May 4, 2011
Yes, I finally got to meet a “prophetess” this week. What a trip! This will take up most of my e-mail, but hopefully you’ll enjoy it. Here’s the story:
We have this investigator, Betty Ho, and she’s the sweetest, most innocent, little 40+ year old ever. She isn’t married but loves kids and there are kids from the flat running all over her house every time we go to see her. Usually, we open up our lesson with a magic trick, then teach the kids so they can practice the rest of the time and leave us alone. It works out really well. Betty was doing great, except for two things: she wasn’t coming to church, and she wasn’t reading the Book of Mormon. However, she always participated, asked questions and prayed at the end of lessons. Well, on Monday she invited us over to meet a friend from her church. She kept saying that this lady was the Thomas S. Monson of her church. (I think she thought Thomas S. Monson was the name that we call prophets and she wouldn’t budge from that train of thought eve though explained tried to explain it several times. We showed up and about 30 minutes late. An hour later, the “prophetess” showed up. Her coming was preceded was a great whirlwind. Honestly. Just before she showed up this wicked wind ripped through the house and the front door slammed really hard. Papers were flying all around the place. It was the first time I’d seen something like that my whole mission. I guess it should have been a sign but I ignored it, although Jenkins and I did have some fun joking around about it.
So, we were both expecting some frail old wise woman when suddenly this robust 40- year old woman burst through the door totally out of breath. I’m not kidding. She was actually panting. I guess the three flights of stairs were too much for her. She didn’t even stop to catch her breath. She asked right off the bat, “So, who are you?” and after brief introductions on our part she stood up, clasped her hands in front of her face, looked upwards and faced the ceiling, and started into the most humorous, memorable prayer I’ve ever heard. It went something like this, “We surrender this moment unto you, oh Lord God Christ Jesus, yes…” The “yes” was kind of breathy and awkwardly tacked on at the end. She ended up surrendering a lot of things in the prayer, including Betty’s house, Kuching, Sarawak, East Malaysia, the Isle of Borneo, and the country of Malaysia, too. It was interesting wording. There was nothing reverent or humble about the prayer. She was screaming and demanding things from heaven. I think Joseph Smith said there is no passage in scripture where the Holy Spirit causes a human being to behave like an animal. There is the example of Balaam, but God caused Balaam’s donkey to speak like a man – he never caused Balaam to bray like a donkey! Then came my favorite part, “Lord God Jesus rebuke the spirit of deception . . . rebuke the spirit of deception . . . REBUKE THE SPIRIT OF DECEPTION!!!” Each time she said it she was louder and louder, and she started loud to begin with. By the third time she was honestly screaming. How I kept from bursting into laughter is beyond me. Even my meek companion almost laughed.
Well after he craziness we got into discussion of doctrine and this woman enlightened my mind. I’ve met many Christians, and most say that they don’t believe in the holy trinity, but this lady was all for it. She even tried to use John 1 to prove her point, but I shut her down by explaining divine investiture. Without meaning to, we actually confounded this woman, again and again. She was like unto Korihor. After I related the Joseph Smith story, she told us that she’s had the same experience. She was in a revival meeting and all of the sudden there was an extra light right above her head, but she kept her eyes closed and just bathed in it or something like that. Then she told us about how she came to know Jesus. Her godmother was in a coma for a month and apparently visited Heaven and Hell and now that she’s better and goes back for about three hours every day. Yes, she transfigures herself for three hours a day. She also told us about a man she knows who sees Jesus every day and chooses when he wants to meet with Him. Oh, the blasphemy. She also told us that he has, “Forty missionaries worldwide.” We didn’t bother telling here we have her beat by 52,000. She refused to be baptized by immersion because she was already sprinkled on and tried to make up some kind of story promoting personal good decisions or something. To me it sounded like pure, unadulterated stubbornness because she didn’t like the priest. She also let us know that baptism isn’t necessary as long as you feel like you’ve been baptized in your heart. She also disagreed with faith by works for the same reason. It’s how you feel that matters. Then she said, “Elder Moody, once I was in Canada at an Evangelical Church meeting, and I saw Jesus. He was standing behind the pulpit and, well now I can’t quite remember . . . was he in blue or green? Oh yes, this time was blue. And suddenly I saw his body disperse and he became a pillar of light and ascended into heaven.” I almost said, “Well, beam me up Scotty!” Somewhere in the middle of all this I asked if she considered herself a prophet and how we should address her. She said, “Well, I don’t call myself a prophet, but these people (pointing to Betty) seem to think I am, so I try and live up to it.” She also expressed to us that all of her predictions must come true or she’ll have to move to another city, something I think she’s done before. She bragged that she once predicted that a woman would have a boy. Mind you, she was already pregnant so I guess getting a 50/50 thing is good enough to make you a prophet.
I seriously considered rebuking this woman for deceiving so many people. She had almost no gospel knowledge and everything relied on her testimony of herself. She has been deceived and is now deceiving others. After we left she prayed with Betty and told Betty she saw Jesus sitting in the chair next to her and then acted as a medium for Betty so Betty could ask Jesus questions. Betty asked if she should read the Book of Mormon, and Jesus replied through the devil woman, “No. All you need is the Old and New Testament.” Betty invited us back the next night, which we thought was good sign but she returned the Book of Mormon and pamphlets we’d given her. It broke my heart. Betty had the perfect chance to be saved and come to a full knowledge of the restored truth, but because of the malicious actions of a deceiving prophetess, she will be denied those blessings in this life. I was furious; absolutely fuming. I was about to go off, so I just left but Elder Jenkins stayed behind for a few minutes and bore testimony while I cooled off downstairs. I’m so glad he did. As he came down stairs, this guy opened his window and asked what we were doing and invited us back to share our message with him Thursday. It’s usually when I’m at my lowest point that Heavenly Father takes the opportunity to raise my faith in the Chinese community of Sarawak. I mean honestly, we knocked seven different blocks of flats. Probably several hundred doors, each with a family or two behind it, and we were rejected every step of the way. We even knocked the guy’s door that invited us back, and he probably wasn’t home. If Elder Jenkins hadn’t been inspired to bear testimony we wouldn’t have met him. I didn’t have the Spirit with me because of anger and contention in my heart towards the before-mentioned lady, so I’m lucky he kept a level head.
In other news, our first Chinese group meeting went really well. Twenty people came and we’re expecting about 30 this coming Sunday. Brother Teo is taking us around Saturdays to visit less active members and there are a lot of them. So I’m really pleased with how that went. Also I get to Skype with you on Mother’s Day. It will be on Monday morning for me, sometime around 7:00 p.m. on Sunday night for you.
Love you guys to death!
P.S. My companion is finally coming out of his shell. He reminds me a lot of Joey. Needless to say, we’re getting along really well. He’s a very funny kid, full of those Joey-esque, random comments that crack everyone up. Can also.