Friday, March 14, 2014

running out of clever labels....

Dear Family,

Running out of clever names to label the emails.... 

This was a good week for us.  We spent the first half of the week in Kuching, Sarawak.  It was fun to see all the Elders over there.  I followed the Zone leaders for the few days we were there, and I learned a lot from them.  One of the Elders, Elder Wayment, is especially good with numbers and technical things.  We worked together, using whatever we remembered from calculus, to work with some numbers to present to President Mains during the MLC regarding some of the "key indicators", specifically new investigators found per week.  Essentially it was that, based of the trends from the last 6 months, we need to increase the number of new investigators by a large amount to create a pool large enough to account for the past ratio of new investigators/baptism.  The next tricky part is to think of a course of action that would cause the Elders, in the short and long term, to place a higher emphasis on finding more people, opening their mouths more, etc.  Elder Wayment was able to bring it up during MLC on Thursday, and we all discussed it.  It went over well, and the new understanding is that each companionship needs to trying to achieve 2 investigators a week.  That probably doesn't mean much to you guys, but I thought it was interesting.  

This past MLC was one of the best ones- and I think that's because there was so much open discussion and true 'counseling together'.  It was great to see friends again.  Elder Bodhaine was made a Zone Leader this past transfer (oddly enough, in the zone/house we started our mission in!) and came to MLC.  He's a lot of fun to have around.  It was fun to have Elder Crum around as well- in fact, the next day, we got our pictures taken in front of an intersection downtown.  Haha, nearby to Raffles place, there is a place where Anson Road becomes Robinson Road (Elder Crum's first name is Anson ^__^).  

We received a referral from the Hong Kong Mission office for a filipino sister who was visiting friends in Macau, and attended church with them.  We contacted her, and she was so willing to meet.  We saw her on Friday, and she told us about her family, especially about her son who struggles with some mental issues.  She was so impressed by what she saw in Macau that she agreed to come to church the following Sunday.  

This Sunday was the Singapore Stake Conference, with President Gong of the Asia Area Presidency presiding.  It was a great series of meetings.  I've met Elder Gong on several occasions, all in KL (He was the one that we helped with the passports).  I thought there was a lot of great parts of it, but these are some of my highlights:
  • Elder Gong had the Stake Patriarch, Brother Chan, come to the stand with a microphone and answer a few questions.  Bro. Chan was called while his wife was dying, and the week he was to give his first 3 blessings, he had a dream where his wife passed away.  right before the blessings were to be given, his wife died.  The family requesting all the blessings told him they could wait until after the mourning, but Bro. Chan responded, "We shouldn't keep the young people waiting for their blessings" and gave them all their blessings, his first time ever.  I'm thankful for his eternal perspective and desire to help people receive blessings now!
  • Elder Gong quoted a General Authority (not sure who), who said we aren't our brother's keeper like a zookeeper, or an innkeeper, but rather we are our brother's brother, and our sister's sister.
  • President Lai, the Singapore Stake President spoke of how a stake is a defense and a refuge against the storm, and how we morally prepare to hold our ground.
  • Sis. Gong quoted someone saying that one point of humility is worth 50 IQ points.
  • Elder Woo, the Area 70 told us about the immediate blessings that come from obedience.  I loved his talk because of how Singaporean it was.  It seemed like all his analogies were based off finances, the factory he runs, time management.  ^___^
  • Elder Gong called someone from the congregation up... some random white guy... who happened to be Elder Gong's Zone Leader while they were serving together in Taiwan!  He shared how his parents prayed everyday of his mission that he would learn to love the Chinese people.  This brother shared how he is still receiving that blessing today.  (he ended up marrying a chinese girl).  But he now serves in the Mandarin ward in Singapore.
This upcoming week we are flying out on Tuesday to Bintulu, then straight to Sibu.  Will be back in Singapore by Saturday to meet Sheila and her son (the filipino referral... who enjoyed stake conference).  I see you heard about the Malaysia Airlines flight- we were a bit shaken up considering we fly malaysia airlines 3-5 times a week!   We were told that two passengers that boarded the plane in KL had fake passports?  We'll pray that doesn't happen again.

ok, have a good time in germany.
Elder Robinson
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