Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I think all the building would fall down!

hey dad. yeah, when it comes to earth quakes, malaysia gets nothing. i had no idea about any earth quakes. lucky thing for malaysia there aren't any earthquakes, because i think all the building would fall down. it would be quite a scene. gotta feel sorry for indonesia. they have lots of things like malaysia, just poorer quality. except their music is way better, from what i hear as i randomly walk past people blaring their music. almost no one listens to malaysian music here.

but things are going really well. unfortuantely, we just had a good string of baptisms, and now we may not have one for a bit. we've been working on getting some solid investigators, but people just insist on being shaky. i've never had a point in my mission where so many people have gotten anti'd and just avoided me, but you know, you just gotta keep working. lots of people have been hiding from us and not letting us talk to them, but i take it as a sign that satan knows he has to stop these people from hearing us in order to stop them from getting converted. i don't ever leave a place without telling the people i know this message and church are true. i don't ever want to leave them doubting whether i believe this will all my heart, so hopefully in the future those people that just won't listen will have open hearts. we've been doing lots of contacting lately, since the area where we live has almsot no members (which means almost no referrals) you pick up the shadiest people when knocking. it's alsways interesting. i wrote mom about some of my investigators, so hopefully you can read that email to get an update on some of the people. hopefully at the end of december or most likely in january these people can get baptized.

so school's almost halfway over for you, eh? can you believe how fast time goes by? i got my release date, and i guess it is 27 july, 2011. so i guess i still have a good while left. seeing as time is going by fast, i was wondering if you could go on the byu website for me and maybe do some research so i can transfer to byu? if you could, email me the forms so i can print them out and fill them out at my house? i only have 1 hour email, so if i went to figure things out on my own i probably wouldn't have any time to email you guys. but it may come to that soon. the transfer stuff is due in like 2 months i hear, so i dont have much time left. anyways, if you could do that for me i would greatly appreciate it.

next week we have a big conference here in kuching, so that should be fun. all the missionaries in sarawak will come. i'm pretty excited. but that's all i have for this week. i love you dad. thanks for the emails and support. hope you are doing well. take care, and i'll talk to you next week.

love, zac

hey mom
yeah we had some baptisms last week. the cyber cafe that i go to has disabled the function to access files from my camera on the computers, so you guys won't be receiving any pictures until i get transferred. unless i decide to go print some out and snail mail them to you. we'll see. anyways, it was ing's family. they are really awesome and were excited. we had a good turnout from the ward. it was a pretty stressful baptism because we had lots of baptisms in the ward and finding baptismal clothing was a nightmare. there's something interesting about malaysia. if the missionaries don't do it, it won't get done. we don't have any new baptisms for a while. we're still trying to work with the potential investigators we have so they will come to church. last week, we didnt have anyone new come, which was disappointing, but hopefully this upcoming sunday will be good.

let's see, when it comes to investigators, we have a few people that i'll talk about. i think i mentioned a man named nepi and his family. he lives with his wife, and his sister and brother in law. they are catholic, but seem pretty good when we teach them. open and receptive. they didnt come to church because they were sick, but they seem to really want to try coming to church.

we also have this lady named mary that randomly came into a church party we had, and we started teaching her. i gave her our phone number, and for the 2nd or 3rd time, i've had someone call me on a contact. that never happens. but she did. so we got her to come to church, but as we teach, she somehow brings everything back to work. her life is just work and she doesn't seem to know how to talk about anything else. she just lives by herself and works like 12 hour days. we're really glad she's listening to us about the gospel, because we know it will help her. but it's pretty tough, because we'll be like "so how would you feel if God appeared to you right now?" then she'll pause and be like "well, my supervisor ... etc." pretty strange. we're hoping to use a really nice lady member who can help her feel welcome.

then we have this guy named binong. we were on our way to a potential investigators house, but they weren't home. so we looked around and saw this guy staring at us in his yard next door. he was just asking for us to come talk to him. so we did and he seemed nice. he actually seems to be really prepared. after 2 lessons he really seems to understand what we teach, but unfortunately works on sunday. work on sunday is a nightmare, because bosses are more like slave owners. they can make people work whenever just because they feel like it, and if people refuse to work on sunday, they could get fired. horrible situation. so we're hoping he can get sundays off. plus, he's a pretty funny guy and likes having us over.

also, there's a lady named bungit and her husband, carpenter. they're pretty awesome. the husband is huge! and he shakes hands like a man. they fed us some dilicious pineapple which i was holding when he came to shake my hand and he shook so hard the pineapple flew out of my hand! how embarassing. we had a really good lesson with them i think on monday, and hopefully on saturday we'll be able to see them again and make sure they are coming to church. if things go well, we could have a really good sunday this week. we'll have to see how it goes. you never know what's going to happen.

that's kind of all the investigators worth talking about up to this point. all the others we've met only like once and there's not much to say. anyways, about the package, i haven't gotten it yet, but next week we are having a big meeting here in kuching, and the mission president and assistants will come here from singapore, so they should bring it to me. that should be good. thanks so much mom. you guys are the best. i'm glad you enjoyed the concert, but i'm sorry it's been so cold in las vegas. nice and toasty here. anyways, i think that's all i have for this week. love you, and hope you have a good week.
talk to you later.
love zac

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

letter home

hey mom.

this week has been going really well. last week, puras and her daughter marina were both baptized. it was pretty awesome. they both bore their testimonies and it was cool to see the change in them. we had a big turnout from the branch, and it was one of the best baptisms i've experienced on my mission. this saturday, sister ing and her two daughters will be baptized. they seem really excited. we just got them interviewed yesterday and they all said they couldn't wait to be baptized. they have come to church like 4 or 5 times in a row already, so very nice. after that though, things are looking a little shaky. we've been getting lots of new investigators and teaching them, but a lot haven't been turning out too well. we're trying to focus our work in the area around the church, but unfortunately there are hardly any members out here, and none of the other members really have transport so we are working almost without member help. we've been getting new people mostly by contacting, which i guess explains why there has been a significant drop off. we've found some good people that we're hoping to get to church this sunday. we're still just going to have to work hard and schedule everything well so as to see everyone efficiently. then we'll see who comes. the crazy part about the mission is you can work so hard, but people still have their own agency, so you have to sit back and see who will really be faithful or not. but we've had a lot of fun. i can't even really remember what happened this week, it went by so fast. we do have some families we're excited about, but they're all pretty new so not much to say about them.

but i can give an update on norina, that lady that was supposed to get baptized back in october but then stopped answering the phone out of no where and avoided us. well, one day i just felt like i should call her, and i actually got through. she was at kampung with her relatives in law, who are rc. i found out from this phone call that she had been receiving a lot of anti influence and that was causing her to avoid us. i tried to keep talking and she just hung up on me. at that point, i thought it was hopeless. but while we were over by her house last week, we decided to just drop in. we had a lesson with her and tried to remind her about the joseph smith story and how she prayed before. then we asked her to promise that we would be able to come back at least one more time to share with her. she agreed. then we went over to her house on monday. we had an awesome lesson with her. well at first we were kind of confused on how to go about it. we didnt expect a lesson with her, so we hadnt planned anything. she told us that she worked too much and had to work on sunday. so we at first tried to tackle that issue, thinking that that was the problem. we talked about how we need to have faith in God, and we shared the scripture in jacob about first seeking the kingdom of God, and then we shared in matthew about how the birds and flowers don't do anything, but God still takes care of them, but nothing seemed to take. her heart still seemed pretty closed. but then it came up that we were talking about her and her husband and just went over priesthood power that can bind on earth and how her husband is learning about what we are teaching her now. just this entire conversation we had with her seemed to open up her heart a lot, and she asked a ton of questions. she was really concerned that since her husband's family was rc, that if she didnt join rc she wouldnt see her husband again. but we explained the plan of salvation and you could just see the relief on her face. she seemed a lot more willing to talk about going to church after that as well. so we committed her to read, pray and also go to church. so there's still some good hope for her. no matter what happens, i know we were led by the spirit in that lesson, and we did the right thing. i'm so excited for this work, and have been having so much fun out here.

i tried to send some pictures, but there's some sort of lock on this computer that won't let me access my camera files, so hopefully another week. i apologize. i have been taking more pictures so you guys will have a lot to see, but malaysian pcs are unpredictable.

for thanksgiving, we are getting together as a zone and eating lots of food. the couple is going to cook for all of us. so we're pretty excited. in about 10 min i'll start heading over there actually. since today is pday, that's the day we're celebrating thanksgiving. i hope you guys have a great thanksgiving.

but speaking of desiree, i would be more than happy to take her on a date. like i said last week, it's all about those promised blessings. if you have the time, you can share with her jacob 2:18 or matthew 6:25-34 to help her know that when she trusts in God, He will provide and the blessings come after we show our faith. although it seems tough now, if she follows God, she will always be better off in the long run. i'm excited for you and your great member work mom. keep it up. keep doing what's right, and let me know how things go. when it comes to christmas, it will probably be me calling on your christmas eve, but i'll confirm that later. anyways, i gotta run, so talk to you next week. love you mom!

love, zac

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

we're trying to get some good solid new people

hey dad

well, they're just working you in the ward, huh? watch out. next thing you know is they'll call you as bishop! good that you're helping out the ward tho. how is the ward doing? our branch in kuching is doing well so far. we're just working on those baptisms. has our ward in las vegas had any baptisms lately? i wish i knew of some when i was there so i could go to them. baptisms are so much better when the members come to support. i've really seen the difference. back in sibu jaya, our first baptism had 3 members, and it was pretty sad. but the people getting baptized always feel tons better when they see lots of people supporting them.

i'm sorry i havent been sending as many pictures as nyss. i just never think to take pictures. also, i didnt bring my cord today, so you'll have to wait til next week to get some pics from me. i'll try really hard this week to find some cool ones, so i can send them to you. i do have a favor to ask of you tho.. if you could help me out. well, time has been going by really fast, and it's already time to start thinking about school again. unfortunately, i dont have much time on the internet. so i was wondering if you could look on the byu website and look up information for me so i can start working on a transfer from csn to byu. like forms and things i have to fill out. if you had time, that would be really awesome.

anyways, good luck with your double calling. i know you're up to it. it's good the ward is utilizing you more. what i wouldn't give for a melchizidek priesthood holder like you in my branch! also, good luck with your class. sometimes it just takes things being shaken up for kidds to really learn things. i definitely feel like that on my mission. i was really shaken up.

anyways, this week was pretty strange. lots of new families we're working with that we're still evaluating their interest level. all our solid people are getting baptized, so we're trying to get some good solid new people. we've been trying this for a few weeks, but most of our potentials as of yet have just been not to interested in the church. but we'll keep working. we know that next month will also be nice. weee christmas. our thanksgiving will probably be some sort of zone activity, but besides that, nothing. the senior couples will be out of town, which fact we will mourn for the next week.

anyways, thanks for the letter dad. i gotta run, but i'll have your pictures and more news next week.

love, zac

hey mom. don't worry about investigators falling off. i read a quote in brigham young's teachings and he said if we go to one city and they don't reaceive us, to just go to the next city and work there. so if one person doesn't want, we find someone who does. well, obviously we are still sad and try to help them overcome concerns, but we don't waste time on the sadness. we just keep working and finding as many people that want as possible. we had ruzh get baptized this last week. it was really good but the turn out from our branch was really small. he has an awesome testimony. and he just got interviewed for the priesthood and hopefully tomorrow we'll meet with one of his friends and get him on date for baptism. so things are looking up. we had three more that i was expecting last week, but we came to an unexpected problem, and 2 of them will happen this saturday. the other will hopefully happen sometime in the future.

but mom, i'm really proud of you for doing some good member work. bringing a less active back to church. i wish more people here would do that. just keep trying and i know you'll be successful. i also know that God will bless you. so much happiness comes from helping people come back to the church, and i'm sure desiree will be just as happy. just follow the spirit to help her come back. but you can always tell her if she keeps coming to church, i'll go on a date with her when i get back. it's all about promising blessings when you commit people to do something, you know what i mean?. anyways, don't feel bad that you fell asleep. it could happen to anyone. i definitely haven't been perfect out here on the mission. you can't beat yourself up. you just have to keep going forward, knowing you are doing a great work. i'm really excited to hear about your member work mom. keep it up!

anyways, i have had a pretty strange week. we did a lot of contacting and got lots of shaky investigators that we're trying to figure out what to do with. our really solid people are all getting baptized and we're left with the shaky ones. so while contacting, i was walking from one house to another, but was kind of looking at the ground. my comp was behind me, so he didnt see. anyways, i almost ran into this girl who was also looking at the ground while she was walking (that's what i get for not "walking with a purpose") anyways, it was really awkward for a bit, and i just went into contact mode and started talking to her about the church. she was christian but said she lived with mulsims, and next month "might" be invited to join islam. but she said she wanted to learn and invited us back. that was pretty weird. so we went back, and found out she's engaged to a mulsim guy! so we were just wondering if we could even teach this girl. we couldnt even have secret english communication between each other to regroup like we normally can, because she spoke english. so we decided to give her a pamphlet and asked her to give it to her parents to see if we could teach them. what a crazy experience. lots of people in that area invited us back. unfortunately, none of them know anything about christianity besides that you cant change churches if you've already joined one. which is a pretty big obstacle. and we've also been hit by some anti lately. lots of people quoting the bible as promising God will never send another prophet. somehow, everyone has heard that scripture, but doesn't know where it is.

but puras fam is doing well. they're the ones getting baptized this week. we also have ing's family who is doing so well. they really like church and have such good fellowship into the church. they are solid, so now we are working on the father (who still hides when we come. he does talk with us a few minutes not before he hides, so a little improvement) and also the son and his wife. we'll see how that goes. on top of that, lots of potential but still unsure how that will go. sifting through the people who just absolutely wont listen to us to find those who will. it's been fun.

yeah i had heard that dawn is pregnant. also, that's awesome jake's prospect of a better job is promising. and also, thanks so much for sending me a package mom. you are the best. my comp will appreciate it too. we've been having lots of fun together and hearing from you guys back home makes it all better. i hope you guys are doing well. take care of yourself mom. there's so much more i could say, but not a lot of time, so i gotta go. i love you and i'll talk to you next week.

love, zac

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

who knows what we are doing?

hey dad.

that's pretty cool you and mom are going to saint george. how
long will you be there? what all are you planning on doing while
you're there? it would be pretty cool to go to the saint george temple
while you're there. i tell you, i never really thought that i would
miss the temple, but i guess it takes you being put into a position
where you can't do something before you realize how big of a blessing
it is. someday there'll be a temple here in malaysia. i'd definitely
like to come back then. it's just crazy to see the growth in this
mission. seeing new branches created, new groups, working towards new
districts and a stake sometime in the future. this chruch really is

there are some new elders coming into the mission next week, which
means transfers, but i'm not going to be leaving. staying right here
in kuching, which is good. we're starting to have some good success,
so i would definitely like to stay here a while to keep that success
going. we've got some people coming up for baptism and quite a few
people who are potentials to get baptized. we just gotta work as hard
and effectively as we can and december will be a big month for us here
in kuching.

when it comes to thanksgiving, who knows what we are doing? not me.
maybe we'll have dinner with one of the couple missionaries. it's
close enough that i really dont know why i dont have a plan. but it's
all good. no one else in malaysia celebrates thanksgiving anyways.
christmas will be coming up soon as well. man time's going by so fast.
do you guys have anything cool going on for thanksgiving or christmas?

anyways, i'm sorry about the standardized french tests at your school.
i'm sure your students will all do well. good luck with those
students. tell them not to be naughty. but anyways, i should head out.
take care dad and i'll talk to you next week.

love zac

hey ma

well this week has been pretty interesting. i was in sibu again for
some more training. we went there on monday. it was pretty fun to be
able to see some of my friends from the mission. the bus ride is so
long tho. we left monday at 3:30 and didn't get into sibu until after
11. what a nightmare. but the training was good. we learned a lot
about helping the elders and sisters in our zone work together better
as a team and also about the importance of obedience. i love being in
trainings from president clark, our mission president. he's really
knowledgable and it's cool to just have discussions on church doctrine
with him. the training was only for one day, and then on tuesday we
got on the bus again. well, that was the plan at least. we went to the
bus terminal and the only bus avaible was one leaving at 12:30 am. the
bus didnt even sho up until 1am and we didnt get back to kuching until
8. that was a pretty crazy experience and i'm glad it's over. it's
nice to be back home. next month we'll have another training, but i
think it's in kuching, so it will be all good.

this week we should have 3 people getting baptized. an indonesian man
named ruzh, who is pretty awesome. he's really faithful in coming to
church even tho he works until 5am. pretty brutal work schedule. then
also a lady named puras and her daughter marina. i believe i've told
you about them. anyways, they all should be baptized this saturday, so
i'll let you know how it goes next week.

the family whose father won't listen is doing really well. the father
still hides when we go over. i don't know why. nothing we try seems to
work. but his family is really good. they should be baptized at the
end of the month- the mother and two of the daughters. there's a son
and daughter in law who live there that havent come to church yet, but
we're hoping to get them out this sunday, and then hopefully we can
get them baptized next month, but again we'll have to see.

last week we got tons of referrals, but unfortunately, none of them
came to church. i dont know if it was us dropping the ball, but we're
going to work hard for the rest of the week to make sure they come. if
we can get them to come, december should be a big month. and our area
will be doing really well. so i'm hoping and praying.

there's a family of 5 kids aged 9-17 and then their mother. only one
of the kids has been to church. she came as a referral with one of our
other investigators. the problem is that we havent yet seen the mom
for more than 5 minutes at a time. she seems really open and willing
to follow, but is hard to get ahold of and works a lot during the week
(we're actually not really sure on her schedule) but we're hopeful
that we'll be able to meet them tomorrow and get them all coming to

there have been a few tragedies. anuar has just been really busy
lately and has been having a real problem getting an answer to his
prayer, and also hasnt been to church in 2 weeks. things are looking
pretty shaky. we're going to go to his house and see if we can't let
the spirit resolve his concerns. also, norina has been avoiding us.
won't pick up calls and when we go to her house her family says she's
not there. so we're going to give it a little rest and see if we can't
go back later to meet with her again and rekindle her testimony. i
dont even know what happened. but malaysia is just like that
sometimes. you get those people who seem really good and then
something happens and they refuse to meet or even talk anymore, and
there's nothing more you can do. i'm hoping that's not the case with
norina. we'll keep trying.

but besides that, our week was good. we got almost all our people who
are on date for baptism to church, which is always a good thing. and
then we had an investigator bring another referral to church. pretty
good. the area is looking up, and we're hoping to help it keep
growing. i'm having tons of fun here and we are getting good work
done. we do make mistakes, which is evident in some of the thigns that
go wrong i guess, but we never give up and keep striving for

thanks for the pictures mom. they were awesome. jake is pretty silly.
i'm sorry i dont have any pictures for you this week, but i hope you
have fun in st george with dad. i gotta run, so i'll talk to you next
week. love you mom.

love, zac

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I hardly even noticed Halloween pass us by.

hey dad and mom

those pics are pretty cool. the boys in the ward are looking older
(and weirder, i must say. haha) anyways, thanks for sending the pics.
halloween here was just another day. although one of the branches in
our district had a halloween party, so some of the youth from our
branch went to it after the baptism we had on saturday. we hardly even
noticed it pass us by. hopefully thanksgiving isn't as uneventful, but
if it is, oh well.

this week has actually been really awesome for us. everywhere we go we
ask people for referrals. our mission president has really stressed
the fact that we be grateful to the people we meet with and that we be
cheerful, enthusiastic, and smile. now you knew me before the mission,
so you know that's kind of tough for me. but, i've really been trying,
and it has been awesome. i never felt like people responded poorly to
me before, but they are just responding so much better. people really
seem to be more excited to talk to us. and with this excitement, we've
been talking to them how to share the gospel with their friends and
why they should also be excited about giving referrals, and the
referrals have just been coming in. some of our investigators just
brought some friends to church and at church a long time member came
up to us and told us to come to his house the next day to meet some
people that work for him. it was pretty awesome, so now i'm even more
excited and just want to get out there and talk to these people.

even while we were contacting, we kept that cheerful attitude and just
had fun while we were out there. we really tried to get to know the
people. now, we had always tried to get to know people and be
friendly, but this time we tried harder than ever before to just feel
genuine love and grattitude for the people we met with. it really paid
off too. everyone we talked to that day gave us a phone number and
said we could come back. so we'll see later this week how many of them
turn into actual investigators, but i'm hopeful for the future of this
area. we've refocused our vision to the area near the church, and
we're starting to get busy.

anyways, so i believe i already told you about ing's family. they are
the mother and siblings of two of our members. so this past week we
had an amazing lesson with them. when we got there, they all seemed
pretty quiet and didn't seem especially excited to meet with us. we
talked and got to know them better as we began, and had fun with them.
as we asked about how their reading and praying had been going,
however, we were somewhat disappointed because they said they were too
busy or even too lazy. their apathy towards what we had taught them
about prayer was apparent. instead of just launching into an
explanation that they needed to pray or whatever else we could have
said, we just paused for a second to listen. as i sat there, i felt
prompted to ask a few questions about her family and how she felt
towards them. and we even discussed her feelings towards God, and what
she would want to say to Him if she had the opportunity to talk to Him
face to face. you could really see a change in her face, and see that
she was really understanding our conversation, and feeling the spirit
and love of God. that sunday, she brought a friend to church, and then
when we went to see her next, she had prayed and said she believed the
church was true. we asked her why she believed, and she said it was
because how she felt after she read the book of mormon and prayed.
that was the best experience i've had when it comes to really trying
to utilize inspired questions and creating an invironment for the
spirit to open people's hearts. it was amazing.

so we went to see the friend that ing's family brought to church on
monday, and they seem really good. we're hoping to get the friend's
whole family to come to church this sunday. they seem pretty excited .

besides that, tho, i don't really have any news. good things have been
happening here in kuching. i am so grateful for the investigators that
i have and for the opportunity to be here. thanks for being awesome
and continuing to write me emails. i love you and i'll talk to you
next week.

love, zac