Monday, November 11, 2013

Flowers Received and Flowers Given...

Hello from the land of giant snails, weird smells, and pet raccoons on leashes....

Wow, this week actually felt really long...  I don't know why, it just feels like Monday was a month ago!  What did I even do this week??? Haha! Just kidding, I remember, I wrote things down.  Thank goodness for post it notes and planners... Seriously, how did I manage before I obtained the skill of doing daily planning... Actually, planning things out is nice and all, but sometimes it just stresses me out because I keep trying to watch the time for everything... You all know how I get anxious about being late and all... Ah well... I'm a bit more organized now, so I know what I'm supposed to be doing.
So this week has been an adventure of sorts.  Well, aside from Monday, we didn't really do things on Monday.... Just went to the store and such... 
Tuesday was a bit more exciting.  We had a ZTM, which means Zone Training Meeting.  So we all took our bikes onto a train, to go to the Feng Shan Chapel. It was actually a really good meeting.  My favorite part was about having a vision.  We all have to have a vision of where we want to go.  That's why goals are so important to keep people motivated.  Well, our vision here in the Taichung mission is to have a Temple in Gaoxiong (right across the street from the Feng Shan Chapel) within the next 10 years or so.  Can you just imagine! Two temples in Taiwan!  That would be so wonderful! Especially for the people in the South, who have to travel 4+ hours to go to the temple.  Right now, our part as missionaries is to continue building the kingdom of the Lord, here in Taiwan.  We need to have 9 more stakes in the Taichung mission boundaries.  We can do it!  Temples are so important! Not only can people receive the ordinances of salvation in them, but families can be sealed together forever!  And also, many loved ones who have passed on will have a chance to receive their ordinances as well!  Perhaps one day, I can travel back to Taiwan, go to the Gaoxiong Temple, and do family history work there with my future family.  Gah! Sooo excited!  Jia You!
So after the ZTM, our lessons for the most part canceled on us, leaving us with a lot of time to go and tract/ contact people.  Well, we decided to start tracting right after we got back to Ping Dong, and wait a little bit before we would go and grab some dinner... well... while tracting, we were invited in by a grandma and her family.  They weren't interested in the Gospel, but they were very interested in making sure that we ate food.... They wouldn't let us leave until we ate our share of dumplings and fruit... So, we didn't need to get dinner....  Then, after we finally managed to leave there house, stomachs being completely full, we continued tracting in a different neighborhood.  Well, we found a few people who were interested, no one that would make a return appointment though.  And then, we came to a house with a lot of orchid plants on the outside.  The owner was nice, he said that his religion was "Sleep", which makes no sense in English.  But here is a little explanation:
Religion: Zong Jiao
Christian: Ji Du Jiao
Buddist: Fo Jiao
Sleep: Shui Jiao
Anyways, after talking to him for a bit, we complemented him on his orchid plants,

which are actually his wife.  Then he wanted us to take 2 of the plants... We refused, not knowing how to take care of the things... but he pretty much put them in our hands and wouldn't take them back... so... we took them, completely confused as to what just happened, and then we ended up giving one to an investigator family. :) We still have one plant, and it's still alive.  It's really pretty. Then, the investigator family gave us cake that looked and tasted very much like tiramisu... which... has coffee.... so we had to throw it away.... but yeah.... On Tuesday, people kept giving us stuff... That never happens....
So, then on Wednesday, we decided to return the favor and give people things.  We wanted to try a different kind of contacting... Flower contacting! So we bought some flowers and then went to a park and started giving all the women and children flowers.  And then, we happened to run into a member, who saw what we were doing and said we probably should get different flowers next time... We asked her why.... Apparently we bought flowers that are only given to dead people at funerals.... so... yeah... then we started worrying a bit, since we gave some very old ladies the flowers... Hopefully they didn't get the wrong impression... O.o  But now the flowers are in our apartment, and it smells like Christmas, so it's all good. :)
Funeral Flowers
On Thursday we had mission president interviews and planner and area book checks... well, afterwards I felt more stressed than ever, since well... I always feel like I could be doing better... but ah well... I'm trying hard, and so what if I'm not getting as many baptisms!  That's not my decision to make, it's the peoples.  They have their agency... I can only do so much!
Friday still seems like forever ago... Interesting highlight was the fact that we taught a drunk lady... we didn't know she was drunk at first... but she was just staring at us, while we were getting ready to leave the church, so we asked if she wanted a tour.  Well, we ended up giving her a small lesson in the chapel, where she accepted a baptismal invite and gave us her information... well... as we were teaching, it became apparent she had the smell of alcohol on her... ah well... She needs help... she's not in our area though, so we will give her information to the other missionaries... hopefully God will help her....
Saturday and Sunday weren't very exciting... Sunday is always nice though, church always makes the spirit a bit lighter.  Also, we had 4 investigators attend, which was cool. :)  Sunday school was also interesting, because we talked about life after death.  While talking about the spirit world, I kept thinking about how much the Lord really does love everyone! He gives us every chance he can to help us come unto him.  We just have to listen to him!
So, today, my plans are to go and buy groceries, look for some cool Taiwan styled clothing, and buy a ukulele (not spelled right).  Sister Schultz and I want to learn how to play.  It's going to be so fun!

Okay, well, I am running out of time quickly... sadness... I really wish I had more time... but I have to write a few other people... :( Ah well.... 
Love you all! Have a good week!  Be more Christ like in all things! Choose the Right!
Sister Nicholle Peng

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