Wednesday, November 15, 2006

My Conversion in the Restored Gospel

I have thought of writing and sharing my testimony ever since I started blogging but never got to do it. So today, I decided I do it! Here goes...............

What attracted me to the gospel of Jesus Christ? Hymns! Singing!

I was in the primary school and enjoyed singing so when a friend asked me whether I would like to join a Sunday afternoon school, a walking distance from where I stayed in Lutong. She told me there would be singing and story-telling so I accepted.

I liked Mr. King. He was "white-coloured, tall, good-looking, well-built", a very nice man and I enjoyed the lessons that he taught us. Yes, I could still remember his name and I wonder where he is now.

We were asked to memorize and recite the following verse and I could still recite it without looking at the scripture:
John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life"

I also remember the song that we were taught. This is the first song that I learnt about Jesus Christ:
Jesus loves me this I know.
For the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to him belong.
They are weak but he is strong.
Yes Jesus loves me. Yes Jesus loves me.
Yes Jesus loves me the Bible tells me so.

Both the verse and the song touched my heart and soul. Isn't it wonderful to know that there is a wonderful, perfect friend, in our Lord Jesus Christ, who is alive and although you cannot see him, he can see you and understand you, watch over you and most of all, love you for what you are.

You know when you are at that tender transition age, of growing out of your puberty stage to a teenager, when you believe something you just believe and you want to follow. Well, this may not applied to everyone, but at least for me.

Mum went to the Chinese temple and prayed often. I followed her, did what she did. I knelt down holding the joss sticks in my hands and bowed my head in front of the 'dieties'. Deep inside me I didn't feel anything and I did not have the desire to commit to this religion. Thanks to Mum, she did not force me or any of her children to follow her steps. I am grateful that she had given me the freedom of choice.

My eldest sister went to to church every Sunday morning and I also followed her. I went because I wanted to sing. It wasn't the people and it was definitely not the sermons because they were not inspiring to me.

I had friends in two different churches in Lutong. There were the only 2 churches in this oil town then. They asked me whether I would like to be baptised in their respective church and I asked them who they worship. One of them said they worship Jesus's Mother, Virgin Mary, while the other said they worship the Son, Jesus. I chose the church that worship Jesus because I have learnt about him at the Sunday afternoon school. I want to be a follower of the man who died for my sins. Other aspects that kept me going to the church was being a member of the choir and the Christmas carolling..

6 years later, another missionary came to Miri and again he was holding his sessions in Lutong and this time it was even nearer to where I stayed. They were holding their weekly evening sessions at a house which was claimed haunted. I could hear the singing and so I just walked over one evening. I would not have even if someone offered me money just to get near a haunted house during broadlight what more to say at night!

I loved the singing as usual. Some of my favourite songs were:

What a Friend We Have in Jesus
All our sins and griefs to bear
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer
O what peace we often forfeit
O what needless pain we bear
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer

Stand Up! Stand Up for Jesus!
Ye soldiers of the cross
Lift high his royal banner
it must not suffer loss
From victory unto victory
His army shall He lead
Till every foe is vanquished
And Christ is Lord indeed

Trust and Obey
For there's no other way
To be happy in Jesus
But to trust and obey

The people were nice and since I was older I started to understand and absorb the teachings and the gospel. I was feeling better than what I was feeling in the first church I knew. I attended their meetings regularly and when they asked me whether I would like to be baptised - I told them I have been baptised. They indicated to me from the Bible - Mark 1:9-10 "And i came to pass in those days, that Jesus came to Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptised of John in Jordan. And straigthway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him:"

Jesus Christ has shown us that the proper way to be baptised is to be immersed into the water. So I agreed realising that my first baptism was improper.

I think I stop going to the first church after a year. It was not because I did not love Jesus or the people. It was because I felt that the gospel was somewhat incomplete. There were questions that I could not find answers to.

For the next 23 years I was busy with my job as a wife, mother, career woman that I did not attempt to go to any churches at all. I thought about God, about Jesus Christ, what I have learnt. Friends invited me to their churches but somehow I do not have the desire to join them. I prayed only occasionally. I didn't fall away. Spiritually, I was sleeping.

The desire of wanting to belong to a religious group was awakened when I stayed home full time. I have more time on my hands now and I started to feel empty inside. I wanted very much to go to church again to sing hymns. By then there were many churches in town. I did not have the desire to go back to the first church nor to the second church that I was baptised. During the 'sleeping period' I was exposed to other denominations, attended some of the functions there. There are friends in this denomination and that denomination. I like them. Which one should I go?

I did what 15 yr old Joseph Smith did in Spring 1820. I didn't know about Prophet Joseph Smith yet. In the privacy of my bedroom, I prayed to Heavenly Father. That was the first earnest prayer I had offered to Heavenly Father for a long long time. I told him my feelings leading to my desire to belong to His church and I asked Him to show me.

I never know that there was a Church in Miri called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I had seen one 'White' couple but I had never seen any missionaries until one evening. They were walking pass the house. Me and my 2 children were playing with our dogs. They didn't stop at the gate. They were nice looking young men and you cannot help liking them so I greeted them. I invited them into the house.

Elder Redd and Elder Whitcomb introduced themselves as missionaries and asked me whether I have read the Book of Mormon. That was the first time I have seen the book. They left the book and assigned me to read some scriptures and we fixed another time for them to visit.

I accepted the book but I did not read it at all. They came to visit alright. The children and me enjoyed their company. They are so nice, you just cannot help liking them and wanting to serve them with food and transport.

It was the songs that attracted me again. I was touched by the lyrics. It felt so good to be back in the church singing again, even though the lyrics pricked my heart and made me shed tears. I enjoyed singing the hymns because this is one way I could express my love and appreciation to Heavenly Father.

Elder Redd was transferred and replaced by Elder Quinn. I was annoyed when Elder Quinn and Elder Whitcomb asked me whether I would like to be baptised, only after 3 lessons. There were 6 lessons. I cannot helped feeling irritated for being asked to be baptised when I do not know very much about the doctrine. I told the Elders not to push me and that I would tell them if I am ready. I also told them that it might take a long time (I had one year in mind).

Meanwhile the children and me were enjoying the company of the young missionaries and the couple missionaries.

It didn't take me a year to be converted. Less than a month, I decided I wanted to be a member of the church. The Holy Spirit witnessed to me the truthfulness of the gospel while I was watching a video at the chapel one evening. My heart was beating faster than normal as I watched the video. After the show, I blurted to the Elders that I would like to be baptised.

We planned tentatively for the baptism date. From that night onward, I started reading the Book Mormon. Regardless of whether I understood the verses or not, I read during the day and the night and whatever free time I had. This is another Testament of Jesus Christ and it jived with the Bible. I also got to read the Gospel Principles Book, and it reinforced my testimony of the truthfulness of the church.

I am thankful for the Prophet Joseph Smith, who courageously and obediently did accordingly to God's will in restoring God's church more than 176 years ago.

I am thankful to Heavenly Father for leading me to His church to learn about the Book of Mormon. It is here that I learnt that baptism is only recognised in heaven if it is done by an authorised priesthood because without this revelation I would not have consented to be baptised for the 3rd time. I am finally home because I feel at peace with everything you need to know about God, His Plan and What you must do to return to Him. This is where the crossword puzzle is complete - nothing is missing and all you need to do is to read the instructions and play. This the brightest bulb!

I say all this humbly in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Laboratory Result

Saturday, 11 November 2006

Diagnosis of the fragments of gastric body mucosa showed mild chronic gastritis. No evidence of atrophy, intestinal metaplasia or dysplasia seen. H. pylori - negative. I am glad!

No medicine was prescribed. I am to take "Omezole 20" if I still experienced heartburn. Doctor said it is likely that I am stressed. That has caused excessive production of acid in my stomach and thus the Acid Reflux Disease.

He said I frowned! Yes, I was serious when I was listening to his analysis and consultation. I must have look gloomy! Funny Doctor - he wasn't looking at me (only a little) when he was talking to me yet he can see me frowning!!!!!

Anyway, looks like I have to avoid certain kinds of food! And no food 2 hours before bedtime! Avoid chocolates! Avoid curries! Avoid onion, cabbage, cauliflower, brocolli, spinach!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

No H. Pylori please!

Saturday, 4 November 2006

On the advice of Friday physician, I stopped taking "Xanax" and continued taking "Omezole 20". On the advice of a medical friend, I didn't take Milo or chocolate! I stopped eating 2 hours before bed. I had a good sleep last night, and I didn't had nighttime heartburn!

Today, my stomach still feels kind of funny. The heartburn is also felt after meals, but it is not as bad as yesterday. I took smaller quantity of food today and at a shorter interval.

I wonder whether I have H. Pylori. Bateria in my stomach - my goodness!

Friday, November 03, 2006

Gastroscopy - What is wrong inside me?

Friday, 3 November 2006

It wasn't as bad as I have heard and imagined!

The nurse sprayed into my mouth and throat. I felt liquid and swallow them - it was soooooooo bitter! It numbed my throat! It was as if the inner lining of my throat had ballooned. I found swallowing my saliva difficult. I had been administered with a local anaesthetic.

The doctor tapped the back of my right hand and gave me a small injection. The doctor said that was to relax me. I didn't ask him what is the name of the medicine. I guess I must have been administered with a "premed", a medicine, that I understood from the website, that would cause one to feel slightly drowsy and stop one from becoming anxious. I was more than slightly drowsy. I lost consciousness after I exclaimed to the doctor that the injection was painful. It is probably not 'premed'.

Woke up by the touch of the nurse arranging the cover around my body. It was about an hour after I fell asleep. I sat up, dizzy and cold. Told the nurse to switch of the aircon and laid down again to sleep for about an hour.

A foreign object was seen on insertion of the scope but not seen on withdrawal. The lower esophageal sphincter (LES), the stomach and the duodenum were normal.

I need to go back next Thursday or Friday. The result of the biopsy would be out. Meanwhile I am to continue taking the "Omezole 20" that I have bought from the pharmacist.

4 hours after the gastroscopy, I had a bowl of vermicelli soup. I was so hungry, having not eaten for 17 hours! And I didn't think that was a big meal, because I know it would hurt the stomach if I did. I thought I had something soupy with some carbohydrate.

My stomach didn't feel good at all even before I finish eating. The pain was still there after an hour. I don't know why I call the pharmacist instead of the doctor and on the advice of the pharmacist I took 2 "Omezole 20" capsules.

What is wrong with me? There is a strong possibility that I am suffering from Acid Reflux Disease! Got to wait for the result of the biopsy and that is 1 week to go. What is wrong inside me?

Thursday, November 02, 2006

I am scare

Thursday, 2 November 2006

Advised by the Saturday's doctor that I visited, to have a gastroscopy done. He gave the name and address of the private doctor, who can perform gastroscopy. After listening to my symptoms, today's doctor also suggested a gastroscopy - the only way to check out what is happening inside my stomach and my esophagus. I have heard about the procedure and read about it in the website and I am scare, very scare.

We agreed for tomorrow - the sooner the problem is detected the sooner the problem can be tackled.

I am scare but I must go through this because it is for my own good.

Know The Medicine We Take

I have been thinking about the importance of knowing the medicine we take, ever since Mum had stroke on the 8 July 2006.

If Mum had been told how important she must take the medicines that were prescribed to her, she would have taken them without fail. She had told me a few months before her stroke that she felt uncomfortable taking certain medication and I told her she needed to tell the doctor. There were ifs.

If only I had surfed the websites for information of the medication, I would have advise her.

If only I had taken more responsibility and talk to the doctor attending her. She did not miss any appointments with her doctor and I have driven her when I am in town, ever since I moved back.

Did the doctor, nurse or the pharmacist of the clinic told her about the medicine, the side effects and the consequences of not taking them?

Did the medical staff expect that all the patients would take the medicine, faithfully, if they are not being informed adequately?

Probably there are too many patients - that is a bad excuse. Probably they think the patients wouldn't understand. They would, if the information are relayed in layman's terms!

Saturday, 28 October 2006

Visited a doctor for consultation. My gastric problem has recurred and this time it is bad, so bad that I worry continually and that in turn caused more acid production in my stomach! The gastric pills that I usually take did not work.

I was diagnosed as having heartburn, caused by stress. Yes, I had been stressful. I tried not to, but I can't help being stressful at times and that is when my body suffered. I feel worst when I am worried, cannot sleep and when I bottle up feelings that I feel nobody can understand or support. I feel my heart ache when I cried a lot. I prayed but I still feel miserable. I didn't attend the dance classes since Mother had the stroke because I didn't feel up to it, and that was a contributing factor to my stress level.

The doctor prescribed me 10 pills. I could not read the handwritting and I didn't asked what it was. I was to take 1 tablet twice a day. I asked the nurse whether I could take anytime and she confirmed anytime. I trusted and obeyed.

Tuesday, 31 October 2006

Woke up at 4 am by a very disturbing and uncomfortable feeling at my chest. Took 1 pill and that was when I felt the immediate effect. I was drowsy and fell asleep as soon as I layed down the bed.

I realised that was probably why I had been sleeping like a log for the past 3 nights! And I was sleepy during the days as well!

I rang up the clinic and asked the nurse the name of the pills that was given to me on Saturday. Looked up in the website and learnt that sleepiness is one of the effects of "Xanax"! And the nurse said I could take "Xanax" anytime!!

Can't trust anyone behind the counter, got to do somework ourselves!