And the list goes on. You just can't really beat having a friend.
So now that I have emphasized how important friends are to me, I will move on. You see, while in China I haven't really had friends. I've had Josh and Danielle. And that's been about it. There have been millions of people around me that I am dying to be friends with, but that I can't speak to. It kills me sometimes. So I haven't really had friends. Until about a week and a half ago. A week and a half ago I walked into a room that I would call my own for the next month, only to find a letter sitting on the dresser. From a girl I didn't know named Lindsey Mason. It welcomed me to my new home and said how much she couldn't wait to meet me. That letter is still sitting on the same dresser and I will no doubt take it home with me. And keep it for a long time. It warmed my heart. I had a friend...I had never met her. But I knew I had a friend. Later that same day I met 6 friends who would soon become my friends (including Lindsey Mason). I didn't realize that these 6 people would become the people who would bring me endless laughter and joy over the next 30(ish) days. They're not like anything special...they're just friends. And that's all I needed. Friends.
Grace, Lindsey, Daniel, Harrison, Ryan, and Lyndsay are these 6 people. Every time I'm going to see them I look forward to it. They're all so great and I'm so thankful for them. Sometimes it's hard not having friends (although I do keep up with my friends in America over this great thing called Facebook). So it's great to have these people here.
Grace. Grace is one of the most gentle and kind people I know. It's sort of hard to be depressed around her. She has a contagious laugh and dark skin. She loves soccer. She has a huge heart for Chinese people. Actually she just has a huge heart in general. She's such an encouragement to me and I couldn't be more happy to be her friend.
Lindsey. Lindsey thinks like I do. She's the one that went with me to Muslim village. She hasn't been living here long and she stumbles through Chinese sentences trying to find a bus to take. She knows more about current fashion than I do...and I wonder how, because she hasn't been in America to see the fashion in a long time. She couldn't be more obsessed with Harvey. She has welcomed me so much into their little "family" here. She invites me for dinner and a movie. She invites me over just to chill. She can cook like nobody's business.
Daniel. Well. In Beijing we talked to the team on skype and the first time I heard him say "I couldn't care less" I knew I was gonna like this kid. People have a problem...it's couldn't care less, not could care less. Everyone says could. And I hate it. So anyways. Daniel is hysterical. He pops out jokes left and right and has everyone laughing all the time. He's just hilarious.
Harrison. Harrison can do some pretty weird things at times. But everyone just cracks up. He brings laughter, that's for sure. From his "might as well"s to his crocodile hat, he gets us all laughing. The downside about Harrison is that he's the only one on the team that didn't go to UNC...but I'll let that go. After all, the first time I saw him I was sitting in my window seat looking out the window and he walked by wearing a UNC hat. Edited to add: Multiple times we have said the same thing at the same time. It's kind of scary.
Ryan. Like everyone else on the team, Ryan is hilarious. Danielle told me he is a good story-teller, and she was right. He's full of crazy stories and I'm pretty sure he's more than willing to tell them all. From the fairy wings to "Stop. Look down." he can make the most depressed person die of laughter. One other thing...I literally don't think I've ever seen him not wearing a UNC shirt. Seriously. And he's like 10 feet tall.
Lyndsay. Lyndsay is definitely one of the most sweet and gentle people I know. She doesn't say much, but I'd say that's a good thing about a person. I feel like she is the perfect example of the meek and quiet spirit that 1 Peter 3:4 talks about being a great price. She also went to UNC, which is enough to make me like a girl. Oh, and just so you know, she's married to Ryan.
And I can't forget my other friends here...
Josh. I'm not sure where to start with Josh. He's hilarious. He plays the piano like a pro. He sings like a pro. He's an excellent dad. He can cook. He cleans up after our meals. He has done so much to make me be able to enjoy my time here. He knows how to say a beautiful, heartfelt prayer. He couldn't love Harvey more. He couldn't love Danielle more. He couldn't love God more. He couldn't love China more. He impresses everyone with his Chinese. He's full of wisdom. He's such a servant to Danielle. And the list goes on. I couldn't love him more and I can honestly say that he ties with Jordan and Joe for the award for best brother in the world. I can't imagine our family without him. Edited to add: he's a genius. Pure genius.
Danielle. Danielle was my first sister. It was nice to have a sister. You may know that my favorite people in the world tend to not be girls. Girls just get under my skin. But this is not Danielle. She is such a great wife to Josh and mom to Harvey. She handled labor like I never would have imagined. She can also cook like nobody's business. She taught me how to cut a pineapple. She instilled in me a deeper love for Michael Buble. She's the opposite of a dramatic girl. She already wins cool points for living in China, but she doesn't act prideful for it. She can drive in China traffic. She pays 8 dollars for cream cheese to use in icing for my 16th birthday cake. She's such a great example to me of a godly wife and mother. She stays up late hours of the night to feed her little boy and I honestly haven't heard her complain once about it. She'd do anything for that little guy. Even though life in China is difficult, she embraces the good things and finds ways to make us feel at home.
Harvey. I get so much joy just out of holding this precious kiddo. He's already changed so much in just 3 weeks and I can't to see how he's going to change in the next 3 weeks I'll be with him. He has so much personality and he his pacifier. He gets joy out of riding in the car. He's the cutest baby I've ever seen and he's currently my favorite baby. Even though he screams, he's still precious.
And I can't forget my new Chinese friends...
Mi Gue You. I have no clue if that's actually how you spell it. But he is a guy Joe met on campus when he was here. He is hilarious. He was talking to me about Joseph and said "He is my good friend. And I miss her very much." It doesn't get much more Chinese.
Lucy. So full of joy and looks just like a Lucy.
Amy. So sweet and kind.
Snow. Quiet. But such a servant.
I'm sure I haven't mentioned all of my friends but these are the main ones. And I couldn't be more thankful for them. They've made my time here so much more exciting than I had imagined.
Yes, I miss my friends in America. But for now I'm enjoying hearing Ryan's stories, eating Lindsey's food, and holding Harvey.
"A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother." Proverbs 18:24.