What’s Going On…

Follow the Spirit

This week I had planned to teach about asking inspired questions in District Meeting. As I began teaching, I felt prompted to change the conversation to Chapter 1 in Preach My Gospel. We discussed our purpose(s) for being on a mission. I later followed up with each district member privately about their thoughts. Remembering my purpose helps me to remain motivated and immersed in missionary work. As two district members are very new and one will be finishing in a month, this topic is very important. I’m learning quite a lot being a District Leader. I’m mostly relearning the same principles I know, but my testimony of them is deepened. I found that following the Spirit is essential. Changing plans quickly and relying on the Lord to help can be awkward, but it is essential to doing the Lord’s work.

I found a teaching style that helps me to set up future appointments with investigators. Keep lessons simple, and leave them with a question to ponder until the next appointment. Don’t explain everything or else the Spirit can’t teach anything. Teach according to their needs, not what you think their needs are. Improving teaching skills is a common theme around the zone, so I’ll focus on that this week.

I’ll be traveling to Singapore this week, I’ll only have a few more trips until I go home. πŸ™ I’ll miss being a missionary. It sure is hard, but it’s rewarding.

Love,
Elder Chin

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Explosions

A lot of events happened this week. I gave my first training as a district leader on how Hope influences our perception of investigators. It gives perspective on what is important, as well as confirms the reality of the Atonement. We are continuing to help and teach… I’ll call her Ke. We had a wonderful Family Home Evening with her and branch members. As we explained the Plan of Salvation, she began to have hope for an eternal family. She began to cry through part of the lesson. I was touched by her sincerity, sometimes I forget or become immune to the blessing of eternal families.

We are continuing to filter through hundreds of potential investigators, upgrading our area book, and finding new people. Many of our current investigators aren’t willing to act, so we’re in the process of flushing out the system. I received some great ideas on my exchange with my zone leader Elder Riddle (from Australia). We found an efficient way to find prepared people on the LRT trains. As time between train stops are only 1-2 minutes long, our contacts need to be fairly quick. However, as we asked inspired questions and asked them to commit to a task, we were able to find people in those small blocks of time. People that are prepared to accept the Gospel may not immediately recognize missionaries as servants of God, but they will have questions. The most effective way to find people that want the Gospel are those who seek him. “Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you; seek me diligently and ye shall find me; ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” The Lord will do his own work, but our responsibility is to open our mouths. I often think of how successful companies advertise their products. Apple doesn’t beg its customers to buy the new iPhone, those that want it will purchase as soon as they get the word. We don’t need to be experts in deceiving people to join a church, the truth of the Gospel is enough. God is placing these prepared people in our path, and your path as well (missionaries and members). God’s promise is that you open your mouth, and He will do His work.

We had a rare privilege of taking the YSA members to contact on the LRT. We split off with members and preached the Gospel. The branch later had a missionary fireside, which further emphasized the importance of member missionary work. The members are some of the most dedicated saints I have ever met. Members with non-member spouses, widows with full-time jobs, college students, and youth are inviting their friends to learn daily. We follow up with members every time we see them. As soon as they meet a new person in the neighborhood, they ask for us to meet them. With this missionary spirit, we are able to accomplish so much with the branch. This area has the perfect ingredients to explode. Give us a few months, and we’re going to baptize the nations!

Love,
Elder Chin

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Hope in Puchong (LOTS)

I sure worked hard this week. Yesterday was a special treat to finally see the branch members. The previous week was District Conference, many of the Puchong members were mixed in with the other members. The meeting was in English so I could understand all of the meetings. Sacrament meeting attendance was around 70-80, the highest I’ve ever seen on my mission. I was extremely impressed. All the members were warm and understood their role as members to greet new people. The branch is very strong, a balanced mix of men, women, youth, and children. The branch has currently has about 9 missionaries in the field, the most in all of Malaysia. There are returned missionaries, and many experienced leaders serving in positions in the branch. I was more impressed with the branch counsel meeting following the post-church lunch. The members cared very much about their friends and family members. They labor diligently to assist in the missionary work, or rather we do our best to help them in their missionary work. I feel that most of the members have a plan to reach out to their friends. They know what they’re doing, and we’re there to support them. I’m very excited to work with these people. It’s a big Asian mixing pot. There’s Indians, Chinese, White, Iban, Nigerian, Indonesian, Filipino, and many others from all around the world. The Elders Quorum has a great brotherly bond, we’re always laughing together. The youth are strong in their acts of service and commitment to serve missions. We have choir practice after church, people voluntarily bring food (especially for the missionaries), and almost all unit leaders attend branch counsel. I think this is the closest I’m going to get to working with a ward, and I’m very excited to see some growth. According to the past statistics, the growth has been slowing down in the past few months. We hope to use some new tactics in our missionary work, working more closely with members, and becoming more Christlike missionaries.

We received a referral from an outstanding member who was going through some difficult times. We visited her with many members and discussed the joy that comes through living the Gospel. A few members shared their conversion experiences. This week I learned of the power that comes through a testimony. A testimony is a powerful tool which brings about conversion. When a testimony is shared, it is communication between souls. We hope to connect their spirit with heaven. Tonight is our return appointment with that person, we will be sharing about the love of God and Jesus Christ through the power of the Atonement. We are loaded with more members to accompany us, I have high hopes for this appointment.

Love,
Elder Chin

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First Week in Puchong KL

Well, Kuala Lumpur is really…….. different. The missionary work is so different. This week was spent on the LRT, the train system that connects the entire city. Kuala Lumpur is a very large place, it is divided into smaller sections. There are 16 missionaries in the area, but we are spread out over the different areas. The missionary work seems very similar to Singapore, we spend a lot of time finding people on the trains. Sometimes we ride the train just to find people, going back and forth and back and forth. There are a lot of well educated people here, and the culture is very diverse. Instead of just Chinese, I’m finding people from Nigeria, India, Philippines, Australia, England, France, China, New Zealand, and too many places to name. It’s quite difficult to change back to talking to business people, but I’m starting to get the hang of it again.

My companion is Elder Li from San Francisco California. He has a quiet personality, he fits the stereotype of an ABC (American Born Chinese). We’re similar in a lot of ways. He loves piano, engineering, and saving money. I suspect we will only be together one transfer, as a group of new Chinese-speaking missionaries will be coming in soon. We created a transfer vision this week to strengthen the branch. Our main focus will be strengthen member-missionary trust in order to obtain referrals. It appears that investigators found through contacts on the train aren’t as committed as member’s friends. We hope to find ways to serve the members using our talents.​

I had the privilege of going to a multi-religious prayer ceremony. We listened to different prayers and songs from the local religions, and performed “Where Can I Turn For Peace”. We heard from the Islamic, Buddhist, Sikh, Hindu, and Christian Faiths. Although I could not understand most of the songs, it was respectable to see these people worship in the way they do. In some regards, they are more dedicated to their beliefs than some of our church members. There were people who had never cut their hair, were bald, always wore a special type of clothing, performed symbolic actions many times throughout the day, and wore symbolic markings on their skin. I was very impressed by their diligence and commitment to forsake a worldly life to seek peace. At the ceremony, I was approached by people of other faiths (this never happens) asking me about our beliefs. I quite enjoyed this experience. Most importantly, I received a small bit of revelation that night. As I pondered all of the religions, I found that all of them were good. They all produced good fruit and seemed possible. However, the distinguishing factor between the Lord’s Kingdom and other praiseworthy organizations is the Holy Ghost. Other groups may invite the Spirit resulting in peace, righteous actions, and happiness, but non can have the fullness of the Holy Ghost. The significance of the Holy Ghost is personal revelation. Simply said, all these parties do good. But God knows the best method for us to be happy, and He chooses to use a church and a Savior. This truth is confirmed by the Holy Ghost, and this is the path to conversion. It is by learning truth through the Holy Ghost.

Good luck to those finishing school, study hard! In a few weeks, it will all be over.
Love,
Elder Chin

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Area Number 6

I’m back to West Malaysia! My new area is Kuala Lumpur, serving as the District Leader. My new companion is Elder Li. Honestly, I’m really nervous to be back in the city environment. Kuala Lumpur will be fast paced and a different experience than my other areas. It will probably be my last area of my mission. However, I’m excited to have a fresh start for my last 4 transfers.

English class wasn’t very successful this week despite our awesome advertising on the busiest street in Sibu. We are blaming the Sarawak Elections for this outcome because there are thousands of signs on the street. We had one member attend class, all other members were voting. I’m assuming that we were noticed, but everyone was paying attention to politics. That’s too bad, we really did a good job setting up for this class. There was candy and prizes for students that came to class on time, games and interactive activities, and an upgraded teaching curriculum. I won’t see what results that brings, but I hope it works!

I finished reading the Book of Mormon on Sunday. Near the end, I was particularly touched by Moroni’s comments on Spiritual Gifts, followed by faith, hope, and charity. Last week, President Simmons forwarded a Zone Leader’s email which discussed teaching investigators according to their needs. From a missionary perspective, I learned that Spiritual Gifts are special keys into an investigators heart. Some people may be touched by the Spirit through seeing an Elder possess the Gift of Tongues, or an act of service, or being taught with power, or witnessing the power of the Priesthood, or a prophesy, or any good thing from God. People don’t always beg to be baptized when they are taught the Restoration. Spiritual Gifts are special tools bestowed by Heavenly Father to allow those who are worthy of them to reach the hearts of their hearers. Developing these gifts requires faith hope and charity. I’m sure I already used this superhero analogy, but Thor’s relation to his power is the same as Spiritual Gifts. Heavenly Father trusts worthy individuals with His power and abilities when they show righteous actions. It is our responsibility as members of the church to endure to the end, which process results in developing Spiritual Gifts. These abilities are essential to allowing the Spirit to touch another person’s life in the way they need to be touched. It is also important to “touch not the evil gift”, or in other words share the Gospel in a way contrary to Christ’s teachings. As we deny ourselves of all ungodliness, we will become more like Jesus Christ. As a result, our lives will be filled with the same miracles, power, abilities, and happiness that He enjoyed.

For my last p-day in Sibu, we had a barbecue at our house. I cooked a huge pot of mashed potatoes with gravy, alfredo pasta, rice, chicken, and hot dogs. I’m really enjoying experimentation cooking. It’s really hard cooking for 14 people with the equipment at the house. Everything has to be split into two portions and cooked separately. However, it was a grand success. I’m very proud of my new pasta creation, which uses four types of cheeses imported from France. I love cooking for my fellow Elders!

“Behold, I will show unto the Gentiles their weakness, and I will show unto them that faith, hope and charity bringeth unto meβ€”the fountain of all righteousness” Ether 12:28

Love,
Elder Chin

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Seeds…. They’re So Slow!!!

This week was fantastic, I’m reading from 3 Nephi in my personal studies. I loved reading about the missionaries among the wars and political difficulties. It reminds me that the Gospel is the solution to all these worldly problems. I feel particularly close to these missionaries after reading about their struggles and challenges. All people are at some time discouraged and want to turn back, but a love for the Lord is enough to press onward. The Book of Mormon covers so many years of missionary work and mentions hundreds and thousands of converts. Sometimes I wonder why these things don’t happen to me. I received a few pondering thoughts this week on this question.

In my quarterly interview with President Simmons, I mentioned some thoughts from my patriarchal blessing about finding success. As he replied with points of advice, he mentioned the parable of the seed. In this part of the world combined with the assignment to a certain people, President noted that an influence has great effect. Results may not be seen for generations, but it will be a testimony that God loves all of this children. I noticed a similar parallel in Book of Mormon missionaries. Their mindset was focused on sounding the voice of God, despite what the reaction was. They testified that they will be at the judgement bar to testify that the Gospel was sounded in every ear. Perhaps some day in the eternities we will find the fruits of all of our labors, but for now we must have faith or believe that God says it makes a difference.

English Class is going great, although we had a slight disturbance which ultimately proved that our efforts are working. A senior couple from another area was presenting an activity for Family History the same day and time of our English Class, and so we encouraged many members to attend that class instead. Without those members, we still had 9 students. Class was more smooth and engaging for each student, and our members are beginning to catch the vision for English Class. A member brought her friend for the second time (who is Chinese) and was fellowshiped by a member of my branch. We hope she will turn in to an investigator, as she attended English Class twice in addition to another branch activity. Sister Simmons was excited to hear this news and noted that I will probably continue in organizing English Units.

Sister Pang, a new investigator, allowed us to teach her more about Jesus. We are very excited for her progression, she currently attends another church. With her current knowledge, she has great potential to understand the Restoration. Brother Lee accepted a baptismal date goal, which we hope will be followed by the members of his family. Unfortunately, transfers is this week. I have a feeling that after my 6 months of service here and finally seeing some results, I have the potential of being transferred. The members are much closer to us, we have gained their trust by taking responsibilities and being diligent in loving them. We had a wonderful testimony meeting yesterday, in which many members shared their missionary experiences. We shall see what shall happen.

“That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:” 1 Peter 1:7

Love,
Elder Chin

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The Book of Mormon

This week was a grand feast in the Book of Mormon. I started from the beginning and am currently in Alma 5. Over the course of this study, I’ve seen a consistent effort from the writers to declare the Doctrine of Christ. Believe that Christ lived and Atoned for your sins, and change! The entire book is members of Christ’s church reaching out to others so that they too might have happiness. The span of these hundreds of years testifies of a consistent truth, that missionary work will always be present. It provides valiant examples of missionaries and their change from ‘wicked and idolatrous’ to a ‘proclaimer of the truth’. I don’t think I’ve ever understood the description “idolatrous” until I came to Malaysia. When people worship other Gods, some crazy bad stuff happens. However far we may have gone, there is always a path that leads to God. If we pursue that path, it will often look like a story of Alma or Ammon. When we do the will of the Lord by being his hands, we feel how he feels. We see the miracles he would perform if he were here. These blessings and miracles were given to not only prophets and missionaries, but valiant members of the church who defended their faith. Every member a missionary! πŸ™‚

The Lee family is still being taught, no one new is investigating. We have focused our efforts on reactivating less actives. In our visits, we have discovered the need for members to assist in missionary work. Members have a power to befriend that Elders from a foreign country do not immediately have. Those that have fallen away from the church need a friend. Members have the role to fellowship, give additional testimony, and provide examples to those in need.

I can’t remember how structured houses in America are, but some of them here are a little…. shifty. Thunderstorms are also quite dark. I’m assuming this is what Lehi’s dream was like. If the great and spacious building looks tempting, this is what it looks like! πŸ™‚

Love,
Elder Chin

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There and Back Again (Singapore)

Zone Conference was sure a blast! We had a mission activity at Marina Bay watching the light show. All of the missionaries walked down to the bay front and sang hymns, ate treats, and enjoyed Singapore at night. At this conference I started to feel really old. Sister Huff, who is in my MTC group, will be completing her mission this month. I got a picture with her and Elder Avery, who is no the AP. Many other missionaries that I have known my whole mission are leaving soon, and soon it will be me.

I received some revelation for the English classes. The overall direction of the unit is to be professional. Keep doing what we’re doing, but be prepared for large amounts of students. My leaders emphasized that anytime the church does something, it is done really well. We can change the way the classes are prepared and organized, as well as change the vision for the classes. I want to help the classes be a friendly atmosphere where members and non-members can mingle and actually talk (they don’t know how to socialize). We are uncovering some effective advertising methods and teaching principles. It is a great way to serve.

A training was given on Buddhist and Hindu beliefs. The focus was to help us understand how a Christian faith looks to them. We learned about their perspective on a mortal life, being Karma and Nirvana. In a nutshell, they do good things in hopes that the next life will be better. If they fulfill their purpose in whatever life form they are, they will be “upgraded” in the next life. Because of their beliefs, they have no need for a Savior because repentance does not exist. They can only minimize the bad actions they will do in the future. Because of these beliefs in a non-merciful and just world, they don’t want to risk loosing their chance at becoming “upgraded” by following some other belief. This is the same for all religions, we don’t want to loose our faith for something we’re not sure about. We were instructed to compliment people on their righteous actions, good moral values, and their commitment to be good people. It is easier to help them see the goodness of the Gospel if we don’t focus on our differences. I was taught to love people into the Gospel. I paralleled this presentation with Ammon’s strategy with the Lamanites. He connected a previous belief of a Great Spirit to a loving God. I really enjoyed learning what it’s like to be a Buddhist.

More training was given on planning lessons. The principle emphasized as know-feel-do. First identify a commitment for the person. Understand what the person must feel in order to keep the commitment for the right reason. Finally, choose a lesson or method of teaching that principle. By doing this, we are allowing the Spirit to teach the importance of the Gospel rather than us ramble on and on.

Love people wherever you are, there is always someone that needs to be loved!
Love,
Elder Chin

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General Conference…. Finally

I finally had the chance to watch General Conference yesterday! Wow, I feel inspired. I felt touched and the need to change things in my life. All of the conference talks emphasized important aspects of the Gospel. In this conference, I felt overwhelming relief in hearing that we get credit from God for trying our best to live the Gospel. What a merciful father he is, that we don’t have to stress over filling a quota of living commandments. He allows us to serve him freely without a doubt that he will be happy. He gives us time to repent without him nagging us, and he provides us the resources to improve. As I took notes the most frequent impression that came to my mind was that God loves me, and I can do my best. I was reminded that although the speakers words were very touching, the Spirit is the real teacher.

Zone conference is this week, I’ll be leaving on Wednesday as normal. Hopefully I’ll have some time to grab some burritos or some Mexican food, I have a huge craving for cheese! At conference, we will be trained on how to better extend commitments and finding people to teach. We will also study how to have more effective studies. I’m very excited for this, it will begin my 6 month left reign in the mission. I hope to make these last 6 months effective.

This week was spent cleaning out our branch directory, tracking down less actives and other no-name people. We found a returned missionary who had removed his records from the church due to being offended. He has allowed us to periodically visit him, and has nothing against the church. While visiting him, he shared some experiences that led him away from the church. I had the clear impression to let him know that we were brothers, and despite his history the Gospel can help him. It was a great lead-up to watching General Conference.

This week is going to be great, so enjoy it wherever you are!

Love,
Elder Chin

6 Months More…. Almost

Not much took place this week, just helping Elder Pearce get adjusted to the area and familiar with members. English Class took a hit this week, members didn’t attend because their favorite Elder was transferred. I’m still looking for ways to draw people into the class. I haven’t had a chance to listen to General Conference yet, but it should be ready in Chinese by next week. I will also attend another Zone Conference next week in Singapore, which should be sufficient personal revelation to get things started for a while. English Class has been a mission-wide and Asia area project, and I am looking forward to receiving some revelation for that at conference.

This week I realized that I will soon be hitting my 6 month left mark. I am glad to have the chance to serve in so many places in Malaysia. Over this period of time I learned how the members of the church around the world are different, but the Gospel is a universal truth. People long ago in Biblical and Book of Mormon times experienced temptations from the same being who tempts us today. Anyone can learn from the scriptures because eternal principles are the same for everyone. Although everyone has their own road in life, we can all rely on the same source of help because we all face the same enemy. The Gospel is everyone.

I hope you all enjoyed General Conference and received answers and comfort to your questions.

I have one question for you to ponder. Batman or Superman? Everyone in Malaysia is asking me this question, and it’s pretty important. I personally like Batman, but that’s just me. It comes up in quite a few conversations. Hopefully you all agree because Batman is the best.

Love,
Elder Chin

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