Sunday, March 29, 2015

Chinese Temple, Speaking in Church, District Meeting

I'm off to a good start. It's only Tuesday evening, and I'm writing a few things down before I forget. I did get my talk written and translated for Sunday. Tomorrow morning I can go over it with our language tutor and rip the Malay to shreds. It's not a big deal because I mostly used Google Translate to translate it. Google isn't the best, but I was in a hurry.

The translation wasn't so bad after all, but there were still quite a few adjustments to be made. Malay is an interesting language. There are so many ways to say the same thing. The missionaries frequently have discussions on the way to say things. It's no wonder I get so confused. I should report here that the talk went pretty well, but it seems like it was the longest 15 minutes in my life. It was only four pages with a font size of 16. I was a little nervous and wanting to be done. I remember reading and thinking, "Why am I only on page two? I still have two pages more!" I did make it through. I was told by several members that my Malay was pretty good. Well, I'm glad it's over. I shouldn't have to do that again for awhile.

Monday morning we took a District field trip to a Chinese Buddhist temple. It was really interesting. Something that made it interesting to me was that it was so peaceful. There was plenty to see, but no English interpretations. We did take our shoes off whenever we entered one of the buildings.

The field trip adventure began at the church. There were only two cars, three older adults, and ten young Elders. Let's see. How do we divide them everyone into two cars? Well, let's see. In our car we had Sister Bodell, the driver, me with Elder C on my lap, and Elders M, H, J, D, and L in the back seat. Everyone else was in the other car.

Our traveling companions to the Chinese temple after we unloaded all of us from the car.

This was the back seat on the way home.
It was more comfortable for us in the front than it was for them in the back.
Elders H, M, D, L, and C

Here are some pictures of the Chinese temple grounds. There were three or four different buildings that we could go in.

We have no idea who all these little statues represent

Notice the flower on the ceiling

The architecture is fascinating!

A small gazebo over a pond

This is a ceiling. I wish you could see this in three dimension!

Goddes of Protection

Goddess of Tranquility

Goddess of Fertility

Notice all the Chinese writing on this bell

Love the dragons!

Speaking of dragons, this reminded me of the little dragon in Disney's Mulan.

Buddha himself!

More dragons at the entrance of one the buildings

Intricate carvings in stone. There were many plaques like this one.

Twelve signs of the Chinese zodiac

Eight of the Chinese zodiac signs

Lunch at Chop Sticks after our field trip
Chop Sticks is frequented by the Elders for two reasons . . .
The food is good and the price is right!

Elder P conducted his first District meeting on Tuesday. I was impressed. The previous week at Zone meeting I did a training on asking questions. I asked the three DLs if they would follow up this week to see how my teaching went. Elder P had us break into pairs, but not with our own companions. We then reviewed what I taught last week by practicing on each other. Several of the young missionaries had used this several times during the past week with their investigators and had great success in engaging their investigators more in the lesson. That was gratifying to hear.

I don't want to make this too long this week, but I do need to say that all the missionaries in our district have had a good week. There are many new investigators to teach. There was a baptism Saturday evening. Both a seminary and institute class were taught. This was the first institute class since before we got here. We've been trying, but there's always been something in the way. The class went well.

Also, there was a branch presidency training meeting for the three branch presidencies here and Sibu Jaya. It was exciting to see all three members of the District Presidency there, as well as the Branch One president and his two counselors, the Branch Two president and his only counselor, and the Branch Three president and his only counselor there as well. It was a great night! It's been a good week for everyone.

There were a couple of flat tires with the same companionship this week. One of the Elders called to tell us his companion had a flat tire and wondering if we could help. A few days later, the companion called to tell us that that the other Elder had a flat tire. It was amusing that they didn't call to tell us that they had a flat tire, but that their companion had the flat tire. I asked about that. The response was they were too embarrassed to ask for themselves. They are a funny lot sometimes.

President Gara had a problem this week at work. A 30 Kg piece of metal fell from above him and hit him on the head. Fortunately he was bent over so it glanced off, but he still had to have six stitches. It could have been much worse. I know he was being watched over. It was a flat piece of metal. If it had come down at an angle it could have been deadly. He was able to walk out on his own. Because his head had to be shaved, he was telling everyone that we were now twins. (We now have similar hair styles.)

Elder Bodell and President Gara

It was also Elder J's birthday this week. We had a surprise party for him in the guise of a housing meeting.

Elder J making his wish.

And yes, Sister Bodell made the cake.
That's Elder P eyeing the cake.

It's been another great week. We love working with the members and the young missionaries and serving where we can. The Church is true. Jesus Christ leads us and guides us through His Prophets, Apostles, and other Church leaders. Through the Prophet Joseph Smith, He restored the Church back to the earth. We are looking forward to hearing the leaders speak to us in the upcoming General Conference.

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