August 31, 2011
It’s been a pretty good week New elders arrived here in Miri about an hour ago. They won’t be living with us, so Elder Forsyth and I are still kicking it on our own. No complaints; I actually like it better. Less distractions means more studies and better work.
I’ve been studying the Atonement. There are just so many aspects of the Atonement that make it easy to forget things from time to time. Studying everyday helps me to keep it in my mind. I have found that when something is passively on my mind throughout the day I end up understanding it a lot more when I study. It always amazes me what the human brain can do. Just having something sift around in there is often enough for me to figure things out. I guess that’s why we’re asked to ponder. That’s how the Spirit works in me.
Mom, you expressed a desire last week to be able to recognize the Spirit better, right? Well, I’ve been mulling that over and I think by identifying the presence of the Spirit and asking others to describe what they are feeling is one way to increase our ability to recognize it.
So here’s is how I know when I’m being prompted. It frequently happens at night, right after I pray. I usually have all kinds of stuff on my mind but when I start to focus on somethings specific, it is as if I have a flood of thoughts on the subject, stuff that I know I should remember. So I keep a notebook right next to the bed and try to write everything down. And that’s it. It isn’t anything incredible. Usually it is not an emotional experience, but the Spirit speaks in a different language. There are no words or even feelings. Rather, the Spirit speaks in pure, unadulterated knowledge. It’s really cool because when I am being taught by the Spirit everything else just kind of fades away for a bit. It takes all of my brain power to comprehend and to put what I have learned into words. A few weeks ago I was asked to give some training during District Meeting. After pondering it, I decided to teach the principle of confidence and its role in missionary work. The biggest thing I learned while preparing the night before is that confidence is applied faith, and that’s what distinguishes it from pride or boasting. It seemed to go over really well. It took me almost an hour to teach it so sorry I can’t give you the whole thing. This week I trained on doing all things in wisdom and in order.
In this week’s news for investigators, I’m afraid Phillip dropped us. He stopped answering calls and is always “busy” now. Hopefully we will be able to talk to him this week and get it all figured out. Charles wasn’t baptized last week because he came down with a pretty bad fever a few hours before it was scheduled. That really put a damper on things, but he’s still good for this week so no worries there. Roy is getting baptized in a few days, which I am stoked about. He’s made so much progress it’s amazing. He recently interviewed for a job in Dubai, so he may be leaving in a few months. I hope not. Actually, let’s hope he get’s what the Lord knows he needs.
Two of our investigators got Astro satellite TV this week, so we went to teach them, they were absolutely transfixed with their new their boob tube. TVs are useless! Well, not that I don’t love movies and TV shows but come on, we’re trying to teach here. I’m betting it’s a few weeks before the lure of that confounded box fades away and interest in the gospel is renewed.
Today and yesterday are Hari Raya which means “Celebration Day.” It’s one of the biggest national holidays in Malaysia and Singapore. Shopping malls are filled with people buying new clothes, shoes, sandals and food as part of the celebration. This morning we ate BBQ at the beach with some Ibans and tonight we’re having authentic Indian food with some Muslims. Love you all!