Monday, 23 February 2015

23/02/15 - Happy Chinese New Year!‏

Good afternoon,

Last week has been pretty crazy. Last Wednesday was when it all happened. There was a special mission leadership conference in London for all the leaders, including district leaders. So Elder Yeap and I did an exchange with the Northampton Elders. On the way there the car started to act funny and the engine kept losing power. This same situation happened a few weeks ago, but I thought it stopped. I told Elder Lauriola to take it easy on the car, because there is something is wrong. He drove to London with Elder Yeap and it was fine, however when they came back to Northampton they said they almost died! The engine died many times and it felt like it was going to die on the motorway. As soon as we met them they said a prayer of gratitude. The car has been fine since then and we're going to take it in to get checked tomorrow.

On the same day I started to get a painful lump on my gums and according to the dentist I have advanced aggressive gum disease! I've been taking medication and painkillers. The lump has gone down a bit and hopefully it should go away in a few more days. 

For Chinese New Year, I was on an exchange with Elder Zhao. He hasn't celebrated Chinese New Year in 5 years so we decided to go to the Fu's restaurant for some Chinese food! Their food is amazing and they won't let the missionaries pay! Me and Elder Yeap got Chinese New Year cards from Soi-ling one of our recent converts.

The missionary work has been going well. It has been a bit slow due to holiday and sickness. We found a new investigator who has an ex-Mormon girlfriend and he does Shotokan Karate (Elder Chew has a black belt in Shotokan Karate) ! He let us in straight away, because his girlfriend said that if you meet the missionaries you have to let them in because they're out in the cold all the time. He's got a lot of potential to be a member and I'm hoping the girlfriend when we meet her won't turn us away. 

Have a happy Chinese New Year!

Love,

Elder Chew
 

Elder Zhao and Elder Chew  (technically they have the same last name) Zhao is in Mandrine and Chew is in Cantonese !

Fu restaurant - I want to go there after his mission
 

Monday, 16 February 2015

16/02/15 - New companion!

Happy Chinese New Year!

The Malaysian team is here in Bletchley! Elder Yeap (it's pronounced yep not yeep as some people have been calling him) has been out for quite a while and I could be "killing him". He goes home to Brunei on the east part of Malaysia in about 8 weeks! He's trying his best not to be "trunky", but he makes me want to go back to Malaysia because of all the good food I get reminded of. He used to be a sushi chef, so you probably have a good idea what I'll ask him to do for service. He was able to speak to one of the Chinese members in Mandarin, so we could be having a DA... Unfortunately we haven't found many Malaysian people around. 

Elder Yeap is the new district leader and it's his first leadership calling. He was a bit nervous at first, because there's an ex-zone leader and ex-district leaders in our district. However, he's now settled in and the last district meeting we had went well! Elder Judy was nice enough to leave some papers about how to be district leader behind which he found useful. 

N didn't show up to church yesterday, because she was in Luton with her ill grandma. She will be calling us today and when we next see her we will put her on baptismal date for early March. Antonio left for Italy last week and will be back on the 7th of March. One of the investigator who has many challenges are doing good with the goals. He's cutting down on smoking to 12 a day and he should be able to come to church for the first time this Sunday. B. came to church yesterday and the talks were about prayer. She still doesn't believe in praying in the name of Jesus Christ. She said she tried it for about a week and then went back to her old ways as she didn't receive any answer. We have been doing quite a bit of service for her and she hasn't been reading or praying like we asked her to. I think reading and going through this Ensign article - https://www.lds.org/ensign/2014/12/the-reality-of-christmas?lang=eng  should help. She already read it, but I don't think she understands. 

Anyway, I hope you're all doing well. Keep pressing forward with steadfastness and always pray! I know that Heavenly Father loves us and wants to help us on our journey back to him.


Love,

Elder Chew
New team in Bletchley

Elder Yeap (I like the Malaysian flag)

John's Angry Bird


Thursday, 12 February 2015

10/02/15 - Move Calls‏

Good morning everyone!

Move calls were yesterday and it was funny what happened that evening. We were at the Robertson's house in Buckingham and we never get signal in their house. So I put a divert on the mobile to their house phone which worked! Elder Judy was cutting Andrew's hair and then the phone rang so I picked it up and it was President Jordan. He wanted to speak to Elder Judy first and as I was handing the phone to him, Nathaniel one of the Robertson kids shouted "Don't take him away!" Elder Judy answered and the first thing President Jordan asked was about his obedience! 

Elder Judy will be moving to Colchester to be a zone leader with Elder Bright. Elder Judy couldn't believe he gets to go back to Essex, because that's where he first started. He will get to do exchanges with one of his favourite places - Clacton-On-Sea. As for me I will be staying here in Bletchley 2 and will be getting Elder Yeap, who will be the new district leader. If you can remember I sent a picture of me and Elder Yeap in my email about my first zone conference. I can't believe I get to be with a Malaysian Elder! It will be the Malaysian team in Bletchley and people won't think that it's an American church anymore.

A few highlights of the week:

We had some snow last week and me and Elder Judy built Laconeus Moroni Tracey the snowman to guard the chapel. He lasted for a few hours until somebody killed him and stole the tie. 

We did some service for Sister Fields-Davis and helped her to gut a couple pheasants which was pretty interesting and she fed us some lasagna for lunch! 

The Milton Keynes Elders locked themselves out of their flat and we picked them up for a sleepover in our flat. It was a parttayyyy!

Natasha finally came to church! We asked the Terry's to pick her up and she agreed to it, because she's good friend's with them. She was very nervous about coming to church, but she calmed down and really enjoyed fast and testimony meeting. We managed to help her overcome this big hurdle and she wants to come to church again! 

Another transfer has gone by quickly and I'm grateful that I have been able to learn from Elder Judy. Here is a paragraph from President Jordan:
It is always a sad experience for me to listen to a missionary express regret that he has not used his time in the mission field wisely. President Brigham Young said, “We are all indebted to God for the ability to use time to advantage, and he will require of us a strict account of its disposition.” The Lord has said, “For he who is faithful and wise in time is accounted worthy to inherit the mansions prepared for him of my Father.” (D&C 72:4). God is a loving father who is generous with second chances, but he cannot give us back wasted time.


Love,

Elder Chew
Last district meeting together
It snowed!
Our snoman!


Gutting the Phesants
Elder Judy & the Robertsons


Monday, 2 February 2015

02/02/15 - Northampton Stake Conference

Good morning,
We just had stake conference last week. We went to both sessions and they were very good! They talked a lot about ward councils and serving the Lord. One of the youth gave a really good statement - "today's test is tomorrow's testimony". I like this because it reminds me of how a testimony starts/grows. It doesn't normally happen immediately, but through testing the gospel and through life's experiences that our testimony is strengthened. President Jordan also spoke about trusting the Lord. We have trials that our designed for each of us. He spoke about Alma the elder being in bondage with his people in Helam (Mosiah 23) and how the Lord didn't deliver them immediately from bondage, but eased their burdens first. He said that we don't control God's watch. We have to be faithful and patient putting our trust in the Lord. An elder talked to him on the phone and told him that he's not getting anywhere in his area and that nobody will listen to him. The elder asked for advice and President Jordan told him the first thing to do is to look at yourself in the mirror. Are you doing everything your suppose to be doing? Are you being exactly obedient? Sometimes we have to exam our life and align it with the Lord's will. Even then we shouldn't expect immediate results, but eventually we will see the Lord's hand in the work.

Here's an extract I like about goals from President and Sister Jordan: 

Preach My Gospel teaches us:

“Carefully considered goals will give you clear direction and will help you fill your days with activities that help people strengthen their faith in the Savior and progress toward baptism, confirmation, and full activity in the Church. Challenging goals will help you work effectively and lead you to stretch and grow.”

Goals keep us focused on our purpose, on the things that help people progress toward conversion. The key indicators all have something in common--behind each number is a son or daughter of Heavenly Father. “Goals reflect the desires of our hearts and our vision of what we can accomplish.” The way we view our goals reveals our true motives, our real intent. In a recent address to young adults worldwide, Brother Randall L. Ridd of the Young Men General Presidency shared this insightful story about the importance of real intent:

I learned the importance of real intent when I was a young seminary student. Our teacher challenged us to read the Book of Mormon. To keep track of our progress, he created a chart with our names down one side and the books listed across the top. Each time we read a book, a star was placed by our name. At first I didn’t put much effort into reading, and it wasn’t long before I found myself getting further and further behind. Spurred by a sense of embarrassment and my innate competitive spirit, I started reading. Every time I got a star, I felt good. And the more stars I got, the more motivated I was to read—between classes, after school, in every spare minute. This would be a great story if I could tell you I finished first in the class—but I didn’t. (I wasn’t last either, by the way.) But do you know what I did get by reading the Book of Mormon? I know you are thinking “a testimony,” aren’t you? But I didn’t. I got stars. I got stars because that was why I was reading. That was my real intent.

Years later when Brother Ridd was trying to decide whether to serve a mission he read the Book of Mormon with the real intent to know if it were true. His prayers were answered and he served a wonderful mission.

What is your intent, elders and sisters? Do your goals “help you stretch, work effectively, and reach higher levels of performance” or are they “used to receive recognition”? Do you measure your success “in achieving goals alone” or “in the service you render and the progress of others”? (PMG p. 146).

Moroni reminded us:

6  For behold, God hath said a man being evil cannot do that which is good; for if he offereth a gift, or prayeth unto God, except he shall do it with real intent it profiteth him nothing.

7  For behold, it is not counted unto him for righteousness. (Moroni 7:6-7).

To make an offering acceptable to the Lord, it must be done with real intent, with the right motives. Praying throughout the day and acknowledging the Lord’s hand in your work will help you purify your motives. As you and your companion kneel in prayer before you leave the flat at 10:00 in the morning, think of your brothers and sisters around the Mission who are kneeling with you. Pray for another companionship. As you unite together in humble prayer, with real intent, committed to your goals, your work and the work of every other mission will be blessed in a miraculous way.
Transfers will be next week and Elder Judy will have about a 99% chance of leaving, because he would be finishing 6 months in the Bletchley area. I'm grateful for being with him and for the example he has set. I hope I can continue the work when I take over my first area. The mission is helping me change my life so that I have more real intent and more commitment to goals. I know that in life with obedience and with trusting in the Lord, who is all knowing and all powerful we will be on the right path. Always remember that anything that is good comes from God and we should act on those feelings and thoughts we receive from the spirit.
Love,
Elder Chew
Elder Judy Camouflage cake

Missionary Snowman