Sunday, June 14, 2015

FHEs, Zone Meeting, Star's Family

This week is shaping up to be a great one. Monday evening I went with Elders M, C, and J to President Gara's for FHE. Brother Steven was there, too. The missionaries gave a lesson on Lehi's dream and holding to the rod. It was pretty good. Afterward we had a dinner prepared by Sister Mina. It was delicious as usual. I had the opportunity to chat with President Gara, through Elder J's translating, and asked him if there was anything I could to help him. He asked if I could help him better understand his responsibilities. He has some questions from his reading of the Church Leadership Handbook. We are going to meet Sunday to start answering those questions.

Tuesday we had another great Zone Meeting. The ZLs compared the preparations of the Iban headhunter with those of the Missionary Soul Hunter. They created a great Keynote (PowerPoint), presentation with our help, that they used throughout the training. At the end of the training, they showed a little video comparing the head hunter with the soul hunters of the zone, and then showed the Bible video called, Feed My Sheep. It was an inspiring meeting and well-received by the Elders in the zone.

Here is the little video comparing the headhunters of Borneo with the soul hunters of the Sibu Zone. The missionaries' pictures were provided by the Assistants to the President. They are their original pictures used on their missionary applications. When I first saw the pictures I had to ask myself who these kids were. They've grown up since being on their missions. We have recent "greenies" in our zone to one who has about four weeks left.

What a great zone!

Back Row: Elders M, J, P, C, S, H, C
Middle Row: Elders C, H, Y, C, B, T, O
Front Row doesn't change much.
We do miss the Tedrows who are serving in the mission home at this time.
This week has gone by quickly. We've been involved with the missionaries at two FHEs; one was with President Gara and his family. The other was with Brother Steven and his family. Brother Steven is the second counselor in the Branch Presidency. These are wonderful people who are striving to keep the commandments and lead the branch in positive way.

Unfortunately, there are those who think they know more because they have been members of the Church longer. There is some dissension in the ranks. They don't quite understand the importance of sustaining their leaders. I hope I can help President Gara feel more secure and increase his trust in the Lord. I will be meeting with him this Sunday to help him understand his responsibilities as Branch President.

There was a good turn out for seminary and institute on Saturday night. There haven't been any classes for the last three or four weeks because of Gawai celebrations.  Hopefully attendance will continue to improve now. Both classes are where they are supposed to be in the Doctrine and Covenants. They are keeping pace with the schedule. We feel good about that.

Sunday was a good day. Sister Bodell spent the day in Primary in both branches. She was there with the president of the 1st Branch Primary and her 1st counselor. The Primary president had to thump one of the kids on the head a couple of times because he was causing disruptions during singing time. (His mother is the first counselor.) Sister Bodell finally got him to calm down and participate. During the 2nd Branch Primary she pretty much had the whole thing. The Primary Presidency and all the teachers were no-shows. She and Elder H handled it all very well. The kids all behaved themselves. (The rowdy ones weren't there.)

We had an amazing choir practice today. We haven't had a practice for three weeks. Any guesses as to why not? I'm sure you figured it out. Gawai is the correct answer. We are back to normal and had a huge crowd there today. They are fast learners, too. We introduced them to a couple of hymns from the hymn book they didn't know. Now they do! This choir will be singing for District Conference in June.

I didn't get a chance to meet with President Gara today. He decided to have PEC meeting instead, which is as it should be. Maybe next Sunday.

Sunday evening we went to Sister Star's house for dinner and missionary discussion with the ZLs. They are a strong family. The ZLs retaught the Restoration of the Gospel lesson because Sister Star's husband wasn't there for that lesson. They also showed the video of the Restoration. At the end of the lesson, the ZLs asked Sister Bodell and I if there was anything we'd like to add. We bore our testimonies to the truthfulness of the Restoration of the Gospel; that Joseph Smith is the prophet of the Restoration; and that Thomas S. Monson is a living prophet today. (Yes, in Malay!) This beautiful family is on date to be baptized July 4th! By the way, Star's name is actually Bintang, which means star in Malay.

Next week we are going to Kuching again for S&I training. We are looking forward to that. It's always a great experience to to visit with the teachers in Kuching. I would like to remember to take pictures this time.

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