Hello Mum, Regan and loved ones!
Well, it’s about 4:30 and I'm finally getting around to emailing... Normally we email at 11.... but today was tiring and busy...
So we spent another P-day up at the hospital. Sister Thao has been suffering from abdominal pain and such for over a week now, and I finally convinced her to call Sister Blickenstaff so we could go to the doctors. Cuz, honestly, the poor thing has been miserable. Miserable, but a trooper all the same. I mean, she was willing to always keep working, even with her pain.
So today, I became very thankful for American Medical systems. Even though they are way more expensive, the quality is sooo much better. I felt that the doctor today wasn't very well... educated or something. He was like: Your stomach problems are due to your life style. You need to eat bananas. And Sister Thao was like: I ate a banana. I was still sick afterwards. And he replied: Uh... then don't eat bananas... eat... papaya! And we were like......
Then, after spending a good part of our day there, and after only seeing the doctor for about 10 minutes and getting the medicine we went back to consult with Sister Blickenstaff who then talked to the Missionary Medical Consultant or something.... Who then told us that Sister Thao should not take the medicine the other doctor prescribed, and believes that Sister Thao may be suffering from ulcers or something like that. So then we had to go to a pharmacy and get other meds... Hopefully we get all of this figured out soon, Sister Thao hasn't been having too great of a time doing missionary stuff....
But that leads us to a miracle! Funny enough! So, On Saturday, Sister Thao was not feeling nor looking very well, so I told her that we were just going to divert from our plans and go to the church, so she could lay down, and I could finish up my language study for the day. So, as she tried to nap, and as I was flipping through flash cards, I had a sudden feeling to look at the front door, which would require me to stand up and walk out of the room we were in....
Well, I thought that was strange, but I did as I felt, kind of feeling a little silly. But I also felt like someone was at the door, and I remembered that the door would be locked.
And lo and behold! There was someone there! A lady was in the process of reaching for the door handle. I kind of startled her, but she startled me as well! After I let her in, I asked how I could help her, and she asked about church service times! I happily gave them to her, and then asked where she lived. She just happens to be our neighbor! She lives in our same apartment complex, same elevator, just four floors above us! She told us that she had been feeling the need to come to church, but the other times she had come, the church was locked, and she just was thinking that she was about ready to give up, and dismiss the feeling as silly. So grateful I wasn't lazy and that we were at the church!
She came to church! And she said that she liked it, even though she didn't understand much of what was going on. She then also made some good friends. We had also scheduled to meet with her in the evening, where she really opened up to us. I had actually asked her what her family situation was like, and shared that my parents had divorced when I was younger. She actually felt an instant connection, since she had just gone through a divorce a year ago. But some people who let divorce become a great hindrance, she has used it as a time to begin life again. She doesn't have a Christian background. But she really wants to learn about Christ and about his teachings. She says that she has a lot of questions, and she wants to learn doctrines that will help her continue to change.
She is amazing! She is our finding miracle! Though, she found us, and it was really funny to know that we were more effective at finding investigators this week by just hanging around the church and not going out to specifically find them. But the Lord knows our desires to do his work, and in our time of trial, he has blessed us.
And this past week, we ended with having four baptismal dates! All of them for November and December, and they look pretty promising! I mean, two of them were chosen by the investigators themselves and the other ones have come to church a ton. It's so cool to see the miracles unfold. But I feel like at a loss for what to do! Haha! I mean, most of my mission has been spent trying to get not progressing investigators to progress.... But now I have all of these progressing investigators and it's been a roller coaster ride trying to get everything figured out so they can and will hit their dates! I am praying so hard for them! All I have been desiring for these last few weeks is to be worthy enough and to do everything in my power to help these miracles unfold and to help people come unto Christ. It's even been so hard to sleep, because my brain just keeps turning and turning thinking about what more I can do. I am putting everything on the table for this work. The lack of time I have left scares me. I want to make sure that there is nothing left I could have done. I want to have no regrets. For this time to serve the Lord with all my heart, might, mind, and strength is incredibly short. It's been difficult. But it's been worth it.
This week we went on exchanges. I got to be with Sister Parkinson, and Sister Thao went with her trainer Sister Park. I loved being with Sister Parkinson. Even though all of our lessons were cancelled, and we had to spend the whole day contacting it was one of the shortest days ever! We talked to everyone! I mean, we pulled over for pedestrians! We talked to cars! We even talked to people in the process of buying food! So many people! And it was fun to talk about our experiences we've had and the things we've learned. Sister Parkinson and I have been on island for the same amount of time. I've always thought that she was amazing, and it was great to learn from her.
I've been pondering a lot on how I can be better and more consecrated to this work. Never before have I felt so weak and full of flaws. But never before have I felt so empowered to change all that. I am so grateful for this chance I have to serve! It's been a time of change and learning! I am so grateful to be here! I am so grateful to have seen the miracles and to have met many friends and people who have forever touched my life. The Lord's work would have gone on without me coming on a mission, but the mission was completely necessary in order for me to have the kind of life I wanted to have. It really has given me perspective and peace. My testimony of the Gospel has grown. I've seen it in work. I know of its power. I am so grateful for Christ and for Heavenly Father. They have so much love and so much mercy. When I have been weak, they have made me strong.
I really do miss all of you though. But I know it will only be a short time till we can all hug and talk and laugh till our hearts are content. May God watch over you and bless you every day! I really love you!!! Thanks for being a part of my life!
Sister Nicholle Peng