First off, HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM! Or SELAMAT HARI JADI! Or 生日快乐！I hope you have a good day. 52 years old..... phew. Did you get my letter that I sent? I've sent a bunch of letters to you guys, and it seems like you guys haven't gotten any of them... or atleast don't act like you do. Did you make the usual?? White cake, white frosting with coconut, and raspberry jam? That sounds very yummy right now. Let me guess, everyone is still making you cook/clean even on your birthday. Or maybe Kaitlin has been spending too much time on Pinterest again and found some obscure/complicated recipe to try! I hope that letter gets to you..... Did you do anything fun? Did you get anything nice? OH, I forgot you spent the weekend in Phoenix, how is Arizona? Warmer?
I also got all your letters from thanksgiving, including the letter about the Good Samaritan. I read through it all, and found it very interesting. It is weird, because I had never thought of the story like that, but now that I've read that analysis of it, I don't think I'll ever think of the story any other way. Regardless, it was a very nice message and I tried to use an example from it at church yesterday. THank you for that. I also forgot to mention that I got the article you clipped out of the paper about Bishop Causse (?). I really liked that message as well.
Update from last Monday:
We had our Thanksgiving feast at the Hodder's house. There was soooooo much food, and it was so good. There was a unspoken competition for whose food would be the most popular, and Putnam/Bodhaine were sure it was going to be their fajitas and homemade egg nog (both of which were delicious), but everyone LOVED the cabbage salad. So much that the Senior couples made me write down the recipe to give to them. ALso, we made the Pumpkin pie krusteaz packet you sent, and again, EVERYONE loved it, and wanted more. I think I spent a total of 15RM on my contributions, and everyone else dropped big amounts. haha. It was really nice, and felt like thanksgiving. We had so much extra food that we had district meeting at their house the next day, and just ate left overs, and were still full! We've been getting very creative with what we make. Yesterday, we made more cabbage salad, homemade curry, and rice pudding for our sunday dinner. It was so good. After 3 months, we're finally getting the whole group cooking thing down.
It has been a good week for missionary work. We have several investigators who are preparing for baptism this month. Unfortunately, we've had to move back their baptism dates because of word of wisdom issues. On the brightside, this making them look deep inside themselves for what they really want. One of our investigators is beginning to understand that if he wants the significant changes the gospel can bring, he will have to make significant changes in his life. Probably the most rewarding part of the week was when one of our Investigators didn't read in the BoM. We decided it would be best if we didn't continue with our lesson, but read with him. We asked where he was in his BoM reading, and he said 1 Nefi 3. We read the first 20 verses, and asked what he thought. He wasn't really sure. We asked him to really search the verses, and see if there was anything that related to him. He found verses 7 and 15. With a little bit of explanation from us, he was able to finally see how these ancient stories applied directly to him. He was making all sorts of connections, and using his name instead of Nefi's name as he described how God doesn't expect us to do something unless a way is prepared for us to accomplish it. He also related how no matter how many times we have tried to "go back to Jerusalem", we must continue to berusaha (strive/push forward/do what you're supposed to) until the time the Lord finds most appropriate. He also liked how Nefi said he would NOT return home, as long as he and his heavenly father lived, until he had done what he needed to. It was so rewarding to see the scriptures becoming a tool and not a chore in this man's life. I honestly think this experience will continue with him, and spark the interest he has in making scripture reading a habit in his life. I am so excited for him.
I read a talk from Conference in the Ensign the other day that really made me think about my investigators. The talk was from the Priesthood session of conference, by Elder Eyring. It talked about how each one of us is blessed with unique gifts and talents, each specifically given to us to enlarge us, to make a difference in the lives of another, and to help the work progress. He mentioned briefly that he became the man that he was today because others could see the gifts and potential that he had-- much better than he could see. I think this is so true. THe people we teach are soo great, and it kills me that they can't see what I can see when they view themselves. THe talk also said that if we do everything that we can to seek for revelation, the Lord will tell us everything we need to know about another's gifts, so that we can help them discover what treasures the Lord has in store for them. This takes a lot of work and effort on our part-- we're still working on it. THe more you dedicate yourself to finding the gifts of another, you begin to forget yourself, and really begin to see as the Savior sees. To look at a person, and search for every strength they have, and listen for what potential gifts they could receive, is so humbling. This really is the perfect time to just forget about yourself and help others, I'm very grateful for that. It is going to kill me if I have to leave next week. Transfer details are given next monday, and then we have to leave our area by thursday.
OH, and I got the Advent Calendar! I love it! I wish this computer was working better so that I could upload a picture of it on our door! The people I'm living with are kinda ingrates, and don't appreciate it, but then they are the first ones to use the pillow cases and crystal light!! I love the pillow cases, it reminds me of how we used to always switch to the Christmas pillow cases in December. Do you remember mine? I think it was blue and had little small print reindeer on it. #homesick
Yesterday in church, the chorister gave me a piece of paper with all the songs we would be singing, and their respective number in the English Hymn book. I thought, great, I'll use the english one since it has bigger print. Well, it is find and dandy until we get to the intermediate hymn. They told me Hark all ye nations. On the board, it said 122 in the Indonesian Hymn Book, (the index says that is hark all ye nations) but really 122 is put your shoulder to the wheel. (124 was hark all ye nations.... typo). So I start playing hark all ye nations, and NO ONE is singing. I'm looking out at the congregation and am SO confused. Not even the senior couples were singing, so I was especially confused. On the second verse, people started singing. Well, since there are 3 verses in hark all ye nations, I stop. EVERYONE LOOKS AND ME AND TELLS ME TO KEEP PLAYING! I was so lost. It turns out, the congregation started singing put your shoulder to the wheel, to the tune of hark all ye nations!!!! WHICH HAS 4 verses! ugh. I was so embarrassed. I literally did nothing wrong, but everyone thought I was just messing up up there. OOf.
Speaking of music. Since we're trying to find service projects here, we are teaching music classes starting this saturday. The hope is that nothing like yesterday will ever happen again. We even might start teaching piano lessons because the senior couples have found 7 electric keyboards. SIster waktins would be proud. haha. The goal of this first class is to understand how to read the hymn book. When it says, sing happy... sing happy (not shouting). When it says sing gently.... sing gently (not shouting). We'll see how well it goes.
They had a youth activity at the church the other day, and one of our investigators nephews came. We went with him, and afterwards, they had donuts! I hadn't had a donut for so long, so I pointed to one and asked what flavor. The lady said, "creme filled" I take a huge excited bit to find out that it was creme flavored....... durian creme flavored..... #malaysiapains
We also had to cancel another lesson the other day because the rain was so loud. We were screaming and they still couldn't hear us.
OH, and the hodder's loved the oven mit (?). I also gave them my box of toffee because they gave me a camera tripod. It didn't fit their camera, so they wanted me to take it. I thought i would say thanks.
Ok. that's all