Monday, March 10, 2014

Miracles & I Do Believe That My Chinese Is Improving!

Hello Mom, Family and Friends:

Well, another week has flown by.  It was pretty good... though now thinking back I don't remember much of what has happened... I remember it being cold....  And I remember that we did have some miracles and good experiences.... Thank goodness for planners!  I have learned to love planners and my gratitude journal.  Without them, I would most likely forget everything...  I really want to continue using planners when I get back home.  I'm thinking of buying some cute Taiwanese planners, since they are ADORABLE and very convenient. :D  You'll all be jealous! Heehee!  

Anyways... I guess I'll just go in chronological order of cool/miraculous experiences we had this week.  

So, on Wednesday we had a less active invite us to lunch along with two other members.  We went to this really cute restaurant that served food so delicious Sister Park and I didn't care how much calories were in it. :D  Haha! Anyways, after having a very lovely time eating and sharing an uplifting message with them Sister Park and I left to go and do some contacting.  So as we left the restaurant we took a small road when suddenly Sister Park began exclaiming in Korean and suddenly turned down a road full of houses.  I was a bit confused, but quickly followed her lead.  Well to make this experience make more sense, Sister Park has been trying to remember the place where a former investigator worked for about a month.  (Since she had only visited once before with her previous companion and we couldn't find the records for this investigator AT ALL- this is why we as missionaries need to make ORGANIZED and COMPLETE records... anyways...)  We had biked many neighborhoods and streets looking, and were pretty much consigned to the fact that we would probably never find it.... Well, Sister Park saw something about the street that kick started her memory and we found the investigator's work (a really cute second hand shop).  So, now we have a new investigator! I don't know how things will turn out with her, but she seems pretty awesome and willing to learn.  Also, Sister Park is excited because this investigator can speak Korean. :D

Second good thing this week is that English Class went smoothly, well, my teaching part went smoothly.... We had a little bit of an upset due to the fact that one of the little girls started throwing up her dinner of noodle soup and seaweed.... uhh.... yeah....  Her mom felt so bad, but we got things cleaned up, and the other kids stayed well behaved. :D  I like it when I can teach English and not feel too stressed afterwards... 

Talking about languages.... Funny fact... Recently I've been having people ask me if I'm from China, since my Chinese is very standard.  Or I've had people look surprised when I say I'm from America.... So.... I guess my Chinese has improved, though I just need to work harder on grammar patterns and remembering new vocabulary. Also, apparently I still don't look like I'm full Chinese....   Everyone just assumes I'm half Chinese and half something else....  Mostly because my eyes are too big and my skin too dark to be Chinese. :P

Anyways, Third good thing.... Sister Huang passed her baptismal interview!!!!  So, we are going to have a baptism!!!! Sister Huang's family are so excited, since she is currently the only one who is not a member.  Her son in fact is serving in the Taipei mission, and has received permission to come down and baptize his mom! How cool is that!!!  Anyways, we are working hard on building Sister Huang's faith.  She is pretty cool with all the commandments, but she has a bit of hesitancy about Tithing.  But an elder gave us a good idea to do an object lesson with her, so I'm excited for our next lesson. Basically, we are going to give her 10 M&M's and then ask her to give us one in return.  And when she gives it to us we are going to give her a WHOLE BUNCH OF M&M's. I was planning on just giving her an unopened packet, but Sister Park wants to dump a ton of M&M's on the table, because it would look more dramatic.  Haha! 

Regarding Tithing and people who have hesitancy about it, since it is dealing with money and we all need money to live here are two scriptures that can help.  Read them, pray, and ACT IN FAITH:
3 Nephi 24:10
Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in my house; and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of Hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive it. 

3 Nephi 13: 31-33
 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 seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.

Anyways, as to miracles... that's about all that I can remember....  We had a good time last night eating at an investigator's house.  Her name is Kathy and she is Vietnamese, so her food is really yummy!  Also, she is super sweet.  We are going to move back her baptismal date though, since lately she is really busy with her graduate school stuff and she will be out of town next month due to some class trips.  She is super awesome, and she is sure to be a life time friend!  She is still thinking about baptism.  She knows it's a serious decision and she isn't willing to act until she has guidance from God, which is all us missionaries could ever ask for.  So we are praying that she receives an answer.  She has a lot of faith, and I really admire her for her kind heart and her willingness to follow Christ.

Anyways, I had best close this email before it grows too long.  I still have a list of people I need to email and write to.... I'm so bad at writing to people, but know that you are all in my heart  and that I think about you all and pray about you daily. 

This week my theme has been to "forget myself and go to work."  I have found great power in the simpleness of serving others throughout my life, and I am so happy to spend this time devoting my whole self to the act of helping others- whether it is of a spiritual nature through teaching them about the Restored Gospel- or if it is through helping them on a more temporal basis- such as helping people move or teaching English.  Service is one of the greatest ways we can give back to God.  He has given us everything, and all he asks of us is to follow his commandments.  When asked what the greatest commandment is, Christ answered that the first greatest commandment is to "Love God" and the second is likened unto it: to "Love thine neighbor."  All other commandments can be related back to these two important commandments.  The Lord has asked us to love.  By following Christ's example and by striving to be more like him, love is one of the first attributes we must develop in ourselves.  And when we love God and we love others we are lead to do acts of charity.  Never forget to serve others and act in charity- ALWAYS. To close I'll just share one of my favorite scriptures:

Moroni 7:45-48
 45 And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

 46 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail

47 But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth
forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.

 48 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen.

I love you all!  Keep on Serving!  Until Next Time!

Love, Sister Nicholle Peng

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