Sunday, December 28, 2014

Christmas Week

Hey guys! This week was so crazy! We basically had parties all through Monday to Friday and then didn't get a lot of missionary work done, but I ended up with 6 more investigators in my teaching pool and still met with every single member and got to carol to them and I tried sharing a small message with them before we went to the next house.
Basically, like I said last Christmas, Christmas week is just a week of eating, and sometimes it's a little overbearing.  My Sibu Christmas was pretty well-rounded.  Not too much, but still a lot of food. Especially the pork. I gotta love the pork. With chilis. Yummm..... :)
Anyway I'm doing very well right now.  Like I said, we got 6 new investigators.  Two from some other elders that just moved to our area, two from a part member family that we found, and two from contacting, so once I find out which ones will turn out to be good, I'll let you know. But from my experience, the ones that are from part member families are always the ones that work out the best. ;)  But you never know, each soul is important to God.
This week I have realised more than ever how much I need to stop caring about myself and think of others. The people here have a lot less than I do. I thank all those who give me gifts for Christmas, but as my mission is starting to come to a close in about 6 months, I am trying to find how I can help those that are in need.  Although I am certainly not a rich person on my mission, but I have enough for myself and also to give others.  But it's so easy sometimes to use that extra money on a nice KFC or something. ;)
As for New Year's Resolutions, I am thinking about studying the Bible more earnestly.  I have not really enjoyed the Bible much on my mission, but now I'm trying to understand it more clearly. I also want to continue learning my mission language by learning at least 10 words per day. That may seem like a lot, but I know I can do it. I've learned 100 words in one day before, so I know I can do it. I challenge all of you to push yourselves and do the best you can with this new year. We only have so many years to prepare before the great and terrible day of our Lord.
Elder Vincent

Monday, December 22, 2014

Masuk Hutan, Cari Miding

Hey guys, this morning I woke up to go to Sister Madeline's house to help her find what is called "miding".  It is a special kind of vegetable (they are all just leaves here) that we were looking for. We waded through the forest for a while when we got to a lovely, bushy, thorny area that loves to scratch up my legs, and she starts pulling leaves down from the bushes, but not just any kind of leaves. They are speccciial kind. But honestly, they look like every other leaf in the forest.  She then taught us what ones are good and what ones aren't.  She can point them out from a mile away, and yet while she is pointing we still couldn't see them.  After a few minutes of trying to pick these out, I got the general idea of what makes this "miding" vegetable different.  And then I picked the most out of my group.
This idea of having a hard time picking out the right leaf could be an important idea of missionary work... still processing it in my head. I'll be thinking about it more later, but I think it's good that the member had to show us which ones were the good ones and which ones to leave alone. Just like they know which people are good investigators, etc.
Anyway this week was probably our most productive week. I had this crazy thought in my head to go through the area book and find all the names of people that DON'T have phone numbers on them, and then to just write down those names in my planner and just hunt them down. This has helped find some potential investigators, and one time we knocked on the wrong door  (cuz when it said the third floor of a place, it doesnt specify whether it is the left door or right door, so I knocked on the one that looked Christian, and the person answered, we asked if she knew the member we were looking for and she didn't know, and then I contacted her and she asked us to come and teach her a little bit. Nice little miracle for this week! :) )
Otherwise, we have had a few Christmas parties.  One on Saturday, again on Sunday.  Both were followed AFTER a baptismal service, one being the son of the branch president that just turned 18. The water accidentally started draining about an hour before, so it was pretty low.  President Gara tried getting him all the way down but failed the first time, and then everyone laughed! wow, I was a bit shocked. When I baptised somebody back in Bintulu, and had to do it twice, everyone was quiet. Quite a rowdy crowd here in Sibu.
This week is Christmas, or better known here as the Day of Eating. Yup... I will be eating all throughout the 24th and 26th.  More than any of you have ever eaten before in your life. It's.... going to be quite an experience. :) *gulp in fear*
Elder Vincent

Monday, December 15, 2014

Zone Conference at Christmas Time in Singapore

Hey guys. So This last week I was in Singapore like I said earlier. The main thing we learned from our Zone Conference is sharing the Gift. They shared the Mormon message with us about sharing the gift. I learned a lot from that and now I'm pumped to share the gift with others.
This last Saturday we had our Pre-Christmas party. We were asked to do a little play on the Joseph Smith story. My companion was Joseph Smith. I was the dark spirit that came and bound his tongue. That was a lot of fun to do. We also were asked to be wise men in the party, but it wasn't as big of a part. Our church finally got air conditioning back this week. It was out for 2 weeks and church has been very very hot.
Our investigator, Ju came to the party too! She's starting to make friends in the church. She basically is another member, except she has been so busy this month to meet with us, so that's the downside. But I'm hoping that this new transfer will come out well.
We are starting to get a lot more referrals coming in and so this next week will be in for contacting them all and start teaching them. We have our youth conference today through Wednesday, so a lot of our members will be there, but we aren't allowed to go there with them. 
We also found a recent convert that got lost in the works when she changed her phone number (here in Malaysia, they just go buy new sim cards every now and then. they are cheap, like 3 or 4 ringgit usually. I'm not sure why, but it really is difficult on missionary work here when members change their number every other week) but she is super awesome, but has not been to church for a few months now. I am excited to work with her and try to bring her back. Our branch is doing extremely well still. Christmas is coming up though, but it isn't Christmas here in Malaysia. It is the Day of Binge-Eating-Until-You-Want-To-Die. I thought it would be rather relaxed because most people go back to their village for the vacation, but I just found out yesterday that there will still be plenty of people here to make sure we get stuffed from sun up to sun down... Yay.... errrrr. :/ but it should be fun. it will be my last Christmas in the mission, so I gotta make the most out of it. :)

That's all for this week.
Elder Vincent

Thursday, December 11, 2014

December 10, 2014

Hey guys so this week I went to Singapore for Zone Conference, so I couldn't email this Monday. I have had a great week so far, but it is very saddening to me.  My favorite elders are going home next transfer and they just gave their testimonies.
One of them gave me a pair of socks that their parents send every single package, which is good cuz all of my socks have holes in them already.  I got a picture with almost all of my companions there, because 3 of them are going home.
I got back into Malaysia with 90 days, which is the miracle of the mission, because I might have the sketchiest passport in the mission atm...
This week was kind of the breaking point for our investigators.  If they didn't come this week, that means they can't be baptized for this year. And... one of them came. Which is great, but she is really hard to meet with, so she won't be ready until maybe January. The one that could be baptized this year had problems coming to church, but I'm not going to give up. There's still hope. For next year at least. ;)
I actually can't remember what happened this week.  It went by so fast. We have a Christmas party coming up this Saturday and we are in charge of putting a 10 minute activity together. We've been asked to do some sort of Joseph Smith story.  Not sure how that has to do with Christmas, but I think I tied it in well with the branch president's goal to have every member read the book of Mormon all the way through next year. I am going to go very hard in getting them to follow up with that. It's a good idea and should be done by everyone! That's how I got a testimony, and I know that's how everyone will be able to strengthen their testimony.

Elder Vincent

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

December 1, 2014

Hey Guys Happy Thanksgiving and Black Friday to ya. :)
This week was a great week and also a very sad week. To start off everything, everyone is dying! Death is thrusting his sickle with his might, and literally every single investigator we have taught has had a relative die in the last week, and so they go back to take care of the burial, which usually means they will be gone for a month. So bye bye investigators, we bid thee farewell... hopefully in a month you'll come back.... :)
And Then there's us americans. eating our hearts delight out over a night thankgiving feast.
Yes. thanksgiving... yummmy and delicious with chicken, mashed potatoes, and pie. lots and lots of pie. and bergers and fries and waffles and everything else.
After all that food, there was still two chickens left, so I took them home, made it into curry chicken one day, and then the next day I made it into black peppered chicken. mmmm :) 
This week we have had quite a bit of success finding some new less actives and some potential investigators with part member families. We had 3 major families commit to come to church but didn't come...dang it... but it's ok there's always next week, right? 
We practiced for our Christmas party coming up on the 13th of December, we are doing a little nativity play and what not. I am a wiseman. 
I also translated that garment video too into Malay to help the senior couple in their temple prep class. That was fun, since he gave it to me and to a native and we tried to use as deep Malay as possible until it got so ridiculous we had to dumb it down. haha that was fun. :) 
Oh yeah and the church had no power for church. No air conditioning. We were all burning up.
Somebody apparently came in WHILE we are all in the church, cut a wire, and left without being noticed. Sad day.
Oh and its raining every day all day long now. welcome to rainy season! :) 

Elder Vincent