Tuesday, March 29, 2011

so it seems like this family is really prepared

hey dad.

well thanks for the advice. i'm sure things will all work out.

so anything good happen this week? any news? my week has been pretty good so far. we met with amin's brother. he hasn't really been christian before, and he doesn't know anything about christianity. so we were teaching him about god and jesus christ and helping him to understand why it is important to believe in them. he seems pretty good, especially since amin is such good support for him. so we're really hopeful that all of them will be at chruch this sunday. as we were about to leave after our appointment, amin's brother said he still doesnt understand much about christianity, but he asked us to come over more frequently because he feels frequent visits will help him to understand. after so many people dropping us lately, it is really nice to hear.

we also had some pretty cool contacting experiences. we were waiting for the bus for like an hour. part way through the wait, a lady came and sat down next to me with her kids. she had three kids that she was watching all on her own, and lots of groceries. i heard her speaking iban to her kids, so i started talking to her. she was going to the same place we were heading to, so we helped her with her groceries and kids on the bus, and also helped her to get to her house. so was really grateful, and invited us back. hopefully we'll be able to meet her and her husband tonight.

right after we met that lady, we went to go to an appointment, but we accidentally waited in the wrong spot for like 40 mintutes. while we were waiting, this chinese guy came out and started to talk with us a little bit. he said he wasn't christian yet, but his wife was. we had a pretty good conversation and set up an appointment with him. we met him yesterday, and his family is awesome. what we didnt know the first day, is that this family didn't like the church they were currently attending because they had people speaking in tongues, and it made them feel uncomfortable. the wife said she had been looking for the true chruch for a while. so we taught them about baptism and the apostasy. the lady seemed to really accept the message. she said she was glad that we came to answer her question. so hopefully later this week we'll be able to meet them again. they seemed pretty excited to try church as well. hopefully they come and have a good experience. so after the lesson, they fed us and then gave us a ride home as well. right before we got out of the car, they told us they had seen last week on our bicycles, and the wife said she felt like we were messagers from god. so it seems like this family is really prepared to hear the gospel. the branch leadership is all chinese, so i think they'll be excited that we found a chinese family. we'll see how it goes next week.

anyways, i can't really think of anything else that happened. things are going well, and we're excited for our area. also, i don't know if i told you, but my release date from the mission is july 27th. anyways, gotta run. talk to you guys later. have a good week.

love, zac

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

we have been working extra hard

life as a missionary is going really well. i'm having a lot of fun. my companion and i have been struggling a little bit lately, so we have been working extra hard, and have been contacting a lot. the other day was so hot and for the first time in quite a while i got sunburned. it's funny being a white person in an asian country that so rarely has white people come. i sometimes forget how strange i must look to people here. but on that hot day, my comp and i were taking a brake sitting under some shade and we had quite a few people stop to see if we needed help. they thought we were lost. so we explained what we were doing, got a few phone numbers. hopefully something will come out of it.

i feel like i've been learning lots of good lessons out here as well. to get things done you just gotta get out and get to work. also, i've been learning even more to rely on the lord. we've had a pretty tough month, so we decided to fast a few times to help our area. no huge miracles occurred, but i definitely feel that the people who are suddenly progressing we found and helped through our fasting.

i don't really have much else to write, so i guess i'll just go. have a good day dad. hope everything is going well with school and at home. talk to you next week.
love, zac

hey mom.

well, i guess it's ok that you dont have much going on over in las vegas. i also don't have much going on. but we had a prety good week this wek, and we're hoping for an even better week this upcoming week.

so we've spent the last month knocking doors and trying to find people without much success. anyways, we recently fasted this last week, and some things started happening in our area, which is pretty sweet. we invited some people to be baptized, and they committed to a date for next month. one is a random chinese dude we contacted into on the street. we were walking kind of aimlessly. i always try to give my trainee an opportunity to lead the companionship so he was walking and i was following. we passed this dude. as soon as he saw us, he said he didn't need to talk to us, because he was already christian. well, this area has tons of muslims, which we can't teach, so we're always excited to run into people who are already christian. so we talked with him for a bit and gave him a pamphlet. the next day, he texted us and asked what the book of mormon was and if we coud give him one. so we did, and he came to church. he seems pretty excited to be baptized, because he never has before. and while we walk with him to go places, he always asks if people are christians, and if they want us to teach them. so he seems genuinely excited. he has some quirks, but over all a nice guy. i may hvae already talked about this guy. his name is mark.

also, like 3 weeks ago we were knocking a flat with no success. on our way out of the flat, we saw this dude on a motorcycle. he came up and talked to us. he asked if we were christian. we said we were, and then he said he also was and wanted us to teach him. so we had an awesoem first lesson with him, and then 3 weeks went by and we couldn't get into contact with him. we called ad no one would answer and eventually his wife answered seemed really angry and hung up on us. i thought that was the end of that. but one nght the other day, all our appointments fell through and we had nothing to do. so we had the idea to try this guy again. his name is amin, by the way. he happened to be home and he let us in. we had an awesome lesson with him and he promised to come to church. then last sunday, he actually came, and he really enjoyed it. he seems really excited. so although we don't have many people that we are teaching, we've got some people that seem really good. amin and his wife also really seem to want to be baptized. they really liked the idea of being able to help their ancestors accept the gospel through temple work.

as always, we've got plenty of other people we're trying to teach, but we're not sure how it's going to go. lots of busy people in johor can't meet regularly.

but just last night we had a talent show for the branch, which was pretty fun. some people in the ward sang and played instruments and various things. we missionaries also sang. we took an indonesian song and we rewrote the words from the prospective of a missionary trying to teach people. it was pretty fun and i think the people from the branch enjoyed it. we did pretty poorly and probably would have been laughed at pretty bad in america, but luckily we're in malaysia and people thought it was good. it's good to see the branch come together and try to get to know the people a little more.

anyways, besides that, nothing. just kicking along still. having fun. take care mom and talk to you next week.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


hey mom.
sorry i forgot to wish you happy birthday last week mom. i'm a horrible son. but happy birthday. you're the best.

but yeah i heard about the crazy earthquake in japan. lots of people here are talking about it, and it's all over the newspapers. nothing happened here though. malaysia is nice and safe from natural disasters. yay malaysia. so about the pics, right after i sent that email one of the elders in my district let me borrow ihs card reader, so i was able to send the pics. the fish were cleaning our feet. it tickled like crazy. i couldn't stop laughing for like 5 minutes. it was pretty fun. kl was cool, but i'm glad to be back here in johor. life is normal again. we've been getting lots of rain lately. we've been struggling a lot with our investigators. the one family we had that was doing well is currently missing and out of contact, so that is a tough situation. hopefully we'll be able to get ahold on that situation sometime. we found this new guy named mark. he's chinese and he seems pretty good so far. he came to church and seemed to like it. we walked with him to a park one day to teach him and he kept talking to people to see if they wanted to learn from us, or if they wanted to go to our church. it was pretty weird but cool at the same time. the guy definitely has some big quirks. i'm not sure what to think of him completely, but i'm sure we'll be able to help his life improve. all of the other people we've been teaching have eaither dropped us or have been difficult to meet so we haven't met them for a second time. it's been a tough week.

actually, do you remember when i told you about that dude on his moto that asked us if we were christian and if we would teach him? well we finally taught him again. it seemed really good too. he kept saying he wanted to learn more about joseph smith and he wanted to know if it was true. he promised to come to church, so we'll see on sunday. we're pretty excited for him, but i've been disappointed enough times already that i'm really trying not to get my hopes up. elder browne is doing really well. we're having fun together. things will get better. hopefully i'll have a better email next week. hope you have a good week too mom. gotta go. love you.

love zac

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

some pix

hey mom..

well not too much going on over here. we didnt actually get to go to singapore for stake conference. we missionaries just stayed in johor while the members went. i'm not exactly sure why, but we weren't given permission to go. but, we just had zone conference in kuala lumpur, so that's where i am right now. i got some pictures of the huge towers. we got to go kind of explore the city and see the shops. didn't have time to see too many places but we still had fun. unfortunately since we're still here in kl, i dont have my camera cord. i know pictures seem like empty promises, but hopefully i'll get some to you next week. yesterday we had an all day training. we were at the church building for like 14 hours. so that was kind of grueling. that's all we've done this week. last week leading up to conference like all our appointments fell through, so we're not sure what things are gonna be like when we get back to johor. we're going to work hard, and hopefully we'll have success.

i guess that's about all i got for now. anyways, i love you and i'll talk to you next week.
love, zac

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

up to date on my mission so far

hey mom

you asked if i was liking my new area better. did it seem like i dislike my area? sorry if i made it sound like that. i am having a lot of fun here in johor. i really like it. the work has been tough, but i am still having a good time. this last week was a little rough too, just because we went finding a lot, got lots of return appointments, and then when we went back, the people were'nt there or they didnt want. people in johor work all day and have almost no time to meet with us. so those are a few of our challenges. but we do have some good people that we are meeting with.

we contacted into a family of indian people (dot, not feather). it was the first time of my whole mission i've ever taught indian people. in sarawak, there are hardly any. but here, there are quite a few. anyways, most are hindu and just reject us at the door, but we found some that are already christian. they seem pretty good, although they have some interesting religious beliefs. we knocked into them once and they let us in right away and cooked us some food. then they invited us back after a pretty good lesson with them, and said they were going to cook some more food! we're going to see them again tonight, so hopefully all goes well with them. we're really hopeful. they are all really nice.

we didnt get a chance to meet that guy on a motorcycle again, because he is super busy. he works in singapore and commutes every day. anyways, we should see him again tomorrow. he called us and made the appointment, so he seems genuinely interested in meeting with us again. we're excited to meet with him.

but unfortunately, our branch is considered part of the singapore stake. stake conference is this sunday and will be held in singapore. no church meeting will be held here in johor bahru. most of the members and none of our investigators have passports even, so it looks like the attendance from johor will be minimal. it's pretty tough to go into a week knowing none of the people will be making it to church, but we have a few people committed for next week!

we're also teaching a catholic man named joanas and his family. he's really good. asks lots of good questions and seems to understand well. we met him just yesterday and had a good lesson that seemed to help him get over his concerns. he felt like if he went to our church even once, that would mean he had to throw his old church away and he wasnt prepared to do that. so we told him that we wanted him to come to church in order to make his decision and receive revelation from the spirit. so for the first time he gave a solid comitment to come to church (next week, of course)

that was pretty much what happened last week. still working hard and trying to find new people. but just last night we had an awesome experience. well, a few days ago we were kncking a flat. we passed a door that looked like no one was home. i was being kind of lazy and didnt knock on the door. but i felt like i really should knock anyway, even though it looked like no one was home. i looked and saw my comp was walking way down the hall and i just left to see what my comp was doing. after about 5 minutes, we were talking to some other guy in the same hall. i looked over and saw a lady walk out of the door i felt i should knock 5 minutes early. i felt pretty bad about not having knocked it. but i know the lord provides. because yesterday, we had plans through the whole night. somehow, the plans got moved to the next night because the people we wanted to see were busy. so we were left with our back up plans, which all fell through as well. i thought of that one door i shouldve knocked, and we went back. the husband had just come back from work, so the whole family was home. they invited us in and we had a lesson. they also happened to be iban, which was really awesome since i spent all my mission working with ibans.

so we taught the man a little bit about joseph smith. he seemed to be excited that he could understand us and what we taught him made sense. i guess some jehova's witnesses had come and tried to teach him, and what they said made no sense to him. also, he made a comment about home he wanted to go to church, but couldnt. i asked him about what that meant, and he didnt answer, just kept trying to change the subject. it sounded like to me tho that for some reason the church he used to go to doesnt want him to come or something like that. anyways, he said he was looking for a church that was "good" to take his family to. so that was really exciting for us to hear. they invited us back for saturday, and we'll let you know how it pans out next week.

anyways, that's all i have for this week. oh yeah, also, i got accepted into byu. so that's pretty cool. but i'm glad to hear everything is going well at home. tel jake congrats for me. i love you and we'll talk next week.

love, zac

hey dad.

it's zac. thanks for sending me an email. i'm sorry i haven't had pictures for a long time. i just found out that the computers i'm on can send pictures, but i forgot my camera cord, so i promise i'll send some next week. that should get you up to date on my mission so far. anyways, i sent all my experiences for the week to mom, so i'll just copy what i wrote to her here for your benefit. i'm not neglecting you, i just happened to open her letter and reply first.

[long and interesting description of weeks events edited because they were posted ^]