Another week has flown by. I was trying to think back at what happened last week and was shocked that it had only been one week since all that stuff happened- it seems like a month ago! This was a very nice week, and now I'm trying to think of why....
Last Pday we were trying to go to the River Safari, but because it was a public holiday for New Years, it was packed... so we ended up just going to the zoo. The zoo was reallly cool. Much better than the Hogle Zoo... they brag that the Singapore Zoo is the best in the world- they also say that about the airport. They like to advertise a lot about what they're best at.
The beginning of the week was nice in that we were in Singapore, and able to visit some of the members from the 3rd Ward. Almost every member in our ward is working here to support family members back in the Philippines, so almost everyone rents rooms in flats throughout the island. We decided to go up North on Wednesday to an area called Sembawang, and visit the members around the area. One of the people we dropped by and visited was the 1st counselor in the bishopric. He was shocked and surprised to see us, and said that he had never had missionaries come and visit him in the whole 3 years he's been in Singapore. He appreciated the scriptures we shared with him and the invitation to help teach one of our investigators. That experience ties into one that we had earlier that day. Every week, we have a sit down reporting session with President Mains, where we discuss what happened in the previous week and what needs to happen in the week to come. After several hours of that, right when we were finished, he asked if there was anything he could do for us. It was a simple request, but very genuine. I really appreciated it. It seems like we get a cut of everyone's problems, but there really isn't anyone seemingly concerned with collecting our own problems. I wonder if that 1st counselor in the bishopric felt the same way when we came over and offered our assistance- however small it may be.
We spent the second half of the week in Kuching, Sarawak. Eric asked if there were any areas that we bused to.... the answer is no, we fly everywhere. I just got my MalaysiaAirlines frequent flier card as well as my SingaporeAirlines frequent flier card. Anyway, we arrived in Kuching and had our zone leader training in their awesome new building which they call the KDC (Kuching District Center). It was massive, and was built in preparation for a stake. It looks and feels like an American chapel! Elder Toney followed the Zone Leaders this time, and I followed the Chinese Elders and another companionship a little outside of town. While I was with the Chinese Elders, we visited a man who had a really cool story. The Allens (senior couple in KK) were in Kuching during December on a humanitarian assignment. While there, they contacted a tour guide that they met and sent his number to the Chinese Elders there. The Chinese Elders have been meeting with him, and he is on date to be baptized. It turns out that he had seen elders, years before, and approached them... expecting them to talk to him, so he kept getting closer and closer to them, but they never talked to him. He waited year later until Elder Allen opened his mouth to him. After leaving the appointment, I told the Elders that they should give the Allens a call, and that they would be excited to hear about that. The Allens happened to be in Kuching that night, and were so excited to hear the news.
The next day I was out of the town a bit in a place called Kota Sentosa. It was nice to follow these Elders who I had never met. It was a real throw back to be in Sarawak again, sitting on the floors of small wooden houses eating a seemingly endless flow of crackers and syrupy drinks. I was so stuffed of saltine crackers by the end of the night that it made me sick! (I don't miss that) I was reminded of how nice these people are, and how pure their desires seem to be. I compare it with one of our investigators here who could not get past the fact that the Book of Mormon claims that Jeremiah was imprisoned before Jerusalem was sacked by Babylon... or something to that effect. It seems like too much intellect and understanding can diminish ones ability to actually learn and understand if they aren't careful. I've grown to appreciate the principle of a broken heart and a contrite spirit.
We flew back into Singapore late Saturday afternoon and had to rush back to the Stake Center to catch the fireside. It was Glen Rawson (I can't recall if I mentioned this last week... but he is the guy who does the Joseph Smith Papers). Anyway, he put on a devotional for us. It was really interesting. At first, it seemed like he was rambling a lot of trivial details at us, but as the night went on, I really started to enjoy it. He told us the story of Joseph Smith's life from birth until he received the Gold plates, but filled with tons of little facts and accounts that aren't well known. I really appreciated how personable it made Joseph seem. Bro. Rawson reminded us that Joseph was just a man, but who rose to the great calling given to him. He kept mentioning the thought, to what end are we raised? It was very insightful. He reminded us of our pioneer heritage, and not to forget it, because too much has been sacrificed for the cause to not remember. I'd appreciate it if you included a couple family history stories in each email- that would be something worth knowing and reading. Get grandma involved too!
This next week is going to be really busy for us. RIght after meeting with president tomorrow, we fly to Bintulu, Sarawak for a few days, then fly back on thursday for MLC. The next morning, friday, we will be flying out to Sibu for the rest of the week. Hopefully we get back before church on sunday morning. I'm getting better at talking to people on the plane.
can't wait to see where Eric gets called to. I thought about asking President Mains to send an email to Elder Evans (head of missionary department) in Salt Lake. haha.