Monday, March 24, 2014

Keep On Keepin' On :)

Fun fact: There were ten random Koreans that showed up to Sacrament meeting yesterday. They're studying English in Malaysia (which is something that I don't quite understand, personally, since Malaysian English is...well, Malaysian English. 'Nuff said :) ). Either way, though, they're super awesome, and we're going to be teaching them English on Wednesday nights. They taught me how to say 'promise' in Korean, so I'm content :)
Another fun fact: Lu ho bo? Lu ay hiao fujianhua bo? Yep, that's right--I be picking up some Hokkien! Otherwise known as Fujianhua, Hokkien is one of the prominent dialects spoken here in Kuching. We've ran into several people in the farther reaches of the city (aka Chinese kampungs) that don't speak: 1) English; B) Malay; III) Iban; or Quatro) Mandarin. Suoyi ne? I'm trying to pick up some Hokkien so I can converse with them. At least enough to tell them that I'm from China (fun fact: Best way to win a Chinese heart is to be a redhead and tell them you're from China :) ), and that no, I don't speak Hokkien; do you spreckon ze Mandarin ma? :)
Third fun fact: I'm really trying to revamp my Language Study this week. I've been working on a killer language study plan that will increase my vocab and that will help me start learning how to read and write (simplified, of course). I feel like the biggest barriers to my Chinese right now are a lack of vocab and the fact that I can't use the actual Chinese writing system in teaching situations. There's SO MUCH meaning behind so many characters--I really have a desire to unlock the potential they have while teaching. It's gonna be a party. In other words: This week is going to involve a crackdown on language study, ranging from increased vocab to studying characters to learnin' me some Hokkien.
This past weekend was the grand opening of our FAMILY HISTORY BOOTH :) We set it up in a mall and talked with people about family history. We handed out dozens, if not hundreds, of flyers and pass-along cards, and took down the names of those people interested in learning more. It was a really cool experience, and we're excited to continue using this tool in our proselyting.  Hopefully it will help push the work forward here in Kuching :)
Last night we met with a really solid family in our branch for dinner.  One of the members started sharing a lot of really personal details about his life. I'm not going to get into them here, but suffice it to say he'd made some mistakes. As he was telling the story to us in Malay and as it was being translated into  English for us non-Bahasa speakers, I couldn't help but feel the Savior's love for him and the fact that the Atonement had changed this man's life for forever. That's the way the Lord works. He gives us second chance after second chance, and He always will as long as we accept said chances. I've had a chance to really stop and think about what the Atonement means to me and to my family. I am so grateful for our Savior, Jesus Christ, and for His willingness to condescend to earth to bring us all back up to live in celestial courts on high.
I hope and pray that you all have a wonderful day and week! 
Keep on keepin' on :)
Mai  Zhanglao :)

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