Sunday, August 24, 2014

Setting Apart and Sacrament Meeting

This has been a full weekend! We've been blessed to have all of our family here this weekend. Last night we had family pictures taken at the entrance to Tuacahn. We did a total family picture and individual family pictures of our children with their children. We also had pictures of our children together, with and without Mom and Dad, and pictures of Grandma and Grandpa with all the grandchildren.

After the picture taking, we came back to the house for dinner. The temperature was perfect, and we were able to eat outside, which is a good thing since there were 29 of us. We had a good time visiting and watching the grandkids play with each other. Later everyone retreated to their places of sleeping, whether their own home or a rented condo for the weekend.

This morning we received a phone call from President Hansen asking if we could be set apart at 12:15 instead of 2:20 because the Stake President had a hectic schedule today. It was a blessing for everyone to move it up so those that were traveling could get on the road sooner. We crowded into a classroom at the chapel for the setting apart. We were blessed to have dear friends there as well as the family. Sister Packer was there and Brother Elwyn Reeder, "Mom" Reeder's husband. (Mom Reeder couldn't come because she had broker her leg last week.) President Barney, our stake president, set us apart. I can't remember everything he said, but I was smart enough to ask our daughter to take notes, which she will transcribe and give to us later.

After the setting apart, we met in the chapel with our ward choir to practice We'll Bring the World His Truth. Then it was time for Sacrament meeting. Beside our family and our ward family, we had many friends attend to give us their support. Visitors included my cousin MellaDee and her family, Brother Reeder, LuAnn, Roland & Nellie, Jeff Hafen, and others that I can't remember right now because I am tired right now.

The meeting turned out well. Sherrie, I should say Sister Bodell, spoke about wisdom. Then the choir and family sang. It was hard to control my emotions directing, especially when the grandchildren started the last verse. Then it was my turn to speak. I managed to get through it, but it was difficult, with the Spirit at the meeting and my emotions running on max. My topic was example. I finished with my testimony in Malay. I had a really hard time getting through that. After the meeting we were able to visit with friends before heading back to the house to share a light lunch with family before they headed back to their homes.

I was exhausted after most of the family departed for home. Amanda and family are still here, but I fell asleep for an hour of so. Things are winding down now.

Life is good. We are excited to be heading to the MTC next Sunday after Sacrament meeting. There is still much to do this week, but we will get done as much as we can. Whatever we don't get done will be left up to Josh and Amber when they move into our house. Good luck to them!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Down to the Wire!

It's one week until we speak in Sacrament meeting. The following week we'll be heading to Provo for the MTC! There are still a lot of temporal things to do to prepare, but much of that may have to wait. I am grateful that we have been able to get done as much as we have. We are pretty much ready to leave. Mentally we may have already departed.

I am looking forward to next Sunday. Not that I like to speak in Church, but that just brings us a week closer to leaving. It will also be my last opportunity to direct the ward choir. We had our last practice this morning. The Spirit was strong today. The choir is a great bunch of people whom I will greatly miss. We are singing Joseph Smith's First Pray to the tune of In Humility Our Savior in Sacrament meeting today. It is amazing how a change in melody can change the feeling of a song. This is really beautiful. Next week we're singing We'll Bring the World His Truth, along with our children and grandchildren. That is going to be awesome!

We can feel the Spirit guiding us everyday as we draw closer to our departure. We have been extremely blessed.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Language Skills

We've been studying Malay now for about four weeks. Our vocabulary and skills are improving. We have great help from our language coach, our language tutor, and our language volunteer. We meet with them for two hours during the week. Learning Malay has been a stress, but also a blessing in our lives. Last night we spent 10 minutes speaking only Malay with our volunteer, trying to carry on a conversation. It's a good thing he's patient. Ten minutes may not seem like a long time, but it is when you get tongue-tied! We can say a simple prayer and bare a simple testimony in Malay.

This is my simple testimony in Malay:

Saya berterima kasih untuk kesaksian saya.
Saya tahu bahawa Yesus Kristus hidup. Dia Jerusalemat saya dan Penebus saya. Dia menyayangi saya. Saya tahu bahawa Gereja Yesus Kristus Orang Suci Zaman Ahkir adalah Gereja Nya. Dia memimpin Gereja. 

Saya tahu bahawa Joseph Smith adalah nabi pemulihan. President Thomas S. Monson adalah nabi yang hidup.

Saya tahu bahawa Kitab Mormon adalah benar. Ia adalah Firman Tuhan.

Dalam nama Yesus Kristus. Amin.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Revised Itinerary

We received a call from our mission president this last night. He explained our new travel itinerary and our schedule for our first week in the mission.

The flight schedule is the same, but a day earlier on all flights and arrivals. So we leave on the 10th of September and arrive on the 12th. Our first week will be pretty busy. The following is a copy of what President Mains sent in an email after our conversation.

Dear Elder  and Sister Bodell,

Nice to visit with you on the phone.  We are excited to have you join us in the Singapore Mission.  Below is a brief outline of your first week in the field:

  • Friday Sept 12 arrive Changi Airport Singapore - greeted by Elder and Sister Boyter and President Stephen Lai, CES Director and Singapore Stake President.  (Sister Mains and I will be in Hong Kong for MP seminar.)
  • Saturday Sept 13 travel to Sibu East Malaysia - greeted by Elder and Sister Beus (you will move into their house and take over their car after they depart the mission field)
  • Tuesday Sept 16 - return to Singapore with E/S Beus for Senior Conference and Zone conference on 9/17-18.
  • Thursday Sept 18 - dinner with E/S Beus and the Mains. Stay at mission home with Pres. and Sister Mains, mission orientation (E/S Beus depart for home on Sept 19)
  • Friday Sept 19 travel back to Sibu to begin your assignment

Welcome to the Singapore Mission!

Kind regards,
President Mains
Singapore Mission

Apparently we will be living in Sibu, not Kuching. Not that it matters. It's nice to know more of what and where. Anyway, our first week is full, and we will be be doing more flying as we go back and forth to Sibu and back before settling in to begin our assignment.

Monday, August 4, 2014

28 Days

It's now only four weeks from today that we will be in the MTC in Provo, UT. There is still plenty to do around home, but we probably won't get it all done. Anything left undone will have to be done by our children.

Not related to our present missionary calling, but still dealing with missionary work, it should be noted that Brother and Sister Felt were baptized and confirmed this past weekend. They have been studying the Gospel pretty much since they moved to Ivins about six years ago. It was a blessing for us to see them baptized and confirmed. I'm grateful for their friendship. I was blessed with the opportunity to stand in the circle as they were confirmed. That was a choice experience for me. The fruit of many hours of love and teaching were culminated in this great experience.