Sunday, March 8, 2015

A Little Humor, Mission Tour, My Birthday

I am starting off with a little humor. Unlike the young missionaries, Senior Couples can sometimes relax and watch a movie; however, you have to be careful what you purchase. DVDs are really cheap here, and there are many stores that sell them really, really cheaply . . . usually three for RM15. That translates into three for $5.00. Not bad, eh? You have to be really careful when you buy one, however. It can be a risky proposition. We wanted to see Night at the Museum - Secret Tomb the other night. Here's a clip from the DVD we bought.

Did you notice the people coming in with their popcorn? I don't think that's part of the original movie. Someone was in the back of the theater copying the movie. Did you notice the language? It sounds vaguely like Italian to me. It's definitely not English! We'll have to try again.

Well, this week we were back in Kuching for the Mission Tour. We arrived Tuesday evening with the Tedrows and stayed at the Imperial Hotel. That's hotel with the heavenly bathrooms. We took a taxi ot the church from the hotel. The taxi driver spoke very little English, but he knew exactly where the church is. After the meetings on Wednesday, the Hammers took us to the airport and we flew home with the Tedrows and the 14 Elders from our zone. Most of us met up at the Fruit Bowl later for dinner.

Elder Funk from the Second Quorum of Seventy was there to teach us how to be more effective missionaries. We were also taught by his wife and Elder and Sister Mains. The District President of the Kuching District also shared his testimony and how the missionaries taught him and his family. Here are my notes from the meeting:

Mission Tour - March 4, 2015

Sister Funk
     Introduction of the Funks, family, mission, call to 2nd Quorum of the Seventy
Elder Funk

Using Time Wisely PMG chapter 8

35 And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed. - Mark 1:35

Begin your day early, with prayer, as the Savior did.

PMG pg 137, chapter 8, 3rd paragraph - quote from call letter about effective use of time.

Planning, PMG 146, chapter 8
     Goal, vision, raise the bar. You can do more with the Lord's help and effort on your part.
     List goals in planner.
     Planning - pg 147, PMG, headings 2-10, Set goals and make plans!
Pres. Mains
Plan of Salvation/Happiness/Redemption

Alma 31: Alma bringing the apostate Zoramites back to the Church. Verse 5 tells how the many of the Zoramites returned back to the Church.

Moroni 6

Do everything with the end in mind.
Pres. Sulai 
Sister Funk

Pg 89, 2nd paragraph, PMG

God loves you and all His children. He is anxious to support you in your practical and specific challenges. You have been promised inspiration to know what to do and have been given the power to do it (see D&C 43:15–16). He will help you as you try to recognize and understand the Spirit through diligent scripture study. He will guide you to people who will receive the message of the Restoration. He will give you power to deliver the message and to testify of Christ and His gospel. He will shower His blessings upon you through the gift of the Holy Ghost. He asks that you remain worthy of this gift and that you ask, seek, and knock (see D&C 4:7; Matthew 7:7–8).

How Do I Recognize and Understand the Spirit? Answer these five questions from the passage above:

Must do?
Elder Funk

2 Nephi 32:1-5, 33:1

Missionary responsibility to teach clearly for understanding.
Alma 32: Plant the seed in the heart, etc.


Role playing of teaching First Vision
Role plays are not role plays, they are preparations to teach the Gospel.

It was spiritually uplifting meeting. We all came away wanting to do better in our callings.

While we were in Kuching, we received an email from President Lai, our "boss" when it comes to seminary and institute. His "boss", Juswan Tandiman, will be coming to Sibu next week to spend the day with us and meet with President Chua, our District President, and other local leaders to see what he can do to help with the S&I program here in Sibu. He'll be here Thursday; Friday we will accompany him back to Kuching for a similar meeting with President Sulai. We'd like to talk Brother Tandiman into having an S&I training in his home. He lives in Jakarta, Indonesia. I don't think that will happen since it's outside our mission boundaries, but what a trip that would be!

This just in! Tonight is the last night of the Chinese New Year! The firecrackers  and fireworks have begun. It has been quiet the last few days. It's getting later . . . almost 8:30 P.M. I've been out walking through the war zone. It seems to be quieting down a bit, but it may get going later tonight. It's beautiful, but noisy, and to think it's all illegal!

It did quiet down. It was all over before midnight. We got a pretty decent sleep tonight.

Elder Pryzbyla sent us a picture from our experience at the Gardens by the Bay. I thought you might like to see us in a less formal attire.

The Tedrows, the Bodells, the Hammers, the Prysbylas, and the Sliders
For those of you who may have missed it, Saturday was my birthday. I am starting to feel the effects of age. It's a good thing we have the young Elders around to keep us young. President and Sister Mains call all the missionaries on their birthdays. Seniors are no exception. That was a fun phone call. We texted or FaceTimed with all the kids to celebrate. 

Sister Bodell surprised me by having the missionaries come over in the afternoon. She had fixed some fruit and dip, chips and dip (including a 7-layer Mexican dip), and a Black Forest Cake. It was wonderful, and the missionaries appreciated all of it, of course. 

The missionaries sang Happy Birthday to me twice. They started when they arrived, but I stopped them the first time through so I could get my camera out to record it. Our ZLs were a little late in coming due to traveling from Mukah, but they arrived in time for the cake when they had to sing again. Here it is:

Not only did they sing Happy Birthday to me, but before they left, they also sang a special song just for me. They know how much I love the hymns so they sang one of my favorites, I Need Thee Every Hour. This was an added surprise. It was too big of a file to add here so I posted it to YouTube. Here is the link if you'd like to hear this: You have to love these guys. I am grateful to be associated with them. 

Our District Elders, Our "Sons"
Back Row: Elder D, Elder M, Elder T, Elder L, Elder S, Elder W, Elder G
Front Row: Elder J, Elder B, Elder C, Elder H

I woke early Sunday morning (4:45 AM) to the broadcasted call to prayer for the Muslim community and couldn't go back to sleep. I don't usually here it anymore. Here I am, adding more and more to my blog. I will definitely need a nap this afternoon.

Since I was awake, I decided to check my email. I was overwhelmed with the number of birthday greetings that awaited me. Thanks to all those that sent them. I got a special greeting from several grandchildren who were gathered for Jaxon's baptism. This is great! In case you're wondering, they're singing in Chinese, thanks to our granddaughter, Codera.

Seminary went well Saturday evening. Brother Merang is amazing. He has grown so much since joining the Church. I know he loves the Lord. He has a strong testimony of the Gospel. He and his family are the Best!

The Elders have started a tradition of going to the Fruit Bowl on Saturday evenings after all is said and done. We went with them again last night. I tried something new that was delicious . . . chicken satay . . . kind of like a shish kabob; smaller, but very tasty and not super spicy. I would definitely do that again.

Another Sunday has come and gone. President Balley (Branch 2) asked that I attend PEC and Branch Council Meeting from now on. It's a juggling act because it's at the same time as Branch 1 Sacrament meeting. I'll get it figured out eventually. Branch 2 has some very active and supportive members. All of those attending the music directing class are from Branch 2.

We "finished" the directing class this evening. Those who came tonight want to continue to come so they can practice. There were 12 there tonight. We will continue to practice as long as they want to do so. Hopefully we can teach them how to direct a branch choir as well. They will be the birth of the Branch 2 Choir. This has been a lot of fun.

Transfers are this week. It's hard to tell if any of the Elders will be transferred this week. We will find out tomorrow, but that will be next week's blog.

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