Wednesday, September 3, 2008

"Courage, Brethren!"

Well well,

It's been a crazy week! The whole mission has been going loco! We had six emergency transfers happen! So poor President Skelton has had to deal with a bunch of problems. First of all, we had the emergency transfer with my companionship. My new companion, Elder Pace T, is from Mesa, AZ, and he is a really great guy. He works really hard, but also has fun at the same time. We have had a lot of success this week, the best week that I've had so far! We taught over a hundred lessons, and for the investigators that we have with a baptism date, well, it went up from two to eight, so we're working hard, but also working smart! We've been calling a lot of former investigators to see if they want to learn again, and it has been very successful! We also are contacting some of my relatives and parents friends to see if they are willing to learn! We're meeting with a couple of them later on this week, so hopefully something comes of it!

One of my favorite Elders got thrown in jail for a second time because of visa issues. He finally got out and is back in Singapore now, but he can't get back into Malaysia, so they are short of a Zone Leader there, and they're trying to work something out. One of our Zone Leaders in Singapore had to go home because of some family problems at home in Sri Lanka, where there is a civil war raging, so we're praying that all will work out for him. So, we've had a whole mess of Elders moving all around the mission! So, I'm now the longest-staying missionary in our apartment, so many changes! But, I know that the Lord has His hand in all of this, and we have to just trust and follow Him.

Been having headaches/dizzy spells these past couple of weeks, so I had an MRI done. The results seem fine, but if they continue to persist, I'll probably go back to the doctor for another consultation. The neurologist thinks it's just stress-tension headaches, so I guess we'll see how it goes and pray that all goes well.

Our investigators are doing well and are progressing. We have Aravin, who is praying about whether or not he should perform a couple of Hindu rituals for the sake of his family before he gets baptized, or to just go for it. We respect his decision either way, and I can definitely understand the situation that he is in. He will definitely get baptized though, because Michelle, his girlfriend, a member, and him want and are planning to get married in the temple, the house of the Lord! :) Prasanth is Michelle's brother's best friend who has been coming to Church and who has taken a couple of discussions. He has accepted a baptism date, but he has to work it out with his family, because he is only sixteen. While going through our list of former investigators, we found a report about a boy named Jovian, who was found by some sister missionaries three years ago. We've been able to meet up with him, and he knows that the Church is true! He came for Stake Conference and loved a talk that was given about it being a commandment that every worthy and able male of the Church should serve a mission. The only downside is that he has some problems with his leg and spine, so he has to walk with crutches. He has for the past six years. We are doing our best to help him reach the waters of baptism. He almost did three years ago, and we're not letting him go this time. He is a great kid, and we hope that all will be alright. The only problem is his family. His Mom is a staunch Presbyterian, and she is openly opposed to the Church. It seems that the problem that we keep facing in Singapore is the family. I guess it has both it's pros and cons. In Asia, the family really is the central unit of society, and we grow up with the mentality that family is always first, which is good. The thing that irks me a little about that is that people give up their free agency, their right to choose. It almost seems that they are double-knotted to their Mom's apron strings, and there is no way to get out of that tangle. Honestly, I really do believe that our biggest challenge that we face are the families of our investigators.

But, all we do is to go forth in faith. As it says in Doctrine & Covenants 128:22, "Brethren, shall we not go on in so great a cause? Go forward and not backward. Courage, brethren; and on, on to the victory! Let your hearts rejoice, and be exceedingly glad. Let the earth break forth into singing. Let the dead speak forth anthems of eternal praise to the King Immanuel, who hath ordained, before the world was, that which would enable us to redeem them out of their prison; for the prisoners shall go free.

We just need to go on to victory! We can all do our part to have all those around us have "a feeling of exquisite wonder for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and plant in them that seed of faith, hope, and charity, that will help them to know of the truths of this restored gospel. Have courage and faith, and the Lord will build the rest!

Do write! Take care!

1 comment:

NannyOgden =-) said...

I snjoy reading your letters each week. I did not know that you get thrown in jail for a visa problem! That must be frightening for you missionaries! And I am sad to hear that civil war still rages in Sri Lanka. But, you are right! God is on your side and all will be well. I am also sorry to hear that you've got serious health issues - my son-in-law has had very bad mirgraines as well, and they , too, don't know what is causing them - keep moving forward and I will keep you in my prayers.