Week 90

Hey family, 
Elder Loke is in Singapore and he and I will be going down to the US Embassy in Kuala Lumpur when we receive our documents. And I am planning on renewing my identification card! Wait! Apple is releasing new iPads soon! I guess I will wait for that and I might just get it in the states later. Don't worry about getting me any gadgets but I definitely need my Mac back. You broke your first Mac and now you are breaking my Mac. You should just use a cheaplak lap top instead of a Mac! Anyway, I will just use girl's one. I realize that I don't know how to use any technology anymore!! 

Elder Toilalo is with Elder Loke and the other day when Elder Loke called me, he said that Elder Toilalo said that mom is the best! You should probably tell mom that a lot of the missionaries love her! I need you to help me in several things. First, I need Elder Koay to email me about Kota Masai, Johor Bahru branch. He is a huge influence here in Johor Bahru. I want to use that influence to help get people back to church. If possible, he can email me about everything that he had tried in Masai, places that he had been before or maybe places that have a bunch of Ibans. I would really appreciate that because the branch attendance dropped tremendously after the weekend holidays were changed. 

I am so excited to be in Masai, Johor Bahru. Initially, I was suppose to be an English elder but there is some technical error and I got switched to be a Malay speaking elder in Masai Branch. I am way excited to work with Elder Takin who is a local from Mukah, Elder Jin (my companion American Born Korean), Elder Crum (very smart zone leader who is training Elder Takin now) and 2 other missionaries. I have to admit that we have a lot of experience, a lot of skills but it needs to be done in the Lord's way, not our way. I firmly believe that success comes from working in the Lord's way not human's way. I have been training and training and training my zone in Miri to think outside of the box. The fundamental were given to us and it is us that will follow the spirit and develop a smart plan.

I really have a bad experience the last transfer. I head to bed around 1am because I was packing and I have to wake up at 4am to get to the airport. While I was sleeping in the plane, a little kid behind was kicking my seat, crying, complaning or whatever and I was so so so exhausted and couldn't even sleep because of that noise. But anyway, I got into Johor Bahru around 2pm by a cab from Singapore to Johor Bahru that cost Elder Wadsworth SGD$60 which I made him pay for me because I couldn't afford to pay SGD and since he is serving in Singapore as a Zone Leader, he will be receiving support in SGD. 

The first day when I got here, Elder Jin and I literary have zero in everything but we built it up from the past few days of exploring around, contacting everyone we see, finding Ibans' hideout, baptising the whole Johor Bahru. I set my point of my view very clearly that I am not doing this myself, I am involving the members in everything we do. I told basically every missionaries I met that rarely will you ever see a Zone Leader set goals for other lesson taught which is lesson taught to investigators without member present. They will leave it zero and focus on lesson taught to investigators with member present. And while I was planning with Elder Jin about our upcoming goal. He said that he only want to teach lesson to investigators with members. That is how every missionaries should do it. Involve the members! Tonight we have an appointment with a less active families and a member will drive us. That's how it needs to be done. 

I really do want to share some of the things that I have learnt this past few days,

cynics do not contribute,
skeptics do not create,
doubters do not achieve.
                                   Bryant S. Hinkley (President Gordon B. Hinckley's dad)

If you want to baptize a few people you talk to a few people, if you want to baptize a lot of people, you talk to a lot of people and if you want to baptize everyone you can, you talk to everyone you can.
                                   Tad R. Callister

If you only change your behaviour, then you will be the same person you were when you left home, subject to the same problems that plagued you then. But if you change your nature, you will come home a new man or woman. 
                                    Tad R. Callister

I kept all this quotes in my planner because it serve as a reminder for myself not to be cynics, skeptics and doubters. It also reminds me that if I want to baptize a lot more people, I need to open my mouth and talk to a lot more people. And the most important one that I really love is that I don't want to be that some one that went on the mission and come back being the same. I want to be able to come home and everyone will see that I learnt a lot from my mission not that kid who had fun on his mission and learn nothing. At the end of my mission, I have come to learnt that it is how we want our mission to be and what we want to do. All these rules were given to us as a guideline but overall we are given agency to act or not. 

There is a conversation between a mission president and a missionary because the missionary is having problem with obedience. These are the conversation,
Missionary: What then is it you want me to do?
Mission President: You have missed the point. It is not what I want you to do. It should be what do you want to do.
Missionary: You are not just asking me to change my behaviour, you are asking me to change my nature

I really love this talk about becoming a consecrated missionary. You can read it here if you have time. It definitely has help me a lot. http://laytreasuresinheaven.com/becoming-a-consecrated-missionary/

I have 9 more weeks and I hope at least I will finish my mission here. I am so worried about bringing my camera around with me because this is the place where Elder Teh's camera got robbed. Elder Jin and I actually came out with an escape plan. Whatever happens, we just need to run. Hahaha. I can't send pictures here because the computer here isn't that good. It looks like it is raining again. It rains so much in West Malaysia and I haven't seen a real rain for a long time. Rain in East only last for a few minutes. We are starting the tradition again of having Big Mac Monday every Monday. We used to have it a lot in Sibu and it was a long long long time ago. It's so funny to finally see that my mission is finally coming to the end but I want to finish strong which is my only and last thing I want to do in my mission. 

The other day when Elder Jin and I were contacting in this flat. People here are really nice especially muslims. They pointed out christians houses for us and they know exactly everyone that stays in the apartment. An old lady told us to go to the top floor and knock on the house far end and we walked toward it and we saw Hinduism idol. For a moment I was thinking, that lady lied to us! But I still knocked on the door anyway. A really really nice Indian lady opened the door and she gave us some drinks while listening to us. By far, she is the best contact I have had in my entire mission. Nobody is so willing to listen as she was. I remember hearing her saying that, usually she would be busy to answer the phone but on that very day, she wasn't as busy as usual. At that point, I felt stupid for assuming. I always tell other missionaries to not assume in missionary work yet I repeat the same mistake. Also, a lot of people play badminton on the street and I get to rack them in badminton. That is fun.

Here in Johor Bahru, it is famous for hilly road and I am riding a crappy bike of some other missionaries. I kinda accepted my fate that I will be staying here for another 9 weeks and complaining wouldn't make any difference but to look at it from a positive point of view. I think I will lose a lot of weight here. I make a goal for myself to conquer every hill that I see. And I can't wait for my bike to get in and then conquering the hills would be a piece of cake. 

Hope all of you are doing well! 
See you guys soon! Have a good day! Love each one of you!

Elder Tan

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