“ … And they were also distinguished for their zeal towards God, and also towards men; for they were perfectly honest and upright in all things; and they were firm in the faith of Christ, even unto the end.” - Alma 27:27

Thursday, March 12, 2015


Wooowoowwoowwza ... So first of all, I just found out I'm getting transferred all the way to West Malaysia to a place called Sitiawan in the Ipoh Zone. I'm going from the farthest eastern tip of Malaysia to the farthest western tip!  I will be companions with Elder Jones (Mandarin speaking) who has been in the mission for about three months. It will just be the two of us. I will also be district leader there. I have no idea what to expect, but I know that we will continue working hard and doing what the Lord would have us do. I'm excited!!!!! I will miss the people here in Tawau a lot, but I know that they have felt my love for them, and hopefully they have made some changes in their lives as a result of my efforts to serve with the Spirit. 
Here we go!!!!!!!!!!

Reflecting back on last week, one word sums it up quite well - MIRACLES! I am so grateful for all of the prayers and fasting. Thank you for the support and the love. I am here to say that Heavenly Father does answer our prayers, and He does give us what we need exactly when we need it.

Last Tuesday we were able to go to Kota Kinabalu and meet with President Mains, Sister Mains, Elder Funk, Sister Funk, and the rest of our zone. From the moment I first shook Elder Funk's hand, I just felt good. It is amazing to be able to be around someone who always has such a strong, almost tangible, spirit about them. They gave an amazing training and covered many topics, but I just want to share a few of the things that hit me the most. 

He talked a lot about obedience and the simple things that can help us have the Spirit more in our lives and in missionary work. For me, I realized how unfocused my thoughts are sometimes. I let my mind wander and ponder other things, and I quickly lose the Spirit and the revelation that comes when I am focused on the people and their needs. I know it's unrealistic to always focus perfectly on sharing the gospel, but I think that we could all improve on focusing on Christ and the needs of others on the Sabbath. When I think of how we should use our time on the Sabbath I think we have to consider what's good, better, and best. Rarely do we do things that are completely wrong, but we often become entangled with our natural man thoughts and focus on resting ourselves instead of finding peace in serving others. 

Please pray and search for an opportunity to serve somebody this week, and ponder about how you can devote one day each week to the Lord. Another awesome thing that Elder Funk taught me is that there is no special ingredient. I came into the meeting with the desire to watch a general authority do a role play and show me some awesome tricks or ideas that I could try out, but as he taught us, shared experiences, and used the scriptures, I realized all we need is what we already have. When we follow the scriptures and Preach My Gospel we will have the Spirit with us. I am so guilty of overteaching/explaining with the desire that somebody will be able to understand more and make the right choice, but more often than not, the most important details are all we need to invite the Spirit and help them feel Heavenly Father's love. Delight in plainness!

I also think it's important to remember the scriptures tell us to FEAST on the word. Sometimes, when I go without food for a long time I forget that I'm hungry and go into a weird, exhausted, sick-feeling state where I don't want to eat anymore. Don't let this happen to your spirit! Don't forget that your spirit is starving and always wants more!

This week I tried to study the enabling power of the Atonement and how the Lord wants to strengthen us. He is anxious to help us and guide us. Alma 2 reads...

28 Nevertheless, the Nephites being strengthened by the hand of the Lord, having prayed mightily to him that he would deliver them out of the hands of their enemies, therefore the Lord did hear their cries, and did strengthen them, and the Lamanites and the Amlicites did fall before them.
29 And it came to pass that Alma fought with Amlici with the sword, face to face; and they did contend mightily, one with another.

 30 And it came to pass that Alma, being a man of God, being exercised with much faith, cried, saying: O Lord, have mercy and spare my life, that I may be an instrument in thy hands to save and preserve this people.

 31 Now when Alma had said these words he contended again with Amlici; and he was strengthened, insomuch that he slew Amlici with the sword.

Sometimes, when I am in the midst of my trials or hardships I simply ask for Heavenly Father to fix it. I know that if I had more faith in the Atonement, I would be able to ask for strength to overcome my trials more often. I know that Christ will be able to strengthen us in absolutely any way-spiritually, physically, emotionally....there are no limits! He can change absolutely anything-especially us. We simply need to ask in faith, and continue in obedience as we work through the things we struggle with here on Earth. 

Some of the highlights of last week were meeting with one of the coolest families ever while visiting KK. The parents are both BYU Hawaii graduates, studied biochem, and are raising their kids in the gospel, even though they're in the middle of Malaysia and are going through a lot of trials. It reminded me of being back in America. Their home was decorated with gospel pictures, English words (they're homeschooled), and all of them knew so much about Christ and the scriptures even though they are so young. It makes me so happy to see how happy families can be when they're centered on the gospel. The kids were laughing, giggling, playing games, taking care of each other....it's impossible to not feel happy when you're in the middle of a family like that. We were also able to meet an old Chinese man while visiting a recent convert and share a lesson with him. He was completely prepared for the gospel, and I'm so excited for Elder C to continue teaching him and baptize him next. 

It has been amazing to spend so much time in Tawau and see the fruits of our labors. There has been wonderful change and heartbreaking stumbling blocks, but overall, I love these people like family. I know that Heavenly Father loves each one of us, because I have seen it and felt it. I know that this is the Lord's work, and it will never stop! Tawau will continue to grow forever, and I'm so excited to meet many more new people who are waiting for the gospel. 

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