|With the Sylvester family|
|LOVE this Malaysian food!|
This was a good week. Elder Stewart and I got out and worked hard. We spent as much time as we could out of the house talking to people. As a Zone Leader, if I'm asking the missionaries under my stewardship to work hard, I've got to be a good example for them. We felt like we did our best this week. We have a whole ton of potential in our area!! We work in Miri 2, in an area called Permy Jaya. Elder Stewart and I have been saying we're gonna work with the Lord until Permy Jaya is the new Sibu Jaya! Hahahaha So we're feeling motivated and dedicated to the work. We've got an investigator going to be baptized in two weeks. So excited!!
Elder Stewart and I are becoming good friends. We were meant to be companions!! He's got 3 sisters and no brothers - just like me! He works hard and is pretty funny. He is way dynamic and Iban people love him! He's kind of famous in our mission. We're hopeful that everything we do together will have a long lasting impact in Miri here. He's transitioning well into his role as Zone Leader and is a very hard worker. It's a great dynamic to be in a companionship where you treat each other as equals - it really allows you to both contribute a great deal to the work.
This week I had an experience that reminded me of the importance of families. I was at Brother Sylvester's house - one of the best members here in Miri - and we were gathering to say a prayer before we started to eat, when I just looked around and saw the light of the gospel in all their faces. They just laughed and smiled and the love of the family was so visible. It felt like our family back at home. I began to tear up. While we were praying, I was pouring out my heart that I can find a family just like this and change their lives with the gospel. That's my whole desire - to allow families to have the love and good feelings that we have in our family and that exists in Brother Sylvester and Sister Jennifer's family. That's my whole desire! To bring them unto Christ so they can be happy!
Missionary work is just the best. It's so great. In Miri, we only teach the native people, called Ibans. They don't learn Malay as their first language, and so they don't always understand what we say to them. People often just stare at us and say "orang putih!" (White people). They're all 'Christian', but about 40% of people only go to church and don't understand what Christianity actually is...and the rest don't even go! So we teach people with limited Christian backgrounds, which makes for interesting lessons. In their churches, the pastors say "Run away from the two white kids in white shirts and ties." And sometimes they do! hahaha But even so, these people are so nice and generous. They are so willing to serve us or give us water or something, even though they often don't care a bit about what we have to say to them. hahaha I love my mission.
Usually, we try to have the members of the church in Miri bring their friends to us. They can testify that we aren't sketchy people, but that we're just good guys and that what we bring can change their lives!! So that works pretty effectively - but we work on teaching them how to tell their friends the gospel will bring them great joy and happiness. The Mormon people here, though they are just as poor and in the same situations as everyone else, are so happy and so content in their lives. They walk around with smiles, while a lot of people walk around looking less than happy. It's just a little difference, but something that strengthens my desire to share the gospel with these people.
The branch is working on getting home teaching going. I regret being a pain about it when I was a teenager - I am now trying to get these Iban people to do it!! hahahaha So interesting to literally be building the church on my mission.
Love you all!
|SO great to see my "son" Elder Yang at Zone Conference a couple of weeks ago|