Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Your photo-log of the week begins... now!

Dear Family,

All I can say is "Wow."  So much happened this week.  I definitely don't have enough time to tell you everything, or even all the cool parts.  Instead, I'll send you a few selections of my email to President Mains, again, and I'll give you a photo-log of my week, explaining the good parts with captions, ok?

To increase my faith this week, I have studied the Book of Mormon zealously.  I know that faith is strengthened by reading the word of God, because I've tried it.  As I looked especially for the Doctrine of Christ when I read, I felt my testimony of our Savior's love grow stronger than ever before.  I also thought of ways I can apply practically my faith every day, like opening my mouth to everyone, making time for the most important things in personal and companion study, and remembering which way I face.

I've seen so many miracles this week, but I'll share two with you.  First, our three Korean investigators all accepted baptismal dates together!  We'd been concerned that they didn't understand the gospel message very well, because of a language barrier, but with the help of an amazing young woman in our branch, who was able to help us gauge their understanding, and after having a lesson in which the Spirit could be felt very strongly, they told us that they understand what baptism means, and they want it in their lives!
The second miracle is that a brand new investigator came to church, only a couple of days after we had the first lesson with her.  She sacrificed her usually busy morning time, and brought her wiggly 1 year old son to all three hours.  At the end, she said she felt something good that she hasn't felt in a very long time, and she told us she wants to be baptized soon!  Her husband, although unable to make it to church because of work, supports her in learning the gospel from us, and is very interested, himself.  
Both of these miracles strengthened my faith that the Lord has prepared people for the gospel message, and that all who desire, with real intent, to know if it is true, will be answered with a witness from the Holy Ghost.

This Saturday, we had the special privilege of baptizing Brother T, who's been learning from us for many weeks now.  We invited members to become more involved in missionary work by getting them involved in his conversion process and his baptism service.  We helped arrange for members to pick him up and take him home, (because he didn't have a car that day), to confirm him, to sit by him, to congratulate him, and to continue teaching and fellowshipping him with us.  I can see that doing missionary work without the member missionaries is almost pointless.  The people of the Church, whether full-time missionaries or not, have to support each other.  It's actually something we covenanted to do at baptism, and what better time than at the baptism of a new convert than to be reminded of that important truth.  I'm so grateful for the fabulous members of the Church that live here in JB, and for how willing they are to make sacrifices to help us, the full-time missionaries, with our many requests.  We are working together to hasten the work of the Lord!

Things are getting pretty busy here in the Chinese areas of Johor Bahru.  Because Chinese New Year is still going on, we haven't been meeting with very many Chinese people, but we've been seeing a lot of Indians, Filipinos, and even Koreans.  We've been doing a lot of teaching in English lately, but all of the potential investigators contacted in the past several weeks will soon be available, or back in JB, again soon.

This week, President Mains invited all the missionaries of the Singapore Mission to re-read the Book of Mormon, looking for the Doctrine of Christ (The Gospel of Jesus Christ), including faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.  As I did, I discovered just how plainly Jesus teaches his doctrine, especially in 3 Nephi 11.  When I kept reading and tried to look a little deeper than before, I also discovered that Jesus teaches His Doctrine in the Lord's Prayer (3 Nephi 13:9-13). I don't know what you think, but if you ask me, it's REALLY COOL!  I just love how plain and precious the truths contained in the Book of Mormon are.  I also know that when we live according to what we know, we will be blessed with so much more than we sacrifice, whether we recognize it or not.  (It's always hard when I don't recognize blessings Heavenly Father gives me, or when I have to wait a long time before I receive them, but it will always be worth it!)

I love you all, and thank you for all the support and help you give to me each week through your emails, as well as each day through your prayers!  I can't thank you enough, or adequately express how much I love you all!

Marina Bay and the cityscape of Singapore.  Cool!

(Somebody needs a haircut.)

I thought of Noelle when I got these ones with the lilies.  "I tink I am ready to go pro."


Pretty convincing, right?

Who knew they were real??

"DaVinci" Exhibit at the Singapore ArtScience Museum.  Leonardo DaVinci was brilliant.  I didn't understand very much of it, because he was really good at math and he wrote his notes in Latin, and backwards.

I wasn't allowed to take pictures of the original manuscripts, sadly, but just know that they were pretty cool.  If you like art and science.

 Glass sculptures of viruses.  These are actually scale replicas of real viruses, as accurate as microscopes can see and as modern glassblowing techniques allow.  The round-er one is hand-foot-and-mouth.  Didn't somebody back at home get sick with this once?

It's art.

A giant, ancient, metal drum.  They didn't let me play it. :(

A suit of armor used by some Chinese in fighting against the British, I think.

An Ibex horn, imported from Israel, which the keeper of this Christian bookstore let my play.

Brother T's baptism 

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