Monday, July 27, 2015
-Last week went to the beach on p-day. We basically live on the beach so that worked well :)
-this week we took the 3 hour bus down to Bintulu (look on google maps) to go on splits with the elders there. So that was a ton of fun. Got to see a new city! Similar to Miri I would say.
-Kept hitting the gym this week and my 100, 100, 100. Trying to work in basketball as well.
-One of our investigators Susan who we have been trying to get to come to church but has a work problem, finally came to church this week. She literally called her boss and told him she was leaving work to go to church whether he allowed it or not. I was shocked. She really just risked her job and wow was the boss mad on the phone but in the end it worked out. He didn't do anything or even say anything to her later. Talk about faith :)
-This week I got to bless the sacrament with Larry (the 17 year old that got baptized a couple of weeks ago after inviting him to basketball class. That was one of the sweetest experiences ever. To stand with him at the sacrament table as equals representing Jesus Christ in blessing the sacrament. Something I will definitively never forget.
Louis. Our investigator from Brunei is also doing awesome. He is cold turkey quitting smoking and wow I don't think I have ever had an investigator as faithful as him. He is going to get baptized on august 9th so we are excited for him!
This week I have pondering a lot about the Spirit. Literally the spirit is all we have to connect with God. It is the source of God's communication with us right now. So if you haven't felt the spirit every single day for the last week then change something. Make sure you can feel the spirit every single day at least once. It will make you so much more at peace. I promise.
Love you all,
P.S. with my goal of writing and speaking all in Chinese lately, my journal has been in Chinese! Good luck to my future generations! haha
Wednesday, July 22, 2015
So yes. I just wrote in Chinese. I know. I will translate what I just wrote. My goal as of late is to write everything in Chinese and speak in Chinese. And read. Trying to immerse myself as much as I can in an English and Malay and Chinese speaking country. I made a goal to not speak or write any english or pinyin (romanized chinese) this transfer. It is tough. But it is time to take Chinese to a new level!
We got a gym membership this week. It has been great. about a 7 min bike ride from the house.
Also in the morning we tried something new this transfer. We sleep without an alarm clock. It has the best change I have made in my life since who knows when. Really though. We can't get up late or else it messes up our schedule. ( and the spirit). But we have to decide to get up. So it is you yourself getting yourself out of bed because you want to and not your alarm clock and you have an argument about 5 min more of sleep. Wow. It is amazing. I attack everyday now instead of having every day attack me. It is the best.
I dare you all to try it.
Penny (from Kuching) was here this week. On vacation with her family who lives in Miri. So she got to come to a bunch of lessons which was really fun.
One thing I pulled from the alarm clock analogy is what our purpose is as missionaries. We don't pull people out of bed. We invite them to get up the night before. We give them all the tools they need. But in the end it is their choice if they want to get up or not. The same is with prayer and reading the scriptures and church etc. We invite. That is our purpose. Sometimes people need a little prodding but much more than that we cannot do. But that does not mean we cannot expect success. We should always go in with an expecting success attitude.
Stop getting pulled. Take the reins this week. It will change everything I promise.
Thursday, July 16, 2015
Transfers were today and Elder South and I are staying here in Miri! Really excited for the upcoming transfer!
-Last P-Day we did a zone activity with President Simmons, we made beaded Chichacks and killed a live chicken malaysian style. Good intro for a new President into Malaysian culture.
-Then last monday night we had our first zone meeting. We have a lot of elders going home in our zone so we talked a lot about goals and planning out what you want to be by the end of your mission and also by the end of your life. And then how to get there. "Plan your life with Purpose." -Pres. Monson. It seemed to go well.
-One of our good investigators who is on date got robbed at knife point this week after a lesson walking home from the church with her friend. Welcome to Malaysia :) Luckily she doesn't blame it on the church and is still investigating :)
-This week Elder South and I made some killer dishes. Steak Stroganoff over hand-made mashed potatoes, and a huge beef chili.
-I got back to 100 pushups, 100 pullups and 100 situps this week. 14:44. Also got some protein powder. We bike a lot (i mean a lot) so cardio isn't quite as important in morning and nightly workouts as it was in JB.
-Taught our basketball class again this week. We gave out jersey's too. (Thanks Dad.) And they loved it. And they were all asking about what the back meant. C.T.R. (see picture). Success.
-Barry, the return missionary who hasn't been to church in 12+ years came to church again this week with us as his body guards. He even brought two friends. It is amazing to see the repentance process on a big scale right in front of you. Grace is real people.
LARRY! Our branch had 4 baptisms this week. Which is a big deal considering we have only about 25 people coming to our recently started Chinese branch. Larry our "huge" -literally- investigator was baptized by our branch president on Sunday before church. Our branch president is a small guy so it took him twice to get Larry under but it finally happened. Not to mention the power in the whole building was out and so we had a baptism in about 120 degree heat in the church building. I guarantee they won't forget their baptism day for better or worse. But it worked out good.
We found larry on the bus one day and invited him to basketball class and things just went from there. He has been a super investigator and will make an even better Priest in the Aaronic priesthood next week.
My companion Elder South has taught me a lot about companionships. Things work so much better when you put the other person's wants, needs and concerns first. The same works in marriages I am assuming.
As a missionary it is easy to get caught up in goals and numbers and all that good stuff and forget all the more important things which we often cannot count. I have been often pondering that this week. This talk really hits the point home. I invite you to Read it :)
love you all,
Tuesday, July 7, 2015
last p-day we walked barefoot on a pebble road for about half a mile. it hurt so bad. I guess it is chinese foot-ology :) (see picture)
Another bike got stolen this week. My companions as well. I can't believe it. They just cut right through the lock again. Don't worry though..i have had enough, U-Lock now! :) I guess i didn't learn my lesson fast enough..
This was crazy..we were eating dinner and then this car drove straight into the shop, like literally rammed into the shop. Found out he was drunk but he just kept driving and no one was going to stop him. So I grabbed my companion and told him to follow me. We went out to the main road he and his drunk friend driving behind him and told them to get out of the car because they couldn't even drive straight and they were about to turn onto the highway. We distracted them for a while, while we called the police, (we asked the shop owner for the police phone number but they wouldn't give it to us because the drunk people were their customers, oh i was heated.). The police took forever and finally the drunk guys figured out that we were just entertaining them and so when we lost focus on them for a second they just drove off. 30 seconds after they left the police showed up and didn't do anything. Oh man malaysian police have me pretty mad. And no one else would help us. Everyone just stood watching as these two deadly drunk guys were about to pull out on the highway. Please don't ever do that. I don't think I have ever spoken with more emotion in Chinese than I did to the shopkeepers of that shop after it was all over...
Ran through a round-about this week. a huge round about. a 6 lane round about. It is usually crazy to bike them but running was a whole new level.
Larry, the 17year old kid we found on the bus and through basketball class started teaching is now getting baptized this week! So exciting.. We bought him a tie this week in Singapore! He looked way good in it on sunday!
We are now teaching a couple people from Brunei who are date to be baptized in August.. Brunei is another country, predominantly muslim, they even have religous police there so we cannot go there to proselyte but they can come to Miri to church! That is super cool. Might try and do some skype lessons with them..
Singapore was awesome this week! We had MLC with the new President, President Simmons and his wife! They are much younger and awesome! Then they followed us back to Miri as well as Elder Funk and his wife(he is in the first quorum of the seventy.) We had a huge districe conference with Miri and Bintulu here in Miri. It has been a wild week to say the least. Trying to manage all the elders here and the mission president and assistants and Elder Funk and his wife and also our own area but we are managing!
We actually had Sister Simmons and Sister Funk join us for a lesson. That was super cool and a rare opportunity.
President Simmons also speaks Chinese and they are both learning Malay. (He served his mission in taiwan.)
I love this work. It is gold.
love you all,
Wednesday, July 1, 2015
So this week we had our last interviews with President Mains. Very cool. Since he is leaving and a bunch of other Elders are leaving with him he called an Emergency Transfer but Elder South and I will be staying in Miri, thankfully, but we were called as the zone leaders of the Miri Bintulu zone. I was not expecting that but it will definitely be a challenge and a lot of fun..
We go to singapore this week to meet the the new mission president have Mission Leadership council and then we are bringing President Simmons back to Miri and Bintulu for District Conference! It will be a very exciting and busy week! Now we will have to go on splits in Bintulu with the Elders there too. Bintulu is a city about a 3 hour bus ride from Miri so that will be something to look forward to! A lot to do though!
Last week we went to Nia Caves on P-day and it was way super cool.. not as intense as the Wind Caves in Kuching because there wasn't as much off-trail exploring that we did but it was definitely overall more beautiful..
We watched meet the mormons again this week as a branch and it was wonderful.. we translated it into Chinese for a bunch of people which was fun.. we do a lot of translating here which is good. About half of our branch is Chinese and the other half doesnt speak any. It is good practice being able to switch languages almost every sentence.. it really makes you keep the two languages straight..
This week I started a thing that my companion is doing.. trying to be able to do 100 pushups in one set like no rest. It is a challenge but we are getting there.. also still doing the 100, 100, 100 challenge or at least trying.. working back up to it..
Elder South and I made some of the best Beef Stroganoff this week just throwing that out there..
We also moved houses today which is pretty crazy.. the new house is a little farther from the church but much much nicer.. it is the old Senior Couples house.. they are leaving on the 1st of July.
Also President Mains goes home on Wednesday and President Simmons starts his time! It is an exciting time! Sad to see such a great President go though.. In interviews this week though President Mains said he has family in Boston and wants to come to a Bball game next year..that would be super cool..
Less-Actives: You haven't heard me talk much about Less-Actives on my mission emails because I haven't seen much success on my mission but this week we had two miracles..
Barry Tan.. A return missionary about 15 years ago in this mission, who went worse than in-active came to church again this week for the first time over 10 years.. he had us come with him as his body guards..it was quite the experience..it was like bringing a legend back to church it was crazy..so excited for him on the repentance process though..he wants to come every week now..
Also XiaoHui 小慧 who hasn't come to church in a few also came with her son..
Even though bringing in-actives to church doesn't let you report it like a baptism it is just as joyful. I can't really describe it. Repentance and change are some of the strongest feelings in the world. I have felt them so strong on my mission.
I know that through Jesus Christ even the bloodiest blood can become the whiter and brighter than the sun, Because I have experienced it This week. You can too. This week. Because of Him.
love you all,