Sunday, August 13, 2017

So sad, we ended up in a Muslim Cemetery.
Week #56: The Good and The Bad: August 1, 2017 – August 7, 2017(Miri)

Hi Friends and Family! 

This week was a great week! We got a new investigator last week who we passed a Book of Mormon, she read it every day, texted us a verse a day, came to church last week, but didn't want to meet. We were perplexed. She even wanted to share a small 2 minute talk in Church. Thankfully, that was our lead in and we were able to meet her not only once this week, but twice! MIracles! She came to church this week, fasted with us, and even shared her testimony in church. She's awesome! 

"Celestial Kingdom" Mattresses
One day, we were having a slow day, and decided to follow the Spirit to where we needed to be. The first time, we ended up in a cemetery. Not just any cemetery, but a Muslim cemetery. We quickly got out of there. The second time, we ended up in a neighborhood. Some sisters called us and we got bit by mosquitos like 50 million times. We also got out of there. The third time, we found a girl, but she was Muslim...but not wearing a hijab. It guess it just wasn't meant to be that day.

On another day, we were with a member who only comes back to the area every 4 months or so to take care of their mom who is getting older now. This member knows everything about the branch and had taken us around to meet less actives and meet their nonmember friends. One of the friends we were introduced to owns a mattress store. Her shop had a mattress brand called the "Celestial Kingdom". What better way to start a conversation than through a mattress?? Haha.

Celebrating Sister Hoeft's birthday.
We also had a birthday this week. It was Sister Hoeft's. She loves her birthday and told everyone when it was coming up. She loves celebrations! She basically had all that she really needed/wanted so we didn't know what to do. Then Sister Steele came up with an ingenious idea. Sister Hoeft is a jokester and she loves presents. We wrapped all of Sister Hoeft's stuff in newspaper, desk, bed, and dresser included. We also wrapped her presents in newspaper, so she had to unwrap everything to find them. She loved it! Everything was like a mini gift for her. The other sisters made a chocolate cheescake, and decorated her study doorway with quotes she says all the time. 

Anyway, one thing that helped my faith grow in the power of prayer and fasting this week, was losing our phone yesterday. After church, we weren't sure where it was. We thought it might be in a member's car that had helped us to bring our investigator to church. When we realized we had a problem, we both immediately prayed, and made it part of our fast. The member had already left, but we felt an overwhelming sense of calm and peace. We were sure it was in the member's car. After the reassurance by the Spirit, we continued to focus on our missionary work. The phone didn't show up immediately. The member was too far away for the things we had planned that day, so we continued to work hard, according to the plans made that morning. That night, as we were about to prepare dinner, miracles happened! First, a member came to our home to drop off some food. Second, the member whose car we thought we had left our phone in, came to our home to drop it off. Miracles! It showed me the power of prayer and the Holy Ghost to give feelings of comfort and peace. It also showed me that the Lord blesses His children for doing His work.


Helping a member with their new puppies.
On Sunday, we gave a lesson in Gospel Doctrine about adversity. The branch has been through Gospel Principles so many times that they got bored, so we studying gospel doctrine. The book we are studying about is Doctrine and Covenants. This is a series of revelations given to Joseph Smith, the prophet of the restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In this lesson we discussed Doctrine and Covenants, section 121-122. The title is, "O God, Where Art Thou?" In this time, Joseph Smith and other church leaders were jailed for six months without any accusations nor reasons given. They were abused, cold, marched, confined in a small space, and had very little interaction with the outside world. It would be easy to say, "Why Me?" Yet, Joseph Smith never did. Instead, He understood the Lord and His purposes. President Brigham Young said, "Joseph Smith progressed toward perfection more in thirty-eight years because of his trials than he would have been able to do in a thousand years without them." Many of us experience trials today. Adversity is hard to overcome. I know that God doesn't give us anything we can't handle. We need Him to help us today. Think of where you would be without the trials you have. Where would you be? I know I wouldn't be the same person. For that, I am grateful for my trials. I invite you today to look to God for help. He knows the way and He will show you how.
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants: The Sisters in Miri, all wearing the same pair of levis.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Zone Conference in Singapore - Sarawak District
Week #55: Be an Instrument of the Lord: July 24, 2017 – July 31, 2017 (Miri)

I'm so sorry for the last week! When we landed in Singapore, everyone had a list of things they wanted to do. One the good side, I got to finally see quite a bit in Singapore. We went to see these giant trees that are gorgeous at night. I had seen them earlier on an exchange in Singapore, but I got to see them again and they were extravagant. We then went to Chinatown where we got to shop and we were going to eat Mexican food, but the shop was closed. So sad. We had a very good Zone Conference on Teaching Repentance by the Spirit. It was very inspiring. I learned a lot personally. We did a lot of role plays (which we do like every other day in this mission), and it was a real treat to finally see a role play by President and Sister Simmons. We got to see how they taught, and that they even messed up at times. At the end of Zone Conference, we usually have an activity. In the past, activities have included rely races, volleyball, etc. This time, our activity was seeing the lightshow in Singapore. It reminded me of the water light show in Disneyland, California. It was amazing! We then ran to get some llaollao (yogurt from Spain), and then went home.
 
Sight Seeing in Singapore
After Zone Conference, we got to stay another day to have exchanges. I got to go on exchanges with Sister Welling (the STL from Bountiful, Utah). It was lots of fun, and I got treated so well. Every STL knows my love for ice cream, so I got a real treat by going to Cold Stone. We contacted a lot of people and taught an amazing lesson on the Book of Mormon, and how it answers any question. I love love love the Book of Mormon, and I know it truly answers every question. In Singapore, we found out about a new change to the mission. In the Singapore Mission, we have 3 languages, English, Chinese, and Malay speaking missionaries. Now, missionaries assigned to the Singapore Mission will only be assigned Mandarin or Malay, no English. Although most of the mission here is English, we will all be learning so that we have more areas that we can serve. Before, English missionaries served only in West Malaysia, Malay missionaries served only in East Malaysia, and Mandarin missionaries served everywhere. It will be a great change to the mission. We will still be speaking English, as well as learning new languages in this mission! :)

The rest of the week was a bit more uneventful. When we returned, it was a bit slow in Miri. We were trying to contact our investigators again, but none of them were picking up. It was hard. On Saturday, our recent convert biked with us most of the day. It was lots of fun! She had the spirit of missionary work very strong in her. I don't remember much about the week before, so I'm sorry.

One thing I learned this week was the topic "Be an instrument of the Lord". This is actually a picture quote I put on my companion's planner that I made for her. There is this video https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/2014-06-1120-the-gift-of-time?lang=eng&category=principle-2-use-time-wisely that made me really think of what is most important. Most of us think time is one of the most precious gifts we have in the world. The next question is how do we use it? Do we use it wisely? Do we make time for the things that really matter? Today, make a list of the things that take your time. Add the things you would like to do to your list. Now, add numbers starting from 1 up to give an
Sight seeing in Singapore
order of importance to YOU, not to how much time you think you have. I was reading a talk this morning from the April 2015 General Conference, "The Comforter" by President Henry B. Eyring. President Eyring talks about the wonderful gift of the Holy Ghost. This gift is given by proper priesthood authority after baptism by the laying on of hands, and conferred by the power of God. Often we think this gift is for us, and it is, but it is also for us to become instruments in the hands of the Lord to help bless and comfort others. The Holy Ghost is given so we may give service. I invite you today to read this talk and watch this video. Take time to do something that will change your outlook on life and priorities. In the words of Elder Richard G. Scott, "Decide to do something that will have eternal consequences". Be an instrument of the Lord.