Thursday, December 5, 2013

Surprise Transfer Notice!

I was only able to get one of Sister Peng's picture to load.
Hello everyone! 
How is life?  How was Thanksgiving???  I'm doing okay, though a little more stressed than normal....  Because... well... I found out I'm going to be moving on Friday morning!  We got a call on Saturday night at about 10:33 pm from the President Blickenstaff telling Sister Schultz that she would be training in the next move call and consequently I will be moving to a new area.  It was nice of him to call before Sunday so I could say good bye to the ward, but Sister Schultz and I weren't able to sleep all night long! 

I'm so sad I have to move from Ping Dong!  I've really love this area, and all of the people in the area!  I made a ton of friends and the ward is amazing!  But I know that I am needed elsewhere and that it's time for a new sister to be born into the "land of milk and honey".  Anyways, I don't know where I'm moving to yet.  So, I'll have to get back to you all on that next Monday.  For now, Sister Schultz and I are busy trying to figure out how we are going to schedule a whole bunch of meetings (which we have to travel by train to get to), a lot of meal appointments (people who want to say good bye to me, I feel so loved!) and all of our other lessons into a period of 4 days....  Also along with the fact that I have to pack...  It's amazing how things accumulate/spread out after you've lived in an area for 4 months.

Oh, yeah! Today is my 4 month anniversary of being in Taiwan!!!  So crazy!!!  Time flies when you're on a mission!  I also passed my 6 month mark of being a missionary.... weird.... :P
Anyways, this week in itself was very busy/crazy/fun.  Like, it feels like this week should be divided into 2 if not 3 weeks, not 1!  This week started off on Tuesday and Wednesday having Companion Exchanges with the Sister Training Leaders, Sister Smith and Sister Ward (who happened to train Sister Anderson and who was just recently also Sister Liu's Companion for half a move call in Taizhong).  I was with Sister Smith up in San Ming for the exchange.  It's always fun doing companion exchanges.  I always end up learning so much!  I feel bad for the STL's though, since they are always traveling because of meetings and because of exchanges.  But Sister Smith and Sister Ward are awesome!  Sister Smith has only a few days left until she goes home! It's so crazy!  Anyways, it was fun being with Sister Smith.  We didn't end up having many lessons (only one) since we were "Fanged" (stood up).  But it was still nice to talk to Sister Smith and get some advice for how I can improve as a missionary.
Then, Thursday was Thanksgiving.  Nothing really happened that was very exciting....  Just the fact that we kept remembering that it was Thanksgiving, and then we started thinking of things we were grateful for, such as Family, the Ping Dong Ward, missionary work, Heavenly Father, Food, Sleep... etc.  And then for dinner we ate Chicken and rice and vegetables... Yup...
But, not to be disappointed about not being in America for Thanksgiving, we had our Mission Tour on Friday, where we did eat a Thanksgiving lunch- massive turkeys and funeral potatoes with frosted flakes all included.  Haha!  Mission Tour was very good.  Very spiritual and very... how do you say.... well, It made us all want to work harder and be better (I think the word I'm looking for is inspirational?)  Elder Funk, who is a general authority spoke to us, along with our mission president.  We also all had to prepare talks in the anticipation of getting called to speak.  I wasn't called, but I was fine with that. :)  Haha!
The topic for the talks was on how we gain spiritual strength as missionaries.  But I think the topic can apply for everyone, since missionaries aren't the only ones who need to increase in spiritual strength. Many missionaries shared on the importance of prayer and reading the scriptures, all of which allow us to councel with the Lord, and plead for his help.  Praying and reading scriptures invites the Spirit into our lives, and they can give us comfort and strength when facing trials and temptations.  Another way to gain spiritual strength that was also shared was the importance of remembering who we are.  Children of God.  And if we truly have faith in him, and we continue to increase in knowledge of him and come closer to him, we will build in our spiritual strength.  We are weak, but through relying on the Lord, we have his strength to be with us, in all things, at all times and in all places.  We can rely on the Lord through being humble and through being obedient to his will, and if we do so, he will strengthen our weaknesses.
So, Mission Tour ended up taking our whole day though.  We left our apartment at 7 in the morning to catch the train.  The conference started at 9 and went till about 3:30, but then Sister Schultz and I had to stay afterwards since she was chosen to have an interview with Elder Funk, along with 5 other missionaries.  So, we didn't get to end up leaving till after 6.  After traveling, we didn't get home till after 8, and at that time we still hadn't eaten dinner... so... Yeah, we only had time to call phones for about 30 minutes and then eat dinner.... So, that day most proselyting was just swept out of the door! It was crazy!

And then, on Saturday we spent most of the day preparing for our ward's Thanksgiving activity, in which they wanted us missionaries to do a performance/play that would describe the story of the first Thanksgiving.  It was super fun to do, though we didn't have time to practice before hand.  It was so funny though, for costumes, we Indians wore Taiwan aboriginal clothing... which isn't really like Native American clothing at all.... But, ah well, it was cool!  We also had a pot luck, for our Thanksgiving dinner.... which wasn't like any Thanksgiving that I've ever had....  There was no rhyme or reason to the dishes... Like... there was a dish where the bottom was tortilla chips smashed into salsa with blueberry bagel pieces on top... which actually ended up pretty good... though it's not really Taiwanese food or American food.... that I know of....  But it was all pretty yummy!

So, aside from all that craziness, missionary work is going as usual.  This week’s lessons were a bit fewer and far between since we were so busy all week.  But, we did have a lot of investigators attend church and our Thanksgiving activity.  This week is bound to be just as crazy.... So, I'd better buckle my seat belt and hold on tight!  Haha!
I hope you all enjoy the pictures (which I'm going to try and download right now), since I haven't uploaded pictures for a few weeks.  Didn't have much opportunities to take pictures until this week....
I love you all! Hopefully you are all having a great week!  Hope you all are full of turkey and happiness!  Miss you!
Oh! Weird! Just remembered that it was December!!!!! WEIRD!!!!
Love you!
Sister Nicholle Peng

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