Tuesday, January 7, 2014

A week of funny occurrences!

1)  What time do you meet for church?  9am
2)  Do you understand much of what is said in church now?  Do you understand what the people are saying during the testimony meetings?
I understand most of everything, and I've definitely improved in my ting-de-donging (hearing and understanding).  Still, there are sometimes where I just zone out because they get into very complicated Chinese or people just drone.  It's the same in the States though, so it's all good.  People are better to keeping everything short and sweet though.  But there is this 90+ year old man....
3)  How do you guys usually break the fast on fast Sundays?
By praying, and than eating anything in sight in our apartment....

4)  Are you worried about being transferred during the next transfer?  Do you have a preference as to where you end up?
I'm going to be transferred, like I'm 89% sure, since normally you don't stay so long in your first area.  I don't really care where I go.... Perhaps somewhere that has a lot of hard biking so I can work off Guo Nian (chinese new years) weight.... I heard Guo Nian get's scary.

5)  On an average, how much are you biking a day?
Uh.... I don't really know.... a lot.... a little, it depends.  Some days more than others.  Thinking about getting myself a counter so I can actually see.
6)  Do you know how to sing quite a few hymns in Chinese now?  Do you just know the words by how they sound or can you actually read the hymn book?
I just read my pin yin hymn book that I got when I was at Startalk (most missionaries have pin yin hymn books. 

7)  How much of the words do you recognize in the scriptures?
Like.... 70%...... so far.... or less....

Hello Mum! Hello People whom I love! HAPPY NEW YEARS!!!!!  I hope you all had a fantastic time celebrating the New Year.  Here as a missionary in Taiwan, New Year’s Day was just the same as another day....  I made some goals.... Oh, and at midnight we were awoken by fireworks (though that occurs on a regular basis, since the Taiwanese shoot of fireworks whenever there is the slightest reason... like a birthday.... or some obscure random holiday for the BaiBai culture....).  Other than that, New Year’s wasn't that much different.  Here in Taiwan, more people celebrate Guo Nian or Chinese New Year (Which is based off the lunar calendar).  Guo Nian starts on January 30th this year, and it is a time where all missionaries in Taiwan become very weary of anyone offering them food...  I've yet to experience a Guo Nian, but it's promising to be a very.... interesting experience.  My goal is to not gain too much weight, but you have to balance not eating too much with not making people feel offended with not eating enough of their food....  So complicated!
Anyways, this week (as always) flew by so quickly!  I have no idea what happened to it! But looking back, this week was pretty fun.  At least, there was a lot of funny things that happened... Heehee!
Our first humorous experience begins at an investigator's house.  Her name is Huang Jie Mei (Sister Huang).  Well, we were sharing with her a quick overview of the Restoration of the Gospel (The beginnings of our Church) when she noticed the picture on the front of the pamphlet we were using.  It's the one where Christ is holding a lamb.  She then gets a concerned look on her face and asks: "Why is Christ holding the lamb?  Is he going to eat it?"  My companion and I were trying to hold in our laughter as we described that the lamb represents each and every one of us, and Christ is holding the lamb to represent his love for it (And there are a lot of parables in the Bible and Book of Mormon that call Christ the master Shepherd, and we are his precious lambs).  Anyways, it took us a bit to get it into her head, that the pleasant look on Christ's face was one of love, and not one of him expecting to eat a yummy lamb.... She's sooo funny!  She also felt really bad when we were helping her clean out her freezer and she saw all the dead fruit flies.  She kept trying to assure us that she didn't mean to kill them, but that they just flew in there by themselves.... Haha!
Our second fun experience of the week included going to visit a new investigator who goes by the name of Coco.  We met her when she came by herself to our church.  And she kept telling people she was a member, but she's never been baptized, making everyone very, very confused.  Well, we went there to go and teach her, since she invited us over... Well, apparently, she invited us over because she thought we could use a new apartment and she wants us to rent one from her dad.  Well, it took us a while to convince her that we as missionaries can't just go and rent our own apartments according to our desires.... We were so confused the whole time we were over at her house..... : P
Our third interesting experience happened on Friday.  Well, we were having a sit down with an investigator who we call Huang Jie Mei (Sister Huang).  She loves meeting with the missionaries... but she isn't willing to come to church or be baptized or do anything we ask her to do....  She is already Christian, and doesn't want to betray her other church.  Anyways... here is how part of our conversation went:
Us: So, what impact does the Atonement (Christ's sacrifice for us) have in your life?
Her: Well, I used to drink and smoke, but now I don't do that kind of thing because I don't hang out with the friends I used to drink and smoke with.  And sometimes when I drink tea, I feel guilty because you guys don't drink tea.  And then there are times when I eat things and they give me "la duzi" (diarrhea).  And then I think it's God telling me not to eat those things, like pork and duck blood, because he gives me "la duzi" every time I eat them."
Us:..... O.o
Our forth side tickling moment happened the next day when we went tracting.  We were knocking on houses, and getting rejected because people are "Preparing for Guo Nian" which is at the end of this month....  Anyways, we knocked on this one gate, and as soon as my hand went back to my side after knocking, a very excited voice squeaked: Hello!  An older lady, who was very excitable and very embarrassed that her hair wasn't the best looking and that she was wearing her cleaning clothes.  Anyways she told us that we can come back after Guo Nian.  And that she was sooo happy to see us.  Her words were: "I love seeing pretty girls!  You are so pretty! When I see pretty girls, I don't have to eat all day!"  And both Sister Schultz and I tried to tell her, we weren't very pretty, and that she should probably eat food still.... Haha!
And our last funny/fail moment happened on Sunday, when we decided to make and bring dinner to a Less Active's (Sister Hu's) house, since her wrists are bad and it's hard for her to cook on Sundays.  Well... We made pasta with Prego Spaghetti (I can't spell it!) sauce.... Since that's all we had... Well.... We brought it over, started eating it with her, and she didn't look very happy.... She said we needed to add veggies and meat to it.  So... So proceeded in directing us to heat up some giant green kidney beans, green beans, fish meat balls and already cooked and flavored in weird sauce pork in a pot of boiling water.  And then had us add it to our already cold pasta.  When Sister Hu went out of the room to grab something, Sister Schultz couldn't help but look down at our pasta, sigh and say: "Ugh, we've Asian-ed our pasta."  Well... I'm not sure if adding the stuff made the pasta taste any better.... But at least Sister Hu looked happier.  Also, I think that means we've failed at trying to do something nice for someone.... Taiwan people just aren't satisfied with not-Asian-ed pasta. 
Anyways, I think from this week, I've learned to always look for the bright moments in life.  Always focus on the positive things that happen, because then you'll notice that life is so amazing.  It's the small moments that make up eternity.  Sometimes we just focus on the things that go bad.... But that just makes us tired and feel blue.  Why feel blue when we can see miracles instead?  My overall goal for this year is to always be happy and have hope.  Of course, I know we need to have moments of trials and moments of frustration and sadness to help us grow, but we can decide if we will rise above them or if we'll let them pull us down.  Focus on the positive.  It's all about your attitude.  Seek after the beautiful things in your everyday life.  Never forget that you, yes, you reading this blog post, are a person full of potential.  God is your Father, and he is there to support you in all things.  And if you excursive faith, you will see His hand in your life.
I love you all! I hope you are all doing well.  Happy New Year! Let's make this a Year of Miracles!
Love, Sister Nicholle Peng

Article of Faith 13
aWe believe in being bhonest, true, cchaste, dbenevolent, virtuous, and in doing egood to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we fhope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to gendure all things. If there is anything hvirtuous, ilovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.

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