Friday, August 9, 2013

Dear Family,

This was just the best week imaginable.  Everything turned out SO WELL.  I don't know if I'll even remember most of it, but I'll give it a try.

Alice, one of our star investigators, introduced us to her sister in law, Padima, a few weeks ago, and we have been meeting with both of them.  Their lives have been changed as they continue to read the Book of Mormon.  Long story short, Padima has been having a hard time leaving her previous congregation (which only has 10 people in it), so she invited us to come to one of their prayer meetings.  We were hesitant, but decided to go.  It was a rather strange evening, but a good experience.  We stood for 35 minutes chanting in tamil.... their way of singing hymns.  I don't want to include too much of the details of what happened, because it was quite strange, but Padima left feeling hurt and empty.  Several days later, we brought a member to her house and watched the restoration video.  She was again touched, and determined to go to church.  

Yesterday, Alice, Padima, and her children came to church.  it was FANTASTIC.  The members were all over them!  People (independent of us asking) had saved seats for them all and brought toys for the little ones to play with.  It was fast and testimony meeting, and BOTH Alice and Padima rose to bear their testimony.  It had the whole branch tearing up.  Both of their testimonies were rooted in the Book of Mormon, in the power it has.  They both mentioned the family that the branch has become, and the nourishing feeling that these new relationships have brought.  After that, members began to bear their testimony towards them, and thanked them for their faith, and diligence in learning.  It makes me feel at ease knowing their testimonies are grounded in the Restoration.  It really is the tool for bringing about a lasting conversion to the Gospel.  After all three hours of church were over, they were beaming.  
Two members of the branch that have been helping us invited them over for dinner, and had us tag along.  Another member scheduled an appointment with them and asked US to follow O.o I think I have already mentioned this, but not only the investigators are being touched, but the members are too!  It's too private to say, but these sisters, and their families, have brought a real healing to several members lives.  It's so visible.  I was on cloud 9 all day yesterday.  

We had a very interesting experience on Wednesday.  We went down to Malacca to conduct a baptismal interview.  This was my first baptismal interview ever (which is odd for a ZL, usually they have that experience...) and it was so nice.  The woman that I interviewed has had such a trying life, and it is so hopeful to see the way she describes the Gospel changing her life.  She talked about the church was different.  She said they are all cheering her on, trying to help her, caring for her, and don't want anything in return.  When I asked if she thought she was ready to be baptized, she whispered, "I think so".  It was a powerful statement, and it was "all in the tone".  I love that even though this woman has spent her life trying to figure things out, even at her age, she can still have the hope expressed in those 3 words.  I love it.

What happened just after the interview is where the story gets weird.  Because she is a single mother with three kids, we had to bring another adult male.  There were four elders, and Elder Jensen (senior couple).  While Elder Scott was interviewing one of the kids, there was a text message received by the teenage daughter, some talk to the mom, and everyone getting nervous.  Apparently her ex was coming back to the house, expecting no one but the kids to be there.  We didn't know, but it turns out her ex is deeply involved with Indian black magic O.o (what even!!) and he shows up with some big tamil man.  He was shocked to see us there.  He was mad, and nervous all at the same time.  It was a very intense 10 minutes.  It scared the living daylights out of this family.  I guess while he was trying to talk to the kids, he had some sort of talisman/stone he was rubbing/chanting some sort of charm.  What even is malaysia.  Thankfully, he left without any real harm.  It's interesting how the Lord places us in the right places, at the right time.  

That's great to hear about *******.  From a missionary perspective, the best ways you can help is to just love her, and make her feel welcome, cared for, and at home.  From all the people we are working with, a conversion to the gospel is something that is done on an individual basis between an investigator and the Lord.  At the same time, the warmth and confidence that comes from the support and concern of others can often be the extra help they need. 

I told Alice and Padima that you sew, and they want you to make them something :D

KL is doing very well.  Elder Stahle is a district leader now, and is training down in Puchong (still in KL Zone)

OH!  Guess who I got to meet the other day?  The Trotters came to KL haha!  It was really good to see Elder Trotter again.  He is still the same.  His parents were very nice, and invited me up to their spread in South Dakota.  May have to take them up on that.

It's nice to see pics of the ranch.  Mom, you might need to delegate the whole picture taking thing to someone else.  

We also received the first wave of english elders/sisters for the mission.  Some missionaries are now getting their calls for english speaking here.  Elder Stahle's trainee is an english speaking one.  

I go to singapore on thursday for MLC.

Ok Bai
Elder Robinson

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