Friday, January 31, 2014

Dear Family,

Things have been getting a bit better, I suppose.  There have been a lot of ups and downs this week.  Sometimes I'm super happy to be here, and others I'm very confused and discouraged.  I'm trying to figure out what to do here still.  I don't know why this is being so difficult for me- I haven't really had this in other areas.

One of the best highlights of the week was going on exchanges.  We had the opportunity to go up to Miri and to Kota Kinabalu, both places where I have served.  It was weird being in Sarawak again, for the first time since I left Miri over a year ago.  I didn't expect anyone really to remember me.  Anyway, we met the Zone Leaders there and had a great training.  It was really insightful to hear their ideas and get their feedback.  Elder Shuetz is from my MTC group, and is one of the ZLs there.  He is so smart and good at solving technical problems.  I really enjoyed being with him and getting advice from him.  We were able to observe the Miri English class at the church- a model that we want to implement throughout the mission.  I ran into the branch president and his family, and to my surprise they remembered who I was.  It felt really nice to know that someone remembered... in a not vain way.  It helps me remember that we did something meaningful there, and that hopefully we did a few things right.  One of the best parts was to hear that a family, who Elder Matheson and I used to visit, had their baptismal interview that same night, and were baptized just yesterday.  I remember going to the house all the time (the grandfather being a less active member) and seeing how the rest of the family just didn't seem to be that interested.  I believe we were the first ones to start their teaching records.  Very nice closure to that story.  People progress in their own time, and we have to play whatever part we can to help them.  

We had a layover in the resort island of Labuan on our way from Miri to Kota Kinabalu.  We were super excited to be there and buy a souvenir (because missionaries don't go there), but it turns out that, due to flight delays, it was only a 40 minute layover and late enough that all the shops in the airport were closed.  Oh well.  

Going back to KK was great.  Although it had only been a week since I left, it felt like I hadn't been there for ages.  It was weird to feel that it wasn't my area any more.  I ended up showing the Zone Leaders around, meeting with all the people that we left behind.  2 cool stories.  We went to visit Joseph and his Sister Lina, and had such a great lesson.  When they opened the door, we saw that they were watching the restoration movie together as a family.  As we taught about the plan of salvation, Joseph stopped and essentially bore his testimony of the Book of Mormon.  We were teaching about the atonement, and read from Alma 7:11-16 ( I think) and he couldn't help but stop us and say how grateful he was that he could have this extra insight and understanding of the Savior.  That was so good for me to see and hear as well.  It was a needed pick me up.  The second story was when we went down the street to visit with some filipino sisters that Elder Johnson and I began teaching.  They were so excited to hear that I was back haha.  We met them, and she had invited several of her close friends to meet with the missionaries.  During the lesson, she testified of the calling of Joseph Smith- which I had never heard her understand even before!  I was so pleased to hear that the work is still going on.

We were biking back late, and there was still one person named Razlan that I wanted to introduce to them (that they hadn't met yet).  We had planned to see him at 8, but he rescheduled for another day, so we just werne't going to see him.  One of the zone leaders there felt prompted that we should go drop by anyways, even though it was close to 10.  We did, and he was glad that we came.  I wasn't able to see him before I left, so that was some good transition.  We hadn't met him in a while due to work, but he told us that he had been reading the whole time.  We were so happy to see that.  

I'm trying to only write/think about the positive/happy things that happened this week...

That's funny to hear that Eric actually has scoliosis.  I guess not really funny, but funny that he's been self diagnosing himself that for years now. 

I read your guys emails, but there isn't usually a whole lot of pressing matters that need to be responded to........

I'm going to KL on tuesday, and then we'll be in Penang for New Years (which I'm really excited about).  
Gong Xi Fa Cai/ Xin Nian Kuai Le!
Elder Robinson

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