Sunday, January 12, 2014

Week 23

I love working in Sibu, so this week was, of course, amazing! First of all, I'd just like to explain Sibu a bit. It's a city probably like as big as Orem/Provo (or a bit bigger), probably about half Chinese, but also lots of Ibans (the local tribe, generally Christian, that makes up most of the church here) and some Malays. We live in a really big house in a nice area. We bike usually, but we also go with a senior couple who is assigned over two branches here to many appointments. There is an evil bird that lives by us that for whatever reason likes to attack bikers. Good thing we have helmets. Dogs are also a little rude, but definitely manageable. The food is good here, but mostly we go to just one of a few places that missionaries have discovered to be delicious. One interesting thing that I have learned here is the solution to when a missionary's bike is broken. It's called "pumping" and it involves one person sitting on the handlebars and the other person riding as normal. It's fun. This week, we had many cool miracle stories. On Monday, we decided to do what we are supposed to do, which is buy batteries to replace in our carbon monoxide detectors. While we were in line, a random lady started reading our tags aloud, and she was interested in our church. Then on our way out, we ran into a lady who had been helped by Elders Cranford and Sutherland a few weeks before when her motorbike stopped working, but they didn't have time to contact her. We got an appointment with her right then. Later in the week, the miracles kept coming. We contacted a headquarters referral (someone who went on at a local Methodist preacher school. We were told she got out of class at 4:30, so we came back at 4:39, and the building was already locked up. Miraculously, we ran into her on the way out, and we talked with her and her friends about our church and gave them copies of the Book of Mormon. They, too, are willing to meet again. The people here are super awesome. Everyone we meet with seems to be making progress, and it's really exciting. Our investigator work has been a bit slow, but we are going to really do our best to have one new investigator a week. We also want to focus a bit more on giving out copies of the Book of Mormon, since our mission president has invited us to give at least one copy every day. Another fun experience I had this week was doing exchanges with the district leader's companion. I spent a day in Sibu Jaya, which is really small. Almost everyone knows the elders there. We taught lessons to Ibans, and we taught a man in English who had flagged down the missionaries to request a Book of Mormon just a couple days earlier. It was a really good day! We watched the Asia area broadcast for church yesterday, which was also really good. It was my first time at a real church meeting, and I love the branch here. There are many awesome members! I hope all is well with you, and know that I'm having a great time here and working hard. I love you all! -Elder Earl

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