Wednesday, December 15, 2010

"brightly beams our father's mercy"

hey dad.

how's it going? well things are going just fine here in kuching. happy as a clam and all kinds of excited that you guys are helping the missionaries. keep up the good work. it reminds me of the hymn "brightly beams our father's mercy" now i dont mean to be like cheesily spiritual or falsely pious or anything, but this is a song that i have come to love on my mission. "unto us is given the keeping of the lights along the shore. let the lower lights be burning... some poor fainting struggling seaman you may rescue, you may save." look at the good your example is doing in the lives of others. awesome. thanks for being a good example to me in my life and helping me to get where i am.

anyways, i was emailing jake just barely and i told him a story from my mission. no i love hearing mission stories and also sharing my own. i probably already told you guys this one. it's one of my favorites. but i think i'll recount to you the way i shared it with jake. who knows, maybe it can help you guys too.

"all i know is this: anyone whoe reads, prays and goes to church faithfully will get a testimony and will join the church. so let me tell you a story. a real life tale in the life of elder hill. bcak in the days.

so i was chillin in sibu jaya, we were teaching this lesson in a house with the door open. all of the sudden, this crazy indonesian lady walks by and comes in and just starts talking to us about church and how she thinks our church has some false doctrine. we got her number, and sent her on her way after like 30 min of crazy conversation which completely ruined the lesson we were in the middle of before she walked in.

so like the next week we went to see the lady, but she was just as crazy as before. she would read the book of mormon and pray, but we couldnt overcome any of her concerns by talking. she kept saying "but there aren't any prophets anymore. no one can see god.. etc" but we kept testifying that we knew joseph smith's story was true. after a few weeks of nothing, we stopped visiting this lady. it seemed hopeless.

but a few weeks after that, she showed up at church! we were like "what the heck!" and she kept coming every week after that. but she would bring her religious debates into our church. "but no one can see God, there are no prophets anymore... blah blah blha" it seemed like a pretty big trial at the time. anyways, after a few weeks of coming to church, she seemed to be making progress. we brought up baptism, and she accepted. and then she told her other christian friends and they tore her budding testimony to pieces. but she kept coming to church. one month after that, i got a new companion. we kept going and testifying. she kept reading praying and going to church. shortly thereafter, she realized she believed what we had been teaching. and although she didnt understand everything, she decided she wanted to get baptized.

a few months later, i was on splits with a 16 year old kid from the little branch i was in. we showed up at her house to ask her to help us with an appointment, and there was a pastor from another church sitting there telling lies about the church. so we sent the pastor off (no one in malaysia will mess with a white man face to face) and took her to a lesson. anyways, i got transferred and all that. i've been here for 4 months now. but i just got a letter from that indonesian lady. she told me she was really thankful for all that i had helped her with, including telling that pastor to go away. but the best part of the letter was a line that was to this effect: "the more i learn about the church of jesus christ of latter day saints, the more i love it." so please don't give up. keep doing those three things sincerely and regularly, and you will feel the same way."

live is good, and i am loving it here. so i am anticipating talking to you guys next week on the phone. it's christmas time already. time goes fast. anyways, like i told mom, if you guys could call 5-6pm christmas eve for you, it would be the easiest for me at around 9-10am christmas morning. i hope my jumbly english isnt too confusing. anyways, i love you dad. thanks for all your help. talk to you next week.
love, zac

hey mom! you guys are the best! the only unfortuante part of that awesome package, is that i am a candy fiend. it was all i could do to not gorge myself on the candy. i think it lasted me a week. but it was a delicious candy filled week. best week of my mission! naw i'm kiding. but it definitely was up there. although it was unfortunately coupled with my eating some intensely spicy fried noodles with curry that kind of messed up my insides. i've never experienced something so crazy and terrible after a delicious plate of fried noodles. but i'm over it now.

man i'm getting so excited over you and your missionary work mom. keep it up! thanks for the updates. but you mean the missionaries even didnt do a good job of explaining a patriarchal blessing? shame! just kidding. i've definitely run into those situations before. but i dont think it was just chance that that very night bro laton happened to speak on patriarchal blessing, or that the missionary brought it up. God is always preparing his people, and he works in mysterious ways. it is really cool to be able to see his hand in our lives tho. if there's anything i can help you with in your missionary efforts, please let me know. missionary work gets me all kinds of excited. tell desiree that she's awesome for meeting with the missionaries and coming back to church.

but i am sitting here to myself wondering, where are those "cute pics" you took? really, any pics you have i'd love to see. i apologize i havent been sending pics, but it's because of the computers here in my area. i'll have to manually print pictures out and snail mail them to you.

lets see tho, this week not much went on besides a bunch of meetings. we had a missionary training meeting and distirct conference. all was good, and there were good talks, but it took a lot of time out of our missionary work, so not many experiences to relate. we did meet with this man named binong. he's pretty good. he's bidayuh married to a chinese iban. they have twin sons who are naughty as all get out. we found them on the way to a potential investigators house. he was standing in his front yard staring at us. we both had the feeling to talk to him. he imidiately invited us in. we've been working with him for a few weeks. he has yet to come to church because he works, but the good thing is that we have been working with him and the book of mormon. so now, he himself said he believes that the book of mormon is true because he is really happy when he reads it and always wants to read it. he also said he wants to come to church. there are definitely some things he doesnt yet have a testimony of, so we are still working on him. we're hoping he can get work off this sunday. we tried to invite him to the baptism of some other elders in the zone, but for reasons unknown, he just kept telling us he wasnt ready.. very strange. maybe it was because we invited him like 2 hours before the baptism. i guess that was our bad. but he's looking pretty good as an investigator so far. we also have a dude named gregory who is the son of a member who should be getting baptized at the end of the month. so things are going well.

speaking of christmas, yeah my mission president said that the parents have to call. i guess it's a world wide policy. but if you guys could call me around 5-6pm your time on christmas eve, that should be around 9-10 christmas morning for me. that would be great.

but yeah, that's all i got this week. please keep me informed on the things you have going on in your life, and please keep sending pics. but i'll talk to you guys next week.

love, zac

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