Wednesday, March 18, 2009

"Preaching The Restored Gospel"

Sister Jacelyn, Sister Germaine, Sister Angelina, Brother Yong, Me, and Elder Palfreyman

Well... This week was definitely one of some ups and downs... but...

Angelina was baptized on Saturday and confirmed on Sunday! Her husband, Brother Yong, got to baptize her. It was wonderful. The other two sisters in the photo are two wonderful ward missionaries who did an amazing job fellowshipping Sister Angelina, and who taught along with us, and who also bore porwerful testimonies. The Bishop mentioned that it was the first baptism of the year. I think he thinks that we were a little slow getting into it. The thing is that what members don't realize is that missionaries are there to teach. We do a lot of finding, but the members themselves are supposed to do missionary work, because member referrals produce the highest number of baptisms! But, they are very diligent at accompanying us to appointments, and I love them for that. They really are stalwart members.

We had a pretty slow week, mainly because I sick, so we stayed in in the evenings for a few days.We did have a lesson with a man from Laos, since we randomly ordered three copies of The Book of Mormon in Laotian. I guess you could say that the rest of the week was pretty uneventful except for the baptism, but baptisms make up for everything else! It's also been nice to get back into contacting these past couple of days, because I've been able to talk/teach some really nice people, including a Filipina who was baptized when she was ten but, hasn't been active for about twenty or more years. She was really friendly though, and asked about the Joseph Smith story, so I recounted it to her. She also remembered the missionaries who baptized her family, and the hymn, Count Your Blessings! Randomly cool!
When we went to Sister Angelina's place for a recent convert lesson yesterday, she fed us some red bean soup, and was very excited to tell us something. We thought that she was going to give us a referral, but it turned out to be something different. Apparently, about an hour before, she had been feeding her Mom (who has dementia), at a Subway. When she turned away to break a cookie, her Mom walked off! So, we ended up going Mom-searching with her. Thankfully, her Mom managed to find her way home, so that was great, but rather random.

Met up with Joe late last week, and had a good appointment with him. He went to Melaka for a school trip over the weekend, and now we can't get a hold of him! He is supposed to have his baptismal interview this week, so we are rather worried. Just hope that he is safe and well! Raja also disappeared after going to Indonesia for a couple of weeks! Can't have our investigators leaving the country anymore.
The Lord was wonderfully merciful to me this week. As I said earlier, I'd been rather sick and was pretty down. As I sat down on Sunday to eat a snack, I started reading the articles on self-reliance by President Marion G. Romney and Elder M. Russell Ballard in this months Ensign. It was as if my mind was opened up, and all that I read just made sense. The Spirit was so strong and spoke to me about the beauty of that concept, about the need for physical, but especially for spiritual self-reliance. Later on, while we were on a bus to an appointment, I started having these impressions about member missionary work that kept on coming! Elder Palfreyman and I had been discussing a couple of days earlier what we could do to involve and energize the members, and we were drawing a blank. One wonderful thought that came to me was that it really can be and is hard to talk to our friends and family about the gospel, and we, more often than not, have to go out of our ways to do that. But then, bthe thought came to me that it was very out of the way for the Savior to have to come down to this Earth and serve himself as a sacrifice for us. It got me to thinking about the Atonement in a different than I had always looked at it, and the thoughts that came to my mind literally overhelmed me. The events and feeling of that day really confirmed to me that I really do have a Heavenlt Father who loves me and cares for me. His tender mercies really are wonderful.

While we were waiting for Joe at NUS last week, there was an Islamic Awareness week going on, so I was looking at some of the exhibits, then read a bit from a Koran at a table there, and ended up being taught/proselyted by a Muslim guy there. They gave us each a beautiful copy of the Koran, and some books on Islam! It was very interesting, and surprising to see the similarities between Mormons and Muslims. Actually reading a book about that now. It's unfortunate how ignorant some people are, and show it through their words. Pity. It's also been discouraging to read on the Church website that HBO is going to air an episode on Big Love about temples. It shows you how unfeeling and callous people are: I mean, how far will people go just to make a buck? It is very sad to see that, our sacred rites being desecrated. To counter that, we've just ordered fifty DVDs about the temple called From Heaven to Earth, where many prominent scholars talk about the beauty of temples, and what it really represents. You can watch it on, or I hope that it will all work out somehow. But, I know that the Lord will protect His Saints, for "No unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing." As the Church put it in a statement they issued, "If the Church allowed critics and opponents to choose the ground on which its battles are fought, it would risk being distracted from the focus and mission it has pursued successfully for nearly 180 years. Instead, the Church itself will determine its own course as it continues to preach the restored gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the world." I am humbled to be a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. What a privilege it is to represent my Heavenly Father and His Son.
The work goes on! Have a wonderful week!

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