Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Faith and Funnies

We've had a lot of crazy things happen to us this week, so I'll just go through the highlights.

Zone Conference was great as usual. President gave a wonderful training on revelation, about the ways that we can receive it, and how we can distinguish revelation from God. He emphasized the fact that we would not receive revelation on who we are going to marry on our missions. It was good to help us understand also how we are to receive revelation for our investigators, and what we can do to be more receptive to those spiritual prompts, that, can only make us stronger anyway.

The Assistants taught about the journey of conversion, how to teach and commit more effectively. Most trainings on this particular topic could very much end up long and boring, but the Assistants did a great job. A key point of their training was the need for the Spirit in all our lessons. It is up to the Spirit to convert, and so, we need to learn how to always have it with us, in our lessons. They talked to us about teaching for understanding, committing investigators to Church ALWAYS, because an investigators attendance at Church is a key indicator of their level of conversion. They talked about asking proper and direct questions that would prompt an investigator's sincere study of the gospel, of knowing that miracles occur as we plan well, teach well, and thereby have those miracles come to pass as part of that process.

We met with a member referral, who thought very deeply as we taught her about the Plan of Salvation. It was very invigorating. Everyone has those questions come to mind at some point in their lives.

Saturday started off normal, but then everything went crazy! We went over to the office to get some baptism clothing for a child of record baptism, and found out that we didn't have a suit! As we were in the car park figuring out whether or not we had to go by some white clothes, the catering van took out a chunk of the ceiling. The member whose son was being baptized didn't have a memory card in her camera, and the TV that we were pushing on a trolley across the compound had its wheels caught in the drain grill and flew off. We caught it in the nick of time. The DVD player dropped off, then flew off again when the wheels of the trolley hit one of the pieces of the ceiling on the ground. Daniel, the kid, ended up being baptized in an adult's suit that was way too big on him, and had its sleeves and pant legs rolled up. Hilarious.

Leah's baptism was next, but she had not arrived at the stated time, so we were rather worried. We had to call Julian because we were working on her baptism program, and we didn't know who was doing what. When we asked him if he knew her full name, his reply was "Shouldn't you already know that?" Good point. We realized that the font had probably been emptied, only to have our fears confirmed. I had left my keys at the office, so I had to hoist Elder Pulver over the glass pane and into the font to unlock the door. We didn't have Leah's full name, so we couldn't finish the program sheet. She finally arrived, got her name, and finished the program. When we got back over, they told us that the dress we had given her was "inconvenient," a.ka. see through, so we had to run back and get the suit that we were going to use for Alvin. Thankfully the rest of the baptism went off without a hitch. Well, I left my pants at the office so Elder Pulver had to run over and grab it right after Leah was baptized.

Alvin's baptism was good. No glitches.

Sunday morning, Leah was confirmed, except it was different from the name that I had said when I baptized her. We found out that she hadn't given her full name. So, we're back to square one. She was going to be re-baptized yesterday, but her monthly cycle is in effect, so we'll wait for a week.

We had Alvin's name right.

We went on splits in the afternoon, because the Tay's helper, Cisca, is from Indonesia, and Elder Pulver and Elder Tuckfield could do a much better job with the language. Elder Gulbrandsen and I had the opportunity to teach Gospel Principles in Ang Mo Kio because the Ward Mission Leader was sick. We went for an Expat dinner after that. I finally got to meet my BYU professor's sister in-law, whose family is living here. The food was great and the conversation was fun. Burritos!

After an appointment last night, we went back to the Church to grab some stuff, and ended up being locked in behind the big gate. We didn't have a key, so I tried to climb over first and got caught on the spokes, which hurt pretty bad. With that plan aborted, we went around and eventually found a ladder, put it against the fence, and jumped down. Miraculously, I rolled and didn't sprain or break anything!

Well, that sums up this week!

Read/listened to Elder Holland's address to BYU students entitled "Remember Lot's Wife", which is absolutely amazing. One part that stuck out to me was when he said, "I plead with you not to dwell on days now gone, nor to yearn vainly for yesterdays, however good those yesterdays may have been. The past is to be learned from but not lived in. We look back to claim the embers from glowing experiences but not the ashes. And when we have learned what we need to learn and have brought with us the best that we have experienced, then we look ahead, we remember that faith is always pointed toward the future. Faith always has to do with blessings and truths and events that will yet be efficacious in our lives."

We must always be looking forward in faith. Then only will we be able to conquer all that life throws at us. It is a journey to believe in.

-Elder Chua

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