Monday, July 7, 2014

Happy Independence Day!

Happy Independence Day!!!   My fourth of July was celebrated by singing the national anthem in companionship study, facing a tiny toothpick flag from the U.S.  The other Elders celebrated by saying 'MURICA!! the whole day and eating at McDonalds, KFC and Pizza hut. :P

I've been having a great time these last two weeks!  Zone Conference was as great as ever, and was especially refreshing because I was able to see some old companions and friends.  The topic was repentance, and I took many things from the talks and trainings and activities back to Sibu with me where I have begun to apply them and repent.  There are always little things I could be doing better, so now I'm focusing a little more on the details that make up my day.  I'm making plans and goals to improve certain aspects of my life little by little.  This week, I'm working on letting no corrupt communication proceed from my mouth.  That means that I'm trying to cut down on the number of times I say, "Aw cuss," and focusing on ways to give sincere compliments.  I'm also trying to be a better nonverbal communicator, so I'll be putting more warmth and energy into my mannerisms when I greet people and spend time with them.  I just want people to be able to tell how much I love them and care about them.

It was hard for me to send Elder Broadhead off to Singapore!  I've really come to love him, and I felt, this last week that we were good friends.  I know he's happy to be back in his favorite area of the mission, and that he's about to go home for good.  I've learned so much from him and I love him, so it was really hard to see him go.  So many members and missionaries here, including me, are going to miss him!
At the same time, I'm glad that I have a chance to be companions with Elder Durrant.  I can tell already that he is organized, dedicated, and ready to do work here in Sibu!  So far, we've only been able to fit in a little weekly planning, because of all that's been happening this week. However, we've made a goal and plans to visit the less active members of our branch over the next six weeks.  We call this plan, for which we've made a companionship key indicator, Less Active Residences Located (LARL). 
Yesterday, instead of sacrament meeting, we had our Sibu District Conference.  President and Sister Mains came, and along with the district presidency members, spoke to the combined membership of the three branches about the need to hasten the work by actually working with the missionaries and with the branch presidents.  They showed the statistics of our branches.  I noticed that the Chinese branch has a lot more members that I've ever seen at church.  Elder Durrant and I will be visiting their homes as part of our LARL plan, so that we can meet them, become more familiar with the branch members and with the area, and search for new investigators through their family members, friends, neighbors, and people we meet as we travel.  I'm so excited to put this plan into action!!    More as events unfold.
As I've thought about those who joined the church but are no longer anxiously engaged, and as I wondered why people would fall away from the church, I felt sad for them.  I know that they are missing an essential part of their life.  I know that the worth of every soul is great in the sight of God.  I know that no matter what kind of choices we've made in our lives, Heavenly Father will always love us.  He wants all of us to learn about His Son, Jesus Christ, and to exercise faith unto repentance, make and keep covenants, and endure to the end.  Even when we falter, Jesus Christ will be there to help us back up again, if only we are willing to reach out, take his hand, and take his yoke upon us.  When we pull along with the Savior, we will have the strength to overcome anything that life throws at us, and he will make more out of our lives that we can ourselves.

New Apartment.  Woot!

Eating Durian!  If I haven't told you about Durian before, look it up.
"I had the best time..."


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