Good Afternoon Everybody!!! Soooo many emotions are going through my head right now, and once again, my heart is pumping and I'm nervous for no reason! I can't believe how fast the time is slipping away. I hope to enjoy every second of every single day. I am being transferred to KL Puchong Branch for the last few weeks of my mission. I am excited and grateful for this opportunity, and I'll be serving with Elder C again (my first "son" or Elder who I trained).
I will dearly miss the people here ...I feel like some of them will be my friends forever. I am especially excited for Brother T who will be baptized this weekend. I am also grateful that a family I started teaching with Elder S was baptized in Bintulu this past week. I know that the Lord's work goes on. This is His work, and I am simply blessed to play a part in it. At the beginning of my mission, I wanted to find as many new investigators as possible, hope that they'd all choose to be baptized. Now, I am just grateful for each small moment and miracle that happens throughout each day. I know that the little things are what matter the most. I pray that I can continue to lose myself in the work, and give all of the praise to God.
I am grateful for the people who I have been able to interact with here in Miri. This past week, as we met with one of the recent converts here, we talked about the purpose of life. He is planning on going on a mission, and we did a role-play of him contacting me and trying to share about the Plan of Salvation. As the stranger in the role-play, I told him that I didn't believe in a god who would allow so much hurt, sorrow, and pain in this world. I told him that there was no evidence of anything, and that lasting happiness through Christ was a fairy tale, make-believe notion that only a naive child could be deceived into believing. Immediately, without any nervousness or hesitation, he boldly told me to open my eyes and look around. There are blessings and gifts from a loving Heavenly Father all around us. We have families, friends, food, jobs, transportation, a home to live in, and many, many, many other things that we often overlook and take for granted. As the member shared his testimony with me, I just started crying. I am so grateful for all that Heavenly Father gives me. I am most grateful that He was willing to give His son to us. I know that Jesus Christ suffered for me, died for me, and rose again so that I could have a chance to obtain eternal life with my family. I know these things are true!
Throughout the week as we continued to help Brother T prepare for baptism, I was continually astonished that with each new lesson, even if we were reviewing things, he was sharing things that he could have only received through revelation. His testimony of Christ is so strong. He has progressed so quickly, and his conversion is so deep. During the third hour of church Sunday, we read through and studied Alma chapter 5. When the question was asked, "What is repentance?" Brother T replied, "It is change." "What is conversion?" "Continuing change." Such simple, yet powerful answers. When do I change the most? What do I need to change? As I pondered these things, I again felt gratitude and humility because of Jesus Christ's Atonement.
27 Have ye walked, keeping yourselves blameless before God? Could ye say, if ye were called to die at this time, within yourselves, that ye have been sufficiently humble? That your garments have been cleansed and made white through the blood of Christ, who will come to redeem his people from their sins?
28 Behold, are ye stripped of pride? I say unto you, if ye are not ye are not prepared to meet God.
15 Yea, he that truly humbleth himself, and repenteth of his sins, and endureth to the end, the same shall be blessed
23 And now I would that ye should be humble, and be submissive and gentle; easy to be entreated; full of patience and long-suffering; being temperate in all things; being diligent in keeping the commandments of God at all times; asking for whatsoever things ye stand in need, both spiritual and temporal; always returning thanks unto God for whatsoever things ye do receive.
10 Be thou humble; and the Lord thy God shall lead thee by the hand, and give thee answer to thy prayers.
Whenever I think of the things that Jesus did for me with a grateful heart, I feel the Spirit. I want to show my love for Christ, because I feel it! I taste of the fruit and feel the most joy when I am grateful for my Savior. This week, I will always have a prayer of gratitude in my heart, and I will do my best to repent and acknowledge the Savior as I make mistakes and humbly remember my dependence upon him rather than waiting until my nightly prayer. I am grateful these things have been made known unto me.
It was a special opportunity this week to go on exchanges with Elder J. His attitude, faith, joy, and his desire to help the people around him, including me, was infectious. We had so much fun! From the very first minute of nightly planning, we decided we were going to have the best day we'd ever had. As we met people, Elder J didn't hesitate to ask questions, bear testimony, and invite them to repent. There was no doubt ithat he truly wanted to help the people we encountered. He boosted my faith and humbled me in many ways.
It was also a very unique opportunity to be able to visit a few of the investigators and members that Elder P taught when he was year a year ago this week as he came back with his family. In every appointment, we specifically taught towards helping these people bear testimony. It was interesting to me that the strongest and most powerful moment in each visit was when the people were able to personally bear testimony of the things they felt and believed. I pray that I can continue to remember that I am just the guide, not the teacher. As we hear testimonies and bear our own testimonies to one another, we give our testimony a chance to grow and flourish. In the beginning of my mission, I would often struggle with knowing what to say, how to say it, and I would stumble in responding to many questions. I now know that more often than not, a simple testimony of Christ invites the Spirit and helps the receiver learn more than anything complex or eloquent I would've said if I relied on my own wisdom, knowledge, and reason.
I must be more humble. I have learned so much from Elder LW and I will miss being his companion. He has taught me the importance of being united and supporting your companion. He has been there every step of the way for me, and he has been bold in the things he strongly believes. I'm grateful for his integrity and accountability. I know that he faces the Lord and is on a mission because he loves Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
Whether I am meeting with people on the street, teaching investigators, encouraging less active and active members, or sharing with other missionaries, the people who I learn from the most and who make the biggest impact upon my heart are those that are humble and selfless. One of the members here in Miri shared with us trial upon trial upon trial that she has been going through before asking us for a blessing. Amidst all of the challenges and obstacles, she had been serving others, doing visiting teaching, cooking for members, organizing activities, helping the missionaries, and taking care of her family. She was completely selfless, even though she had every reason to be selfish and turn inwards. She was humble enough to know that she needed help from the Lord and couldn't do everything on her own. I hope I can be more like her in all that I do!
7 And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.
8 The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he?
9 Therefore, hold on thy way, and the priesthood shall remain with thee; for their bounds are set, they cannot pass. Thy days are known, and thy years shall not be numbered less; therefore, fear not what man can do, for God shall be with you forever and ever.
I know that Jesus Christ knows each one of us perfectly. I know that Heavenly Father has designed a plan for each one of us to have the greatest chance to achieve exaltation. As we remain humble, repent, turn outwards, and hold on, I know that all things work for our good. We are never alone. I love being a missionary, and I'm grateful for the opportunities I have each day to bring happiness into others' lives.
I am forever grateful that I've been able to serve as a zone leader here in Miri and Bintulu. I'm so excited for the things that are happening here, and I know that there are many things that still lie in store for me in KL.