Sunday, September 16, 2012
From Humble Circumstances
So this week was good. First of all, we got the transfer news. I am going to train another new missionary here in Singapore! That's what I was hoping for, so I'm excited. Being with a new missionary gives you fresh energy and perspective, and it stretches you to really do your best. The new missionaries come in two days. We're all really excited! There are a lot of changes going on.
Other than that, this week was a good one. This area is stretching me. It is challenging to teach people from very humble circumstances, for a lot of reasons... and it's challenging in many other ways to teach educated and intelligent people. We have a Flipino investigator named Arnold. We have taught him twice this past week, and I am nervous every time beforehand but I'm learning not to be. He is around my age, and smarter than me. He is dating a member of our ward, and has been coming to church for a while, but he is a very strong and intellectual Roman Catholic. He has common concerns and questions about the Church... and for a while I was feeling like I had to know everything and research everything before I could teach him. I usually don't feel nervous teaching people anymore, but he is intimidating... until we actually get into the lesson. Our lessons have been intense, but also always spiritually edifying and uplifting. He has a good heart, some hidden concerns that he hasn't yet verbalized, and strong faith in Jesus Christ. He really is quite a spiritual person. I've realized that I am not obligated to answer every question he has--and we talked about this during the lesson, that in the end, the thing that will let him know if it's true or not is the Holy Ghost. It won't come through intellectual exploration, although studying the Gospel is essential. Arnold understands that his answer will come not from any fact or figure, but directly from God through His Spirit. He has a hard life, but he loves his family and always talks about how if the Church is true, he would need to be baptized by priesthood authority and he would want to bring his family with him (through his family is, like him, strong Catholic). I think deep down, he can already feel what the answer is going to be as he reads and prays about the Book of Mormon. He's on track for great things. The members in the ward are so good at helping him--at our lesson, we had five members who asked to come, and who bore their testimonies to Arnold. The Spirit was really strong.
Another really cool lesson was with someone very different--Lavell. He is from western China. He saw the Church, and decided to come in on the morning of Stake Conference two weeks ago. He seemed to really like it, although when I tried to invite him to a baptism that was happening right after conference, he had no idea what baptism even was. He came from no religious background... it's almost weird to get to know people who not only are not from a Christian background, but to whom religion in general is foreign and is based on concepts that are difficult to comprehend because you didn't grow up with them. But Lavell is the sweetest, purest guy that basically I have ever met. He's in his 20s, working here in Singapore. He glows with friendship and love, and we finally got to meet him this week. We talked about Heavenly Father, and how to establish a relationship with Him. We taught him about prayer, which he seemed to know about. And he prayed for the first time in his life, and it was a beautiful sincere prayer in which he expressed desire to know Heavenly Father and come closer to Him and find answers to his questions about life. HE IS AWESOME! He's been researching the Church, and he actually came to church last week without us knowing... so anyway. It's exciting, and his English is really good which is awesome. He's leaving for a month but we are excited to meet him again when he comes back.
There are more stories, like the 5 new people who showed up at church yesterday (AWESOME!!!), but I'm out of time... so... I know the Gospel is true, and the God loves each one of us as His child. He hears and answers prayers.