I'm on a few hours early today because we're all going to Singapore for ZONE CONFERENCE!!! I'm so excited! Zone conference is always a much needed spiritual boost, and a great opportunity to meet missionary leaders and friends. Even though I was just in Singapore two weeks ago for MLC, I'm still really happy to go back today. Most missionaries are having fits of hysteria over the fact that we are going to be watching "Meet the Mormons" tomorrow! (I'll admit, I'm really happy about it, too.) We're probably going to go to the giant Ferris Wheel at Marina Bay, then have a badminton tournament with all the West Malaysian Elders. I'll try to get some good pictures of our P-Day for you.
In other news, the Schollenbergers are back in Payson, Utah now. They've left Johor Bahru for good, and everyone here really misses them. The new senior missionaries have moved in, and are discovering just what an exciting and busy time of year it is as they try to get adjusted. The Bensons, from Logan, UT, are wonderful! Their excitement and enthusiasm to hasten the work of the Lord will be a big help to the missionaries and member missionaries here in JB! They've had quite a week to adjust to: Chinese New Year, with incessant fireworks for days and nights on end, branch members arriving back from the Philippines, driving to all the far reaches of JB, a Singapore border crossing today, zone conference for most of this week, and a baptism coming up on Saturday!
Oh! that's one miracle that I haven't done a very good job of keeping you updated about. Do you remember this part from my email to you a few weeks ago? : "...an elderly Chinese man out for his afternoon walk. As we spoke to the man, he said he has nothing to do with his time anymore so he'd love to come to church with us. We didn't think he'd remember, but the next morning, he arrived at church right on time! He stayed for all the classes and seemed to enjoy reading from Gospel Principles, but he doesn't want us to come over to his house to teach him, yet. I'll keep praying that he opens his heart to the gospel message." Well, this Chinese man, Brother T, is the one getting baptized on Saturday!! Ever since the first day we met him, he's been coming to church consistently, and meeting with us twice or three times per week. I probably didn't think to tell you all about his teaching process because I've never seen anyone who accepted all the lessons and commitments so smoothly, and with so few questions or concerns. It just seemed a little too good to be true, and he was a no-stress investigator, so he never weighed on my mind as I emailed you. Weird. Well, my prayers, your prayers, our teaching, and his faith actually have helped him to open his heart to the gospel message. I'll send pictures of the baptism next week!
My faith in Jesus Christ, and my belief that He really is just waiting to bless us with miracles, has been strengthened so much lately. I wasn't expecting much out of this week of Chinese New Year, but to say I was pleasantly surprised at what actually happened is an understatement. This year was nothing like last year - Molek was still drained of people and life, but we actually had what was possibly our busiest week of the transfer nonetheless. On the anticipated "dead day," the 19th, we began by speaking to a little Chinese auntie next to KFC. She said "Oh, I'm Christian, too!" She lives very far away, so we'll probably not be able to teach her often, but she was very kind to us. She bought us both Hot Boxes at KFC, then took us to see her fish farm. We followed her truck down a secret jungle road, met her husband, and took a quick tour of their fishery. Later that day, we had more opportunities to meet people in unlikely places, getting several phone numbers and following up with investigators. The rest of the week was even more packed, with several appointments each day, and hardly enough time for our weekly planning session.
I know the Lord is watching out for me. Even more importantly, I know He is watching over all of God's children and preparing their hearts to receive the gospel. I also pray that He will always watch over, protect, guide, and provide for all of you!
Love you lots! HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
Me, KFC, the hidden fish farm.
The fish farm. (with Elder Mitchell, not me. Just in case you couldn't tell:)
Morning exercises in Melaka - Back Alley Badminton
"Squid Crackers, Ooh, ooh ooh!"
I call this one, "Bayu, Bicycle, and Kampung"