Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Rice Makes You Small

Halo Keluargaku,

Hey, it's awesome that you got to see Elder Wheelwright. I hear about him pretty often, but I never really crossed paths with him too much. It's funny though to hear about people on the other side. It almost seems like sometimes after somebody leaves the mission they just cease to exist. You never really hear anything about them. Good to know they live on over there though.

KL was a lot of fun. We had to wake up at 4:45 this morning to catch our early flight back to Tawau, so we're feeling a little bit lethargic, but still doing well! While we were in KL we had a lot of training. We had two days of meetings from 9 in the morning until past 5 in the evening, but we learned a lot and I think it's going to help the area a lot. It's funny, this is basically the exact same training that we've gotten twice already, but even this third time I feel like I learned a lot. The Spirit has a really awesome way of teaching you something new every time you go over inspired material, even if you thought you got everything the first time. That's one reason we keep reading the scriptures all the time I think. You can read everyday for 20 years and still not get everything there is to offer.

Have I talked about Malaysian breakfast yet? I think maybe I mentioned it before, but for a Malaysian, breakfast is pretty much the same as any other meal of the day. In America, breakfast is almost always sweet and fresh, but in Malaysia, you'd eat pretty much what you'd eat for any other meal. On the flight back to Tawau, they served us our choice of fried noodles or nasi lemak (a spicy mix of fried rice and shrimp). To be fair, it was late enough that they maybe could have considered it a very early lunch, but I've always just thought that was so funny. Give me doughnuts for breakfast any day of the week!

Malaysians actually eat rice with pretty much every meal. They say you just don't get full unless you eat rice. One of the common first questions when we meet someone new is, "Hey, you don't eat rice in America, right?"
"Well, we eat some rice, but not very much. We usually just eat it as kind of a side dish with something else."
"Well, what do you eat then?"
"Mostly just bread and meat" (which is partly true, and partly just what you know they want to hear you say. They're convinced all we eat is bread and meat. But hey, how else do you describe the American diet, right?)
"How do you get full?"
"Oh you know, just eat enough bread and meat and you just get full."
"Hmm... I guess you're right, but it's a different kind of full, right? I just don't get full unless I eat rice."

That's one of those conversations you have a thousand times. Coincidentally they're convinced our bread and meat diet is also what makes Americans so tall and huge. "Rice makes you small" they say. Who knows?

The work is going pretty well here. We have an investigator we've kind of been expecting to get baptized every weekend for about the last three weeks, but she keeps having weird things come up, so we're not exactly sure what her progress looks like right now, but we're working on it. We had a miracle last week working with a new investigator. He's a fifteen year old and initially his whole family was meeting with us, but most of them seem to have lost interest at this point. They're a Filipino family and interestingly his mom actually came to our church for about three years in a row about ten years back. For some reason she was never baptized, and when she finally accepted a baptismal date she left for the Philippines and lost touch with the missionaries. Anyway, in our meeting with this kid last week he told us in response to a question about how his Book of Mormon reading was going, "I believe it! It's just so true." And later, "When you were talking about baptism the other day I just had this feeling that I really wanted to get baptized." So, he's awesome. He's got some obstacles to overcome right now with his family and his current church, but we really have high hopes for him.

We had another miracle while we were out knocking the other day. We were heading out to a particular area when I had a feeling that we should just try somewhere else for right now, so I continued on to another place I thought would be good, but before we arrived there I saw another neighborhood on our left that just called our names. So, we went over there and started looking around. It looked like it would be a great place to knock around at night (lots of indications of kids and families), but at 2 in the afternoon it was looking just about empty. Well, before turning around we decided to knock just a few of the houses that looked like they had people. Two doors rejected us, but in the third the lady invited us inside the gate before we could even manage to tell her who we were. We sat down and asked her, "So, what is your name?" to which we got the shocking reply, "Oh, you don't know?" I hate that reply. Usually it means that I met someone once a few weeks ago and have forgotten their names already, but luckily this time it just meant this lady was actually a long time member who had been inactive for about 6 years. Hooray! So, we invited her to come to church and she agreed immediately. She also introduced us to her friend down the street who was very excited to meet with us, and brought her non-member husband to church. Awesome! It's so funny, all these years she's been away from the church, and all she needed to come back to have someone go and invite her to come back. It didn't even take any convincing, just an invitation! So, that was awesome. We're hoping for some good things from them.

So, lots of miracles right now! I'm loving the work here a lot. Tawau is the greatest. I hope we can all come back here some day and visit. The people here are amazing, not to mention that this part of the country is absolutely beautiful. So, we'll be back to see the Tawau stake created or something :D.

Anyway, I love you so much! Glad you had a happy thanksgiving! The Gospel is true!

Love you!
Elder Blissett

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