Muslims, same-sex families and other ramblings from an LDS convert

Another day, another statement from the LDS church that offends people.

There are already so many reactions being written from both sides of the most recent change in policy regarding same-sex couples and their families that this is really just a drop in the bucket. But I am hoping to respond, not react or overreact, from a little bit different perspective that helps me (and maybe you) understand the bigger picture.

I am so grateful I was able to serve my mission in Malaysia because it helps me recognize the purpose in this policy change. In Malaysia, it is illegal to proselyte to Muslims (80% of the population) and missionaries will go right to jail if they try. They take it seriously – any teaching materials from the church has a big stamp on it that says “for non-Muslim use only”. Muslims know the rules, Christians know the rules and that’s that.

It broke my heart as a missionary. Some of the kindest people I have ever met were Muslims in Malaysia. When I was hit by a car and nobody in the busy intersection moved, it was a husband and wife who were Muslim that came running and picked me and my mangled bike up out of the road. They are kind people and I love them dearly.

Some wanted to learn about our church and WE HAD TO TELL THEM NO.

It made no sense to me. They did not have control over being born in a Muslim family, why couldn’t they be baptized if they wanted to? Why were they not included in the “others” we were supposed to invite to come unto Christ? Because the church respects the laws of the country of Malaysia and the customs of the Muslim culture. When someone leaves the Muslim faith, their life is in danger and their family relationships are in serious jeopardy.

As members of the church we know that all will have the opportunity to come unto Christ, in this life or the next, because Heavenly Father loves all of his children. So, does this new policy mean that the LDS church hates members of same-sex families? No. He wants us to be happy in our families. I honestly believe it is as simple as that. I think many are missing the mark and making this out to be something that it is not.

The decision to have children in same-sex families wait until they are 18 years old to be baptized made me cringe when I first read it. It seemed harsh and exclusive. But, that’s exactly how the writer wanted me to perceive it. The reality is that trying to be active in a church that disagrees with how your family lives would be so difficult and confusing as a child. It would make it hard to be happy at home with so many mixed messages being sent.

I was 20 years old when I made the decision to be baptized and coming from a half southern baptist family, there was plenty of tension to go around. Luckily for me, my family and extended family have been supportive of my decisions to serve a mission and get married in the temple. If they hadn’t been, it would have been so much more difficult for me to continue to be a faithful member of the church. This is definitely not the case for every convert to the church and I know Heavenly Father is aware of just how hard it can be to make that decision when the people you love are against it.

I’m rambling. Here’s what I know. I know that we have a Father in heaven who loves us and wants us to be happy in our families He has given us. I know that I am happiest when I am living the gospel of Jesus Christ and following His commandments. I know that it was extremely hard for me to come to that knowledge and had I not been old enough to experience the trials I did and come to that decision on my own, my faith would not have been strong enough to get me to where I am now or where I want to go. As Nephi said “I know that he loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things.”

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sight & being a sunflower

Last week a sweet old lady came out of her appointment with one of our surgeons..sidenote I work in an ophthamologist office at TOSH..ride the elevator down to PT on my lunch and ice my leg..great time.

Anyway she came up to my desk and said “Oh sweetie, it is just SO wonderful to see.”
I laughed and told her she was absolutely right.

Maybe it’s working with eye surgeons all day or that cute lady’s expression of gratitude, but I’ve been much more aware of what I see, how I see it and where I look.

Exhibit A: Sunflowers. Bunga matahari.

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They are everywhere this time of year and it’s the best. They have always been my favorite flower. I feel like they don’t try too hard to be pretty like other flowers but everyone still loves them.
That’s irrelevant. What I’m getting at is they look to the light. I want to be like that. We all should. Look toward light, whatever that is for you.

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Elder Kolby Ashton sent me this picture from Russia. Sunflowers grow there too. Who knew. Pretty.

I have made a conscious effort to change my thoughts or my perspective when I feel myself getting discouraged or stressed out or judgmental or impatient or confused or prideful or anxious or exhausted or just plain cranky. Instead of letting those things kacau my day, I don’t. Huh. Easy.

Another thing about sunflowers, at least the ones I see here, is they just bloom where they’re planted. All flowers do I guess. But these ones spring up all over.

If I were a sunflower, I wouldn’t pick to live on the off ramp of I-215 on 3300 south, but there’s one flower I see all by itself every time I go home and it’s growing big and tall and pretty right there.
I love it and often feel the same way. You’re not where you want to be necessarily and there’s lots of craziness going on around you that’s out of your control..but you’re a sunflower, and you are capable of growing right here on 3300 south and Wasatch Boulevard and look good doing it.

Be thankful for the chance you have to grow, even when it’s hard and you feel like you’re the only one trying to bloom. You’re not alone. All the other flowers are trying too, they’re just in different places. And no matter where you are, you can always see the light.

Because you’re a sunflower. At least I am.

Realize how wonderful it is to see. To always be able to look toward the light when you need to warm up and get your photosynthesis on.

A little gratitude goes a long way. It’s really hard to be unhappy when you realize just how many blessings you have. So I’m counting them (literally) and seeing the goodness and beauty in myself and others and this big wide world we live in. Life is good, even when it’s hard. Especially then.
Put the shadows behind you and look to the light, macam bunga matahari.

Look and ye shall live right? How can we expect to be a light to others without the light and life of the world shining through us.

Flowers need light to grow and live.

We need scripture study and prayer. Every day.

Goodness will shine out of you if you do these things, it’s inevitable.

You’ll be the prettiest sunflower around.

I am going to love people for the light that is in them and see them only for those things that make them bright.

It is so wonderful to see, if we choose to see what is wonderful.

B

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Good

In the last month or so I’ve been home, a lot of people have asked me “how was your mission? ” a simple question that I simply cannot answer. In my head it’s like..
Well. I rode a bike, in a skirt, through the jungle, in the rain, in Malaysia every day.
Ate more rice than anyone EVER should.
met and taught people from all over Asia and all over the world.
Never witnessed more miracles, experienced more heartbreak.
Never felt more inadequate and alone, never felt more loved by my Heavenly Father,  never cared so much for people I barely knew while seeing such growth in myself
Never been SO TIRED
And did it all in a crazy language I didn’t even know existed a year ago. Nama Berita nuan. What?

But instead of saying all of that,  I just respond with “my mission was SO goooood!

And it was. The Singapore Mission also includes West and East Malaysia and each of those three places could not be more different. Every time I was transferred I felt I was on a new planet, not just a different country. I have never been so overwhelmed with the number of people surrounding me than when I first landed in Singapore. There are over five million people on that tiny little island.

There’s a quote by Abraham Lincoln that says “God must love the common man, for he made so many of them.” By that same token, Heavenly Father must really love his Asian children because there are a ton of them.

With over 35 million people in Singapore and Malaysia I saw a wide variety of struggles people face. We taught members in multi million dollar high rise apartments as well as families that live in kampung houses on stilts over the river with no electricity.
But no matter what their problems were, the solution we provided them was the same. We all need the Savior. However different our problems may be, that is what we specifically need to come closer to Him.

I learned for myself that all our experiences are for our good and often times exactly what we need to face in order to increase our faith.

Ether 12:27 (that’s my birthday so I love it extra) says come unto me and I will show you your weakness..and I think every missionary can feel me on that one.  I’ve never been more aware more quickly of how inadequate I was than when I first started my mission.

Two years and one day before entering the Missionary Training Center, I was baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. So I had NO idea what I was doing walking in there. But I did it anyway. Walk by faith or something right?

Day one I learned I knew nothing. What is scripture mastery,  no I don’t have a favorite primary song, is it the Nephites or the Lamanites that are the good ones, we’re supposed to give them The Book of What? Sudah makan?

I was in last place before I even started.
I remember in my first week at the MTC I threw my pen down in frustration with language study and said “this is SO hard. How do you say struggle in bahasa?”
My teacher responded with
“berjuang”
….
Bourgeois?
Perfect.
Right from the get go my name literally translated to Sister Struggle. I never win.

But it was good for me. It put the pressure on me to keep up with everybody else and at least act like I knew what I was doing. But I learned I didn’t need to keep up with anybody, I just needed to try my best and have faith that Christ would make up the rest for me. And He did.

I learned more about faith in the last eight months than I ever thought I could. We say our purpose as missionaries is to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through FAITH in Jesus Christ and His atonement…

Helping people exercise their faith in the Savior and giving them opportunites to keep the Lords commandments and receive the blessings that come from it was amazing to watch. Faith transforms lives. It brings families closer, gives people a clean slate from sin and transgression. It is so good.

But even more than teaching, the experiences that taught me the most about the Savior’s love and His perfect plan for us..that all our afflictions WILL be for our good, He knows how to succor his people, He keeps his promises..was when I didn’t see the blessings that I spent all day promising to others.
I learned to take to heart 2 Nephi 26:24
He doeth not anything save it be for the benefit of the world; for he loveth the world, even that he layeth down his own life that he may draw all men unto him. Wherefore, he commandeth none that they shall not partake of his salvation.

I learned to internalize that. He doeth not anything save it be for the benefit of Sister Bourgeois, for the Iban families I was teaching, for my family at home. Even if we can’t see it, he’s doing things for our good.

My faith was tested when I was serving in Kuching, East Malaysia with Sister LeBaron. We were in the biggest biking area for sisters in the mission, and we tore it up. We worked hard. We worked diligently and obediently and we saw so many miracles. We found people who the Lord had prepared,  we taught them, and they were baptized. We would ask each other and ourselves almost every day “why are our lives so good? Why does God love us so much?” It was amazing.
And then it wasn’t. Then I was positive God hated me because everything went wrong.
My knee just suddenly could not.  As they say in bahasa tak dapat tahan. Cannot lah.  We couldn’t figure it out. Stopped taking hills, put a brace on it, nothing helped. No reason why it should be happening,  I’ve danced my whole life and never had a problem, it was more annoying than anything it was making us miss appointments.

Then Sister Lebaron got lice. Which was hilarious and disgusting but we found out while quarantined for a few days that I was feeling much better when we were not biking.
In those days we were stuck inside, two amazing families that were going to get baptized called us and said they didn’t want to learn anymore.
We were finally able to leave the house and try to not let these families slip through the cracks when I got the craziest bug bite of all time that made my leg swell to the point I couldn’t walk for days.

Everything was a mess. I received a call from my mission president saying that I was going to be transferred to Singapore to see a doctor and I was done in East Malaysia. Rip my heart out why dontcha.

I got off the phone and began my last bike ride home and started yelling at God in my head. Yes I know I complain about helmet hair and being sweaty and riding a bike in a skirt is nonsense,  but I love it here. My legs are fine I’ll get over it, we all get resurrected bodies anyway right? Just let me stay in Malaysia please.

As I was doing that in my head I was hit by a car. Whoops. Which made me knee pain a whole lot worse and added some hip pain to go with it. They ran a red light, I’m pretty sure I should be dead, but luckily Tuhan jagas his missionaries am I right?

I left my mangled bike in Kuching and headed to Singapore officially depressed.

I didn’t know how to be a missionary when I couldn’t walk up and down the stairs. I wanted to be out working more than anything but my body wasn’t allowing it. I felt like the brother of Jared trying to get across the water without light or air. How? Macam mana?
After studying his story, I realized it wasn’t air or light that they needed to get to the promised land, it was faith. They worked with what they had and the Savior helped them out with the rest.
I ended up not being allowed to go out and walk around the last six weeks of my mission and had the opportunity to serve with the senior couple in the mission office at a time they desperately needed it. Right after I was told I was going home, they had found a replacement in the office.

Everything might be falling apart from our point of view, but thank goodness there’s a bigger plan going on and we’re not in charge of it.

The Lord doesn’t need our scripture mastery or good knees on a bike in Malaysia to spread the gospel. He can do his own work I am certain of that.

I remember thinking a lot about the kids I used to nanny. They would always want to help me make dinner, but they were little and not much help. I could have made dinner much faster and much less of a mess had they not participated.  But we got to dance around the kitchen and talk about their friends at school and hang out together. Sometimes they would burn themselves or mess up the recipe but I was always there to help them. And it was just more fun to do it together.

I think Heavenly Father must feel the same way about us as missionaries and all of us down here on earth in general. He loves us enough to give us opportunities to learn and grow and show our faith and mess up and hurt ourselves. He knows we aren’t perfect and that we’ll make a mess down here, but that is his plan for us. When we fall short we have the atonement of the Savior.

The atonement is so good. I have learned so much about it and still don’t even comprehend it.

I learned and internalized the cleansing power it can bring when I took lessons from the missionaries for myself a few years ago. I was able to put a lot of guilt and heartache behind me and truly be freed through repentance and continue to repent every day. It has changed me.
But I think it took me being on my own mission for me to start to grasp that there is more to the atonement of Jesus Christ, it can enable us to be more. I found a scripture while I was in Singapore, fasting and praying that my knees would be healed, that I could go be a real missionary again. 

2 Corinthians 12:9-10
My grace is sufficient for thee; for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities,  in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak then I am strong.

Jesus didn’t fix my knee. I know he could if he thought that would be what’s best for me, but my faith in the Savior -not my leg- is what kneeded to be strenghtened. HA
But seriously. I have come closer than ever to my Savior through the burden of this injury.  My knees are not better yet and won’t be for a while. But my burden has been made light, His yoke is easy when we come unto Him.

But it is still a yoke. You still have to dig your heels in and press forward in faith,  forever. It’s always going to be hard no matter what kind of challenges you face.

Back to Sister Berjuang for a second.

An Elder I served with recently emailed me saying that he had learned that berjuang didn’t mean struggle in the sense that we thought. We always pictured Bambi trying to stand up on his own, or sister missionaries trying to gracefully get on their bike in a skirt.

But it means struggle like a hero in a war, a struggle for victory.

It’s an empowering struggle that is part of all of our lives. Anything worth accomplishing requires humongous,  tiring struggle. Take pride in it, that you fight for what is right. Don’t collapse when it’s hard. Christ is strong, take his arm. Berjuang terus even when you can’t see how you could possibly benefit from the struggle you face.

Remember the promise in 2 Nephi 26:24. He only does things for our benefit. He loves the world. That means all of us. It doesn’t matter how pretty you are, where you go to school, what church you belong to, how old you are, what mistakes you have made, he wants you. He loves you.

You are enough.

Everything you have is plenty and you lack nothing required to receive eternal exaltation.
The Lord sees your potential even if you don’t. Your soul has already been redeemed.
Christ has already paid the price, there’s milk and honey in the kitchen and it’s free.
He loves us.
He only does things for our benefit.
He gives good gifts, even if we don’t see them that way.

I know that is true. I know that God lives. I know he has a plan to make us happy. I know he sent his son, Jesus Christ, to save us and through faith in Him and His atonement we CAN, kita boleh, dapat kembali kepada Dia lagi.
I know God keeps his promises.  I know through Joseph Smith, Christ’s true church was restored and we have it today on this earth. I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God because I have read it. I have asked God for myself and felt the Holy Ghost testify to me of its truthfulness and truth is truth.
I know that Heavenly Father is an unchanging God of miracles and if we have faith in Christ we can partake of his goodness and be lifted higher than we could ever go on our own. Good knees or not, we cannot do it alone.

I am so thankful for the restored gospel and the joy it has brought into my life. My life has been transformed through faith in Jesus Christ over
the past few years. I am beyond grateful for the opportunity I have had to share that happiness the gospel has brought me with the amazing people of Singapore and Malaysia. Although it wasn’t eighteen months, and I don’t know if I will be able to return, I know that my mission was good.

 Dalam nama Yesus Kristus,  AMIN.

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Nephites

Hello friends.

So, as most of you know I am back in the U S of A and have been for about a week now. It’s still a little surreal. Maybe because I was only in Utah for 24 hours before getting on another plane to California. Whats another 2 hour flight when you’ve already gone 24 am I right?

The final decision to come home and fix my knees here in the states rolled out in only a few days. President happened to be in the office and I started chatting with him about how he was doing, where he was headed next, when he asked me to come in and talk to him. He asked me how I was really feeling and we all know how well I handle that question..flooded his office with tears whoops.
Bless his heart for putting up with me. I told him how stressed out I was that I wasn’t improving, being stuck inside was making my companions lazy, I had to be pushed in a wheelchair up a trail so I could participate in a zone meeting (just wait for those pictures) and I just felt like a complete burden to everyone.
Then he asked me “well, how would you feel if we sent you home to get better?” Of course I said “cannot!”
Then started a giant freakout of being a failure missionary and he had to talk me off the ledge with that one too. President is going to have so many blessings in heaven haha. 
And then he told me as I was hysterically crying “you know sister bourgeois, sometimes you just cant win against the Nephites.” Knee fights. Are you kidding me. I quickly went from histerically crying to hysterically laughing and high fiving president. The guys got jokes. And poor sister rama was outside the office wondering what in the world was going on.

So that was that. President told me a lot of things that day and what stuck out to me most was this. He said yes, we do need to have more faith.  We always need to exercise our faith. But sometimes we also need to use the brains that God gave us and do what’s logical. Go home and get better so you can chase your ten kids around one day.

Hold it right there, Pres. Four anaks. Tops.

So I’m doing what’s logical. I can now get better without being completely stressed out about a companion or the office and just focus on getting better.
Which totally sucks, I already miss Singapore so much and would kill to be back there and healthy right now. In answer to everyone and their dogs question, I don’t know if I will be able to go back. According to the surgeon I saw last week, I have 6 to 8 months of physical therapy to look forward to. I have an MRI on Tuesday that should tell us more. Yikes.

Sister LeBaron would always tell me “when you’re down to nothing, God’s up to something.” Which I hated her for because it’s so cheesy, but maybe it’s true. I do this for a wise purpose right.

So now what. If you have any ideas let me know HA. I didn’t think I had to worry about school, work, real life for another ten months. Surprise!

In other news, being in California is just what the doctor ordered. Lying on the beach trying to get rid of my gross missionary farmer tan and lying on a sailboat when we get tired of the beach is definitely easy on the knees. And I got to hold the tiniest most perfect baby boy so life is good.
It is a little weird being around everyone and they expect the exact same person they left at the MTC. Thats a post for another time though. I am finally starting to sleep at night rather than 6 am to 3 pm, nobody knows what I’m saying when I answer with can or cannot or something in bahasa, and cafe rio is just as delicious as I remembered. But from now on, no rice.

B

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Sorry This is Long!

Bonjour kamu semua. Knee how maaaa. get it knee?

Thats what our house is like now. Sister Alfrey got the boot and is in Penang, Sister Tai came in from Kuching (she speaks bahasa, tamil and chinese) and I am companions with Sister Ramahefarivo! My old Malagasy roomie. She speaks French, Chinese and Malagasy which is weirdly similar to Malay. And then there’s Sister Archibald from Idaho haha. It’s a good time over here. Poor Sister ramarama (that means butterfly in bahasa) is sudah going crazy from being cooped up, but we are teaching each other languages and making the most of it.
Sister Opatha moved four floors up and is serving in 1st ward, which is an ex patriot ward so I still see her all the time. Oh and Sister LeBaron is opening an area in West Malaysia that hasn’t had sisters in ten years or something. She’s awesome. She has been either my Sister Training Leader or my companion my whole mission until this transfer. I miss her already! This is her very last transfer. Time flies out here.
Lets see, doctor update. Ayoh. I went to s sports physician and got xrays done. He said I’ve torn my meniscus most likely and have a lack of cartilage and what is there is filled with holes in addition to my hips and IT band pulling my knee cap out of place. Perfect.
But that explains why PT didn’t seem to be helping like it should have. So he scaled everything way back and changed what I do for physical therapy, gave me some gooood drugs and told me to come back in a month for an MRI.
My mission president’s response to that was “howbout we come back in a week” I like your hustle, Pres. So stay tuned for that.
I also went to the chiropractor the day after that because he is a member in 1st ward and adjusts missionaries for free, yay. He had me stand on two scales (one foot on each) to see if my hips were in line. HA my right leg had 9kg (20 lbs) more on it that my left did….so he popped those babies back into place and it hurt so bad. I’m still sore from it. He said if i keep getting adjusted combined with PT I’ll be out of the office in no time. Or in like three months. Slow and steady? He’s awesome though, he served in this mission back when Sri Lanka and Pakistan were a part of it. He taught Sister Opatha’s family when she was like 11 years old!! And he dunked a lot of our now long-time members in the branches I served in Kuching. And now he pops my hips back into place so I can do the same thing. Church is true.
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I also started my new job, helping the senior couple run this great big mission from the office. Aduh every missionary should serve in the office to see all the stuff they do for us. It’s fun though, it makes me feel like I have a point in being here right now. Except we were informed that we can only be in the Mission Office for a couple hours a day because technically they aren’t supposed to have Sisters in the office because it’s stereotypical to have women as secretaries. HAHA girls are better at this than boys, facts are facts! So we just work really hard and get a ton done in a few hours and then get back to indexing. ayooooh.
IMG_5312And it was the 4th of July!! Wore red, white and blue..sang every American song my Malagasy companion and I could think of including 50 nifty United States and Party in the USA (what is Miley up to these days?) oh and celebrated with the Singapore Fire Department because some kids pulled the alarm in the office. which was super fun because we were on the 5th floor and the elevators stopped working. By the time we got to the bottom floor I was crying haha. But then we ran into some Elders who were on their way to give me a Diet Coke because they’re ANGELS and I got over it.
We went to a baptism that night too. I was literally destroyed from the stairs and on the verge of amputating my own legs the whole time. The AP’s asked if I wanted a blessing, and I figured it couldn’t hurt. I had’t had one since the day I got hit in Kuching. Anyway, it was one of the coolest experiences of my whole life I think.
Safe to say that may have stressed me out just a little and resulted in me dying my hair dark. whoops. Inabilty to cope with life = drastic change in hair color. Some things never change haha. And the elders trying to not compliment me is so hilarious “woah sister bourgeois were your eyes always that blue?” lock your heart elders. hahah
This is random, but most of the missionaries, elders and sisters alike who have gotten to know tell me at some point they remind me of their sister and they love it. Ever since I got to the MTC and it just happened right now so it reminded me. But it makes me happy because it makes the missionaries so happy. Comel lah.
OH! and yesterday at church I met Elder Coleman’s mom. I met Elder Coleman at Zone IMG_5283Conference a couple weeks ago (the one with really blue eyes in the pictures) when he came up to me and said “Sister Bourgeois, Davis and Ryan’s sister??” they’re my cousins but I’ll claim them as my sisters, who are you?
He and Davis went to school together, so I was at his graduation haha. So was Sister Parcell for someone else. Hilarious. I got to see her this week when she came in to pick up her new missionary fresh off the plane from GERMANY! But anyway, Elder Coleman is solid and serving in Miri as a Zone Leader right now. And I got to meet his mom as she was passing through Singapore!
I found her and hugged her and it felt like I had known her forever. She is so wonderful. She was super concerned about my knees, told me I was pretty and just mommed and hugged me for a minute. Best moment of my week.
Kita semua anak-anak Tuhan. One of the first things I learned in bahasa. The Lord loves us and truly is mindful of us in every situation. He knows exactly how to succor us, how to help us. He knew I was having a rough week and frankly all I wanted was to be at home hanging out with my mom. But my work is not done here, so he gave me a mom for fifteen minutes to tell me to be careful and take care of myself and to keep going because I’m doing the right thing right when I needed to hear it. Sometimes Tuhan just throws you a bone. The mercies of the Lord are everywhere, we just have to look for them.
Sorry this is the longest email of all time. Tu mes manque dan sayang kamu juga
sister bourgeois
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Transfer News

Hi.
So I’ve indexed 1017 names in the last week and a half…and that about sums up my whole life. Oh and it was Zone Conference so I got to see all my Malaysian friends yay.
I think I’ve cried this week more than I have my whole mission (yes even the MTC – my poor teachers) First, Sister LeBaron was on exchanges with us again. With her being in a trio and us living in two different houses this transfer we’ve seen her a lot. No complaints! But all she did was ask me how I was doing in bahasa and I was done for haha. And then we had an entire heart-to-heart conversation for a good hour in bahasa and part of my brain was amazed that I was doing that. The words she was saying to me made me cry because they were meaningful in a language that was foreign seven months ago. weird. mms_img818081948
It was also the day Sarawak came in for Zone Conference and I saw all of my Kuching peeps who did nothing but tell me how amazing and tough and full of faith I am and I just wanted to scream because I feel like the most worthless missionary of all time. I’m in so much pain, trying so hard to not just give up and go home and everyone is telling me I’m amazing. cannot.
Then I’ve been at the doctor a bunch. She goes to start rubbing out my leg, barely touches it and says “OH wow its bad right now” great. So I stress out to her about how I’m trying so hard to do everything I’m supposed to and it doesn’t stop hurting. at all. Then she says “I’m tempted to use my elbow.” I told her not to give into temptation. She did and then I got an elbow to my IT band for the next 40 minutes. Then in her hilarious Singaporian accent she says “you know, you are actually quite tough. I do this to big men and they cry.” shut up PT Wendy. She referred me to another doctor that I go to tomorrow because it’s not really improving with physical therapy alone. So we’ll see how that goes.
In other news, all my Malaysian missionary friends told me I’m white already. Office problems.
Zone Conference was amazing and I cried the whole time because everything was about humbling yourself and enduring to the end. And then just one more talk on commitment and enduring hardships during Sacrament on Sunday to do me in. It’s like God is trying to tell me something.
And then we sang “fear not I am with thee oh be not dismayed, for I am thy God and will still give thee aid, I’ll strengthen thee, help thee and cause thee to stand, upheld by my righteous omnipotent hand”
Okay I get it haha. I’ll stay here no matter how hard it is, how worthless I feel not being able to be a real missionary, no matter how bad it hurts, it’s all going to be okay. The Lord is refining me or something right?
Oh also I got picked to say the prayer in 3 out of 4 breakout sessions in Zone Conference hahaha. I never win.
Anyway, we’re waiting for transfer news right now, my guess is that I’ll be promoted to an actual office sister since we had a senior couple go home this week. Oh and the Boyters (senior couple from Kuching) are moving to Singapore to take over for another office opening in Singapore! So thats fun.

USA

Nama Berita Nuan. Who am I kidding, there’s no Ibans in Singapore.

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Greetings from the newest Office Sisters! So…I got word Monday afternoon I was being taken out of my area and moved to the other side of the island with Sister Opatha to work in the office and family history center. Indexing Sisters CAN. The Family History Center is super fun. People are dying to get in there. HAHA. So we moved on Tuesday and live 50 yards from the Mission Office and Stake Center and one MRT stop away from my doctor. It’s not a bad setup. We live with Sister Alfrey and Sister Archibald who are hilarious and it’s such a good time.
Our days are a little different than normal…We still do studies in the morning, except instead of planning our lessons for the day during companionship study it’s foam roller/resistance band/stretching/ice pack time. it’s the worst. Then we eat lunch and go index our lives away. I’m obsessed with it though. Luckily so is Sister Opatha. It’s SO FUN. like fun enough we forget to eat dinner most days because we are locked in the Family History Center and have no clue what day or time it is. The past two days I’ve been doing New York National Guard enlistments from 1900-1950 so both world wars. I swear half of the names I put in were enlisted on December 7, 1941 and they were all SO young. A lot of them went on to serve in other branches of the military soon after joining the National Guard. It made me all patriotic and sad I won’t be home for the 4th of July, my favorite day in the whole wide world.
So I’m telling Sister Opatha how touched I am by these young kids who went and enlisted the day Pearl Harbor happened and so many of them died in the war and how sad and blah blah and she responds with “yeah but it just means we won’t have to share our husbands because there’s so many stand-up dead single guys in the spirit world” HAHA. that’s my companion…
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Another hilarious USA moment this week was the other night when the sisters on the 8th floor and the sisters in our apartment were practicing a song for this weeks Zone Conference…don’t worry I was the only one not involved. Every missionary is good at singing. like reaaaalllyyy good. and I’m over here like hi I can’t read music, C sharp means nothing to me and I don’t know this song because I’ve been Mormon for five minutes…I promise I’m a good dancer? Well I was when I could walk? I never win. The best is when they get all emotional at zone meetings or something and want to sing a primary song and I don’t even have a hymn book to pretend like I know what’s going on. Wow sorry that was a long sidenote.
So the sisters were singing. The hymn was #314 but Sister Opatha heard #340. She looked at it and said “Star Spangled Banner, what the heck is this song?” WHAT? Of course we all started singing it as loud as we could, I assumed my SHS Cheer National Anthem stance and the other sisters quickly stood up and put their hands on their hearts as well. Poor Sister Opatha had no clue what was going on so she just stood up too hahaha. Sister Alfrey accompanied with cymbals and a drum roll, I rallied at the end and said “play ball!” and we all cried a little inside because we miss America. It was hilarious.
Also got to see Sister Rama this week! My old roommate from Madagascar. She was only six weeks in when I first got to Kuching and now she is just killing it. She’s serving on an island off West Malaysia called Penang and she’s working so hard. It was cool not seeing her for a few months and seeing such a drastic change in her. Missions are so good for missionaries.
And also we got told on the MRT “I think Mormons are nice people, they are not cults.” … thank you? Asians are hilarious.
So yeah. Not a lot of missionary work going on here. on this side of the veil at least. Indexing Sisters 4 life. Eternal life. HAHA. But I was on exchanges with Sister Romney this week and she told me to be exactly obedient to my physical therapy since I can’t really be exactly obedient to a ton of other rules. Can. I have two appointments this week and things should only go up since I’m off my feet all day long. Zone Conference is also happening, so I get to see all my Kuching friends today! I’m still here so I’m just as happy as a clam. sayang kamu semua. Jangan nakal
sister bswa