Monday, December 15, 2014

12/15/14 ~ Final Reflection Until Sister Returns Home

1). Did you get rid of what you can?  Don't bring any clothes that are shot or that you don't think that you don't think that you'll be wearing once you return.  It will make packing much easier and your luggage lighter.
Will do

2). What are your plans for the day?
Today isn't p-day.  But it's all filled with DTM and dinners... yes... dinners... two of them...

3). When do you go to the mission home to do the stuff you have to do before you leave?
I go there tomorrow at 11.

4)  Did the baptism occur?  How was it?!
Yes!!! It was so good! :D :D :D

5). Did you get a chance to say good bye to the ward members?
Yup, at church.

6). Did you get fed again?
Yup- a lot of food... so full... I've never eaten soo much

7).  Are you staying strong and dedicated to the work and sprinting hard to the finish line so you can leave with no regrets?
Of course!

8). What will you miss most with regards to Taiwan?

9).  Is your companionship with Sister Swan a positive one?

10). I am sorry, but I do have to ask you a question about your return...... Do you want to go out to eat the evening of your return or eat at home?  It's your call as where and what you want to eat.  Please let me know so I can plan accordingly.  What in terms of food do you miss the most?
I want home food.... I'm sick of eating out!  We eat out every day!  I miss things that you cook.... anything...

​Dearest Mum, Regan and loved ones,

Wow!  My journey here is coming to its close.  My mind is boggled at the thought of going home already.  Sure, a year and a half doesn't count as a short period of time, but it sure feels like it.  And in the view of eternity, it really is just a blink of an eye.  And yet, it was perhaps the most important moment of my life.

I've been doing a lot of reflection these past few months, pondering on the changes that have been made, as well as in my spiritual progression.  I've been thinking back to the many days that I've spent laboring in the Lord's vineyard.  I've been asking myself if I've really tried my hardest.  If I've really given it my all.​  And I know my journey hasn't been perfect, but it's been one of growth.  It's been one of joy, tears, overcoming fears and weaknesses, seeing miracles, serving others, love, pain, and spiritual growth.  I have forever been changed.

Over and over I've thought to myself:  this is too hard.  This mission is impossible for me, an average young girl, to accomplish.  The weight of the responsibilities of a missionary have weighed down on my shoulders.  Think about it.  Ever missionary and their companion is assigned to serve an area.  In each area there are thousands of souls.  And only they, the missionaries have the authority and power to preach the gospel to anyone who will listen in the hopes that we can bring them unto Christ.  We have been called.  There are few of us.... but we are not alone.

I've come closer to God on my mission.  I've come to know him not as an invisible being that just watches us from afar, but as a loving Father who cares about each and every one of us.  He loves us in ways we cannot comprehend.  To me, missionary work is one about love.  We have been sent to preach the way towards Everlasting life, because He sent us here to invite everyone HOME.

As a missionary, we experience a drop of what the Lord must feel for his children.  I have loved everyone that I have met here.  Their faces are forever imprinted in my mind.  I long for their happiness.  I sorrow when they make choices that take them away from Heavenly Father.  I hurt with them when they encounter the trials of life.... But I know the Gospel is the one and true way to help them receive peace and light in this life and the one to come.

So this week has been amazing!  Where do I start?!!?  But due to time, I'll start with the great news that Liu JM was baptized on 12/12.  She is amazing!  Everything went smoothly, except the water in the font was cold.... but at least there was water.  A lot of members came out to support her, and I know she is going to do great.  She actually shared with us on Wednesday that at the beginning of this year, she made a new year's resolution to be baptized.  She has had a testimony of Christ before we even met her.  She had gone to several churches before, but never found one that she liked until she went on a short study abroad trip to Idaho, where she stayed with members.  Ever since then, she made a decision that this was the church for her.  She was way prepared before we even met her.  And the Lord let me have the chance to know her so that I would know that the promises he makes to us missionaries (that he is preparing the hearts of the people) is true.  There are people searching for happiness.  They are wanting to come unto Christ.  And if us members and missionaries work hard and are faithful the Lord will give us opportunities to help and serve those around us so that they can also partake of the blessings of the true and everlasting gospel.

What else happened this week...? Well, it's been a lot of good byes.  My heart can hardly take it... but I know these people are in good hands, for those hands are God's hands after all.  And I know that I'll most likely be coming back soon.  I really have lost my heart here.  I've changed so much.  I wonder if those back at home will even recognize me.

It's been a lot of "last times" as well.  So sad.  I really do love it here.  I can't say that enough.

But I guess I'll end this here.  I'll be back soon... and perhaps the next post on my blog will be an update of how I'm adjusting to normal life.  I'm expecting a lot of awkwardness.... especially since my English has DIED! Haha!  But it will be good to see everyone again.  It's not really an end of a journey but a next chapter.

One thing I've learned here is that we can always be the Lord's hands, no matter where we are or what our callings are.  I'm going home.  I'll turn in my name tag.  But I'll still be a missionary at heart.  For the message of the Restored Gospel is too good to not share.

Love you all!  See you in a few days time.

Love, Sister Nicholle Peng

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