Monday, October 20, 2014

The Miri Life!

So Miri, East Malaysia! It's a great place and our area is HUGE!!! I was in Sitiawan before it was always a 45 minute ride to the FARTHEST appointment possible. But here it's 30 minutes and we run into  the other missionaries house! It's crazy! But we are so fortunate in we live only 5 minutes away from the church--Sweet! Miri is seems like such a clean city too.

Miri actually has 3 branches, 2 are in Malay and the 3rd (ours) is in English and Chinese -- an interesting mix. Despite having 2 languages, it's the smallest branch of the three with only about 40 active members. There are a lot of less actives in the 3rd Miri branch so we have taken it upon ourselves to go and find them. We have tracked down some of them but there are still some who we don't know where they went. Seems like the people here are always moving so we are determined to go find them! 

For the most part Miri is hard! But I'm loving it! My companion, Elder Geilman, is awesome and he is still training as a new missionary. We live  just the two of us, in a pretty big house; it's not as big as the Sitiawan house, but it's still a good size. The other Elders (4 of them) live together in their house and they refer any Chinese investigators our way since we are  the 2 Chinese Elders in this area. It's great being here, I even translated for a speaker in Sacrament meeting on Sunday. Even though the speaker was a returned missionary who could speak chinese herself, she asked me to do it- Kind of random! haha - Maybe she was testing my Chinese ability! 

One cool experience we had this week looking for less actives was on Friday. We went to an address we found in our area book and we knocked on the gate. A guy that had been sleeping came out and we asked if he was the less active person we were looking for. He said, "No." but he was the older brother and our less active person had moved away. We were like, "Oh, ok...." so we continued to talk to him. He was a great guy but his life didn't seem quite the way he wanted it to be. So we talked about the gospel and how it can make his life better. He stood there and listened and then I asked him, "Would you like to learn how to make your life better?" he said, "Yeah, why not?" He invited us to come back later this week! We were so pumped so that shows  that to find everyone you can, be bold and talk to everyone- even if they aren't  the person you were looking for! 

One other cool experience actually happened  on the same day that I just mentioned when we found that guy. As we left his house we saw big rain clouds coming our way and we talked about maybe going home to wait out the rain or something. At first we were going to go home and then we thought  "Do you know what? Let's just go find these people! " So we continued to go find less actives and any other people- somebody somewhere will talk to us!  It POURED rain so hard and we just rode around trying so hard to find some people to talk to or some less actives. We found 2 or 3 people to talk to, and we finally ended up at a restaurant We ordered some rice (because that's what everyone eats here) and I began to speak Chinese to the workers. There was a guy sitting inside the shop who noticed me speaking Chinese. We got our food when one of the ladies working there said that the guy had paid for our food. We were like "whoo!" and I thanked the man for doing so. He came over later and introduced himself. We talked for like 30 minutes about his religion (a form of Buddhism) and our religion. He really like our religion and thought it was very good. I offered him a Book of Mormon and he said he would read it. Then before he left he said that he was the husband of the lady who owned the restaurant and he told his wife that we could come here anytime that we want, and we could have a free meal. He actually said, "Come here everyday, morning, afternoon, and evening and eat for free." I was like, "Whoo!!! Free rice everyday!" So we are so excited for him - to see if he will read the Book of Mormon. Maybe we just got another investigator AND FREE food! Bonus all around!

It's been a great week!

Love you all and keep you posted on the Lord's work.

Elder Hanks

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