June 15, 2011
So for dinner last night we went to this little place by our house that has cheap but pretty good food. I was feeling like some good ‘ole chicken rice, but strangely it was cold when it got to me. I’ve had cold chicken rice before so I really didn’t think anything of it. Bad idea! That chicken rice kept me up all night with a really bad stomach ache and I’m still feeling its effects. Blegh…
So now onto this week. It’s been rough. We’ve been out contacting all week and haven’t had any success from it.
Sunday was interesting. I was asked to speak in church. President Chan gave me about 12 hours notice, and there ended up being only 12 people at church (almost 10 less than last week). About half way through my talk I felt impressed to call the branch to repentance for not doing their part to keep people active. I challenged them to increase attendance to 30 people next Sunday. I learned why there were so few people there. They have no faith. Almost everyone in the congregation shook their head no when I challenged them. I had to try really hard to keep from going off. It did turn out well in Gospel Principles though. I had to teach the lesson – also last minute – and I finished early so I brought up how we can best help the branch to grow. They actually started talking about it. Stuff like, “Oh I could call her,” or, “I know why he isn’t coming.” So my call to repentance was actually helpful. One of the biggest voices for not being able to get 30 to church was a lady that’s been investigating the church for 10 years. She just lacks the faith to be baptized. I’ve heard all kinds of excuses for her from other people, but what it comes down to is a lack of faith. So I was not happy when she tried to drag down the rest of the group. But the more everyone got to talking the more excited they got about bringing people back to church. So I’m really excited to see what everyone comes up with. Oh, I also forgot to say that we only had three people in Gospel Principles. The rest left after Sacrament Meeting. I was also pretty disappointed because of that, but it looks like they’re all making progress so I’m happy.
During church I met Elder Joshua Subandriyo, an Area Seventy. He’s in the Eighth Quorum of the Seventy and is from Indonesia. He was in Miri following the creation of the new Bintulu East Malaysia District (created on June 5, 2011) and the new Jakarta Indonesia Stake (created on May 22, 2011 by Elder Bednar). There’s a lot happening with the Church out here.
Now let’s talk about Monday; terrible, terrible Monday. We planned to see an investigator, but he wasn’t home so we went contacting that rest of the day. At one of the the first houses an old auntie answered the door and immediately said, “Don’t want,” before we could say anything. I was a bit put off because she didn’t even know what we were doing so I said, “I don’t know what you don’t want. What do you mean?” She said, “I don’t want whatever it is that you have.” So I said, “If we were offering money you wouldn’t want it?” “Don’t want.” “And what about blessings from God?” “Don’t want.” “And what about the very best thing that would ever happen to you?” Don’t want.” So we left. Twenty minutes later, as we were talking to another contact, some guy drove up all ticked off and just started kind of yelling. I couldn’t understand what he was saying, but the lady we were contacting said to him, “They’re just missionaries trying to talk about Jesus. Go away.” So he left. Ten minutes later he was back. This time I understood what he was saying. “Are you the guys who just came to my house and talked about money?” I explained that it was rhetorical and was only to make the point that you shouldn’t tell someone to go away when you don’t know what they’re offering to you. He was mad and drove away. I think maybe he thought I was being rude. I admit, there was some sarcasm in my heart when I said it, but no malice.
Then we decided to call the first counselor in our group to see if we could visit him, and he was offended at the request. He asked, “什么事?,” which is a really rude way of saying, “What do you want?” We said “Nothing. We just wanted to visit you.” He replied, “I work, come home, eat, play games, and sleep. Aya!” and then hung up on us. I was put off again, in the same day. I still don’t know what he was mad about. Right after that this old uncle rode by on his moto, turned to me, looked me in the eyes and said, “***hole!” and sped off. I don’t know what he was mad about either. I might understand it if I was in his way or something but I was on the sidewalk. Monday just wasn’t our day, I think.
Tuesday wasn’t much better, but we did ride by the beach and it was really pretty. We met a really nice family, but they didn’t want, and then it started pouring rain. After that I ate the chicken rice, got sick and that brings me full circle.
We need to kick it into gear and get things moving in this area. Oh also I forgot to tell you. I wouldn’t be anywhere else. I lvoe you all and I love being able to serve the Lord!!!