Monday, September 28, 2015

Orangutangs & The Gift of Tongues

I'm so glad you get to teach these kids about their worth. One of my first weeks here I was thinking about how many times the knowledge of my divine worth had saved me. Sometimes, you don't even realize how impactful that knowledge is, but I know there have been times when knowing that I'm a daughter of God has given me purpose, strength, and the ability to keep going when life is hard. It's powerful!

I... have no idea if we get to watch the women's broadcast. BUT we do get to watch Gen Con! Just one week after it airs. :) I'm so excited! Thanks for the quotes, they're really neat. :)

I hope you get in to conference! That would be so cool!!

Already praying for Ty. I hope all goes well! He's awesome and they'd all be complete fools to not snatch him up. Really. If you want, you can tell them all that I said that.

We'll watch Con. at the church building (which is a relatively new building that was made for the church. It's actually really nice. Probably about the size of Thom.). Transfers are next week! Crazy! Who knows what will happen! Last P-day we got new potting soil for Sis P's plant.... Oh! Haha, and watched Elder Newing throw up a massive burger after he completed the resturant's eating challenge. But this week we did something cool! We went to a wildlife reserve to see orangutangs! It was cool and they were all reeeeally close! And massive. I have pictures buuuut the senior couples dropped us off here straight from walking around that jungle, so I don't have my adaptor. Or any notes of the things I was going to talk about.... I'm also very, very hungry, but that's irrelevant. We haven't met with Kris and Sue yet this week. It's been a holiday week so everyone has gone back to their villages. Kris said she got an answer to her prayers about baptism though!! We meet with them tonight so we'll find out!!

Also, the smog is back. Totally can't see the sun most days! Yay for face masks that make you look like a psycho killer but keep you from getting too sick!!
Also again, we spent more time at the hospital yesterday because Sis P's infection is back. The doctor told us "No ride bicycle for 5 day!" Buuut it doesn't look like that's going to happen. Haha

So I'm sorry this isn't the best of information packed emails. haha, I do have a really cool experience that I want to share though! So we were meeting with our President, president Changgai, and his family on Friday. It was one of those weird times when I was just completely lost and didn't know what in the world they were talking about (which doesn't usually happen now). I really wanted to understand what was being said, so that I could be apart of things and really show them my love for them. It was then that I realized that I hadn't prayed for the gift of tongues that day. Right then I said a little prayer asking for the gift to be able to understand, speak, and be understood. As soon as I closed the prayer the thought popped into my head that they were talking about family history! It wasn't a "well maybe they're talking about this.." but was more like "Psst! They're talking about family history!" Just plain, simple and clear, and clearly from the Holy Ghost. As soon as I ended the prayer I could understand the words I was hearing fast enough to put together and understand sentences and keep up with, and participate in, the conversation. The moral of this story is that the gift of tongues is very real and that the Holy Ghost really does speak to us through our hearts and our minds. I also now know that I really am given the gift of tongues on a daily basis, I just usually have no idea! I've been taking the lead in a lot more lessons lately and it's incredible to see how much help I'm given when I put in all my effort in teaching. I can actually talk! Full sentences and full lessons that are full of love. Prayers are answered!

Okay, time to go. I love you! Thank you for always emailing me! And loving me! Sorry no pictures today, I'm bummed I can't send them! I'll get you some next week though. Stay safe, stay awesome! Love you!

Monday, September 21, 2015

"Here comes the sun!"

Good news! The smog has gone away! We saw the sky on Friday for the first time in two weeks! I think there's a picture this week of what the sun looked like on Thursday. That was also the first time we'd seen any sign of the sun in a while. BUT now there's sun and clouds and sky! They do exist!!
Wow, actually, internet is way slow today, so maybe not very many pictures. It's okay though, I only had about 4 this week. 
Haha, That's way funny about the WWJD scripture. It's a real thing!!
We had a really good church attendance this week as well! Probably about 60 people! Unfortunately not very many stayed past sacrament meeting, but hey, baby steps! Normal numbers for church are about 30-40 in sacrament. NIce and cozy. :)
Thanks for the upcoming Christmas package! Way excited. ANd for the letter! I might not get it until zone conference, but maybe someone will end up making a trip to Singapore, and I'll get it early!
Kris and Sue are doing great! (Did you know Taro is actually yam? Turns out you've been getting blueberry and yam flavored smoothies at Orange Peel! Haha, Still yummy.) Anyway, They're doing great. Their testimonies are really growing! They still haven't been able to come to church lately because their Grandma passed away, and it's kind of a month long mourning period kind of thing; so they go back to Kampung every Sunday. We brought up their baptism date at our last appointment, though, and they jumped back to how they couldn't get baptized! I guess Roman Catholics consider it a sin if you get baptized in any other church than theirs, which makes sense until you know that only the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has the authority of God to baptize in His name. I'm not worried at all about them, though, their testimonies are really growing so much! It's just a matter of them understanding where the authority comes from, what it means, and who has it.
Hey, what does Noel mean?
This week has been a little weird though. I've been a little sick lately and Sister P got an infection this week, too, so we didn't leave the house at all on Thursday except to go to the doctor's. Oh! Actually, we walked over to the airport for some drinks only to find this ROCKIN Malaysian band performing on the second floor! Coolest. airport. ever. I guess their there every Thurs, Sat, and Sun. We can even hear them from our appartment and have been wondering what kind of party was going on over there! I always assumed it was a Muslim thing going on though. Haha, Who knew! Anyway. We also had a youth activity on Saturday! It was fun. All the youth in the district baked and made yummy food! There wasn't a lot of food though, so we ended up being invited over to President Changgai's house to eat some yummy food his wife made. Also, people here are way nice! His wife also randomely brought food to church yesterday and fed us some fried rice! And Sister Jijie also brought food for us because she knows we don't get lunch on Sundays! They're way nice. :) Blessings! 
Umm... That is all. This week is a little scatter brained. Sorry! 
I love you so much! Thanks for the awesome emails!

That's way cool about Noah. I was just looking at a picture of him this morning thinking about how hard it must have been to stand up and tell these things that you know are true and from God, all the while having people point and laugh at you and your God. In a lot of ways it's not so different from today, except that there are more of us that can stand together. But on the note of building boats, it makes me think of a thought I had about Nephi building the boat. Nephi was faithful in doing what the Lord asked him to do all the way through the prosess, even going the extra mile at times, and when he finished the boat he saw that it was a blessing from God! Meanwhile Laman and Lemual told Nephi he was a fool, that it couldn't be done, that it was going to sink, and even when they were making the boat they continued with this attitude, but after the boat was done they kind of sat back and said, "Well, of course this was God's doing! Look, it's great!" I've really found that this is relevant to trials and our attitude through our trials. Do I go through my trials believeing all the while that they're from God, that He's helping me -that if He's done all these wonderful things, how is it that He cannot help me (rough, rough paraphrase)? Or do I go through my trials complaining the whole time that God has forsaken me, and why is this happening, and wo, is me! ...Only to afterwards look back and say, "Oh, well, of course that was from God! Of course, it worked out!" I've found that it's quite applicable in my life. Haha

Enjoying Bobo Drinks!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Faith is like a little seed...& Church attendance is the sunlight that helps it grow!

So for investigators/miracle of the week. We have two girls in their early 20's  who have been our investigators for the past couple of weeks, Sue and Kris. They're awesome! They always read and pray every day and keep all their commitments....accept for church which they've only come to once. So we were in comp study talking about their lesson that night, and we both didn't feel right about teaching them what we had planned. We prayed about it and decided to follow a prompting I had recieved when we'd taught them last time to teach on Alma 32, faith, and how right now they're watering their plant with reading and praying and meeting with the missionaries, but their seed of faith is lacking the essential sunlight of church! The lesson was kind of a weird one where neither Sis. P. or I could speak very well and just couldn't seem to get out what we wanted to say. They were really standoffish when we asked them to come to church this week, but after a little digging they confessed that they've been keeping our commitments because they didn't want to dissapoint us. And kind of because they were curious about the church. Their pastor had told them that it was okay to keep meeting with us but that they can't join the church, so they've been very conflicted when trying to keep the commitments that we give them while still keeping true to the church that they'd grown up in. We left devistated! We didn't know what to do, what to teach, how we could help them want to know that this church is true and keep the commitments because they love God, not us. We decided to keep going with the lessons and start on the word of wisdom. They next day when we came back to teach Sue said the prayer, but after the prayer sister P. looked at her and said that she seemed really happy today. Sue said she was! When we asked why she said that before, they had a lot of hard things in life and that life was really hard, but lately, since they've been praying and reading the Book of Mormon, those things don't matter anymore, and that everything is okay! She said that they can see their faith growing little by little, like a seed! She's always an incredibly happy, giggly person, but that day she was glowing! It was almost liike a light switch had been flipped! It was such a neat experience. Not only were we lead to teach something that they needed to hear, but even though we fumbled through the whole thing the Holy Ghost still taught a great lesson, and you could see the effect the Holy Ghost is having on them. :) They're awesome! I'm excited to teach them again tonight! They always give us food after we teach them, even though they have so little. They're so sweet!
This week we also had a weird day where three of our awesome investigators, three women in their 20's who all live in the same house, texted us and told us that they didn't want to meet anymore. One of them had just recieved an answer to her prayers about whether or not the Book of Mormon is true! We stopped by their house to see what was going on and had a very intersting conversation with them. One of them, Christine, had just returned from her Kampung (or village) and said that God had answered her prayers about the church and said that it wasn't true. It was a struggle, but we finally got her to tell us how her prayers and been answered. It turns out that all her family told her not to join our church and that she couldn't keep learning with us. This happens a lot when people go back to their Kampung, and it's almost funny that almost every person we teach goes back after they commit to be baptized. Satan has boring patterns. Anyway, we asked her how she felt when she read the Book of Mormon or prayed, and she said she felt wonderful! Who do you  think that feeling is from? God. What do you think that means? That it's true! .....So will you continue to learn? No. Do you want to follow Heaveny Father? Yes. Do you think He's happy with this decision? Oh definitely not. ...What??? It was really sad to see them go, but they must just need a little more time to ripen up a bit. It was a neat opportunity for both of us to give really strong testimonies of the gospel and feel the strength of the Spirit when we did that. We'll give them some time. :)
In other news we had 72 people at church yesterday! It was so great! It's a huge number for our branch! Most of them were actually members, too! It was a very happy day. :) Oh! And we had a baptism Saturday! It's for this really spunky, cute daughter of a less active who's not so less active now. :) I might have mentioned her mom before, Josephine. She's the one who's countanance is just flourishing! I love her a lot. 
I can actually understand people now! More of the time! Yesterday, I sat down to talk to a lady I didn't know.... and I understood her! We had an actual conversation and everything! It was great.  Oh! Also, we now have a ward mission leader! He's really enthusiastic and really excited which is exactly what we need. He'll be an adventure to work with! haha
(I ASKED HER HOW LONG SIS. P HAS UNTIL SHE GOES HOME) Sis P. goes home in March. :) She's still got a bit. 
I'm glad to hear the days are starting to move along! Mine are, too. It sure makes things a lot easier, huh? Haha, The only thing I remember Pres. Richards saying to me before he set me apart for my mission was to give it 90 days. 90 days in country, speaking the language, on the mission, whatever. Just give it 90 days. At the time I wasn't too thrilled with the advice, but now I see that it's really true! Haha, Everything is a lot easier now that it's, I don't know, getting normal? 
I found GF cookie mix today! Way expensive, but totally worth it. Whaaat??
Pictures are of a CRAZY rainstorm that hit. Literally crazy. It was one of those moments that will later be turned into a General Conference talk about looking to the chapel for safety! Haha There's one of the view from my window of the smog. Apparently it's rice patty burning season in Indonesia, which we're right next to, so you can't see more than a 3rd of a mile off. ...Hence the masks! I've now officially been Asianified. Yay. You can see my excitement. 
Also baptism... Then an FHE we had with a LA family where we acted out 1 Nephi 3 when they get the plates. It was way funny. I was Sam and Zoram!

Love you! Talk to you next week!
It looks like this is right after the storm first opened up the heavens upon them! I LOVE THEIR SMILES!
(This is exactly why we got her a waterproof camera!)

I love these darling sister missionaries! They've taken refuge in the Church after a "CRAZY storm" hit!

Smog from rice patty burning season in Indonesia

Fun FHE, acting out 1 Nephi 3

They fit right in! (Masks to protect them from the smog)

Baptism Day!

Sis. MacKay rockin' her new sarong

Monday, September 7, 2015

Randomness: Freckles, Faith in Speaking, & Loving the Rain!

I didn't take a lot of pictures this last week so I'm working on uploading those that never made it. They're a little random. :)
Malaysia Day was the saddest looking holiday I've ever seen. haha, No one celebrated!  There was definitely no festival, but I got a cool Malaysian Sorong! I'll send a picture of that next week. It's a skirt-like wrap that all the natives wear. :)
Oh, one of the pictures is from when we tried to make kettle corn and got the measurements wrong and added a ton of sugar. It was way krispy, but waaaay good. Hard as a rock. Haha
Thanks for the quotes and the insights on that question of mine. That's way cool! It makes so much sense!
I'm getting a lot of freckles on my arms. Like a lot. At first I was excited, but now I don't know how to feel!
So this is technically from last week, but it works. I gave my first talk in church last week! I got a call the day before and was like "oh shoot." I was super nervous about it and never left the piano bench that I was hiding on until I had to speak. But I was so nervous. Then President Changgai announced that our new missionary would be giving his testimony (strait from America), and that our new senior couple (also straight from America) would be giving their testimonies as well. I was so amazed by the courage, especially that of the senior couple, to get up and speak in this language. It was so cool! And it answered my prayers and gave me the courage I needed to give a little talk on the Atonement.
I actually don't notice the humidity anymore.... usually. Haha, So I'm probably pretty used to it. This last week has felt really nice though because it's been really rainy. I love the rain! You know I always have, but I definitely still do. I love riding my bike when it's just pouring and getting absolutely soaked. Maybe it's weird, but I absolutely love the feeling! Haha, actually, this last week we went to visit a potential on one of those days when it's pouiring rain. After we squeezed some water out of our skirts and entered her house, she insisted on taking a towel and wiping down my arms, my legs, my face, my skirt, my feet.... Haha, So basically I got wiped down by a very nice Bedaiu woman. It was pretty funny.
(Q: How's the language coming?) 
A: I'm told that my language is really good! Haha, I usually don't feel that way but I was really glad for exchanges because 1- it made me take the lead in everything (we were in my area this time) so I had to talk a lot more than usual, and 2- my STL was really encouraging and told me that she repeatedly forgot that I'd only been here one transfer because I spoke really well. It was really what I needed to hear. I'm defnitely getting better at just talking to people, too, about normal things. Yay!
Ah, geeze, sorry my mind is super weird today and I'm having a hard time writing. haha

I'm really sorry this is so short! But I love you!
From their zoo trip!


From the day that Sister P's skirt got caught in her bicycle

After they were rescued by the awesome senior couple with the skirt & Bicycle episode

Random Goofiness while waiting for an investigator to come home

Kettle corn attempt

P-Day road trip!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Not Quite Perfect, Yet ;)

Haha, Yesterday I wrote down in church "87 days down, 453 to go!" Not a bad chunk.

Everyone is amazed when I show them my family pictures! A few of the members here have seen my FB profile and banner pic and talk about your pictures, too. You've gone international! They say, "Wow, your whole family is beautiful!"

Tell Papa and Brenda I say happy birthday! I'm sure Brenda was ecstatic about the mug, haha!
Sooo.... I didn't write down something to talk about this week about my investigators, so I'm going to have a heart to heart with you/ dad (this is basically his email too).

So I realized this week that I'm totally not perfect. Surprise! So I already knew this, but I don't think it's ever really clicked. I've realized lately that for as long as I can remember I've had perfect expectations for myself, which kind of makes life hard when you're an imperfect person. I have these perfect expectations, but when I make even a small mistake I'm completely devistated by it! It's such a small thing in writing, but it's so big in my life, such a big realization! So now I'm working to change my expectations for myself. Perfection would be nice, but it's really not going to happen any time soon. In the mean time, I'm working on realizing that I'm not perfect, on setting realistic expectations for myself, and when I make a mistake stepping back a bit, taking a breath, and remembering that I'm not perfect - and that's just fine. You wouldn't believe the difference it makes in life. It's actually a really big relief to realize that it's okay to make mistakes!
So that's a really simple summerization of something that's been kind of big for me lately, haha. But, running low on time.

The other thing that I just wanted to talk with you about is connected to something that happened this morning. Sis. P. and I were talking about our personal studies this morning at the begining of comp studies and I was talking about how happy I was because I read a talk from gen con about a man who would look at his watch and be able to say "I know right now my parents are kneeling down to pray for me," and about how when a family does all the things its supposed to, those things will be written in their children's hearts. I was so happy because I could say the same thing about my family! I tend to do that a lot in studies. Sister P asked me if I've ever been really angry; yeah, for a good couple years straight! She asked me how I got over it, and it was then that I realized that I got through all my anger and all my sadness because of 1) pouring my heart out to my Heavenly Father, and 2) the love of my family. No matter how rude, angry, stupid, moody, or whatever I was, my siblings had seemingly limitless love and patience for me. They just kept loving me. Heaven only knows why, I'm pretty sure they're saints! But I just remember all the times where I was just angry at everything and Kristen would sit down with me at the top of the stairs and talk to me. I was a jerk, I wouldn't talk to her, but she just kept loving me, she didn't even get angry. She then asked me what would have happened if I hadn't had that love. I told her that I don't know if I would be where I am today. Not only did my family give me limitless love, but they provided that contrast that I needed in my life to be able to see where I was, who they were, and where I wanted to be; I wanted to be like them. I realized that you learn to feel and understand the Savior's love in the family, because I know that's where I learned it. That's where I learned, and still learn, what Christlike love looks like. The question popped into my mind last week, "why in the world does my family love me??" I don't know. Haha, I don't know why you all have always loved me, or why you still do, because I'm one heck of a punk. Haha, But the important thing is that I know you all do love me, every one of you, without a doubt. And I'm SO thankful for that because without that love that you taught us to have for one another, without their developing and freely giving me that love, and you and dad being parents with limitless love, I don't believe I'd be where I am today being the person I am today. Whenever I think of the person I want to be when I get back from my mission I think of Tyler when he got off the plane from his mission. He looked like a half starved dear in the headlights, but he also looked like the happiest person in the world, and he looked like he was about to burst with joy when he gave me that hug that I didn't really know what to do with, haha. And something I realized just now is that if you and dad love me so much, more than even makes sense to me, how incredibly much does my Heavenly Father love me?
You're all my super stars and my examples! I love you so much, mom!

Pictures! The wet ones with the bikes are from when Sister P.'s skirt got wrapped around her gear shaft while she was riding. Super funny. I lost her as I was riding, turned around and rode back to find her stradling her bike in the middle of the street, stuck on her bike! Her skirt was already torn up to the hem but I had to rip it more to get her off the bike. We then stood under a tree as the rain POURED. The tree wasn't very good insulation. Haha, And we waited for the very nice senior couple to pick us up. It was way funny. The pics of me in my BYUI shirt are after we got home from that. Notice how wet my hair is? Haha, Yeah, we were soaked!
Then there are some pictures that I took while we were waiting for a referal to show up at his house, They're pretty dang great. Yay for self timers!
P.S. Happy Malaysia day! We're going to a festival after this. I hope it's awesome! Our appointment fell through for tonight so we're going to stay and contact at the festival tonight. It's going to be so cool. And tasty. Yum!
Oh, tell Kris I've been praying for her! Well, I pray for all of you, but I've been praying for her as she's starting back to school!

Waiting for their investigators!

They got a little bored, I'm guessing... lol 


Selfies are alive and strong in Malaysia!

I love to see her smile!