Monday, September 29, 2014

YOEOO (You Only Eat Ostrich Once) :)

Well, this past week has been one full of work and wonder. Last Monday brought with it the announcement that that my companion was off to Bintulu to open up the Chinese work there and train a greenie all at the same time. My new companion=Elder Lee, from Singapore, who's super awesome! More about our adventures in a minute. Monday night brought with it the English elders' investigator taking the four of us to an amazingly fancy Japanese restaurant, where we had a meal whose price was approximately $200-250 USD. Yeah...just a wee bit expensive, but it was magnificent. We dined like kings. It was my first time trying ostrich too--I'm a fan of ostrich meat. Maybe I'll get an ostrich farm when I grow up.....actually, probably not. That's a little morbid a thought.
Moving on: Elder Lee was delayed getting here to good ole JB thanks to an insane amount of rain and the craziness of Singapore traffic. Woot woot. But make it he did, and from then till now we've been busy meeting with investigators and giving them baptismal dates and hastening the work here in the JB Chinese area. It's been so AWESOME to see these people that we love so much deciding to make that first covenant of baptism. It's been so AWESOME to see the way that the Lord has been preparing them throughout their lives for this moment. This work is so amazing, and, despite the various darts of the adversary (be they in the forms of depression or frustration or lack of work or hardness of work or whatever-have-you), it will press forward. It will move on. No one can stop it. "The work of God cannot be frustrated" (D&C 3--I'm paraphrasing ;) ). 
Holding fast to the work of God, as we continue to obey His commandments, we are promised an increase in our faith, an increase in our hope, an increase in our love. The Lord is faithful, and He will not leave us helpless. I know that that is true :)
I love you all so very much, and hope that you have an amazing week! 
Keep on keepin' on :)
Elder Mitchell/Mai ZhanglaoInline image 1
p.s. The pics are of the wonderfully grand time we had at Japanese bbq, as well as that one photo that epicly and honestly defines the relationship of Elder Mitchell and Elder Earl. Cheers :)

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Investigators are the BEST!

To start things off right: I got in a crash last night. Super fun. I wasn't paying attention to the road in front of me and smacked into an impressively large pothole. I flipped forward and ending up skidding a couple of feet. The bike was on top of me, my face was kissing the ground, and my arms were on fire. Despite the initial shock and pain, it's nothing more than a bad case of roadrash, though I hope y'all like the pics from it. It totally messed with my tag, and so now it looks like I've been doing missionary work in Jurassic Park. Cheers :)
On to the good stuff: We went to Zone Conference this past week, and I had the chance to do exchanges with the assistants. That meant that I not only got to see the people from West Malaysia and Singapore, but I also got to see the East Malaysian missionaries! I've missed them and Kuching and East Malaysia in general so much! I received glad tidings of great joy from them as well: One of my investigators back in Kuching had been progressing really well, but about halfway through my time there he disappeared and wouldn't answer calls or smses. He randomly called the Chinese missionaries there now, and started meeting with them again. He's getting baptized in a couple of weeks! It's so exciting! I almost started crying when I heard about him--I love that guy so much, and it hurt so much when he disappeared off the radar. But the Lord knows His children so much better than we do, and He herded him back to the right place. I love God so very much, and I know that this is His work.
One more quick story about investigators: We met with a potential investigator this past week who's come to Church multiple times but we haven't made an investigator yet because it's been extremely difficult getting an appointment with her. Anywho, we finally got to meet with her, and she'd been talking to members beforehand. At one of our church functions about three or four weeks ago, the member had said that we don't drink tea or coffee. Our investigator decided to try it--she said that she had to have a cup of coffee every morning or around 10:30 her head would start hurting a lot. She prayed and told God that if the Word of Wisdom is true she needed to keep it.
She hasn't drunk a cup of coffee since.
This IS the Lord's work, and He is able to hasten it. This IS His glory, to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of each and every one of us. I love Him and I know that this is His work.
Elder Mitchell

Monday, September 15, 2014

Good Morning, West Malaysia!

Hello Friends, Family, and Poisonous Reptiles:
This past week has been a good one. We've had the chance to be in our area for most of this past week...but we also had sick elders for most of that time as well, so that put a little bit of a cramp in our style. Whatevs. In other news, we got to go to a big Chinese wedding this past Saturday and eat to our hearts' desires! It was fun, and I've discovered a new tradition that I'm hoping to bring back to America (I've already got a couple up my sleeves that I won't tell you about yet, since that would spoil the surprise :) )--Anywho, there comes a time during the normal Chinese wedding when the bride, groom, and their immediate family go to each table and everyone raises their glasses for a toast. They then shout a word in Cantonese as loud and long as they possibly can--a sanctioned shouting match. Super great stuff :) Following that they say another word, and then drain their glasses. It's pretty much the greatest. It will be inaugurated at my wedding and will then proceed to every other Mitchell wedding to follow thereafter. So there :)
I've had a chance to read some more from the war chapters this past week. They really are full of so many great and wonderful spiritual insights! They help me to understand that even when we're in the midst of turmoil and trial (like the Nephites in the middle of a cataclysmic war), we can still rely on the peace the Gospel brings. Jesus Christ truly is the Prince of Peace, and He stands with open arms to welcome us, to embrace us, to enable us to return to the presence of our Heavenly Father. It's so wonderful! He's so wonderful! The Gospel we preach is true! :)
I hope that you have a marvelous day and week.
Love ya lots,
Mai Zhanglao :)

Monday, September 1, 2014

Liang Zhi Laohu Pao de Kuai

Hiya Folks!
This past week has included adventures to the beautiful city of Melaka as we went on exchanges with the elders there. It was super kool! I sure do like Melaka, and hope that I'll get to visit it a few more times whilst I'm posted here in JB. In addition to that, we had the mission president come and do interviews with us this past week--it's always such an uplifting and good experience when I have a reporting session with him. I sure do love our mission president, and I have a firm testimony of righteous priesthood men called of God to be our leaders. He sure is one.
This week is going to have a lot of adventures in store as well--we get to go on exchanges with the assistants, as well as with some Bahasa elders in JB, and then there's MLC on top of all that. Suffice it to say, the Chinese elders aren't going to be in their own area for a long amount of time this week, but hopefully this is the only such stacked week that we'll have for a long time. 
In other news, I had the chance to study from Alma 47 this past week. It was so COOL! Essentially, it tells the story of Amalickiah taking over the Lamanite kingdom. There are three 'tragedies' located within the chapter: The tragedy of Lehonti; the tragedy of the king's servants; and the tragedy of the queen. Lehonti and his army of rebels are "fixed in their minds with a determined resolution" to never falter from their principles...and then Amalickiah convinces them to 'come down'. And then they compound the problem by following Amalickiah's counsel, ultimately resulting in Lehonti's assassination and the assimilation of his army into Amalickiah's forces.
Amalickiah brings his triumphant army back to the capitol, and his servants go out to greet the Lamanite king and bring these 'glad tidings'--in other words, stabbing the king to death. Instead of standing to fight for him, the king's servants flee and are pursued by the Lamanite armies. 
The queen hears about all of these goings-on and INVITES Amalickiah into her quarters. He flat-out lies to her and manages to convince her to become the wife of a scumball--and there ya have it, Amalickiah's officially the king of the jungle.
As I mentioned earlier, there are three tragedies in this story, but one of them has a happy ending. The servants of the murdered king manage to make it to the land of the Nephites and live with the peaceful Ammonites--eventually these servants will help the Nephite armies in their eventual war with the Lamanites.
In all three tragedies, people made mistakes--they faltered from things that they knew to be right. Lehonti left the saftefy of the high ground. The servants fled from their duty. The queen invited the bad guy into her living quarters. What can be learned from all of these things?
1. We have to STAND for what we know to be right! We can't come down from our strongholds! We can't go around fleeing from what we know is right--to stand and defend those that we love and care about. We can't go inviting wickedness into our living quarters/lives.
2. We all make mistakes. None of us are perfect. We're all going to mess up every now and then. But instead of being like Lehonti and the queen--who continued to associate with Amalickiah/Satan after they'd been defeated once--we should look to the example of the servants, who fled to the safety of the righteous. We'll all make mistakes, but there is always going to be healing out there, in the outstretched arms of our Captain and King, Jesus Christ.
In essence, we have to build ourselves on that Everlasting Rock, even our Savior and Redeemer (see Helaman 5:12). We have to stand for our standards, we have to defend what we know to be right, we have to be willing to reject wickedness--but if and when we do make mistakes, we have to ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS remember that it's never too late! Although we may have come down from our mountain for a moment, we can't forget that the ultimate victory, in the end of days, isn't going to be with Satan. It will be with our Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ, Both of whom are willing to forgive our sins and empower us to rise above the natural man. Stand for what is right, and when we falter, we must stand back up, relying upon the arms of Him who is mighty to save.
I love you all, and hope you have a fantastic week!
Mai Zhanglao