Monday, June 23, 2014

6/23/14 ~ Happy Birthday Mom & We have seen the big Buddha!

1)  How was the big Buddha?
So fun! We got there in perfect timing! No one was really there, not until we wanted to leave, so our pictures are relatively free of people.

2)  How is the companionship working out?  Still going well?

3). Are you as psyched about going to Taiwan next year as I am? 
I am sooo excited!  Guess what, during the summer, here in Zhang Hua, and maybe other places have rent a bike things.  I can take you guys around Taiwan the only way I know how to get around Taiwan! On bikes! Haha! :D

4)  Have you eaten Mua Wan?
Nope.  But we are going to eat hot pot today! :D

5)  Are you tired as always??

6)  What are you doing today?
Going to a hot pot buffet.... yup

Dearest MUM! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love you sooo much! You are and forever will be my bestest friend and my guiding light! I love you!!!!

And to everyone else, don't worry, I love you too! It's just that my mom is the best.  Just ask anyone who knows her. :D

So, how are y'all doing?  Any cool things happen? Any changes in the world?

Oh! I know of one! My cousin Jordan got his mission call to Melbourne Australia Mandarin Speaking!  Yay!!! Good luck Jordan, I know you'll do great!  Never forget to always trust in the Lord and to prepare yourself to always be worthy of his guidance.  You'll have so many experiences and you'll learn so much!

Well, as to this week... thankfully it went by rather quickly.  I was EXHAUSTED!  And I've been feeling as if everything is going by in a blur.  To be honest, I've been having a bit of stress trying to figure out how to help this area progress.  It made me a bit... sad to see our numbers this week.  But then to think again what went into trying to get those few numbers we had made them more meaningful.  Even if they weren't high in quantity, I knew I gave my all.

So, this week... we had a lot of time getting bikes fixed.  First, Sister Pope's gears were all wobbly, and we find that the part that holds the gears together onto the bike was broken, so that had to get fixed... Then, two days later my bike had a flat back tire, and I had to get the whole thing replaced because the tire was so worn out.  Then... two days later, sister Pope's tire has a flat that we also had to get repaired....  so... yup... we don't know why we are having bad luck with bikes.... when we were leaving the bike shop after getting my bike fixed the man who works there was like "See you every day!" in English.  It made us laugh, but also groan a little inside.... but hey, at least he's happy! We give him good business. :P

But the whole week wasn't all too bad.  Monday was fun.  We went shopping again... which resulted me in buying three more dresses.... I think my wardrobe is full now... haha! But they are soo comfortable!  And then we went to Bagua Shan or Mount Bagua to see the giant Buddha.  It is HUGE!  And our timing was perfect!  When we went up there, there was barely anyone there, so our pictures were free of other people for the most part.  And then, when we wanted to leave, there was a sudden rush of crowds that came up from tour buses.  Perfect timing! :D  I hope you enjoy the pictures!

On Tuesday we had an inspiring DTM that was about finding new investigators, because that's something we are all in the need of...  We talked about cementing your own testimony of the Plan of Salvation, because once you feel with your whole heart that the Plan of Salvation is true you will know that it is vital for the message of it to be spread.  There won't be anything that you will not be willing to do and sacrifice for it.  And you will burn with a desire to help others share in the blessings the gospel brings.

On Wednesday we went and visited You JM, a less active.  I love her so much!!! And we shared with her the importance of strengthening our faith, because it acts as an anchor to our souls (Ether 12:4).  Then we visited Yang JM who is a completely amazing member! She is a true example of someone doing member missionary work.  We are working with her to bring people unto Christ, because her faith is so great! Miracles are bound to happen!  Then we taught English.  There is this little girl (about 4 yrs. old) who is so cute, her name is Yuli.  She used to have long hair.  Apparently, last week, she decided it was too hot and cut her own hair. Haha!  She's adorable! And she is so good at mimicking the English we tell her to repeat.  It's soo cute!

On Thursday, we spent the day up in LuGang and FuXing.  We visited with Liu JM, who is as sweet as ever.  It was a miracle we got to her house only 15 minutes late.  It was that morning that my bike decided to have a flat so we had a 45 minute delay, and biked our souls out to get to her house.  She kept looking at us amusingly as we wiped sweat from our faces... yum!  then we also visited with a Lin JM, who is very nice and loves to do origami.  Oh! And also in the evening we had a dinner appointment that was set up for us by the other Sisters, since the girl wasn't in their area.  That was fun, but she isn't very interested in the gospel, just friends and English.

Side note, on Thursday, Family Mart (a convenient store) started selling Mango Ice cream cones... yup... now all the Family Marts that sell ice cream are full of people eating and buying ice cream.  It's kind of funny.  So glad we got our ice cream when people were still in work and school so we didn't have to deal with that craziness. :D  Ice cream is good! Especially mango flavored!

On Friday we visited Gu JM and her kids.  Gu JM is super pregnant! She could give birth any day now... Her kids are super crazy.  We were trying to review the 10 commandments with her as the kids were trying to climb all over us- something not really in line with the rule books.  So we left that lesson completely hot and sweaty, but with happiness in our hearts.  I love that family so much!

And on Saturday and Sunday we had our stake conference.  Saturday was about hastening the Work and Sunday was on making a Christ centered home.  The talks were all super good! But the chapel was sooo hot! I think the AC was broken or something....  On Saturday we were a bit confused because we had to be there at 7... but the bishop really wanted to take us there, even though we said we only needed a ride back... so... he took us and his wife to Yuan Lin.... and we were there at 4.... so then we had to figure out what to do with that time.... so we went and found a McDonalds and bought some food and called phones had such.  I ate a happy meal! It made me happy!  It's called a "Kuai Le Can" in Chinese. :D

Oh, and on Sunday we had a miracle.  So, after we got back to our area, I felt the need to go and tract... even though it was in the afternoon.  Here in Taiwan, everyone is sleeping in the afternoon... but I just went with it.  And guess what! We tracted into a really nice lady who actually is an LA from a different ward and she moved to where we found her!  She is also willing for us to go back! Yay!  We were hoping to have a new investigator, but finding an LA who is MIA is also very awesome.

So, now we are to Monday again.  Sister Pope and I are hoping to go to a Hot Pot buffet and stay there for a long period of time writing letters and eating.  It shall be fun! :D I love Hot Pot.  If you haven't eaten it yet, one day I'll make it for you. :D

Anyways, I had best go and write a few other emails.  But before I go, I'll share with you some spiritual things that I've been pondering this week.  Specifically concerning prayer.  when you pray, how heart felt is it?  I've realized sometimes it's so easy to get caught in repetition. And I'm sure he is happy to hear our voices all the same, but we are living way below our potential! We have the opportunity to commune with the all-knowing and ever loving God.  He wants to be a part of our lives.  He wants us to converse with him.  And a part of conversing also includes listening.  After you pray, take the time to really listen for the Holy Ghost.  Give him the chance to answer. I love the scripture found in Alma 37:

36 Yea, and cry unto God for all thy support; yea, let all thy doings be unto the Lord, and whithersoever thou goest let it be in the Lord; yea, let all thy thoughts be directed unto the Lord; yea,let the affections of thy heart be placed upon the Lord forever.

 37 Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day.

If prayer isn't a part of your daily habits, make it a part of your life today.  It's simple, but powerful.  There is no need to have flowery words.  Use your own words.  Your Father is waiting with hands outstretched.  Just come unto him.
Did You think to Pray
​Hymn 140​

Ere you left your room this morning,
Did you think to pray?
In the name of Christ, our Savior,
Did you sue for loving favor
As a shield today?

When your heart was filled with anger,
Did you think to pray?
Did you plead for grace, my brother,
That you might forgive another
Who had crossed your way?

When sore trials came upon you,
Did you think to pray?
When your soul was full of sorrow,
Balm of Gilead did you borrow
At the gates of day?

Oh, how praying rests the weary!
Prayer will change the night to day.
So, when life gets dark and dreary,
Don't forget to pray.

I love you all! And I pray for you always!  Until we meet again,
Love, Sister Nicholle Peng

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