Tuesday, January 7, 2014

New Years, Petronas Towers and a speed boat ride

Jan 5, 2013

A new year brings some new beginnings! - Good & Bad !

First the bad things of the new year: Church time changes! Ahhhhh! In the previous weeks, our church attendance slowly began to increase over time & we were really happy with where our branch was heading! Then the new year changed our church time to 2:00pm. Yesterday we had a record low in sacrament meeting since I've been here in Sibu. We have our work cut our for us to help these members and less actives come back to church & make church a priority in their lives. Many feel it is too hard to come to church because their culture here is to work on Sundays.

On to the good things of the new year !
We held a New Years party on the 31st of December & my companion & I were in charge of a funny skit-
The only thing I have to say about this is that the 15 minutes we were up on the stage doing crazy things, I began to realize that American humor & Chinese humor is totally different!  It felt like we were up there for the looooongest time doing the weirdest things but they didn't think it was as funny as we did! We even tried a synchronized swimming routine! Yes - a synchronized swimming routine with weird leg formations & fake, plastered smiles on our faces! haha ! oh well, now it seems more embarrassing than funny - maybe we'll figure out Chinese humor for the next party!
(games at the New Years Eve Party)

The good part of the party was that some less active people came and brought some of their friends! Hopefully with the help of the branch we can start teaching & helping them as investigators! Win win situation!

We went to KL (Kuala Lumpur, West Malaysia) from some training. It was a great training & being able to go the Petronas towers, some of the tallest towers in the world was so fun!
Petronas Towers
 The best part about my day today, (jan 6th Pday) was that we went to the small town of Kapit here in East Malaysia. Kapit is a small town where the only way to get there is to go to Sibu, and then take a 2 1/2 hour speed boat trip up the river. So we woke up at 4:00 THIS MORNING! to get to the 5:30 boat ride !
It was a great sight to see 14 missionaries all pile into this long speed boat. By the time we got to the town we only had a few hours to be there because we had to catch the 2:30 boat back.
We had made plans to meet with a member who was living there. They found us & we took a 20 minute van ride to get to this members long house.
A long house ir pretty much a very, very, very, very, very, very long house that has a whole bunch of little houses built into it.
We were able to visit with the member couple, they are so strong in their faith! They only spoke Malay so I didn't know what was being said, but I could feel that these members had such strong faith, if any other member had the type of faith these people had, there would be no such thing as less active members! And keep in mind, they have only been living in Kapit a few years & the church does not even have a branch here yet or anywhere near it! And yet, they have such a strong testimony of the gospel. They really inspired me to work hard & to do my best in my area. If I work hard enough to establish a faithful area in Sibu- maybe we can be sent up to Kapit to spread the gospel there!

I know this is the true gospel of Jesus Christ!
Happy late New Year and love you all!
Elder Hanks

PS - today (jan 7th) was Elder Hanks birthday! Hope he had a great day & a "thanks" shout out to Br. & Sis. Beus (a missionary couple in Sibu) for taking a cake over to him!

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