That's so cool that you got to meet Elder Stewart's mom! Isn't it funny the kinds of connections you end up having with other people? That's one of the things that has been the most fun about being on my mission, building up relationships with people all the way on the other side of the world, and while you're at it, building up relationships with a bunch of people back home. So I'm sure there will be lots of adventures meeting up with everyone again when I get back.
Well, this week was pretty exciting! The week was just looking pretty normal until we went to church on Sunday. We were on our way to pick up an investigator and bring him to church when we happened to meet a member on the bus. You can imagine our surprise when she asked us something like,
"So Elders, are we still having regular meetings today at church?"
"Well, uh, yes, that's what we always do."
"Oh, I had just heard that this week sacrament meeting was going to be at 12"
"No, I think it's at the normal time, who told you that?"
"The Branch President."
Well, at this point I'm going to have to update you a little bit on our Branch President. He's an American guy and probably one of the biggest people you've ever seen (6' 7" or something, and he used to be in the Army, so he's no small fry). He's super nice and a really awesome Branch President, but the week just previous to this one he gave a fifth Sunday combined lesson that was entitled, "The Foolish Traditions of Our Fathers," that went through and explored whether or not some of the things we did in the church were just tradition or whether they had saving value (Wearing white shirts and ties to church, taking the sacrament with our right hands, the sacrament cloths). It was a way intense lesson, but it was really good.
Anyway, after that lesson and then hearing that church started at 12 I was feeling a little nervous. A quick call to the Branch President confirmed that yes, sacrament meeting was at 12 (instead of 10), and that we would be "doing something a little bit different" before that.
Anyway, we went to go get our investigator (a really awesome Nigerian guy named ****), and brought him to church not entirely knowing what was about to happen. Well, when we arrived the Branch President showed us a brief video, and then told us that for the first 2 hours of church that day, we were going to go and give away food to the homeless scattered all over KL, and then come back at 11:45 in time for our fast and testimony meeting.
I have to admit, at first I was pretty skeptical (especially with investigators at church!), but you know what, it turned out to be one of the coolest church meetings I've ever attended! So we all just split up into cars, were assigned to different areas, and we gave out bags of food to any homeless people we could find. It was awesome! I think our branch must have moved close to 100 bags of food in only an hour and a half. The best part was still coming though.
So, we went back to sacrament meeting and the Spirit was really strong. It was awesome being able to practice "pure religion" on a Sunday and then come back to a sacrament meeting. The meeting was awesome, but the best part was when our investigator **** stood up to be the very last person to bear his testimony at fast and testimony meeting. Now, you know that I was saying a very fervent prayer in my heart that **** would give a good testimony (you never really know what to expect with investigators attending their first time at church), and I was super grateful to see my prayers answered. **** told all about how when we knocked on his door a few days before, he hadn't been to church for more than a year, and he really felt that Heavenly Father sent us there to bring him back. He told us that he normally wouldn't have been home or wouldn't have answered the door, but how this time he did. He told us about how his mission in life since he was young was to seek out the poor and needy and do anything he could to help them, and how that very Sunday he'd gotten to spend an hour and a half at church fulfilling that mission. It was AWESOME. I know that Heavenly Father really did lead us to ****'s door to help him receive the restored gospel. That's not the end of it though.
On Sunday we had another Nigerian man just show up at church, telling us that he'd been learning about the church in Nigeria and that he'd finally decided he wanted to be baptized. Awesome! So we taught him yesterday and he should be getting baptized by the end of the month. We asked him why he decided to follow this church, wondering why he looked so hard to find it here in KL (it wasn't really easy). He told us that when he was back in Nigeria, there was a family across the street from him that just lived in love an harmony. He said the husband knew how to treat his wife, and he saw the peace that they had and that he wanted that in his own life. He told us that he'd also been there at the dedication of the Aba (sp?), Nigeria temple, and he talked about it like it was the most beautiful building he'd ever seen. He's awesome!
So, lots of blessings here in the KL branch. The greatest blessing for me though is just getting to be a part of it and seeing people make decisions to change their lives and do better. I know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ really can change our lives. That's the whole point really. It's been awesome to see it here in KL, and to see first hand that it works for everyone, in any culture, in any language. The Gospel is universal.So, we're very, very blessed here.
Well, that's kind of the week in KL. The work is moving forward. We're seeing miracles happen everyday. The gospel is absolutely true and, HEY, I forgot to tell you that we finally got the new translation of the Indonesian Book of Mormon. I actually took a bunch of pictures to show you what it is like, but it's basically just like the English one, only bigger and thicker :D. It's awesome though, so much nicer and a million times easier to understand (the Malay speaking people here actually understand it! It's amazing!). So, that's very, very exciting for us. I guess the Indonesian scriptures are online now too, and we've heard a pretty solid rumor that a General Authority is going to be coming here in the next couple of weeks to officially organize the committee to translate the Book of Mormon into Malay. Hooray! The committee has already been picked I guess, they're just waiting for him to come and give the go ahead. I guess it's on a fast-track translation process, so we should be looking for a Book of Mormon in Malay in about two years I guess! What a blessing!
I love you all so much! I'm so grateful to be serving a mission! Thanks for all your support!