I start this week with the scripture that I am ponderizing. (I have to say that my scripture ponderizing always takes more than a week. That's why there isn't a new one each week.) This scripture was share with last week when we were visiting Sister Doo and her family. We had a lovely visit. Sister Bodell gave the girls piano lessons while I visited with them about reading the scriptures everyday. Anyway, the scripture Sister Doo shared was Hebrews 13:1-2
Let brotherly love continue.
Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
Have you ever stopped to think about that? She has entertained many angels in her home. She loves the missionary angels that brought her the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Gospel has brought such a positive influence into their home and their family. She loves the member angels that are now best friends with her. Sister Doo, Brother Merang, and their family are amazing. We hope to be able to go to the Temple with them before we go home.
Monday morning several of the missionaries came over to wash our cars again. After the cars they wanted to serve some more so we asked them if they'd like to wash some windows. We have been greatly blessed by the young Elders here. We love and appreciate them so much.
|Elders T, J, and S|
Last Sunday Sister Bodell gave a lesson on the Good Samaritan in both Branch 1 and Branch 2. She told the story while the kids acted out the scenes. (Yes, there was some acting out as well.) The costumes were originally used for the Book of Mormon youth activity earlier this year.
|Branch 1 Primary dressed to learn about the Good Samaritan|
After lunch photo taken at the Noodle House on Tuesday. The Noodle House is a favorite of the missionaries, us included. The food is good and reasonably priced.
|Someone got the memo for today's tie.|
Elders T, P, and O
Sister Bodell conducted another Branch 2 Relief Society activity. This week the sisters requested "gingerbread" houses. We were fortunate to find some graham crackers this week. They are a rarity here in Sibu. We also found some other goodies with which to decorate. They don't have candy like we do back home, but we found some reasonable substitutes with which that the sisters were very happy.
The Branch 1 Elders had a nice baptismal service Saturday evening. Kayong anak Mensan and his wife, Magdlyne anak Dida, were baptized. There was a goodly number of people in attendence. There was lots of support for this couple. They will be a great asset to the branch here.
|Sister Magdlyne, Brother Kayong, and their family|
The girls will probably be baptized next month
I attended Branch 2 branch council meeting at 9:30 AM as I usually do and asked their help and support to find ways to increase seminary attendance this coming year, along with a couple of other items. After I finished my business, the branch president announced that he hadn't asked anyone to speak today in Sacrament meeting. He then announced that the first speaker today would be Elder Bodell. He would be followed by Elder Thompson, one of the full-time missionaries. I'm sure we were both a little overcome with anxiety, but we graciously accepted. I asked to be excused so I could collect some thoughts on the topic he gave me, Service in the Church. I didn't have a lot of time since Sacrament meeting started at 11:00 AM.
Needless to say, I prayed hard for the Spirit to guide my thoughts so I would say something that was worthwhile and motivating. I was not let down. The Spirit guided my thoughts, and I was able to use a few, well-chosen scriptures and speak coherently. Brother Jackson, a returned missionary, translated for me, but I did read the scriptures in Malay. The congregation seemed to understand what I was saying. President Balley and Brother Gaadong thanked me and told me that what I said was great. That made me feel good. Brother Gaadong told me that he would like me to speak every Sunday!
Choir practice was amazing as usual. Today Sister Doo directed most of it by herself. I only helped when we sang Silent Night in German and in English. I will definitely have to make a recording of this. It was beautiful to hear this song sung in Malay, German, and English. You can't imagine the Spirit that was there. It was very touching.
Sunday evening ended with a long noodle gathering at the home of one of the Chinese members. The Chinese have a tradition that when a baby is born, the family hosts a long noodle gathering at their home. They don't have baby showers here. Long noodles are served in soup, symbolizing long life to those eating. There was chicken and vegetables served with the noodles. Hard boiled eggs are also served symbolizing the love you have for the baby. It was a delicious, simple meal. This is a nice tradition, but it could get crazy. The family serves this meal several times to different groups of people . . . extended family, friends, and in tonight's case, the members of the Branch. We were honored to be included.
|What a beautiful spread!|
|Sister Yong, Charise, Elders S and J|
|Albert (1st Counselor in the Chinese Branch Presidency) and Jayle|
Sorry. I don't know the older gentleman's name.
|Sister Chua and her husband, President Chua|
President Chua is the Sibu District President
|President Chua Huat, Chinese Branch President and Brother Seow|
|President Chua Huat's Girls|
His wife Christene, daughters Charity, Marise, and Charise
|The happy parents|
Okay, I can't close without leaving you with one more picture of our little sweetheart Charity. Her mother fixed her hair with clip on ponytails. Such a cutey!
This week has been a real blessing for us. I have felt the hand of God in all we've done, especially with the assignment I had to speak in Sacrament meeting. I love the Lord. I know He is mindful of each one of us. He knows each of us by name. I know He lives and loves each of us. We just need to come to Him, and get to know Him better.