this week has been a very interesting one. the Lord continues to bless us with many people to teach. in the little over two months that i've been here, the number of people that i have taught who have been baptized has nearly doubled. we continue to work hard and pray hard that this won't just be a tidal wave with a lot of nothing behind it. right now we still are finding people and hopefully the success will continue in the months ahead.
i really liked the emails today. it's crazy that mom is already back at work! it seemed like forever last time before she was able to go back and work again. hang in there mom. it's funny, the things that you described in your email are the same things that i have been learning in the year that i've been out:
first of all, that my parents (and whole family for that matter) are proof that heavenly father knows and loves me. you always been there for me in everything i've ever done. i can only remember one time when mom missed any one of my sporting events, and that was only because she had just had her gallbladder removed. not very many people can say that about their parents. you've stood by me in everything i've every done and i am completely a product of your dedication. without you two i wouldn't be here. because of your example, look at what has happened; you've had four sons go on missions and i'm convinced that thousands of people and families will benefit from your faithfulness and your example. you can't even imagine the how far the ripples are going and will continue to go. i'm so grateful for that.
second, like you said mom, satan does take every possible chance to make you feel inadequate and worthless. he'll hit any hole he can get and run as far as he can with it. i've especially felt that in the last week. sometimes things just get messed up and hard to deal with it. i teach everyday that Christ has felt all the pains and trials we've gone through so that he can "know how to succor his people", but until i had a really tough trial i didn't know to what extent. i can't really put into words how this last week has been, but i am very grateful for the Atonement and how personal it is.
Third, there are so many good people who live their lives the best they possibly can and are "kept from the truth only because they know not where to find it." i really wish i could just stay here forever. i know how alma felt when he talked about how he wished that he was angel so that he could declare the word to the whole world. there's so many people that need to hear. no matter how hard i try to talk to every person i see (even those i have to run down on bikes), i'll never get to everyone. but i am grateful to play the small part that i play in this work.
Fourth, that trials never get any easier, no matter how many times you experience them. in fact, i'm coming to realize that the more you grow and progress, the harder and harder they get. but as long as we keep on truckin' and put our trust in the Savior, he'll make of us what he wants us to be.it was a really good email mom. thanks :)
on to the question's from dad's email:
1. (Do you have a refrigerator? If not I guess you don’t store any fresh fruit of veggies? What about milk?) yeah, we've got a fridge... it's more like a freezer. no matter how low i turn the temperature down, everything continues to freeze. and i miss real milk so much! the milk here is just this uber-pasteurized nast. but it does slightly resemble milk, so i still use it with my cereal. but i miss the creamery.
2. (Have you heard anything about parents being instructed not to pick up their missionaries?) i haven't heard anything, but i'm pretty sure it's still optional. as long as it doesn't turn into a huge deal, i see nothing wrong with it. but if it comes from the first presidency, that's different. keep looking and let me know what you find.
3. (Do you spray paint your bikes to make them less of a target?) yeah, i put a sweet paint job on my bike just the other day actually. i don't know why or how it happened, but i've become more of a perfectionist on my mission. things have to be nice and straight, well planned, clean, and organized. what the? who am i?! but i spent forever taping up my bike to the paint job would be really nice, and then after i did it, i realized that it looked even better that it did before and had to paint over it.
4. (Is there a bank in your area that we could wire you some money?) i'll check on it.
5. (Is your house on stilts?) no, here there are two different kinds of houses. rumah batu and rumah kayu (cement houses and wood houses). the cement houses are all built on nicer higher ground, while the wood ones are built on stilts usually where it floods.
6. (I hear that snakes can be a problem in flood waters, have you seen any snakes swimming in the flood waters?) unfortunately, i haven't seen any snakes :( only monitor lizards.
welp, i think that's just about everything. thanks again for the emails. i hope everyone is masih sihat dan sangat gembira (still healthy and very happy). jika saya boleh hantar kamu sesuatu, beritahu saya dan saya akan cuba (If I send you a note, to let you know and you will try). saya ada sesuatu yang sangat istimewa untuk hari jadi Ibu! (You have a note for that special day for your birth) tapi dia mesti tunggu sedikit, sebab itu akan dantang lewat sikit (But she must wait a little bit because it is late). dan jika sulu saya mahu tahu, aku masih mencinai di (and if you want to know, I still ____ at). saya harap kamu tidak ada kamus untuk baca ini (hope your not having to use a dictionary to read this).
Note from Dad: In the end I think he is trying to say he is sending LuAnn her birthday card and it might be a bit late, and in his way wish her a happy birthday by making me translate all of this, as much as I can tell...ask someone from Malaysia to translate it for a better reading.