I love serving in Ipoh! I've never been so showered with gifts (food) from members before. I'm actually concerned that I'm going to leave Ipoh a lot more round than when I came.
At the same time, there are also challenges to moving to a new area. We've been tracting and street contacting every day, because the area is newly opened for Chinese Elders, and we don't have very many investigators. Plus, every one of our appointments cancelled this week. We only had one lesson, but it was a miracle lesson. We met a wonderful young man, code named Isaac. He's the only one who let us into his house this entire week! He wasn't feeling very well, but he still agreed to let us come in and let us teach him about the restoration of the gospel. He's already Christian, and has a desire to learn more about God and how to become closer to Him, because of the blessings he's seen in his life since he converted to Christianity. He said that he felt good as we talked, and he wants to read the Book of Mormon to find out how it can help him obtain the things that are most important to him in his life. We'll go back and meet him again in a couple of days, to talk about what he learned, and help him to keep feeling the Holy Ghost.
We talked to so many people, and knocked on so many gates, and only 1 person agreed to listen to us. However, because of Isaac, my faith is strengthened, and I know that God is guiding people who are seeking truth to find the restored gospel. I also know that if I remember to seek His help, Heavenly Father will make all things work together for my good. I've been studying Humility, from Preach My Gospel, this month, and I bet that as I've asked the Lord to help me be more humble, he's given me these recent experiences to humble me and help me develop this Christlike attribute.
Yesterday, we went out contacting again, in a Chinese/Malay neighborhood at the feet of some tree-covered mountains. As the evening went on, the heavens gathered blackness, and all the elements combined to drench us thoroughly and scare us out of our socks. Rain poured, wind howled, and lightning pounded the mountain. The rain drummed on the tin rooftops and awnings of these little houses so hard that people inside couldn't hear us banging their gates with our flashlights. I could hardly hear Elder Li yelling to me from two feet away. We decided to take cover under a pavillion at a park just at the end of the lane where we were knocking. The storm came on so suddenly that before we had even got to the end of the lane there was lightning striking all around. I would see bright flashes, and before I even counted to 1 1/2, I felt the thunder boom, almost in waves, coming from various directions. We hurried the small lighted area under the pavillion, and watched the lightning strike the mountain, and several nearby trees, including ones in the neighborhood where we had just left. At one point, I think it even struck a pavillion neighboring the one we stood under, turning out all the lights in that area of the park! I know that Heavenly Father was watching out for us, and keeping us safe through the storm.
While we stood under the pavillion, I talked to /shout-tacted a little man who had just been biking around the park when the rain hit. He was obviously Christian, from the polo shirt he was wearing, and he recognized us as Christians, as well. As we talked a little about where I had come from and why I was in Malaysia, our conversation eventually drifted to the subject of God and his prophets.
He asked "But no one's ever seen God, right?"
I replied, "Well, God's prophets have seen him and testified of Him. Have you ever heard of Joseph Smith?"
He said he remembered that there were prophets in the Bible, and that he had never heard the name before. I opened a pamphlet to the page with the picture of the first vision, and related Joseph Smith's experience to him. I also had an opportunity to testify that there is a living prophet on the earth today.
"What? A prophet today? What's his name?" he questioned.
"This is Thomas Monson," I said, pulling out a pass-along card with the prophet's picture, "God's chosen prophet today!"
Because he was interested in prophets, he took a restoration pamphlet, and the pass-along card, but it was obvious that he didn't want to deny his church by learning too much from us. He didn't allow us any way to contact him again, but I hope that he will remember the minutes he spent with me on that stormy night, as the Spirit testified to him of the truth of a living prophet.
I feel so blessed to be serving the Lord as his representative here. I know that the gospel is way true, and that because it was restored the the Prophet Joseph Smith, our lives can be more blessed and happy than we ever would be otherwise! I encourage you to read again, as a family, (or listen to and pause occasionally) Elder Neil Anderson's talk from this conference. Will you? I know that if you do, and you do as Elder Anderson invites, you will build a testimony, and gain a witness from the Holy Ghost, of the importance of, and the blessings that come from the restoration through the prophet Joseph Smith.
Tons of Love,