Monday, February 15, 2016

Exciting Week with Miracles & a Dancing Dragon - with BONUS Special Advice to Anyone Even Considering a Mission!

I love those baby pictures! They are SO good! So good! He's so cute, too! You capture his sweetness, perfectly. :)
Hmm... Overactive talkers? I'm still figuring that one out! People here love to talk. Especially the Nigerians, and the Indonesions, and the Philipinos, and the Chinese, and the Indians, and, well, everyone. Haha, Sometimes what we have to do is take one part of the comment they say, or even just a word, jump on it, take it, build off of it and turn it into what you're talking about. We actually had a short training on this at Zone Conference. Haha, 
Investigator: "It all started with my cousin's nephew's sister's dog's owner's friend who just loves the Bible! And I used to go to Sunday school, but it all started in 1955. Now you have to picture it! They were on the sea of Tyberious and there was Peter, James, John---"
Missionary: "---John the Revelator! Who is a prophet! And prophets are exactly what we wanted to talk about today!"
Hahaha, But that definitely is not always the best way to work with that problem. But here, sometimes it is. :D

I am so excited this week! On Wednesday we had a drop lesson with an investigator who just wasn't progress but was upset that we dropped him, so we stopped by to clarify a little. We told him that we're here as his guides to come closer to Christ and God and that the commitments we give him are for this purpose but that if he doesn't keep his commitments, if he doesn't read the book of mormon or come to church, then there's no purpose in our meeting.  Four days later we saw his girlfriend at church who came up to us and said "Sisters, he's reading! He's reading everyday one chapter from the Book of Mormon! It's a miracle!" We will hopefully meet him this week to see what brought this change but I'm so happy for him! Reading the Book of Mormon is something he's struggled with for months and months. Now, he's reading every day!
My faith grew from that experience that we, and I, as missionaries have power to promise the promises of the gospel. We promised that investigator that if he prayed, believing that God would help him overcome his weaknesses, that he would be able to read the book of mormon, that God would help him, and he would be able to do more than he could do himself. That promise had power and God fulfilled that promise. I think I'm still learning that as a missionary I've been given power to teach God's word, power to promise as the spirit directs, and the promise that I can truly know the needs of the people we meet.
This week we also started meeting with a new kind of investigator, R. When we met her the first time she was doubting that God knew or even cared about her. She had a lot of questions that were dragging her down into darkness. In that first visit we gave her a book of mormon and promised her that the answers to her questions would be found as she read it. She read it and came to the next appointment with her notebook full of questions -- and answers! Answers that she had found and felt as she read the Book of Mormon! She looked like a different person than the one we'd met a week ago. Smiling, happy, laughing. One of her biggest questions was why she's here in this life. She was litterally overjoyed with the answer that she had felt; "because God loves me." After I heard her say that I was completely overjoyed! The next time we met with her we shared the restoration and our branch president came in right before we shared the first vision. I was told in the MTC that every time I share the first vision that I should tell in like it was the first time I'd heard it, because for them it is the first time! I always try to do that, but with this lesson, with the happiness I was feeling for R, it became the most powerful experience sharing the first vision that I've ever had.
I, too, know that we are here because God loves us. Whether "here" means in this life, in Malaysia, at work, as a new couple in law school, or a new/soon to be mom/dad. We're here because God loves us, and that's just the gist of it. :) My capacity to understand God's love for me and those around me grows a little every day. It's a life changing realization. Sometimes I promise people I meet in the streets or in buses that what we're sharing with them is life changing, and often times they shrug their sholders and walk away, but what I live for is the one out of the hundred that tilts their head a little and says "I think I'd like that." Haha, You asked how my mission has changed me, but I don't think I could explain in anything short of a book! But I'm excited for when I come home and you can see it for yourself. :) If you know anyone who is even thinking about thinking about serving a mission, tell them that it's something they could never regret, that it's worth more than anything they have right now, but that they have to do it before they'll ever understand. God doesn't give empty promises! And He's promised that when you serve Him with all you have, even if all you have is just a little, that you won't come out empty handed and He'll mold you into the person that you oh so want to be and that He wants you to be. All of this coming from me who never, ever, ever wanted to serve a mission even up to walking through the MTC doors! But now I'm here and there is no place I'd rather be. :)

I did get the Christmas card! I love it. :) Hanging in my office. :)

Also, if this is the picture I'm thinking of then, yeah. I used to have a picture almost exactly like this, except it said "INTROVERT" in big, bold letters. It perfectly described how I felt. Like I needed to jump out of the crowded bowl and gasp some air. But now I feel like this picture is much more accurate to my feelings about life. :D
 "Don't let others convince you that you are limited in what you can do. Believe in yourself and then live so as to reach your possibilities." President Thomas S. Monson

I love you so much! Tell Josh and Maddie and Ty and Imari and Kristen and KC and Jet that I love them a lot! And Nana and Papa and Grandpa and Grandma and Brenda! 

I'm juinor companion She's From Australia. Cute girl!

Oh! By they way! I don't know which videos I loaded, but I SAW A DRAGON DANCE!!!!! It was the coolest thing EVER!!! 

COMPANIONS! Sisters MacKay & Larkin!

Dragon Dance! The video is super cool!
Awesome Building in KL

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