Tuesday, December 30, 2014
-Apparently another plane is lost here in Malaysia from Singapore.. pretty scary because we fly all the time here whenever we need to move areas. It has to be one of the most expensive missions in the world because of all the flights..
-Last p-day we did an escape room which is a room that has clue's and you have to try and get out. They are popular here and apparently starting to get popular in the states.
-Christmas here is wild. Everyone forces you to eat at their houses and they just continue to stuff you with food all day long. I felt so fat that the day after christmas that night at 10 pm I went outside and did some of the stations conditioning that we do for pre-season basketball at MIT in the pouring rain because I ate a lot of food and not healthy food. Felt much better after that. Never thought I would do those on my own.
-Shout out to MIT bball brothers who are doing winter break stations now. I am with you guys. Doing a little in East Malaysia as well.
-Skype was super awesome this week! So happy to see you all! Huge boost for the week!
-Christmas day we biked so far and visited so many people and sang so many songs and had about 10 lessons and I was so full of food and so tired from biking. The next morning was so hard to get up. But definitely the most fulfilling Christmas yet; just reminding people the true meaning of Christmas.
-My companion is super super clean and hates anything dirty at all and so we have been learning how to clean better. Say thanks to my companion Mom.
-Funny story. We found these huge leaves in the jungle and started play sword fighting with them and then started biking home. Mid-way home our hands started to itch and sting like crazy and we realized that the leaves we had been playing with had some sort of self-defense thing and so we suffered for an hour or so but then it went away. Scared us though because we didn't know how long the itching and stinging torture would last. Don't play with big leaves.
-This week is the New Year! So I want to invite everyone to read this inspiring talk about regrets and resolutions and make some specific new years resolutions!
The biggest three regrets of people:
1. I wish I had spent more time with the people I love.
2. I wish I had lived up to my potential (not career/job)
3. I wish I let myself be happier
Read what President Uctdorf has to say here: https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2012/10/of-regrets-and-resolutions?lang=eng
Love you all,
Happy New Year!
This is the Missing Letter Below from the week before Christmas:
-Ate bat and flying squirrel this week. Not bad. Kind of like weird chicken/beef. Don't really know how to explain it.
-This week got 100 pullups, 100 situps and 100 pushups in 15 min! Got my goal. Pretty happy with it. Calling out Dad, Sawyer & Jackson to try it..no chance..
-For Chinese I am currently memorizing the missionary dictionary..it's just like a shortened version of the real dictionary..all the actually useful words. But then I ask Penny usually on the words to see if they use them in Malaysia. Malaysia chinese is really lazy chinese and ask her how to use them. Memorizing a dictionary without knowing how to use the words is pointless..I am on letter "L"
-We teach about two thirds of our lessons in chinese..the rest in English...my Malay is not quite there yet..but can bear testimony and pray.
-Ah Boon one of our investigators got an answer this week praying to know if the book of mormon is true! Such a sweet experience for him..it was a treasured lesson for sure..
-This week we have been doing a lot of home teaching actually helping to jumpstart it in our branch..We started a program called Love "One" Other...giving them only one person/family to home teach at first until they manage that and then giving them more..it went pretty well this week.
-A huge problem we face with investigators out here is that a lot of people think all churches are true..it's probably a problem everywhere but I guess I just realized it more on the mission..
It makes it easy for them to not have a desire to know if our church is true because they already believe it is true but there are lots of different ways to get to heaven..we end up really focusing on the first vision a lot..
-Right now I am reading "Jesus the Christ" by James E. Talmage with "the harmony of the 4 gospels" which is in the back of the bible and just gives a chronological reading of the 4 gospels. They go along perfectly together and I am learning a ton about Jesus Christ's life right now.
-This week being Christmas, I will not be doing much celebrating but actually a lot more working than usual. This is the best time to get into people's houses and share messages uplifting them about the real gift of Christmas. It is going to be a hard but joyful week.
This is a video I shared a couple weeks ago but it is worth a second watch. Don't forget the real meaning of Christmas. It isn't in wrapping paper. He is the Gift.
(Side Note: 1:34 in the video has a cool shot of the Mooncake Festival which is a chinese holiday I was able to celebrate earlier this year. I got to let one of those balloons go and it really does look like that. The sky is literally dotted with balloons.)
Love you all,
Sunday, December 28, 2014
Monday, December 15, 2014
-transfers are today and I am staying in Kuching East Malaysia for another 6 weeks finishing elder Eggertsen's training. Christmas in Kuching!
-This week went to singapore and saw the first presidency Christmas devotional. if you haven't seen it you should..
-Met another relative at zone conference Sister Tui'One somehow through our great great grandpa we are related. The romney side of the family I guess is just drawn to Malaysia..
-This week we went caroling like crazy. I love caroling..
-We taught one of our recent converts how to make rice (didn't even know I could make rice haha)
-This week has been really tiring because we have been out caroling late and far away and so there were a couple nights this week I came home and just jumped on my bed and fell asleep tie still on and everything. Those are some of the best nights sleep.
-Auntie Mui who read the whole Book of Mormon in a week and a half got baptized on Friday. I was able to baptize her and it was wonderful! Super funny though because 4 other little kids under 12 were baptized and so the age difference between the people getting baptized was humongous..see the picture attatched
-Our recent converts Penny and Audrey gave talks at the baptism which was cool to see them progress in the gospel so fast.
I'll end with a spiritual thought. You can't please everyone all the time. There are times that it just can't happen. But we must not forget who we always need to please and that is God. So which way do you face? Are you more scared of men or God? Do you face men or God? The only one in the world who never forgot which way he faced was Jesus Christ.
Luke 4:42-44 gives an example where people want him to stay longer in their city but he tells them he must help other people as well and leaves them making the people sad and a little angry at him. Even Jesus Christ didn't try to please everyone but did what his father wanted him to do.
Love you all,
Monday, December 8, 2014
-This week on p-dayt took on Gabe's challenge to get 60 3 pointers in 5 minutes at each spot on the three point line without a rebounder. Without a rebounder made it a lot tougher but still got 65. Waiting for the next challenge Gabe.
-Anyways, I am emailing from Singapore right now. As much as I love Kuching it is great to be back in Singapore. There is just something magical about this place. It's like a nice chinese New York City.
-We had district conference this week. Elder Wong from the Asia Presidency came and spoke and presided and it was really really good. He is an inspiring man. He was the man who talked in conference in Cantonese. Found out he spoke Mandarin as well because he understood what I said to him..
-I told you that sometimes when we are biking out here I will hum hymns to myself to keep my spirits up. Nowadays sometimes I will just pray as I bike. It might sound crazy but when you bike around all day in the heat and humidity and as far as we do to help these people sometimes you just need some help from the other-side of the veil.
-Sister Auntie Mui is getting baptized this coming Friday and we are really excited. She is the old lady that read the entire book of mormon in about a week and a half.
Was thinking a little bit about how often times we or I get fed up in the little decisions in life. Where we go to dinner or who we go visit or who we say hi to first. But I realized it matters but not that much. What really matters is how you do it. If you do it like the Savior with sincerity and love and happiness then it doesn't matter too much the little decisions that you make.
"The greatest of all intentions is still so much less than the smallest of work done."
Love you all,
Monday, December 1, 2014
-Can't remember if I have mentioned this but here there is not usually toilets or toilet paper. You use hoses and squatters instead. A squatter is basically a toilet pushed into the ground so just like a hole in the ground. A hose is what you wipe with. It was gross at first but by now I am used to it. Actually kind of nice.
-Sorry didn't mean to start with such a blunt gross point but that is kind of the way it is here in East Malaysia.
-This week finally got 100 pushups 100 pullups and 100 situps. Did it in 20 min but trying for 16 min this week. The pullups is the only hard part. You basically rest during the other two and then just die on the pullups.
-Shoutout to Sawyer on the big 16 this week! Personally, I will be celebrating in Singapore for your birthday for zone conference. Pretty pumped. We leave this upcoming Monday and are there for a couple of days before back to Kuching!
-This week got to go to a farewell party for a missionary in our branch who is serving in this mission. Most people who are from here serve here just not in their own town. Other places in Malaysia and Singapore. It was supposed to be in a super nice hotel with bbq and swim resort and stuff but last second they switched it to the kampong where there family is from. That is like the opposite. Super dirt poor. Amazing how wide of a range you can get here. Never ceases to amaze me.
-Anyways it was still super fun just not the environment we had been expecting.
-Also celebrated Thanksgiving this week with the missionaries! Obviously not something that is celebrated here. They don't have turkey. So we ate chicken instead. Also no mashed potatoes or anything like that. A little different than most years but still the best! Happy Thanksgiving!
-Been reading a lot of the 4 gospels in the New Testament lately. Trying to finish for Christmas. One thing Jesus talks about is casting your pearls before swine. Thought about it in terms of missionary work and realized that maybe that means teaching people and not lessons. Something we really try and work on out here. Making sure the lessons we teach are what the people need and not just random pearls that we are casting trying to see if the swine might happen upon liking it.
-We also had a really good lesson with a new investigator this week. Talked about how we have to be willing to accept any answer that God will give us when we ask him a question. And not only listen to his answer but act. If we aren't willing to act then why would he bother giving us an answer?
One of the greatest examples of this I have found is Joseph Smith. He was willing to act. Read what he says in Joseph Smith - History. He was ready to act on whatever God told him was true when he asked which church was His..perfectly willing. And we wonder why he got such a profound answer..
Sending my love from Kuching, East Malaysia
Changing lives ain't easy but it's all I can do to give it all I have got.
Christmas Season! http://www.mormon.org/christmas?cid=HPFR112814529
Monday, November 24, 2014
-So this week we taught a record high number of lessons but have not so many progressing investigators.
-I thought about Christ and can't see him rushing around and teaching a million lessons a week. But changing lives. We just have to make sure our work is worth what we put into it. Sometimes its ok to slow down and be in the moment. Make your work worth it.
-Exercise update: On thursday I got 90 pullups 90 pushups and 90 situps in 15:47
Challenging Sawyer and Jackson and Dad. Bring it! or in Chinese: Fangma guolai!
-This week going for 100 100 & 100 in 16 minutes.
-Chinese is coming ok. Still struggle sometimes with the tones. I guess singing and speaking in the same time is just not my thing but improving fast.
-Our 75 year old investigator finished the Book of Mormon this week. Took her about a week in a half. Let that be an inspiration to us all.
-Got some meat at the store this week but didn't realize how spicy it was going to be. Even the native elder in my apartment couldn't eat it. Anyways, it was so hot that it literally made me get sick. So the last couple days I have been kind of out of it but today am feeling back to normal. Won't make that mistake again. Didn't know things could be so hot, but obviously I was wrong.
Let me end with a thought: In the gospel of Matthew and Luke, Jesus talks about how if people don't like you thats ok, because if you think about a lot of the prophets they were hated by a lot of people. Also Christ says that if you are loved by everyone that is bad because that is how the false prophets were treated. So its normal to have enemies for standing up for right but we still have to love them.
Out here we have people who bash on us and the church. But we just go on loving. That is beauty of the truth and the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Love you all,
Monday, November 17, 2014
-This week was Penny's birthday! Ate what they call steamboat which is just a huge buffet but you cook everything yourself which made things interesting.
- Also tried durian for the first time. It has a deathly smell and taste but the natives love it. Mostly everyone else hates it. I thought it was ok so I guess I am somewhat native already. not really but yeah.
-We are in a new apartment so exercise has changed. We (well I guess I should just say I...no one else really works out here..kind of sad) just run about a mile and a half every other morning and then the other days working to try and get 100 pushups 100 situps and 100 pullups in as short as possible time. Right now I am at 80 80 80 in about 16 min. Trying to get 100 100 100 in that same time by christmas.
-Also basketball gets thrown in there as well when we can get to the church and play basketball like today being p-day.
-Chinese is going well. This week me and Elder Eggertsen (who is the man) got thrown into teaching the Chinese Sunday school class last second and had to teach on the Law of Chastity. Being the trainer I had to take the lead of the lesson and yeah that was a test for my chinese but it went well.
-One of our investigators who is 70+ years old and has a hard time reading..read 3/4 of the Book of Mormon this week. Be that an inspiration to you guys. Get reading!
-Been learning some Malay and made my first contact in malay this week. That was interesting but they excepted the pamphlet that I gave them.
-Taught a bible class this week in a lady's home for a different church. (well more like showed how the bible supported the Book of Mormon) hopefully something comes of that. It was a miracle that we got in there. We a long time ago had contacted them but had forgotten about them. One day this week felt prompted to go back and they happened to have a bible class at the house and invited us in to teach. It is great when you can feel and watch yourself be guided by the spirit to what you should be doing. We had totally different plans that day.
-Don't get me wrong the mission has been the best time of my life but there are still are times when you get down on yourself. Maybe people aren't progressing or fanging your feiji (flying your airplane -- not showing up for their appointments) or whatever but I learned that if you can analyze why you are down its much better. HALT. Hungry. Angry. Lonely. Tired. My companion taught this to me. It sounded dumb to me at first but it really helps. Try it. Whenever you get down think HALT and decide which one of those four things is making you feel down. Or what combination.
-Lastly, we taught a lesson to a recent convert this week that really got me thinking. The only three things that we can keep past this life is 1. Knowlege 2. Character 3. Relationships and so if we are not working on one of those three things all the time then we are wasting our time. Keep your priorities. It is easy to forget what is important. Spend time with your family :) Love them :) Serve them :) Learn and draw closer to God and Jesus Christ. Don't forget what is important.
Tuesday, November 11, 2014
-Not as much time this week so I will make it short.
-This week I went to Singapore for a couple days to pick up Elder Eggertsen my new companion! Yes what great food! Not that the food here is bad but more regular food is in Singapore.
-Elder Fletcher went to KL but got taken back by immigration and questioned and almost sent to America. Crazy. He only has 30 days in KL before he has to leave Malaysia. Immigration is wild.
-Elder Eggertsen my new companion is great! he is from Centerville, Utah. He just got here from the provo MTC and has only been in Malaysia for 2 days!
-Training a new missionary after being out only 3 months is interesting to say the least but you know what they say. Fake it till you make it. Especially with only 3 months of chinese experience.
-Chinese is actually coming along nicely. With Elder Fletcher gone I translate sacrament meeting each week now and take the lead in all the lessons. Penny is also teaching me a lot which is nice. She comes to tons of lessons with us and is awesome.
-We switched houses actually and live with a couple different elders. One is a native from Malaysia and he has been teaching me a little bit of Malay which is really useful out here.
-One cultural thing for the week is that when you shake people's hands you always touch your heart after. It's different but sort of cool.
I'll end with a thought. I realized this week that there is a difference between being exactly obedience and being righteously obedient. The first has no love per se. Without love being obedient is nothing. Ponder that. The greatest commandment is to love God and the second is like unto it and is to love thy neighbor as thyself.
love you all,
Sunday, November 2, 2014
So today is transfers and I will be staying in Kuching but I will be training now! My companion Elder Fletcher is headed to KL and will be training as well. I do not know who I will be training. So with 3 months of Chinese experience I will be attempting to train someone with no chinese experience. Well this should be interesting. Dang. I am excited though. I will have a son as they call it.
-This means I will be going to Singapore on Wednesday to pick up my "Son" . My "Father" Elder Fletcher will be going with me to pick up his trainee
-My companion this week was out with a concussion from a bike fall. Didn't realize how terrible is was being stuck inside all day, trying to find someone to go on splits with but failing.
-We met with an inactive family this week and the wife and her son were there..the dad was not. The mom told us that the husband won't support her and has a new girlfriend. She wants to go back to China and leave the son here. It is a terrible situation. We got a lot of work to do there.
-Also here all we use is chopsticks and its driving me crazy. I don't think me and chopsticks were meant to be.
-Another thing about this place is that the water here is not good. All the water we drink has to be purified or else you get really really sick. The water filters aren't anything simple either. It is a serious thing.
-This week rainy season started and we have a monsoon almost everyday. The rain is unbelievable. I thought it rained a lot before. But it is still as hot as ever. if not hotter.
-Also this week Penny got baptized! Elder Fletcher baptized her and I confirmed her! All in chinese which wasn't very easy. Also the sisters had a baptism of Penny's friend named Audrey and I got asked to baptize her! Also in Chinese! That was a super cool experience. Mid-ordinance I almost forgot the chinese words for the baptism and I had a huge long pause but I made it through.
Penny is the investigator who had a dream of meeting two young men in white shirts and ties and dark pants who changed her life before we met her and then we actually met her and changed her life. She was buddhist before! She has quite the amazing conversion story!
Kuching is the bomb.
I will leave with a video:
We use the Book of Mormon everyday and it is something that Penny has grown to love.
It will change change your life, just read it.
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
So this week my watch got stolen right from inside the church, while we were all playing basketball outside on the court. I had left it on top of my bag. It was a gift from Dad so we looked on the security cameras and found out it was some Malay kids that some of the other elders knew. They went to their house and got it back. Thievery is real out here.
Also, our recent convert Brother Tan got his next batch of garbage money stolen again. So sad. We felt so bad he hadn't eaten for two days and so we brought him some food. He is doing great though. As happy as always!
But don't worry I love the people here they are seriously so humble and amazing but this just seems to be an occurring problem. I am learning fast not to leave my stuff out for even a couple minutes.
So last week I forgot to mention that I was able to confirm Brother Tan as a member of the church and give him the gift of the Holy Ghost. Even though our branch is in English he doesn't speak a lick of English and so I confirmed him in Chinese..it was kind of scary considering I had never done that in English but I guess what better way to start!! Also I translate usually for Sacrament meeting for the people who don't understand enough English to get by.
This week my companion had a pretty decent bike crash and he got a decent concussion from it despite wearing a helmet so he had to go to the hospital. Biking out here is pretty dangerous but we are careful don't worry.
Also we went to the wind caves this week which was insane. I sent some pictures but literally we were amid like a million bats off the main trail squeezing our way through crevices and rock climbing huge walls. It was intense but a lot of fun. There were like a million huge spiders and insects inside though. And I must of hit my head on the ceiling at least a hundred times.
Also, this week Penny one of our investigators will be getting baptized! Super happy for her and the huge change she has made in her life.
So when we had our bikes stolen..that night as we were searching for them we ran into a guy at his house who we asked if he had seen anything suspicious. He said no but feeling compassion for us..let us borrow his bike for a couple days. We were shocked at his kindness but took it for the couple days and then returned it. When we returned it he started asking questions about what we did and eventually we started teaching him. We had a really good lesson with him last week and he is really searching for the truth. He is amazingly prepared to hear the gospel. We have another lesson with him tongiht..We realized that perhaps there was a reason that our bikes got stolen. God sometimes works in mysterious ways. And you can always look and find good in the bad.
I read this talk by our prophet Thomas S. Monson and it really hit home..
"This is our one and only chance at mortal life—here and now. The longer we live, the greater is our realization that it is brief. Opportunities come, and then they are gone. I believe that among the greatest lessons we are to learn in this short sojourn upon the earth are lessons that help us distinguish between what is important and what is not. I plead with you not to let those most important things pass you by as you plan for that illusive and nonexistent future when you will have time to do all that you want to do. Instead, find joy in the journey—now. Rather than dwelling on the past, we should make the most of today, of the here and now, doing all we can to provide pleasant memories for the future." -Thomas S. Monson
Love you all,
“Do … human beings ever realize life while they live it—every, every minute?” -Emily Webb
Monday, October 20, 2014
-So here Chinese people feed you until you want to die and then feed you more. It is impolite not to eat everything they give you and so we have no choice. We go a long time without eating and then we eat these huge meals. Like ridiculous. I sent a picture of one with our investigator Penny.
-I am starting to grow to really like the food out here. Lots of noodles and rice and chicken.
-There was one kid in our apartment this week that got super super sick this week. He went blind for two days because his eyes got infected and it was insane how bad his whole face got warped but he's gotten better now. For a couple days no one wanted to touch anything he touched. We are lucky no one else in the apartment got it. Another missionary in a different apartment might have gotten it as well.
-We got to give an old member's husband blessing in a hospital this week. Well I thought it was a jail. It's nothing like what you would think a hospital is. It is terrible. I felt so bad for all the people in there. Just know we have it well where we live.
So I don't have much time this week but I'd like to share a quick thought. We were able to baptize an old man named Brother Tan this week and confirmed him yesterday. He is 70 plus and is a Kung Fu genius. Still at 70 years old I would not want to get in a fight with him.
Anyways, he has quite the inspiring story. He picks up garbage for a living (cardboard) and sells it.
He has no money. His children took it all and left. They won't talk to him and he can't get a hold of them.
This week we went to visit him and asked him how he was doing when we got there. He said he was doing great because he felt peace from God that day and his body was in good health. Those are the two things that he always says.
We noticed that his cardboard was gone and we asked him about it and he said that he had sold it. For a huge amount of cardboard he had gotten he was paid 26.70 ringgit which is about 9 US dollars. That was all the money he had. He left the money in his car overnight and the man he had been letting sleep at his house was gone the next morning. But so was all 26.70 in his car.
And yet with nothing left he was the happiest person we had met that week. It is a testimony that no matter your circumstances you can have happiness. I still can see him in my mind telling me why that day was good before I even found out his final money had gotten stolen. His 9 dollars that he had worked for weeks to get. He felt peace from God and he had a healthy body.
Please be grateful. Please be happy. God has given us everything.
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
-Bikes got stolen on Wednesday. Me and my companion both had gotten new bikes.
-they were locked to each other on the steps of the church porch. a guy came up and grabbed both bikes carried them onto his moto and his friend drove him and the two bikes off.
-Me and Elder Fletcher chased after them. It was intense but it was no avail. They got away.
-We have video of it but it was at night and so we can't get a license plate so its not really any use.
-We know what kind of moto it was and so we've been looking around all week for the same kind of bike but no avail.
-We went to the police but that didn't help anything, apparently a lot of times the police are in on the theft themselves. This isn't america people. They basically gave us a search warrant and sent us on our own investigation so we've been going to rich houses that have camera's and looking at their film but nothing yet.
-this kind of took a blow to our week but we are working on salvaging some old bikes to keep us in the work. Without a bike you can't do anything here it feels like.
-I thought i would give a little culture here that might be interesting.
-Like 4 times a day and once at midnight and once at 5 am every day the muslims have their prayer call which is becoming annoying i am sorry to say. It's loud and wakes me up every morning way too early. It is just this guy on the loudest microphone ever singing in tamel I guess so I don't know what he's saying but it just doesn't sound very good. No offense meant to the religion though of course.
-Another thing that happens here is a lot of people men grow out their finger nails really long. And all the chinese people grow out just their pinky finger nail on their left hand. There is some strange cultural reason why.
-Also the chinese refuse to cut their hair that grows out of their moles. its kind of gross but apparently if they cut it, it ruins their luck. DIdn't quite understand that one haha.
-One blessing this week was of the love out here for white people.
-one of our investigators just gave a smartphone which was sick because I was about to buy one. Chinese elders are allowed to have smartphones to text chinese
-Got to watch conference..some in Chinese and some in English..only understood like half of what was being said in Chinese but still good practice
Our baptism of the old man got moved to next week because of conference this week.
For all who watched conference and any who didn't I would like to end with a little of my favorite talk by President Uctdorf..
It was our beloved Savior’s final night in mortality, the evening before He would offer Himself a ransom for all mankind. As He broke bread with His disciples, He said something that must have filled their hearts with great alarm and deep sadness. “One of you shall betray me,” He told them.
The disciples didn’t question the truth of what He said. Nor did they look around, point to someone else, and ask, “Is it him?”
Instead, “they were exceeding sorrowful, and began every one of them to say unto him, Lord, is it I?”1
I wonder what each of us would do if we were asked that question by the Savior. Would we look at those around us and say in our hearts, “He’s probably talking about Brother Johnson. I’ve always wondered about him,” or “I’m glad Brother Brown is here. He really needs to hear this message”? Or would we, like those disciples of old, look inward and ask that penetrating question: “Is it I?”
Mankind including myself I feel has this problem more than we would like to admit. Look in yourself first before others. You and I might be missing something.
The Savior said:
“Why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? …
“… First cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.”
Sending all my love,
Ping Zhang Lao
P.S. Here is the link to that talk and a favorite story from it of mine : https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2014/10/lord-is-it-i?lang=eng
Once there was a man who enjoyed taking evening walks around his neighborhood. He particularly looked forward to walking past his neighbor’s house. This neighbor kept his lawn perfectly manicured, flowers always in bloom, the trees healthy and shady. It was obvious that the neighbor made every effort to have a beautiful lawn.
But one day as the man was walking past his neighbor’s house, he noticed in the middle of this beautiful lawn a single, enormous, yellow dandelion weed.
It looked so out of place that it surprised him. Why didn’t his neighbor pull it out? Couldn’t he see it? Didn’t he know that the dandelion could cast seeds that could give root to dozens of additional weeds?
This solitary dandelion bothered him beyond description, and he wanted to do something about it. Should he just pluck it out? Or spray it with weed killer? Perhaps if he went under cover of night, he could remove it secretly.
These thoughts totally occupied his mind as he walked toward his own home. He entered his house without even glancing at his own front yard—which was blanketed with hundreds of yellow dandelions.
Monday, October 6, 2014
-I swear I still can't get over how many dogs there are here..
-We try and run each morning and go to the sisters apartment gym ( they have a bench press) or the basketball court there..
-Kind of ran out of ideas for working out and so last p-day I broke out some of Don's and Gabe's workout routines. I went to the church gym which has no hoop. The court is outside and then I set up maybe 50 chairs and did a huge version of the diamond drill that me and gabe used to do. A bunch of Elders and sisters were there kind of got in a crowd to watch because they had never seen anything like it. Then a few of them stepped in and tried it. But they mostly epically failed because the moves got pretty complicated pretty fast.
-I also did the tennis ball drill which they found really entertaining but didn't dare try. Basically Gabe's drills are one of a kind.
-Chinese is good. We are speaking a lot of chinese with natives everyday which is the best way to learn.
-Funny story though with Mandarin this week. I was introducing my cousin sister Romney to an investigator and meant to tell her that she is my relative (qinqi) but instead said I kissed her (qingqing) . Quite embaressing and a bunch the ward members heard but it happens. There are a lot of similar words you have to be really careful.
-Piano is still getting put to good use. We have the nicest piano ever at the church. A grand Yamaha. Whenever an appointment falls through I will jam for a little while. I have been working on a couple arrangements one of I Need Thee Every Hour but not sure if its gonna be as good as the other ones I made..I am getting to play for the primary who is singing in about a month which should be fun! Kids are the best!
-I hope you all enjoyed conference this week. Honestly, modern scripture. Read it again and again or if you haven't seen it yet. Watch it. We live for conference out here. Better than Christmas they say.
-We actually don't get conference for two more weeks though because of translation issues.
So I will end with a thought. We have a baptism this Saturday of an old man named Brother Chen. He is a fisherman and is 70+ years old. All his family left him and his life funds are in Singapore but his son took his money so he has nothing left. His wife left a long time ago as well. Two of his sons live in Kuching but won't talk to him and pretend to not know him. He picks up garbage paper and sells it for a living. Many days he doesn't have enough money for food and just lives on water. And YET he is one of the happiest most enthusiastic positive 70 year old man I have ever met in my life. So think about yourself what have you got to worry about? honestly?
God gave us everything. Thank him. Think about all the blessings. Don't worry about one little problem. Trust me it could be worse.
17 Verily, verily, I say unto you, ye are little children, and ye have not as yet understood how great blessings the Father hath in his own hands and prepared for you;
18 And ye cannot bear all things now; nevertheless, be of good cheer, for I will lead you along. The kingdom is yours and the blessings thereof are yours, and the riches of eternity are yours.
19 And he who receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious; and the things of this earth shall be added unto him, even an hundred fold, yea, more.
I love you all.
God loves you more.
This is a great story from last conference from President Uctdorf about being grateful..
"There is an old story of a waiter who asked a customer whether he had enjoyed the meal. The guest replied that everything was fine, but it would have been better if they had served more bread. The next day, when the man returned, the waiter doubled the amount of bread, giving him four slices instead of two, but still the man was not happy. The next day, the waiter doubled the bread again, without success.
On the fourth day, the waiter was really determined to make the man happy. And so he took a nine-foot-long (3-m) loaf of bread, cut it in half, and with a smile, served that to the customer. The waiter could scarcely wait for the man’s reaction.
After the meal, the man looked up and said, “Good as always. But I see you’re back to giving only two slices of bread.”"
Tuesday, September 30, 2014
This week has been great. So we got a new Sister serving in our ward and of course it is my cousin Sister Romney! Super awesome. Second Cousin..but still super cool. She is a super hard worker and so I can't wait to work with her in our branch!
So this week we had three baptisms scheduled but one of them got offended by our ward members and another got all scared to get baptized and backed out due to his family. But Ivan did get baptized. It was wonderful.
The baptismal service was on Saturday and our Mission President and his wife both attended which was rare since our mission is so big. They were in Kuching for the new missionary training so they just stayed afterwards for our baptism. Ivan is about 20 years old and he loves doing business but has a really strong testimony of the gospel. We are really excited for him. We had one of our members President Teo baptize him. (see pictures)
-got sick again this week. I guess just how dirty the food is, is still getting to me.
-12 missionaries got kicked out of Eastern Malaysia because of immigration issues so we had like a mini transfer today but i didn't get moved. (As you can tell immigration is a pain here especially if you are a white guy)
-oh to give you an idea baptizing people here is pretty rare especially for Chinese. My companion has only had one other baptism in his time here which has been a little over a year. So we are feeling very blessed to have one in just 7 weeks being here.
-Time in Malaysia is quite not on time. Our baptism started at 6. Pres. Teo who was going to baptize Ivan showed up an hour late because at about 6 oclock he decided to take a nice jog. So yeah the baptize ended up going a little long but it worked out. It's a big problem and we are trying to get out sacrament meeting to start on time but it is hard sometimes. People are just late a lot.
I don't have much time but I would like to end with a thought. With General Conference coming up I was reading some of President Monson's past addresses and a few of them really hit me. I love how much he really stresses that this is supposed to be a happy gospel and that we should be grateful and happy.
"Stresses come in our lives regardless of our circumstances. We must deal with them the best we can. But we should not let them get in the way of what is most important--and what is most important always involves the people around us. Often we assume that they must know how much we love them. But we should never assume; we should let them know."
-Pres. Thomas S. Monson
Please do something to show your love to someone dear to you. You will not regret it. The gospel of Jesus Christ is a gospel of Love. I would encourage you all to take a minute and read this talk by a prophet called "Love-The Essence of the Gospel."
It may just change your life.
P.S. Thank you for all your letters and support. It means the world :)
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
I don't have a lot of time so this one will be a little short.
-Today is transfer day but I am staying in Kuching along with my trainer. Not too surprised because I am still in training.
-Singapore this week for zone conference! Super awesome! Got to see lots of people! Met Elder Baranoff from MIT who I had been hearing a lot about. He runs track and cross country for MIT and is an awesome guy. Also got to use a lot of Chinese with real Chinese people in Sinapore and all the Chinese missionaries. My Chinese is coming along slowly but surely :) A good amount of the chinese elders in this mission don't have very good chinese. Or else my Chinese is just good. Not really sure.
-Funny story. We are teaching this guy who is 70+ years old and has one big tooth in his mouth. Really awkward because it just sticks out and he doesnt have any other teeth. We were just teaching with him and then it fell out. Quite awkward. He didn't even say anything about it. Then we go back two weeks later and the tooth is still on the floor of his house. I don't even think he noticed haha.
-We had a huge basketball game in Singapore which was a lot of fun for Zone conference. Finally we had a big group together which was nice.
-We have 3 investigators planned to be baptized this week including the lady that had the dream that I talked about last week. We are seeing a lot of miracles in our area.
- My companion got destroyed in immigration and only have 50 days here instead of 90. Immigration is pretty sketchy coming back from Singapore. We have to dress down and can't travel together and still we usually get questioned like crazy just because we are white people. Immigration hates us but the people themselves treat us like celebrities. Especially when they find out we can speak chinese.
- Oh yeah the food in Sinapore is way way better than Malaysia. Honestly a Subway footlong sandwich literally was the most amazing thing I thought I had ever had. Bacon Chicken Ranch was literally heaven on earth. But I love Kuching and wouldn't trade the area for anything. Especially the people.
- Learning quickly that no one in Malaysia has any idea what MIT is. But in Singapore it is revered by everyone. Just totally different societies.
-Thank you everyone for the letters and mail. I got it all in Singapore this week. I will reply as soon as I can. Hopefully in the next couple of weeks.
One crucial thing I learned at Zone Conference in Sinapore this week is how to grow faith. It finally hit me. One the easiest ways to grow faith is to recognize miracles in your life. To recognize the spiritual promptings follow it, WRITE IT DOWN and then try and recognize the miracles that come after. I keep a spiritual journal like it talks about in 1 Nephi 9 and it changed my life. The more I recognized the spirit and the miracles in my life the more my faith grew and the more my faith grew the more I learned to recognize the spirit and follow it and recognize the miracles in my life. Please write down the miracles you see in your life. That way you won't ever forget them. And your kids will be able to read about them and you can refer to them and you will never lose your testimony of those things. I can promise you.
I love you all. And I love the gospel.
Sending my love,
Monday, September 15, 2014
Mooncake Festival week.
My companion has been very sick this week so we couldn't go out very much the last three days. The food is very dirty here and so it is quite easy to come down with a stomach bug here. My stomach also has been getting thrown all over the place since I have been here but its ok. You can eat food forever here which is basically just noodles and rice and chicken and then still you will feel hungry. Today he feeling better though so we should be good.
This week was the Mooncake Festival and so we went with a member. We all carry these lanterns down to the park about a mile and then write your wishes on the lanterns (in chinese of course) and then put then in like a mini hot balloon type of thing and then let them float into the sky. My companion is very good at writing Chinese so he did the writing for us. This holiday is only for the Chinese so there are no Malay people that participate.
It was really cool because literally like thousands of Chinese people at this random park at like 9 oclock at night and the sky is filled with lights (lanterns). Super cool. You also have to eat Mooncake but we didn't take the chance to do that. We were quite busy.
So one guy we are teaching is Anglican pastor. He came to church last week and he is in charge of 5000 people at his church. Imagine if we could get him to join the church. We would have the like two stakes here in kuching in no time but we will see. He studied theology for like the last 70 years and so his knowledge is off the charts. His questions are insanely hard but we are doing are best. Most of his questions we have write down and then go back and research them before we teach him next. We are giving an hour lecture to his 15 priests on the 30th of this month which should be quite interesting. Quite hard to be honest but we will prepare.
Church is great we have a really nice building which is unusual because all the other branches meet in shoplits which is a dirty outside food court. They rent them out for Sunday church meetings. The meeting is in English but we translate for people into Chinese. Translating is hard not gonna lie.
Have not gone tracting yet. We have been good and getting referalls through investigators and members so that we haven't had to go out and tract to find new investigators. We are teaching about 8 people right now. 4 are set to be baptized on the 27th of this month but we aren't sure if they all will on that day but hopefully at least just 1 :)
Everyday the language gets easier but it is still really hard. Also this Sunday I had to go on splits with a Malay Elder to sacrament meeting because my companion was too sick to go. That was quite a test because I couldn't rely on my companion for the Chinese. It was a challenge and I definitely didn't understand a lot but I made it work. I also gave a talk this week in Sacrament. Shared about my testimony of Jesus Christ in English and then translated it to Mandarin.
Before I end I want to share a miracle this week that we saw. One of our new investigators we were telling her about the Background of the Book of Mormon and how a family travels from Jerusalem to America. As soon as we said that she stopped us mid-sentence and told us she had to tell us something. She then proceeded to tell us about a dream she had had long before she had met us where she met two people who were dressed in shirts and ties but she couldn't see their faces. They then gave her a book and explained that it was a bout a family that came from Jerusalem to america. Then she said she took the Book and read and applied the Book in her dream it made her so happy. We were both just like dumbstruck. She is not crazy at all either. A very down to earth lady. I testify that God is behind this work and is preparing people to recieve the gospel. Jesus Christ is my Savior. And he really is behind the restoration of his gospel.
P.S. Someone asked me if I like the mission field or the MTC better...I love the mission field I hundred times more because it is so fulfilling. It is so much harder than the MTC but it is so fulfilling. In the MTC its all about preparing yourself yourself yourself. In the field its all about preparing others others others. Forgetting yourself is one of the greatest things that ever happened to me and I never realized it happened until a few days ago.
"For whosever will save his life shall lose it: And whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it" -Matthew 16:25
Tuesday, September 9, 2014
Monday, September 8, 2014
So my daily schedule has been requested:
7:00 am wake up. Excercise and get ready for the day and eat breakfast
8:30 am personal study
9:30 companion study
10:30 Language study/proselyte
11:30 go visit people do service volunteer work and teach people about the gospel
Lunch in here somewhere
around 6 pm we have dinner sometimes with members but mostly we cook on our own some vegetables and pasta or sometimes hamburgers and lots and lots of eggs.
Then go back out until 9:30
9:30-10:00 we plan for the next day.
10:00 - 11 personal time
Also got a new taiwanese race bike this week so I am now beating my companion everywhere. I guess it is more about the bike than the person. Made me feel better since I thought I was getting out of shape. Definitely not so. If anything in better shape than when I left.
We hang out a lot in shoplits and talk to the people there. They are just like outside food stands.
The chinese is coming slowly but surely. Still hard but I can see imporvement everyday.
We had 4 investigators at church this week which was awesome for us. We are excited for a lot of our investigators. Showing good progress.
Each week we volunteer at this mental hospital and feed the kids there. It's quite an experience. I had the sisters in our ward send you pictures of it.
Me and Elder Fletcher who is an amazing missionary my companion started a weekly sports/game night for our branch every saturday night which we started this week. It turned out great. We had three investigators come and think it will help the branch come together while having some fun. We play basketball soccer badminton board games, settlers of Catan yes mom they have it here too. :) haha
Oh and here they play badminton religiously..its fast becoming my favorite sport, next to basketball of course but still its a lot of fun.
We finally succeeded in getting the elders in our apartment to go running with us in the morning which now makes an 4 pack of white guys running around the neighborhoods getting chased by dogs in the mornings. it makes quite the scene. Plus I have never seen anyone ever go jogging in this country in the morning. Just not in the culture I guess but that makes us look even more weird.
one of our investigators has a huge smoking problem. We are trying to help him with it but he smoked yesterday at church and so he is still struggling. We aren't sure how to help. We have decided we might try having us do 100 pushups for every cigarette he smokes. Both of us and him. Might get really sore really fast but I guess its worth a try.
I'll end with a scripture I found this week
Matthew 8:22 Jesus asks will you follow me to a man...he says yes but first wants to bury his dead father, jesus then says "let the dead bury the dead" which seems kind of rough but honestly I take this to be that we only get so much time in life. This man had one chance to follow Jesus he better take it and help people who are living who still have time to change and time to become better people on earth. The time is now. Become.
Love you all,
P.S. if you want to know anything particular about the mission or what is going on..please shoot me an email and I'll try and include whatever you want in next weeks email.
Keep it real :)
Monday, September 1, 2014
The heat is finally setting in here. Today we went to Bako national park..and I got burnt to a crisp. Not sure how that is going to work out tomorrow..the place was pretty cool though..got to see a bunch of monkeys and climb in the jungle for a while.. and then go to the beach and explore..
-but yes the heat is unbelievable, so humid. Honestly it rains everyday harder than any rain I have ever experienced and the storms come in within 5 minutes. It'll be completely hot like over 100 degrees and then just down pour for 3 straight hours. We still go out in the rain but we usually just get soaked and caked with mud. But if it clears up you dry in like 5 minutes due to the humidity.
-We bike everywhere. It is quite the workout in the heat. And we bike fast too. My companion beats me everywhere. He has the endurance like no one I have ever seen. I have never been so tired. Well almost except for maybe stations with Coach Anderson at MIT at pre-season getting in shape time. Those were a little tougher.
-The food here is dirt cheap. You can buy a full meal for about 10 ringit which is about 3 american dollars.
-This week we found the first gym I have ever seen here. It was in the Sisters apartment complex. It had one bench press and one machine. I sat down to bench press with 40's on each side. Then I could only do one rep and was terribly mad at myself because I thought I gotten weaker. Then I realized that I was lifting Klgs and not lbs so I was actually trying to bench over 200lbs. Made me feel much better. Still run in the mornings and run from the dogs. fun stuff.
don't have much time this week but would like to share a miracle that happened this week. We were going to visit an investigator with a member but she wasn't home but the member next to them was. They only spoke malay but our member did as well. They talked for a long time and the member was crying and stuff but I still couldn't understand anything of course. Later the member told us they had lost their job that day, and weren't going to be able to eat anymore. They had invited us into their homes and were feeding us some soda and some crackers. I felt so terrible about it. I had literally eaten some of their last food. I then learned that they had just had the sisters in their ward over for dinner that night. They had served their last food to the sisters without complaining. I am sure the sisters didn't know that they were feeding them their last food when they had asked to come over for dinner. But wow what Christ-like love this woman had for others. When everything was imploding on her, she turned outward and gave of what she had left to others. When everyone else would turn inward and worrying about themselves she was telling me to eat her last food. She was giving everything she had to survive. That is the true character of Christ. That is his most defining Characteristic.
Turning outward when everyone else would turn inward.
The miracle was that we met with this member. (not our intention and the member we had with us was a malay speaker and had someone that could help her with her job.)
Love you all,
Monday, August 25, 2014
So yes first full week in Malaysia. Pretty insane.
-So they don't have toilets here really they are called squatters. Basically its a hole in the ground so you just squat and yeah.. also they have hoses instead of toilet paper. Toilet paper is very hard to buy or find here.
-Everyone here loves american people like honestly its cool, you walk through the shoplits and everyone looks at you like you are a celebrity. Pretty wild. And then they love you even more when they find out you can speak Chinese everyone is shocked about that..
Well I guess kind of speak Chinese, it is still really hard to understand but it is coming along slowly.
-Also here they have this huge roundabouts bigger than anything I've ever seen. It's like a freeway that goes around in a circle. Anyways we have to try and navigate them on a bike. It's insane. It's like a video game honestly. One of the scariest things I have ever done in my life hands down.
-They also have the biggest intersections I have ever seen. The lights count down from ten so everyone will jump start the lights and so it feels like mario cart honestly (shoutout to LCA where we played mario cart like champs) There are like mortocycles of every kind some bikes so scooters some trucks some regular cars it really feels like mario cart start, unreal.
-So we don't knock on doors here, you knock on people's gates that's just how all the houses work here.
-Also this week I had some of the grossest food ever. They have the weirdest fruits here. I can't even describe it. They have this one called durian that they sell out in the middle of the road because it smells so bad they can't put it anywhere else. But people somehow like it. I can attest to how bad it smells it is unreal.
-Also they put all these dried fish with the heads and tails in all your food. Was not ready to eat crunchy fish bones, eyes and head and all.
- We have 3 main investigators right now. 2 of them should be baptized in the next three weeks or so.
-One of our investigators told us we were going to die because the last elders called him too much. Kinda scary, planning on staying away from him. But we built a cement wall for him in his back yard. That was quite the experience because we didn't really know how to do cement work but we kind of just made it up as we went along and it turned out not too bad.
-We still run every morning and workout every night which is good. Also our zone loves basketball and so every p-day we play as a district.
(I said that this week was awesome and we still have a lot of time left in kuching but I am ready to help people change their lives and become better people.)
I'll end with a spiritual thought. Sometimes it is hard to understand why we need Christ but if we think about the atonement it helps. This is one of my favorite videos to watch as I try and remember the atonement. We have been sharing it with people.
And then think about what he has done for you. When you have felt his presence in your life. I know his presence is real. I know it.
And then watch this video to bring it home :)
Love you all,
Sunday, August 17, 2014
So after being in Singapore for one night I have been moved to East Malaysia in a city called Kuching.
It's downright crazy here, but I already love it.
-no sidewalks here but we bike everywhere and don't forget it's the left side of the road. That's got my mind all messed up.
-We are over an international ward. So people from everywhere are there and a good amount of them are chinese.
-It's not really Chinese they speak here but a mix of Malaysia English and Chinese among Tai and eban and huayu, haukian, fujiao, tamel, and like a billion other languages. I can't even understand english here a lot.
I feel illiterate here haha
-my companion is the bomb. he's been here a year. 6 months in Singapore and 6 months in Muri in East Malaysia. His chinese is quite good.
-I gave the lesson in priesthood this week. Not sure if they understood a lot of it since my english is not the same as theirs.
-they have sunday school in Chinese and I thought they were talking about seeing God in heaven and how but I asked my companion after and he told me they were talking about Moses and the manna falling from heaven. Great.
- We live in a decent aprt. ill try and send pictures with two other Malay speaking elders. In our ward we have two English sisters as well.
- We email in pretty sketch internet cafe's where kids just play Call of Duty or some sort of it all day. kinda sad. Jackson, don't. You the man.
- We teach in shoplits they are called where most everyone works. It's just a bunch of outside stands selling random stuff.
-I taught my first lesson on Saturday in Chinese. Think it went well. But in the middle of it she started blabbing on about something and later my companion told me it was that I had black hair and she thought that was cool/different
-all the water is bad here so everything has to be filtered.
-it's humid as nuts here.
-We run in the mornings and its great because whenever you start running slow all the stray dogs will start chasing after you and so then you really start booking it. makes you get a good workout in. Not sure what happens if you actually get caught by one of the dogs. Hopefully that doesnt happen. My companion just says that you kick them but that sounds kind of sketch. I'll try and just run fast enough.
-Yeah so that's another thing. They have innumerable stray cats and dogs here. Everywhere.
-we don't have dryers so we just hang our clothes out. They don't have a lot of things actuallly
-We have about 40 active people in our branch and about 70 members.
-we sit on the floor in people's houses, houses usually have about 2 big rooms in a bedroom.
-My companion is from North Ogden by the way
- Everyone here is short like a foot shorter than me. And they all love white people (hongmaren) and they all love the NBA.
-It rains like 24/7 here but you also dry 24/7 here because it is so hot.
- I already can still I've started talking their english a little. It's kind of like how Chinese people drop the articles in words so it sounds very childish.
-oh so immigration hates missionaries. we dress down to regular clothes and have to travel without companions otherwise its unsafe. Even so I got taken and questioned quite thoroughly. They think we get paid and are taking into their country's economy so they let me through but on of the missionary's passport who has been back and forth like 5 times they really questioned him hard and only gave him two weeks in Malaysia before he must report to immigration again. That was in KL. Had no trouble in Kuching immigration. My companion did though. Its ok though. They just don't associate missionaries as volunteers but rather as workers.
-the food here is quite different. Lots of things that I dont ask just eat but nothing too crazy yet. Apparently I will be eating worms soon. Perrrfecct.
-Everything here is like dirt cheap. Like 10 rigit or 2 US dollars for a $12 US meal.
-Chinese people just make you eat and eat. Their pride is to make you fat. Companion's gained 40 lbs. But then again not sure if he's been working out. I will just show him another way of life I guess.
-We are "whitewashing" the area which means that neither companion knows the area. Very hard for him to train me without himself knowing anything about the people or the area but I think President Mains has a lot of trust in us.
-our land lord thinks we throw matches off the side of the aprt building. He doesn't understand that we are new so hopefully nothing comes of that.
-Oh and in the sunday school chinese class this one guy member was teaching a bunch of false doctrine like: we can't come to church if we drink Cola and stuff like that. We got some work to do.
-Right next to our church building is the "Blessed Church" which has rock concerts every night and really gets the people going persay. Everyone loves it there and so many people go there.
I'll end with a scripture that helped me this week: A lot of people think that logic and facts is the only way to know things however 1 corinthians 2:5 says "That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God."
love you all,
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
So we leave tomorrow for Singapore but don't get there until Thursday with all the layovers and everything and time zone stuff. It is kinda crazy. We fly from SLC to LAX to Hong Kong to Singapore. My goal is to read the entire BOM on the plane ride. And give it to someone. Should be a challenge. 15 hours sitting next to someone should give me enough time to convince them the gospel is true, I mean where can they go? they have no choice but to listen haha. I have never flown more than 5 hours or so, so this will be a new experience for sure.
So this week we were teaching on of our "real" investigators and we were trying to get them to pray about God to know if He existed. I shared the example of King Lamoni's father in Alma 22:18. I meant to have her only read the first half of the verse but I forgot because it was in Chinese characters and so I couldn't read it so I just let her read the whole thing. After she read it she started to freak out and started to kick us out of her house. I was really confused and hurried and looked up the verse in English. The beginning talks about the King's prayer and then at the end it says: "And now when the King had said these words, he was struck as if he were dead." I realized the horrible mistake and then we did our best to calm her down. Obviously she thought that if she prayed she would be struck dead. Yeah, in the real field that would have been pretty bad. Might as well get out all the mistakes here at the MTC I guess.
I also this week played 10 songs on piano for the sacrament meeting and priesthood which was an absurdly high number. Not only did our district want to do like a 4 song combined musical number but I also played a musical number myself. I'm hoping to be able to use piano in the area I am assigned.
So yeah that is kind of a weird thing to think about. in the next 72 hours I will be somehow over in Malaysia or Singpore with some random guy trying to teach the gospel in a language I barely know. Good luck Dakota. Thanks.
So we have gotten to be such good friends here with all the administration here. Mostly its because of my companion because he is one of the most outspoken people ever. We honestly sit on the front row of every devotional no matter what time we show up because the people in charge save seats for us. Everyone else is always so confused and always asks "how do you always get front row seat?" Pretty funny. My companion also got the MTC 1st counselor's email address. Stud.
The food here this week was terrible. I think I have had each of their rotations of meals like 10 times each. But I'm guessing when I get to Singapore I will have to eat some crazy animals brain that will make me wish I had MTC food again. I guess we'll soon see.
I am so ready to get out of here except for the fact that I know my language is no where near where it needs to be.
This Sunday I fasted for me to better recognize and feel the spirit. I felt the spirit more that Sunday more than I ever have while I have been at the MTC. I know the power of fasting is real.
I'll end with a quick spiritual thought. I have always thought why do people say that when you bear your testimony, your testimony grows. I think there are two reasons why it does. #1 is that it gives the spirit a chance to testify to you that what your testifying of is true. #2 which I never really thought of before is that is makes you analyze your testimony. You realize where it is weak and maybe even doubt some things you thought you knew were true. This then forces you to study your doubts out in your mind and pray about them and then study the scriptures about it. Then your testimony grows even stronger than it used to be before you began to doubt or recognize your weakness.
Love you all,
See you in Singapore!! (Or Malaysia)
-Ping Zhang Lao