Monday, August 11, 2014

Into the West (Malaysia, That Is)

To all friends, family, poisonous reptiles:
Well, this here be the last dispatch from Kuching. I got the call this morning--I'm off to West Malaysia! Johor Bahru, to be precise :) I'm really excited for it, but I'm sad to say good-bye to all of the people that I love so much here in Kuching. The past six months have FLOWN by! I can't believe how fast it's been! I could stay here for the rest of my mission and not feel bad about it; but the Lord would like me to go elsewhere for now. I'm so excited to see what JB's got in store.
This past week the Lord taught me a really cool lesson that I'd like to share with you:
One Wednesday afternoon, as me and Elder Chong are biking along, I notice that there's something shining on my tire. We pull over, and it's a thumbtack in my tire! Nice, silver, and stuck quite fast. We tried to take it out, but the protesting squeak as air started to rush out of the tire prompted us to just leave it where it was. With the tack still in the tire, we pedaled our way to an appointment about 30 minutes away. The tire held air till there, and for another 30 minutes afterwards before it started to leak again. The tack was what was holding the air in the tire; if we'd taken it out, we would've had a flat tire on our hands.
As I sat later, pondering on that experience, I got the distinct impression that God was trying to teach me something with it. Here's the answer that I feel I was supposed to receive: Although that occurence was a miracle (it really was! :) ), I was meant to learn that good will always be good, and bad will always be bad. One of my favorite scriptures in Moroni 7:13, and its principle was demonstrated with this experience. Although the thumbtack was nice, shiny, and acted as a really pretty bike tire ornament for a while, it was still a THUMBTACK. Its identity never changed. Although God blessed that bike with the miracle of keeping from going flat for a little while, the tack was still the cause of a flat tire. The tack was still something detrimental to the bike.
No matter how appealing sin may look, no matter what "upfront benefits" it promises, no matter how attractive or nice evil's appearance may be--it will always be just that, evil. Wicked. Bad. On the flip side, no matter how dull or dim or unattractive or boring or strange good may be, no matter how old it is, no matter who it's coming from--good will always be just that, good. Happiness. Righteousness. Clarity of conscience. Peace of mind.
I know that we have a Savior--even Jesus Christ, the Son of God--who is the Fountain of all righteousness, the Author of all good things. I know that He lives and that He loves us, and that He is our greatest Ally, our best Friend, our Elder Brother, our Captain, our King.
I love you all, and hope you have a magnificent week! Catch ya later from the wilds of JB! :)
Mai Zhanglao

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