Tuesday, May 11, 2010

seven at one baptism

Zachary Royden Hill
to me

show details 6:58 PM (31 minutes ago)

hey ma.

when i called you for christmas, i just got a calling card. the card itself cost like rm30 so that's like $10 or so. not too bad. i'm sorry if the call cost you guys a lot. anyways, so about the baptism.. we had 7 people getting baptized on one day. it was pretty cool. the problem is, we live in a little town that is 40min-1hr away from town by bus. and there is no font here because we are still just a group. so we had to round all 7 of the people up and get them shipped to town for the baptism. normally that wouldnt be too bad, but we were in town for two days before the baptism for zone conference, so we had to try to coordinate the whole thing by phone calls. sometimes people didnt pick up when we wanted. so that was a little stressful. it seemed like not everyone would be able to make it at the last minute, but as a testiment to miracles occurring in our day, all seven showed up 30 minutes early. with one of their husbands who is not yet interested in learning about the church. (we're working on him, dont worry). so it feels good to have that all done. we met with them all a few days ago in a group. they are pretty hilarious because they are all pretty good friends. they just talk and laugh and joke around. i'll send some pictures of them hopefully after this. the work is going really well here. so that sunday we had a pretty good amount of people getting confirmed as well. most of the people attending our group are newly baptized or investigators, so i think they still didnt quite understand that it's a prayer when we confirm someone. we'll explain to them this week. so our attendance at church has improved yet again this week. we got 50 people exactly to come out. 22 investigators, so we're expecting many baptisms in the next month or so. well over half of our group is new or investigating. it's nuts. but it's really cool because you can just see them becoming converted. one of the people who got babtized was a lady named katarina. she's from indonesia and for most of the amount of time knowing her, i thought she was nuts. dont get me wrong, she's pretty funny, but we just felt like we couldnt get through to her when it came to teaching. she's a big talker, and plus she was a strong christian for a long time. it's taken a few months. but she just kept coming to our church for months. her friends from church would always tell her how bad our church is, so she always felt confused. then all of a sudden she accepted the commitment to be baptized. that was good. so she got baptized with her friends that were investigating our church. the day after she got baptized, the pastor from her old church came and told her that our church was wrong and that he wanted to send preachers from his church to convert her back to the truth. she told me on sunday that she was praying the whole time that she would have strength to not listen to what he said. sunday came, and she was at church and got confirmed. she told me that she didnt have any desire to go to another church any more. that was a pretty big shock to me, and she's turning out to be one of our best members. miracles do happen.

if you remember me talking about a man named patrick, he came to church on sunday with all of his kids and his mother in law. the man is awesome. i'm so excited for him. he just loves the story of joseph smith. he tells us about how there are so many people around here that dont know about joseph smith and that we need to tell them. we tell him we think we can fit it into our schedule. he's getting missionary work on the brain, and thinking of his relatives that he can share this message to. it's awesome when people just innately understand about the importance of sharing the gospel. there's also this lady we baptized a few weeks ago named jovina. when we first baptized her, i had no idea she would be our best member missionary. every time i talk to her, she has a new person she wants us to go meet. on the way to go meet one of her friends, she turns to me and is like "i gave away all the joseph smith pamphlets you gave me. when can you give me some more?" she's nuts. a missionary machine. most of her referrals are women, but at least she's got the right idea of sharing. i can just forsee this branch having a huge relief society and being filled with jovina's friends.

malay sounds oriental eh? i'm not exactly sure what oriental sounds like, but i tell you what, it's nothing close to chinese! you wouldnt believe how many chinese people there are in malaysia. we run into them all the time. most of them for some reason cant speak malay very well. even tho they live in malaysia, they have a pretty bad chinese accent. malay used to sound crazy to me, but now it just sounds normal i guess. i cant really remember what it was like when i couldnt understand it. but here in sibu jaya, we work with a lot of ibans. they have their own language that's fairly close to malay. similar grammar and lots of similar words. they always tell us we need to learn it and they try to speak to us all the time in iban. sometimes they think its funny to talk about us behind our back. so with out even trying, i'm picking a bit up because i hear it all the time. it's pretty sweet sounding, so hopefully i can learn more.

anyways, that's pretty much what's been going on in my life. lots of good things. no baptism this week, but we have a few planned for next week, so watch out. and i guess lots of good things are going on at home. i'm really excited to hear the news about jake. what a stud. i had no idea brittanie would be there for mothers day. it was nice getting to talk to you all. i love you mom. talk to you next week.
love, zac

Zachary Royden Hill
to me

show details 7:44 PM (2 minutes ago)

hey dad.

that's pretty crazy news. the lord really does answer prayers. as a missionary that's pretty much the most exciting news you can receive. i kind of dont know what to write anymore. haha. tell jake i'm proud of him and i cant wait to see him when i get home.

well, i guess i'll tell you a bit about my week. it was pretty awesome. pretty much everyone that we invited to come to church and we expected to come, came. there were a few extras as well. so we're starting to get pretty busy. getting new investigators all the time, so next month should be pretty big. hopefully as big as this month was for us. we've got some good families. i told mom about a man named patrick. that family just really likes to have us over. it's awesome because sometimes as we're leaving you can hear people talk about how much better they feel as a result of our visit. it just helps me to know we're doing the right thing and that the people we are teaching are responding to our message. we still get those people who wont even listen to us. they say they've received enough knowledge about God already. but we always meet those people who want to learn and who are prepared. i love being out here. i'd like to stay in sibu my whole mission, but we'll see how that goes. no matter what happens, i'll be happy. so next week we've got a lady and two of her sons getting baptized. i met her that day i told you i felt like i was a soap box preacher. she came right up and listened and said she wanted to learn and go to our church from listening to me teach about joseph smith. i remember learning about gifts of the spirit and one of them being the gift to believe others' testimonies. i think a lot of ibans have that. most of them that want to learn feel good and start to believe just from us teaching. and then they pray and get an answer and everyone is happy. this past week, nothing too wild went on. on saturday we have a gawai party which is the iban harvest festival. we're hoping for a good turn out from sibu jaya because it is combined with the branch in town. that should be fun. i'm pretty sure people there are going to try to make us dance. they dont think there's anything funny than seeing a white man dance. but anyways, i'm gonna let you go. love you dad. talk to you next week.
love zac

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