Monday, February 24, 2014

I Know That The Lord Knows Me And Really Does Answer My Prayers...

1). Did you get your birthday cards and Valentine cards yet??? Hope so and I hope you felt loved because you are!
I didn't get any birthday cards yet..... and I got a small package from the YW (Sis Devasheree sent it) so could you give them my thanks and love?  I would write back to everyone who has sent me things, but I've found that time is non existent.... I can't believe this is the last week of the move call!

2). Are the investigators coming back now that New Years celebration is over?  Church attendance improving?  Well, we can meet with investigators now, which has been nice.  Church has a bit more people- and even more LA's came yesterday than normal! Yaya!

3). How do you shop at Costco's?  Do someone lend you their Costco card?
We haven't shopped yet.... Sister Park has a card. we just need transportation and permission.  Also, most of the time we can send members to get us what we need- which is probably safer for our money, since if we were there, I'm sure we would want to buy everything.

4). What do you like the most about Tainan?  Besides being able to eat Mexican food...Hee,Hee
Uhh........ I guess some of the people I've met here are pretty cool and nice.  We have more baptismal goals, so that makes me happy.

5). What is Your companion's best attribute?  Besides taking care of you and making sure you are well fed.
Uh... Her Korean is pretty good! Haha! She is really diligent and she keeps trying to find ways we can improve, and she always feels bad if she feels that we aren't as successful as she thinks we should be.

6). How close are you to the next transfer? Do you think you are moving or staying put?
This is our last week.  I actually don't know.  I might be staying, but I could be moving..... I'd be fine either way.

7). How is your Chinese and that of your companion?  Are you able to communicate your thoughts and ideas effectively?  Who has a better command of the language?
Our Chinese is pretty good.  I think my Chinese is better in the listening and speaking aspect.  Hers is better reading and writing.

8) if you are in auto pilot what language do you use?  Do you think on English or Chinese.
I end up in a weird mix of Chinglish that just makes everyone confused.

9). Is it warming up there in Tainan or still cold?
It's warming up a bit. :D

10). Do you have many opportunities for service in Tainan?
We go and sing at a hospital for disabled people every week.


Hello Mum and other good souls who take the time to read my ramblings,

Well, this week was... different. I don't know if other missions do something like this, but this week we had our POWER WEEK!  Which basically, the rules of power week are: Half an hour of personal study, half an hour of companion study, no language study, and lunch and dinner are to be eaten "on the go" (which basically means we didn't have lunch or dinner times....). Every day has a goal that we should strive to hit and if we hit them we get to call our mission president and say: Hello, this is (Name) and (companion's name): Mission accomplished. And then you hang up.  

Power week was fun, but sometimes it just got stressful, since we really wanted to hit the goals.  We did accomplish two of them.  We gave out 13 Books of Mormon on Tuesday, and we contacted over 20 families on Saturday.  The others we were either really close or really far away from.... Like.... On Thursday we were supposed to commit 5 people to baptism for March 22.  Well, we did get one! Ah well, there was improvement, and I'm just happy with improvement.  Though, I am now very happy to have all of my study time and my eating time.  Studies help me stay spiritually fed, and eating time makes sure I'm physically fed. 

Eating during power week was far from healthy, since most of it was street food or food that we bought from 7-11.  Also, eating and biking at the same time doesn't really make you full, I found out.... haha! We also ate a ton of snacks since "on-the-go" meals tend to be smaller.  But ah well, from this week starting, we are going to be eating healthier.... if I can get my companion to stop guilt tripping me into sharing all the snacks she buys.... she really likes to feed me... and if I don't eat it, she saves it for me to eat for later.... yup.... That's how she expresses love. Haha!

So, this week was good since I got to meet a few of our investigators that have been MIA due to Guo Nian.  My favorite is Kathy! She is super cute and super fun! I really do think she'll be baptized, but she is just waiting for God to give her direction (she was already Christian before and she is hesitating, because she's been baptized before into a different church).  Oh, and she is Vietnamese! And I'm told she makes really yummy food. :D She also gave us candy that looks like and tastes like corn.  So, when I have the chance, I'm sending some home so my family at least can understand what it's like to eat corny candy. Heehee! It was actually pretty good, so I hope you like them as well. :D  I'm going to go and buy other treats today so I can send them in the near future... that is if they don't end up getting eaten, so if there is anything anyone wants, tell me. :D

Hmm.... what else happened this week.... Oh, on Sunday after church we got on a train to Taizhong for a Mission Conference.  Most of the mission was there, everyone except for those who are serving too far south (like Ping Dong... so I was a bit sad for Sister Schultz, I would have loved to see her!)  At the mission conference we heard from President and Sister Blickenstaff and Bishop Stevenson and his wife Sister Lisa Stevenson.  Bishop Stevenson is the Presiding Bishop of the Church, so that was a really cool experience.  All of their talks were very inspirational.  Oh, and it made me so happy when Sister Stevenson mentioned PRO for which, those in the Muller Park stake already knows, stands for Pray Read Obey.  And that through PRO we can become strengthened spiritually and we can become PROs for God.  I was so happy, I felt like I was back at a youth PRO fireside. Haha! 

Coming back from the Mission Conference last night wasn't so fun though.  We spent about 2 hours on a train that was cram packed, meaning that we didn't have seats and had to stand the whole way back.... and then we got hope at about 10:20 pm.... but it was so worth it! Haha!

So, this week, I had an experience that really testified to me that the Lord knows me and that he really does answer prayers.  So, lately, for the last few weeks, I've been struggling emotionally.  I guess you could say that I was spiritually sick.  And then, with a combination of added Power Week stress, I was getting close to just being "done" with everything.  I had almost lost my desire to serve.  I didn't tell anyone (Except for God), for a while, and finally, on Thursday I told my companion.  

We had a lot of time to work with, due to a canceled lesson, and she kept asking me what I thought we should do.  So I just answered her truthfully I didn't want to do anything, I didn't have a desire to do anything, and that if she would just choose something to do, it was all the same to me.  I would just go and do whatever.  She was a bit taken aback, since she told me that this has been one of the best weeks for her mission, and she had no idea that I felt differently.  Even after weeks of praying, I couldn't break myself free from the black mood that had taken a hold of me.  

And then, while we were standing in a park venting feelings, my eyes were drawn to a mother and her young daughter playing together.  They seemed so happy, and it reminded me of being with my own mum.  I told my companion that I felt like we could just go and contact them, and then I didn't care what we did.  So we did.  They were so fun, and made me feel so happy.  We exchanged information, though we found out they live outside of our area, and got to know them more.  They truly were an answer to my prayers.  They made me love missionary work again.  And then, right after contacting them, we had three other successful contacts, in that same park, where we met some cool people who were willing to talk with us-- turning my darkened mood into one filled once again with light and optimism.  

The Lord really answered my prayers, and I this experience reminded me of a scripture: Alma 26:27

27 Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to
turn back, behold, the Lord comforted us, and said: Go amongst thy brethren, the
[People of the world, and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success.

It is oftentimes we feel the most destitute that the Lord will reach out to us.  Each trial he gives is a lesson that he hopes we can learn from and gain experience.  And through each trial, he has prepared a way for us to receive a blessing.  So be patient, learn, and endure to the end.  The Lord, in his everlasting love and mercy, will take care of the rest.  You just have to turn to him, and allow yourselves to be molded in his hands to become the work of art you were meant to be.

I hope all of you are doing well.  I love you and miss you!  Keep on believing! Be a PRO and CTR!
Love, Sister Peng

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