Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Makan Angin "To Eat Wind" Means to Waste Time

Hello!  What an eventful week.  First off, can I tell you that Marvin gave a talk on baptism at a baptism on this past Saturday? Exactly one week after he was baptized himself, he was standing in front of us teaching and testifying to us about baptism.  It's kind of funny, but it's really true--Sister Wong says she feels like missionary work is basically parenting.  I'm finding that to be true.  You serve and teach and love these people unconditionally...  when they make bad choices, it so breaks your heart, but when they make right choices, you absolutely rejoice--it's like floating on cloud 9!!  Seeing Marvin give a talk, even though he's actually only a few months younger than me, made me feel like a mother watching her son.  I just wanted to pinch his cheeks.  He received the priesthood on Sunday and will help out with the sacrament this coming Sunday.  He is such a blessing.  So proud, so proud!

So there's this one girl (who is actually close friends with Marvin) who has been coming to church.  Her name is Narlene and she is 16--she's so cute and she already glows with the light of Christ.  She's amazing because everything she learns at church, she takes home and teaches her family.  We haven't yet met her family and they're not sure yet how they feel about their daughter investigating the church.  But Narlene really wants to be baptized...  she was so quick to recognize the differences in this church, there's just a different feeling.  And she says it's the first time she's actually understood what people teach at church, which is really meaningful to her.  Sister Wong was telling her that she could be the one to bring the gospel to her family, so she could bring them with her into this amazing church.  She replied, "Of course I want that, but you know if they don't want to I still need to be baptized.”  She's so cool.  We gave her the Restoration video and she went home and showed her family, which is incredible.  We also gave her a picture of the temple and explained briefly what it was, and she has already decided she wants to get married there.  hahaha!  (not because it's funny but because it makes me so happy that smiling is not enough!!) She doesn't yet have permission to be baptized, but we're praying that can change.  We are going to her house on Monday with one of her member friends (she has a ton) to meet some of her family (GULP!) but hopefully that will be a really good thing.  Prayers would be awesome.

There's a lot more to write, just about people.  Oh!!  Yesterda,y one of our investigators, Vila (getting baptized 2 days after Christmas!), took us around her hometown to meet her relatives.  It was awesome, just going around and meeting people all day...  all people who were smiling and glad to meet us (weird feeling!).  Vila has a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon and wants her family to receive it as well.  We have a return appointment with her two younger brothers for Friday.  They are so super nice and said they felt really happy when they met us.  Referrals!!  Yeah!!  :) It was a neat day.

Oh I wanted to tell you all about some cool Malay phrases/things that made me laugh or gave insight.  It's such a funny language.

1) anjing laut.  literal translation: sea dog.  meaning: seal.

2) kencing manis.  literal translation: sweet urine.  meaning: diabetes.

3) orang utan.  literal translation: people of the jungle/forest.  meaning: orangutan.  haha!

4) makan angin.  literal translation: to eat wind.  meaning: to waste time.

5) cahaya mata.  literal translation: bright eyes.  meaning: child.

Cool huh? :)

So basically missionary work is awesome...  so demanding but so cool.  As a missionary we really do represent the Lord.  I try to always act (even down to my facial expression as I'm walking) so that if someone saw me (which they do) they could have a positive feeling about the church I represent.  The way I speak to people, how I behave... it's all so influential because of the black nametag I wear over my heart. But honestly I'm realizing this does not apply to missionaries only. The way we live as members is so influential on the world. Only when I got here did I really truly see how much people watch us. We must stand as a light, our lives MUST reflect the teachings of Christ.  We must emulate Christianity.  We must be pure and worthy and loving...  not only for our sakes but for the sakes of those around us.  We really do take upon us the name of Christ at baptism, and that's something that doesn't ever change.  When we're baptized we promise to make our lives a reflection of His gospel.  Something cool to think about is that when you live the Gospel, when you repent and are pure and obedient, YOU become a testimony of the Savior.  Your life, your very being, is a testimony that He is real and His gospel is true...  because of what change He has made in your life.  Have we magnified that? What have we done with His name? A humbling thought.

I love being a missionary!  I don't ever want to not be a missionary.  I always mention how hard it is but I feel like I can't get enough of this gospel I've been sent here to teach.  It's so powerful and beautiful and simple and deep.  We are all enlisted. 

Merry Christmas!  I'll talk about Christmas next week.  (Christmas music is Malaysia is horrendous.)

Love you all!
Sister Gopinath

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