Monday, September 23, 2013

Hello Again Errbody from Beautiful Downtown Miri! :)

Whew! This past week has FLOWN by! Today I write to you a wee bit later than usual, because guess what!? This morning we went on a jungle adventure! All of our district (but a set of sisters) came on the greatest adventure evs--we journeyed forth on a bumpy, 45-minute ride on a Malaysian highway (for those of you that know what that means, you're smiling right now; for those of you who've never experienced a Malaysian highway, think roller coaster, but less fancy :) ). We went to a national park deep in the heart of the jungle and hiked around. It was super kool! I felt like I was in the Lord of the Rings, or maybe in a forest that could've been full of dinosaurs :) It was awesome! We roved around these ancient trees and hiked up through the jungle to little waterfalls. Pretty awesome, if I say so meself (which I does :) ).
This past week has been one full of ups and downs, but for the most part has been really good. Me and my companion have been focusing more and more on trying to help out the less actives in our little Chinese group here in Miri (which, in all reality, is pretty much everyone). It's an uphill climb, but we're hoping that progress is slowly but surely being made :) One thing that our mission president is pushing for, and something that we in Miri are also especially pushing for, is COMMITMENT. Not just being baptized, but that whole 'enduring to the end' part that follows it. Not just having a testimony, but actually be CONVERTED to the Gospel. That's something that seems to be the biggest problem here in Miri (well, that, and all the mangy Malaysian mutts that like to have dogfights in front of our house at 3 a.m....yeah, it's about as 'fun' as it sounds). As we've gone about doing work this week, I've been studying to learn more and more about our Heavenly Father, as well as charity. As I've studied these, my eyes have been opened to the love of the Father for His mortal children. He loves certain people SO MUCH to place them in very awful situations--these past two weeks have seen me going to Iban kampungs and places where filth and un-hygiene and everything farthest from Christianity or its practices abide. He loves people SO MUCH to allow them, His beloved haizi, to come to a place where misery is abundant, where you have to wonder where your next meal is coming from, etc. etc. I don't comprehend nor do I pretend to comprehend the works and the mysteries of God--but, like Nephi in the 11th chapter of his first book, I soundly proclaim: "I know that he loveth his children."
I hope that this week you have the greatest days of yo' life! Never forget that the Lord loves you! He is aware of each and every circumstance you are in! Every nice act you do, every nice act that is done to you, every hard or seemingly unbearable oppression you face--He knows, He loves, and He invites us to abide in Him, to wait out the storm and to wait on the Rock of Salvation.
God be with you till we meet again!
Wo feichang ai nimen! :)
Mai Zhanglao :)

Monday, September 9, 2013

Hello Everybody! Just Another Week in Paradise

Another week has come and gone here in the good ole city of Miri. We've had several times of quite torrential rain, which has been super exciting. Also, fun fact: I've started adding some variety to my diet. Yep, this week I dined on quite a bit of...yes, you guessed it, INSTANT NOODLES! Hooray for Ramen! (Or, as we like to call them in the Mitchell family, snake noodles :) ) Pretty much a party. 
We've done a lot of biking this past week, and I'm pretty sure that I'm the buffest redhead that's ever lived. Humble a statement as that is, I have to admit: I check myself out in the mirror daily (okay, more like 5 times a day). My biceps are getting pretty impressive right about now :)
This past week I've been working on patience. It's been fun and a struggle all at the same time. The Lord really does give you plenty of opportunities to test and exercise your patience when you ask for it! I testify of that! :) But as we have patience and as we strive to continually love those around us, He empowers us to soar to greater and higher heights. I'm so thankful for this Gospel and for the many blessings that it can afford us! The happiness and joy that come from giving a Book of Mormon to someone who's never heard of Jesus Christ before are remarkable and wonderful and I love it so much! Being able to help people understand the why and how behind this mortal life is an experience more precious than gold! And it's not just an experience a missionary has to have: It's an experience ANYONE, ANYWHERE can have! All are entitled to this, and I testify of that!
I love you all! Sorry for the briefness of this week's message--next week I'll try to be a little longer (if I'm not too busy looking at my reflection in the nearest shiny object ;) ).
I love you all! God be with you till we meet again!
Mai Zhanglao :)

Monday, September 2, 2013

Pictures of Elder Mitchell in Singapore

Elder Mitchell in Singapore

Pictures of Elder Mitchell

Here are a few pictures of Elder Mitchell while he was still at the MTC.  (Please disregard the dates on the pictures as they are incorrect.)

Yep, that's right, folks. Read the title and weep, either for joy or for sorrow, it's yo' pick. For those of you that haven't yet learned, I've been transferred!!! Usually missionaries who are in the middle of their 12 week trainings don't get transferred, but heck--story of my life ;) I've gone from the lush suburbs, shops, buildings, stores, and general Babylon of Singapore to Miri, a town/city in East Malaysia that's almost a complete opposite of where I've come from (by that, I mean both Singapore and the USA).
I flew out from Singapore on Thursday afternoon and have found my way here to Miri. It's been quite an adventure--I've seen some pretty interesting sights, to say the least. There are these scraggly dogs that walk around EVERYWHERE--most of them probably have some form of cancer or something. They're a sad sight, but they seem to take care of themselves pretty well.
Also: The other day, as I was walking into the bathroom, I was greeted by a chichac/chichawk/I'm-not-really-sure-how-to-spell-it-but-it's-a-little-gecko-type-lizard crawling around the ceiling. That was fun :)
I've been excited to work here in Miri; riding a bike for most of the day has left my hind end incredibly sore, but I also fill very...hmmm, how to put it? I guess fulfilled--I feel like I'm doing more now as a missionary than I ever have before. It's a good feeling--I hope it stays :)
As I've traveled from Singapore to Miri and seen the various climes and atmospheres in which God's children reside, I'm amazed at how alike we all truly are. We all have difficulties and challenges; we all face fear and disappointment; we all have so much alike! It's been amazing to see that, and I hope that the longer I am here the more it will be opened to my eyes that yes, all of God's children truly are HIS. He loves us, He watches over us, He's in the most minute details of our lives. It's so awesome! :)
I wish you all the best of luck in your many endeavors! I love you all and look forward to chatting again next week!
God be with you till we meet again,
Mai Zhanglao :)