Dear Sister Israelsen,
Wow! where to start? It was so fun to get your letter while we were in China. We really didnt expect to have very much access to the internet while we were there, but we were lucky several times to have access. So that is why you were able to get Mom's email. We were able to do some missionary work of our own on this trip. We talked to every one about you and what you are doing on a mission and then we were able to talk about the gospel. I think everyone in the family had some time to talk to someone. We spent one night with the family reading your email. I speak for the whole family when I say that we love getting your letters. You are such a good example for the whole family. Thank you.
Thank you for the Fathers day card. You have a way of making me feel like a million bucks! It got here on time by the way.
I like the way that your district is helping each other out. Hopefully you will all be able to get new investigators.
Well, China was amazing! we started in Beijing and saw the Great Wall, Tienaman Square and the Forbiddin City (by the way the hike to the great wall was a rough one, we got a work out). We even went one morning by ourselves to the local market and bought a few breakfast items. Some items a little interesting and then a few that were amazing. One morning we went to a local temple/park and there were a bunch of old people exercising. A little odd but fun to watch what they do in their old age. Then we got on a plane to go to Xi'an where we saw the teracotta warriors (unbelivable), and another city wall that surrounded an acient city about 800 to 1000 years ago. We rented bikes and rode around the wall which was about 9 miles. This city was extra interesting because nobody obeys the traffic laws and pedestrians better watch out. Our guides had to help us cross the street several times.
We then got on a plane again and went to Youngsho, this place was amazing!! they had little mountains, thousands of them, that jutted out of the ground about 600 to 1000 feet. It was in the rainforest and cool as heck. I think mom will send some pictures. The one problem that we had was it rained most of the time and we had to cancel a couple of events that we had planned. However, we went to the town and bartered with the locals and bought several trinkets. Jake had a lot of fun doing this and he was good at it.
Our last stop was Shang Hi, what an amazing city (huge!!). They have about 24 million people in that city. To compare, New York has about 12 million. More than half of Shang Hi has been built in the last 20 years. It growing so fast. fast growth brings different problems though, they have thick smog most of the time. And they have really old, decrepid parts of the city and very new, up scale parts. There is a huge contrast between rich and poor there.
We finally made it home and I am still suffering from jet lag. I have not been able to get on a good schedule yet. I still keep waking up at 3:30 in the morning and I cant fall back to sleep
Enough about us. How are you? 2 companions is a little odd. I did it for about 1 month once on my mission. It was fun but sometimes 2 is company and 3 is a crowd. So I hope it works out for you.
I have been so impressed by your progress in the gospel. I can tell that your testimony has grown. I love reading about your experiences. Your mission is a little more like mine, in that it is hard to get investigators and when you do you really cherish them. Keep praying and working hard and the Lord will bless you.
I love you, may the Lord bless you and keep you safe!
Nehou, We are running ourselves ragged and I am hoping that this email will get to you. It feels like we do a weeks worth of activities every day. It has been a very fun trip, we just wish you were with us. Tonight we are in Xion after spending three days in Bejing. We have seen the Terracotta Warriors, climbed the Great Wall, seen the Cube and Bird's Nest, entered the Forbidden City and Tieananmen Square. We have eaten Peking Duck, lots of different Chinese dishes served family style on large tables with centers that turn. We had a delicious lunch near the Great Wall with smoked trout and lovely stir fried vegetables. Today we had a dumpling lunch with 15 different kinds of dumplings and then mongolian hotpots for dinner - too much food today! We rode bikes on the old City Wall in Xion and got foot massages tonight. We haven't had much sleep and everyone is a little grumpy at this point. We have to get up at 4:00am to catch a flight to Guiyong in the rain forest part of China. We have had a few hiccups. We had a 6 hour flight delay yesterday due to lightning and thunderstorm in Bejing. This put us into Xion very late but we did fine! Jake is having a great time bargaining with the locals and seems to have more souveniers than anyone at this point. I am going to attache a few pictures and go to bed for 4 hours. We will tell you more when we are better rested! Love you from China! Mom Sent from my iPad