Elder Coy at Five Years Old!

Elder Coy at Five Years Old!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Dearest Family

This last week has been one of the strangest, most challenging, and gloriously guided weeks of my mission. Here's the discourse.

Last Monday, as you well know, we went to Bako. It was incredible! It was fun! The Zone had a blast, but our Chinese Elder, Elder Wimmer, had taken a fall on the sand. He injured his knee and the next day went to the hospital to get it checked. His companion, Elder Lundahl-Wulford, decided to get an M.R.I. as well after he spoke somewhat with the doctors there. He'd had an accident involving a horse before the mission on his ankle, and they found some issues with his ligaments. 
Long story short both the Chinese Elders needed to be sent home for medical attention.
Elder Wimmer was expecting that, so he went to Singapore for medical attention with all his luggage, where Elder Lundahl-Wulford was not. He was sent back for a day or so, and entered our companionship as a threesome. It was very bittersweet, he was not happy to be going home, but the best possible thing for him was to be with Elder Lundquist. They had known each other from previous areas and were already good friends, and they were able to talk it out a lot. It's an added blessing that they are going home together.

Also, there was a mini transfer this week with some missionaries leaving and such. Elder McCown is going to K.L., Elder Stowell will be District Leader in his place for his next two weeks. Elder Ee will be his companion, Elder Call is stepping up to replace Elder Lundquist. That will be strange.
This last weekly planning involved a lot of discussion of his first meal, first date, first trip to the temple, first fruit, first hug with his mom, first day back, first movie (Captain America 2), Kuching will not be the same without him.

I was able also to go on exchanges with Elder Davie in Matang. They are doing work out there, and doing it well! We met an investigator, incredibly smart, named Erwina. She had written in English a summary of each chapter of the Book of Mormon she was reading in Malay, but felt scared to pray. We shared 2nd Ne. 32:8, and she did pray at the end of the lesson, but after the prayer she opened up to us a very hard and sensitive back story, but asked and prayed for guidance.

Bro. Bangga continues to do amazing though. This last Thursday when we came to his house, he had written us a thank you letter. ON HIS OWN he apparently stopped smoking before Zone Conference, and was on track for his own baptism in a couple weeks. Elder and Sister Przybyla had gone with us, and we had a great lesson where they were able to bestow some gifts that they had prepared for this family that they had helped to come to the temple last year. Bro. Bangga asked Elder Przybyla to baptize him, the Przybyla's go home in two weeks.

Other then that, there was a lot of interesting happenstances. Bro. Jihap was able to baptize his sons this last week, and it was a glorious experience. He was so happy. It was just a little struggle before hand, our branch mission leader is literally rebelling against his calling although he told us he would handle it all. Accordingly we had to literally throw together the program, but it was wonderful. Sister Slider bore a beautiful testimony about baptism, and Sister O'Boyle did a great talk on the holy ghost.

It's hard to see Elder Lundquist go. He has changed me forever. We were meant to be together and I am sure we will meet again. If anything else, I have thought over and over again about how much God's hand is in everything, our part is to let it guide us. We've had some amazing discussions about the Second Coming that have brought amazing peace to my soul, and that peace did not leave this week, even when we caught news through the grape vine that the Supreme Court was seeing rainbows this week (by the way,in teachings of the presidents: Joseph Smith it says there will be no rainbows 1 year before the second coming. Significant much?)

I love you all more then I can express! Thank you for all your support and prayers!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Dear Wonderful Family!

This week has been crazy, but here we go!

So last Monday we had a way fun day playing rugby next to a huge tree in Merdeka Plaza. We were sore for days.

Not to mention that we went to Bako again today. That was ridiculously fun, but draining.That's why we are late emailing today :-)

Anyway, this week has been interesting. A lot of administrative stuff has happened, some things I can't really say much about now but next week can, but it's all just dealing with Elder Lundquist going home next week (sniff). I'm going to miss that man.

WELL, Jihap's family is doing amazingly well. He is so sincerely devoted to the gospel and Christ already that he is more then prepared to receive, and his family sincerely has no desire to do anything but follow Christ. We had a wonderful District Conference this last Saturday and Sunday, it was the last time that President Mains will be in East Malaysia, and he taught them effectively about the Temple and how to prepare for it. It was a very bittersweet experience for Elder Lundquist, because also Augustine and Kevin (anak Jihap) have overcome smoking and passed their baptismal interview, they are on date for this next week!
They will be the last baptisms of his mission, and he deserves it!

Bro. Bangga is also doing quite bagus. He is also overcoming smoking, consistently coming to church, and on date for July 7th. He will really need to understand the priesthood and recieve some member support, but we know he will do well.

Other things, we had some great exchanges back in Stampin, it was fun to see my old area and to be with Elder Ee. We visited Bro. Dion and had a great lesson with him, he's a long time investigator with a long history of why he was not baptised, and with everything else he was still not confident in his skills to pray. Elder Ee did an amazing job explaining 2nd Nephi 32:8, and it calmed a lot of his fears.

We had a miracle with Freddy and Sylvia, we dropped the chinese Elders off at their house and they are apparently already on date :-) They are amazing.

I'm sorry this is short, but we don't have much time. I love you all so much, I love the Savior, and I know he is increadibly involved in the details of our lives. I have been so guided this last week personally by some great suggestions my mother made to me last week, and some great ideas that Elder Przybyla has given me.

I love you all so much!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Hello everyone!

I have a stop sign.

I don't know how to get it home.

Anyway, Life is so great isn't it? So strange to see life passing so fast at home without me, but that's no problem at all! Congratulations Nate! You're so awesome McKay! Happy Fathers Day Dad! HAPPY FRIEKIN' BIRTHDAY MOM! THAT IS SO FRIEKIN' AMAZING! DON'T FRIEK-okay I'm done.
I was going to write you all a letter this morning but this next Saturday and Sunday is President Main's last District Conference ever in Kuching and I wrote them a nice thank you letter. I love you all though!

This last week was crazy. Tuesday morning was Zone Meeting, and Elder Lundquist and I worked a ton to get ready. It was very interesting how we were inspired to do it, we wrote out instructions on several pages and then we did not say anything the entire activity. We literally had everyone stay silent and ponder such things as Spiritual Gifts and guidance, and our true purpose as missionaries. It was very interesting to see how much everyone got what they put into it.

That night we met Bro. Bangga, husband to an active member, belum a member himself. He had expressed a desire to be baptized, so all we did was draw a calender to make a plan to help him stop smoking. He counted for a while on how much he was smoking daily, then chose July 7th. We thought that was the day he wanted to be done smoking, but he said "No Elders, this is my baptismal date. I want to be done two weeks earlier." His desire is there, and we followed up with him at church, he's been working on his own plan :-)

We met Jihap's family with Bro Govin and Sis. Helen, we taught him and his sons about the Priesthood. He was so touched by the idea that he could bless his own family that he started crying. His sons, Kevin and Augustine, and both on date for the 27th of this month, and they are on track to stop smoking. That family is vitalizing the branch.

We had an amazing miracle yesterday. A former investigator, Sister Mariana called us and asked if we could come that day, she was suffering a lot. She and her husband had been dropped because the husband Ifan had refused to progress because he couldn't stop smoking. She had a baby this last week that was stillborn and asked us to come and share some comfort.
When we arrived the wife and husband were there, as well as the mother in law whom we had met the week before or so when I was on exchanges with Elder Allen. We prayed and talked together, and shared a message about Temple Marriage and Moroni 8. It was a beautiful lesson, very much guided by the Spirit. We asked if Temple Marriage was one of their goals, and Sister Mariana said it was something she had always wanted. Ifan was half paying attention, but we gripped it back and he said it was still hard for him to stop smoking. I told him that right now we were working with three people all that were stopping smoking, and that God had the power to help him stop. We committed to pray daily until we could come back.

Last night we stopped by Sis. Penuvuri, the Hindu Indian lady. She had struggles communicating, but told us that she desperately wants us to come back when her husband was there so we could teach him. She was confident that we could heal her family members that were sick and bring peace to her home, but she was the only one home at the time.

Other then that, it was a long week of cold rain and lots of people dropping on us, but amazing miracles as well.
I love you all so much! Have a great week!

-Elder Christensen

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Hello wonderful family! Wonderful weeks remind me of you! 

Surprisingly, this week was wonderful somehow, because today was the dreaded day of Gawai. Sorry I'm late, the Przybyla's drove us out to kampung this morning and we visited a ton of houses. It was fun, lots of food and driving and rain, but we got to see gawai as it really is without the drinking, which is the american equivalent of Thanksgiving. Cool stuff.

This week was seemingly going to be more empty then most, but still many miracles and things happened. 
We met an Indian Hindu family that invited us back to meet today, which is a miracle because that is literally the only kind of people we could have met or taught this last week. All of our members and investigators were back at kampung except Jihap's family. By the way, they passed their interviews and Jihap, his wife Magi, and their daughters Caroline and Rachel are going to be baptized this Friday. Kevin and Augustine still need to quit smoking, and will be the last week before Elder Lundquist goes home on July 1st (he lives next to the Bountiful Temple and wants to play Munchkin and Revolution and Monopoly). We don't know yet what will happen after that, but we will find out later!

I had great exchanges with the famed Elder Gara (Lawren) of Sibu this last Wednesday. He was amazing, we are so grateful for his confidence and diligence in missionary work. We taught Jihap's family together, then met with President Sulai, our branch and District president. He holds a lot of weight on his shoulders, and needs your prayers, he has asked us to strengthen the less actives and Priesthood so that he can replace himself as Branch President. He had to conduct 2 branches on Sunday because all the Priesthood wasn't there.

Other then that, we contacted a lot of Chinese people. Very prepared, but Chinese. One cool miracle was Sunday morning. It was the loudest and longest storm I've seen in a very long time all night long. All the members were gone. The last week had been hard. We got a text that Elder Perry passed away as we got in a member's car to drive to church. But I realized in that instant that, in this entire week, we have seen many disappointments  but never have we felt discouraged or disheartened. God is good, and that never changes. 
Love you all!
-Elder Christensen

Love you all so much!