Greetings from the land where you can watch fireworks every day, see dogs riding motorized scooters along with 4 of their human family members, and eat interesting parts of animals that you never imagined people would want to put into their mouths.
Como estas? Haha! Well, the weather is cooling down, as seasons change from summer to fall. It's nice, though still a bit warm for my taste. The evenings and mornings have been quite wonderful. Though, my companion says that the "comfortable" weather will make people sick if they don't wear a jacket... but if I wear a jacket, I'll be too hot! Grr.... So, I haven't worn a jacket or sweater yet, since I will just take my chances like all the other American missionaries here.
Anyways, time is just flying! I am nearing the end of my second move call! I mean, this is the last week! Also, I finished my 12 week training! Crazy! So, now, that means I am qualified to become a trainer myself or a senior companion.... O.o Scary thought. I hope I can keep being a junior companion for a bit longer. I still have a lot to learn, and I don't think I can take on the responsibility quite yet. Haha! Everyday people tell me that I'm super young. I know! I still feel like a kid. Ah well, I know all things are possible if God wants it to happen. So whatever calling the Lord gives me, I'll do my best to fulfill it. Anyways, with the end of my training comes the knowledge that it is very likely that Liu JM will be moving to a different area. That would make me very sad, as she is a very good friend and example. I am so grateful for the time that I've spent with her, and I don't know what I'd do without her.
Anyways, I guess many of you would like it if I write more about my missionary experiences here... Because most missionaries write back about how specific lessons went, about especially spiritual moments... Well... to be honest, right now it's a bit hard to write about that kind of stuff. I have a hard time just pointing out things... Picking out moments where I specifically felt the spirit tell me to say something. Or if I've seen the spirit working on my investigators... Because... well... number one, many of our investigators still don't have faith and still haven't opened their hearts yet. Number two, I've come to the point where the spirit manifests itself quietly and subtly. It guides me without me even realizing it through thoughts that seem to be just my thoughts that lead me to do things that help fulfill my purpose as a missionary.
To be honest, lately I have been really critical about myself. I keep thinking how I'm not good enough to do this work. How if I was a good missionary I would have a lot more investigators and a lot more baptisms. How, if I were a good missionary talking to people wouldn't scare me as much. And how, if I were a good missionary people would be moved by my words as I taught them, that they would be more willing to accept the gospel, and that they would be firmly converted to the gospel.
Well. I'm not a good missionary. I am an especially weak missionary. I have so many fears, doubts, hesitations, etc. I am bad at teaching, I am not a very good people person. I'm young, inexperienced, and perhaps even lacking in faith.
However, I know one thing. The Lord has called me to this work. He called me, an imperfect 19 year old to come and preach his gospel. He kept giving me an urge to go and serve. And so I went. I've said this before, but I know the Lord has given me my weaknesses. He knows that I am imperfect; perhaps more than anyone else knows how imperfect I am. He knows each of my mistakes that I've made and that I will make. He knows me perfectly, and he still called me to this work.
And I know, through scripture study and prayer, that He has given me ways to strengthen my weaknesses and combat my fears. He has taught me how to have faith and how to love. Because, honestly, that's all you need in this work. You need to have faith in Jesus Christ, and you must have faith that through His Atonement you are able to change progress and grow. You must have faith that God is your Father, and that he loves you absolutely and completely, so much so that he will forgive all of your mistakes and help you so that you can come unto Him. And through the knowledge of his love for you, you learn the importance of loving others. Missionary work is the work of love, or at least it should be. In Moroni 8:16, a prophet named Mormon testifies: "Behold, I speak with boldness, having aauthority from God; and I fear not what man can do; for bperfect clove dcasteth out all fear." When we have love for everyone, knowing that everyone on this earth is also a son or daughter of God, we want them to also know that God is their Father. We want to share with them the Gospel, or the Teachings of Jesus Christ, that has brought us so much hope, joy, peace, and comfort. We want them to know that they will be able to return to their Father and that through Christ they can experience a cleansing from guilt and pain.
I like the last part of that scripture that I shared above. "Perfect love casteth out all fear" Perfect love. What is that? How can I have that? I've decided that's what I am going to focus on for my mission. Developing a perfect love. Developing a Christlike love for everyone I come into contact with. I know that's easier said and done. And that it will require a lot of study of Christ's example and diligence. But I believe that it's something vital.
There are so many things that I've learned that I need to change about myself. But I know that I need to have patience, because change is a lifelong process. My goal is to return home a different person. A better person. A person who can be relied upon to strengthen and uplift others. A person who can truly call herself a Daughter of God.
Anyways, this week we had the chance to attend our Stake conference. It was good, though afterwards my brain hurt, since all of the conference was in Chinese, of course. The topic of the conference was the importance of members in missionary work. The Lord believes this is very important, and so as his representative I also know of its importance. I used to think missionary work was just for missionaries. But that's not true. Missionaries always move. They aren't there to strengthen and support people for very long. But members, they are friends that can always be relied upon. They create a support system, a family. They are the true examples of Christ's believers. So, today my invite to you: Be a missionary! Be a friend! Be an example!
Well, my time for email is limited... which makes me sad... Since everyone knows how much I love to write, as well as use computers... but I need to go and write my mission president. Hope everyone is doing well! Be awesome! Be you!
Love, Sister Nicholle Peng
|The missionary's new "uniforms" to wear when it's dark. Can you say fashion statement?|