Monday, April 7, 2014

The Importance of Families & Family History Fair 4/7/14

1)  How are you doing this week?  I mean really???  How are you doing?
Pretty good.  Super good after reading your email.  This week was fun. :D

2)  Did you like the way I am trying to add more pictures to these emails?  Does it make you happy or more homesick?

3)  What would you like me to send with your pictures? 
Hmmm..... idk.... surprise me.... :P

4)  Where are you going to watch conference?  Will it be in Chinese  or English?
I'm going to watch conference in Taiwan... probably in a chapel in Tainan. It'll most likely be in English- they like us missionaries watching it in our native language here.

5)  Are you guys instructed in Chinese or English during your zone meetings and such?
English mostly.  But in big conferences they have translators.  In small meetings I translate for Sis Park

6)  What was the most positive thing that happened to you this week?
The Family History fair!

7)  How many weeks left of this companionship?  Do you think you'll stay put?  You probably want to go north so you have an opportunity to go to the temple.
This is our last week of this move call.  Don't know who will move, most likely I'll be staying.  Yeah, I want to go to Taizhong, though there is a bit more stress being closer to the Mission Office.... you know, surprise visits from the President or his wife....

8)  Have you been to "night markets" or the open air markets to get your veggies like we did when we were in Taiwan?
We do English proselyting at a night market and sometimes we go to morning markets for fun.  They aren't the same as the ones I've been to in Taibei though.

10)  Are you good with going to Taiwan for vacation next summer (most likely June with gong gong, poa poa, Regan and me)?
Yup! So good! Though, you guys had better start visiting saunas so you can acclimate to the weather.  June is part of the hot season!

11)  Any additional comments????
 CONGRATULATIONS! I am sooo happy for you guys! And thanks for thinking of me! Haha! You must have been soooo embarrassed! :P  I can only imagine!  The ring is so pretty, and so are the flowers.  I've always wanted to try a pedicab.  I'm jealous you got to watch Les Mis, which is like my FAVORITE!  If I ever have the chance I want to try out for the role of Eponine, since she is my favorite.  I LOVE YOU!


Aloha!  Ni Hao! Bonjour! Hola! Da Ge Ho! Hello!

Well, after that somewhat different start, how is everyone?  You know, I ask the same question, and I only ever hear from a hand full of you reply.  But I guess no news is good news right?  But I hear that Mom is doing FANTASTIC and so is Regan!  Congratulations on your engagement!  I am soooo excited for the both of you!  That will be so fun!  

I really feel like the Lord has blessed my family since I've left, and also has taught me the importance of families.  Being here in Taiwan has made me soooo much more appreciative for my family back at home (not that I wasn't before, because everyone knows that Mom is my best friend. :D ).  But here, I feel like family is over looked by so many people.  They are busy and family is just a responsibility, not a blessing.  We often pass out stickers that say "No success can compensate for the failure of the family” And people are like: What is this supposed to mean?  And then we ask: What's the most important thing in your life?  And they say: Money......  Of course, thankfully, not everyone is like this, but we can clearly see that the "family" is under attack.  So tell your family that you love them today.  And if you can't be with them, pray for them, write them a letter.  Let them know you care!  

Talking about families, this week was pretty much dominated by the Family History fair that the Tainan Stake hosted.  It was a HUGE deal!  They have been talking nonstop about it in church for the last few weeks, and printed out tons of flyers and posters.  I kept laughing because Sister Park kept saying that it was a "xiao xiao de huo dong"/ a very small activity..... NOPE!  We had over 1000 people attend during the two days it was open, many of which were not members of the church.  It was so cool to see people get so excited over family history work!  I myself looked through a few books that had my surname and my mom's surname on them.... but... I can't read Chinese... so I didn't find any ancestors, but it really made me know that when I get home I have to ask my grandparents how I can help them do family history and ask them about stories of my ancestors.

Family history is important because through learning about our ancestors we can learn from their examples. So when we have to face our own trials, we can remember how our ancestors overcame their hard times.  Also, by doing family history, we can take their names to the Temple so that they can also have the chance to choose whether or not to accept the gospel.  Because forever families doesn't only include our immediate family, but it includes all of those who lived so that we could come to be.  I truly believe our ancestors are looking down upon us and are rooting for us.  They are hoping we can learn from their mistakes so that our future and the future of our posterity can be brighter. 

So, when I say that our week was dominated by the Family History Fair, I really mean it.  During our proselyting, we've been passing fliers to everyone we meet.  Also, on both Wednesday and Thursday we spent 3 hours each day setting up and cleaning.  And then on Friday and Saturday we were there for 3 hours each day helping them greet people, and by inviting people on the road and at the neighboring park to come and check out the activity.  It was fun to see so many people, and even find some of our investigators our less actives attend.  The activity was really well done, and I think the members did a very good job!

As to other things that happened.... let me think.... It rained!  Grr.... I don't really like rain, unless I'm inside.  Last Monday it was nice, because we spent the last part of our P-day chilling at home to write letters and such.  I enjoyed a dinner of sushi as I watch the lightning storm outside.  It was really relaxing. :D  But I don't like rain when I'm biking, because it's super "ma fan"/ annoying.  I either can choose to be wet, or I can wear my rain gear-which isn't the most comfortable nor convenient thing to do while biking.... Ah well, I choose rain gear, because the rain here is acid rain, and I enjoy having my hair...  Haha! Though, today, I think I'm going to go and cut it short.  Wish me luck!

This week and the last week, all of our investigators and less actives have been busy, so our lessons have been few and far between.  Though, we do have a promising investigator, Li JM, who looks really promising!  I absolutely love her!  She is shy and funny, and hopefully she'll be able to hit her baptismal goal!  We just have to pray that her mom's heart can be softened.... Li JM is old enough she doesn't need permission, but I think it's best that her mom can still have a good opinion of the church, and not think that we are purposefully making Li JM disobey her family...  We are praying also that Li JM can continue to build her faith.  She is FANTASTIC! 

This weekend was also something called "Qin Ming Jie" or something like that.  People go and "sao mu" which means that they go and clean their family graves and "bai bai"/ worship.  So as tradition states, afterwards they eat spring rolls.  Our dear investigator Eileen brought us yummy spring rolls when she came to her lesson, and I was in high heaven!  I can't tell you how much I miss Mom's spring rolls....  You know, the kind that we wrap for ourselves with the chicken, veggies, and crushed peanuts?  Haha! I can't tell you how much I miss a lot of Mom's and Grandma's food, even if it is Taiwanese/Chinese food.  It's just sooo much better than the street food or restaurants here... I've decided that I need to eat healthier, even if it means eating boring food, because I've decided the food here is okay and just normal.  Not anything super special, so there is no need to eat things just because I think it's a once in a life time chance.  So far it's worked.  I've lost like 3kgs. :D  

Hmm.... what else... Oh! I ate a sandwich that had chocolate, marmalade (orange jam) and cheese in it.... All together!  It was actually not bad.  Also, funny thing about Taiwan sandwiches.  There are a lot of sandwiches where each ingredient on the inside is separated by a slice of bread.  So, you can have sandwiches that have like 4 or 5 layers of bread.  Oh, also tried tree grapes..... They aren't as good as vine grapes.... they are interesting....

Anyways, I think I've babbled long enough.  I can't seem to type anymore..... not enough practice. :P

But I'll share an interesting thought first.  Did you know that the word "Good-bye" is an abbreviation of "God be with you"? So, saying good-bye isn't a bad thing.  It just means "If we can't be together, if we must part, if I can't be with you- Then may God be with you."  So may God be with you until next time!  I love you all!  

Love, Sister Peng

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