghai was filled with more shopping. The Yu Garden was first. It as beautiful! I'm so glad we got to go to that part of town. The architecture of the buildings was the traditional Chinese and it was all so beautiful!!! It was a land-mine of beautiful art work, buildings and merchandise. I got seven more strands of pearls here. It was so much fun bargaining. Last night the girls kept asking me to get them things for a certain price because they thought I was so good at it. I was pretty good. After a while of watching me, they got a hang of it, so they didn't need me as much today. I also got some beautiful bracelets, gorgeous earrings, a silk fan, and some KFC for lunch. Living the high life.

After lunch, Tina and I were just wandering when we happened upon a pond in the middle of the shopping and there was a guy selling baby turtles that you were supposed to through into the pond. We assumed it was some sort of good look thing. Tina is in love with turtles, so she really enjoyed looking in the pond at all the baby turtles. We then left for the underground shopping again. I got a fabulous hat, a very pretty skirt and a floral scarf. They all pretty much combine to make the cutest outfit. I know you don't care, but I really like it. At this point my feet were about to fall off! Especially with my whole foot tendonitis thing. So as soon as Emily, Katrina and I got back to the hostel, we went next door and got an hour long foot massage for 30 yuan! Which is about $5. I could stand again! It was so fabulous. Once the rest of the group caught up with us we went out again to The Bund and saw the tallest building in China. We ate dinner beneath it's shadow. . . kinda. If the sun were out, we would have been in it's shadow. It was a good way to close our trip.

Tuesday morning. We still don't have our train tickets, and the train leaves in three and a half hours. It's suggested you get tickets twenty four hours before. Jeshua told us he was going to do it so that's why we left it up to him. Never again. I was genuinely nervous that we weren't going to be able to get a ticket. I said so many silent prayers. He was listening. We got to the train station and got all eleven tickets with no problem. The train ride sucked though. Sixteen hours in a straight seat. It was a hard night, but an experience worth having, but only worth having once. It's good to be back to my box spring after that night. I never thought I'd say that. What would really be nice, though, was if my bed was like the one in the hostel minus all the bug bites.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Confucius says, "Why crap in your pants when you can crap on mom's arm?"

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

DAD!!! I did it!!! Today was so much better! The kids didn't make what I had made, they didn't really follow instructions, and I was still a little flustered, but I was ready for all of that! I knew it could happen, so I simply adjusted! It was so much smoother than yesterday despite all the things I just said. I feel like it was more of a success.

My roommate, Lauren, her dad sent me something. It was entitled the Ministering of Angels By Elder Holland. He said:

"My beloved brothers and sisters, I testify of angels, both the heavenly and the mortal kind. In doing so I am testifying that God never leaves us alone, never leaves us unaided in the challenges that we face."

"May we all believe more readily in, and have more gratitude for, the Lord’s promise as contained in one of President Monson’s favorite scriptures: “I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, … my Spirit shall be in your [heart], and mine angels round about you, to bear you up.”

"The ancient prophets who died were those who came to visit their fellow creatures upon the earth…It was such beings-holy beings if you please-who waited upon the Savior and administered to him on the Mount…In like manner our fathers and mothers, brothers, sisters and friends who have passed away from this earth, having been faithful, and worthy to enjoy these rights and privileges, may have a mission given them to visit their relatives and friends upon the earth again, bringing from the divine Presence messages of love, of warning, of reproof and instruction, to those whom they had learned to love in the flesh."

Thanks for coming and helping me, Dad. I couldn't have done it without you. All the things you would do that were affective in your primary class came to mind, and that really helped in my teaching. As I was laying in bed last night, feeling a little 'woe is me,' I felt comforted just laying there. Thanks for coming. You always know what to do or say when I'm down, and I may not remember what you did or said to cheer me up, but I remember how I felt. I love you so much, Dad. Tell everyone back home that I miss and love them. Oh! And tell them to enjoy their good food, because they may not know how good they have it ;)

Love love.

Dad, what have I gotten myself into?! I taught my first lesson yesterday and it was a disaster! Never give kids who can't understand you a pair of scissors. They so did not follow the lines I traced for them. It was really hard to get them to talk too. Sometimes they'd repeat what I wanted them to say, sometimes they wouldn't. Sometimes they'd repeat everything I was saying! Needless to say, I got tired really quickly.

What if I'm no good, Dad? What if my kids hate me and don't learn a lick of English? What if my time here is wasted? I know what you would say. You'd say I'm a good teacher and that the first day doesn't reflect on the rest of the semester and that as long as I am learning and having a good time that nothing is being wasted. Hopefully I'll get better.

I went to bed really early yesterday. I was just so exhausted and homesick that the only thing I could think or muster to do was sleep. Let's hope I got enough hours on my box spring to give me enough energy to teach them how to make a frisbee today. I love you, Daddy.