December 29, 2010
Gong xi gong xi ni means congratulations. It’s a Chinese song sung around the Chinese new year, but it’s been playing everywhere for about a month now. I wish I could describe Chinese pop music to you. It’s like combining an auto-tuned Barney song with an epileptic on a drum set. Put the two in a sound booth for a day and you have a hit!
The Xu family was supposed to be baptized last Sunday but we found out last minute that Mrs. Xu had some problems in her past that required an interview with the mission president. She would have been fine but she was too embarassed to talk to President Clark so we had to postpone it indefinitely. I was floored. Back in Singapore when someone put off their baptism it didn’t bother me like this did. When I heard that they all had to be pushed back it honestly ruined my day. To see a family change so much and then to see them all stopped by embarrassment? It was not good.
So me and Lim and Vance sat down on Sunday and planned out a really good lesson for the family. We were going to inspire them and get them all back on track. It was awesome. Now to interject. I’ve learned that the Spirit sometimes works differently than we expect. President Clark taught us in the last training that as long as we’re prepared, the Spirit will direct us and the lesson will go well, even if you end up teaching something different from what you originally planned. So we started teaching and we tell immediately that it wasn’t going well. Out of no where, Elder Vance says, “I’d like to share with you an experience I had with the Atonement, but it’s personal. Can we go into another room?” So they did. While he was gone, the youngest son, whom we call “Didi”, punched me right in the family jewels, hard! So I spent the rest of the time trying to get him to leave me alone. I eventually put him into a figure-four and tickled him until he was about to cry. (He is still mad at me.) Oh well. While I was busy driving the Spirit away, Elder Vance was having a really good talk with Mrs. Xu. To shorten things up, she’s back on date and is pretty steady now. The rest of the family is back too! Elder Vance is an inspired man, and I know it’s because we spent the time to prepare that lesson and to do it well.
On a lighter note, we went to a little hawker shack last week and Vance ordered a cheese burger. They gave him a piece of cheese between two buns and two small slices of cucumber. They charged him 2 ringgit for it. He was so dissappointed and mad at the same time. I was dying of laughter, and the workers were just confused.
There is a type of people here we call “aunties” and “uncles”. They have been raised to use manners only to get what they want. Any other time there is no place or need for manners. They are uneducated, ignorant, and have bad teeth and smell. They hate Mormon missionaries and will do anything they can to prevent the Lord’s work from progressing. Please excuse the venom but here’s the story and why I’m in a foul mood with them right now. I was contacting yesterday and came to a little bungalo where some Chinese were watching TV. I started talking to a younger girl and she seemed pretty interested, but then an uncle, without a shirt on, walked in and started bothering me. I tried to talk to him but he cut me off and said that he had his own church. The word he used before church means “lazy” in Chinese, so I asked about the requirements for joining. I should have just walked away but he wouldn’t stop talking and pride drew me into an argument with him and I ended up storming away with a crew of aunties and uncles laughing at me. I later found out that the word he used wasn’t Mandarin; it was Hokkien for a far more offensive word. Arguing with him made me look like an idiot. Pride killed me. I’ve found that true humitily is one of the most difficult things to come by, and it’s what I’ve decided to focus on for the next while. Repentance, repentance, repentance. It’s the only way to change.
Other than that, Elder Vance left to pick up his greenie today so we’ll meet him in a few days. Elder Lim and I have some serious contacting to do this week. We need referrals, badly! But the Lord’s work will progress. I love you all! Send me mail! My parents have the address.