Friday, February 25, 2011

Jesse Joseph Walker

Jesse Joseph Walker was born on February 25, 1994.
I was so excited when he was born. 
My Mom has said that I loved holding him and playing with him.
I, no longer was the only child, and I loved having someone to play with.
I wore a pink shirt the day Jesse was born that said, "Big sister."
Throughout the years, Jesse and I have grown closer and closer.
He has become one of my best friends and I cherish our friendship.
We always have a good time with each other and he makes everything fun.
I love laughing with Jesse.

Jesse is a very caring person.
He is compassionate and an extremely hard worker. 
He puts all of his might into something and makes sure it gets completed.
Jesse is the opposite of me, in this aspect.
He is a great example to me as I strive to be more like him and passionate about life.
Jesse can make friends with anyone! 
Whereas, I have a harder time making new friends and only surround myself with people I already know.
We both have our differences, but I have learned so much from my younger brother and I hope he has learned from me.

Even though I am all the way in China, I still feel the love from Jesse.
We email each other a lot and he keeps me updated with things that are happening in good ole' Salt Lake. 
I enjoy hearing what is going on with his life.
Over the past couple of weeks I have become closer to Jesse.
I am excited to strengthen our brother/sister relationship throughout these next months. 

Happy Birthday Jess!! I hope it's a good one. 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


I saw the sun for the first time today in 13 days!! And there was not a single cloud in the sky.  It looks like the weather is getting warmer over here in CHINA! 

Monday, February 21, 2011

Our First Cooking Experience...

We were so excited to make chocolate chip muffins.  Unfortunately, we didn't have a muffin tin to bake them in.  So instead we made the batter and spread it out on a cooking pan.  They were going to be like chocolate chip muffin brownies.  The directions said to cook them at 350 degrees Fahrenheit and our little oven only went to 250 degrees!  We were so confused, and didn't understand why the oven wouldn't go that high.  So we decided to turn the oven to its highest temperature, 250 degrees.  They had been cooking for only about four minutes and my cousin decided to go out and check on them.  She opened the kitchen door and smoke started spilling out of the room!  The chocolate chip muffin brownies that we wanted so badly had been burnt to a CRISP!  Yeah... the oven was in Celsius.  You would think that since everything else they do is in Celsius and not Fahrenheit that we would have maybe realized... but we didn't. 

On a brighter note, we found a Chinese restaurant right by our apartment where you can buy dumplings.  That's right, 10 dumplings for less than 60 cents.  And the best part is that they taste absolutely delicious!  I think there is a family who owns the restaurant and I think they live there as well.  We are going to become great friends.  I will practice my Chinese with them while I eat dumplings.

I wish that I could put my pictures throughout my post, but I can't because blogger is blocked in China.  I am blogging through my email, so thanks for being patient with me!  The pictures are of our burnt muffins, Katie and I being sadly disappointed, and last but not least my dumplings! yummy!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Week One

I officially have been in China for a week.. and a couple of days!  Not going to lie, it has been a long week but I have already had some fun adventures!  The weather is FREEZING here.  I have worn the same rain jacket everyday and totally didn't pack a real coat.  We don't have heating in our apartment or at the school.  To make things even more cold, the teachers at the school keep all the windows open.  They believe that they need to let clean air in to clear out the rooms.  When I teach though, the first thing that I do, is shut the windows!  I hope I don't go to jail or anything because of it.  The water in our apartment is also really cold, and so taking a shower is not fun.  We are all hoping that the weather will start to get warmer!  I think by Wednesday the weather should start to clear up. 

I got assigned to teach Grade 1 at the Kaiyin School.  The students in Grade 1 are between the ages of six and seven.  They are so cute!  Sometimes they are a handful, but them being cute makes it totally worth it.  The first couple days of teaching were a bit of a struggle because they don't really know us quite yet.  I think as time goes on, they will begin to open up to us.   All of the Chinese students have American names that they have been given when they first entered the ILP program.  Some of the names are hilarious.  We have a little girl in our class named Ham, another girl named Heebee, a boy named Marlin.  And trust me, there are even more strange names. 

The food is quite interesting.  We have rice every single day.  Rice has become my best friend.  Luckily, they the chef at our cafeteria puts out soy sauce for us.  It gives a little spice to the plain rice.  Then, we usually have some type of meat with green peppers, or carrots.  Yesterday, we had the option to have chicken feet or pig feet!! I couldn't do it.  Not yet at just makes me want to throw up.  There is a fruit market near our apartment that we have gone to a lot.  We are trying to eat lots of fruit! I think the fruit here is delicious.  I had dragon fruit the other day!  Last night, we went to an Italian restaurant.  It tasted soo good!! I had pepperoni pizza, a salad and a nice cold sprite.  It cost 50 HK dollars, which is about 8 US dollars.  I thought it was totally worth it.  We will probably go there at least once a month, maybe even more.  You can only handle rice for so long. 


Monday, February 14, 2011

Elder Ward

On Sunday, we were able to go to the Aberdeen ward and see ELDER WARD!!!  It took a lot of work and was very difficult but we were able to manage.  The story goes like this, Katie really wanted to see her brother but we had been so busy with our tour and it looked like we weren't going to be able to see him.  We went to the temple the day before, and saw a group of missionaries.  We asked them if they knew JJ, and they told us which area he is serving in and what ward he would be at.  The only problem was that they gave us a Chinese address to find the ward.  Katie and I took this address and asked about a billion Chinese natives if they knew where it was.  Everyone was giving us different information and since we don't speak a lick of Chinese it was hard to understand what they were saying.  Eventually, we came up with a consensus and figured out a plan.  Our plan was to walk to this certain bus stop, take it and figure out how to find the street once we got there.  Katie, Sara and I decided that we were going to go for sure and eventually we had a group of about ten that wanted to come.  We woke up Sunday morning and everything seemed to fall into place.  We found the correct bus stop and even got on the correct bus!  We got to Aberdeen, asked someone where the street was and was directed to a little building.  The building didn't look anything like a ward house.  In fact, it looked extremely sketchy.  A man dressed in church clothes walked out and asked us what we were doing.  We showed him the address and he said, "Welcome.  Come on in."  The whole thing was undercover.  It was so interesting to see how they have to handle ward business in China.  Once we walked inside we were able to find JJ and his companion.  It was so neat to see him and Katie see each other and be able to talk.  I was so overwhelmed that I even shed a tear.  It made me think of my relationship with my brothers back at home.  I can imagine how happy Katie felt when she knew that her brother was doing well.  There is something special between sister and brother relationships that can never be replaced.    

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Hong Kong

Tonight is our last night in Hong Kong.  Tomorrow I get to go to my city on the main land.  I am so excited to see where I will be living for the next four months and I am so pumped to not be living out of a suitcase.  However, I have absolutely loved Hong Kong.  It is a huge city!! It feels a lot like New York to me but multiplied by like five and chinese style.  We were able to go on a tour with our group and we got to see the city from Victoria's Peak, Stanley Market, the fish market in Aberdeen, and we went to a jewelry factory.  We had a funny tour guide, whose name was George.  His English was actually pretty good but some of his jokes did not really make sense which made him even more funny.  After the tour, a group of us decided to go to the Hong Kong Temple.  It was beautiful.  It was amazing to be able to go from the busy streets of Hong Kong to a very sacred place.  Right when we walked on the temple grounds, I was overwhelmed with the feeling of peace and comfort.  I love knowing that the spirit you feel is the same anywhere you go.  I am in China, and yet I still feel the sweet spirit of the gospel.  We have done so much in Hong Kong for only being here for two days.  I gave a quick synopsis but hope that you can imagine what I have been doing.

And in case you were wondering:

  • There are seven million people living in Hong Kong and only 300,000 own a car.
  • Eight is considered a lucky number.  People who have the number eight in their license plate have paid a lot of money to have it on there.  The wealthy Chinese men usually have all eights on their license plate.
  •  We bought these pancake things that a woman was cooking on the street, thinking the middle was chocolate so to realize it was beans.
  • I roamed the streets of Hong Kong with only four girls.  Talk about culture shock.
  • We took the metro.
  • I had pasta covered in squid ink sauce and actually liked it.
  • 100 HK dollars=15 USA dollars
  • We are going to find Elder Ward at the Aberdeen ward tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Whelp a year later and I am actually leaving.  Two fifty pound suitcases, one forty pound carry on, and one 100 pound backpack... at least it feels like that!  I hope I got everything...
add water only mixes (jello, muffin, pancake, oatmeal)  
peanut butter
200 foam sheets
20 glue sticks
5 months of shampoo and conditioner 
A million prizes for good little Chinese children
And yes.. some clothes

I think I am ready to go!
Next post will be from CHINA!!!
zài jiàn!