Thursday, October 9, 2014

Selamat Hari Korban!

Hello Everyobody!!
Selamat Hari Korban! Happy Day of Sacrifice! (I'm not sure why every Monday is a holiday here.  It makes it really hard to get haircuts from our favorite saloon on Preparation Day.  (And there is no such thing as a salon here. All the haircut places really do say "Hair Saloon."))  Apparently it's an Islamic tradition to sacrifice lambs on this day, and a lot of people did, last night.  I didn't see anything, but people said it was a little scary and they didn't want to go outside at night because of all the sacrifices happening.

Also, Happy General Conference!!  I've been waiting like six months for this and it's finally here!!  I'm really excited to hear the conference messages this week on Saturday and Sunday.  I'd also love to hear what you thought of it and what messages touched your hearts. 

And you know what else this means:  I will have seen 2 conferences in Sibu!  That's half of the General conferences in my mission!  After this week, I only have one left.  AAUGH!!  How am I ever going to become a Preach My Gospel Missionary before my mission is over?  As I asked this question this past week, I evaluated my expectations of myself.  I found that some were rather high - oh not really much, just perfection! - and others had gotten a little careless.  I'm sooo glad that Elder South is here to train me!

Elder South never ceases to amaze me! I find that I don't share all of his opinions about how to live life, but I learn so much from him about how to be an effective finder and teacher, and how to give service unselfishly. I feel that he deserves someone a lot better than me to train him. Actually, he could just train another missionary right now. He still struggles to understand the language, as could be expected, but he has all the qualities of a true disciple of Christ. I believe that this companionship was appointed to train me more than to train Elder South.
I have sincere desires to do good, to help others, and to be a Preach My Gospel missionary - I want nothing else more than this, but no matter how hard I try, and how focused I stay, I just can't keep up with Elder South. I just feel so undeserving of his companionship, but so thankful every day to learn from him!
This week, we spent some time simply walking around in the city, looking and praying for people, and specifically for families, to teach.  As we parked our bikes, I spotted somebody working at a phone desk across the street, went right up to him and told him that we were disciples of Jesus Christ and had been sent to share His Gospel with him.  He talked to us for a while, took a restoration pamphlet, and told us to come back on Monday.  We called him to follow up, and he had read the pamphlet! (What?? People don't just read what we give them!)  So, I'm pretty excited to go back and talk with him more about the Restoration.

The same night, walking in the same area, we met a woman in a stationery shop, who was asking about some guitars hanging from the ceiling.  Elder South pulled one down, tuned it, and demonstrated how to play it.  While he tuned the guitar, I had a chance to speak with the woman, who told us she wants her children to learn music and English.  Well, we are both pretty good at both of those, so we offered to come to her house the next night.  When we arrived, we had a grand time playing with her 3 rowdy little boys and teaching her basic hymns on the piano.  She didn't actually come to English class, but we said we'd like to return to her house this week to share more about Jesus Christ, and she agreed!
The underlying feeling I have now is: in Sibu, things are going pretty well, but still not easy.  The Lord is helping me to have patience at a time when we just have to go outside and talk to everyone because we have virtually nobody to teach.  I know there are prepared people, and I am trying to become prepared for them, as well, through meaningful study, praying throughout the day, and working in unity with Elder South.  I thank you for your constant prayers on my behalf, and I hope you know I pray for you all, too!
Tons of Love,

P.S.  I finally had time to finish reading those letters you sent from friends.  At the end, you explained that the Fronk family was really sympathetic and supportive of me.  I read that and felt kind of wimpy.  There I was, just wallowing in my own mire of self-pity, wishing somebody would do something about it, not knowing or caring about other people and their trials, and they still cared about me.  after reading what you sent me about their own missionary challenges, my heart goes out to them (and many others).  Please let them know how much I appreciate and love them.  I pray often for their success and happiness, especially those serving missions.

Well... this is us at the airport in Kuching.  We had a layover, so Elder South, Elder McCown, Elder Hobbs and I all ordered Happy Meals at McDonalds.  The car race was a little disappointing, 'cause they didn't work very well at all, but it was a fun diversion at a time when we couldn't proselyte.

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