Monday, October 27, 2014

Melaka and So Much More!

To all y'all homeboys and homegirls out there in da hood,
Before I forget (like I have for the past couple of weeks): Our mission leaders would like us to announce that anyone interested in sending packages to missionaries of the Singapore Mission need to try and have the packages reach Singapore around 1 December, so that things can be organized in time for our Zone Conference in December and so that we can get the Christmas stuff :) That being said, you're not expected to send packages lah! But I've now gotten that announcement off my chest, so we can press forward :)
Life this past week has been great! We went to Melaka on exchanges, and it was AWESOME! Let's just say that it's quite a happenin' town. We were there for Deepavalli, the Indian New Year celebration, so we got to see a lot of great fireworks :) 
In other news: We've got baptisms this upcoming Saturday! Get excited! :)
Currently our zone is focusing on becoming CHRIST-CENTERED. As we been better about being BOLD in our invitations to others, as we've born Christ-centered testimony, and as we've done our best to really and truly follow up with the various people that we meet, I've sensed a change in our missionaries and in the work in the zone. As a whole things are starting to look up. I know that the same is true for whenever we strive to focus our lives on the Savior. This Gospel is true, and as we live its pure and simple doctrines, we WILL find peace in this life and eternal life in the world to come.
Love y'all lots and bunches!
Keep on keepin' on.
Elder Mitchell

p.s. The pics are from either Jonker Street in Melaka or from the taxi that we rode in from JB to the bus station. Apparently they don't like it when people kiss in their taxis. Too too much :)

Monday, October 20, 2014

Hastening the Work is THE BEST! :)

Greetings, loved ones! This past week was awesome! We had a BAPTISM! Sister Jess is so great, and the baptism all went well. A couple of days before the baptism we test-filled the font, and turns out that the patches over the paint ripped. There are stairs to our font, and they got filled up with water. So there's currently water inside, and there's been this imminent threat of having the whole thing bust open, but thankfully the Lord didn't let that happen.
We had three baptisms in our branch; it was quite a turn-out from the branch, too. Go team! :)
Anywho, when I got changed into the white clothes for the baptism I realized a couple of things: 1) I haven't worn those white pants since before the MTC; B) I haven't worn that shirt since Singapore, over a year ago; and III) I've gained weight on my mission. When I left the MTC I was roughly 125 to 130 lbs...I'm currently 148. You could call me a roly-poly, you could call me a chub, you could call me whatever, and it would probably be accurate. Trying to get into the baptismal clothes was a little bit of a tight squeeze. 
Anywho, the baptism all went really well. Sister Jess was confirmed yesterday at the beginning of church, and she's now beginning the greatest journey of her life :) This Gospel really is meant to refine and change us and help us to become MORE. Specifically, MORE like our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Lately I've been studying charity; I was reading through a book that Dad had sent with me that is written by James E. Talmage. During one part of the book, he essentially says that the two great commandments--"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind" and "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself"--are saying the same thing: "Thou shalt LOVE." When we do so, we'll be fulfilling any and every requirement and commandment, because we would never want to harm another person or lose the trust of our Lord. I'm still trying to work on charity, and it's an uphill climb, but it's so worth it :)
I love you all, and hope that you have a wonderful week! 
Keep on keeping on! :)
Mai Zhanglao

Monday, October 13, 2014

Conference and Upcoming Covenants

Well, folks, it's been so long since last we've chatted! [As we like to say here in Singapore/Malaysia: Long time already (lah)! :) ] Anywho, this past weekend we've had the opportunity to watch General Conference! What an amazing experience! It was SO GOOD, and there's so much to be learned from it :) I especially loved Elder Lynn Robbins's talk--it was awesome :) 
In preparation for General Conference, we'd met with a less active member who was angry with everyone in the Church. He'd ceased being active almost ten years ago--prior to that he was the biggest help that the elders had in doing missionary work. He's a Melchizedek Priesthood holder, and he's a really nice guy. His heart, though, is cankered with anger, hate, and hurt, all of which, he claims, stem from the rudeness and pride of the members. He complained that our Church isn't focused on Jesus Christ, and that the people didn't live the laws that He has set. As he went about making all of these accusations, he started condemning himself without realizing it.
As I sat in General Conference, listening to all of the many talks that testify about Jesus Christ, it was reaffirmed to me that we come to Church NOT for the other people. They sure are nice, and they certainly can help build our testimonies--but the greatest reason we should be going to Church or being active in the Gospel is for GOD. It's for JESUS CHRIST. It's all for Him. It's improving our relationship with Him, and helping others do the same. This Church is true--sometimes it's people aren't. This Church is the vehicle that brings us as close to Christ as we can get in this life, through sacred covenants and ordinances. 
With that in mind, WE HAVE A BAPTISM ON SATURDAY!!!!!!!!!! Her name is Sister Jess, and she's so awesome! She pretty much fell into our laps, and now she's about to make her first covenant with God. She's really cool, and I know that the Lord has prepared her and her heart for this. She's going to help the Church so much here in JB, and it's going to be awesome :) I'll be sure to send pics of the baptism next week.
Well, for now, I must needs be going. I love y'all, and I know that this Church is true. My testimony means so much to me, and I hope the same goes for you too. We don't get baptized or join the Church or come to Sacrament for people alone--we come for Christ. We come WITH Christ. And by so doing, we come unto Christ. He's the center of it all. He's the heart of our message, our Gospel, and our lives.
Till we meet again,
Elder Mitchell