Elder Oaks is coming to Singapore!

May 9, 2012

Laurel’s baptism

Hey, we had a great week!  Laurel was baptized and everything was great.  After her baptism, like a good companion, I was waiting for Wood to change outside the bathroom when I was suddenly blindsided!  Laurel ran up and hugged me by surprise.  It was totally unexpected and I felt so awkward.  She wouldn’t let go until I gave her a little pat on the back.  She’s such a goof!

In other news, Sean says he is ready to be baptized.  He has a solid testimony and is just awesome but he has to come to church one more time and getting work off is really hard for him.  The past two weeks he worked double shifts on Saturday to free up Sunday but he still got called in to work.  He will probably get baptized this month for sure so it’s no problem.  He has progressed so well; it’s just amazing.

We can Skype on Mother’s Day at about 6:00 p.m. your time on Sunday (which is 9:00 a.m. on my Monday).   Here is my schedule for the week: Monday – Skype the family; Tuesday – full work day; Wednesday – zone activity at Pulau Ubin and interviews with President Clark afterwards; Thursday – Zone Conference; Friday – work day but the entire Johor Bahru Zone (West Malaysia) will be here in Singapore; and Saturday – Elder Oaks and a member of the Presiding Bishopric will be here and give a devotional.

Next week is gonna be crazy!

Also can,

Elder Moody

Looks like mini me

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23 months!

May 2, 2012

Well, next week I will hit the 23-month mark.  Holy cow!  It’s been a long time but thinking back, it all seems like it’s only been a couple months.  Sorry.  Not trying to be trunky or anything.  As for Mother’s Day, I will call the Monday after – my Monday.  Don’t wanna take the time to figure out what day that is for you.  Speaking of time, do you know that I leave the Tokyo airport at 2:00 p.m. and get to Las Vegas at 12:00 p.m.? So, I will arrive in Las Vegas before I even leave Tokyo.  That’s mind boggling.

Police in KL

So I’m e-mailing a day later than usual because we had another Zone Leader Conference in KL yesterday.  You may have seen in the news that there have been several riots there.  We were at a restaurant in Singapore the day before and saw the riots on TV.  Other than a ton of cops everywhere, there was no excitement while we were there.  We were never bothered.

Is Sam interested in some Beats (by Dr. Dre) headphones?  I can get them for about $60 U.S.  I’m sure they’re knock-offs, but good ones.  They’re dang cool looking.  You want? Next, does any one else want something from there?  Maybe a watch or shirt or laser pen?  I’ll only go one more time before I head back to the U.S. of A. so let me know.

So, we just had an interesting phone call.  Laurel will be baptized on Saturday.  There is also a child baptism for our ward the same day.  We assumed we would have them together, but there was some confusion.  I called the bishop and explained the situation. He said, “Wait, why not just have them together?  Who said no?  Kai Hui!  No, no, no, no, no.  I’ll call you back.”  And call he did.  Ten minutes the phone rang and he told us that everything is worked out.  Good man.  Cultural differences run a lot deeper than I would have expected.  I decided that traditional Chinese cultural is as different from American culture as I could imagine.  It requires a fair amount of working things out.  I know there’s a better word to use but I’ve been racking my mind for about five minutes now and I’m still drawing a blank so that will have to do.  (“Compromise,” perhaps?)

We finally heard back from Lena.  She says that maybe baptism isn’t for her but I think she might just be a little confused on what tithing is so we are going meet on Saturday and get it worked out.  No worries.

Everyone else is doing well.  I’m going to eat some food and then go teach the rest of the day.  No P-day this week, and you know what?  It doesn’t bother me in the least.

Love you all!

Also can,

Elder  Moody

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Good news and bad news…

April 26, 2012

Sorry all, but this won’t be a long e-mail. We went back to bike on Pulau Ubin today and it has run my dry on both energy and time. We were supposed to have five baptisms this week. As the week progressed I learned that we will have no baptisms this week. Great! One of them will be in Malaysia for the week; one wants to wait with his friend that needs to come to church a few more times; one needs to sort through some poor choices; one needs a stronger testimony of tithing; and we haven’t heard from the other in almost four days.

In Malaysia, when I taught someone to pray and then had them pray for the first time, they usually took all of the time to ask for things. They really didn’t ask for worldly things but they asked for a lot. The Chinese are very different. They pray for the first time by telling Heavenly Father about their day, about the way they’ve spent their time and what they have learned in our lesson, and then they ask for maybe one or two things at the most. I find this interesting because we learned at the MTC that prayers are like an accountability session with God. The Chinese treat it as return-and-report without ever having learned that principle. I think that’s pretty cool.

I have learned that it’s always best when teaching to focus on the basics. I don’t get caught up in programs or gimmicks. I’m always afraid that if I get them hooked onto something else that they won’t ever have a solid foundation in true doctrine.

Much love, home dogs!

Also can,

Elder Moody

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You’re married?!

April 19, 2012

So both Sharon and Jeannie were baptized.  It’s great to see the changes that come over people following baptism.  Things finally clicked with Jeannie.  We taught her a New Member Lesson – a short 15-minute review of the Restoration – and after we got home she texted us to thank us for teaching her and for introducing her to the Church.  She said she was thrilled to learn about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith.  The Holy Ghost opens our minds to gospel understanding.  Have to experience it to understand it.  Also, we were looking over Sharon’s baptismal record and found something that surprised us; she’s married!  I have been teaching her for three months now and she never once mentioned that she had a husband.  They aren’t fighting or anything; she’s just married. He didn’t even come to her baptism.  But maybe now we can teach him.

I went on exchanges with the office elders on Monday and they had a lesson set up with some guy that “had never met.”  They found a bunch of numbers in their phone that they didn’t recognize so they just sent out a mass text and a few of them actually invited them over.  One of them was Marcus, the aforementioned appointment.  Well, he shows up and we dive into the lesson.  After offering the Book of Mormon, he said, “Oh, I already have one.”  We were like, “What, from who?”  He said, “Elder Schone and Nggiku.”  And then it clicked in my head; his name is Darius.  Elder Schone told me earlier that morning that they had a new guy on date named Darius.  So I went out and called Elder Nggiku and confirmed my suspicions, and headed back in to break the news.  Rather than explain the confusion, I just came right out and asked, “So when are you getting baptized?”  He told us and I finished the lesson real quick.  Oh man were the office elders embarrassed, but I had a good laugh.

Takashimaya

Last week another elder took me contacting at Takashimaya, a massive mall.  Well, it’s actually outside on the street but we call that area a “mall”.  He took me to see a Lladro of two missionaries in one of the shops and we ran into a Chinese guy who was working at a cigar shop.  We talked to him for a bit and left without a second thought.  We had a bit of free time last night so we felt like we should go and talk to him again.  This time we found out that he has been to our church before – like six years ago – and knows our current ward mission leader.  We got his number and he should be coming to church on Sunday.

Love you all!

Also can,

Elder Moody

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Just back from Kuala Lumpur

April 11, 2012

We had Zone Leaders Conference yesterday in KL.  It was fantastic!  I must have been in the right frame of mind for inspiration.  General Conference was great.  I watched two sessions in Chinese so I probably missed a few things, but I loved it all.

Jeannie was baptized yesterday when we were in KL.  It turned out the only day she could get baptized was the only day we couldn’t be there, but at least we know she was baptized for the right reasons.  Sharon pushed her date back a little bit, but just to the end of the month.  We have seven baptisms projected this month!  That’s huge.

Rattan bag from Borneo

Although I used to love visa runs and going to Malaysia for ZLC, I’ve grown to hate leaving my area now.  Trips to KL were almost like a vacation, but now it’s just two more days I can’t work in my area.  It does motivate me to work harder the rest of the week, and the training is really beneficial to the zone.  Plus, I trust that God will cover up what I’m not able to.

I’m loving it here right now.  You should receive a package soon.  It has a tikai in it.

Love you!

Elder Moody

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A voice of great thunder…

April 5, 2012

This whole week has been one with very little sleep.  We’ve had thunderstorms so loud that they wake me up and keep me up most of the night.  Last night I just couldn’t fall asleep.  And just I was dozing off I received a text from an investigator named Laurel: “Hi.  Elder Wood and Moody.  Sorry for disturbing you at the midnight, but I want to say that since thirty minutes ago, I have believed in the Lord Jesus Christ.  He’s the last of the three, and now I believe He is the One.  Thanks.  Goodnight.”  I was blown away.  This is a girl from China that has been to many different churches in Singapore and has listened to many different doctrines.  The first two lessons with her we spent answering questions that were all over the board.  Finally, we just told her to read the Book of Mormon and pray to know if it is true.  And she did, and He did.  You can always trust the Spirit you know?  Well, that was just a little miracle from last night but this week has been full of them.

Jeannie, the Singaporean investigator, texted last night and asked to push her baptism up to this Saturday, so we did.  She wanted as many friends to come as possible so she had it moved up.  I’ll send pics and tell you about it next week.  Elder Wood seems to be in cleaning overdrive.  He can’t sit still.  He cleans with any spare time that he has, including the bookshelf in the corner that no one has touched for years.  He can’t sit still and I’m very relaxed.  When we’re waiting for an investigator to show up, he wants to go down and look for them.  Why would we do that?  They know exactly where they’re going and I know they’ll show up eventually.  I usually just tease him for being so antsy until he sits down.  I think cleaning is just one way to redirecting his energy.

I’m doing really well.  My foot is still bruised, but the bruises moved from my foot to my toes.  They’re all purple and weird looking but I’m almost walking normally again.

We lost a sister from the zone to Kuching but gained two more including a greenie.  We’re so busy teaching that we are doing very little street contacting.

Compassvale Link Chapel

I’m sending a photo of the new Compassvale Link Chapel.  It is less than a year old and is located in the Sengkang housing estate.  Elder Anthony Perkins, Asia Area President, presided over the dedication last June.  The Bedok and Ang Mo Kio Wards meet in this chapel.

The Singapore Stake was established in February of 1995 and reached 3,300 in membership last year.  The saints in Singapore now meet in three locations: the Stake Center in Bukit Timah, Pasir Panjang, and Compassvale Link.

Love you guys!

Also can,

Elder Moody

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Red head spotted!

March 28, 2012

Ouch!On Saturday morning we were moving basketball hoop and the thing ended up rolling on top of my heel.  Because I was standing on my toes, it pushed my foot down and then bounced back off of it.  The thing easily weighs 200 pounds with the cinder blocks and I thought every bone in my foot had instantly shattered.  It felt like it too.  I mean I knew nothing was broken but the top of my foot bruised within minutes on the top of my foot.  It was like a deep hurt, not jut a bruise.  Sister Clark made me go to the doctor and they put me on crutches.  They said I strained a tendon on the outside of my left foot.  Hurts like a bugger but it’s getting better fast.  I can actually put weight on it now.  Luckily, we had three full days of appointments in the office so my stupidity didn’t slow down the work at all.

All of our investigators are doing really well except one.  She learned English from watching television.  Sadly, she also picked up Hollywood’s morals.  We haven’t given up on her yet.

Another investigator, Jeannie, is doing amazingly well.  At church on Sunday there were two new girls there and we jokingly told her to go make friends.  Well, she did and she got their phone numbers, and invited them to dinner, and to Family Night too.  I expect her to be baptized soon.

The sisters are working with a 30-something Malayu drug addict who really has a strong desire to change.  We always accompany the sisters as safety back-up but at this point I kind of feel like he’s our investigator too.  On Friday he called and said he was “bored” which is actually code for “I’m about to go on a drug binge; try to stop me.”  We immediately went over with a Chinese member who speaks English because she was helping us that day anyway.  It was a good lesson in a park.  Sometime during our meeting I felt a hand on my shoulder and this guy was like, “Hey, long time no see!”  I had no idea who he was.  After talking for a bit he reminded me that I had talked to him on the MRT many stops away from here a few days before but he didn’t really want.  Well, that night he decided to take a walk down a quiet back alley, which just happened to be where we were teaching at the time.  He saw my red hair from a ways off and decided to come talk to me!  He still didn’t really want but he did set up for a dinner appointment.  Miracle!  Sunday night we went to teach the drug addict again.  He was wasted.  He had been clean for about three weeks, but when we saw him he could hardly stand up straight.  We sang some songs with him and then just told him to go home.

On a better note, we broke all kinds of records this week.  The zone had 92 new investigators in a single week.  It shattered the old record by 20.  By the way, that record had stood for more than three years.  We also beat the “on date” record the “member present” record, and the “referrals contacted” records too.  Miracle March baby!

I love you guys!

Also can,

Elder Moody

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