This week was really awesome! I’m really excited that I get to train Elder Barlow. He’s awesome. He’s from Taylorsville, Utah. He just graduated. He’s a twin too! Except his twin is a girl. She’ll be going a mission too. They may even get home at the same time. I can feel the greenie fire that radiates from him and I can tell he has a true desire to serve the Lord. I think he’s going to be a great missionary. He’s obedient also. He understands his purpose as a missionary. I think both he and I will learn a lot this transfer. Training is the best. I enjoy having an extra hour for companion study and reviewing The First 12 Weeks booklet. I have to be at the top of my game all of the time. It really helps me work hard. I’m glad I have the chance to train right before I finish my mission. I’ve actually already learned a lot.
I’d like to share some things that I’ve learned recently:
I learned how important mastering your mission language is. I haven’t ever served with any elders who just came out of the MTC until now. Now I remember what I must have been like when I started my mission. I had just came out of the MTC, my Chinese wasn’t very good, and I didn’t really know what I was doing. Actually, I think Elder Barlow has a better idea and is a better missionary than I was when I started. Elder Barlow’s Chinese isn’t really that bad by MTC standards. I’m sure he studied hard in the MTC. Anyway, recently I feel like my Chinese has really improved. I’m not sure why. I’ve just been trying to talk with people and to really get to know them. I learned that I can actually have a good conversation with people. As I’ve done this, we’ve met some really nice people and they’ve been pretty open as well. A total opposite than when I started here. When I started here, both me and my trainers’ Chinese wasn’t very good and people didn’t really want to talk with us. I think a big reason for that is because when I started, I couldn’t just have a normal conversation with people; I could only teach. The problem is that you have to connect with people before you can teach them.
I also learned some other things while I was contacting someone at a mall. She was 20+ (probably 27 or 28), Buddhist (sort of), hadn’t attended college, and had been working at the mall for about 4 or 5 years. We said hello to her and then walked by her and then I remembered her. I remember seeing her when I served here a year and a half ago. So I started talking to her and asked her questions to see what she believes in and what she thinks the purpose of life is. She, like many other people, believes that all religions are good. She’s attended church before, but is Buddhist because her parents are. The reason she is Buddhist is because it’s a habit and she’s used to it (I think that’s how you would translate it from Chinese into English). I asked her if she thinks she has a good life direction and she said not really. The work she’s doing right now isn’t really a career, it’s just a job. Then I asked her if she wants to change and she said she wants to (or wishes to), but that she doesn’t think she can because it’s already a habit.
I think many people are like this. People know what the most important things in life are, they know what they need to do, but they lack commitment. Habits are hard to break. Especially without the Lord’s help. She said we could come back and teach her. I hope she has enough commitment to change. She said she wants to. And she doesn’t work on Sunday 🙂
So I’d say we saw a lot of miracles. We met a lot of nice people. Before English class on Friday, we were biking and I said hello to and actually rode past her on my bike, but I felt like we actually needed to talk with her. It turns out she is from China, is currently investigating the Catholic church, and really wants to learn English! She doesn’t speak any English. We’ll see if we can meet with her and share the gospel.
My faith continues to increase. I love the gospel and I love the people of Malaysia. I know there are prepared people here in Sibu. Elder Barlow and I are going to see tons of miracles this transfer. I’m excited.