Today was so much fun! It was a huge improvement from last year when we didn’t even eat meat. Sister Lowe pulled off a miracle. We changed our P-day to Thursday (i.e., today) and she called the Marriott in downtown Miri to ask if they were doing anything special for Thanksgiving. They weren’t but she asked if they would. They did. Not only did they cook an entire turkey – just for us – they also made us a massive slab of beef, gave us access to their private beach, volleyball court, and showers. Sister Lowe picked us up at 9:00 a.m. and took the Jihnold District to the Marriott. The Jinhold crew consists of Forsyth, Gottfredson, Shumway, Rinet, Jensen, Lowe and me. (Spell checker highlighted the first four last names I typed so I’ll let them know they need to change their names to a recognizable spelling.) Anyway, we got there and immediately started throwing around a Frisbee, a Nerf ball and just did whatever we wanted. That morphed into volleyball and then back to horsing around. I loved every second of it. I almost felt like we were back on the beach in Southern California with Kyal’s family. Instead, I was halfway around the world with a different family. We stopped playing at about 12:30 p.m., showered, and went to the dining room for our meal. It turned out better than we could have expected. Not only did we get the turkey and beef, they opened the entire buffet for us! I. AM. STUFFED. The turkey was . . . . well, just okay. I’ve been spoiled with Kyal’s cooking. No one even comes close with the science of turkey preparation. We talked about it today. No one else even brines their turkeys! That is a very essential aspect of the perfect turkey, is it not? Beef also okay. And by okay I mean that my mouth was watering because I’ve been eating nothing but chicken for a year and some-odd months.
After the meal we headed over to the Miri lighthouse on a whim and took some cool pictures. No we’re back and I’m here typing this email to you.
Other things that have occurred this week . . . We saw a miracle this week was with Sister Helen, the one from Sibu who moved here recently. We went to see her Monday for a few hours and on Wednesday too. We couldn’t figure out why, but both of us just felt like going there. To remind you who she is, she was baptized four years ago, was in the temple a year after that and is a woman of very modest means. In Sibu she lived in a single room with her entire family of five kids and her husband. But what strikes me is that she is happy. Even in poverty she always has a smile on her face. She helps the elders every day and was the Young Women President and had several other callings as well. She moved to Miri to give her son a new start, away from some of the influences that were troubling him Sibu. It seems to be working.
Yesterday when we were there, she looked over at me and said, “Moody, I wish I was rich.” I asked why. She responded, “Because then I wouldn’t be so sad.” I couldn’t think of anything to say to her. I guess I was confused. She seems happy but deep down she’s been struggling with something. I wanted to tell her that money wouldn’t make her happy but that wasn’t what she needed to hear. I didn’t say anything. I just listened. After another minute or so she started crying and telling us that her family won’t help her financially because she joined the Church. Then it hit me. She hasn’t been reading, praying or going to church. The one person I was convinced was converted to the gospel was telling me she wasn’t praying. She was sad because she was losing her testimony and didn’t realize it. She wouldn’t allow us to give her a blessing or pray with her. I explained that the only way for her to feel happy again was to start doing the things she was dong when she was happy (e.g., going to church, reading, praying, etc.) We told her she has a decision to make; either keep being sad and angry at the world or get back into gear and find happiness again. I think she finally understood it when we told her that. I definitely love her a ton and sincerely hope that she’ll pull through this rough patch. It would be nice if you would pray for her. She needs it.
We are working closely with Roy to find someone to teach. Today he called us with a referral! We haven’t met him yet and don’t know who he is, but our recent convert is doing missionary work!
I’m happy as a clam and love you all!