Monday, August 24, 2015

You Are My Sunshine, My Only Sunshine

Hahaha, I've seriously been counting down the days until you two start teaching. I'm so excited for you two! Can I come to your class every day when I get home? Actually, that's not a question. I'm coming.

 Also, my daddy is awesome. :)

I think the funniest moment of the week goes to a lesson we taught this week. It was a first lesson and all her kids were running around or playing on phones. I was in the middle of saying how important the Book of Mormon is to me, and why it's important to learn about Jesus Christ (A tender moment, right?) when all of a sudden "Up Town Funk" starts blasting for this little kid's phone. It was REALLY hard not to break into a huge grin and start laughing, but I seemed to be the only one who thought it was funny, or even notice it at all; so I swollowed my laugh and, as my mouth twitched from trying not to smile, I continued to teach about our Savior in shouts over  "girls sing the hallaluhiah! Wha!"

Our mission theme is the scripture about the field being white and ready to harvest (I really should know that reference by now... Oops!), and I've really seen that this week. Our investigators have really been dwindling this week and so we've been doing a lot of finding, and, boy, have we found! Last week we got 9 new investigators. Whaaaat?? It's been so neat going door to door, or appointment to appointment, and be able to see those people who like having us there, like what we teach, but aren't willing to really do what it takes to come unto Christ, and in contrast those who take in what we're teaching, keep the commitments we give them and then some, and just believe. Up until now we've had a lot of people who's arms we have to twist to get them to come to church, read the scriptures, or pray, but these people are rock stars. Seriously, you can see that they've been prepared to recieve the gospel; it's like they've been starving for it, and they're plowing through their challenges. My favorite are two girls who are a referal from one of our members, Sue and Kristy. They're so awesome! They tried to come to a baptism but were a little late, so we gave them a tour of the church instead. The next day they came to sacrament meeting and had a whole load of questions after, which is great! They're wanting to learn. I'm so excited for them! We also taught a man named Franky and his family to pray yesterday. He prayed for the first time! It's such a foreign concept to me that prayer can be such a foreign concept to someone. I'm so thankful that I can teach people about their true relationship with their Heavenly Father, that He is our Father, He wants to hear from us, He wants to bless us, and all we have to do is pray.

I read a scripture that made me think of that this morning in 1 Nephi 18:21. Nephi says, "And it came to pass that I prayed unto the Lord; and after I had prayed the winds did cease, and the storm did cease, and there was a great calm." That scripture perfectly depicts how I feel about prayer. My whole life can feel like a chicken running around with its head cut off, but when I pray and tell my Father in Heaven what's going on, what I'm feeling, and ask for peace, the winds cease, the storms cease, and there is a great calm. It doesn't matter if all those crazy things are still going on because I have the calm that comes from the blessing of the Holy Ghost that comes when I pray.

Also, look up "Earnest" in the bible dictionary some time. So cool! It says that when we feel the Holy Ghost it's only a hint of what we'll feel in our next life. I can't even imagine that. I feel so happy when I feel the Holy Ghost that I think I'd explode!

Here's a story for dad. Last week Sister P. and I were about to walk into a lesson with a potential investigator when she stopped on the doorstep and said, "I don't think we should be here. This feels really wrong." So we turned around, and prayed about where to go next. We followed a prompting we recieved to go down a street that we hadn't explored yet but always passed, a street or two away. When we started walking down this street this Chinese man starting walking towards us talking complete jibberish, also known as Chinese. He didn't speak any English or Malay, and we didn't speak any Chinese; so what do you do? He whipped out his phone, spoke into it, & then pointed it at me. It was a translator! I immediately thought of dad, laughed, and speaking into the phone said, "yes, we are preachers!" We eventually got our Chinese sisters on the phone, so they could talk to him. They said he's strait from mainland China, really amazing, and really intersted in learning. It was a really confusing, neat, and guided experience!

As for pictures, it's taking a really long time this week. The ones of me in a long grey skirt are from last Monday when we went to the cat museum. Couldn't take pictures in there. Darn! Then there's some random stuff.... I'm not sure if my pictures of the zoo have made it in yet? But if the have, I forgot to tell you that I went to the zoo in Singapore! So cool. Seriously. Everywhere you look there's some animal there! They're not lazy and doing nothing either, but they're running around, being crazy, and everything is so close to you! They even had orangutans swinging on ropes above your head over the walk way! It was gorgeous. So worth the bug bites!

Okay, no more time. I love you! You're going to do great today! I totally prayed for you already, too. No worries. :)

P.S. I really liked this quote I found in Thy Kingdom Come from conference: "We are far from perfect, but we are not casual in our faith." Love you again!

P.P.S. The picture of the zebra butts is my favorite. I hope it made it up this time. if not, next time.

Group photo from Fairy Caves a few weeks ago.

Random photo

Random photo #2

Outside the cat museum (Kuching means "cat!")

It seems Sister P hasn't Sister MacKay's awesome faces before.1


Storm coming in!

Actually, regular, daily weather pattern. ;)

Outside the cat museum

Always wet, in one form or another! lol

There are angels among us!

Artsy shoe picture


Sister P enjoying every drop of the yummy broth

These might be the investigators from the Uptown Funk story...

Monday, August 17, 2015

It's a bird, it's a plain, no - it's a real email!!

Oh my goodness! I can't tell you how good of a teacher you two will be. Seriously, emails cannot express. I've spent a lot of time this week thinking about families, the blessings of the gospel for families, and about how incredible our family is. I forget, so often, how different our family is; we really are each other's best friends! I know I am who I am today because of you and dad. Our family is top notch, best of the best of the best, sir! I know it's because you and dad are just... angels. Seriously. You look to the Lord for everything, you rely on Him, and you have taught us to rely on Him. You've taught us so we know "where to look for a remission of [our] sins," and, like the stripling warriors, because of the faith of our mother (and father!) we do not doubt, or at least doubt a whole lot less. You and dad always say that when we go on missions we realize that our family's "not so bad," Lies. I already knew our family is awesome! I'm beginning to realize even more how much I've been blessed with our family. It's life changing. I needed our family for this life, to return to Heavenly Father. It' the biggest blessing of my life. :) I pray for you to be able to do all of this. You do a lot, mom, I actually don't know how it's possible for you to do so much. Sometimes, I get a little anxious for you because you do so much everyday, but this week as I've been praying for you I've felt nothing but peace. I know you're okay, and I know Heavenly Father is helping you. I'm so grateful. He lets me know that you're capable of all this.
Have you looked at the Ensign for this month? We only have the Liahona, but I'm pretty sure they're both alllllll about the family. They're so cool! They have some by marriage counselors. It's a little addicting for me. I feel like a kid in a candy store with them! But they're reeeeaaally neat. Also, the one on patience that talks about Neal A. Maxwell's talk is great.
I'm so glad the office is doing so well! I pray for it, and I pray for you two both! I'm so glad you're telling me about these blessings! Thank you!
Yes! You found out what the pictures are! I realized last week that I didn't actually say what the pictures were. Oops. Haha, 
Yeah, after the caves I told Sister Slider that she should get on the group and share the pictures she takes.  I told her, "my mom would loooove to see the pictures! And she'd loooove to talk to someone from my area!" She was super sweet and got right on it! Haha, She updates me on what's going on in there every time she's seen me since.
Yeah, so we see senior coupels a lot, at church, if we need to go to the bike shop, they follow some missionaries to lessons I think, and things like that. They're just everywhere! They're just the sweetest and help us with everything, especially on P-days. Like last week the drove us to the caves (otherwise it would have taken us a few days to bike there), and today they're taking us to the cat museum and grocery shopping! Exciting! Pictures to follow next week. Sometimes they also give us food. This week we got potato soup! Oh, they also come to district meetings every week and bring glutteness food. It's so good, but so bad. Curse you chocolate chip cookies!!

So right now we have three investigators, Helen, Maya, and Collin and Angil. Okay, that's four, but Colling and Angil are siblings so we tend to count them as one. Maya is a really cute 9yr old who we teach with her mom who's less active. Basically, she can be baptized once she's come to church enough times but her mom doesn't like to come to church. What's really neat, though, is seeing the change in her mom. The first time I met with her we just read scriptures, and the change in her countenance was incredible. She has kind of solemn, almost gloomy countenance, but by the end of the lesson she was smilling, her eyes were lit up, she was laughing and talking, and just looked like a different person. It happens with every lesson, too, although that was the most drastic I've seen it with her. Sister P. and I have talked a lot about how the Book of Mormon changes behavior. Why? I know when I read the BOM my day is different, it feels different, but when I read it daily, that's when my character and desires change. Why? Because the BOM is a collection of case studies. Man, I love case studies. It's a collection of all these stories where we see people do good things, people do bad things, and the reactionary consequences. We see that God loves the people, why He loves them, and what He does because of that love. We see what blessings look like so we can learn to recognize them in our own lives. Basically we get an arial view of the reality of our own lives by looking at the lives of others. The reality is that we're not just living life, we're living God's plan, and we can either choose to recognize that or ignore it. When we read the BOM we see God as he really is, our Father who loves us, and when we see this, well, we can't help but be changed, it's just how we work. When you find truth, it changes you, it's how our souls react.
She actually came to church last week, which was great! It was the first time in a really long time. She even liked it! Unfortunately, she wasn't able to come this week because she was sick. Weird fact: people get sick here a lot. They're also afraid of the rain, so if it looks like it's going to rain they won't really leave their homes. It's almost funny...
There are a lot of less actives that we're working with right now. A lot. Some don't know they're less active, actually, I don't think most of them know. It's a process. It's kind of a "they're not as active than they think they are" thing. So we actually tend to see twice as many less actives than investigators each week. It really surprised me when I first got here, but it really is teaching me how important it is for 1- members to fellowship converts and even each other, and 2- for investigators to understand the importance of obedience and the blessings that come with them. Number one is a work in progress, but as for number two -  Sister Pullicar have started shifting the focus of our lessons to be more blessing oriented. People just don't understand why it's important to be obedient! Yes, God says to go to church, but why is that important to them? They just don't get it, it's hard. So we've been spending a lot of time thinking and talking about why commandments like going to church, praying and reading daily are important to us, why we do them, and the blessings we see from them. Since we've started doing this our missionary work has changed; we've grown closer as companions, our personal and companion studies have become MUCH more powerful and meaningful, we've been giving so many more promptings, and our lessons have become powerful spiritual experiences. We've been able to make these commandments personal, we can share why we follow God, the blessings that we've seen personally, and personal experiences. It's changed from repetitive promised blessings to real experiences which are powerful, really powerful.

On another note, the pictures. From last week we have the caves! SO cool. I saw lots of bats, but only got hit by one once. One of the elders decided to leave the path and go down and explore, got stuck, and then had to get pulled up by three elders who pulled on a small Paracord. I guess those bracelet things actually work! There's a picture of me on the sketchiest walkway I've ever seen -  three pipes wrapped together 15 feet of the ground. Yes, it led to a house. With children. They're very creative here. Strangely minty cotten candy, artistic photos, what my desk looks like (I love my calender so much! Oh, one is when we had dinner at the 1st counselors home. It was way good. I thought it would be cool for you to see what a usual dinner looks like though. On the floor, lots of food. Okay. That is all. I love you! Thank you for being so amazing and giving me such a great family! Don't doubt your abilities for seminary. Seriously, there really couldn't be a better pair for the job. Really. Really, really. You can't see my face but it's really serious! 
I love you!
Outside of Fairy Cave  

Outside Fairy Caves, but after climbing six flights of stairs to get there!

Dinner at the 1st counselor's house: traditional, eaten on the floor

Sister P

Kuching Neighborhood

How they lock their bikes? lol

Sis. P on sketchy bridge to house

Proof that children live here & cross the crazy bridges!

Adventurous journey to tract! This leads to the pipe bridge pictured below. 

The sketchy bridge she mentioned in her letter. O.o 
This is where her dancing skills come in handy - balance!

Sister P

Church's sign. I wish we could see the building!

Kuching Weather

Sis. P & MacKay at the Zoo!

She's dry! Must be before they head out for the day. ;)

welcome to Singapore" maybe?

Off to Zone Conference in Singapore! (those would be Sister MacKay's cards!)

night shot of the apartment

If the other one was dry, this one is "wet!"

Minty cotton candy!

Artsy night shot

Sister MacKay's desk drawer

Missionary Malay Knock!

Sister Pullicar... we've got one of Sister MacKay just as sweaty in last week's letter!

How the apartment sisters welcomed Sister MacKay - on their apartment window. :)

I'm pretty sure this pic is just for Dad. (That's not going to be good for anyone!)

Wow....Bug Bites! O.o 


Super Minty Cotton Candy!
We mustache you a question!