Monday, October 7, 2013

Differences a year can make!

Sister Peng wasn't able to upload any pictures this week as the computer kept shutting down every time she tried.  Sorry.
Dearest Madre and other wonderful people,
How are you?  I don't know why I ask, since I still won't know how you are all doing.... But you know, it's a question of common courtesy. Just so you all know that I do care. :)  Anyways, I'm doing good.  Still tired, but at least I am still alive right?  Also, I am understanding why people say that your mission is perhaps the hardest thing you will ever do with your life, as well as the most rewarding. Though, currently I am on the "hard" part of the mission... Anyways, I'll get to explaining why in a sec... but first off:  How was General Conference?  I haven't seen it yet, we'll be watching it next week... not sure if it'll be in English or Chinese....  Hopefully English...  Probably in Chinese... yeah.... sigh...  Everything is in Chinese... I'm understanding more and more, but it's always very hard on my brain.  I laugh whenever we have language study time, because every day/all day is language study time for me...  Wow... Side tracked! Anyways...
It's weird to think how much my life has changed since last year.  Last year's October General Conference will forever be remembered by me as the conference that changed my life.  Before then, I didn't even think I was going on a mission.  But with a few words from Heavenly Father's living representative on the earth, and from strong impressions by the Holy Ghost (which led to many hours of tearing up anytime I even thought of missionary work) I knew that I had to serve a mission.  I don't know if I can say I left on a mission because I thought it would be fun/cool experience.  I left because I knew it's what my Father wanted me to do.  My plan was to finish college as early as I could, find a job, get married... etc... But Heavenly Father knew I was forgetting a step: a mission.  I know I've only just begun my mission, but I can tell that it will have everlasting effects on the rest of my life, and even past that.  I've learned so much already!  I've grown in faith and testimony of the love Heavenly Father and Jesus has for me.  I'm learning how to share the gospel to others, so that when the time comes, I'll be able to raise my family in the faith.  I'm learning how to love everyone, and how to put their needs above my own.  I'm learning how to have patience, and how to overcome trials.  I'm learning how to be more thankful and prayerful.  I'm learning that I am truly a daughter of a King, and that this work is truly His work and His glory. 
The Lord knew I needed to go on a mission to grow and to reach my potential. Not everyone needs to go on a mission, to learn what I've been learning.  Everyone is different.  But I know for me, I needed a bit of a push to grow up and to be prepared to meet life head on.  So that's what the Lord did.  He gave me a push....
So anyways, yeah, this week has been hard... not impossible just hard.  And it's not even because of the missionary work that's made it hard... It's probably been my own attitude and mood...  Lately I've been feeling myself get frustrated more often, or lacking confidence in myself...  It's mainly because of the English Class we have to teach...  You've probably noticed that I don't write much about English Class...  For me, it's the hardest part of this mission...  So in Taiwan, as well as other places, we teach a free English Class for a service to the community.  I'm in charge of teaching the kids ages 3-12 English.  Normally we have about 35 kids who attend.  My companion and I split the kids up into two groups.  One group will first be taught by me, while the other group gets to play games with my companion.  After about 45 minutes, they will switch...  Well... I totally feel inadequate as a teacher, and I don't know how to teach children a new language...  It's also hard since many of these kids have a hard time sitting still for longer than 2 minutes....  I've tried different methods for teaching them... but no success thus far....
Every time I teach them, I leave exhausted and spiritually drained.  I feel that the Lord has placed an impossible feat for me to overcome....  but I know that's not true... The Lord would not call me to this work if he didn't think I couldn't do it... So, I've been trying to become more like Christ, the perfect example of a teacher.  Christ loved little kids...  He was patient and caring towards them...  Christ also was willing to do anything the Father asked, no matter how difficult it was to do.  The most major example is the Atonement.  Christ suffered and died for us, because the Lord needed to have a way to cleanse us of our sins... The Lord is only asking me to spend a couple of hours teaching little children...  Christ also taught so that all could understand... This is my challenge.... Since the kids are of such different age ranges...  but there must be something I can do... Sigh... Anyways, sorry, just venting... and also asking for advice and help from anyone who has some to offer.... Thanks!
A good thing that happened this week was we had a companion exchange!  I love Liu JM, but it was also fun to see how other missionaries do this work.  This time, Liu JM went to San Ming, and I stayed in Ping Dong, which means I basically got to be kind of like a Senior Companion for a day.  That was fun! And Exhasting!  I can relate to how exhausted Liu JM must be from training me and being Senior Companion... You're constantly thinking of what you have to do, and what you will have to do, and what you will have to do if the first thing that you had to do fell through... if that makes sense... :P  Anyways, good news, I didn't get lost!!! Yay!!!  So, the Sister Training Leader who spent the day with me was Huang JM.  She is super nice, and a super fantastic missionary.  Also, for being a native Taiwanese person, her English is great.  Mostly because her actual companion, Sister Smith, is refusing to use Chinese with her... so, I'm thinking of doing the same with Liu JM, since Liu JM really wants her English to improve. :P  Haha! Though, every time I try to speak, I forget about speaking English, so I'll start talking in Chinese.  And once I get half way through the sentence, I'll switch to English. Haha! It just makes us both confused... but it's fun! :D
Also, another fun thing this week is that the Single Adults and the missionaries had a combined activity making pizza!  Yum!  It was just a lot of RC's (recent converts), investigators, LA's (less actives), missionaries, and ward missionaries there.  And we made pizza- Taiwan style!  Basically, Taiwan style pizza just has pretty much anything you could ever think of putting on a pizza... from squash and corn, to broccoli and peas and carrots... yum!  Haha! :D  When I get back, we can have a Taiwanese pizza party. :D  It's really fun. :D  And interesting...
Anyways, as to our investigators... we only have a couple of people who are progressing towards baptism.  We have a lot of investigators, but most of them are only willing to meet with us and aren't willing to keep the commitments we give them... or don't even have interest in the Gospel at all.... Don't know why they want to meet with us... most of them are probably bored.... yup....  Sigh... Our Zone is trying something that we call: Family Hunting.  Since Families are blessed even more by the gospel, we are targeting families whenever we go out contacting.  If there are a lot of people, around us, but there is a family a little bit a ways, we have to go to the family first...  Yup!  It's been very interesting to try and do that at stop lights... don't worry, we're being safe! Haha! :D
Anyways, once again, I've written a novel....  Perhaps I should become a writer... Or a reporter... lately, I've been thinking it would be fun to be a reporter for a newspaper or something and write specifically on family friendly activities and events that occur... yup... Anyways...
Spiritual thought:  Moroni 7:45-46

 45 And acharity suffereth long, and is bkind, and cenvieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily dprovoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
 46 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail
Charity is probably the most important attribute.  Work hard to develop it, and I promise you, you will find more joy and peace in this life and for all eternity. 
Well, I've got to go.  I love all of you! Be great!  Pray Always!  Feast on the Word of God!
Love, Sister Nicholle Peng

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