Monday, September 15, 2014

Into the jungle!

Hi All,
This P-Day was probably the most experiences I've ever had (in Sibu).  Our Zone took a trip to Kapit, a town about three hours away from Sibu by express speedboat.  You know how people dream about going on a jungle tour by river in a little boat, then stopping off at a little town in the backwoods of Borneo and spending the day photographing exotic animals and eating fruits nobody's ever heard of and lodging in a longhouse of local tribespeople whom they can only communicate with via native interpreter?  If not, then maybe people don't actually dream about that, but that's what I did today!
It was cool to me to think that ever since I was 5 or 6 years old, I've wanted to explore a tropical rainforest, and my mission is helping me live my dream and teach the gospel at the same time!  Today, I was a few stones throws from parts of the planet that no humans have ever set foot on and that no human eye has ever seen.  (I mean, it probably is just the same as places I went today that have been seen by human eyes, but you never know!)

We went to Kapit to meet a couple of long-time, endowed members of the Church and their children.  They've not had contact with the Church or missionaries in a long time, so it was an awesome experience to take a trip for hours into the jungle and spend some time with them.  I don't speak their language, and I only understood some of the words they said, but I  could feel the strength of their faith as we shared our testimonies with them, and they shared with us.  It was a beautiful opportunity to meet members of the Church who were so dedicated to living worthily every day even without the support of others, and it strengthened my own testimony very much.
To show my love for the Lord, I've continued in a habit of personal prayer and companionship prayer throughout the day.  Elder South and I pray frequently together throughout each day, and I feel the Spirit guiding us more and more.  Although I do feel the promptings of the Holy Ghost more consistently, I do have more questions now, both about how to be a better trainer and companion to Elder South and about how to live up to the high standards of Preach My Gospel.  I've felt several answers come to me because I have slowed down and remembered to pray sincerely.

We have begun watching the Preach My Gospel training segments at every opportunity.  Any time that we are in the house but aren't planning or conducting studies, the DVDs are playing and we are learning.  I've realized that I'm much farther from being a Preach My Gospel missionary than I thought.  We are striving to apply everything we've learned from watching these DVDs, together.

I've never had so much to do in Sibu before!  We've had a flood of "referrals" from the other missionaries in our area, and are trying to keep up with everyone that the Lord has suddenly put into our hands.  Just this week, we found a family of four new investigators through personal contacting - the first time I've actually seen results from knocking gates!  I'm excited to meet with them again tonight and help them continue learning how the gospel will bless their family.  Our recently reactivated sister has brought a few friends to Church activities and is anxious to help us find long-lost members in Sibu.  Things seem to be looking up, to me, but at the same time, I've never felt like a more inadequate missionary.

I'm so thankful for the chance to work with Elder South.  I wish I'd been as strong as he is when I was in training!  He is so brilliant and creative and dedicated to living the standards of Preach My Gospel exactly.  I've learned from this last week that I have a lot of repenting to do!  I've discovered several ways that I'm not a Preach My Gospel missionary, much to my disappointment.  Because I think I've been laboring under several false precedents in Sarawak, I found a few things about which I disagreed with Elder South.  Every time that I found myself resisting an idea or suggestion from him, however, I discovered that he was giving me an opportunity to change and become more like a Preach My Gospel missionary.  He really lifts me up and encourages me to live to my potential.  This change is hard for me to make, but worth the effort, as I learn that although I haven't been consciously doing wrong, it's time to do things right.

For an update on Wendy, she got permission to be taught and baptized, but has been anti-ed by her previous church's pastors.  Her testimony is still strong, I feel, but shaken a little by people she trusted.  Please continue to pray for her!!
Thank you for all your help and love and support!!

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