Friday, June 13, 2014


Dear Family, I'm glad to hear that Eric's farewell was a success. It seems like just yesterday we were worrying about all that stuff for me. I'm sure he did a great job on his talk- he'll get lots of practice on his mission.... I wish I could have been there. This is one of the few times on my mission I have felt a little homesick. I've thought about calling President Mains and asking him if I can call home before Wednesday just for a few minutes. Still not sure though. This past week was very nice. On preparation day, we went out to Penang and toured an old Baba Nonya Mansion (Peranakan) which is what they call the strait chinese here (the chinese mixed malays, who got rich and built big mansions and developed their own culture). We also had some delicious, but very expensive, northern indian food. I'm trying to think of the good stories to tell. On Saturday, we had a branch activity at our condo. A BBQ on the top floor Sky Garden, planned by our Branch President. He told us that if we didn't bring a lot of investigators, he would personally throw us off the 30th floor. Naturally, the stress of the week was inviting investigators to come. We had a lot of cool experiences throughout the week of meeting new people on the streets. Cool Story: The elders before me had previously found a Tamil man named Surian, who, when I first met, was sure that he was mentally insane. I was confused as to why they were meeting with him. They had helped him drastically reduce his smoking problem, which led to his wife and kids moving back in with him. After that, nothing much. We had previously met his sister (who he stays with), but just on the street, and she told us she wasn't interested. Well, on Saturday, we went to their house to invite to the BBQ/tell him that we were going to stop visiting with him until he was more ready to make the gospel a part of his life. WHen we arrived, he wasn't there, but his Sister and her adult kids welcomed us into the home. We sat down, had something to drink, and began talking. The conversation quickly went to Surian, and it became evident that this family was extremely worried about him. It came to our attention that he has a lot of other challenges in his life. The Gospel naturally made its way into the conversation, and soon enough, we found ourselves making promises, that if they, as a family, were to learn and apply this message, they could see miracles in their lives and in the lives of those around them. This staunch Hindu family sat quiet, and then asked if we really thought this message could help their family. It was a uplifting experience to bear testimony of why we travel so far, for so long, to share this message. They scheduled an appointment for the next day [yesterday] to meet all together with Surian. Elder Moala and I were shocked that this family, Surian's wife, sisters, etc, who were previously so uninterested in why we were coming by, could have had such a change. [side note: they surprised us by coming to the BBQ, talking for hours with our solid indian family, and having a great time]. We went to their home yesterday, and had one of the most memorable lessons of my mission. We all sat around together, and you could just tell that there was a real love that was the motivation for bringing everyone there. We started off asking them what type of people they wanted to become. We taught about who God is, and explained who Jesus Christ was. They were all on the edges of their seats, and it was only then that I realized this was all new information to them. We pulled out a few copies of the Book of Mormon and read Alma 7:10-16 with them, explaining along the way. We even explained the analogy of the debtor and debts. I don't know how to articulate how it went! In one of the latter verses in that section, it talks about the covenant we make with God. We directly asked them if they would be willing to prepare to promise to God, to be what he wants us to be. They all humbly said that they wanted to. They all wanted to change, and to help each other change. We finished off by teaching them how to pray. It was powerful to testify of why we pray in the name of Jesus Christ. As I was describing what type of things we include in a prayer, I mentioned that we can ask God questions. I was immediately interrupted by Surian's wife asking me, "does God actually answer them?" asked in a really sincere way. It made me so happy to know that she was thinking, that she was absorbing this new invitation, and really trying to find out for herself. We answered with an emphatic YES. We made the expectations very clear, and they know where this is all heading. At the end of the lesson, Vali said, "if Jesus can help my family, I will surely do something great for Him". It was interesting to teach a family who prayed to so many diverse Gods, to pray to the one that we know and love. Although this was the first time they had heard all of these doctrines, it was clear that they were familiar with that loving God. It's also clear that everyone struggles in this world. The "diverse sins" are what separate us from eachother and from God, and it's the Doctrine of Christ, that unifies us and brings us together. There are millions of ways to mess up,.to feel sad, but there's just one way to come back. We had several families come to the BBQ, and it was a success. Just like ward parties back at home, enough food to feed twice as many people as come.... except it was all curry. I'm going to miss that. I'm going to a Indian wedding luncheon at noon, which I'm super excited about [already hungry], and then going to the top of Penang hill. With regards to KK, we can probably do that. Check with them and see what they think. We may need to make reservations quick!. bai, Elder Robinson

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