Merry Christmas! I hope you guys all have a good one and I'm thinking it's going to be pretty great out here in the mission field. It's funny, my companion and I keep saying that it's a lot like holidays don't even exist when you're out in the mission field, nothing really changes that much, but I think it's going to be pretty awesome to have a totally Christ-centered Christmas this year. There probably won't be as much glam and tradition this year, but the sisters are having a baptism we're going to (their names are Sister Wing and Sister Goodwin by the way. They're both from my MTC group. Sister Wing is from Bountiful and Sister Goodwin is from California), so Christmas should be really awesome.
Today was Zone Conference, which normally means travel, but since we're in KL we just kind of stuck around the area this time which was actually really nice. Saves a lot of travel stress and it means that the area doesn't suffer while we're away! Zone Conference was awesome. In addition to regular training about how to work well with the local leaders here (which can sometimes be a big challenge in this part of the world since the church is still not really established), we got an awesome training from President Clark all about why bad things happen to good people. President Clark is a spiritual giant and it's always a blast to hear what he has to say. Anyway, the gist of his message today was that the question is kind of based on a false premise. It kind of assumes that anything hard that happens to us is something bad. So, he told us that whatever draws us closer to Jesus Christ is good, and whatever takes us away from him is bad. The implication is kind of that we're the ones who get to decide if the hard things that happen to us are actually good things or bad things by how we react to them. The real answer to the question is that bad things don't really happen to truly good people at all, they just use hard times to draw closer to Christ. Interesting.
We got to do a small part of the training (just about 10 minutes) as the Zone Leaders here in KL, so that was kind of fun. My first training really.
Oh man, KL is awesome. I know I mentioned this before, but there is every kind of person from all over the world here (except South Americans, I don't why none of them come here). Anyway, this last week I met (among other things), Ibans, Iranians, Indians, Vietnamese, Chinese, Pakistanis, tons of Burmese (a *lot* of them come here as refugees), and even someone from Afghanistan. So, it's a crazy city, but really, really cool. Definitely a unique place to be serving in the entire world.
We've been working with a lot of Burmese people this last week, which is really interesting because the church is basically non-existent in Myanmar right now (the country is called Myanmar, the race and language are called Burmese). Cool to be part of building the church over there in addition to putting it together in Malaysia. The only material translated into Burmese right now is the Gospel Fundamentals manual, but most of them speak pretty decent English. So, very cool. We actually contacted at least three Burmese pastors this last week and taught one. So, we're hoping something works out with that and we can start a Burmese group here. You never know, right? :D
Well, KL is awesome. The Zone is really great. I'm learning a *ton* from Elder Peterson. Sometimes I feel like I'm just on exchanges with the Zone Leaders instead of being companions with one. He's an awesome missionary for sure, and I think we're going to be able to put together some good things in this area. Merry Christmas again! I love you all so much! The work here is going awesome. I love the Savior and know that we're members of Jesus Christ's church restored to the Earth. There's nothing in the world more important than that!
Love you! Talk to you very soon!