Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Busy and Willing

what up,
     wow...this week was AMAZING!!  i can't even fit everything into this email.  it was just so enjoyable.  first in response to yours.  so did oskar win or lose? you didn't tell me.  nope sorry dad don't get any frequent flyer miles.  if so i have definitely racked them up.  i flew way to much the last two weeks.  atta boy spencer.  he can dunk it eh?  i sure can't ha ha the only basketball i've shot in 6 months has been a nerf ball one.  ha ha i can't jump either.  but you can just try to take me on in badminton if you dare!  alright let's do the turney.  that would be way fun.  i don't mind losing ha ha but honestly i think we'd do good.  can spencer hit jump shots?  arches eh?  sounds great.  plan something unique to do down there.  i've always wanted to go biking down there.  but only like me you and spencer.  think about it.  ya dad malaysians are incredibly superstitious.  ha ha even after they are baptized.  president clark told us that not a week goes by that he doesn't get a report about someone's investigator having a dream that convinces them to get baptized.  it's cool. 
West Malaysia crew makes it East
     well like i said this week was awesome.  i emailed you from kuching.  shortly after that i hopped on a flight to sibu for our zlc and our mlt.  it was a blast to see all my pals.  the zone leaders right now are just awesome.  pretty much a bunch of us that were together over in west beat the odds and became zone leaders in east so it was a good reunion.  the trainings were great.  
last year our mission goal for baptism was 800.  that was 200 less than the year before.  president was following the counsel of pres uchtdorf go slow to go fast.  we focused on better kingdom building members.  in november it did not look like there was anyway we could hit it.  but miracle after miracle happened and in the last 2 months we had about 200 baptisms.  we ended the year with 812.  our new goal is 500 before june 30 when president clark leaves.  i am excited.  i want our small zone to be a contributing factor to the mission.
     basically we were gone for 4 big days last week.  our numbers were hurting bad.  we were gone wednesday to saturday.  so on sunday we just tried to load up our schedule with as many things as we could.  it turned out to be a great day.  first of all there is deborah.  i told you about her last week.  she is the former investigator.  we sms'd her saturday night to remind her about church and she said she's having a bunch of problems but she'll try.  sunday morning brodie called her and she said she had something planned.  he talked her into rescheduling that appointment back an hour so she could make it to church for one hour.  she did so her and her awesome two daughters came to church.  she can't speak malay because she is vietnamese.  her parents were refugees and she was raised in australia.  she has a crazy background.  so i translated for her for sacrament meeting.  the talks were awesome.  two of the talks brought me to get teary eyed.  elder brodie was one of them.  he gave an awesome talk.  well she cancelled her appointment so she stayed for all three hours.  awesome.  ok put her on hold.  next was flora.  she had her baptism interview.  things went well, ya know i can't say anything but elder brodie had to ask president clark somethings.  so she was never given the yes or the no.  so she was extremely nervous.  ok put her on hold.  we had a bunch of ideas for appointments but everything kind of didn't work out except for our lesson with our recent convert jerni.  he is a stud.  we finally conviced him to let us go to his house.  we've just been meeting at the church.  so we walked quite a ways and finally made it to his tiny 7 by 9 foot house.  without even being invited, his neighbor just came and sat in our circle.  nice.  referral.  he has been telling us about her and her husband for a while now.  so we had an awesome lesson with her.  her husband came home toward the end and joined in.  they are great people.  they both said the story of joseph smith was interesting and if it was all true they would probably join this church.  we set up a return appointment.  so there you go.  next we had some time before our next appointment and i'll be honest i was feeling kind of lazy to do much, there wasn't that much free time,  but jerni wanted to follow us so we went to some flats that a ton of members live at.  we visited one sweet less active family and had a good lesson with them priming the pump for referrals.  we went to another member's house but they weren't home.  there was a bunch of little kids nearby and they were really talkative to us.  they told us that the member was at the next flat over visiting someone.  they all said that they've met the missionaries before and a few of them have even been to our church before.  hmm potential referrals.  so we went and found the member to say hi and follow up on last week's referral lesson.  they remembered that i asked them where i could get a basket made out of plastic strips.  they told me that the neighbor right there could make them and they were christian.  so us and the member went over and talked with the neighbor.  she was happy to see us and she said she could make one in one hour.  we said we would come back next week and asked if we could share a message about Christ with their family.  she said also can!  cha ching referrals.  so that turned out to be way productive.  
Sara (13), Deborah's daughter
the day was not yet over.  last of all deborah set up an appointment for us to have dinner with the larson's and have a lesson.  can lah.  they live in the same building as the larsons so we had it at the larson's house.  there was us two, the larsons, the sisters, deborah, sara, rebecca, and flora flora was there to get the final word on her baptism.  she was so nervous she couldn't sit still.  we were talking a lot.  after talking with pres she kept saying what if i don't pass oh no oh no oh no.  well eventually elder brodie came over and said flora there's no problem you passed.  it was cool.  she was just like really excited but then she just looked at us and then just started crying.  oh man it made me want to cry.  she is so awesome.  really.  she still has no support from her family but she knows this is the truth and she is 100 percent dedicated.  sweet.  after that the night only got better.  deborah made incredible organic vietnamese food.  it was so good.  sister larson made some great bread pudding.  wow so so good.  we got everyone under control and gathered around for a lesson.  the lesson was good.  at one point deborah took a huge tangent and just started talking about her recent experiences.  it was good.  she said she has really been thinking about the things we shared.  she said she had a dream one night after praying.  she saw the names of a ton of churches.  on top of them all was the name mormon.  it was bigger than the rest.  not sure exactly how, but she understood this to mean that this is the one to follow.  she asked her lawyer friend and her doctor friend for advice.  one said definitely follow that prompting you've recieved.  the other was still very skeptical.  she told us about some recent opposition because she has been investigating this church.  but she told us that she doesn't care because she hasn't seen or heard anything bad from us.  she kept saying this is true this is true.  right then we talked about baptism and she committed to a date.  it was a little far out but it is great.  there are so many side stories i could tell you about her but she has been through a lot.  that was an awesome lesson.  toward the end i was just really emotional.  i bore my testimony and told her kids how great their mom was.  i almost was crying.   they are having a huge family crisis right now but i can just see so plainly how the gospel can help them.  it really does bring families together.  i really hope it all works out. 
Me and Stanley Chua at the Chinese New Year Party
     well that was sunday.  it was great.  right now we are on fire with referrals.  things are looking awesome.  i wish i could tell you everything that is going on here.         i hope that story even made sense.  it is hard to put such powerful spiritual emotions into words ya know?          oh well, i'll always remember it.  yesterday we did splits in sandakan.   i still love that place.  also these last few days have been chinese new year.  it is a fun time.  we saw an incredible lion dance.  look it up on youtube.  they dance on each other's shoulders on tall posts.  crazy.  i love my mission!!  last week i was out of my area, this week i was out, next week is zone conference in bintulu sarawak, the following week we'll be in tawau, and the week after that will be another zlc.  as long as we keeping having days like last sunday i don't have to worry about being out of my area too long.  ha ha.  well i'm almost 21...weird.  i'm old.  thanks for all your prayers and support.  i love you guys!
Chinese New Year's Feast at
Pres. Francis Simon's House
elder petersen

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