This week has been really nice- a lot of good times, and a lot of good change. We stayed in Singapore all week ( I think this might be the longest streak in Singapore yet). Last Monday, because Elder Toney was being transferred out, President and Sister Mains took us out to eat. We went to a nice steak house and got expensive steak- it was really good, but I think Sis. Mains summed it up by saying "well, it's not American...." haha. Tuesday-Friday were taken up with the New Missionaries coming in from the various MTC. We had 2 Australians coming from Manila to Terminal 1 at the same time as when Elder Plaizier was to be arriving from KL in Terminal 2. We thought we planned it out well, and timed everything perfectly, but we had no sign of any of them. We started doing the usual checks, calling the mission office, calling the airlines, then calling immigration custody, but nothing haha. It also doesn't help that missionaries traveling don't have cell phones... -___- Anyway, turns out that Elder Plaizier missed his flight in KL and had to catch the next one, and that the australian elders' flight was delayed. Everything worked out.
I felt very bad for Elder Plaizier because we were so busy running around that I didn't get to fully clue him in on the trainings we were expected to give. It hit me while we were on the stand, 3 minutes before we were expected to give it... haha. He did really well, and understood why we didn't have time to practice it more. The new missionaries seemed good.
One of the highlights of the week the departing dinner/devotional for a group of missionaries leaving the mission. These were the elders who came right before us, and the sisters who came right after us, so I knew most of them quite well. I served with two , Elder Gualtier in KK and KL, and with Sis. Guzman in KL/Singapore, the most, and was sad to see them go. It was a fun evening and a lot of funny stories were told.
Another really cool thing happened last week. Our Branch Mission Leader in KK came to Singapore to be set apart before heading to Manila MTC. He was so excited to go, and so ready too. He hardly speaks any english, so I think Singapore was a bit overwhelming for him... I hear the Manila MTC is super strict about English only.... so we're praying for him. He told me that his two younger siblings are also in the process of applying for a mission. They're going to be such great support for KK when they get back.
General Conference was very insightful. I most enjoyed Elder Bednar's talk, Elder Hallstrom's, Elder Scott's, and Elder Eyring's. Lots of reminders for members to be actively involved in the gathering of Israel. I loved Elder Ballards invitation from last conference to pray for an opportunity to share the gospel with someone around you, and now to invite someone once a quarter. You can feel how the church is headed in that direction in the mission field.... 80,000 missionaries going home with the mentality of being the member that the prophets are reminding us to be. I think member missionary work is going to change dramatically as this next generation of missionaries come home.
The best part about conference was an experience we had. The night before, we praying to know who we should focus on (from the 3rd Ward) to get to sessions of General Conference. Mid prayer, I had a name come to mind.
** background story**
in January, I was riding a train when I accidentally stepped on a man's foot. I apologized, and he quickly continued talking to 3 young white people. I noticed that he was a Filipino, so I waited for another opportunity to talk to him. The 3 white people alighted, so I then asked him if they were his students. He responded by saying they were his colleagues, and that they were working at a Chinese INternational school near Newton Circus. I asked him if he had ever heard of our church, because it's very near Newton Circus, and he responded, "yes, I'm a return missionary". His stop came up right after that, and I hurriedly asked for his phone number. He hesitatingly gave it to me, and alighted. Well, for the past 2 months, every so often I've called and invited him to activities, to follow ot lessons, to come to stake conference, etc... but all the calls went the same way: he asks who it is, tells me how busy he is, and then says he'll call me back. *** so when I had his name come to mind, I can't say I was too sure about it. We called him, and he surprisingly said, ok what time? I was blown away when he actually came to one of the sessions. Afterwards, we talked for a bit and he opened up a lot. He told us more of his story, which is very interesting, and then how long it had been since he had been in a church. He felt embarrassed that he didn't recognize the apostles or their names. He mentioned some other personal things, and both Elder Plaizier and I felt really touched by him. He pulled me aside on his way out and thanked me for being patient, and for continuing to call him. I hope we can continue to meet him again. It was so great to see the spirit working within him as he listened to the prophet's messages.
The Lord also prepared a way for Sheila to attend conference. She had previously told us that she would be unable to attend due to a team building training at her work all weekend, but all of a sudden, it was rescheduled. She was so impressed by the emphasis on family, values, and discipleship.
Things have been a little calmer here, but that's all about to change tomorrow when we start traveling again. President Mains created a new zone, so we now have 10 zone leader companionships to visit in 6 weeks..... we'll see how....