My first full week in the beautiful land of Singapore! I'm pretty much having the TIME of my LIFE!!! :) So, before we get to anything spiritual, here are some stories that will either make you laugh or shake your head in disgust or something in between.
The other day we went some members of our YSA to a Korean BBQ buffet place. One of our members is going back to China this week before he heads off to either BYU or Australia for school, and this was a sort of going-away party for him. Well, in this particular place there are these grills in the middle of the table where you take your meat and cook it. I didn't know that at first, though. (Sweet, naive little me ;) ). So, as we're getting our meat at the counter, the thought runs through my head: This meat does NOT look cooked. But I decided to be brave and eat it anyway.
Yeah, a few mouthfuls of raw chicken later, I noticed that the YSA kids were throwing the meat onto the grills and cooking it. It was at this rather awkward moment that I began praying like CRAZY--"Please, Heavenly Father, please please please let this meat not make me sick. Help my body to cope with whatever I just put in it!"
Do you remember that scripture from 1 Nephi 16 where Nephi states that the Lord made their raw meat sweet unto them, so that they didn't have to cook it? Yep, I pretty much lived that moment. I have, as of yet, not gotten sick from this adventure, which is really nice; keep your fingers crossed that I don't get worms or something ;) It was one of those really awesome greenie moments that just humbles you and also shows that God has the greatest sense of humor :)
Also at this BBQ place: Some of the YSA girls started drilling me and Ge Zhanglao about our personal lives (aka "Do you have a girlfriend? What's your family like?" etc. etc. etc.) At one point one of them asked, "Ni you mimi ma?" Which means, "Do you have secrets?" (I'm sorry I don't have the time and/or skill to add the right tones to that). I thought she said, "Ni you meimei ma?" Which means "Do you have sisters?"
I responded, "Dui, wo you liang ge mimi." I have two secrets.
Yep, they got a kick out of that.
So on one of these past days we went contacting at a big mall place known as Bugis. While we were waiting for a bus to take us there (to Bugis), a VERY drunk guy came up to us (there were six of us elders plus one of our YSA guys there at the time) and started talking to us. He was a member of the Church about 14 years ago, but then we went down very forbidden paths that I won't go into describing right now.
Later that day we were contacting at Bugis, and we were approached by a guy who was on his break from work. As we talked to him about the Book of Mormon, he started smoking. We ended up giving him a copy of the Mo'ermenjing, but that day the Lord really taught me such an amazing and awesome lesson: Love.
It's a little, four-letter word that carries with it the weight of nations, the glories of the heavens, and the potential for so much good! The Lord Jesus Christ went out into the highways and by-ways of the ancient Holy Land, healing the lepers and the blind men, blessing the sick and the afflicted, dining with the publicans and harlots of society. He--the Jehovah of the Old Testament--not only condescended from the heavenly courts above to this globe, but as a more than mortal Man descended into the lowest levels of society to lift people up and help them realize their celestial potential.
This is what we've been called to do--to go to those who appear most undeserving, because they are the ones who need the message of the Gospel most. As I'm falling in love with the YSA, the Chinese ward, and the people of Singapore in general, the Lord is teaching me that He loves ALL of His children, no matter their life circumstances. Although the drunk smelled AWFUL and although he used some pretty colorful language, he was still loved by the God of the Universe. Infinitely loved, celestially loved, loved beyond compare.
This is a principle that I'm still working to perfect, but someday I'll get it down. For now, I'm continuing to be taught by Heavenly Father, and I'm relishing the experience to learn from Him as I try to help His lost sheep come back to the fold.
For now I bid you all a fond zai jian;
God be with you till we meet again! I love you all! :)
Mai Zhanglao :)