Sunday, February 1, 2015

Lizards, Transfers, Travel, and Training

We had our house sprayed for bugs and had one of the air cons (air conditioners) fixed today. The bugs aren't bad if you keep them under control. Sister Bodell feels better when we've had the house sprayed. Fortunately we don't have a problem with mice; however, we do have a problem with lizards. They leave their calling card behind, on the counters, on the walls, in the air cons. Wait! In the air cons? Yes, that's why we had to have one repaired. Seems the little critter crawled into one and got fried when it was turned on! Poor little thing! So now we have to spray lizard repellant around each of out air con units to keep them away.

This week was transfers. We lost four of our Elders. Elder Smith, one of our ZLs, has completed his mission. He's meeting his parents in Singapore this week and doing some touring of the mission before they return home. We're going to miss him. He's been a great leader, a great example, a great teacher, a great missionary, a great language resource, and a great friend. He has been a blessing in the lives of so many people here in Sibu. We look forward to hearing from him when he returns home.

We also lost Elders V, W, S, and B. We wish them all well in their new areas. They will be missed, but will continue to grow where they're planted.

We haven't met the new Elders yet. We will have to wait until this weekend when we return from Bintulu.

Our new missionaries include Elders C, S, G, D, and M. We haven't met them all yet, but we love the ones we have. We still haven't met Elder S. We've been gone most of the week, and he was ill Sunday and didn't make it to church. It will be later this week that we get to meet him, after we return from our trip to Kuching.

Kuching? Yes, we're going to Kuching again for Seminary and Institute teacher training. This past week we drove to Bintulu for training there on Thursday evening. It's a three-hour drive. While we were there, we closed the Senior Couple house. The mission president was hoping to send another couple to Bintulu, but there aren't any available right now. We had to clean out the house, move all church materials and furnishings to another missionary apartment that is in the process of closing for temporary storage. Sister Bodell really worked hard. She was texting and emailing Sister Mains, the mission president's wife frequently getting feedback on what needed to be saved or tossed. It took us two days to get this all done. Fortunately we had some help from some members with a truck to move the furniture. Another member, Ethan, was also a big help. The missionaries in Bintulu also were a great help. After all was said and done, we were able to sign the house back over to the landlord on Saturday morning and make the three-hour drive back to Sibu. We made it back in time for our S&I training there at 5:30 and seminary class after that at 7:00 PM.

It was a busy few days in Bintulu, but we did have time to make a stop at the beach while we were out looking for a place for lunch. Here a few pictures.

Pretty much a tropical paradise . . .

Except for the murky, brown water!

There is a sign posted to swim at your own risk! You definitely won't find us in these waters.

But still a tropical paradise!

After seminary we drove a pair of missionaries to a member's home whose son was recently killed. The hows of that are still sketchy. He may have been mugged and beaten. He was only in his early 20s. Sunday morning I drove them out to the hospital/morgue to be with the mother. It's a sad situation.

Sunday was a pretty normal Sunday, other than driving the missionaries to the hospital. I did have to go back and pick them up.

We did start something new Sunday night . . . a music directing workshop. It went very well. We had three members, Sister Noralia was out of town so she couldn't come, and six Elders there. We covered the basics of three, four, and two beats per measure (fence). We also worked on preparatory beats and fermatas. We talked about how not to direct as well. We all had a good time. Next Sunday we're going to talk about six beats per measure, time changes in hymns, like Come, Come Ye Saints. I'm hoping to give a little listening quiz and see if they can identify how many beats are in each measure. We talked about a lot of other musical Dos and Don'ts. We'll see how they do.

I'm closing for tonight, Sunday, as we will be leaving early in the morning (7:00) to go to Mukah for S&I training there.

I'm grateful for the opportunity we have to teach and to serve. It is a blessing. This is the true Church of Jesus Christ. I am grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who sent His only begotten Son to atone for my sins. I am grateful for the Prophet Joseph Smith. I know he saw the Father and the Son in the grove of trees near his father's farm. I am grateful for his strength, courage, determination, and testimony in restoring the Gospel back to the earth. I am grateful for President Monson and his strength, courage, determination, and testimony in his calling as Prophet, Seer, and Revelator. He is God's mouthpiece today.

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