Saturday, January 19, 2013

Best Week Ever

Dear Family,

As you can tell by the title of this email, this week was the best week ever.  SO much crazy stuff happened.  So much so, that I'm not sure if I will have time to write it all.  I don't even know where to start.

Cool story about Beh.  He had to leave for Sarawak to do some electrical work over there.  We were way disappointed that we were not going to be able to teach him, but at least he was going to be coming back in a week.  Anyways, he comes back this week, and we ask him about going to church this week.  He told us, that while he was in Bintulu, he found the church and the elders, and asked them to continue teaching him.  At first we were very nervous about what church he went to.... but after calling the Bintulu elders, we found out that it really was the church that he found!  We didn't even think of telling him about finding the church in Bintulu, but yet he still went out of his way to find it.  He is very eager about learning more.  We're meeting with him later today.

On Monday, after pday stuff, we decided to go to these flats/apartments and go contacting, because we literally had nothing else to do.  Literally every other door had Muslim prayers on them, and the doors that we did end up knocking, were all muslim.  We spent hours trying to go through this place, because someone told us there was a christian in here.  After almost 3 hours of contacting like this, we came to the very last door (of course) and knocked it.  A woman answered the door, and in perfect english asked us to come in.  It turns out that this lady lived with her mom, who is 1/2 Iban, 1/2 French.  and her Dad was 1/2 British 1/2 Indian.  You cannot tell what race she is by looking at her.  Anyways, we taught a lesson in Bahasa (so that her Mom could understand) and secured a return appointment.  The funny thing is, when we asked where she went to church, she started describing the area..... well... the more she described the area, we finally realized it was 8 floors beneath us in OUR apartment building... again, of course it is.  We are meeting with her family again tomorrow.  

Speaking of our apartment.  Our bikes finally came from Miri.  The bikes have really helped the work here.  Klang is literally exploding because of all the work we've been able to do on our bikes. But that is for later.  Our apartment security guards will NOT open the gate for us when we come on our bikes.  They want us to come through this tiny entrance.  We went all the way up through the management, to the point where we are meeting with the board of directors for the place, JUST SO THEY CAN OPEN THE GATE FOR US.  #malaysiaproblems.  Apparently it is a huge deal to open this little gate, which can be done with the touch of a button, for a bicycle.  

On tuesday, we had very similar experience where we tracted all day and pretty much only found muslim people.  We don't know the city all that well yet, so we are still trying to figure out where we are going to find the Christians.  Well, we spent all night trying to find SOMEBODY.  Well, after a while, we decided to come home (this is before the bikes got here).  It takes us about an hour to walk back to our house.  Well, as we are walking, we suddenly hear "elders!  Elders!"  THis NEVER happens.  Especially in Klang.  We were both super surprised.  We looked and saw two men walking out of a bar.  One was so drunk, that he was about to fall over, and the other one was helping him towards us.  The man who was not drunk, came up to us and asked if we knew Elder Black.  Of course, we had no idea what he was talking about.  He went on to tell us that he was baptized in the 70's in Singapore, but has been inactive since the 90's.  He was very honest with us, and said, "look at me now, I just walked out of a bar."  We talked briefly, and then mentioned that the church was being opened in Klang (still not yet, hopefully by the end of the month).  He was so excited.  He wants us to meet with his wife and daughter (who are not baptized).  He gave us his number, address, and told us to contact him when he gets back next week from traveling.  (this whole time, his drunk friend is giving us hi fives and hugging us repeatedly).  He then got into his car, and drove off.  The rest of the walk home, I couldn't get over the fact that we ran into him.  Of all the possible things we could have done that night, of all the possible routes we took, of all the possible time we could have used, we managed to run into that 15 second window from when he left the bar to when he entered his car.  15 seconds.  It really made me think.  I thought about how Heavenly Father never forgot about this man.  Although he has been away from the church for almost 20 years, Heavenly Father still kept a close watch on him.  Our meeting is evidence of that.  It became so clear that we are never forgotten, no matter how long it seems we are on our own.  He will always prepare a way for us, but we have to be ready and willing to see and accept it.  I have high hopes for this family.  

Wednesday night.  After a long day of teaching and contacting, we were starving, so we decided to take a break from the malay and indian food, and go to a chinese hokker stand.  We decided to pick one (out of the 290384273u098 in Klang), and ordered some wan tan mee.  There were about 7 people there, and one of them walks up to us and asks where we were from.  We said AMerica.  He then freaked out, and said he had never met someone from America before.  He pulled up a chair, and everyone else there decided to join in on the conversation.  After we started talking a bit, he says, "Don't touch your money, I'm buying dinner"  we were happy about that!  But then, the waiters start bringing out tons of food and 100plus (malaysian soft drink).  After a while, we had wan tan mee, 3 cans of 100+ each, several pao, fried bean curd, sausage, thai satay stingray, and some other fried fish.  It was so good.  He then bought us curry mee and had it packaged so that we could have food the next day.  It was crazy.  We started talking to him about his life, and he told us that his wife had died not so long ago, and now he didn't have anything.  We gave him a plan of salvation pamphlete in Mandarin.  We was really interested (unusual for a chinese middle aged man).  He wanted to meet again, so we have an appointment for tonight.  

President Mains came to Kuala Lumpur the other day for interviews.  It went well.  He was very upset that we didn't have a church to meet in Klang yet.  He was told it was going to be done in November.  It's like 500 sq. ft., i don't understand what is taking so long.... ANyways, because he was here, Elder Crum and his companion had to take a bus to KL and spend the night.  He, of course, came out to Klang and we had the most fun night!  Again, waayyyyy too much pillow talk.  But it was so worth it.  He is spending the week in Singapore to see if they can fix his visa.  When we picked up Elder Crum from the KTM stop in Klang, we had  a member call us and ask if she could take us all to dinner.  Of course, we said yes.  She bought us a nice chinese dinner, where we had the best stingray (lots of stingray this week).  She also bought us the best mango I have ever eaten.  SHe is the same one who was in SLC.  The Tings are so awesome.  At church yesterday, she comes up to us and opens her bag to give us oreos, granola bars, and nectarines, because she "knows the missionaries are always hungry".  She also called last night at 10:00 and said "I made a lot of food, and wanted to know if I could give you some"  Of course, we said yes.  She spoils us.  They are thinking of buying a second home in Salt Lake, and she told me she expects us to show her around and be good to her there! haha.  

I'm running out of time.  

We also met a Penan/Chinese family that were uber excited to see us, and asked us (before we said anything) if we would be willing to come back and teach about Christianity.  Can.  We told her that we used to live in Miri, and she too was from Miri.  In fact, she went back two days ago, and while there we had her meet up with the Elders there.  They went to the hospital with her and blessed one of her relatives.  I'm excited for her to come back.  

Possibly the coolest story:  we were contacting one day, and knocked on a door with a picture of Jesus.  A smaller indian lady opened it, and seemed pretty freaked out to see two white guys there.  She almost slammed the door, when we started spurting out why were here.  She listened for a bit, and then said, "maybe when my husband gets home, we will talk about taking you two out for dinner"  That never happens on a door contact.  Well, sure enough, she texted back and asked if saturday night was ok.  We met them at the mall across the street from our house.  It was the coolest night.  THe husband is sooooo cool.  He speaks perfect English, and has the humor of an American.  THe jokes he made were highly politically incorrect = hilarious.  Anyways, he bought us a nice dinner, and the first question he asked was, "Elders, I want to know how you came to know God"  It was a really neat opportunity to share our testimony with him, especially in our own language, using whatever words we wanted.  After that, we asked him the same question.  For about an hour, he explained how he came to know God.  It was probably the most interesting story I have heard on my mission.  I wrote it all down in my journal.  Anyways, this man has spent years searching all types of world religions.  He has gone through phases of judaism, buddhism, islam, hinduism, but had a really powerful story about how he came to know God as Christians know it.  Probably the most interesting thing was the vocabulary he used.  Several times, he explained he had felt a "still, small voice, that he didn't heed to at once, but that cut him to the very center".  He talked about how, in his eyes, there were only 2 churches.  The church of God, or the church of the devil.  one or the other.  Has he already read 1 Nephi 13/14???  He talked about testimonies, and used the word testimonies.  If i hadn't known any better, I would have thought he had already received the lessons.  He also pointed out how blessed we are to have families, and how important families are in the eyes of God.  He talked about how he didn't attend any church, because all that he had tried, he "went into the churches, but Jesus was not there".  We had a great time, and a spiritual time with this family.  He wanted to know more, and asked if we could meet tomorrow (yesterday).  
We were at another appointment, when we got a text from him saying "we are at McDonald's by your apartment.  You can come now".  We raced over there on our bikes.  Elder Trotter and I were so nervous.  We were almost shaking.  We were nervous because this guy is really smart.  He knows the bible, and he knows his stuff.  We were so afraid of not saying the right things. Before we went into McDonald's, we said a prayer together, that we would be calm, and asked to be led as to what to say.  We were teaching the Restoration, which we knew would either go really well, or terribly.  It turns out, that for this family, it turned out perfectly.  We were teaching so well together, and he was asking such great questions.  The whole family was intently listening.  When we told him about the actual restoration, and Joseph Smith, he was not as surprised as we thought he would be.  We made it very clear that it wasn't us who he needed to believe, but that he needed to find that out for himself. He agreed whole heartedly.  We didn't fully explain the BOok of Mormon, and he said, "I don't want the book of mormon until you have explained it to me, so that I can have everything I need to know to fully test its truthfulness"  We were shocked.  I wish I had more time to tell you some of the funny stuff he said.  He is excited to learn more.

So, I've now used almost all my time.  If anything, I am so grateful for this week, and that heavenly father has not forgotten me, nor his children in this corner of the vineyard.  It is so loud in KL, so easy to get distracted, so hard to listen to what we really need to hear.  I guess that is the same in all the world today.  I'm trying to listen.  I'm trying to figure out where I need to go, and what I need to do.  It is so interesting how there is a plan for me, and that it is perfectly catered to help me learn and grow.  I absolutely love it here.  The people are so great, the food is so great, and the gospel is so great (what else do you need... really?)  

We're going into Kuala Lumpur CIty center today to see some sights.  Hopefully I have enough battery to take some pics

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