Wednesday, July 30, 2008

"But If Not"


Well, I've had an awesome week. I've learned much and we've also have had great success with our investigators. We had our Zone Conference and that was wonderful. President Skelton gave the missionaries an expectation that we should have a baptism once every two weeks, and that we should be teaching at least 70 people a week. It's a relatively high expectation, but I know that we can do it. The training focused on being able to teach more effectively. We were taught that if we really wanted to teach, that there were a few steps/attributes that we needed to develop.

Attribute #1: A willingness to seek and listen to the promptings of the Holy Ghost
Without the Holy Ghost as our constant companion, we can't achieve what the Lord would have us do!
Attribute #2: Be an example in obedience and humility
Such essential Christlike attributes.
Attribute #3: To have an earnest desire to learn
Can be applied in school or work too.
Attribute #4: To seek the Lord's help whilst preparing to teach
It's the only way, the Lord expects us to trust Him.
Attribute #5: To be able to bear witness of the truth
Have no fear when the Lord is on your side!

At the end, he summed it up by saying that as we follow these steps, we will be able to Define our expectation, Refine our expectation, and finally, Expect our expectation. I would go into more detail but then it would get way too long. Anyhow, in another talk, an Elder mentioned a statement that I thought was inspiring. He said that we need to forget ourselves and make our purpose, our Master's purpose. We really do need to see and understand what our Master's purpose is so that we can really do what He would have us to, and help Him bring back His children into His arms. In the afternoon. the Assistants to the President trained us on using Principles of Power (POPs) found in Pg. 178-179 of the missionary manual, Preach My Gospel, to achieve CHOPS (Chains of Spiritual Experiences). We have tried it out these past few days and we have had amazing results with it.

Oh, random note: do not eat two and a half MacDonald's' burgers and an apple pie for lunch or you'll feel really unwell (we had that and pizza for lunch at the Zone Conference).

Anyhow, we've taught a few people that we are having great progress with. Elder Pace made contact with a Malaysian Chinese lady named Yook Kuan. We were able to teach her, with the help of a recently returned missionary named Glen Lewis. He has been helping us out with many of our appointments. When we taught her on Saturday, she was able to understand what we taught her but she still didn't seem too sure of what we had taught. We persuaded her to attend Church with us the next day, and I believe that it went well. Before I go on to the rest of Sunday, well, we had a wonderful experience Saturday evening. Elder Pace and I had had been given a referral from Brazil a few days ago, and we had decided to visit the family soon, but we weren't able to go day after day because our schedules got too full, so we put it off on Thursday, then Friday, then Friday day. We finally trudged our way into the family's neighborhood on Saturday. We got a little lost, but finally found our way there. When we got to the house and announced ourselves, we weren't sure what kind of reaction we were going to receive. We were extremely happy with the reception that we got. The family invited us in, sat us down, and talked to us, talked about them, and us, and the Church, and they fed us dinner. It turns out that the lady's boss was a former mission president in Brazil, and she had been attending Church all the times that she had gone back to Brazil for visits. It was a very uplifting experience, because the parents said that they wanted to make the commitment to start going to Church frequently, and their kids were excited about it too. They turned up at Church early on Sunday, and we were able to pass them on to the expatriate ward Elders.

As for Yook Kuan, the best thing that happened after Church on Sunday is that we were able to sit with her, and three returned missionaries (RMs), including Glen, who did a wonderful job answering her questions. I really felt the Spirit in the room as we answered her questions and taught her more about the gospel of Jesus Christ. That moment are the ones that I really want to have more in my mission, when you know that every person in the room has their eye single to the glory of God.

Right after that lesson, we taught a member's boyfriend. His name Jun Ying, and he's a 16 year old kid. Anyhow, we were able to share with him the message of the Restoration, and we explained to him why there are so many Churches on this Earth, and how we believe that God has sent a Prophet back to Earth to lead and guide his people. The lesson went wonderfully well, and the best part about that lesson was that he was willing to pray at the end of the lesson. To us, an investigator willing to pray in front of us is a big indicator in showing that he or she is progressing. Sunday really was just a great day. Later on in the afternoon, we met up with Ming Lee. We showed him the video The Restoration, which is a reenactment of Joseph Smith's story. He didn't seem too moved by the video, but at the end, he still gave a shot at praying so that was wonderful. After we were done with the lesson, we asked him if he had anything to do, and he didn't. So, we gave him a tour of the Church, and then persuaded him to go with us over to a member's home for dinner. The members fellow shipped him really well, and we are hoping that that has made an impact on him and that he will be comfortable attending Church with us now.

Monday wasn't the best day, first of all, because it was Monday, and on Monday, no one ever really wants to talk. On Tuesday, we taught my Aunt in the early afternoon, band she seemed really receptive and had a lot of questions, and hopefully we answered them well. We spent the next few hours walking around, trying to look up inactive members in Toa Payoh, which really wasn't successful and hot, and we didn't have time to have dinner before our next appointment, so we were pretty annoyed and tired. As missionaries, we are together 24/7, so it can get pretty crazy at times, because you're always with the same person! But, our last appointment turned the day around. It was a great way to end the day. Our investigator for the evening was a lady from China named Linda. She has been taught by many missionaries, but she never really understood them because they rushed through the lessons. We we able to go through a lesson with her at a slower place and spent much time explaining the principles to her. At the end of the lesson, she prayed, and... she accepted a baptism date! It's set for August 16th, so we're definitely hoping and praying that it will go through!

We had a great district meeting yesterday, where we learned that the Lord really does expect us to trust Him, to put our trust in His arm and not in the arm of flesh. Faith is both a belief and an action word. We need to believe then act on it! In the Book of Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego showed what kind of trust and faith that we have to have in the Lord . In Daniel 3:14-18, it reads:

Nebuchadnezzar spake and said unto them, Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, do not ye serve my gods, nor worship the golden image which I have set up? Now if ye be ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the image which I have made; well: but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands? Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

What faith!

Anyhow, that's all for the week! Take care! :)

Well, here are a couple of photos for your viewing pleasure! Finally! Have an awesome week! Do write letters or leave a comment on the blog if you have time!

National University of Singapore Cultural Center

Dinner at the Petersen home for an early birthday celebration (July 3rd)

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