Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Why Are Families Important? And The Battle With The CO Monitors!

Let's start with some responses to a few of my questions for Sister Peng this week:

1)  What is your favorite snack to eat?
Here?  I really like these pancake waffle like things that are filled with stuff like red bean, taro, and pudding.  Especially when it is made by this very old man on Zhong Hua Road.  He is soooo old!  

2)  How has your view of the world changed since you have been serving?
I don't know....  Perhaps I'm just more optimistic about things.... And I've just gotten to the point that I know things will happen on their own time, and that I shouldn't stress over the things I can't control.

3)  Do you feel a stronger tie to your ancestry and a deeper appreciation for your heritage since serving there?
Ummm.... a little bit?  I actually can see how I'm a mix of American and Taiwanese culture put into one person.... But I'm not really sure if it makes me deeper appreciate my asian heritage.... people here are.... interesting....  But don't worry, I still love them.

Hello Mom, Family and Friends,

How is everyone doing on this fine January day?  I'm doing great considering it's a P-day.  I love P-days! Though.... This week would be better if it wasn't for our CO monitor.... but that's a story I'll share in a bit.

Well, I'm currently on my last week here in Ping Dong.  We got the call again from President Blickenstaff that Sister Schultz will be serving as a trainer next move call, and he promised us that it was for sure this time.  Haha! That's good, because it would be awkward if I had to go through the process of telling everyone in Ping Dong "Good Bye" only to stay for another 6 weeks.  Anyways, I still don't know where I will be going, but I already pretty much figured I would be moving this move call anyways, so I never fully unpacked from last move call.  Of course, it's amazing how things tend to spread during 6 weeks... so, I need to do a bit of packing before I leave.  Also, tip for future missionaries, don't pack your bags full before you go into the MTC, because you tend to acquire things while on your mission as well in the MTC.  Mandarin speaking missions are probably more so, since I pretty much have over 30 pounds of language study..... uhhh..... yeah.... And I don't even have all of it..... soo....  I'm working hard on memorizing things so I can just leave some language study when I move and not have to always lug it around with me.

Gonna Miss These Missionaries!
Anyways, I'm sad to move, though I've already prepared myself mentally for the move.  I really love the people in Ping Dong, and I've had so many good experiences here.  I'm sure wherever I end up going next will be the same story.  I've learned that my favorite part of being on a mission is making new friends.  I've made so many good relationships with people who are so different from me.  And I've realized that it's so easy to make friends with people when you are trying to serve the Lord.  There is a saying that goes:  "The best way to make eternal friends by sharing eternal truths."  I've learned that that is so true! As I share the gospel with those around me, I am sharing something that has blessed me so much and is very close to me.  I am able to feel more of God's love for other people, and in consequence I start feeling a personal connection with them myself.  I really do love the people here!  I see them as very close friends, and even as family.  When I started my mission, I really wanted to know what "Perfect Love" felt like, and I think that so far, my understanding has grown.  Christ had perfect love.  He loved everyone, no matter who they were and what mistakes they made.  As a missionary, you have a chance to experience that love.  The people you meet may frustrate you because they aren't progressing in the Gospel, they aren't repenting and coming to God, but you still love them so much.  You desire for their conversion, because you know of the happiness it could bring them.  You know of their potential.  And you know that they are truly a part of your Heavenly Family, and you want to help them to come home.

I'm sure I'll love the people in my next area, just as much as I love the people in Ping Dong.  And I am excited to see where I go, and to help people in another part of Taiwan.  So, next Monday I'll update you all on where my new area is and who my new companion is.  :)
Sister Peng & Sister Schultz
I'm actually moving out of Ping Dong before the move call, on Friday, because Sister Schultz will be becoming a trainer, and the new missionary will be moving in on Friday... Though... I kind of wish I could stay for at least this next weekend, since a member in the ward is having their wedding reception, and I wanted to go since it sounds like it's going to be soo much fun... Oh, and did I mention that Sister Liu (my trainer who has already finished her mission) will be coming down to Ping Dong?  I miss her by a day! Sadness! But that's okay, I'll see her some other time... probably after my mission...
Anyways, I guess I should probably talk more on the CO monitor thing, so Mom doesn't keep worrying.  So, this week our CO monitor has gone off 4 times... The first time was on Friday morning at 1 am.  The second was Saturday morning at 6:15 am, and the third time was on Sunday morning at the same time....  And the 4th time happened last night at about midnight.... Well... After calling our Operations manager every day for the last 4 days, and waking him up every time, he told us last night to leave our apartment and sleep at a member's house (On the floor), just in case there really was CO.... Well, Sister Schultz and I are pretty sure it's our monitor that's gone all wacky, since we brought it with us today outside of the apartment, and it still said there was CO wherever we went... sooo...  We are going to have to get a new monitor.  Because, frankly, I don't like getting woken up in the middle of the night to very loud, high pitched beeping.  It's made me and Sister Schultz very antsy, and we really hope our neighbors don't get too frustrated with us and our alarm...  Cuz, man, it's loud!  And now we are very tired, since we missed out on like 1-2 hours of sleep last night.... ah well, at least we are safe. :)
Yummy Drink!
So, lately our lessons have been fewer than normal, because of testing.  School is now our arch enemy (Not really.  Keep going to school, the Lord wants you to learn.... but still... it's annoying when you can't set up with investigators and recent converts because they have testing and so they have to study 24/7 and they say they can't come to church because studying for those 3 hours is apparently going to make a big difference in how they test).  But seriously, we have to help people in Taiwan get their priorities straight.  What's more important?  Getting an A on a test, or your eternal salvation?  Quick! Choose! 
Also, this week, something has been pressing my mind.... especially after my lesson in English the other day...  I asked my class the question "Why are families important?" and no one gave me an answer.  I asked in both English and Chinese....  It's like, they couldn't even really describe why families are so important!  They couldn't think of why their family was important to them!  What is wrong with this world????  It blows my mind every time I ask the question "Would you like to live with your family for all eternity?", and then people answer back "Not really, that sounds like too long."  What happened to loving your family?  Some people here put family as a "duty" and not a "blessing."  But I truly know that our families are blessings that the Lord has given us.  God's purpose for families was to give each of his children a chance to grow up in a loving environment.  Of course, on this world there are families who are less than happy, and who are broken, but this is because of the mistakes of people, not God.  He has given us his guidance, his gospel to bless families and to help all of us learn how to have good relationships with everyone around us.  He has given us his gospel to give us all peace and light in our lives.  The Gospel can bless individuals, but its impacts on families are even greater.  Families are meant to be forever.  They are important.  And if we follow God's council and if we keep his commandments, we can truly live with our families forever! But we have to put our priorities straight. 
For me personally, my priorities are:
First: God
Second: Family
Third: Friends
Fourth: Everyone else
Fifth: Everything else
When we put God first, we put our trust in His all-knowing counsel.  We have faith that if we follow His will, we will become heirs of his kingdom.  And when we put God first, he helps us know what's most important in life. And when we put him first, everything else in our lives will fall into line.

3 Nephi 13:
  19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where amoth and rust doth corrupt, and thieves break through and steal;
 20 But lay up for yourselves atreasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.
 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
 31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
 32 For your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
 33 But aseek ye first the bkingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.
Well, that's pretty much it for my rant... Sorry, it just frustrates me when people can't see the importance of their families.  I guess it's because I've been soo blessed to have such a wonderful family.  I just want other people to have the blessings of an eternal family in their life as well.
My time is almost up... well... not quite, I just have to email a few people and watch a video on lds.org.  But, I think that there's not much that I can add to this email...  but I do have a few invites:
1. Figure out your priorities in life, and if God and Family aren't at the top of your list, you've got some thinking to do.
2. Think of something you can do today to strengthen your relationships with others for eternity.
3. Check your CO monitors....
4. Have an awesome week!
Cheers!  Now isn't this a cute mug?!
These mugs are just too cute!!!

I love you all! Be awesome! CTR!
Love, Sister Nicholle Peng

No comments:

Post a Comment