It was so fun to talk to you all on Christmas!! I was really looking forward to it, and I'm glad I was able to see you again! I know the time was short, but thanks for letting me in on your Christmas night!
This Christmas was very merry, for the four of us in Johor Bahru (Me, Elder Mitchell, Elder Durrant, Elder Lundahl-Wolford.) We opened the presents under our Christmas tree first thing in the morning, and delighted in our spoils for a little while before personal study. We ate too much chocolate - I found a really yummy fruit-chocolate blend, in a classic Malaysian flavor: Jackfruit. Look it up - and then ate too much good food at Elder and Sister Schollenberger's apartment, and then at the home of our previous Elders Quorum President, where the members gathered for a Christmas feast.
We had a white Christmas, after all!! One simply amazing investigator, the girl who I taught a little last January, code named Irene, and her mother were baptized on Christmas Eve!!! Their baptism service was wonderful, and everything went smoothly. They bore moving testimonies at the end of the service, and seemed happier than I'd ever seen them. Irene's father came back from Indonesia to see their baptism, and a couple of the family's friends came to support them. On Sunday, I was surprised and honored when Irene asked me to confirm her. It was a very spiritual experience, seeing her and her mother become members of the Church and begin walking the covenant path! I'm glad that I could be a small part of it. I feel more like an observer, really, just cheering them on and supporting them.
Right now, I'm teaching two promising investigators: Frank and Sally. They aren't related in any way, and they've both been Christians for a long time. Frank was treated rather poorly at his previous church. The pastor approached him and told him he couldn't be bald because it might look like he was a monk, not a Christian. Frank basically taught us the gospel of Jesus Christ this past week, and he's looking forward to a baptismal date in January!
Sally is very timid, but faithful in reading the scriptures. She always appears to have something bothering her, and she looks a little sad, but she's beginning to laugh and open up a little bit as she meets with us. We hope to help her choose a baptismal date soon, as well. I'll keep you updated.
Well, time's almost up, but I want you to know that I love you all so much, and I hope you have a fantastic new year! Any resolutions? I'd love to hear about them. I feel strongly that our resolutions, if set with a purpose, will really help us to become better people, come closer to Jesus Christ, and find the things we are truly searching for in our life. I encourage you to think about what Elder Ballard says:
Love and 新年快樂!