September 21, 2011
So last Friday I interviewed Manchau – at least that’s his nickname – for baptism. Well, he passed with flying colors and I was really excited for him. So when I reported with Elder Alexius, the elders teaching him, they told me that Manchau had asked me to baptize him! So I did . . . in Malay. It was sweet. That’s two languages I’ve baptized in now. Maybe I baptize someone in English while I’m here? How many missionaries get to baptize someone in a language they don’t speak?
I’ve been doing a lot of baptismal interviews recently. I really, really enjoy them. I love seeing the Spirit that these soon-to-be-members have and all of the faith that our missionaries have helped them build. I’ve also felt the Spirit directing me during interviews. I recently interviewed a really nice woman, but it became clear during the interview that she was not ready. I knew almost as soon as we sat down that she was not supposed to be baptized just yet. I told her that we were going to delay her baptism for a few weeks and it has turned out for the best. After talking with one of the elders that is teacher her, he agreed that she needs some time to understand the gospel a little better. It was a growing experience for me and ended up helping her too. I just thought it was cool to feel so strongly that it was not time. I didn’t hear a voice or have any major miracle, but the prompting was undeniable. I taught our district yesterday about the gift of discernment and how it can bless all aspects of our life.
Saturday we participated in the Day of Service for the 75th anniversary of the Church welfare program. We performed a service project at a Bidayuh community outside of Miri. We cleaned up the area and planted trees. Rather than go to the local Star Nursery for plants, you simply take cuttings from other plants or trees and then stick them in the ground. You don’t have to worry about connecting a bubbler, setting the sprinkler clock or adding fertilizer. Malaysia’s wet soil, sunshine and tropical heat takes care of everything. While just a handful of people did most of the work, everyone else danced. The kampung (i.e., “village”) chief showed up late but he was very grateful. I’m not sure how it happened but during our few hours of service we ate two meals. It was a fun day.
Transfers are coming up next week. Elder Forsyth and I really don’t want to be transferred. Chances are pretty good that Elder Whinham will take Elder Teng’s spot in Singapore when he is released and goes home to China. I really like Miri but everywhere has been good so I’ll be happy either way.
Roy still hasn’t gone off shore because a Muslim interviewed for the same job and got it, probably because of his religion. So Roy is still here. We gave him a white shirt and a couple of ties that he can start wearing to church on Sunday. He should also ordained a priest in the Aaronic Priesthood soon. Be watching for him on Facebook.
On Monday it rained really, really hard. I haven’t been that soaked in a few months. And I got demum from it, that dreaded Malaysian illness that comes from allowing rain to hit the top of your head. I think it’s real. They warned me about it but I never believed them. I had a fever and headache for two or three hours. Weird! Sorry this is so short this week. I’ll have more next week with transfer news. Love you all!