One of my questions for Sister Peng this week:
Any fun foods for the week? Getting fed anymore?
Umm.... Bagels... I love bagels... I also made myself a peanut butter and chicken sandwhich... I've been going crazy for peanut butter stuff... other than that... nothing too fun... We haven't been getting fed... we just feed ourselves...
Now Onto Sister Peng's Update
Hello from the land of stinky tofu, weird outfit combinations, and electric scooters!
How is everyone? I'm doing well! Especially since I can sit here and email to my favorite people in the world while drinking a nice cold class of....... Coke! Haha! I didn't get dong gua cha today. I'm tired, so I really needed the caffeine... anyways.... :P
This week has been good, as always. It's been very busy, as always. Though, we are still trying to find new investigators. Sigh... The work is moving... but right now, we've been having to push and pull it along... almost like trying to move a large boulder up a mountain... Sigh... We still have about two progressing investigators, which is good. And yes Mom, we are still teaching the American (Her name is Amber by the way... I feel weird calling her the American investigator....)
Oh, speaking of Amber, she came to a branch/stake Activity thing with her husband and her one year old son. The Gaoxiong East and West zones had a Yun Dong Hui (Athletic/Sports Activity). It was super fun! They had different competitions and relays for people of all different ages! There was a race for the little kids, where they were pretty much picking up candy off the track while they were running. There was a jump rope activity, where like 5 people were jumping rope together (and wards were competing to get the most repetitions). There were a bunch of running relays, one of which you had to do activities like eat two pieces of bread and drink a cup of water. I participated in a normal running relay. Man, I've never run so fast before... I ran so hard that my eyes went all blurry... weird... And then I was sore for two days afterwards. Haha! Our bishop really wanted our ward to win the Yun Dong Hui. And, since you have to do what the bishop of your ward wants you to do... We got first place! Yay!!! It was so funny to see how competitive our bishop got. He was planning out everything, and made us practice before we actually competed. He's a gym teacher... so that probably explains why... Anyways, it was a blast, and it was good to have a few investigators, like Amber, attend. :) Cool thing is that Amber even saw some people that she knew from her work (she teaches English). Yay! It's a small world!
I guess the biggest thing that happened this week was that we finally got to watch General Conference. I was super happy that I got to watch it in English, because there were sisters in the Ward who preferred to listen to the English version than listening to the Chinese voice over.
Wow, Conference was amazing! I don't even know where to start! And if I wrote down everything that I liked about it... well... I would might as well write a full length novel.... Haha! I always think that Conference has something for everyone, no matter if you are a member or not. Every time I watch a Conference I get a spiritual boost. I feel like we are so blessed to be able to hear the words of the prophet and the apostles! Even half way around the world! I always feel like they are talking to me. Every talk can be applied to my life, and every conference I feel like my questions are answered.
So I guess... I'll share three things that I learned during conference... It'll be hard to choose... but here it goes...
1. From Elder Ulisses Soares, I learned that I really need to work on how to be meek. I think many people think of meek as being weak. But being meek is being humble and being patient in all things... Yeah... these are things I really need to progress in. So, number one... Being humble. No matter what anyone else things... I am not humble... At least, not completely. I have too much pride in my heart, that I almost never ask for help... even when I really need it. I always believe in relying on myself first... And I know that's wrong. Especially since the Lord wants us to all rely and trust in Him in all things... I also tend to take corrections badly... I always feel like I'm being reprimanded for things I should already know how to do...When in fact, corrections are supposed to make us know where we can improve... Number two, being patient is not my strongest suit... I'm working at it... Patience doesn't just mean waiting... Patience also means overlooking the faults in others as well as yourself... It means being quick to forgive weaknesses, and always having love in your heart. Yeah... I'm guilty of having negative feelings in my heart... I might never voice them... but they ruin my mood... Also, they push the Spirit away... not good!
2. Okay, my favorite talk is probably the one given by Elder Edward Dube. First off, his accent is amazing! Second, his talk was even more amazing and inspirational! His talk was on never looking back. I am guilty of this... I always day dream about days that have already past, about situations that I wish I could have changed, about happy times that I wish I could relive... Well, I'm just wasting my time. Never look back, but always move forward. Looking forward means always progressing towards goals. It means knowing no matter your situation, the future will always be bright. I like what Elder Dube said "the past needs to be learned from- not to be lived in." We need to remember our past so we can improve upon it. But we can't sit around wishing we could go back. We can't change it. But we can influence our futures by what we are doing now. We need to do everything to the best we can, and exercise faith.
3. Elder Jeffery R. Holland's talk was also very good... Especially since I have never had so much stress before in my life. He talked about overcoming depression. All of us will have times were we feel depressed, but when we linger in depression we become endangered to the depths of darkness and despair. When coming on my mission, I was worried about depression. Something I've never told anyone about. I know myself too well. When faced with a hard task, I tend to close myself off from the world. I tend to sink when I should swim... I feel that there is no hope... And I forget something very important... My Heavenly Father. I forget to have faith.
But so far, on my mission, I have not forgotten, and I think that has made all the difference. I've learned that I need to put my faith and trust in the Lord. I've learned to never doubt in Him and his eternal plan which he has for me. I know that every hard point in my life, every challenge and every trial has a purpose. Their purpose is to build me up in faith, so that I come closer to my Father.
Live by faith. Hold on to hope. Never give up.
Yup, not sure if any of that makes sense, since I don't think my brain is fully awake yet... despite the fact that my Coke is all the way gone... so sad... Anyways, I invite everyone to check out the talks in General Conference (found on www.lds.org). I promise you will find something that will help you, and I promise that as you read/watch conference, you will feel the Holy Ghost testify to you that God is your Father, and that he loves you unconditionally.
So that's the spiritual aspects of this week... Something weird/ crazy that happened this week: So two nights ago, there were a lot of drum pounding and loud clangs making some sort of loud music outside of our window. Looking down from our balcony we saw at least 15 people making that... music?... along with about 5 other people dressed up as Buddhist gods wearing stilts and "dancing"- twirling around, doing weird movements. So at first I was like... Okay... interesting... Cool!... Why are they doing this at 10:00 at night? I've always been fascinated and open minded to other religions, and I was thinking that it was a pretty interesting experience being able to watch this... ceremony... from the balcony of my apartment (which is on the 13th floor... but the "music stuff" was still really loud. And then this car pulls up blasting really loud music and had a bunch of flashing lights. Well, the "gods" started dancing to the music... one of which was Gangam style... Yup... that was interesting.... They left in time for us to go to bed, which was good, since the music was really loud... Interesting...
So sad story.... I forgot to bring my camera cord... so I can't share pictures... of which, I have a lot that I need to share... Next week....
Okay, well, I probably should stop writing so I can write my mission president... Hope you all have a fantastic week! Also, AUDREY!!! OPEN YOUR MISSION CALL ALREADY!!! I NEED TO KNOW WHERE YOU ARE GOING!!!
Love you all!
Sister Nicholle Peng