Wednesday, August 13, 2008

"Salvation Is Not A Cheap Experience"


We've had a pretty decent week. A couple of setbacks with a couple of our investigators but also some progress. We had an investigator from China who we were teaching, and she was doing really good till we asked her the baptismal interview questions. That's where she started to rail on about how strict the Church was and how she doesn't want to be baptized because the Church is too strict. We tried explaining to her that they are guideposts to make sure we don't go off the cliff, but she didn't seem convinced. She said that she might join the Church sometime. In the meantime, she said that she would continue reading the scriptures and praying, so we'll see how she does with that. I guess all we can do is hope and pray that she'll eventually see the light. Met up with Alex, my grade school friend, to have lunch with him. I think that it's important not to just bombard them with doctrine. I think some missionaries treat investigators as statistics, but they are people! Children of God! It was nice to just talk about other things.

While we were taking the bus that same day, we got on a bus, thinking that it would take us to, well, where we wanted to go. Unfortunately, that didn't happen, so we ended up taking a huge detour. But, we did find someone who was pretty interested, so hopefully that works out! On the way home, as we were walking from the train station, it started drizzling. Suddenly, the rain just started pouring down on us. Elder Pace and I took off running, but I had to stop because I ran out of breath. Oh, we got completely drenched. You really do run into all sorts of different situations on your mission. It was really fun though. The simple things in life really are the best.

On Thursday, we headed over to the Shutes for lunch and had a great time over there. Elder Roberts and Elder Parker, the Mandarin Elders, were supposed to come, but never turned up. After lunch, we taught an investigator in Chinatown, then headed over to a food center by the Church to have dinner with a few members and an investigator. When we got there, we saw Elder Roberts and Elder Parker. Since we had some time, we sat down to talk. I was talking to Elder Parker while Elder Pace was talking to Elder Roberts. Turns out that the reason why they couldn't make lunch was because Elder Robert's Mom passed away unexpectedly. It was so shocking to hear, and I was deeply saddened by it. It also made me think about how much I love my parents and how much they have done for me. Funny how it takes an event like that to get you to really appreciate and understand what the most important thing in life really is. I love my family so much. The other thing that that news got me thinking about is how blessed we are to have knowledge about The Plan of Salvation, that, because of Heavenly Father's love for His children, we can live with our families for all time and eternity. I just hope that I can do my best now to show my parents just hoe much I love them and appreciate them. When I was growing up, I was always getting into arguments with them, especially my Mom, and thinking that it wasn't the dumbest thing ever, how strict my parents were and how I never got my way. Only now have I come to realize that I love my parents so much for all that they have done for me, how much my family has done for me, including my uncles and aunts. I just hope that I have enough time to repay them for all that they have done for me. The material things of this world are really nice to have, but they really don't matter at all if you don't have your family by your side. I have found true happiness and joy in my family. How grateful I am to have such loving parents and family members. Well, after talking to the Elders, we headed over and had dinner.

Church didn't off too well because all our investigators didn't turn up, so we ended up going to another class instead of the normal class we go to for investigators and recent converts. We were supposed to teach, but there wasn't any class, so I guess we'll teach next week. Anyhow, while we were helping out with the lesson in the other class we attended, one of investigators did turn up! Yook Kuan, who I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, is Malaysian Chinese who we have been teaching in Mandarin. We've passed her to the, Mandarin Elders, but we were able to teach her one more time after Church. We were talking to her about the Plan of Salvation and answering her queries, when she suddenly broke down as she talked about her childhood, and how it horrible. She asked why she had to born into a family where there wasn't any love. We explained to her that it was because God knew that she could handle it, and that now, through the gospel of Jesus Christ, she can overcome it. She is a really great lady. As she talked about her hardships and tribulations, I once again thought about how lucky I am to have a wonderful family I have and how much the Lord has blessed me.

The Bertasso's, who used to live in Singapore, came back to visit. Brother Bertasso just finished his assignment as Mission President of the Brazil San Paolo North Mission. Anyhow, the point I'm trying to make is that the Church world is really small, because it turns out that they are buying my previous BYU Stake President's house in Utah. Went over to the Tan's home for dinner. Brother Tan is the Stake Patriarch. Anyhow, they also invited Elder and Sister Shute over, along with the Oon family. We have been teaching their sixteen-year old son, Alex. Brother Oon went to BYU but isn't a member, while Sister Oon has been inactive. Anyhow, we were able to fellowship them, even though Alex wasn't there. Brother Oon is the CEO of the Singapore Sports Council so he was telling us about Singapore's position in the sporting world, along with how we're doing in the Olympics. Ate a bit too much. Elder Shute says he's done trying to keep me on a diet. Oh well.

Elder Pace hasn't been feeling to well the past couple of days. He came down with the flu, but he's doing better now. On Monday, we were able to meet up with Alex, my grade school friend, again. We taught him about the steps in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, well, part of it, and watched part of The Testaments, a movie made by the Church about Christ's appearance in the Americas. Thought it went pretty well. We'll be praying for him.

Yesterday was great! We had district meeting with our new District Leader, Elder Colvin. Elder Colvin has been serving in Malacca, Malaysia, for the past year and a month. That is very unusual. He was very excited for the change. He taught a great lesson on needing to put in our very best as missionaries. He took excepts from a couple of talks by Elder Jefferey R. Holland, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. I took the liberty of taking an excerpt from one of the talks because it is so powerful, and it talks about how much effort we need to put in. The talks are directed as missionaries, but they apply just as much to every member of the Church. He said,

"Anyone who does any kind of missionary work will have occasion to ask, Why is
this so hard? Why doesn't it go better? Why can’t our success be more rapid? Why
aren’t there more people joining the Church? It is the truth. We believe in
angels. We trust in miracles. Why don’t people just flock to the font? Why isn’t
the only risk in missionary work that of pneumonia from being soaking wet all
day and all night in the baptismal font? You will have occasion to ask those questions. I have thought about this a great deal. I offer this as my personal feeling. I am convinced that missionary work is not easy because salvation is not a cheap experience. Salvation never was easy. We are The Church of Jesus Christ, this is the truth, and He is our Great Eternal Head. How could we believe it would be easy for us when it was never, ever easy for Him? It seems to me that missionaries and mission leaders have to spend at least a few moments in Gethsemane. Missionaries and mission leaders have to take at least a step or two toward the summit of Calvary. “Missionary Work and the Atonement,” Ensign, Mar 2001, 8

We must try our hardest while doing missionary work. We can do it because it will never be too hard.

Anyhow, after lunch, we up the hill to the Oon's house. It was drizzling, but we made it up without getting to wet. It was getting way dark and windy though. Alex wasn't home, but his younger brothers were. Brandon, the middle kid, said that he would like to meet with us also so that's great! Their neighbors were listening, and, as we were walking down the hill, they offered us a ride, and we accepted. Hopefully we can teach them sometime. They're way nice!

We ended off the day with Ming Lee, reviewing what we have taught him so far. He still hasn't read The Book of Mormon, but he has prayed once. We're hoping that he starts reading and comes to Church! Well, have an awesome week!

Till next Wednesday, take care! Do write! Thanks to all those who have been writing! :)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We are really enjoying reading about serving a mission in the Singapore Mission!