Monday, August 19, 2013

"I now know the meaning of tired"

Sister Peng told me she feels really bad that she hasn't had the chance to write people.  She doesn't have much down time and is only allowed to write on P-Days (preparation days); even on P-Days they don't have much time at home. She does appreciate receiving letters though.  It's her only contact to the "outside" world.

Dear mom and family and friends and strangers and dogs and The Doctor (heehee)

First off, to apologize, this key board is terrible!  The shift key is sooo stiff, and my pinky hurts from trying to push on it! 

How is everyone doing?  I hope everyone is doing well, and are living awesome lives.  It’s so weird to think that you all are living your lives in a continent so far away from me.  I mean, people are going to college!!!  Summer vacation is over already???? Weird!  I've been here for three weeks now?  Weird!  I only have like 15 months left here? Weird!  :P

It's weird to think that it's already Monday, considering the fact that everyday feels like an eternity.  I now know the meaning of tired.  I go to bed exhausted, dream about missionary work, wake up still tired, and then do real life missionary work.... yup... pretty intense! Haha!  It's funny how you can get so involved in something that it just infuses into your soul.  It's who you become.  It's nice being able to forget about your own life for a bit, so you can help others find purpose and meaning in their own life.  Service brings joy, I've learned...  Joy and tiredness.... :P

This week was great, and it's still been an adventure.

I used my first "squat pot." Not as bad as I thought, weird, but not too terrible.  I wouldn't have dared to use it, but I really had to go to the restroom. Many people here prefer to use squat pots to western toilets.... yeah... not me.... but, now I know that if I have to use one again, I can without worrying too much. :P

I went to my first zone conference, which wasn't as exciting as I thought it would be.  It was nice to see some people from my MTC district.  Elder Teerlink (the one with the glasses) is in Ping dong, so I see him every day.  But at Zone conference, I was able to see Elder Dayley (probably spelled his name wrong...), and Elder Turner.  I haven't seen the sisters since coming to ping dong, which makes me sad... I really hope they are doing well!

Going to the zone conference was an adventure.  We had to take our bikes with us to Gaoxiong.  So first, we had to go to the train station, put our bikes in an elevator, cross a small bridge thing that goes above the tracks, go down in a different elevator, and get our bikes on a train.  Ride the train, and then ride our bikes for 20 minutes until we reached the chapel.  Yay!  IT was cool riding in a different city.  IT wasn't much different....  there was a bit more hills, but they weren't bad. 

Hmm... what else?... oh, I passed off lesson 2 of Phase One in my language studies.  Basically what phase one is, is being able to teach all the lessons by yourself.  That's not bad.  The hardest part for me is memorizing vocab words and phrases....  But my goal is to finish phase one by this move call, or maybe a week or two after the move call.

Oh! I bought a pet plant!  It is an egg that grows grass from its head! It's sooo cute! And the grass grows sooo fast... seriously; it's grown like 3 inches in the last week...  I still need to name it... it's so cute! I wish I had a way to get pictures on this computer so I could show you... :(    One day....

I also broke down and bought a Chinese version of a guide to BBC's Sherlock.  It's super awesome, and I was just going to buy it and put it in my suitcase so I could have it when I go home.  But my trainer says that once I get to phase 3 in language study, that I could use it to study from.  Haha!  It has a glossary in it, so... I can learn how to say Doctor Who in Chinese!!! Yay!!! Haha! Anyways...

So far, my favorite thing here in Taiwan is the food... Food and the people. :) They have a lot of Chi dao bao (Eat till full) restaurants here.  They range from really expensive to not too bad.  We went to a really fancy one on Tuesday because a couple from the ward wanted to thank us for our service. Basically, we all ordered a steak, and then we also ate from the buffet.  It was probably about $15 for each person in American money.  It was sooo yummy! Especially the deserts and the fruit.  I got to eat a lot of passion fruit.  As well as guava and Asian pears. :D 

Me and my companion, along with a less active, also went to an all you can eat hot pot a couple days ago.  That was fun.  That one was probably around $7 per person.  But we all ate till we were completely stuffed.

Yup.  Food.  Yum!  Don't worry, we don't eat from Chi dao bao's every day.  Normally our meals cost about 3 dollars, and are pretty normal for Chinese food.  We actually haven't been eating as many vegetables as I would like to... since... idk why, can't find any?  :P  But we always eat yummy things. 

The members of the ward here also make Taiwan enjoyable.  As well as our investigators.  Everyone is super friendly, and interesting to talk to.  The members for the most part are very spiritually strong, which is important for missionary work.  Without supportive members, it would be next to impossible to have converts.  Missionaries can only do so much to make investigators feel at home.  And members always have amazing conversion stories and testimonies to share.

Anyways, this week has been not too hot. But it has been wet.  IT's hard, since we can't check the weather before we leave.  So we've gotten into the habit of always carrying rain clothes.  This last week has been raining like crazy, and there has been tons of wind... and yet people say it's not a typhoon yet...  I don't think I quite understand what a typhoon is yet, since I'm pretty sure I've never seen so much rain in my life and people say that it hasn't been too bad....  I’m kind of scared to find out what a real typhoon is like... especially since missionary work doesn't stop when the weather gets bad.  In fact, they want us to go outside and do contacting, because people will be more likely to take pity on us and let us in.... yay.....  Haha!  It's when it's raining that I really have to trust in the Lord that this is what he wants me to do... Because no sane person would want to go biking for 20 minutes in a downpour. 

As a spiritual thought, I guess I'll share a bit on the importance of trusting in the Lord.  In Alma 36:3 of the Book of Mormon, it says "...I do know that whosoever shall put their trust in God shall be supported in their trials, and their troubles, and their afflictions, and shall be lifted up at the last day."  So far, even though I've only been serving in Taiwan for less than a month, I've learned the importance of trusting in the Lord.  Trust means to have complete faith in him.  To rely on him.  To know that he is always by my side watching over me and guiding me in his work.  I've learned that through following his teachings and his guidance, anything is possible.  My relationship with him has never been stronger.  And it continues to grow each and every day.  I can't tell you how many times I've been tempted to give up, and go home because the work here is too hard, because the culture is too different, because people aren't willing to listen, because I know I'm too inadequate to do this work.  But I don't give up.  I keep moving forward, step by step, because I trust that the Lord has called me to serve a mission.  I trust that he has confidence in me, and that he knows my potential.  I trust that he is my Father and will forever be by my side, ready to give me the strength and the power to go forth and serve.

We must all have faith that our lives have potential.  We must trust that, even though we can't see him, we have a Father in Heaven who is always watching over us.  We must learn to rely on him, and we must follow the teachings and commandments which he has given us.  He knows us better than we know ourselves.  He has known us from before the creation of the Earth.  He loves us, and wants us to return unto him.  And he will never lead us astray.  We must learn to trust in him.

I promise that as you all study the Book of Mormon and the Bible that you will come to know Heavenly Father.  And through learning of Him, and his son, Jesus Christ, that your faith and trust on him will increase, and you will be more willing to do the things which he has asked you to do.  Your relationship with him will grow, and you will find peace and happiness in this life as well as for the rest of eternity.  For those of you who feel alone and helpless or feel as if you are lost in darkness and despair, turn to the light of the Lord.  Learn of him.  Believe in Him.  Trust in Him.  And I give you my promise, as a representative of our Savior, Jesus Christ, that you will feel his love, and that you will have blessings of peace and comfort rain down upon you.  I say this in the name of the Lord, Jesus Christ, Amen.

I hope you all have a wonderful week.  I love typing, as you can tell... I should write a novel! Haha!  Until next time!

~Sister Nicholle Peng

1 comment:

  1. I am inspired by your faith, trust and diligence AND your ability to use a squat toilet! In Hong Kong I sometimes saw signs (for mainlanders) telling and showing NOT to stand on the toilet seat try to squat!