September 8, 2011
So, it’s been seven months since I baptized JB in Sibu. That was my last baptism, but the streak is finally broken with not just one, but two baptisms! Well, I didn’t really do anything. The Lord blessed us with what we’ve been praying for since we got here. And the best thing about it is that they were both baptized because they have good, solid testimonies and not because we convinced them to take a quick dip in the font. Everything went really well at the baptism. I baptized them both and didn’t have to re-do either of them thanks to the ‘ole step-on-the-foot technique. It works! However, Roy was the only one that came the next day to get confirmed. We put too much faith in Charles’ aunt to bring him. She’s less-active but we thought that something as important as his confirmation would finally get her out on a Sunday. Wrong! She never came. So this week President Chan is going to go pick up Charles so he can be confirmed. Also his aunt is getting married this Sunday and we’re going to attend with President Chan. Her name is Winny (or at least it used to be). She somehow suddenly changed it to Candi. May as well have changed it to Bubbles or something like that. I’m telling you, it is just incredible some of the English names people here pick for themselves.
We just got returned from another zone conference. We got home at about 6:00 a.m. this morning. I hate the buses here! I’m afraid I turned into Epic Rage Guy as we boarded the bus on our way on Monday night. I have been on the Asia Star several times now; from Kuching to Miri and back, from Sibu to Kuching and back and all over Sarawak. In all the miles I’ve logged I have never had a problem taking my bike. The Asia Star has a really big under carriage and we usually just wheel our bikes in there and think nothing of it. But not this time. Apparently, it’s against the law . . . unless you give them 50 ringgit . . . then it somehow magically becomes legal again. Corruption at it’s finest! But it doesn’t stop there. So the guy was not nice at all and was not willing to talk to us about the problem. This was the same guy we paid the 50 ringgit extra to. After 20 minutes with no action, I requested our money back from him. I wasn’t happy. He said he would help, but then decided that smoking was more important and made us wait. So, I got our money back and then the boss came to talk to us. Also very rude. Bottom line? We didn’t bring the bikes. We had to call Sister Lowe to pick up our bikes.
While we were locking up and getting everything figured out, the bus drives away. Without us! We run to catch it and I march onto the bus and some Chinese guy is in my seat. My stuff was already there. I chose that seat because I’ve been on this bus before and this particular seat bounces less than the one behind it. (Malaysia roads aren’t so good.) It also has more room. He wouldn’t move. I told him he was in my seat. He ignored me. I tapped him on the shoulder. He looked and me and said he didn’t understand. So I spoke to him in Chinese and repeated that he was in my seat. He started to move and I thought he was acknowledging the problem, but he wouldn’t leave the seat. I was just like, “No, don’t let me bug you man. I’ll move.” So I went into a different seat and ended up getting really car sick from all the bouncing around. I was not a happy camper. But it’s over now and makes for a good story so it’s all good.
The ride back was much less eventful. Have I ever monologued about the Malaysian method of problem solving? I won’t take the time now but sufficeth it say that they think that by not dealing with it, it will eventually go away. Amazing!
The training from President was “Overcoming temptation . . . forever!” It was great. It basically came down to two things: (1) changing your environment, and (2) changing your heart. It’s a life-long goal I know, but I am convinced it is possible.
The Church is true. This is God’s work. I love Miri, and the Chinese people here. I love you all! Stay strong, homeslices!
Love you all!