Monday, April 27, 2015
The gym everyday has been killer. We go Monday through Friday. Alternating Chest and Legs one day and Biceps, Triceps, Back and Shoulders the other day. & Protein everyday. We are getting huge out here in West Malaysia. Huge physically and on the Holy Spirit. (See further down.)
Also still been playing basketball at nights and on Saturday mornings. We sometimes play with the Chinese kids in our apartment. They aren't that good but they are teaching me a little bit of how to trash talk in Chinese...("guanlan" means dunk in chinese) (literally means "close basket") and ("toulan" means shoot in Chinese). Working on my basketball Chinese vocabulary.
I think when I get back on the NCAA court I am going to always trash talk in Chinese..just to mess with the other guys. haha. I guess I could say anything I want and they wouldn't know..
One of our investigators an Indian woman named Susanna who will be baptized next month went from 10 cups of coffee to 0 in one day! Crazy! She is super awesome though! Grandma and Grandpa Hanson! I dare you to try! haha
Also one night we had a Chinese man who is just this random guy take us out to eat (he wasn't interested in the gospel) but he took us to eat shark. I had no idea that stuff was that good! I could of ate an entire shark that is how good it was..
Was reading through my journal from college and the summer before and I realized that I think that one year changed me more than any year has ever changed everyone. That was the year I discovered that God existed, Jesus Christ was my Savior, the Book of Mormon was true and fasting and prayer really did work..
My mission has only found the loop holes in my testimony and helped me work through them and analyzed and re-analyzed my testimony and continued to barricade it.
Everyday on the mission is a rollercoaster. There are days when I would do anything to stop do missionary work because it is so hard, frustrating, depressing etc. all of the above.
But then there are days like yesterday that make it all worth it. When you can feel the power of God working through, you have the spirit and you see it working through you and feeling its influence, influence others.
Yesterday, I fasted to feel the spirit and see the hand of God in our work more because when I feel that and see His hand in our work is when I am the happiest and feel the most at ease. Because I know that I am doing what I am supposed to.
Yesterday I had so many miracles but I will just share two quick ones:
1. Elder Mitchell and I were on splits and gave a woman a blessing who was sick and couldn't walk more than like 5 feet. I didn't think anymore of it because she was in the other elder's area. But yesterday after fasting to see God's hand in our work, she came up to me and related what happened after we left that night of giving the blessing. She said that after the blessing and we had left she felt much better and was able to make the 3 km walk from her friends house to her own house. God cares enough to let us see his hand in our work but sometimes we just have to ask.
2. Shout out to my bro Austin Celaya (Elder Celaya in New York) for this second miracle. Reading through my college spiritual journal I read about a time that Austin showed me how to really prayer. Like really sincere and slow and with lots of thinking about what you are saying and really meaning what you are saying. Sometimes on the mission you get into a rote routine of prayers because you end up praying maybe 50 times a day. Well after reading about that in my journal I tried it again. We were heading home on Sunday night and I prayed really hard that we would be able to know who to talk to on the way home or that God would put prepared people in our path. Within literally 3 seconds after I finished our prayer we walked straight into a Chinese kid named Eugene who was about 17yrs old. Christian. And VERY interested in the restoration. We basically taught him the whole first lesson on the spot. and set up a return appointment. And then on the bus home we ran into some christian Koreans who were good friends with Hady (who just got baptized from Korea in our branch) and we set a return appointment with them too!
Sorry for the long email but I just feel so strongly that if you want to see God's hand in your life all they have to do is ask for it sincerely to be revealed to you and then really watch and see life open up to you in ways you cannot imagine.
Read this scripture.
Love you all,
Sunday, April 19, 2015
Transfers! - I am staying another transfer here in Johor Bahru with Elder Lundahl-Wolford! Stoked for it!
Been hitting the gym lifting everyday! And bball every night which has been great! Really getting after it!
Ate 14 routi cani this week in one sitting.The record was 11. and yeah I about died after. Never doing that again.
A Recent Convert Lily came for a family home evening at the Senior Couples house and got robbed as she walked to her card. 3 guys just came up and grabbed her and snatched her bag and ran over her feet with their moto (Motorcycle). It was a pretty messed up move. Her feet were really messed up and we felt terrible that we hadn't walked her and her kids out to the car and maybe could've stopped the incident.
This week we have had some interesting taxi experiences.
One taxi driver this week (Hindu man) gave us a free taxi ride across the city because he loved that we were God's servants.
Another Taxi driver didn't have any religious interest except for working and eating. We tried to convince him that there was more to life and happiness than that. In the middle of the drive to our next appointment, I had the thought that we should say a prayer right there in the taxi for him while he driving. He said ok. I prayed really hard out loud. After, we asked him how he felt. He said he felt something different. We explained that was the spirit! Now he is willing to meet with us again! Follow those promptings!
I have praying to have more charity and love towards the people that we teach and so this week me and Elder Lundahl-Wolford baked cookies and gave them to our investigators.
They were tough though. The first batch came out all burnt. Figures. Even the second batch wasn't very good but here in Malaysia they don't like that sweet of things, and so we gave them out and people seemed to like them ok.
Another lady contacted us this week on the street. She said she had contacted us before and wanted to learn about Jesus Christ and attend our weekly English class but had lost our phone number! She had been hoping to run into us again. What are the chances that she would run into us again in this huge city? If we had left the apartment any sooner or later she would have never seen us. She hardly ever passes through this area. God really does bring the prepared people into our path.
Hady also got baptized this week. She is from Korea and her and her family contacted us in a huge mall near the Singapore border. Although the other Elders taught her because she lives in their area we still felt attached to her baptism because we were the ones that found her. I really believe that God led us to her and her to us. God is in this work.
The miracles continue.. Lily the one who got robbed this week is a recent convert whose husband is a non-member! but we have been trying for months and months to get her son who is 11 years old baptized because he is completely ready but sometimes Chinese parents expect perfection out of their kids. Happens a lot in this culture actually. So they weren't allowing him to get baptized.
This week we showed our love towards them and met everyday with them for the last 8 days. We brought them gifts, played games with them as a family and shared quick spiritual thoughts. It was wonderful and by the end of the week they wanted their son Justin to be baptized! What changed? Not their son's behavior, but rather we increased our amount of love towards them. Elder Dallin H. Oaks tells a similar story(see below)
..love can change everything..I promise. Think..who can you show your love more to? It will change everything.
Love you all,
Dallin H. Oaks said: "I close with another example of a family relationship. At a stake conference in the Midwest about 10 years ago, I met a sister who told me that her nonmember husband had been accompanying her to church for 12 years but had never joined the Church. What should she do? she asked. I counseled her to keep doing all the right things and to be patient and kind with her husband.
About a month later she wrote me as follows: “Well, I thought that the 12 years was a good show of patience, but I didn’t know if I was being very kind about it. So, I practiced real hard for over a month, and he got baptized.”
Kindness is powerful, especially in a family setting. Her letter continued, “I am even trying to be kinder now because we are working on a temple sealing this year!”
Six years later she wrote me another letter: “My husband was [just] called and set apart as the bishop [of our ward].”2"
Sunday, April 12, 2015
Last P-Day we played Rugby. So much fun. We played 5 versus 6. So we were down a player and we won 9 tri's to 0. Maybe I have found a new sport. Just kidding. But it was a lot more fun than I thought.
I got to do another baptismal interview for a Korean girl that is getting baptized this Saturday. I love doing the baptismal interviews. It is so awesome to see such young blossoming testimonies.
Actually the girl (Hady) is a girl who we (Elder Lundahl-Wolford and I) contacted like the first week we were in JB. We didn't end up teaching her because she is in the other area but since we found her we feel some attachment to her baptism.
It was cool because I was able to first meet her and then do her baptismal interview and so I was able see the huge progress she made, without seeing all the in-between time/teaching. Like a before and after. Super cool.
Had another miracle this week. We were contacting a guy who wasn't interested on the bus and then this other Indian lady overheard and she asked "Are you Christian?" We were a little shocked but said "Of Course!"
We met with her the next day. She is awesome. She is on date for baptism for May 23rd and came to all 4 hours of conference on Sunday and loved it. The Lord works in mysterious ways.
But He definitely works.
Elder Lu twisted his ankle really bad this week playing basketball. We had to get him crutches and have been taking a lot more taxis around. I have been giving him the ice bucket treatments! Remember those Mom, Dad? He hates them but don't we all.
-This week I have been trying to imagine Jesus Christ always by my side. Always there. Like my backup buddy. It is a cool imagination to always have. But in reality he is always there. We just don't always think about it.
The spirit is real. What can I say. There have been some things happen this week. Really strange things that I can't explain and I know the spirit has been guiding us. It is unbelievable. All you have to do is try to ask for the spirit and then exercise faith (actually do something) and then just PAY ATTENTION. And you can find the spirit is all over, in, and throughout your life.
God is so intertwined in his Missionary work it is unbelievable. Amazing to watch.
But I believe that He is just as involved in your personal lives whether you be in America or wherever. He loves you. He sacrificed everything for you. And he NEVER EVER leaves you alone.
If you don't believe me, maybe you can believe him: https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2015/04/where-justice-love-and-mercy-meet?lang=eng
CONFERENCE IS AWESOME! WATCH IT!
love you all,
P.S. Mosiah 4. The Whole Chapter.
Imagine this: Our purpose as missionaries is to invite others to come unto Jesus Christ through Baptism but this week we tried with everything we could, to try and talk one of our investigators out of getting baptized.
It's a lot to explain but I will try. He is getting married to a lady that is 28 years older than him in the church so he can get a permanent visa here in Malaysia and she won't marry him unless he joins the church and so that is what he doing. He only speaks Panjabi and Hindi though so it is hard.
Basically he wants to get baptized for the wrong reasons. We laid down Tithing, Chastity, Word of Wisdom and Keep the Sabbath Day Holy all at once which is just asking for it. But he ate all of it up. He even thought when we were talking about Pornography that he couldn't watch any movies and was totally down to never watch another movie. It was crazy.
Elder Lu kept emphasizing how you must do all these things for THE REST OF YOUR LIFE! THE REST OF YOUR LIFE! Did you hear me? THE REST OF YOUR LIFE! It was pretty intense but he still came to church and wants to get baptized. Oh, the problems you face on the mission. Things you never thought you would ever have to deal with you deal with. And you love it :)
So last Monday Elder Lu and I got a gym membership to Green Fitness down the street (comparable to a Gold's gym) and we have been hitting it hard every morning for the last week.
We wake up at 7am then run about 12 minutes to the gym and then lift for like 30 minutes hard and then run home.
Every night we have been hitting the basketball court outside our house from 10-10:30. It is sick. Gotta love the grind.
Plus Protein shakes everyday!
But don't think working out is all we do. I just highlighted about 1 hour of are daily schedule. The other 13 hours are all missionary work. So don't worry.
But it has been nice to get back in the gym. I got 3 months in the gym and am banking on not getting transferred. Need some hard prayers. haha
This week we had a baptism of a little Indian kid, named Daniel (see pictures). His parents are not members but his grandparents are! Elder Lu baptized him and it was a spectacular night!
Me and Elder Lu also got to play a musical number for the baptism. I played "gracie's theme" by Paul Cardall while he did a voice over from scriptures, hymns etc. Similar to what Elder Fletcher and I did in Kuching, East Malaysia.
Love you all!
BECAUSE HE LIVES.