Opposition in all things…

March 2, 2011

Malaysian traffic

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.

Car trouble? Another tree growing through your engine? We'll need some weed killer, a chainsaw and a rope...

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!

Upgrading Stella from 1.0 to 2.0

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!

Also can,

Elder Moody

Stella 2.0 - luxury seat and raised handle bars (it's like driving a tractor you have to pedal; I sit straight up to ride; braking is a bit of an issue, but I'm getting that fixed tomorrow)

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About 6moodys

Sam Moody serving as a full-time missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
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5 Responses to Opposition in all things…

  1. Martin Warburton says:

    Johnson,
    Always great to get an inside look at what you are up to…and what you are facing. Rest assured that although the scenery is better and the food harder to catch over there….the problems and daily trials facing all….. remain. Go forward with faith. Remember your ability to invoke the power of the Priesthood on behalf of these people. So proud to know you are there, doing the Lord’s work with such a great attitude and a work ethic that you could have only gotten from your Dad. I have seen that very ethic and attitude work miracles in the lives of many. Hang in there “Jackson”…show ’em some of that San Miguel Mojo. I love you Johnson. Return with honor!

    Bro. ” W “

  2. Cynthia Sun says:

    Hey Johnson,
    Hope you got my letter, but chances are the mail people have sticky fingers and curious eyes so it probably never made it to you, I’ll just send another one.
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I wish I could tell you to eat lots of cake, but now that I think about it I am not sure if asian people actually eat birhday cake (I grew up here and I think we just picked up the american tradition). But I do hope your day will be wonderful beyond all capacity!! So be sure to smile and celebrate.
    Also don’t be too discouraged, Li, JB and Jojo will all come around; good things take time. And there is a point when once you know the church is true your entire life alters, but at the same time there is no going back, the Spirit and love of Heavenly Father and the Savior encompasses us in body, mind and spirit. Change is hard, and I am guessing for some of your investigators, they are just scared even if they know and understand the true Gospel.
    Well I wish you luck and birthday happiness! Miss ya “President Johnson”!

  3. Joi Warburton says:

    Elder Moody,

    How wonderful it is to read the goings on in your life. It sounds like you have tasted a bit of what parenthood is like. Although you never tried your parents much, I’m sure all this will come in handy when you become a father, Bishop, Ward Mission Leader or President of the World one day.

    It sounds so silly for people to worry about loosing friends and family over conversion to another religion like ours. I remember my parents getting sympathy cards when I converted to the LDS church. When I look back now I can laugh but then it was a touch sistuation. My brother’s were born again and according to one of them, a misister now, I am still going to hell for being fooled by Satan and Joseph Smith!
    Until we have a true understanding of the Savior’s atonement and the plan of salvation, it is frightning to leave what is comfortable behind. But when I understand HF’s love and the role the Savior plays in my life personally, fear is replaced with peace.

    The Elder’s from our ward seem to write about the same idea: “If I could just get these folks to know the Savior and how much He loves them”. No matter what happens with the numbers out there, you are spreading that good news to so many.
    You may not harvest right now but you can come away knowing that you planted in the Lord’s vinyard!
    Be great, Joi Warburton

  4. Jorge DiPaola says:

    穆迪长老你好,你好吗?,你能相信贾斯汀即将在22天的家?,我们感到非常兴奋。保持良好的工作,感谢服务,爱,兄弟你DiPaola

  5. Larry & Cindy Taylor says:

    Elder Moody, You are awesome and will have tons of success!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY… No more teen years for you ma ha ha ha ha!!! You have everyone in this Stake praying for you so stay positive. I Love reading your letter to home!!!
    Love, Larry & Cindy Taylor

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