Monday, May 29, 2017

Saying Good-bye is Hard to Do

These two people, Elder & Sister Patterson, were my lifesavers
the first few months of the mission.  I had a hard time adjusting, and was very homesick . 

 They were serving in Kuala Lumpur as Public Affairs Missionaries. 
They have certainly made a difference here in Malaysia and will be missed so much by many.

The Pattersons are so kind and wonderful and made us feel so loved and welcomed. 
We were able to spend several days with them in Melaka, Kuala Lumpur, and also in Singapore when we were there for Senior Conferences.  We will certainly miss them. 

The hardest part for me was not being able to see them to tell them good-bye and thank them personally for all they had done for me.  They were in Singapore for the Senior Conference last week, and when we were travelling into Singapore, we were denied access by the Singapore Immigration Officer.  He never gave us a reason,  just told us that we would have to go back to Malaysia.  They give missionaries a hard time occasionally, but have never denied access to a senior couple in the past two years since President Simmons has been the president.  I was devastated but there was nothing that we could do.  Life goes on!
We returned home, and I was bummed for a few days. 
We did watch the conference on Skype, but it definitely is not like being there. 

We love you Elder & Sister Patterson, Thank you for everything!!

Vianni Taha's Mission Call

We have been  so blessed to be able to help this  beautiful, young  lady from our Masai  Branch to prepare for a mission.  She has a strong desire to serve and has been working hard to make it happen.  She speaks English quite well, as well as her native language Bahasa Malay and also Iban, which is the language in Sarawak where her family is from.  She has graduated from college here and is fully prepared to serve.  
Vianni received her mission call and was anxiously awaiting opening it. 
The family invited many branch members to come over to be part of the excitement. 
What an exciting time!  Everyone was guessing where they thought she would go. 
Her parents thought she would go to Japan or Australia. 

It has been such a blessing to get to know her and to help her with this process. 
What a wonderful missionary she will be.

Lots of guesses, and I am not sure any of them were right.

She has been called to serve in the Singapore Mission
She was happy and we were thrilled.  This mission needs missionaries so bad. 
There will be 26 Malay speaking missionaries leaving in June,
so President Simmons was thrilled that she was coming to his mission. 
She is happy to be able to go back to Sarawak and teach.

Vianni came over to write her acceptance letter on our computer. 
We just love her so much!

Friday, May 26, 2017

First Mothers Day in Malaysia

One of the hardest parts of a mission for me is being away from my family for special occasions.  There are many of these that I will miss
and can never get back. 
I have to remind myself to look for the good things and happy times here
so that I don't get too sad. 
Mothers Day is always a time that our family gets together and the husbands do the cooking for us while we just sit around and visit with each other. 
I think from now on I will cherish those times just a little more.

We decided to treat ourselves to a pedicure.  This was the first time I have actually done that here and it was great! 
Things are so inexpensive, that you can treat yourself and not feel guilty.

I was so happy to receive a large envelope full of loving words from my family.  Each one had made a card for me and wrote their own note. 
I was so happy and of course, just a little teary.
My family means so much to me and I feel very blessed.

Sherry is a very special friend from our English Class.  She made this beautiful card for me and I can't even imagine the hours that it took her. 
She wanted to present it to me in English class. 
I wish you could see the detail.  It is truly amazing!!

In Primary we made Mothers Day cards. 
The kids were so cute and they loved giving them to their mother.

The Young Women in our Branch made handmade cards which were in a small bag with a flower for all of the mothers in the Branch. 
We delivered them the next couple of days to the mothers who were not at church.  Each card had a beautiful, handwritten message.

This truly was a wonderful Mothers Day and I hope I will always remember
"It is never all about me."

Thursday, May 25, 2017

We Love our Masai Branch

We continue to have fun and amazing experiences with the saints in the Masai Branch.  With Elder Lamb as the Branch President, we are able to meet with them more often and help to support and train them to be future leaders. 

Especially his mom!

This is a joint FHE that includes four families. 
It was Sister Sira's idea and all of them seemed to enjoy each other so much. 
We love it when we are able to get together with them in their homes.

 They didn't know I was taking this picture, so they weren't smiling
but I wanted to show the food.  It just kept appearing and there was
plenty for all of these people.  It always amazes me when that happens.

Cheesy  Grins

Some of the youth in the branch have Seminary/Institute every Saturday afternoon. 
Today they decided to come to the park after class for games, so we brought pizza. 
This is truly the future of the church here in Malaysia, and we are so happy that they are learning and growing in the gospel.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Life is Never Dull in Malaysia

The experiences that we have each day are varied and priceless.  We are meeting such beautiful people and strengthening them and ourselves in the process.  We have been helping the Taha family prepare to be sealed as a family in the Manila Temple in June.  This has been a beautiful experience and one that I will treasure forever. 
Their daughter Vianni, has her mission papers submitted and will received her call any day now.  Exciting times ahead!!

These are three sisters that we love in the JB Branch.  Dianne is from Utah and teaches here in the American School.  Venus has been working here for a year and will now return to her family in the Philippines.  She will be truly missed.  Susanna is a sweet sister who comes whenever she is able to get a ride. 
We love her .

In honor of me, for Mothers Day, we went to the mall and got pedicures.  That is something I have not treated myself to here, so this is a special treat for me.  Things here are so inexpensive it is unbelievable.

I received a special treat, "Mothers Day " greetings from my children and grandchildren.  What a special treat.  I love them all so much and miss them a lot.  Happy Mothers Day!!

We have a very special group of young people in the Masai Branch and as the Elders continue to visit and invite, we are seeing more of them come to church.  They are truly the future of the church here in Malaysia, so we will continue to love, encourage and strengthen the best that we can.

Brain (no I didn't misspell his name, that is how it is spelled here) was in a minor accident on his moto, so he is out of commission for a while. 
It was good to see his friends around him to support and encourage him.

Nothing better than the love of your mom and big sister.

Game Night in JB Branch

The Elders planned a Game Night on Monday night to help members build unity, socialize and have fun together.  They asked the branch president to announce it in church, which he did, but in joint RS/Priesthood he not only announced but encouraged members and said that the branch would provide pizza for the night.  There were a lot of members come and some students from our English class along with a family that the Elders are presently teaching.   There were children who came, which is great because they are not able to attend church. 

They played ping pong, ate pizza, played Jenga and board games.   
Everyone had a great time. 
The Elders work so hard doing whatever they can to help strengthen the church
here in Malaysia.