Elder Coy at Five Years Old!

Elder Coy at Five Years Old!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Hello wonderful people!

Transfer weeks are always memorable for a plethora of reasons. This one was no different.
We spent several days this week just going around to members to say good bye to Elder Parker. With his naturally friendly personality, he had made many friends, so we had many bittersweet experiences. Apparently Acui still calls him up every so-often now that he's gone.
Anyway though, Elder Sutherland is an amazing missionary from the great country of Provo Utah. He's been out almost 15 months now, and so far we have hit it off very well. We are actually very similar in the ways we think, so it's going swimmingly.
Elder Sutherland flew in Thursday night at 10 pm, while Elder Parker bused to Bintulu at 10 am. So for basically the entire day I followed Elders Baranov and Misa. We went out to a pretty Kampung-y area called Sentosa and had a blast. We also met with a returned missionary from Kota Kinabalu (in Sabah) named Michael Song who apparently still goes around doing missionary work, having served in our mission. He was there visiting some family. He was a really cool guy though, and also came to church with us on Sunday.
Speaking of Church, Acui and friends continue to progress fantastically. We went to our usual 9:30 branch council meeting, and when we were already in President Balley's office, Elder Bues came up to say that Acui and friends had already arrived. Sacrament was the most reverent it's ever been. We  had three confirmations that day, all member child baptisms from the night before.
That night before we had come to help get ready for those baptisms, but got dragged into Branch 1's Gawai party. It was fun, but not to brag or anything, but our's was better. Food was good as always though.
Sunday night we also met with Acui and Friends and taught Baptism as part of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They'll be baptised in two weeks, so we were asking them how the felt about their testimonies and if the church was true, and Lena replied "Of Course it's true Elders, why wouldn't it be?" They are so amazing it almost kills me.
What also was cool is that Elder Baranov and Elder Sutherland were both Elder Bester's trainers, who moved into the other house when Elder Wilson moved. Big ol' family reunion.
And that's really it for the week. Weird.
Anyway, I am very excited with my new calling as District Leader, and the more I think about it the more ready I feel. I know I can do a lot of good while I'm here. The Lord is with me and the work keeps moving forward!

-Elder Christensen

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Patiently waiting for Transfer news is killing me.

Hello beautiful family! This week has been very exciting and stressful and wonderful and whatever else I guess you could call it!!
Calling you was absolutely wonderful last Monday! I love you so much! 

It feels weird to write for this week, as it seems like not much has happened, but so much has at the same time.

I'll just start with some highlights, basically being meeting with Acui and her friends every day this week! They are so great. This week they have completely stopped smoking, and we have been teaching them to read. They usually call us if we are late and ask when we'll show up, until we actually do.  It has been a miracle to see how far they have progressed. They're on date for about 3 weeks from now.  Ela has been doing much better, and Madeline has been slowly warming up.  Ingang is still trying to find a way to church, but we actually taught her husband Pasir last night.
 She still has a strong testimony. We also were referred to some new investigators that Elder Wilson and Hobbs had been teaching, a man named Jerry and his family who live in Ingang's kampung. He was referred to us because he He is much more well off (two cars) and currently apparently is lacking in a view of why we are meeting with him. Other then that he is an very friendly guy. When we met him with Wilson and Hobbs, he expressed that part of his reasoning for wanting to stay in the R.C. church was that he feels that Jesus has blessed him so much already, and he doesn't want to switch for his family's sake. Our hope for him is to help him understand the potential his family has.

Speaking of Wilson and Hobbs, we went on Splits this last Friday, which meant Wilson and Parker stayed at our house while I went with Hobbs. We had a great time, including a lesson preparing one of their Investigators for baptism this next week. Elder Baer, a Chinese Elder and M.T.C. companion of Elder Fletcher from Miri, was also there and he was so kind as to impart of his Li Chi juice before I even asked for it.

Ela and Madelin are slowly warming back up to each other, thank you so much for the prayers.

The other most exciting thing was the PraGawai party this last Saturday at the church. It got a higher attendance than our Sacrament meeting the next day! It was incredibly fun, but we basically spent the entire day at the church decorating and getting ready….A lot of crazy Gawai stuff, including Karaoke, the Poco-Poco, and the Ngajat.

 I have been impressed over and over again this week of the importance of personal conversion. You cannot convert anyone else if you do not have a personal, lasting testimony of the Gospel yourself. THE GOSPEL IS TRUE! 

Transfer new is still coming...
-Elder Christensen

I am staying, and becoming District Leader. Elder Parker is becoming a Zone Leader in Bintulu.

I love you all so much!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Mom Note:
It was so precious to be able to see Elder Coy on skype! We spent a precious hour talking with him. Some grandparents thought he looked thin, some thought he had filled out and matured, so I guess he's somewhere in the middle and doing great! :).  We enjoyed hearing about his typical day, the strange foods he eats(bread is bought as a dough and it is fried), and we loved hearing about how much he loves the work.  He used the words of Joseph Smith and said "Mom, don't worry about me, I am well enough off!"  We were able to join in family prayer over skype and said a tearful goodbye, (at least on the Mom's part :)). 

Here's the letter we received afterward.  

I love you so much!
I know we just called, but I wanted to take this chance to briefly update on this week.
Last monday we walked to the church with Acui, Lena, her husband Kenyang, her brother Dundong, her daughter Senia, and their friend (a younger kid) Rolland and had a wonderful family night with them. We watched Finding Faith in Christ and played badminton, and Brother Kong even came. We have met with them several times this week, teaching them the Restoration and the Plan of Salvation among other things. They are very eager to learn and are now on date for a little less than a month. They also came to Church and had a series of awesome experiences, including the most reverent Sacrament Meeting we have had since I have been here, and hitting it off extremely well with the members in Sunday School. It was awesome.
We met with Ela this week as well. She was having some struggles in her life, some personal, and others including a tooth ache, bringing her children up righteously, and inviting her husband to learn of the gospel. We were inspired to ask if she would want a priesthood blessing. She didn't know what what was, but after a brief explanation she did want it. Parker anointed and I gave the blessing. It was simple and beautiful. Afterwards though she testified that it was exactly what she needed. She said she had had a private, personal prayer the day before, and the blessing was an answer to it. She also felt a peace and a strength, as also something seemed to leave her body.
Madeline has apparently been struggling. She hasn't been answering our phone calls, and she was never home when we tried to meet with her. She apparently was very attached to Elder Capener, the elder before me, and seemed to change after he left. She did come to church, but only for about 30 minutes.
Ingang is doing great. We have yet to settle a baptismal date, but we have hopes to do so this week. Her daughters seem to be increasingly busy and harder to meet with. We did have a cool experience in Permai though. We met a more educated teenager which had met missionaries before. He spoke some English, and we eventually met some of his family in his house with him and shared a Book of Mormon. We don't yet actually know his name though, because he had met Parker before and Parker didn't remember.
It was so great talking to you! Love you so much!

-Elder Christensen 

Monday, May 5, 2014

This is the greatest work in the world and I love it so much!

So, to preface this letter, my ever-loving Grandmother told me last week that she felt like I was holding back all the hard stuffs that may be happening here. To one and all, I have been telling you as it is! Glorious!
Then this week happened.
Whether this has been a Hard Week or not, I'll let you decide for yourself.
I sponsored Milkshake Monday. Delicious.
This last Tuesday we were late to District Meeting. 
Elder Misa'alefua has left with some other Elders down in Sibu Jaya to go on splits as Zone Leaders, so Elder Hill was with us for the day. On the way there, Elder Parker was talking on the phone with Elder Wilson, went down an awkward incline, and crashed into Elder Hill on Elder Baranov's bike. It somehow not only popped the tire but bent the rim as well. 
After District meeting and lunch we walked to the friendly bike shop people to get that all fixed. It turned out to be an awesome blessing because while Elder Parker was in the shop, I was able to contact a very nice and prepared man named Joseph. We have yet to meet him, but he asked us to bring him an English B.O.M. sometime.
That night we were also biking home when we randomly decided to get some Pau's at our favorite place to do so. When we arrived, there was an entire Chinese Family there celebrating a 69 year old Chinese Auntie's birthday with a mountain of food. They instantly sat us down, and Elder Parker, having lived in China for 2 years, spoke to them whilst I ate. :). It was awesome. 
Wednesday we ended the splits and went to 'The Healthy Restaurant'. Everything on it's menu says Healthy, so it has to be good!
Afterwards we went to Ela's house for lunch. We talked, and talked, and talked some more, got rained in, and ended up talking for almost the entire day. It ended up being good for her though, because she was facing some very challenging challenges, and wants to bring her husband to the church. We were able to really meet him for the first time, when he came home from work. She also asked us to fast for that to happen.
Elders Baranov and Misa left at 4 A.M. the next day for M.L.C. in Singapore. Right after Comp. Study, Lawren, a Recent Convert in Branch 1, asked if we liked food. He had BARBECUE for us at the Church! It was so good! We also met Rodney for the 1st time, his friend and also a recent convert. The Barbecue was from a Branch 1 social or something. He also asked Elder Parker to try and teach him some piano skills while we were there.
Afterwards, we had an appointment fall through so we decided to go on a walk. It was a pleasant day, and we saw some Chinese kids playing Ultimate Frisbee. An hour later we were sweaty, dirty, and happy with a bunch of new friends and potential contacts that I can't talk to. The Chinese Elders should be happy.
We also did get to meet with Ingang, taught a simple lesson of the 10 commandments.
Saturday we had a text come in from Madelin. We had gone shopping with her after she came to one of our lessons and she said that the Watermelon was too big and perfect to eaten by her family alone, and she needed help. We were more than happy to sacrifice our stomachs. We had a baptism that night, and I was asked a couple hours before to share the Holy Ghost talk, as the original speaker had flaked out. It went well, the gift of tongues is great, and I shared Dad's story of being prompted to change lanes on a foggy day. (Mom Insert. Jeff was prompted to change lanes and obeyed and would have driven straight into a beam extending from the back of a truck going much more slowly, and it would have broken his windsheild and hit him in the face). 
Sunday, we had a cool experience. Earlier in the week, we had been walking home because of another flat tire, when we saw some Iban people standing in their front yard near our house. We started talking to them, and they wanted us to come back. We asked if they wanted to walk to church, as they were in easy walking distance, and we set up a time to walk with them Sunday morning. When we got there, nobody was home. We called and found that they had skipped breakfast and had ALREADY WALKED THERE! They were sitting in Branch 1's sacrament when we got there and got to witness a confirmation. We taught them after church and right now their only hang up is coming from an R.C. (Roman Catholic)

background, and asking about the Apostasy. They're awesome.
Today we want to go play pool!
Love you all! This is the greatest work in the world and I love it so much! I bore my testimony of what I knew of the Savior in sacrament meeting!

-Elder Christensen