Wednesday, June 17, 2009

"The Eternal Happiness of Stangers"

This week has been absolutely amazing! Elder Wheelwright and I had a blast with the work and found many people who were willing to listen to the gospel.

We met with a few new investigators last week. One in particular was staying way out of our area for a week, but we really wanted to see her, so we managed to set up an appointment anyway (in the Singapore Zone, we’re allowed to cross area boundaries anytime because of the size of the island). We headed over there, but she wasn’t able to make it to the MRT station. We had to wait for forever for the bus to come, got to the place she was staying and finally found her. Unfortunately, she really wanted to show us her place even though we said that we had no time, so we wasted a whole bunch of time and didn’t have too much time to teach. Just an example of one of our really random appointments. Anyhow, we met up with Julie again. Had a good appointment with her. She has had some great questions. She doesn’t feel comfortable praying yet, so we’re helping her along slowly.

Seoko was finally able to meet up with us over the weekend. Unfortunately, he still couldn’t come to Church, and really has not kept any of his commitments. He’s been learning for over a year now, and we have had so much hope in him. But, we finally realized that we can’t keep relying on that hope if there’s no basis so we’re dropping him next week. We met up with a former investigator named Wilson, who had dropped us when I first got in the area. Randomly bumped into him onto the bus about a month ago and he was willing to meet. Had a wonderful appointment with him. Lim Yi, one of members came along and bore wonderful testimony. Wilson hasn’t been too good with life, wanting more friends and really know his purpose in life, so we’ll be working on that. He even committed to coming to Church.

Unfortunately, all our investigators who said they would come to Church didn’t, except for Pan. Thankfully, a family member brought a relative. It’s a rather interesting relation, so I won’t mention it, but that was good, and we’re seeing him later this week. It seems to be a really big commitment for people, especially at nine in the morning. I guess that’s how you separate the wheat from the tares. Elder Wheelwright and I ended the week well though, we reached most of our goals to lead the zone! The Office Elders are truly President’s chosen! But really, the Lord has been so tender to us this week, His kindness and His love, that’s what has pulled us through.

We are still working with Pan, and she is progressing slowly, but surely. We’re praying for her. We met up with an Anglican youth worker this week. We, surprisingly, had a very good discussion. There weren’t any harsh accusations or comments. We had Elder Richards with us, and had a good session to discuss the restored gospel. I love it when people can think clearly and logically. Elder Perrett and I went on exchanges one last time, and he introduced me to some wonderful Burmese investigators who are excited to learn. It really is worth it as you find Heavenly Father’s prepared children.

Working with some of the other Elders this week to help motivate them. I had no idea what to train on for District meeting, even up till the morning itself. But, somehow, the inspiration and Spirit helped me out, and it was absolutely wonderful. Today’s title is taken from my training, which was entitled “The Eternal Happiness of Strangers.” The very first section of Preach My Gospel really is motivating. The bulk of the training was taken from President Eyring’s talk, Man Down, given in the Priesthood session of the last General Conference that to me was absolutely amazing. President Eyring stated,

“Satan and his followers were cast down into the earth. And since the creation of Adam and Eve, the conflict has continued. We have seen it intensify. And the scriptures suggest that the war will become more violent and the spiritual casualties on the Lord’s side will mount.”

He recounted an account of the bravery of two soldiers during a conflict in Somalia, and ended the account, saying :

“…I wonder if they saw it that way as they moved to the downed airmen. Out of loyalty they felt a duty to stand by their fellow soldiers, whatever the cost. The courage to act and their selfless service came from feeling that they were responsible for the lives, the happiness, and the safety of comrades.”

In the same way, I am working on constantly developing that sense of responsibility. There is too much to say, but towards the end, he makes a wonderful comment,

“My prayer is that you will have joy in your priesthood service throughout your life and forever. I pray that you will develop the bravery and love for Heavenly Father’s children that led the sons of Mosiah to plead for the chance to face death and danger to take the gospel to a hardened people. Their desire and their bravery came from feeling responsible for the eternal happiness of strangers in danger of eternal misery.”

I had the chance to test that bravery and love that very evening. We were invited to the release dinner of Elders Perrett and Taiamoni, who had both been Assistants, and so had worked closely with them. Had a wonderful dinner, then decided to take public transport home to find some people. The first contact that I had was the worst that I have ever had on my mission. I sat down to talk to a man, who was friendly, and so I passed him a pamphlet. The next instant, I found it thrown back at me. His friend next to him started threatening me, and telling me that I couldn’t do that at all, my explanations were to no avail. The anger in his eyes were evident, and I was rather shocked. It was embarrassing, but more than that, it was hurtful that someone would reject me so vehemently and spitefully. When we got out, I took a deep breath, not sure if I could talk to anyone else that night. Thankfully, the Lord is merciful to His servants, and I soon had Elder Wheelwright pass me someone to talk to because the lady only spoke Chinese. She was friendly, and I took courage from that, talking to a few other people that night. But, that was an experience. I have never seen such hatred and anger before.

But, we take it comes, don’t we, we plead for the opportunity to serve the Lord as we are truly converted to His gospel. That has been the case for me this past week. I don’t know how I would have handled it at any other time. But, the Lord is merciful, and he provided with comfort and peace, and love.

Well, have a wonderful week, there are some new photos up!

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