August 24, 2011
So I had my first baptismal interviews last week. It was amazing! I interviewed one teenager, two older people and two kids. The kids surprised me the most. Two of them were simply amazing. They answered every question flawlessly and then some. In the front of our Missionary Planner there is a page with the interview questions. I disagree with anyone that would stray from these questions. It’s as if they think their questions are better than those developed by apostles and prophets. Anyway, I stick to the questions. One of them asks about the commandments. I got to the Word of Wisdom and asked what it was and if the boy would follow it. He went off. First, he told me exactly what it was, how to best keep it, how we can be an example to others, and what blessings we can expect from obeying it. They were all very simple answers but I was stunned. I envy the faith of little children. They aren’t tainted by the thoughts and logic of the world. If a missionary tells a child that Jesus died for him, he believes it. I’d like to be able to say someday that I not only have faith, but that I have the faith of a child. Yes, I have faith. But I want to exercise it like a child. I hope you understand.
So we had a visa run to Singapore on Friday and Saturday! I prayed before I left that I’d be able to help progress the Lord’s work while I was away from Miri. I’m still waiting to see whether that prayer was answered. The flight was uneventful as well as most of the trip. I looked for a Singapore soccer jersey but all the stores only had the away jersey and I want the home one. Thanks for the idea on that one, Dad. It was good to see Elder Vance.
On Sunday night a member named Boy Boy brought over a bunch of ramen packs to eat with us. And by “a bunch” I mean eight packages for three of us to eat. Too much. My stomach was not happy about all those chemicals I shoved in there. I’m still feeling the effects from that dang ramen. A member in Kuching told me that it takes seven days for your body to cleanse itself of the chemicals from one pack of ramen. I figure it will be a month before I’m good again.
I purchased a dog protection device this week for 3 ringgit. It’s also known as a wrist rocket. I took aim and nailed a dog broadside that tries to bite us every time we walk by. He whelped and ran away and hasn’t bothered us since. I told the story in District Meeting yesterday and Sister Clark (our mission president’s mother) was not happy with me. I confirmed that she has never been bitten or chased by a dog and that brought some degree of understanding between us but I was reproved and have since repented. I no longer carry the wrist rocket because she made me feel terrible. I guess I’ll go back to be being chased by a big ole German Shepherd at 9:00 p.m.
Would you believe that Roy hasn’t smoked for four days! He went from a pack a day for the past 10 years to nothing in one week. He is just an amazing investigator and he is scheduled to be baptized next week. Charles will be interviewed tonight and, if all goes as planned, he’ll be baptized on Saturday. I am loving Miri so much!
Oh, I forgot! Saturday night we showed up for Phillip’s dance recital. We’ve been talking about it for months. When we arrived at the location there were a bunch of scantily-clad women in bikini tops and long skirts for “Egyptian Mystery Nite.” We couldn’t find Phillip and called to find out where he was. It turns out that he didn’t get picked for the show and neglected to tell us so we were there totally alone. We left before it even started but not before we faced an incredibly awkward experience with all of those Cleopatras. Modesty is codified here and most women are extremely conservative in the way they dress so I’ve been sheltered from immodesty while I’ve been in Malaysia. I’m not gonna lie; it was hard to stay focused and not let my eyes wander. But I’m back in Malaysia so it’s all good.
Love you guys, and I love the Lord and His work!