Monday, November 25, 2013

Knock, knock, knock.....Q: "Who Is It?" Answer: "Missionaries" Response: "No one is home." O.o

Do you have to go tracting on Thanksgiving?
Yup.  Thanksgiving doesn't exist in Taiwan.  We don't believe in being thankful through eating turkey here... Turkey is expensive apparently... But we are going to have a Thanksgiving party on Saturday for the ward.  We missionaries have to do a play explaining Thanksgiving.... I'm going to be an Indian! Of course... Haha!
How far do you have to travel to church?
8 minutes if we bike at a very relaxed pace.  2-3 minutes if we bike our guts out.
How many investigators did you have at church this week?
Only 2.  but that's okay. :)  Better than none!
What food do you miss the most?
Not really that I miss it... but Mexican food is pretty rare... oh, and very very yummy sushi!  Taiwan sushi is weird.... and Indian food! There is an Indian place in Ping Dong though.  Looks expensive, but I've made it a goal to go there. :) 
Have you been hit on your bike yet or had a close call?
I haven't hit things yet or been hit.  Knock on wood!  I've probably had some close calls, but everyone has close calls on Taiwan streets.  Actually, Ping Dong isn't very bad, rode wise.  Not as many people on the streets.  Though, traffic laws are a bit more laxed here as well... so.... it kind of balances themselves out.  Don't worry, I do my best to be safe.  :)
Oh, sorry about the lack of pictures recently... we really haven't had many opportunities to take some.  This week and next week we'll for sure have some opportunities though!
Hello Mum and other really awesome people!
How is life in the states?  Is it getting colder?  Because it's getting cooler here.  We actually wear sweaters in the mornings and evenings because it gets a bit colder than normal... which means it's not in the 80s or something... actually, most days it's my companion who wears the sweaters because she is cold.  I wear them because if I don't, everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) I talk to says: "Ni bu hui leng ma?" Which means "You won't cold?" or in plain English: "You aren't cold?"  And I always say, "Bu hui."  And then I get lectured on how I'll get sick if I don't wear a sweater....  Yeah, everyone here in Taiwan is concerned about other people's health.  Which is pretty nice I guess.  My favorite greeting here is : "Ni chi bao le me?" Which means:  "Have you eaten full yet?"/ "Have you eaten yet?"  I've always wondered what would happen if I just awkwardly said "Hai mei"/ Not yet.  Would they offer to let us in so we can eat?  Perhaps that would be a good strategy to getting into doors... Haha!  Taiwan people are so concerned with food and eating.  I like this culture! Haha!
Talking about getting into doors.... When we are door contacting, we get some pretty funny/interesting experiences.  Such as when we ring the doorbell and people from within shout: "Who is it?"  And we answer back: "Missionaries!"  And they answer back: "NO ONE IS HOME!"  Or another one of my favorite answers:  "I'm in the shower!"  Half of the time, you can see them through their windows... And A: I'm pretty sure if you weren't home, I wouldn't be able to see you... and B:  Why are you showering in your living room without water????? 
Also, I've never been bowed to so much in my life.  I've learned that in Taiwan, one of the most common ways for missionaries to get refused is through bowing while walking backwards and saying "Thank you. Thank You. Thank You. Thank You. Thank You...."  We get bowed to every day!  And these people are thanking us just for saying something along the lines of: "Hello, we are missionaries and we are in your neighborhood sharing a happy message about Christ and how he can bring more peace and happiness in your life."  They just get so excited they just keep saying thank you, over and over again and they are unable to take much more of our message, so they go back inside....  Yeah... that's pretty much sums up 95% of the experiences we have contacting people in their houses....
So, this week has been pretty good for the most part.  Though, with lessons it's been kind of slow or not as productive as we would want them to be.  Most of our people have been too busy to meet this week due to testing in all of the schools.  Also, when we were teaching Amber, her son was all over the place, so we weren't able to have her focus very well...  But I have a feeling if we keep pressing forward and trying harder to find new investigators and praying for the investigators that we are teaching that we'll have some miracles.  I'm just really praying to have some of the investigators I've been working with for a while be baptized soon!! They are so ready! Most of their problems is the fact that they haven't come to church as much as they should.  That's the only thing keeping Amber back... because she has Logan, her son, and she is about 8 months pregnant.... very very very pregnant.... she doesn't think she can do it... she just needs faith!
Anyways, Wednesday was Sister Schultz birthday!  Happy birthday to her!  The Lord gave us a pretty pleasant day, especially with teaching English.  Our English class went more smoothly than it has for a loooong time!  Also, for part of lunch we stopped by a cafe to grab some cake for her birthday.  And after we finished eating our cake, a couple was celebrating their 30th anniversary with a cake in the shape of a duck.  They were so cute!  And so was the cake!  And they just gave us two slices of their cake, right out of the blue! It was super nice of them.  I don't understand some Taiwanese cake though.  This cake had a whip cream frosting.  And on the inside, it had a layer of frozen whip cream with frozen cubes of cake.... So it was cake with frozen cake as the filling.... interesting....
Other fun things that happened this week.  On Saturday we pretty much had a day of service.  First, we helped a convert, Xuen Xuen, clean her house.... in which we pretty just moved a whole bunch of things around because her house has a lot of stuff she doesn't know why it's in there....  She was getting frustrated, because no one in her family really knows how to clean...  So we went and helped her.  Anyways, the funny moment was when she gave me a wet rag and told me to go dry of a plastic bin with it... Well, the rag was about as wet as the bin... so I wasn't sure what the logic behind it was, and Sister Schultz was just as confused.  And then, after we helped Xuen Xuen clean, we helped Sister Hu weed her garden.  Well... weeding also includes spreading manuer all over the ground... yum!  So yeah... we got dirty....
So, now that I've pretty much written a novel, I guess I'll hurry up and do my spiritual share so I can go and email my mission president.  Yesterday in church, our bishop mentioned there were two different parts to the phrase "Children of God."  The first one is the fact that we are literally children of God.  He created us, both body and spirit.  The second is more of being known as a Child of God because we are willing to do what he wants us to do.  We are willing to be converted unto him.  That got me thinking the difference between being a child and being an heir.  We are all children of God.  But how many of us are striving to be an heir of God?  To be an heir, means to be obedient unto the Father so that he is pleased with us.  It means showing our love to him, and being willing to follow his will.  In return, he promises us an eternal inheritance. The Lord has prepared an inheritance for every one of his children.  But he will only give it to those who are worthy and will appreciate that inheritance.  For our Father is a just God.  So strive every day to be an heir to the Lord's kingdom.  Remember that we are all children of the most High King. He loves each and every one of us.  And he is waiting with arms out stretched. 
I am so grateful to be part of this work.  And though I know that I have many imperfections and am not qualified to do this work, I know that this is the Lord's work and he will see it through.  He works through imperfect people to build up his kingdom.  We just have to be willing to be humble enough to accept his help. 
I hope you all are doing well.  I miss you and love you all! 
God be with you till we meet again,
Sister Nicholle Peng

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