Friday, April 21, 2017

Welcome to KK.
Week #40 - My Reign Has Ended: April 11, 2017 – April 17, 2017

Five transfers, seven months, later, I am finally transferred from Penang. My reign has officially ended (missionary lingo for being transferred after a long stay in one area). Now, I am in Kota Kinabalu, which is in East Malaysia. Thankfully, this is the most touristy place in east Malaysia, so it is very similar to west! My new companion is Sister Clark, who is from Sweden. She's amazing and hilarious! Sister Clark is 6 feet tall, and has had all of the Sisters who are under 5 feet tall for companions, including me! East Malaysia is so very different. In West Malaysia, you can tell which language a person speaks by their race. Here, you cannot. There are mostly Malay, Chinese, and Iban people. You can meet someone who is Malay who only speaks Chinese, or even a Chinese person who only speaks Malay. There is more than one branch, so the area is huge! Church is all in Malay, not English. Guess who's coming home trilingual? This sister! Just kidding, I'll probably come home
Sister Vranes loves KK.
speaking chompor (mixed languages). Many of the people here only speak Malay and they get really scared if you speak English. Many people still come up to me expecting me to speak Malay. Another difference is we don't bike. We ride the buses and walk everywhere. Now I am exercising a whole new set of muscles! :) We also live in a mall here. It's fun, but it's easy to get trapped in "The Great and Spacious Building". Trust me. Kota Kinabalu is so pretty, and the people here are amazing! In the words of Annie, "I think I'm gonna like it here".

Anyway, this week has been superb! It was Easter Sunday! For me, it was really special because I was given the opportunity to share my testimony in Sacrament Meeting and teach the primary children about Easter. This was a special opportunity for me, and each time I testified of the Savior, the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and the reason we celebrate Easter, my testimony grew. I know the power of sharing your testimony. We often think we share our testimony for others to grow and develop their faith, but it is also for us to grow our faith. So I will share my testimony with you today.

I know that I have a loving Heavenly Father, and that I am His daughter. I know that He created a plan, a perfect plan of happiness, that was meant just for me and for my benefit. I know that He has eternal purposes and that we go through our trials and challenges to achieve these purposes. I know that He sent His son, Jesus Christ, so that we may have the perfect example and not walk through life alone. I know that Jesus Christ is my Redeemer, and that He lives. I know Easter is a celebration that is special and sacred. I know that Jesus Christ atoned for my sins, and that I can change. I know that Jesus Christ overcame death--he defeated Satan. Knowing the Atonement of Jesus Christ and celebrating Easter brings such love, respect, and peace to my heart. Because I know these things I true, I have no reason to fear.
Sister Vranes at KK chapel.
The other day I read a talk by President Gordon B. Hinckley, I think. He was talking with a Catholic Priest. In their discussion, the priest asked, "Why don't you have the cross in your church?" 

President Hinckley responded, "We don't have the cross because the cross reflects the death of Jesus Christ. In this church, we celebrate a living Christ." 

The priest continued on and asked, "Then what is the symbol of your church?" 

Personally, I had never contemplated this question before. President Hinckley continued, "The symbol our church has are our members [ourselves]". 
Sister Clark

This made me think. What more need have we to represent Jesus Christ and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints than ourselves? Jesus Christ is a living God, the Savior and Redeemer of the world. We are living members on the earth. Through us, we reflect to the world who Jesus Christ is, and what he has done for us. I know this Easter Sunday our hearts are turned to Jesus Christ. Let us think a little more about the Atonement of Jesus Christ and what it means for us. Share your testimony of the Savior this day and become a Saint, a representative of Jesus Christ. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

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