Monday, September 8, 2014

Moon Cakes, Festivals and we'll throw in a powerful testimony meeting too!

This week is the week of the Lantern and Moon Cake Festival. People every where are excited and all over the Moon Cake. Elder Roundy and I are addicted! They are these beautiful hand made cakes, that are expensive, but they are so delicious and full of different flavors. I love to get them and once I do I'm scared to eat it, because then I have to wait to get another one or go buy one myself!  They are really popular and just so good! We attended a Lantern Festival at a Buddhist Temple this week with an investigator and saw the fun ways people celebrate the Festival. The celebration continues this week and we are excited to see what comes!

We had planned to have a baptism this Saturday but due to some unfortunate school activities and such we had to move our investigators date back to the 27th of this month. She's okay with it and still really excited, as are we! 

I have finally figured out how to contact Buddhists in an effective way. Whenever you ask a Buddhist what religion are they use a phrase that directly translated means, "Worship God." We took a member (who recently returned from his mission in the Singapore mission) out contacting with us and we ran into such a situation. Before I could say anything the member said, "Oh really? We are too." I was kind of confused because we are not Buddhist, but they member soon followed up by saying, "We also worship God." Brilliant! Ever since then I have used this method for contacting Buddhists and every single one has agreed to let us come back and teach them sometime. 

I have loved just being bold in telling people who we are and what we are doing here in Malaysia. There is a surprisingly positive response and, for the most part, people have been more open to our message about the gospel. It's incredible. And with it being September, the year coming to an end soon, we are working harder than ever to get our faith and desire to serve the Lord on the same, but higher, level than they were before. It's a great feeling to be a missionary.

I am feeling more of the Spirit's guidance in the way we  teach. Several times this week have we gone into a lesson with a plan and I have just felt like we need to discuss something else and the way it goes is just phenomenal!!! The Spirit is so important in this work. Where would we be without it?

Our branch's seminary  finished this past week so Elder Roundy and I are going to start a weekly mutual for the youth to help them stay united and together,  and to bring their friends to the church more often.  It will be fun! 

These past few weeks we have begun to do an early morning class for the members that teaches gospel principles and doctrines. The purpose is to help answer the members questions, teach them to use their scriptures, and to get people to church a little earlier for church to start. 
On Sunday we the topic was how to give a powerful testimony/talk. The reason we felt prompted to do so was because  when some  members would give talks they will take a copy of Gospel Principles up on the stand and read it. So people were very happy that we talked about this principle because it clarified what to do every week on the stand and how they can do it themselves. We invited everyone at the end of the class to bear their testimonies in fast and testimony meeting and we had quite a response!
There wasn't enough time for everyone who wanted to bear their testimony to share it or anymore room for the Spirit to enter our hearts because our hearts would have exploded!!!! Members who were less active bore inspiring testimonies. Recent converts shared their conversion process. Active members about the 5 good points of a testimony. Even investigators bore testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith. I was going to break into tears, but then I remembered how if Chinese see you cry they will hold it against you forever, so I held the tears in long enough for no one to see. It was the most powerful sacrament meeting I have ever been in on my mission so far. Amazing!

I love you all and also moon cakes!

Elder Hanks

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