Sunday, August 13, 2017

Gawai

SELEMAT GAWAI YALL! This week was the holiday called gawai. It is the new years celebration of the iban and dayak tribes. We got invited to a gawai party at one of the members houses. The party was crazy! She lives in a little wooden shack on stilts in the river. Like her house is literally standing over the river. The tradition of the iban is to drink a TON of alcohol but they made a mormon version and replaced it with corn juice. Haha i think the corn juice is probably a worse option lol. But we partied hard. Ate lots of good food. Learned Iban dances and iban songs. It was way fun!

This week was a bit of a tougher week. We had to dro a lot of investigators who werent showing progression. Dropping people is always sad but it is an act of faith to give you more time to work with those who will progress. Because the people that we had werent really progressing we have put more of a filter on the people we teach. If during the first contact they are not showing real intent and willingness to meet and keep commitments we leave them with a pass along card or something to read with our number on it, even if they were willing to give us their number. Also during the first lessons we could easily set up return appointments and make them new investigators but we have held off on doing that and reserving that for the people who show genuine desire and interest. Though our numbers may be smaller in the short run, this will all pay off in the long run. The amount of baptisms will be higher later down the road. And thats really what matters right? 

My faith has increased this week in the power of prayer. I am trying really hard to understand prayer and the power of it. I have found that our praying posture can actually have a big effect on our prayers. Being a super tired missionary sometimes we pray on our bed or sometimes my knees are on the floor but my upper half is just plopped out on the bed. This leads to falling asleep easily and hard to stay focused. The body and the spirit are inseparably connected. Hence the word of wisdom. The way our body feels can greatly effect the way our spirit feels. When i make an effort to stay sitting up while i pray it makes me more focused and keeps my mind on track. When i focus my body i also focus my mind. I also feel that it shows more respect to our father in heaven. I used to pray in the position that muslims do and my mom used to always say "no butts higher then heads" Now i understand so clearly why she would say that haha. 

The miracle we saw this week was how we have been able to find through outside of the box ways. For example this week we decided to try chess contacting. There is a park near by us that us FULL of chinese people and familys. On one of the picnic tables we set out chinese chess. And to our surprise people would just flock to us. With in a matter of minutes we have a group gathered around us to watch us. We challenge people to play us and use that time to contact them. Doing things like this makes the work so much funner and so much more effective!

This week our branch changed times to 11:30. Our branch president is hoping that that will make more people come. We are trying really hard to work with the members here but not much is happening. Our branch is small and struggling. I am trying to organize weekly youth activities to bring the branchs youth closer together and have more energy and to bring in those golden referrals!

Love,
Elder Schwemmer

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