Wednesday, March 31, 2010

What Is Happiness?

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.... it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness..." This has probably been one of my hardest weeks in the mission field, but it has also been one of the more spiritual weeks of my life. Funny how trials often draw you closer to Heavenly Father.

We had to drop a lot of our investigators, and almost EVERY appointment that we set up canceled. People weren't answering our calls and members couldn't. So, we spent most of the week contacting. Normally, contacting goes alright and people stop to listen. But, over the course of last week, no one would listen! No one wanted to stop, no one wanted to sit by us, no one even flashed a smile. It got worse when people started getting rude. One man whom I sat by said that he couldn't talk because he was waiting for a friend. Another two girls waved their hands in my face. Another guy gave me a dirty look, and tons of people just completely ignored me and Elder Rothwell. It got to a stage on Friday night When I was utterly discouraged. I had probably gone through twenty rejections, and it was hurting me. I thought, "Why won't people just stop and listen to me?" As I thought about that and wallowed in self pity, I thought about the theme of my blog, you know, the song, I Will Not Be Still. As I reflected on the words, it gave me a sense of peace and calm, to know that I am called of the Lord, and that though I can't do it by myself, He's there every step of the way. The first couple verses go like this,

I've never been the kind to testify,

I don't have the words his truth deserves.

But it's a simple thing he asks,

A worthy heart and willing hands.

He says if I'll make the choice,

He'll help me find my voice.

He calls me to serve and I cannot fail him,

The one who has given me all that I have.

I place my trust in him alone,

He knows the yearnings of my soul.

Because he believes in me,

I will go willingly.

It was then that I knew that my Heavenly Father loved me, yet another witness that I was doing his work.

I continued to sing the song softly, till it got to these lines,

Reaching the hopeless hearts who do not know his love,

Seeing their lives begin to change,

I know I'll never be the same.

For a moment, that caught me off guard, and got me back in my little rut. I reasoned with myself that none of these people wanted to change, they did not want to know His love. It was something that I thought the rest of the week.

We had some visa runners from Indonesia come in because there was a mess up with their visas in the States. But, they stayed for the week and got it all worked out. One of those visa runners, Sister Okamoto, wrote in my BR as she left, which I read later on. She said that the work that we do is the most important work, and that The Book of Mormon is true and changes lives! That hit me, along with the song, that there are lives to be changed. Many people might and will reject the message that we have to share, but we have to work our hardest to spread this message because of what the Savior has done for us and the world!

I'll admit,one of my faults this week has been that of being a little too trunky, which I can't be! I had two little boosts to keep me on the straight and narrow. One of them was from my friends who reminded me that I shouldn't be counting the days, but letting the days count! The second was from Sister Okamoto, who paraphrased a scripture saying that "TRUNKINESS NEVER WAS HAPPINESS!" Tis true.

Elder Rothwell and I did our weekly planning and resolved to do all we could to make sure that we can get as many people as we could to hear about this gospel, and these past couple of days have been great. Things are going better, people are listening more, we've had a couple good appointments. But, w still have the rest of the week, so we'll be working hard!

I love the mission. There have been days that I have wondered what I am doing doing this, but then always, and mostly realizing and knowing that this is how we, and everyone can find the happiness that our loving Father in Heaven wants for each of His children.

I hope that you all have a great week. Please keep Elder Rothwell and I in your prayers, we need it.

O Lord, my heart is exceedingly sorrowful; wilt thou comfort my soul in Christ. O Lord, wilt thou grant unto me that I may have strength, that I may suffer with patience these afflictions which shall come upon me, because of the iniquity of this people. O Lord, wilt thou comfort my soul, and give unto me success, and also my fellow laborers who are with me.... yea, even all these wilt thou comfort, O Lord. Yea, wilt thou comfort their souls in Christ. Wilt thou grant unto them that they may have strength, that they may bear their afflictions which shall come upon them because of the iniquities of this people. O Lord, wilt thou grant unto us that we may have success in bringing them again unto thee in Christ. Behold, O Lord, their souls are precious, and many of them are our brethren; therefore, give unto us, O Lord, power and wisdom that we may bring these, our brethren, again unto thee.
Alma 31:32-35

A photo for ya'll, The Elders in the Singapore (2nd) Mandarin Ward
Elders Raja, Rothwell, Chua and Teng

-Elder Chua

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


I think my long email/blog days are over! Do read the older ones when you can for longer ones! :)

Elder Rothwell and I gave our Zone Training yesterday, which was great fun to prepare and also to give. We focused on President Clark's training for the Zone Leaders, where we talked about being substitute teachers. We focused on:

1. Teaching by the Spirit
2. Preparation
3. Personal Worthiness
4. Quality
5. Focusing on the Investigator

We learned a lot as we prepared for the lesson by drawing from scriptures and Preach My Gospel, knowing what we can and should do to be better missionaries, and how to motivate our Zone to be the best that they can be. It really is in the teaching that you really learn. As we gave the training, there were all these thoughts coming into my head to talk about! It was a great experience!

We're still working on getting new investigators. We have a few that we thought would progress fast, but they are going a little slower than we thought. Bit by bit though. We're slowly getting our number of investigators at Church back up. It's a struggle, but it's the challenge that we are going to overcome!

The Stake put up a musical. Did a great job, though it was very Mormon cheesy, but that's why it was good! We brought two investigators that commented, while the prelude music was playing, that they didn't like that kind of music but preferred Lady Gaga. Somehow, one sat through all of it, and the other, most of it. I love the feelings that come from the Spirit. It is unlike any other, and it's hard to get investigators to understand sometimes that it is such an individual feeling.

Time goes so fast! We have to rush off again! The work continues to go on, and my Mandarin is slowly improving. I hope that everyone is doing well. Do let me know how you are all doing!

-Elder Chua

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Week...

Baptisms are always wonderful, and Li Tong was baptized on Saturday!

She had never been swimming before, and she was rather afraid of the water, so it took her a few times to go all the way under. She bore a wonderful testimony after that. It's going to be great to be able to hang out with her in Utah! We met with her yesterday and had a great after baptism lesson with her.

This past week didn't go so well, we dropped a lot of investigators (or were dropped by them). But, the start of this week has been great. Elder Rothwell and I have been working hard and well together, and we should get people back on track to baptism in the next few weeks. We have a bunch of new investigators, so we'll see how they do. We met with a new girl named Jun Xiu. She's a student here. Asked great questions during her lesson. She'll progress.

Just continuing to learn and grow each week. Preach My Gospel is amazing. Read it!

-Elder Chua

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


This week has been good! Isabel was baptized on Saturday, and she'll receive the gift of the Holy Ghost this Sunday! We met up with her yesterday and she's doing good. We reviewed with her what the Holy Ghost is and what it can do to help us. She remembered it all.

Doing well with Elder Rothwell, my new companion! Elder Sederholm has been transferred out to be the new Assistant! Reported with him on Monday. It was a little weird! But, we're still in the same house! That means we still get to play Settlers of Catan at night. Finally won my first game this morning! Anyhow, Elder Rothwell is from Rexburg, ID. He's been out for about sixteen months now. Great guy.

Li Tong is on date to get baptized this Saturday, we just have to have her interview done, then all should be well!

A few investigators....
1. Mrs. Woo - May's mom. May is a recent convert. She said that she wasn't sure how interested her Mom would be, but she had us over anyway. When I first started talking to her Mom, she said that she didn't want to discuss religion, so I started a conversation with her (was in splits with Elder Sugiyanto, and he doesn't speak Mandarin). She was eating and was trying to fan herself at the same time because it was hot, so I took the fan from her and fanned her as I talked to her. Slowly, the conversation turned towards God and her view of that, and ended being a great discussion. She said that the reason why she didn't follow any religion was because she has seen so many people who claim to be religious, but who are still very "bad people." Talked about not worrying about what other people do, but just about what she does. Talked about coming to know that she has a Father in Heaven who loves her. She agreed to read a chapter in The Book of Mormon at the end! It was another little blessing from Heavenly Father because I didn't mess up while speaking to her!

2. Eva - She's slowly progressing. She said that she'll be baptized if she has her visa to England approved, and she won't if she doesn't get the visa. Got me really frustrated, and told her that it doesn't work that way. Trying to help her get her priorities straight and understand what it means when you covenant with the Lord to be baptized.

3. An Xiang and Jian Long - An Xiang called and said she wanted to meet. I had no idea who she was. Finally met with her after a couple of weeks. Found out that she worked in the same place as a girl who we had contacted while buying some food, and that girl had given her a card. She's really busy with work, but we'll see how it goes. No effort is wasted!

I've been studying about baptism this week, and focused particularly on Doctrine & Covenants 20:37, which focuses on the qualifications needed for baptism. I was thinking especially of Eva, and the changes that need to happen for someone to be able to really make covenants with Heavenly Father. It reads:

And again, by way of commandment to the church concerning the manner of baptism
—All those who humble themselves before God, and desire to be baptized, and come forth with broken hearts and contrite spirits, and witness before the church that they have truly repented of all their sins, and are willing to take upon them the name of Jesus Christ, having a determination to serve him to the end, and truly manifest by their works that they have received of the Spirit of Christ unto the remission of their sins, shall be received by baptism into his church.

Humility, desire, broken hearts, contrite spirits, truly repented, willing to take upon ourselves the name of Christ, determination to serve to the end, by works, these things are what are needed, and I am coming to really understand what needs to be seen and reflected in a person, the true conversion that takes place. I really hope Eva cones to understand that. It is such a sacred thing, to make promises to God. It's nothing simple or casual. With that understanding has come more meaning to the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the Sacrament.

I want to be willing to do all that the Lord wants me to do. I did the Christlike attributes activity in Preach My Gospel this morning, and one of the questions was whether or not you have enough faith to do all that the Lord wants you to do. Try it!

Well, almost time to go! Have a great week! Hope to hear from ya'll!

-Elder Chua

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

"The Souls of Men"

This week has been wonderfully amazing. I just want to mention two things today, though there were many things that I could also mention, but, no time as usual :)

Anyhow, we had Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve visit us! We had a great mission tour with him, then had a wonderful member meeting too. Elder Perkins of the Seventy was also there. We had a small missionary meeting with him and his wife for a few hours. President and Sister Clark spoke, along with Sister Perkins, then Elder Perkins gave us a wonderful training. Hr talked to us about our purpose, our purpose to save souls. In Doctrine & Covenants 138: 56, it reads: Even before they were born, they, with many others, received their first lessons in the world of spirits and were prepared to come forth in the due time of the Lord to labor in his vineyard for the salvation of the souls of men.

It refers to all of us who do the work that Heavenly Father wants us to do. We are here to labor in His vineyard. I have so little time left. Laboring as hard as I can.

Elder Nelson had a question and answer session, so I asked him how we could help people who knew about the Church and liked it, but who didn't want to really change because they were comfortable with life. He spoke of patience and of love, on how we help people along, but the best that we should do is to be an example. He talked about how his Dad was only baptized when he was 80. But, he said that miracles will happen as we set the right example. I'm keeping that in mind.

Isabel will be baptized on Friday.

Li Tong is doing amazing! We saw her again last night. We brought another member, Brother Shieh, who did amazing with her. We taught her the ten commandments, which she readily agreed to, because, as she said, "I follow them all already anyway." She really opened up this time, and talked about how when she first got married, she had no inkling that she would join the Church, because she had no belief in Jesus Christ or anything like that. But, he sister-in-law set a great example of service even though she's older. She also said that as she saw the example of the missionaries, she was moved by that, giving time to serve the Lord and suffering (meaning that we had to travel out to visit her and not eat dinner sometimes). It was a sweet experience and humbling. She is so prepared!

I love serving the Lord and preaching the gospel. People like her are the reason why we serve.

Well, take care and have a great week!

-Elder Chua