Sunday, November 24, 2013

Dear Family,

I am SO happy that it is Monday.  The past few days have been so stressful, also soooo good though.  Unfortunately our preparation day will be cut in half because we have to make Baptismal programs and go with a member from another branch to meet his friend in a kind of obscure part of KL.  woof.  

So.... From Wednesday onwards was so busy.  The Assistants were doing their routine exchanges with us, so naturally we were a bit stressed.  It doesn't matter who it is, if there is someone following you, it takes more energy because for some reason you feel the need to be extra alert.  I really like the Assistants, so it's not nearly as bad as I'm making it sound.  In fact, Elder Harper and I pillow talked a ton about all the fun we'll have at BYU in the Rumah Panjang (the team singapore house).  So if having the Assistants here wasn't enough, we had President and Sister Mains in town, AND a General Authority.  This week was the Kuala Lumpur District Conference, and Elder and Sister Funk from Hong Kong came down to preside over the Conference.  Lots of cool experiences.  It was stressful trying to get all the missionaries there on time and with their suit coats.  Naturally, something would go terribly wrong, as in, one of the ELders from Malacca suit jacket was stolen, so I had to do some last minute arranging with the Expat members from our branch!  I didn't realize that the two people were completely different sizes, so he looked very funny in the little suit!  

Cool experiences with District Conference:
1.  The entire focus of the conference was getting the members involved in the missionary work.  So many of the speakers gave cool stories of how they were converted, and how critical other members were in their conversion.  It's interesting because here, almost everybody is a convert.  There are very few exceptions where families have multiple generations in the church.  
2.  On Saturday Morning, President Mains had my companion and me come to the church to meet with President Dass (district President) and Elder Funk.  It was really cool to talk to him.  He just finished being a mission president in India before he was called as a general authority.  He's in the seventy, spoke at the latest general conference, and is in the Asia Area Presidency.  On the Saturday evening session of conference, several members went up to the Funks and told them how good the work was doing in the KL branch, so he took us and the sisters aside and talked.  It was really cool. 
3.  President Mains headed a meeting after District Conference for investigators and new members.  It was so good.  President Mains did such a good job of encouraging investigators to continue on the path of living the gospel.  We have 4 investigators there and 2 recent converts, and all of them were so impressed with President Mains.  All of them want to be baptized. 
5.  After the investigator meeting, Elder Funk wanted to spend some time with the missionaries.  He served his mission in the Singapore Mission wayyyy long ago!  He told us how in 1969 (?) President Ezra T. Benson visited South East Asia, and dedicated/created the South East Asia Mission, which would be headquartered in Singapore, where it remains today :)  He was sent to Jawa, Indonesia (areas around Jakarta and stuff) where the church was so small.  He and his companions were the group that replaced the first elders in Indonesia, and he learned how to speak Bahasa Indon! So cool to talk to an older american in bahasa.... He mentioned how at the time, he and his companion opened up areas, and now, there are 3 stakes in Indonesia!  It was very inspiring.  He told us he was proud of what we were doing in KL (which makes the zone leaders feel good ^__^), and that in our lifetime, we will see the growth that he has seen in his own mission.  He talked about how influential his mission was in setting up his life, and how on his way home, he stopped in Hong Kong, and thought "what a beautiful place, I could bring my wife back here" and now he and his wife live in Hong Kong!  So cool.  

Sis. Deborah (our investigator from Bali) came to district conference, and I was frantically looking for her... and then I found her, sitting between two members of the KL Branch!  One was American, and the other Indian.  I was so happy.  John, our other investigator, showed up in a shirt and tie!  Deva who called before and said he probably wasn't coming since he was still recovering from his fever, came!  So hectic trying to talk to everybody, but so awesome to see and be able to talk to everybody.  Deborah passed her baptismal interview, and will be baptized after church this sunday.

I went to Klang on exchanges last week and things were interesting.  The work has slowed down so much there, and the Elders were super discouraged.  It was disappointing for me, because I had served there for so long and know what the area is capable of, to see the Elders not doing as much and telling me, upfront, that they were just waiting until transfers next week.  Not the kind of things I like to hear.  They took me to see some of the recent converts there, and then we had the first ever English class in Klang.  They planned the first one to be the day I came (without telling me), and wanted me to lead it.... all of this was told to me one hour before.  The senior couple was there, and we had 7 members come and 2 non members!  It was so cool.  It inspired me to start english classes in KL branch.  We have lots of Americans that would be such good resources to people who want to perfect/improve their English.  most people in our area speak english, but as I was contacting people on the train this week, it seemed like all people would be interested in a free class at the church, taught by americans.  We thought it would be a great way to get the Expat members involved in meeting new people, serving the community, and being a part of missionary work.  We're meeting with the Branch President tonight to plan it.

Transfers are next week.  The assistants told me that I was for sure leaving KL.  It will be a sad day.  Especially because we have 4 people planning on being baptized in the next 6 weeks.  Oh well, on to my next favorite area. 

Oh!  Sis Sophie took us to dinner while we were in Klang- Bak Kut Teh, pork in herbal stew... so good.  She also brought Beef Rendang and Lebanese rice for us at district conference!  Yum

Ok Bai!
Elder Robinson

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