July 24, 2011 Can you believe it's been a WHOLE month since I left the United States?! I have been in Xian, Beijing, Nanjing, and Changzhou! I have a couple more weeks here in China, then to Hong Kong for a bit and then to Singapore. This trip has been so great, of course it has had it's ups and downs. I have struggled with minor injuries, "China-belly"(stomach issues), a cold, stress, crazy heat and of course sore muscles. However these small trial have taught me how to take better care of myself and have taught me to continue to press forward. Things will always get better just like the sun always rises to start a new day! I have performed the show about 30+ times and I still love every single second. I can not even begin to tell you how much I love being on stage, it certainly is my HOME, my PEACEFUL PLACE, my PASSION'S SERENITY! This opportunity is truly a blessing from a loving Heavenly Father showing that he knows everything about ME and that he LOVES ME so much! I couldn't ask for a better experience. I know this is where I am suppose to be right now in my life! My very favorite part of this is seeing all the beautiful faces in the audience, getting up and dancing with the cast! We are bringing magic to those less fortunate. I liken this opportunity to a 14 month service project. I get to make a child's day and maybe even the adults,too! So amazing and I am filled with joy after every show! I have some random thoughts and stories from my experience that I think are worth sharing. Sorry if maybe they don't seem all that interesting to you or funny but if you were here in my shoes I think you would appreciate them too! Here in China they are wired completely differently then Americans which makes their human habits very interesting...hahaha. Spacing for insistence, they have none! Chinese truly have no idea what personal space is. There is no such thing as "my bubble" or "your bubble." It is very hard to get use to someone always standing on top of you. To be honest...it drives me crazy!!! Forget standing in line...someone always is cutting in. It's a race to see who can get there items to the counter at a store to be rung up first. The cashier just rings up who they want to when they want to. In one of my hotels I decided to call room service, in America calling room service is no big deal, doesn't waste energy, cause stress or any craziness, right? Well... here in China it cause LOTS of stress, anxiety, frustration, cold sweats, ahhhh! A simple question can cause a total nightmare! Soooo...here's an example. I called room service and of course I heard the small Asian voice on the line say "ni Hao" and then some more Chinese. I said "ni Hao, hello, could you by chance bring me a spoon?" The maid had taken my other one and I needed it to spread my peanut butter! So the lady said "ummm wha...you... need?""I need a spoon, please.""Spun?" "Yeah a SPPOOOONNN." "O...O.. OK I ask manager." "WHAT?" ( I had no idea it would take the manager's permission to get me a spoon?)Then she came back to the phone and was like... "Ummm, ni Hao... Spell it?"I really wanted to spell "it" (haha) but I knew that I would be wasting time and detour from my main goal which was getting a spoon to spread peanut butter on my bread so that I could eat it!! So I spelled "spoon" to her. She said 'ok!' Click...she hung up! Ummm...ok, well I guess no spoon for Ashley today! About 10 minutes later my door bell rang and to my surprise there was my favorite waiter... Karl(yes his name is Karl, lol)... from breakfast. He was standing there presenting a large platter draped with very nice cloth and in the center sat a tiny little tea spoon just for me. Oh man I just laughed out loud and said thank you so much! All that for a spoon! I have had to spell things over the phone a couple times. I totally rock at charades now too! I know a little bit of Chinese however it's mostly Disney related which really gets me NO where!
China really has been quite an experience in many ways and I think there has been several things that have changed the way I view life. I have enjoyed it but, I have to say, there is nothing quite like being at home with a comfy bed, western toilet, fresh air, blue sky's, and of course My FaMILY and FrIeNDs! I have been home sick a couple of times but over all I am doing ok! I think I am learning a lot about myself which is so so good and my testimony is growing everyday!
I have also come to gain a great appreciation for technology. I know that Heavenly Father has blessed us with technology not only to communicate with others about important topics such as the gospel of Jesus Christ but I think he knows, especially in situations like mine, it is important that we have connections back home to our families and friends. I have needed support when I am struggling or just needed to talk with someone close so that I feel peace, love and comfort, without the technology of today this would have been very difficult. I also think that He is showing mercy to my mom! Without a good form of communication, I don't think I would be here... (love ya mom ;))!
I know that my Heavenly Father personally knows me and loves me. I know that because He was willing to let his son, Jesus Christ, die for us that we can return home to Him. I am so blessed and will be eternally grateful for my knowledge of His gospel that I love so much! I am so grateful to ALL of you that are praying for me and my safety everyday. You have helped me through so much already! Thank you from the bottom of my heart! This is my testimony and I leave it with you in His name, Jesus Christ. Amen.
I really hope all of you are well and enjoying this great summer! Let me know how you are? Send me your testimony or a simple hello? It might take me a bit to get to you but I will... I promise! Miss and love you all! Thanks for reading the blog... It's pretty fun to have "followers" hahaha!
To start, I am terribly sorry that I have not updated my blog in awhile, its blocked here in China :( Let's get caught up! This first city in China is really great I love ALMoST everything here! I arrived here Saturday and we went straight to the hotel, which is so beautiful... I feel like royalty here! We all crashed pretty hard the first night (for awhile) then jet lag set in...waking up at 3 or 4 in the morning feeling completely awake! Not so fun!
But we are adjusting well or at least I'm am now. So Sunday came the first day in China and some of my co workers and I decided to go site seeing. We went to the Emperor Qinshihuang Mausoleum Site Museum with all the warriors!
So cool! I had a whole history lesson that day which was so fun! I think the funnest part of the day was the amount of people that asked to take pictures with US because we are Americans! Pretty fun stuff! Monday... Started off with a cast meeting and a safety lesson by our security guard. (He looks like Liam from the movie Taken) Sooo I feel pretty safe when he's around! Then we all met with our language coach to learn the script in Chinese. Wow that was quite a challenge and I still have a lot of practicing to do before our first show! Tuesday was like that again... All Chinese! This education that I am getting here is fantastic couldn't ask for anything better! Wednesday through Friday were spent in a studio that is so beautiful!
Wow I can hardly explain how good it felt to be in a studio again. I think it's my home away from home for sure! I love to dance so much! I was in the studio from about 9-5 learning the whole show piece by piece, it ROCKED! I love my job so much! It really is a dream come true! My body and brain were fried by Friday night along with some of my co workers bodies and brains, too.
We decided to find a spa for a massage. Well... I had a feeling it was probably going to be an adventure! (I somewhat prepared myself) We found the spa and had some interesting things happen. When I finally laid down to get the massages...(I was ready for a nice relaxing time) yeah, forget about the nice...relaxing part... I got slapped! Yep she slapped my arms, my legs, and the rest of me! Not relaxing at all! I think the lady also played crack the egg on my head about a dozen times. Not cool at all. All I could do is laugh. The worst part was while I was being slapped my friend Scott was next to me getting his belly rubbed while being hand feed watermelon by one of the ladies. What the heck! It did end well with a foot and neck massage by a different lady. At least I left the place happy! Not the ideal massage but a fun story!
Saturday... Studio time with the whole cast rocked because I could finally piece together and make sense of everything I had learned during the week. The puzzle pieces were finally coming together to create an amazing show that will bring many smiles to many people! Then after a long day of rehearsal and blocking most the cast cleaned up and got ready for a night on the town...
We went and had great food at a real restaurant. Ahhhh real food! I got stake....mm mm hmmm! Oh and CHEESECAKE! YUM!
Then we went out dancing afterwards which was a blast! Sometimes we would have the whole floor to ourselves! LOVED IT! Over all this experience has been INCREDIBLE! I promise I am doing well and loving my job and the people I work with! To stay in touch email me at... -email@example.com -firstname.lastname@example.org -email@example.com
Skype me... -ashley.wiemer
Send me written mail... Ashley Wiemer C/O Disney Live 6: Mickey's Music Festival PO Box 1989 Palmetto, FL 34220- 1989
I love and miss you all so much thank you for always supporting me in everything I do! Remember to smile always and live in the moment!
**3 Nephi 30 And when Jesus had spoken these words he came again unto his disciples; and behold they did pray steadfastly, without ceasing, unto him; and he did smile upon them again; and behold they were white, even as Jesus.
Dreams do come true!
PS if you were wondering about what I don't like about China... It's the bathrooms...