Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Evil Dogs, Witches, and Watermelon Jack-o-lanterns

Whoo! What a crazy week.

Since last time I wrote all of our investigators fell off the face of the earth, or we had to give them to the Elders in our district to teach since it's better for some people to be taught by men. We seriously had no one to teach--there was one boy we taught but he is too busy with exams to meet with us again (the one day we did teach him, it was a holiday). So at the beginning of our week was hard, and I was getting discouraged (I need to work on that), though Sister Wong kept at it. She is a really strong person. We had nothing to do but knock doors and run away from evil dogs. (The dogs here are SCARY!!! I haven't been afraid of dogs since I was a little girl but I'm newly afraid of them these days. They are all dirty and most of them are really mean.)

Sister Wong and I have been praying to find a young family to teach. On Sunday and Monday, our number of new investigators went from zero to 5. We found two young men who have never felt that they've known God before, but now want to. They don't know each other yet but they are both so sincere in their hearts. One, whose name is Peter, lives out in the boonies and his arms are decorated with do-it-yourself tattoos. He came to church for the first time, and was so shy about his tattooed arms. After church we had a really good lesson and we talked about baptism with him. He kept saying how he wants to be clean, and become a good person. We talked about repentance and forgiveness and baptism. He's SUPER awesome. The only thing is that he smokes a pack every day, but that's actually quite low for the average Malaysian, and he says he doesn't like smoking and does it mainly because of his friends. Hopefully he can overcome that, keep coming to church, and be baptized. He is sincere. And he already has a friend here--he was actually a referral from a girl in our branch named June.  

June is someone amazing. She is a better missionary than I am, and she's just a regular 19-year-old girl. She is the only active member in her family, but she is super strong. She comes to everything, goes out with us missionaries at least weekly (would go more if she could), talks to EVERYONE she can about the gospel, and befriends basically every investigator. Fearless! She has 13 months until she turns 21 and can serve her own mission. She's so excited. A great example to me of a great missionary.

So on Monday, going back to our investigators, we found two small families. One is a couple expecting their first child next year, and the other is a mother with a new baby (whose husband we haven't met yet). They both we door-knocks and they invited us into their home. The husband of the pregnant woman, J--k, is SO kind. He kept saying how though a lot of churches/paths are good, he wants to find the BEST one. We taught them about the Plan of Salvation a little bit, about eternal families, and about the Restoration! Haha! When we told him that we have a living prophet today, his eyes lit up and he said, "THIS is what I didn't understand! Thank you so much for coming and bringing this news!" We're going back on Saturday to watch the Restoration video with him and go more in depth with the Restoration. His wife is super good at reading--she read like three pamphlets in 20 minutes. They are both super awesome! And the woman with a new baby was so kind to us and so sincere. She seems interested in hearing our message. We're going back to her house on Saturday too. I have really high hopes for all of these people. They all seem really prepared.

Being a missionary is hard! And it's awesome! We keep getting rained on. I think we've been soaked to the bone 3 times this week. :) The whole "no swimming" rule as a missionary doesn't really apply to us here. On our way to the Halloween party on Monday we were walking in heavy rain by the road, and a car came by and sent a tidal wave over us. Seriously. It was so funny. I actually like getting rained on... someone told me once that missionary work is so much cooler when it's rugged. I'd have to agree.

This morning I was reading in 3 Nephi 12:23-24.   (Therefore, if ye shall come unto me, or shall desire to come unto me, and rememberest that thy brother hat aught against thee--Go they way unto they brother, and first be reconciled to they brother, and then come unto me with a full purpose of heart, and I will receive you. )

Sister Wong and I have been working on companionship unity, and succeeding lately. I love this scripture because it reminds me how contention with your neighbor or family makes it really hard to feel the Spirit of the Lord. In order to be a true disciple of Christ, with full purpose of heart, we need to love and continually do our part to strengthen our relationship. Forgiveness should be a regular part of our lives. The ability to apologize first is a valuable skill that comes with prayer and with practice.

 I love you all and think about you often! I appreciate all of your prayers.

 Love, Sister Gopinath

 P.S. Halloween in Malaysia is hilarious. Only the Mormons celebrate it, EVERY woman dresses up as a witch, and the pumpkins here stink so people carve watermelons instead. You should try it next year. It's actually way better than carving pumpkins, in my opinion!

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