Monday, August 25, 2014

SB Email (South, Baer . . . )

August 25, 2014
Dear Everyone,
It looks like the family reunion at Yellowstone was a lot of fun!  Thanks so much for taking so many pictures for me!  I hope you all had a great time and I'm glad that everyone was safe.  (When I went to Yellowstone, I was so afraid of falling into a boiling something or other.  I don't even remember if the boardwalks come close to the natural attractions or not.  I'm also glad I didn't hear anything about getting pulled over or having any accidents on the way home. (Was it coming back from Yellowstone that we got pulled over on 200 West?)
I'm still doing well here in Sibu.  Elder South and I are working together very well, and I'm learning so much from him.  He's similar to me in more ways than I thought at first, and we are finding a lot in common and building a great relationship of trust.  I still feel like an inadequate "father" for him, but we press on, trying every day to be better.  Our studies are going a little overtime, consistently, because he asks a lot of great questions and I talk waaay too much in reply.  That's one skill I've been trying to hone on my mission: getting effectively to the point without wordy wandering.
Elder South and I have a vision of finding and teaching through the members of the branch, so we've spent a little more time getting to know them, (actually, I feel like I know many of them pretty well, now, but I just keep getting new companions to introduce to them), and asking for names of their friends or colleagues.  With everyone who will trust us with the name of their friend, we will combine our efforts to meet and begin to teach their friend.  We want to share missionary experiences with the members, not a divide between "separate but equal" member missionary work and full time missionary work.
At times when we're not meeting with active or less-active members, we have been contacting on the streets of the city.  We've focused on beginning to testify immediately - find when you teach, teach when you find.  We have passed out a lot of cards and talked with many people.  As we prayerfully did so, we saw a miracle: A NEW INVESTIGATOR!!  It has been too long without a new investigator in the Chinese branch, so I'm very excited about this.  We met an elderly lady crossing the street downtown.  We talked to her for a moment and explained that we teach about Jesus Christ.  She agreed to have us come to her house the next evening.  With the help of an active member, we met her at her home on Sunday evening.  We found that she wants to learn about prayer, so we'll be teaching her how to pray at our next visit.  I can tell it will be a long process for her to learn and understand our message, but I know that the Lord can bring great things about from small and simple beginnings.
I feel so blessed to see His hand at work every day.  Sometimes it's disappointing that I don't see more rapid progress in the Chinese areas where I've served, but I think that the things I'm learning and the miracles that I have seen far outweigh all the setbacks that I face.  I love being a missionary!!
I love you all so much!!

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