Monday, March 10, 2014

Times, They Are A-Hastenin'

Guten tag! Bonjour! Nimen hao! :)
I hope that you all are having just a terrific and marvelous day today. And a marvelous past week, as a matter of fact. I know I sure have. 
This past week has been one full of excitement. Like I mentioned last week, I feel like Kuching is just full of this pent-up, "hastening the work" energy that is on the verge of 'coming forth'. Yesterday we had a Branch Council Meeting that was AMAZING! It was our new branch president's first time running it, and he did such an amazing job. The work truly is hastening.
For example:
This past week, as me and my companion were doing some good ole Weekly Planning, we spent a good portion of time thinking of new ways that we can use to find and teach people. The ever-recurring idea was that of family history. Fun fact: Most people, even if they want nothing to do with the Church, have an interest in their families, past and present. 
We've started using the 'family history' approach with people as we knock on doors and meet them on the streets. We've also started creating a family history pamphlet that explains more about family history and stuff like that. Consultants now man the family history center almost every Sunday, and things are in the works to start using family history in mall contacting. All in all, the Spirit of Elijah is starting to sweep my mind and heart, and hopefully the hearts of all the other inhabitants of Cat City. 
One of my new all-time favorite quotes is from Elder Russell M. Nelson: The Spirit of Elijah is "a manifestation of the Holy Spirit bearing witness of the divine nature of the family" (well, something along those lines...that's not an exact quotation. Sorry 'bout that ;) ).
I know that that's true. The Lord's desire is for all of us to be bound together with our families, sealed in an unbroken chain that soars through the eternities. The work of redeeming our dead is just as important as bringing new investigators into the Church, or as reactivating an inactive member, or any of those things. Joseph Smith once said (this also isn't an exact quotation) that we cannot be saved without our dead, nor they without us. I testify that the Plan of Salvation is REAL--Maybe that statement seems a little vague, or a little blunt, but to each his own. I know that the Lord has a plan for each of us, and I know that we can one day be with our families and loved ones forever. I've learned so MUCH about the Plan of Salvation as a missionary; I thought that I used to understand it pretty well, but my eyes truly have been opened to some of its gravity and reality. Obviously I can't understand nor comprehend it all, but I can say that my faith in the principle of eternal families is stronger than ever before. The Spirit of Elijah surely does put a fire in our hearts and brings us closer to our loved ones, bridging that gap, that veil, that stands between us and them.
I love you all, and hope that you have a remarkably grand and marvelous week! Remember who you are and what you stand for! Zhen jin bu pa hou lian! :)
Zai jian,
Mai Zhanglao :)

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