Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Sandakan Approach

I'm emailing on Tuesday because the power went out a few minutes after getting onto emailing yesterday. This week was very memorable for me and I will always remember it for the rest of my life. This week was so awesome in so many ways.
Elder Ormsby and Elder Lundquist came on splits with us for Wednesday and zone meeting that morning. It was awesome to catch up with him after a few months of not being in the same zone. I got a package from my parents and a letter from my Bishop's wife. Thank you Diane! :)
Then afterwards, they weren't really given time to do splits, because they immediately left to the airport after eating lunch.
We worked a lot with R, an investigator for the other elders. He and another 8-year old in his family, U were baptized this Saturday.
Saturday was probably the most stressful day ever. We were trying to make sure everything went to plan, but we got to the church at 1pm and we found out that the program wasn't made, and that we had to make it, so I had to make a new template for a program (which is super difficult on OpenOffice) just to find out that it doesn't work out, so I had another Elder get my hard drive from the house, which had the baptism programs I made in Bintulu.  Just like the Mormon Standard Time, the baptism started 30 minutes late, but by then we had more members there than a normal sacrament meeting.
Then after the baptism, we had a bunch of youth together like I'd never seen before. We had a night games activity with them, which included a twisted version of cops&robbers and dodge ball. However, the robbers were chasing the cops, so something was wrong there... Haha.
While playing dodge ball, my shoe finally gave way and it ripped apart. It was Saturday night and I didn't have any other pair of shoes, so that Sunday morning I was forced to tape my shoe together. Our branch mission leader laughed and said "If you were in my mission, the members would heckle the crap out of you, and then even though they are poor, they would buy you a new pair".
Fortunately, we don't have to wear shoes in Church, so I got away with my taped-shoes for the day, and then I just barely bought a cheap pair of shoes until I can take out my other pair in Singapore next month.
Anyway, we had 48 people at Church on Sunday!! 48!! That is a huge jump from what we were getting in the last 6 weeks.  I am really pumped and hopeful for this Branch. We are really trying to form this Branch not by teaching lessons and getting numbers, but by actually fixing problems and bringing people back to activity with a DESIRE to learn, not a forceful desire that we push on them.

Then finally Monday is the part I will always remember.
We went to catch crabs with Michael, but an hour away from home, he doesn't remember where to catch them. We are all hungry and tired, and don't know how to get home. We're super sun burnt, and I'm the only one with a phone or wallet. We finally have somebody stop and pull us out to their village, which happened to be only a mile away.  A Muslim family was very hospitable and gave us some food and drinks before we hit the road. We then got back to Michael's house to pick up our stuff and we were pretty miserable. We decided we would just go email and then take a nice cold shower afterwards.
10 minutes into emailing there is a blackout in Sandakan. So much for emailing... Then we go home, and then blast the air conds and the showers, and just relax for a little while. It was one of the worst and best and memorable days ever. :)


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