This week was packed with interesting events. Some much better than others. I'm not even sure where to start.
Tuesday evening was bitter sweet, because that was when we sent Mike and Mel off! We haven't been able to see them in a while because of how busy they were, but on Tuesday we were able to have a final dinner with the whole family. It was sad to see them go, but I think this will be a huge step forward for them. Especially because they are moving to Utah. I could tell that the whole Ting family was really going to miss them both. I hope their ward in Utah welcomes them and picks up right where we left off, because he still has a long way to go. I'm glad you're going to dinner with them. They have a package from me to hand off. There should also be an envelope with 2 SD cards with all of my pictures. Hope they didn't lose it! Give them my email, because I forgot to!
On Wednesday, we had an "interesting" experience. There are some flats in Klang that we have been visiting for some time. We have several investigators, and a member family that stay there. Each set of flats in Malaysia always come with its own Mosque.... this comes in later. Well.... on Wednesday, we went to these flats to meet with VJ (who was baptized yesterday, tell about that later) to review some final things with him. It was a great lesson. As we were leaving his flat, we walked out the door to find 5 Muslim men, dressed in full robes/dress, big beards, the works, standing out there waiting for us. One of them immediately walked towards me and started talking to me in quick Bahasa. I understood him, and that is what threw me off. usually, locals NEVER assume we speak Bahasa unless the KNOW otherwise.... These men knew. They went on to tell me that I was not allowed here, that I needed to leave, and that I should not come back. They kept saying, don't you know this is a "negara islam?" (islamic country). I made it very clear to them that I knew what the laws were, and that I was not in violation of any of them. One of them had their phone out, with the JAIS on the line, which is the Jabatan Agama Islam Selangor, which is the ministry of islamic religion for the state. These guys were telling me that this was a rule. I didn't buy it. I started freaking out because I didn't want to talk to anybody on the phone. These guys were using zero logic. I told them that I had never preached to a Muslim, and that all we were doing was visiting a friend, and that they had no business in what we did with out friends. They didn't like that at all. VJ told them that he invited us over, and that in his house, what is discussed is none of their concern. Again, they couldn't see the logic in that. They went on to say that just the fact that people see us is an issue. These men were the local priests from the local mosque, and told us that they had been watching us for some time (I've never seen them O.o) and that they don't want us there any more. I asked again, if this was a law or just what they wanted. They wouldn't give me a straight answer. They kept asking to see my identification, and wanted me to talk to the JAIS, and at this point I was quite freaked out. Something very chilling happened right as we were about to leave, the head guy looked at us with a very eery smile and said, it would be better if we never came back. We got out of there quickly. I called around, and everyone says we were in no violation of any state or federal laws. I decided to call the zone leaders about it because it shook us up a bit, and they told President Mains. Now President Mains is worried about it and giving a training this week at Zone Conference about getting to the roots of the legalities. I was kind of embarrassed that it made it's way to the top, but the Mission leadership really needs to make it very clear, preferably something written, about what the laws are for foreigners proselyting in the country. We were told that part of town has muslim gangs, and that we should maintain a low profile. Two white guys in church clothes on bikes.... low profile? Oh well.
Even after all of that, Vijayakumar, son of Muniandy, was still baptized! It was such a good day yesterday. Everything, as usual, just seemed to work out. I think baptisms are extremely stressful for missionaries so that they can be a wonderful experience for others. It is still a wonderful experience for me, just different.
Elder Chan, the Area Seventy from our group, confirmed him, and gave an awesome, provoking blessing. There was a lot said in that prayer. I am so excited for VJ, and for all that this gospel has to offer him. I know, and as was confirmed in his blessing, that Temple work and family history is going to be huge for him. It is so nice to have so many of our friends at church so willing to help.
When VJ bore his testimony, I think everyone was blown away. He has the funniest English, extremely proper words, funny grammar, indian accent. The language itself wasn't the amazing part, but rather the confidence he had in what he was doing. VJ is so quick to obey, not because he blindly follows, but because he has humbled himself enough to know the master's call. It's interesting to reflect on how much I have learned from VJ, and his example.
I also had lots of little experiences throughout the week that have helped and made me grow. It's amazing how if you are in the right spirit and mindset, every waking moment can turn into a powerful learning experience. It is all dependent on what we want, and how we choose it.
We're flying down to Singapore on Wednesday, and will be there until Saturday. I'm pretty excited to see everyone.
Transfers are on June 20th, and I can just tell me time is short in the Kuala Lumpur area. I think yesterday was probably the last time I'll get to visit the Subang Jaya Branch. There are so many awesome members there, and here in Klang. They are so helpful with everything. They are also extremely intelligent, and full of experience. It's going to be sad when I leave :( but I'm sure wherever the next place will be full of great, different, experiences.
That's funny about Elder Matheson. Looking back, I was such a brat to him in that companionship. I've grown to appreciate him so much more since then. He called me the night before he went back to America, and we talked for about an hour. It was a great talk. I can't wait to see him again. We're going to run a triathlon together.
ok, I think that's all. Have a nice week. Take pictures of graduation. Bai