March 2, 2011
That is one of the truest phrases in the world, and this week proves it. I’ll be honest, it’s been a tough week. All of our investigators have pretty big problems; contacting has been terrible; and I’m about to be in my fifth companionship since being here in Sibu. Just a hard week, generally.
Last week our investigator, Li, was supposed to be baptized, but she has a boyfriend who has a wife. She has two kids with this guy and he is also her only source of income. Li is from China and, therefore, cannot get a work permit so she can’t work. She’s in a difficult position. We’ve tried everything we can think of (short of taking this guy into the rainforest and “losing” him). We’ve fasted, promised that God will take care of her if she exercises faith, and have tried everything else we can think of. This woman has been the single biggest cause of headache and stress my entire mission. I absolutely hate that she can’t look at things in an eternal perspective! Sure, it’ll be hard, but you don’t love this guy and he obviously doesn’t love you enough to divorce his wife and marry you. I mean, she totally knows the Church is true. She has seen so many miracles in her life recently that can’t not see them! For example, just this Sunday Li was feeling really lonely and prayed that Heavenly Father would help her find a friend. Well, at church a really sweet but really Methodist investigator showed up. It was definitely somewhat of a surprise to us and, what’s more, she turned out to have a child the exact same age as Li’s youngest. They naturally hit it off and Li’s prayer was answered! The next day she had the nerve to tell us that she doesn’t think Heavenly Father can help her overcome this bigger problem she has? If he cares enough to make sure she isn’t lonely, He also cares enough to help her follow a commandment as important as the law of chastity. I’m not trying to be harsh on her or anything, it’s just frustrating when you can see how to make someone infinitely happier and they refuse to do it. We’re gonna keep meeting with her. Maybe she just needs some more time.
Then there’s JB. She’s 15 and very, very immature. She texts us all the time just to talk even after I sat her down and had a big, long talk about how our mission is not to be her friend, but to make sure that she comes unto Christ and is baptized. Things really hit the fan this week, though. Sunday she didn’t come to Church and wouldn’t give me a reason. She just kept skirting the question over and over and over. Then she told me that she figured something out and that we could see her the following day. Well, we went and I could see a bunch of straight cuts on her forearm. She flippin’ cut herself! It was so sad to see, and I think it was only for our attention. Not going to church was supposed to get our attention too. What she doesn’t get is that we would give her more attention if she would just live the gospel. We had to talk about how our bodies are not ours to destroy and made her promise not to do it again. She is really difficult, but she will be baptized soon and I hope that having the Spirit will change her attitude. I sure hope so.
Finally there’s Jojo. She’s just awesome; a young mom of two and a strong, strong Methodist. She loves us. We go to her house about twice a week in the morning because that’s the only time she’s available. She actually invited me over tomorrow to celebrate my birthday. She loves church and believes in God, but she won’t pray. I think it’s because she’s afraid of the answer. What if she actually gets an answer? Then she will have no excuse to not convert to the true church. I have a lot of faith in her. She gave us an example of her situation this week. She said, “Imagine that you move, not very far away, but just far enough that you make new friends, even though you weren’t really looking. But these new friends are better than the old ones but, because they’re new, it will take some time to warm-up to them and trust in them and just to get close you know? It’s the same way with your church. It’s like new friends. It’s just gonna take some time.” She said that herself! It was so cool. Again, opposition in all things.
And that’s it for the investigators. It’s been hard to stay positive and hopeful this week. We contacted for around 10 hours total and had absolutely no success except maybe four phone numbers but not a single return appointment. All the while, the Malay elders are absolutely killing it – baptisms left and right – and so many dinner appointments they have to invite us because it’s too much for them. It’s a bit rough.
I still am convinced I’m Iban though. That’s the race to be. The first red-head Iban. Also can, eh?
Never did catch that biawak. Darn it. But today, when all of us except Vance were asleep on the couches downstairs, Vance ran inside and yells “There’s a biawak in our yard!” We thought he was lying, but sure enough, there it was. A big one, too. But he was behind our house in the gutter, so we couldn’t get to him. We went back later and saw two more! It’s decided. We’re gonna get one, and we’re gonna get him good!
I turn 20 tomorrow! That’s weird. Mary graduates soon. Before I know it she’ll have a year of college behind her. That’s crazy. Sam is a superstar in high school. And the little one, Emi, isn’t so little anymore. Stop growing up! All of us.
Love you guys!