Monday, January 26, 2015
Today is transfers and I am going to Johor Bahru! I love kuching but am excited to see JB! It is a city right next Singapore so now I will be in West Malaysia!!!
-my new companion is Elder Lundahl-Wolford!!! Same companion from the MTC! I am way pumped! We got along really well and he is just the man.
-I leave Wednesday morning!
-This week was great in Kuching! We contacted and started teaching a one-legged man from China and it went great! He came to all three hours of church on Sunday!
-Teaching someone from China is difficult because their accent is so heavy but we manage.
-He goes back to China on Feb. 15th forever so we are trying our hardest to baptize him before he goes back because once he goes back obviously he can't get baptized because their are no missionaries in China. Yet.
-This week I realized that members do the best missionary work. When we took members to lessons, I saw more progression in our investigators than I have seen in the last 6 weeks combined. The members mean a lot to us and so don't be afraid to help the missionaries in your home ward.
-Even though the rain wasn't as bad this week we still many times a day get blasted in the side by trucks driving through huge puddles that soak us just as much as if it was pouring rain. It's tough but I guess the truck drivers just don't understand that it soaks us every single time. oh well.
-Interesting experience this week with Pastor Michael one of our investigators. One of members came with us and started arguing with him about Joseph Smith. The spirit left and then I bore solemn testimony of Joseph Smith. You could feel the spirit come back. It was wonderful. Arguing doesn't get anywhere. The least we can do sometimes is testify to try and soften people's hearts.
-Auntie mui my recent convert finished the Book of Mormon for the second time this week. Boom.
-All of my recent converts came to church yesterday. What a blessing. For my last couple days in Kuching it was a wonderful blessing to see them all their.
I will end with a thought. I have been reading the 4 gospels and Jesus The Christ and one of my favorite stories that Jesus tells is Matt 21:28-32.
He has two sons. He tells both to go to work in the vineyard. One of the says he will and doesn't. The other says he won't but does.
Jesus then says that the one who actually did it but seemed wrong at first because he said he wouldn't is actually the better worker.
Basically Jesus Christ the Savior of the World, doesn't care so much as to what you say but more so what you do. So get to work.
Love you all,
See you in West Malaysia!! Johor Bahru!!
Wednesday, January 21, 2015
-The rain has been pouring for literally 5 days straight now. Not once has it stopped and it isn't just barely coming down. It is coming down hard.
-When you wake up it rains, when you go to sleep it rains. When you are teaching it is raining, when you are studying, when you are eating..and the last but the worst always when you are biking.
-I have gotten soaked so many times this week it is unbelievable. Basically once I leave the house I am wet for the next 14 hours no matter what. At first it was fun but now it is kind of getting annoying.
-I haven't seen the sun for a week it seems. But actually it really hasn't come out for 5 days.
-Working out is hard because of the rain but I have been using the x-bar that Dad gave me and have been getting some solid workouts with it. Some of the Elders in our apartment are jealous of it. Pretty handy device.
-Other than rain, last week we went to the river here called waterfront and got to practice blowing blow dart guns. They love doing that out here.
-Oh and shout out my brothers on the court at MIT with a couple more league wins this week.
-Also I bought a Sarong this week. It is a dress that men and women all wear here at night time and so the missionaries all wear them at night too. I'll try and attach a picture in case anyone wants to see me in a dress.
-I finished memorizing the Chinese dictionary this week. My vocab is definitely one of the best haha.
-We had a huge service project this week at my recent converts house, Auntie Mui, the old lady that finished the book of mormon in a week and a half and has almost finished it again.
-We cleaned her house and it was literally the dirtiest house I have ever cleaned. There were thousands and thousands of cockroaches. And these aren't the regular cockroaches but huge massive abusive things.
-But it went really well. It is so nice to have a branch that will support and serve your recent converts.
-Then today we went to a cultural village and there learned a ton about all the different cultures in Malaysia. Very interesting. So many different cultures here it is insane.
I will end with a interesting thing I learned this week in personal study. Reading in the 4 gospels and Jesus The Christ (a stellar book by the way) I read the healing of a blind man in Mark 8. But this healing was different from all the other healings that Jesus ever did. Why you might ask? Well, because the all masterful powerful Lord Jesus Christ healed the man in stages.
At first he healed him enough to see but "not be able to tell the difference between men and trees." Then he healed him fully.
Why did he do this? He has already proved us many times in other healings that he is all powerful? He could have done it all at once if he wanted but he didn't.
I think it was to show us that things don't always just happen perfectly. God wants us to learn precept on precept and so Jesus wanted us to learn the principle that faith is a principle of action. You have to work. It all just doesn't happen, but little by little you can achieve great things. Its about the process. And the process is work. (see quote below)
Love you all,
"The good works that really matter require the help of heaven. And the help of heaven requires working past the point of fatigue so far that only the meek and lowly will keep going long enough. The Lord doesn't put us through this test just to give us a grade; he does it because the process will change us." -Elder Henry B. Eyring
Thursday, January 15, 2015
-Last p-day ate steamboat for an Elder's birthday
-Steamboat is food that you cook on your own in a boiling pot of soup. It is all you can eat and really popular and good here.
-Tomorrow I will finish memorizing the Chinese missionary (about 40 pages) dictionary we will see if it helps. Working with members to find out how to use the words.
-Ball Handling still going every morning. Been doing a lot of Gabe's old drills. Getting other missionaries up in the morning to hit my arms when I dribble to make it hard and toss stuff at me while dribbling and then I have to catch it and throw it back while still doing a double cross between the legs or whatever move I am working on.
-They have a lot of fun hitting my arms, trying to knock me off balance and throwing stuff around for me to catch. And I get a good workout in so it works out well.
Some good recent convert stuff:
-Auntie Mui who we baptized a month ago got some anti stuff from another church through her best friends but she stood up for her belief. As a missionary you get no better feeling, than when your recent convert stands up for your belief. Can't even describe it..
-Ivan Chong who was my recent convert in the mission is doing great and fulfilling his calling as gospel principles teacher even though he was just recently baptized. When you see people you help actually move from talking to doing, again some of the greatest feelings.
When people you convert to the gospel, live the gospel and defend their testimonies, ahh there is no better feeling. I wish you could all feel that joy.
Elder Funk was here from the Asia presidency this week and gave a wonderful talk at our sacrament meeting. He spoke in conference about a year ago.
-Smoking is a huge problem here in Malaysia. It is a terrible addiction and it is the only thing holding many of our investigators back from being baptized.
One of the biggest things I am learning on my mission is how to "Be Quick, but Don't Hurry" -John Wooden --- how to show love to people but at the same time we are on a schedule and have appointments and can't spend a lot of time in a single place.
I'll end with something I was thinking about this week. Circumstances. They don't determine us. We have agency. We have power. If you don't like where you are at, its up to you to change it. Don't get into the trap of thinking that your circumstances control you. Make it work. Make it change. Make it happen.
Love to all,
Monday, January 5, 2015
-So this week we had a wonderful Christmas/New Year party for the district and the missionaries (about 22 of us) did a 10 minute performance. I was in a few different parts of the performance but by far the most memorable was the ballet performance. Not sure I did too good but I tried. There were about 6 of us doing ballet and none of us really knew what we were doing. It was more for funny than for real.
-Yesterday I was on splits because my companion was sick and I was using his bike which I wasn't used to and I didn't know that the handle bars weren't stable and so..I was riding and leaned to far to one side and the handle bar came off and I went literally face first into the ground, with the handle bar still in my hand but not attached to the bike. Try and picture it.
-Luckily I wasn't going to fast so I all I had was some nice bumps and bruises. But 6 months into my mission I got my first bike crash. Solid.
-Been ball handling everyday now instead of doing the 100 pushups 100 pullups 100 situps challenge. I could use some ideas for ball handling though. Anyone?
-Yesterday also on splits we got a call from a member of the Elder's branch I was in and she told us that her house was burning down. It was the craziest. We raced to her house as fast as we could and thought we were about to bust into the house like firefighters or "Bomba" as they call them here and were preparing for one of the most harrowing experiences of our lives. Going to try and save these people inside the burning kampung (little village) house. My adrenaline was crazy high.
-But it turned out when we got there that the bomba squad was already in the house and so we didn't have to go in. But still one of those experiences you won't ever forget.
-Everyone turned out to be ok. So all good :)
To be honest the mission is the best thing. And I love it. I would stay on a mission forever if I could. Don't get me wrong there are some really hard days. Some days I wish that I could just drop on my bed dead but then there are days where you see real change in people's lives and it becomes the most fulfilling work I could ever even think to accomplish. There is nothing like watching someone's life change and being a part of it. I love it out here.
Before I go, I want to share one thing. The Asia Area Presidency was here and he talked about the pearl and the box. We go to buy a pearl and we find a pearl but it is covered with an extraordinary box. It is an absolutely gorgeous box. Fine linens and designs. But we end up forgetting about the pearl.
That is what happens in the church a lot. We focus so much on the box or the church organization and for some people that is why they join the church. They see the beautiful box or organization/church that can help them have friends etc. But we cannot forget the reason. The pearl, Jesus Christ and his Atonement. The reason why. The real gift.
Don't forget it.
Sending my love to you all,
Happy New Years!