Monday, March 30, 2015
-So they are considering moving the sabbath day here to Saturday. Like having sacrament meeting and everything each week on Saturday. Crazy. We will see if it happens. Right now, Friday and Saturday is the weekend because of the Muslim sabbath and the government is all Muslim.
-There have been revolts and stuff here because of the strange weekend. All the chinese people don't like because it throws off all their business. And it has really thrown our church attendance because none of the kids and some adults cannot come because of school and work on Sunday's.
-Spent some time burning trash in our investigators yard this week. That is how they get rid of trash here mostly. Everywhere you go you see and smell fire.
-Happy Birthday Mom! I love you! You are going on 25 years old!
-Actually on the same day as your birthday (this friday for us) we are having a baptism of a little Indian kid named Daniel! Both of his parents want to get baptized but cannot because of work on Sunday's but their son can! He is only 8! And Indian but speaks Chinese and is really really smart!
-This week I really focused on trying to recognize the spirit in our missionary work which is difficult sometimes..any tips?
-Taught a lesson in Malay last night with Elder Lu because there are no Malay speaking elders here so we have to cover both languages. It is totally different. They live in homes with dirt floors called Kampungs. They have have these little shacks that are made with a few pieces of metal and wood and are open to the outside. It is humbling.This Chinese definitely have all the money in this country.
-Got to play my arrangement of "I Know My Redeemer Lives" in sacrament meeting this week. First time every playing since I wrote it a couple months ago.
-We had a branch bbq this week at our apartment! (see picture) Was awesome!
-Also found a gym this morning in our area called Green Fitness. They let us in for free today. Super nice and got 7 sets of bench press in. Wow it has been a while but I haven't lost anything! It felt really really good! It was miracle that we found it. It was hidden in the middle of nowhere.
-Had a crazy member referral this week. This 50 plus aged woman brought her friend. She is a little bit crazy. Anyway it is this like 30 year old man and they are engaged! It is a crazy huge age difference. 25+ years. Pretty weird. But he wants to get baptized and so he is on date and they are going to get married within the next couple weeks. Wild.
(plus his english isn't very good so she has to translate for us into Punjabi (dialect of Hindi)) -- just another example of the many many many languages we have to deal with here.
-We have ten investigators on date to be baptized within the next month or so and are way pumped about it! Our area is doing awesome!
-General Conference is coming up! Get pumped! And I have been reading two talks a day from last conference to get ready! I invite to do the same!
I had a cool thought when thinking about Jesus Christ during the sacrament this week. Jesus Christ did not have perfect circumstances. That is not what made him perfect. It was his perfect reactions to imperfect circumstances that made him who is he. Focus on the things that you can control. Your reactions to circumstances. Not the circumstance itself.
love you all!
Monday, March 23, 2015
This week was insane. Definitely the craziest week of my mission: I will try to let you in on as much as I can in the short time..
Last P-Day we went the Kite Museum here. Boring. But Malaysian's love flying kite's. Kites are on all the coins here. It is a little weird how much they love them but yeah there is your cultural moment for the week.
After that we went to this Muslim mosque and walked inside then got kicked out because we were touching the books (Quran and others) without clean and blessed hands and yeah anyways they didn't like us very much.
I want to tell you and typical three meals for us:
-Breakfast: Bowl of microwaved oatmeal with peanut butter, apples and raisins mixed in. And a 3 egg omelet with tomatoes.
-Lunch: Steamed Vegetables (carrots, broccoli, and cabbage). Salad with tomatoes and Caesar dressing.
-Dinner: Out to eat: Rice, Curry, Chicken or Beef, cabbage and green beans. Or Mertabak ayam (bread with Chicken and onions inside)..dipped in 3 different kinds of curry of course.
This isn't what we eat everyday but it is a typical day. It is very different from Kuching. A lot more Indian food and I lot less Chinese food.
One of our investigators passed his interview this week for baptism but his mom isn't sure because (he is 11 yrs old) he is naughty sometimes in sacrament meeting. I tried to tell her that I used to be super naughty in sacrament meeting but it shouldn't keep from getting baptized but we will see. Chinese parents here are super super strict with their kids and very condescending. Everyone is always telling me how bad their kids are and I am always like "they are great kids cmon!" It was the same way in Kuching!
Had to deal with some crazy insane stuff this week. I have to leave out some of the details but here goes. One of our members goes crazy about evil spirits bothering her and we have to try and calm her down every week. She feels if she comes to church that she will bother everyone else with her bad spirits.
Another member came to our apartment to see the senior couple last week and refused to leave and just walked around our apartment muttering about how everyone wouldn't help her and yeah.
Then on Sunday one of our investigators got accused for robbery and yeah. Of a members wallet and so we have spent some of the time chasing down our investigator who we don't know if she really stole it. Filing a police report on our own investigator was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do.
And then our investigator had a panic attack because of the accusations against her for the robbery by our member and she passed out and went into like a mode I have never seen anything before. She couldn't breathe and blood was coming out her mouth. And she wasn't responding to anything and her whole body was tight. They couldn't get her fists unclenched and I thought she might die. Seriously. Plus she was screaming which didn't add to the atmosphere. There were like 5 people on top of her trying to get her to relax and they couldn't. She wasn't mad but just scared out of her mind. It is hard to describe.
On the spot we gave here a priesthood blessing. It was hard because she was moving around like crazy and so we had to really try hard to keep our hands on top of her head but afterward she calmed down slowly. It was the wildest thing ever.
This is missionary work. :) It's crazy.
--I left out a lot of details because I had to but just know it was insane--
But aside from all the crazy things that happened this week. We had two miracles. Two of our investigators (two separate ones) came back from their first lessons and said they had recieved an answer to their prayer about Joseph Smith for one of them. And about whether or not to attend our church or not. Both said it was feelings they couldn't describe but just knew. We helped them realize this was the spirit.
This never happens. We always invite people to pray about what we teach and no one ever gets an answer right off the bat. But I believe it is because they don't have what we call "real intent." Really asking, and really willing to act on any answer that we get.
I testify because of our two investigators experiences and of my own that if you ask with real desire and belief willing to act on the answer you will get an answer. To any question you may have.
And everyone has questions. So what are you waiting for? Get started :)
Sending my love,
ps. Forgot to mention. Today went to a sick waterfall and crocodile farm. ->Hence the pictures..
Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Last monday I got a crazy Tamil haircut..they like try to rip your hair out after they cut your hair and do some insane hitting your head with their hands stuff. I thought they might break my skull but I guess it is just the Indian style. I can't explain it but you just have to experience it..
Had a lesson with an 80 yr old recent convert when on splits with one of the other elders and in the middle of it he started balling and telling us about his son that died. It was quite intense and emotional and all in Chinese.
We have been trying to meet with a less-active Tamil family for 7 weeks + and finally we gave up trying and just decided to take them chocolate and a card. Miraculously, we had an appointment set up by the end of the week. Amazing what just a little bit of Chocolate can do!
The appointment with this family was amazing. We brought a member from America who was visiting but was a return missionary and had taught at the MTC for 8 years and wow he knew how to teach. It was unbelievable. He was calling them to repentance telling the man to the face that "You don't have a testimony! "and "you need to take responsibilty of your families relationship with Jesus Christ! Because you haven't!" But he didn't come off as rude or angry but he did it in the most loving way. I finally saw how Jesus Christ was able to be so bold yet still have the Charity that we always strive to have within ourselves. Boldness without Charity is rude and unfriendly. Charity without boldness is just untruthful. To be like Jesus Christ we must combine the two. At once.
We did a service project this week. Picking up trash for a few hours. There is so much trash here. It reminded me of picking up trash with Mom all the time at Wildwood park. I will never forget that.
I realized how diverse this place is. Everyday we run into people from Nepal, Korea, Japan, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Phillipines, Australia, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Vietnam, and New Zealand. And currently we are teaching people from almost every single one of those countries. It is pretty unbelievable.
This week we couldn't get anyone to set up an appointment with us. Everyone said: "I will call you, when I have time!" But of course they didn't. And won't. Sometimes it is hard to get people to realize that we are trying to help them improve their lives through the gospel of Jesus Christ not waste their time.
Even the electrician who we want to pay money said "I will call you, when I have time." Basically wraps up our week. BUT, we had 5 investigators come to church this week which is super awesome! So it kind of made up for the lack of lessons this week.
I also gave talk in Church. And then we taught Primary. Wow that made homesick for Savannah and my little brothers but wow is the primary wild. It was a good switch up though.
Then to end the week nicely, my bike got stolen last night. They were locked to the bus stop. Here we usually bike to the bus stop and take a bus because our area is so large. Anways, while we were gone, some guy came and cut the lock (see picture) and then took my bike but left Elder Lundahl-Wolford's bike. So at least we got one bike. It must have been a one man job other wise he would've taken the other bike since it wasn't tied up anymore. But it's ok. That can't stop us! It was a hand-me-down anyways so no worries.
I'll end with a thought. I have been thinking about how often we judge others lately and Joseph Smith said something powerful. He said: "Do you think that even Jesus, if He were here, would be without fault in your eyes?" I believe that if Jesus Christ were here we might all judge him as well. Even as him being perfect, we would see perfect things he does and in our imperfect state judge perfect actions as imperfect. When we look at our friends, relatives and acquatinces please as mortal beings focus on their strengths and our own weaknesses.
It helps when you have a companion with you 24/7. And I love Elder Lundahl-Wolford as a brother.
Love you all,
(Sorry for the long email this week.)
Monday, March 9, 2015
Transfers are today! And I am staying in JB for another 6 weeks! With Elder Lundahl-Wolford! I am excited about it!
This week we did what? Basically everything. Let's begin:
Realized this week that it doesn't matter what you teach if you don't feel the spirit in the lesson. The most important part of anything (a lesson, study, or anything) is that you get a spiritual conviction that it is true. Otherwise you can teach all the doctrine you want..it won't matter
Biked pretty far this week; felt like I was back in Kuching..
One really cool thing happened twice this week; twice when we were walking/biking away from our lessons..we watched our investigators start reading the book of mormon and really dive into it by themselves..one of the best feelings in the world watching your investigators fall in love with the book of mormon..
Also we were biking along the highway this week when we on bikes got pulled over by the cops..we thought they were going to kick us out of the country and ask for our passports and stuff but instead they just told us to get off the highway..that was pretty scary though..
We have been calling all of our investigators everyday. It might be annoying but it makes it easy to know who really wants to talk to us and who is just trying to put up with us..
On Thursday we went to KL for a day trip..for what they call a mission tour. Woke up at 5:30am and took a one hour flight there and then spent the day there at the chapel in a big meeting with a bunch of other missionaries from the mission and Elder Funk from the seventy was there and running the meeting. Then we flew home that night! My first time in KL and even though we didn't get to see much it was still awesome!
There are very few real church buildings here. Kuching and Singapore are about the only ones. Even in KL we can't have church buildings because the government and Christianity still don't get along great..so all our church meeting places are like this little hole in the wall shops..quite weird but now I am used to it.
Got to do some gardening work at our branch presidents house which was a lot of fun actually. It took me back to gardening at our house when we were young with Mom..
I play piano almost everyweek in sacrament meeting in JB..it is great. Also have been getting to play some of my hymn arrangements here as well..
-Finished my basketball challenge for this transfer..got all 24 spots of the Ray Allen drill..basically making 10 shots before you miss 5..
-Also finished reading Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith this week. Great book. Would encourage it for anyone who wants to read it..
I will end with a thought; Mark 1:35 says about Christ: "And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed."
I have been doing this. Getting up early and praying in a solitary place and promise if you take your morning and nightly prayers as serious as Christ does you WILL feel the spirit in your life. I promise.
With all love,
Tuesday, March 3, 2015
-Watched Meet the Mormons this week at zone conference in Singapore. If you haven't watched it. Watch it. Wonderful movie. http://meetthemormons.com/
-In Singapore, went to see the real papers that Leonardo Da Vinci wrote for all of his crazy designs. Very cool.
-In the mornings, I have been running 17's. Doing all I can to stay in shape. Even ran some 34's.
Along with a lot of shooting.
-MIT Bball: I know we lost this week to Babson but I think we got an exciting future for us. Congrats on the season boys. I was there in heart. Love you guys. Time to bounce back like we always do.
-Chinese is coming along. About half of our investigators are chinese right now. A lot of Indians.
Story:..an Indian man fed us the best and the most Indian food I have ever had. It is called Mutton Briyani. Basically, rice and curry and lamb and this white sauce. So spicy. So good though.
-on my mission I feel that I have grown to like spicy food a lot more-
Anyways then while we were watching the restoration video he invited he pastor over. Together we watched the rest of the restoration video and then as soon as it concluded he stood up and said that he had the same exact experience and walked out of the room politely. We were all stunned but there was nothing to do. Anyways...we will see how Robert ends up, when his Pastor claims to be Joseph Smith himself and to have seen God. Crazy.
-I am getting more hymns down on the piano. I usually play for the branch. If anyone finds any really good hymn arrangements feel free to send them my way.
-Also taught the 17 nepalese guys again yesterday. Me and Elder Lundahl-Wolford stood on the bench and literally preached to them. It was wild. Here we are, modern Alma and Amulek's haha
-Then we led them through the plan of salvation. Literally acting it out. Some acting as Adam and Eve some as God and Jesus etc. We led them across the park acting it out. Again an experience I will never forget.
We had a goal to get 130 phone numbers these last 6 weeks and we crushed it. We have 159 phone numbers as a district of 4 elders. Pretty proud of our district. We are teaching about 30 different people right now, but getting them to church is proving a huge challenge. Transportation is a huge problem in this city. It takes us about 2 hours of bus ride to get to some parts of our area. It is crazy. We could really use a car.
You may ask what is it that drives me to talk to everyone that we see..it is because I pain and suffer to see anyone go without Jesus Christ and the restored gospel in their lives.
Mosiah 28:3 explains it really well. Look it up.
Basically knowing that everyone is my brother and sister, gives me a responsiblity to share with them the knowledge I have. I have heard this a million times but now I know what people are talking about when they say that.
love you all,