Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Week#50...Bus Stops, Chinese Temples and Singapore Glory.

Singapore! Did it all this time! 
-Little India (ate lunch and got a special dress for a little special someone) 
-Singapore Flyer (giant Ferris Wheel - we got our own car! ) 
-Beach (haven't been to one of those in a while :))
-Chinatown (ate some of the hottest food in my life, real Chinese food I guess :) just about died.)

Then later that day after zone conference we did the Hacca for President and Sister Mains. It was their last zone conference. Then afterward due to Polynesian culture we touched our noses to President Mains and kissed Sister Mains on the cheek. Not something normal but it was a once in a lifetime experience so I jumped in :) sorry I don't have a picture :( 

-Been running a 4k everyday with night time basketball workouts this week. Gotta keep those legs going. 

-Elder Lundahl-Wolford and I fell asleep at the bus stop this week because we got caught in a huge rainstorm and didn't have any rain gear. It was pretty funny looking, like we were homeless (see picture). 

It rains pretty much everyday here in JB. You can almost predict the exact time it will start raining because it rains the same exact time everyday. Always starts around 12 oclock everyday and goes till about 3. 

One of our investigators who I talked about before is back. It is an Indian man age 23 about to marry a 65 yr old member of our church. It is crazy. Basically he wants citizenship and so it is really hard to teach him because it is hard to know if he has real intent or just wants to please the member and be baptized so that she will marry him so he can stay in Malaysia (he is from Malaysia). The struggles of missionary work :/ They are getting married in 2 weeks. 

This week I started writing a piano arrangement of the hymn "Praise to the Man." Hopefully I can finish it soon! I love it! I play the piano for church each and have been learning more and more hymns! 

We had a wonderful focus on finding a family this week and we found a wonderful new Indian family that are now new investigators! Their daughter reminded me so much of Savannah! Oh man it killed me! (see picture)

I felt really inspired by these verses this week Alma 26:26-32

Love you all,

Elder Pierce

p.s.I have been learning some Tamil since we have teaching so many Indian investigators! (Get ready for a 3 language homecoming testimony haha.) 

 28 And now behold, we have come, and been forthamongst them; and we have been patient in our sufferings,and we have suffered every privation; yea, we havetraveled from house to house, relying upon the mercies ofthe world—not upon the mercies of the world alone butupon the mercies of God.
 29 And we have entered into their houses and taughtthem, and we have taught them in their streets; yea, andwe have taught them upon their hills; and we have alsoentered into their temples and their synagogues and taughtthem; and we have been cast out, and mocked, and spitupon, and smote upon our cheeks; and we have beenstoned, and taken and bound with strong cords, and castinto prison; and through the power and wisdom of God wehave been delivered again.

-Singapore Bridge
-Singapore Flyer!
-Bus Stop Nap! 
-New Indian Investigators!
-More Singapore Flyer!
-Elder Fletcher and President and Sister Mains! (last time I will see any of them)
-East Malaysia Missionaries

-Kissing Sister Mains and President Mains! 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Week#49...Mom's Atonement.

Singapore today for Zone Conference! Hopefully will have some more pictures next week but we already went to Little India this morning and got looking at some dress's for a little special someone who's birthday is in August so be on the lookout in the mail :) 

We have been continuing to hit the gym each morning and the basketball court each night. I have been upping my nightly routine to two 17's at night and also been throwing in 100 100 100 again once a week but I have to start at 70 70 70 again to build up. The pullups are always hard. 

For basketball I have been using a tennis ball a lot (a drill I got with Gabe) and also a lot of Don's Shooting workouts so it has been good. Although I don't have a rebounder so it makes things a little harder. But we make it work. 

I finished the Book of Mormon this week (in English) I read it from a challenge our mission president gave us about reading it and marking up all the references to the doctrine of Christ (faith, repentance, baptism, gift of the Holy Ghost and Enduring to the End.) It was awesome and I would encourage people to take a soft cover of the book of Mormon write a question in the front, read it, mark it up, and then when you finish write in the front cover a summary of the main things that you learned. It is wonderful. I got the idea from a Elder Bednar in the MTC. 

Also, considering the fact that a lot of our current investigators and recent converts and investigators are Indian, I have been picking up a little bit of Tamil. Hopefully soon I can be conversational like I am in Malay but Tamil is way way harder than Malay. 

Susanna! She got baptized this week! She is so so awesome! She calls Elder Lundahl-Wolford and I her sons and wants us to go to the temple with her after we finish our missions! Mom and Dad keep that in mind! I don't know what temple she would want to go to but we will see! She is already saving money to go! Her baptismal service was awesome and I got to confirm her on Sunday morning which was wonderful! She is so so excited about family history as well!

On Sunday I also got the chance to give a talk in Sacrament meeting. I titled my talk "Mom's Atonement." I talked about my Mom a lot since I was assigned to talk on mother's day but I found new insight into what our parents sacrifice for us in relation to what Jesus Christ did for us. 

I realized that Mom pays for our piano lessons, takes us to basketball, football and baseball practices, takes charge of FHE, morning and night family scripture reading and prayers, gives us a house and much much more. And she does it all for free. When Mom gives us this free piano lesson each week she never asks or is ever expecting us to pay her back. We cannot. We will not. But she does ask us one thing. That is to practice. By practicing the piano we aren't paying her back at all but just using the gift she gave us to become what she wants us to become.

The same goes for Jesus Christ. Except the gift is slights bigger, if you can only imagine. It is the price of our sins. We can never ever pay Jesus Christ back. But what he does ask us to do is to practice or in other words Repent. Or use the gift that he gave us. 

A lot of Christian churches ask have you been saved by the Grace of Jesus Christ? And we answer yes of course, thankfully, happily. But I want to ask you the more important question, Have you been changed by grace? 

Have you used Mom's piano lesson and practiced? Have you used Grace and changed? 

Happy Mother's Day last week! Love you Mom! 

A lot of my thoughts from this talk came from a wonderful talk given by Brad Wilcox called "His Grace is Sufficient." I would recommend it to everyone :) Like really please watch it.

Love you all,

Elder Pierce 

Pictures: -2 JB districts doing the JB sign! 
-Susanna's baptism! 

-Little India!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Week#48....Washing Dogs, Avacado Juice and Skyping Home!

Skyping with the family was the best ever. Family is everything. If you don't appreciate your family now, then look again.. 

This week we got to wash our branch President's dogs and do some yard work for his cousins. That was pretty fun and reminded me of Grandma Hanson's house. They have a ton of dogs and they all attack you (in a friendly way of course) when you walk in the door.

-sidenote: there are not nearly as many stray dogs here as there was in East Malaysia but they are still a lot of Dogs. More of them are pets here though. 

This week we were also taught the Hakka by a couple Elders from New Zealand and will be performing it for President's Mains last zone conference before he goes home next month. For those who don't know it is a dance they do before rugby games.

Speaking of zone conference. That is next week. Singapore bound! can't wait! 

Also this week I bought new basketball and running shoes and a huge thing of protein. So excited for it. Workouts in the morning and at night have been at a high lately. 

Had some interesting Avacado juice yesterday. with Chocolate. I guess it is a Indonesian thing. Mom you should try it. It was probably the best drink I ever had. Well maybe it also had to do with the fact that I had just broken my fast, since it was fast sunday. But anyways it was super good. 

Also we had a miracle this week. Like every week :) but this was one from Kuching! A member named Brother Eric who we visited about 3 times a week in Kuching came to our branch in JB and surprised me! He was visiting his son here in JB! 

We had been teaching his wife in Kuching and she was probably the hardest person I have ever taught. Refused everything and basically just told us how we were wrong during every lesson. We had invited her to church countless times to no avail. But on Sunday she came to my branch in West Malaysia hundreds of miles away! Crazy! It was a crazy feeling coming in the church door and seeing them! wild! 

We also have a baptism coming up this week! Susanna! She is super awesome! Already looking forward to the temple and everything. Indian lady about 60 years old. I have talked about her a lot before. Also the other elders are baptizing Jesaline who is another Indian lady who I gave a priesthood blessing to with Elder Mitchell (now in America) which changed her view on the church ! another miracle! I got to do her baptism interview this week which was super wonderful! 

Miracles are rampant in God's work! 

you gotta love it! 

Love you all,

Elder Pierce

Pictures: -new basketball, running shoes and protein
-on the basketball court at night getting the nightly workout in
-at the gym every morning
-washing the branch president's dogs
-with the branch president
-with brother eric and his family from Kuching

-avacado juice with chocolate! 

Monday, May 4, 2015

Week #47..."Are you guys Christian?" "Uhhhhhh Yes :)...

So this week the zone leaders and assistants to the President tried to tell me that I couldn't work out or play basketball at night after planning outside. Yeah I was pretty mad about it. I went straight to President about it and he was totally fine with it. Sometimes..I swear..haha but its all good now.

We have been sticking to the gym in the mornings and basketball at nights. I usually run one or two 17's (for those who know what those are) to cap off each night. It turns into a good workout. 

Chinese is going well. Trying to learn how to read Chinese characters now which is a whole new ball game than speaking chinese. But I have read to Alma chapter 15 in Chinese simplified characters in the Book of Mormon. Chinese simplified are the ones they read in China. In Taiwan they read Traditional Chinese characters. They are very similar but a little different..

Susanna! A widowed Indian woman who contacted us on the bus asking "Are you guys Christian?" has totally turned into one of the biggest miracles on my mission. She is on date for May 16th to be baptized and is coming to church every week. We meet with her basically everyday and she stays after church now everyday to do family history. She is looking forward to going to the temple to do baptisms for the dead especially for her passed away husband. She is already trying to figure out how much plane tickets are to the temple and is starting to save money for it! She is totally the best ever! We are so excited for her! 

Elder Lundahl-Wolford and I will have been together 7 months at the end of this transfer..that is a long long time but he is the man and we have done some really good work here and in the MTC. It makes me feel that President actually does know what he is doing with transfers. Our President goes home in July and he will be sorely missed but the new President that comes in speaks Chinese and served his mission in Taiwan! How cool is that? All the Chinese elders are stoked! 

I have seen the spirit increase in our lessons this week as we ask direct questions. I did a study where I wrote down every single question that Jesus Christ asked in the 4 gospels and 3 Nephi. And wow did he ask a lot of questions. But I realized that about 9/10 questions he didn't even intend for people to answer. He answered many of the questions himself and some were just rhetorical. But the few questions he did mean to be answered were direct, simple, impossible to misunderstand, and to the point. Usually it consisted of "Do you believe.....?" And so I have been implementing it. And it works. It makes people think and analyze their belief and respond. Kind of like a baptism interview. But in a lesson. It really has brought our lessons to life. 

Found a great scripture this week that kind of defines why I am here in Malaysia: Alma 36:24

Yea, and from that time even until now, I have laboredwithout ceasing, that I might bring souls unto repentance;that I might bring them to taste of the exceeding joy ofwhich I did taste; that they might also be born of God, andbe filled with the Holy Ghost.

Ever since "that time" which is when I knew the gospel was true from my own experience through the spirit I have been at it declaring repentance through Jesus Christ. And that is what I love and owe to Him. To help others feel the to sing the song of redeeming love through our Savior Jesus Christ. 

Love you all,

Elder Pierce