Monday, December 16, 2013

Tri-language Christmas party & I think we had spies!

Even though Christmas is just around the corner & a lot of you are probably enjoying the "winter wonderland" - I'm am enjoying my  "wet & wetter wonderland"!
This past week we had a branch Christmas party with all 3 of the Sibu branches! It was crazy chaos having Chinese, Malay & Iban people all trying to enjoy a Christmas spirit!  It was great - next time try that at your ward party having it in 3 different languages! A lot of people came though, including a lot of potential investigators & we hope to be able to follow up & start adding more investigators to our teaching pool!
One of our current investigators is on date to be baptized on January 4th but she has hurt her back pretty bad. She has continued to progress & has come to church so we really didn't have any concern until we didn't see her at church this week. We hope her back isn't a bigger problem & we are praying for her daily & I feel confident that she will be ready by January!
Guess which Christmas tree was decorated by the Iban branch ?!

a branch member made the ornaments for their tree

We have been working considerably hard to increase the activity of he less active. We have been constantly visiting this older couple with several daughters & they are all members but aren't very active. So when they come to church the increase our branch attendance to 45 people! Which has been the highest number since my companion came to Sibu, which when he started the branch was like at 15! So that was awesome!
We hope this family will stay open hearted & if they come, they will be a great addition to our branch!

So this past week 3 people that no one has ever seen before came to our family home evening! We were excited & gave them a tour of our church. We all felt the spirit strong & we were excited to follow up with them. Later in the week though, we found out that the Methodist church is sending spies to church to see what we are doing & what our beliefs are! Haha, I guess we need to be more aware of who comes into the church asking weird questions like how many people are coming to our church....!

Well, I can't wait for Christmas. We are doing Secret Santa gifts for the other Elders in our apartment. I'm really excited to give gifts but also excited to receive some too! I think it will help me feel not so far away from home. Most Chinese people really don't love Christmas like we do, so not a lot of them have an actual Christmas tree in their home.
I have lots of Asians staring at me & its hilarious, but it makes it easier for me to approach them because they will actually keep their attention on me. The kids over here are hilarious too & make everything even better!
Wish you all a Merry Christmas & enjoy a  white one too for me!
Elder Hanks

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