Monday, September 2, 2013

Much Better Week

Dear Family,
It was good to hear from you all.  This week was a very nice week, with lots of cool experiences.  I'll start off with the more secular/funny experiences first
This past Saturday was Hari Merdeka (Independence Day) for Malaysia.  56 years of being independent of Great Britain.  There was a big parade and festivities downtown, especially around Dataran Merdeka (Independence Square).  The funny part about it is that they do fireworks at Midnight the day before... so technically the first minute of Independence Day.  We're on one side of downtown, and the fireworks put on by the city were over at Masjid Jamek, which is on the other side of downtown, so we stayed up and could see a bit of them from our apartment.  The funniest part was that after those fireworks stopped.... the REAL fireworks began.  Even though we live in a nice area (around all the embassies) there is a sketchy set of flats right behind our apartment complex.  All of the tenants their brought their own fireworks.  I've never seen such big fireworks, at such a rapid speed, so close in my life.  It was kind of frightening... some were hitting windows of our apartment haha.  There was so much smoke that our entire complex was covered in a cloud for 10 minutes.  It went on for about 30 minutes.  Definitely illegal in the states.
Elder Scott and I also had an assignment from President Mains as a part of the job with Elder Gong, so we got to travel down to Johor Bahru to deliver some documents.  It was cool to go down there, and we did exchanges with the Melaka Elders on the way back.  The funniest thing happened.  The buses, for long trips like that, usually make two small stops and one 30 min stop.  During the first small stop.... in the middle of nowhere... we were at a small place with one bathroom a ways off, and a small street vendor.  Of course, Elder Scott had to use the restroom.  So we went, and I had to call Elder Stahle, so I was on the phone with him for the duration of Elder Scotts long bathroom visit.  He took a while.  Well, when we leave the bathroom, I looked and..... our bus had left without us!  We quickly tried calling the hotline for the bus company, when all of a sudden, the street vendor says, "why don't you just call the driver?".... -_____- like I have his number... but then she pulls out her phone, and calls him!  He pulls over, wherever he is, and she tells us to start running down the highway.  We did.  It was embarrassing, and uber hot.  As we were running, someone pulled over... and was very confused.... offered us a ride to find the bus.  Long story short, we finally found it, and made it safely to JB. 
We're waiting to hear news about the project that we were working on with the Asia President.  We were supposed to meet him at a fancy hotel on wednesday, and go to dinner with him and a Senator from Washington, but their taxi driver messed things up.  Instead, the senator sent one of his assistants to meet us and gave us $20 US dollars :) after we exchanged it, we got 66 ringgit out of it!
The KL branch is so good.  Everybody.  The investigators, the members, the leadership.... everybody.  I was amazed at how nice church was... despite the crazy things that happened.  I won't explain those, but let's just say fast and testimony meeting was uncensored.. O.o President Woodford handled it very well.  President Woodford also confirmed Alice yesterday during Sacrament meeting.  It was so nice for her.  We met with Padmah last night, and two members of the branch (unexpectedly) showed up with dinner for her.  Talk about people going above and beyond.  I was particularly amazed after church yesterday how everyone, not just the friends and cliques, were talking with each other.  Everyone is helping everyone in so many ways.  One member's son is turning 2 today, and what was supposed to be a small gathering has turned into a branch activity at his house today.  Everyone is so ready to reach out.  It's not even a label of doing missionary work... it's just being Christlike!  That's one of the issues... when people think of it as "I'm just helping the Elders" or "that's the ELder's friend" then nothing happens.  THe KL branch got the memo and thinks about helping their brothers and sisters, and becoming friends with them.

I'm glad to hear you are helping the missionaries where you can.  It's always nice to get free food.  The best help you can give is to always welcome people at church, let them feel at home, and go out of your way to help them/understand where they're coming from. 
We have quite the tricky situations with one of our investigators.  He had a consulting firm in Pakistan, but was forced to close it because of threats from a Muslim Gang.  Supposedly this happens often in Pakistan, but they approached him and told him to convert or shut down his office.  He chose the latter.  He is a very smart man, got his masters degree in Denmark, and thought he could set up something better for his family here.  He stood up in church yesterday and shared his testimony of all the changes the gospel has already made in his life, in only 4 weeks, and how the Book of Mormon, and his power, is keeping him through this hard time.  We honestly don't know what will happen with him.  We are praying that his visa extension goes through. 
It was a very nice week.  I can't think of anything else... I will be in Singapore on September 11, so If you're sending a package... I hope it gets there by then! 
Elder Robinson

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