I am grateful for CHINA.
I have been thinking about China a lot lately. I don't know how to adequately describe how China has changed my life ... I wrote a diary for my Spanish class about this trip, but I couldn't find the words to explain why it was such a meaningful experience to me. I love Spanish and I love Chile, but I am definitely going to return to China as soon as I can when I get home from my mission.
Before I went to China, I wasn't really an adult. I didn't feel grown up ... in fact, I felt kind of lost. I was home schooled for that year, and I was feeling a little sad about my progress. When I went to China, I really, really felt that sadness and immaturity melt away in little measures. I saw true poverty. I saw a room full of baby orphans that were only distinguished by the row of cribs that they were in. I saw the demolished bus stop where my sister was dropped off by her parents because they didn't have enough money to pay for her physical disabilities. And somehow, seeing these things made me realize that there was more to the world than just myself. China widened my perspective sooo much in this regard.
China also helped me to learn to appreciate culture. The buildings that my family walked everywhere to see (from the Yellow Crane Tower to the Bell and Drum Towers) were at first indistinguishable. By the end of the trip, they kind of blended together, but I loved that I could sense the pure HISTORY behind these buildings. These were made long, long ago ... longer than America was in existence. Brushing against these ancient structures and temples was an amazing experience for me. I really learned to appreciate Chinese heritage.
I will never forget this! It has changed my heart and has made me a better person. Like I said, it has been my five year goal for a while to return to China. I can't wait! It's almost like returning home. I am grateful for a little Chinese sister. My life is better because of her. She is teaching me how to love and how to be patient. I am so grateful that my family was able to spend a whole month exploring the wonderful country of China.