Sunday, July 6, 2014

Week 49

What a week it has been. My time in Johor has been wonderful so far, and I absolutely love the branch and the area. First of all, our great branch. The people here are great. There is a real excitement for missionary work, especially among the branch mission leader and branch missionaries. They help us so much! They are so, so solid. Attendance was also very good this last week, and mostly all the callings are filled. Best of all, third hour attendance was nearly the same as first hour. So wonderful. Another adventure of the week was the 10 roti challenge. My companion has tried it in multiple areas of his mission, but it's pretty much what it sounds like: eat 10 roti canais in one meal (roti canai is flat bread with curry or daal. Simple, cheap, and good). The four of us living together went to try it, and only one came out victorious, with not just 10, but 11. Probably my greatest accomplishment so far. Just kidding. I'll break that record soon. Another very important thing happened recently. You all know of the solar-powered dancing elf named Francisco that used to welcome us home in Sibu. Well, one day, a delivery company truck came by to take our bikes to new areas, and they saw our beautiful elf and stole it. We thought all was lost, until a month ago, when two elders spotted it on their dashboard somewhere else in Sibu. Since I've been in Johor, the elders back in Sibu completed what they called "Operation Jingle Jangle", and I should be getting the elf back next week. Pretty funny. They also stole it back without telling the guys, apparently, so hopefully that's not a sin. We had our first zone meeting this week. We didn't have much time to prepare, but we focused on moving mountains versus the attitude that some missionaries have that their role is simply to "push on the rock". It was a lot of fun, and hopefully next zone meeting will be even better. We have some really solid investigators here. One has read up to Alma 43, and plans on finishing the Book of Mormon soon. Another will be baptized next month. Another two would be baptized if school wasn't on Sunday in this state, and a bunch of new ones are doing great. I'm really excited about it all. We've also implemented new finding methods. English class was started a few months before I got here, and it's awesome. A lot of investigators have been found and fellowshipped through it, and it makes knocking a lot more comfortable. People here really want to learn English. Another focus is family history. In Kuching, they've had family history booths in malls that attract a lot of attention, so we're trying that here. If a mall lets us do it, I'll let you know how it goes. Overall, I really love this city. The people are friendly, the food is good (side story: an expat family that used to live here came back to visit. They've lived in Paris, Hong Kong, all over the world. I asked them where they liked best, and where had the best food. They said here for the first question tentatively, and here for the second one easy. They said much better than even Paris.), the church is growing, and the zone is fun. I'm learning tons, and I love being a missionary! Love, Elder Earl

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