Monday, March 17, 2014

I Got Mail & We Will Have A Baptism This Week!!! Happiness!

1). Are you ever planning on doing any sightseeing in Tainan?
I want to, but my companion thinks everything is too far or too inconvenient.  And she won't go with me to go see Buddhist temples.  She thinks that's not an appropriate activity for missionaries- though I know other missionaries have done it....  I also want to go to the beach.... but apparently 45 minutes of traveling is too far...

2)  Are the ward members warming up to you guys yet?
Hai hao (Okay).  I mean, they are nice and there are a few who are willing to pei ke (meet with the investigators).

3). Baptism still gonna happen this week?
Of course!

4). Anyone feeding you guys?
Kathy- our investigator

5). Wat is your favorite thing to eat in Tainan?
Umm.... Sushi?

6). How's the Chinese learning?  Have you passed off any additional phases?  Are you feeling more Chinese?  
Chinese is coming along.  We don't have any other pass offs.  I've always felt Chinese....

Hello Mum and the World,

Well, I had a nice list of all the things I wanted to write about or that I wanted to remember written in my planner.... and then I realized that my handy dandy planner is still on my desk at home... sad... So now I have to rely on my less than stellar memory and hope that whatever I write makes sense and is not too jumbled.... :D

Anyways, first things first:  Thank you to everyone who sent me cards and letters in the last month or two! It seemed that mail system was slowed or something, since I just got about 10 things of mail this last week, which made me very happy.  I would type out names, but I'm afraid of forgetting one, so know that I love you all! And if you haven't sent mail, don't worry there is still time to change your ways. Hahaha!  I'm working on getting letters written and things sent off... I made a list (I love lists!) but then I reached 37 names of people I need to write things to.....  I think my hand is going to fall off.  Thank goodness most of you can just read this email and know that I'm still alive and kicking here in Taiwan!  

So... where do I start?  I can start with the fun things I guess...  I bought a case for my glasses! (I've been wearing glasses lately because my eyes turn a lovely shade of blood red if I wear my contacts for a full day... not really sure why.... they don't hurt though, it just scares people away.... ba....).  Anyways, I bought my glasses case because I love puns and I love Asian misspellings.  So, when you put them together it makes my day! :D

 Also, I tried a yummy new drink the other day.  No one but my mom would really understand it.  So mom, what you do is you scoop some grass jelly into a cup or a bowl and you mix it with milk.  Then you drink it!  It's sooo yummy!  I just like grass jelly though. :D  Oh, I also found a place to get sushi for a pretty good price, though sushi here isn't like sushi in the states.  It's still yummy!  Oh, I also love drinking "di gua niu nai" which translates into Sweet Potato/Yam milk.  Yum!  I just like food in general.  Though, lately Sister Park and I have been making home lunches, to be healthier.  She mainly eats carrots and tomato every day with an egg.  I am a bit more afraid of my insides and outsides being dyed orange so I've been eating a mix of sautéed carrots, sautéed cucumbers with scrambled egg, sautéed tomatoes and egg, yams, pumpkin, bok choi, tofu or sandwiches.   I can't eat the same things over and over again because I'd get bored.  Of course, this is a bit less convenient because I have to find time to cook....

As to the work, everything is just rolling on, with minor bumps and detours along the way. Sister Huang is definitely getting baptized I am sooo excited.  Also, originally she was going to get baptized on Saturday and get confirmed a week later (due to her work schedule) but, she was finally able to find a coworker to change shifts with her (she's been trying for over a month to find someone!)  So, as planned her son is coming back from the Taipei mission to baptize her and he and his companion will stay the night and attend church the next day to be a part of her confirmation!  It's bound to be a great blessing to Sister Huang and her family! Because after one year, they can all be sealed in the Temple!

We've been visiting Kathy, our other investigator, lately.  She's been very busy with tests and such, and is only home on Saturdays and Sundays.  She is awesome!  And she is still waiting for an answer from Heavenly Father concerning baptism...  Her faith is amazing though, so I have no doubt she'll receive promptings from Him.  Also, lately she has been concerned because she says we eat outside too much.  She wants us to eat at her house every week on Saturday or Sunday.  She is sooo funny!  But she cooks very yummy Vietnamese food. :D

We have other investigators, but some of them are progressing at a snail’s pace and others are just stuck.  We are working on finding more investigators, but right now we also have our hands full with our less actives.  I love working with less actives in Tainan because they actually progress and change!  This week during church we had 5 less actives come and about 4 of them are very close to being changed back to active member status!!!!  I am sooo happy!  They are all so great!  

I also still love being able to visit Sister Wu, who lives in the hospital after having a car accident a long time ago.  She is super awesome and is truly an example.  Every week we are able to spend an hour and take a walk with her and share messages with her.  She is also able to come to church every week because of the service of another member who goes to pick her up every Sunday morning and drops her back off at the hospital after church. You can really see the love Heavenly Father has for her, as well as for the others who live in that hospital (they are all long term patients).  I am so grateful to be able to go there every week to sing with them and make them happy!

Anyways, as to spiritual thoughts this week, I read a great talk called "Come What May and Love It"  Lately I've been flipping randomly through Conference editions of the Ensign and it's been interesting to see that this week I keep coming across ones that emphasize the need to have trials and "opposition in all things."  But I loved this talk!  It really reminded me of something that my mom always taught me about.  It's the fact that you may not be able to choose your situation but you can always choose what kind of attitude you want to have.  Our lives aren't meant to be a breeze.  It's meant to be difficult and a learning experience.  I know that sometimes it might be hard to "choose to be happy" but we can always choose to have faith.  We can chose to rely on the Lord and know that tomorrow can be a brighter day.  We just have to press forward and endure to the end!

I think back to the story of Nephi and his broken bow in 1 Nephi 16.  When faced with the reality of not having food his family all began to murmur and complain.  Something that is a natural reaction for us humans when faced with adversity and trial.  But Nephi chose to do otherwise.  He acted with faith.  Instead of complaining, he thought of how he could make his situation better and he went to the Lord for guidance.  The Lord is always there for us and is willing to help us if we just put forth a little of our own efforts.  

This week has been so good!  Not necessarily because anything hugely miraculous has happened but because I have seen the Lord's hand in the small things in my life and I am forever grateful.  I love you all and miss you! I can't believe that my journey in Taiwan is already half way over.  But I am so glad that I still have these next few months to live every day to the fullest in serving the Lord. 

With Love,
Sister Nicholle Peng

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