Wednesday, November 30, 2011

There Are No Coincidences

I always want to start my emails off with "Hello from Kota Kinabalu!" But that is more like a radio host or something weird. The second choice is "What a crazy week." I don't know how to start emails. I'll just dive in, I suppose.

Our golden investigator Marvin is getting baptized this Saturday (we're going to his house with the Elders for his interview today) so I'll let you know how that goes. He's so excited, so ready, so good. We taught him about the priesthood and how it's the power of Jesus Christ that is used only to bless the lives of other people. All Christ did with His power was serve and bless those around him. It was cool to see it click--it was like a lightbulb in the soul turned on.

Funny language mistakes of the week: I was explaining to one new 16-year-old investigator that the sacrament is a symbol of Christ's sacrifice, but I wasn't totally sure what the word for symbol is, and I ended up saying "toilet" instead. We all laughed. It's so awful how those silly words like "toilet" ARE actually the words you mix up...

We're teaching two 16-year-old girls who are so cool--Oki and Tarlyn. They're best friends with a member,  Brittiny, who was baptized last year. They've both felt that at their family's church they never understand what is being taught, they have to just nod their head. Also the people are cold and uninterested in them. They are recognizing how different it is at the Church of Jesus Christ and how it just feels different to them. We taught them about the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ--WHY this church feels different. That the Spirit is there. We taught them about prophets and showed them the Joseph Smith movie and they giggled because Joseph Smith is "handsome!" :) But they really did understand his role as the tool God used to restore His original Gospel, which is so cool! Their hearts are so prepared. They both want to be baptized on Christmas Eve, but they are afraid to ask their parents for permission. That is the biggest concern right now--they of course need to talk to their parents. We are all praying it will work out, that their parents' hearts will be softened and recognize what a good thing this is.

So the Elders met a girl on the bus named Betty who has met the Sisters before us. She told the Elders they had her phone number but never called, or something like that, so she's never been to church, but would like to meet with Sisters to learn about the Church. The Elders gave us her phone number and we've been trying to meet her. Three days later, I was sitting on the bus and met this girl named Susie. She was super nice and had heard of the Church before--had some member friends a while ago (though they've moved now), and has even been to church once before!!! I asked her if she'd be interested in coming again that coming Sunday and she said yes, and I gave her something to read about the Plan of Salvation. So then, that night at the apartment, Sister Wong called Betty to see how she was doing and Betty said "I think you met my sister today!" Sister Wong's mouth dropped open. Betty and Susie are sisters!!! Crazy! They don't even live nearby the places we met them. The odds of that are so slim, there are so many people here. Miracle! God is trying to tell them something! Forgive my shaky story-telling skills, but it was way cool. There are no coincidences. They couldn't make it to church this last Sunday but hopefully this Sunday they will come--they both want to. Their parents have even met missionaries before and carry church pamphlets with them to read. Family!!!!

So today I found this scripture: 2 Cor 8:9 - "For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich." Enough said. The Atonement is so incredible. Our Savior's love is so deep and far-reaching and all-encompassing. His sacrifice was infinite and voluntary. On my mission so far it has become so apparent to me the NEED for a Savior. How He really really is the Light of the world, the Light that we hold up. He is mighty to save, to heal, to redeem.

Also what has stood out to me lately is the need for prayer, church, scripture study, and following God's commandments. These are the Sunday school answers but THEY ARE WHAT BRING YOU TO CHRIST! As missionaries, we invite people to come unto Christ by teaching them true doctrine and inviting them to do those 4 things. Those things are what CHANGE PEOPLE'S LIVES. So powerful! It's what we want for our investigators, so they can come unto Christ. Please hear my brief testimony on these things. Attend church, pray OFTEN!, study the Book of Mormon/pray about it, and do what you know is right. This is what will change you. It will invite the Spirit into your life, change your heart. It's the way to Christ.

Go to and watch the Brandon Flowers video, if you haven't yet. Pretty cool. :)

You are all wonderful. The Church is true. More next week.

Sister Gopinath

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