Monday, December 9, 2013

...And Sister Peng Was Transferred to............?

Dear Mom, family, and friends,
Good morning! Or evening or afternoon.... wherever you are....  :D  Greetings from........Drum roll please!..... Ping Dong!  I know what you're thinking.  You're thinking, "Wait.... I thought you were moving?  Isn't Ping Dong where you were?"  And you would be correct!  I didn't end up moving after all!
So, this week was crazy!  Ever since last week's Saturday night when President Blickenstaff called us telling me that I would be moving, and Sister Schultz that she would become trainer, everything has been very very busy/emotional/crazy/tiring/etc... I spent the first part of the week doing missionary work, packing, and saying goodbye to people.  And our short amount of time was made even shorter due to traveling to different meetings (one of which was three hours away by train for Sister Schultz's training), and because we also had a lot of preparation to do for the English Party we had on Wednesday.
I was super sad at the thought of having to leave Ping Dong, but I finally got myself prepared (emotionally and physically) to leave my first area.  Sister Schultz also was preparing stressing out and getting excited for her new step as a trainer....  And then in the middle of all this, two of the elders in our district got a call saying that they would be both moved out of the area and that Ping Dong will only be having 4 missionaries as opposed to the 6 that they've had for about a year....  So they were also having a stressful week trying to say good bye and transfer all of their records over to the other elders in Ping Dong.... So we were all kind of scrambled this week...
(Hey, but at least our English Party went pretty smoothly!  The Elders did a wonderful job putting together most of it.  Also, we wouldn't have been able to do it without the help of the members.  So thanks to them!!!)

Luggage all packed up and ready to go
Well... On Thursday night, when all of us missionaries were eating dinner at an all you can eat Hot Pot with some ward members- it was a kind of good bye dinner for us missionaries who would be leaving- Sister Schultz and I got a call from the Mission President...  Apparently, one of the new incoming sister's visa didn't come through, and so Sister Schultz doesn't need to train this move call.  He said to not unpack my bags (which were packed in anticipation of moving on Friday) because he wasn't sure if I would still move or not on Monday. 
And then, on Friday, the elders learned that Ping Dong will still have 6 missionaries, so they weren't really sure who was going to move or if they were going to move either.... And we were all waiting for Saturday to come along so we could figure out what in the world was going on?!?!?!
Well, on Saturday, we learned that only one missionary will be moving from Ping Dong.  Elder Buckwalter, who wasn't very surprised.  But the ward will be very sad to see him go, because he is a very good missionary.  Anyways, Sunday was a bit funny/awkward/nice.  Many people came up to me and said "Wait? I thought you were moving?"  And then Sister Schultz and I would tell them about what happened.  I felt very loved on Sunday.  People kept hugging me and telling me that I could just spend my whole mission in Ping Dong, and that they didn't want me to leave.
The Nativity
I'm so glad that I still have time in Ping Dong.  I'll be here for Christmas! Which will be great, since these people are pretty much family! Heck, we all look the same! Haha!  I'll also be able to spend more time with Sister Schultz!  I can tell she is a bit disappointed for not training... But I'm glad she isn't.  I don't want to leave quite yet.  I'll have another move call. :)

Anyways, with all of what's happened this week, I've learned that while you are a missionary, prepare for anything and everything to happen.  Changes happen every time you plan something, so always have a backup plan.  And always have a backup plan to your back up plan. :)  You just have to do what the Lord wants you to do, because this is his work and he wants you to do it on his way.
Chinese Santa
And so, kind of on a side note that goes along with my morning studies, I'm going to share a little bit about the importance of being prepared and not procrastinating.  For some reason, we humans love to push things off until tomorrow.  We keep saying how short time is, and how it just flies by, but we are just as quick to say that we'll do things tomorrow....  But what happens when we run out of tomorrows?  When will we ever get anything done?  We delude ourselves into thinking that our time in the future is endless.... And I guess in a sense, it is... But our time to make changes, to improve ourselves is very very short.
In Alma 34:33 it reads "And now, as I said unto you before, as ye have had so many witnesses, therefore, I beseech of you that ye do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end; for after this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity, behold, if we do not improve our time while in this life, then cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed."
Our purpose in this life is to prepare ourselves to one day live with God.  We have been given this time to repent, or in other words change and improve.  I don't know about you, but I have a tendency to set goals for tomorrows.  I want to make changes in my life, but I keep thinking that I need to wait for a tomorrow to make it an official new beginning.... But then when tomorrow comes, I find that I've forgotten the changes I wanted to make.... Or I decide to make those changes... Tomorrow....
But I know that that's not what the Lord, my Heavenly Father would have me do.  He wants me to make those changes NOW.  Not tomorrow, not a week from now... Not at the beginning of a new year even.  He wants all of us change now, so that we may have more time to improve and come unto him.  The sooner we act on the changes we want to make in this life, the sooner we will be able to receive the rewards from those changes.... So why wait?  Change now!
One of these changes that I want to make in my life is getting into the habit of talking to everyone.  I just get to awkward or timid, and I think: "Next time I'll talk to everyone...."  But this week, I've started to push myself to talk to people, and so has Sister Schultz, and we've actually had two new investigators this week, despite the craziness of it all!  And both of them are very solid investigators!  (One of them is from China and has accepted a baptismal date and the other one is only 13 and has already read the Book of Mormon from cover to cover!) I know it's a blessing of the Lord for us trying to make changes in our lives to align ourselves more with his will.  I am grateful for the love and mercy he has for each and every one of us.  And I know that if we want to make a good and worthwhile change in ourselves he is more than willing to help us accomplish our goals.
I'm so grateful for this chance to serve the Lord and for this chance I have to make changes in myself.  I hope that when I return back to Utah, I'll have had made changes here that will stick with me for a life time.  I love this work, and I know it's the Lord's work. 
Pineapple Bread/cake & dragon fruit. 
I hope you are all doing well and that you all are able to see the Lord's hand in your life.  Be strong and of a good courage!  Always be awesome! Always be you!
Bowl of Dragonfruit

Sister Nicholle Peng

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