MIRI, Malaysia The growth of the Church in Malaysia was evident at the most recent youth conference there, according to Sharon Bray, Young Women president in the Kuching Malaysia District.
"For the past few years, a young woman named Leonora from Bintulu Branch has been attending the conferences," Sister Bray said. "She was the only young woman in her branch, and this was her chance to meet other young women and enjoy activities with them. When she came in December 2003, we found there are now 14 young women in her branch, nine of whom attended conference together with a new young women president who was recently baptized.
"Leonora's faithfulness has been rewarded, and she has been instrumental in helping to teach the other young women about the young women organization."
A talent show has been a highlight at youth conference for the past couple of years, Sister Bray said. "The incredible talent displayed was amazing. These young people are so enthusiastic and work for months to prepare their performances. Whole branches are involved and everyone loves to take part.
"It is quite an eye opener to see these normally shy young people get on the stage and sing, dance or act with confidence and ability."
When Sister Bray moved with her husband and two youngest children to Brunei, just across the border from Malaysia, two-and-a-half years ago, their Miri Malaysia Branch didn't even have a Young Women organization. She was called to get it started.
"These wonderful young women had been coming faithfully to Church, eager to learn. They cried tears of joy when we explained what the Young Women program was all about, and within the month, they had learned the Young Women theme and were able to recite it, even though some of them could barely speak English. They also learned how to dress for church and began to arrive in skirts and dresses instead of jeans and T-shirts, which was a wonderful example for the Relief Society sisters to follow."