Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Buddhist Conference & a $50.00 Book of Mormon for free!

It was a great week this past week as I have enjoyed getting to know my companion Elder South more than ever before and he is a hilarious guy! He does all of these funny voices to say what he's thinking and it's hilarious to listen to. I'm always so surprised by the sounds he can make and I love him a ton. He's from Idaho and a big family. He's the youngest and he is the greatest companion ever ; he's the shortest one I've had so far but he's the best with a great testimony and all the energy that comes with that! 

Well, Chinese New Year is coming up and our current investigators are having a harder and harder time meeting with us. I've been thinking about this for a while, and together with Elder South we have decided to go to a new area that we feel has been very scarcely touched by missionaries before. This has lead to many people being receptive to us and one in particular I can share. 

We knocked a house last week and a man let us in and we talked on the porch of his home. We shared with him the Book of Mormon and he tried to give us $50! We kindly declined but he insisted. We told him we will come back another day and 'collect' it. He agreed. We came back on the appointed day and knocked. A woman(his wife) answered the door and she heard about us from her husband. At first she didn't really seem all that interested to allow us to talk to her, but she soon let us in. We talked to her and she explained that she wanted her husband to receive help because he has some addictions. She was being so open with all the problems they have as a couple and this addiction has caused for them. At one point in the conversation I just bore strong testimony that the message of this gospel has the power to heal her husband of this addiction he has been dealing with and to also heal her of the heart ache she has been going through. After I shared this with her her eyes got big and she said, "How?!" 
We left her house with a return appointment for this Tuesday and we are confident this is what Heavenly Father has prepared her and her husband for. We are just happy to be His tools.

Over the past few months we have been serving at a recycling center owned by a Buddhist organization called Tzu Chi. (Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation Miri liaison, Miri, Malaysia)

  It's a great organization that does much welfare service like the church does. We have been serving there for so long that when Tzu Chi was holding its annual conference to share and discuss all that they accomplished in the past year they invited us missionaries to attend. They had invited the Senior couple, the Risers, to speak to the public, but because the public is Chinese and mostly Buddhist, the position got handed to me to "speak their language"! 

We arrived and they had a wonderful display of things they did in their organization. When we wanted to go upstairs my companion and I were escorted upstairs where there was a line of Tzu Chi volunteers clapping their hands and singing to welcome us. They gave us gifts and a little light. We then were taken to the front row where we sat next to an important monk who was in attendance. The program started and they showed videos of all the great service they have been doing and their accomplishments. There were dances and Buddhist prayers and songs sung. It was a spectacular display of culture and I was somewhat captivated by it all. Then came the time when they explained our service we have been doing for Tzu Chi and annouced, "We would like to welcome a missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints tonight, Elder Hanks." The spotlight hit my back as I stood up and with the other missionaries in attendance walked to the stage. We received a great round of applause and shared with all of these people what we do in the Church and our relationship with this great organization. The people were all welcoming and nice which helped me stay calm in front of the cameras that were just fixed on us. It was a really cool event, a little long, but really cool.

Other news, our air conditioner broke in our bedroom so every night we put our mattresses in our study room where a nice air conditioner is - It's a little packed, but it works.

It's been a really fun week and I love working with my companion - He is really awesome. I'm also very excited for this upcoming zone conference because we get to watch the new movie, "Meet the Mormons." Whoa!!! Well, new to us! 
Everything is just great here in Miri

Elder Hanks

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