Wednesday, October 24, 2012


Hello Fam,

Wow- I completely forgot you guys were going to Hawai'i until I opened the emails this morning!  It sounds like a lot of fun.  From your description, I'm assuming you're on the big island?  How is the hotel?  I'm a little depressed that you guys are eating delicious breakfasts every day, because I have had oatmeal for the past month...........  haha.  Is Dad sun burnt yet?  Oh, and I would like an Ironman shirt!  Even if I don't have it for two years...... oh well.  Make sure you take lots of pictures-- I've forgotten what Hawai'i looks like!  Actually, I want to see if it looks like Malaysia at all.  Normally I would be really jealous that you guys were at a beach vacation, but I'm ten minutes from the beach (not that I have ever seen it) and it is always around 90 degrees and humid here!  The other day during companionship study, I drew a picture of snowflakes and other winter things to try and make myself feel cold.  Didn't work.  Oh well.  And then I listened to the Hodders tell me about how nice their place in Canada is during the winter! AHHH.  They said I could stay there when I come to Canada.  They supposedly have a really nice spread.

what else.

OH.  I forgot to mention.  President Mains went to the Asia Area conference in Hong Kong some time ago, and they mentioned an interesting statistic.  There are 330ish missions in the entire world.  I think there are 15ish in Asia.  Yet, 2/3 of the World's population is covered by our 15ish missions.......  I couldn't believe it, but then if you think about it, it kind of makes sense.  That's crazy.  President Mains then went on to say we have been given a special trust to be missionaries in Asia, to help in the pioneering of the work here.  It is kind of scary to think about that.  As he said this, I remembered my Chinese classes back at BYU.  I really want to continue studying Chinese so when the time comes, I can be ready to offer my help in the giant work that that is going to be.  I def plan on serving more missions later.  The Senior Couples here have retired, and they say they're just going to keep going on missions till they die.  wow.  

what else.

Not that much has happened since I emailed you from Singapore.  OH.  We were able to watch general conference yesterday.... in Malay.  It was hard to understand, especially because the translator spoke at 293854724938576 miles per hour-- even the natives didn't understand much of what they said sometimes.  We only watched the Saturday sessions, and will watch the rest next Sunday.  I really enjoyed M. Russel Ballard's talk about the bees working together, I thought it was especially good for the members here.  As of now, there aren't many hands, and there are even fewer hands that are willing to work!  It was also cool because we got 5 investigators to church to watch conference.  Elder Russel M. Nelson's talk about missionary work was really good for them, because he spoke directly to investigators.  One of our investigators, Dangkan, understood that he was speaking to him, and that made him very interested.  Hopefully this week we can review what was taught yesterday.  Sister Martin (senior couple from australia) made her date loaf, and it was so delicious.  It tasted just like the cake we use for toffee pudding.  she also said it was easy to make, and that Malaysia has the best selection of dates!  When you come, we'll have to try and get some!  

what else. 

The rainy season is in full force.  Every night, there is lightening everywhere.  Last night, it was literally like there was a strobe light as we were riding out bikes home.  SPEAKING OF BIKES.  I have had two flats so far.  The first time, we were kind of in the middle of no where so we had Elder Hodder drive us to the shop and had them fix it.  3 inch, sharp metal thing.  Then right before Singapore I somehow managed to run over another 3 inch rusty nail that went through my tire completely.  We tried to patch it up with some make-shift stuff... and it is still leaking, so I have to buy another tire today.  Next package, you guys might want to send a mini repair kit or something.  The roads have so much junk in them, and it gets dark early, so our tires are very vulnerable.  Just my luck, huh eric.  

Oh, and I didn't have a good meal in Singapore!!!  My companion and I had to stay in the AP's apartment, while Elder Bodhaine/putnam/mayo/etc got to stay in a hotel.  Well, day one of Singapore we got separated, and our phones didn't work in Singapore (from now on they will) so we couldn't meet up.  My companion didn't want to spend any money in Singapore, and neither did the other elder who came with us, so we ended up eating Carl's Junior :/  we then had to listen to the rest of the guys talk about how good the food was that they had.  The other guys spent almost 50 Sing on food while I ended up eating a mediocre burger..... NOT HAPPENING AGAIN.  So I ended up not spending hardly anything in Singapore.  I did spend 36 Sing to get into the Night Safari, so worth it.  

We spent all morning today scrubbing, cleaning, etc the house.  The landlord doesn't want to renew the contract in November because of how disgusting the house was when the previous elders left it.  We're trying to change that.  It looks really good.  I shouldn't say the we ALL helped clean, because there were definitely some people who didn't see the importance of it!!!!!!  There were some voices raised :) (don't worry, I haven't changed)

Oh, we are all desperate for some sweets here.  THere are famous amos stores here, which is strange, but each cookie is 5 RM, and they are small cookies!  But they have cookie crumbs, 1 kilo of it, for 6RM.  THey literally scrape the bottom of pans, and fill bags, and sell them.  We buy them.  So at night we eat our bag of cookie crumbs.  Pitiful, right?

Ok, I'm going to try and attach some pictures now!  


Selamat Datang dari Singapura!

Selamat Datang dari Singapura!
We are sitting in the Changi airport, about ready to fly back to Miri. 
We had a really good conference here in Singapore.  We flew in on Wednesday at noon, and didn't have anything scheduled, so we went to the malls and a few of the big sights.  We went to Orchard, which has literally every big name brand you can think of.  Louis Vuitton, burberry, prada, giorgio armani, etc.   The building itself was beautifully high-tech!  Everything was so clean and shiny-- and extremely expensive.  We saw a rolex that was worth over 200,000 Sing.  The funny thing was, unlike Las Vegas where it seems like most of those stores are empty, these were bustling with people buying all this expensive stuff.  At first, I thought it was really cool to see all of the 'things' the Orchard Malls had..... and then I thought about our investigators back in Miri.  All of these people are driving mercedes, BMW, Rolls Royce, Bentley, etc to their favorite designer stores and dropping thousands of Sings daily, while some of the families back in Miri are struggling to feed their kids something other than low-grade rice.  Seeing Singapore light up with its laser shows, crystal chandeliers, and neon sidewalks doesn't compare to the homemade tin can candles that light some of the houses of our members back in Miri.  I'm not going to lie, I love Singapore, and it is so cool to see, but its just hard when you know of how much people have, and how little others have.  At the end of the day, all of those malls we saw had a lot of "things".  Miri also has a lot of "things".  The more you step back, the more you realize that "things" are just..... "things"....... and they don't really mean that much in the long run.  oh well.
President Mains gave a great Zone conference yesterday, where our focus was grattitude, and helping our converts become converted to Jesus Christ-- not the missionaries, or just switching churches.  Unless someone is converted to Jesus Christ, they might as well be going to some other church.  After serving for a month, I'm starting to really get to know the people I'm serving and I really would like to see this change in their lives.  One of the recommendations for helping with grattitude was to buy a little notebook and keep it with you always.  Everytime you realize something your thankful for, you quickly jot it down.  They don't have to be long at all.  If you remember to do it, you start realizing how many little things there are in your life that you are thankful for-- and how they really add up.  Sister Mains also quoted someone in saying that if you put a pebble in front of your eye, it is all you can see.... but if you keep this little journal, it's easier to keep that darn pebble out of your view.  You should try this.  I am going to. 
What else...
Last night, after conference, we went to the Singapore Night Safari.  It was so cool.  The center of Singapore Island is still jungle, and they created this safari thing by the zoo that you can go on.  A bunch of us went, and it was so much fun.  You got to walk/take a tram/train through the jungle and see all of these night animals (and a lot of animals that would be the exact same in the day time, they just didn't bother turning on a real light). We got to see flying squirrels in action, giant pythons, a million other things, elephants, rhinos, lions, tigers, bears, etc. 
MOST EMBARRASSING of it all was when we were waiting in line at the beginning, a group of Korean high school girls all in uniform from their school came up to us and starting talking to us.  It turns out they were going to school in Japan, and were here on a school trip (elder putnam spoke to them in japanese and translated).  They said they wanted a picture, so all the elder lined up, but then all the asian girls bunched up on my side.  After the group picture, they were lingering a little bit, and as we tried to walk off, they stopped elder putnam and said something to him.  he then looked at me, and said, "they want to get their picture taken with you..."  So I literally took my picture with 15 korean girls individually while all the missionaries laughed their heads off and made fun of me.  I thought I was going to die.  I'm pretty sure they had never seen ginger hair before.  None of the elders are letting me live this one down.  (>.<)  oh well... one step closer to becoming a trendy asian star
what else...
Sister Mains said something funny:
She was talking to us about how heavenly father gave adam and eve two commandments in the garden, and she says "Yeah!  Eve was supposed to bear and multiply to fill the earth while she's busy canning fruit!  I thought it was hilarious... no one else really did... oh well... again.
I'll include more stuff on the email on monday about last week, because I have some good stories.
I got to see Elder Mayo in Singapore, which I was really excited for, but he was a little different this time, I don't really know why.  It was weird.  He didn't want to come do anything fun with us. 
Ok, I'm going. BAI
Oh and we will be coming back to Singapore on Dec 20th I think (RIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS) for another Zone conference, so I'm excited.
Elder Robinson

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Birthday Week

Mom, Dad, and now ERIC!!

It was a good week, again.

My birthday was nice.  My companion had next to no intention of me enjoying my birthday as something special, but somehow I managed to have a good time ^___^  Elder Bodhaine and Putnam woke up early and made me pancakes, fruit, eggs, and potatoes for breakfast which was soo tasty, especially because I have eaten oatmeal for the past month.  We also went to a 'nice' restaurant at night, which is open and air, owned by some chinese people, really good food, and they have rootbeer, so I got a mediocre rootbeer float.  Elder and Sister Hodder paid for my companion and I to eat at Hartz Chicken with the rest of the district.  In America, I would never have eaten that food.  It is deep fried chicken, all you can eat.  But it was unusually satisfying, and is considered a nice restaurant here.  Any chance there is to get meat or free food, we jump on that, so we pigged out.  Elder Bodhaine/Putnam also bought me a slice of cake from the store, again, very nice of them.  President and Sister Mains called me, and sang me happy birthday over the phone.  Nothing huge, but I really appreciated the little things.  

It is weird to think that I am 20 years old now.  I see it as 1/4 quarter of my useful life spent (I mentioned that in the car and the senior couple hassled me for it >.<)  I laid my bed thinking about the last "20 Years" and realized that there were so many things that seemed really important-- that weren't-- and so many things that seemed rather unimportant-- that were actually very important.  I heard the expression "The youth is wasted on the youth" a lot at school for some reason, and it is kind of true.  There are so many things I wish I had done differently.  I kind of made myself depressed as I thought about all the things I could have done differently to make me better, or to put me somewhere better.  But then I thought about all the fun, good times, lessons, experiences, relationships, that the last 20 years had to offer.  Although many of them were hard, trying, and not pleasant, they all had some way of strengthening/refining me into the person I am now.  It is like a big piece of stone before it is a sculpted masterpiece.  Every sharp chisel, every whack of the mallet, every piece of sand paper scraped, takes something ordinary and makes it rather extraordinary.  I don't think I'm even closed to being finished yet, but it is nice to have a road marker (20th birthday) to look back and see all the distance you have traveled, or how the work is that much closer to becoming the 'masterpiece' you have in mind.  I have also been thinking a lot about time in regards to our happiness on earth.  I can think of so many instance where I measured the distance between where I was, and the next "break" or "good time".  Whether it was waiting for a friday, waiting for class to end, waiting for summer break, waiting for Christmas, etc, that's a lot of waiting!  And then, guess what, it's over!  So you wait, to then wait again.  SOmething I've learned on my mission is that the people who wait are the people that miss out on everything in between.  There are missionaries here who wait for P-day.  I want to be different.  I have found that I am really happy when I find myself in the moment, to make the most of that moment that I possibly could.  You all know that I have never been one who likes to wait around for things :)  (although I could use some extra patience).  Whether it is language study, contacting, or thinking about others, when I try to improve/push myself in that very instant, I feel happy in that I can look back on that time and know that it was put to use.  That was kind of a long tangent, but thinking about how much of the past 20 years were spent waiting was kind of depressing.  I really like the scriptures that talk about agency, and that we can act or be acted upon.  Well I'm sick of being acted upon, and I'm beginning to realize that the only way to really be able to be happy, and to always be happy, is to act for the better.

What else....

OH.  So when an Iban dies, they have a 100 days remembrance thing, so saturday was the 100th day anniversary of someone dying, so we literally had a feast.  Most of the food was really good.  Beef curry, Roasted pork, boiled tapioca leaves, Sego and coconut milk, LOTS OF NASI (rice), unripe mango with ginger.... and then there were some not so good things they made us eat.... they caught a catfish, and scraped out the eggs and served it to me.... I think they found the 'fecal waste' and not the eggs.... I felt sick after that.  Oh, and they had chicken that one of the senior couples thinks was cat.. hahah.

I already bought a hard drive so you don't need to worry about that.

I miss seeing the trees change color and cold temperatures.  The rainy season has started, but it still feels sooo hot.  The other day, I woke up to the loudest thunder I had ever heard.  It literally shook the house.  and the rain was literally buckets coming down.  So far, I haven't been caught on my bike in the rain, but everyone is telling me my time will come..... remember how I hate being wet in my clothes???

And I'm going to Singapore THIS week, not last week.  We leave on Wednesday morning and come back on Friday.  Elder Crum might be there, and Elder Mayo will be.  I am excited.  I think we get some time to go explore the city on our own.

Oh, and this mission is notorious for people not following the rules....  I have heard so many stories of people here.  Supposedly 1/4 of the missionaries here bought their own cell phones!  And media players so they can watch movies.......

I'm not sure what kind of food I want in the package....
The hard thing is that we get the equivalent of $3.50 a day for food, so although you can buy american food here at expatriate stores, it is relatively very expensive...  Just send me some candy, maybe swedish fish, reeses, caramel something, anything really.  Elder Bodhaines mom got a package here in one week, so you should try putting cookies in ^__^ or something that would still be good after a week?

Nothing else that exciting has happened this week.  I can't believe I've lived in Malaysia for almost a month.  Oh, and tell grandma I want to go to Singapore too!  Malaysia is nice though, I love the fact that we eat out everyday... 

Kk I need to go write the mission president, BAi

Elder Robinson

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Hello Mom/Dad,

Another good week in Miri!  I can't remember anything to write now!  erghh.


Yesterday was Fast Sunday, which is really hard because we sweat so much biking to church.  We had a break the fast at the Senior Couple's house.  We had spaghetti with meat (not sure what kind.... all of it here in Malaysia is a little funky), and "I usually don't like spaghetti, but I'll eat this!" sound familiar?  It was very good.  And we all ate a ton of it.  Sister Hodder made her pineapple cake, which is SO GOOD.  I may have her email the recipe to you.  She might make it for my birthday.  My companion's birthday is on Friday, and Elder Martin (another senior couple)'s birthday is on friday too.  We may have quite the celebration.  She also bought a bunch of local fruit, which we tried which was good.

Chumpedak: Big green and spiky, when it was opened, it smelled a little like dead animal.  Inside looks like what I assume the inside of an Alien looks like.  Strings, juices, bulbs, blobs, etc.  It tasted a little like papaya (the bulb part) and had a little bit of a gamey after taste.

DURIAN!!!!  We tried durian!  I actually liked it.  It smells like rotten onions, and depending on the bite, tastes a little like that.  It is expensive, but the texture is like pudding.  It is very rich and creamy.  I kind of liked it.  Sister Hodder took one bite, started crying, spit it out on her plate, and scraped her tongue with her knife.  It was so funny.  They got it on video.

Jack Fruit: remember when Eric made us get that in Hawaii??  It was a lot better than ours there.  It is sweet, and it reminded me a lot of the texture of sweet peas.  Hard to describe the flavor.

Rambutan:  this is pretty much just laichee, but everyone claims it is actually different..... I don't think so..... 

what else....

We have a zone conference in Singapore next week for 3 days, so I'm excited for that.  I told myself I would treat myself to a good birthday meal there ^___^  Everyone from Miri, Bintulu, and Sabah are going to be there.  So I will see elder mayo again!  We're excited, and already planning what we're going to do!  

I have the street address to the house:

2919 Jalan Berembang 2, Pujut 7, Miri, Sarawak, 98000 Malaysia

you can ship stuff here!  as well as letters too.  There have been rumors of stuff getting lost in the mail.... but I'm willing to take the risk!  Actually, I guess you guys would be since you're mailing the stuff.

The missionary work is coming along here.  One of our investigators, who we met since I've been here, came to church for the first time yesterday.  It was cool to see a Malaysian fast and testimony meeting.  I understood a lot, when they spoke Malay....I hope he understood what it was.  We're meeting with him tomorrow.  There are soo many baptized members here, but only a few come to church.  It reminds me of the parable of the sower.  A lot of seeds are thrown onto the grown, but some of them are in rocky soil.  Yes, some roots do take up, and the seed will sprout.  The problem is, when the sun comes up, and the heat gets turned up, these sprouts wither away.  It is the same thing here. I really wonder how much of the missionary work here has been on helping them get a desire to become like Christ, and not just a hangout on sunday afternoons.  That is something that I have been trying to get at in our lessons, no matter how much it bugs my companion.  I like to ask them questions about the 'whys' and 'hows', and although it may halt the lesson a bit, it shows that they really don't understand it.  THe cool thing is that there are several members here who really understand the gospel.  The live it and show it in there church service and lives.  I wish the other members would see it, and try to put it into practice.  Once we show our investigators how important the gospel is, and how it can truly change lives, then it is up to them to want to continue learning, to want to be baptized, and to want to endure to the end.  If they don't want it, it doesn't happen.

These people really want the purpose of gospel, you can just tell.  THey come home from work, and just rest, only to go to work again tomorrow.  Living is just a means of survival.  The church has given them reasons to live.  Reasons to work everyday.  Reasons to care for there children, and steer them towards success and progress.  I hope the people here will soon realize that they have great purpose in their lives, and they have an even greater potential than they could ever realize.  

^^^^ A lot easier said than done.....

I almost forgot.  On Saturday, we went to the Mid-Autumn Festival at the house of the Chinese Group leader.  We ate moon cakes, and a bunch of yummy chinese food.  We lit candles and lanterns (one caught fire and made a little bit of a scene) and enjoyed all the other cultural aspects of it.  Not a fan of the Chicken gizzard, however......  
The Chinese group is very small, but they are so nice and smart.  Even though we couldn't communicate really well, they were so happy and made that clear, that they were able to give the missionaries something.

We went to a new part of our area called Taman Tungku, and found a bunch of people willing to listen, and willing to let us return.  It is really far away from our house, but it is so worth it to have people actually talk to us.  A strong member lives out there, and gave us horlicks (like a malt drink, that is so good).  

I am jealous about all the fall weather you guys are experiencing.  according to weather reports, it always feels like 100 degrees here.  You can tell which days are more humid than others by whether you are sweating when you reach the end of the drive way, or when you open the door.  It's a good thing we drink tons of water.  OH, and we drink tons of Soy milk.  There is no dairy here really, so everything is soy.  I've learned to love soy milk, and buy several boxes every week.  

I don't know what else to include in this...

That's crazy to here about the new missionary age.  I was going to ask what Eric thought about it.  I think it would be cool to go right out of high school.  I probably won't remember anything I learned in my classes.  If you're ready to go, just go.  If not, get ready.

I don't think we'll get conference for atleast a couple more weeks.  They get DVD's in the mail... so whenever that comes.  I wonder how many people will come to the church and watch them.........

Make sure Dad gets a good car, and not some yucky one.  

I filled out that absentee ballot, but I'm not sure how that's going to work.  I assume I need to do that fairly soon, right?  Considering its in a month.....

I haven't opened the birthday cards yet, so I will have somehting on my birthday.  Eat lots of pumpkin pie!!!!!  That sounds soo good right now.  

Ok, that's all I have for now, I may send another email in a second.

KK sampai nanti
Elder Robinson

Monday, October 1, 2012

Mom/Dad: (I'll send Eric's email separately ^__^)

Things have been a lot better since we've been here.  The house still isn't completely clean, but it is so much better.  We also got some more food at the store, and have been getting by.  We bought a HUGE bag of rice, and a bunch of vegetables, so we've been making fried rice a lot, a lot of plain rice, rice with sauce on it, rice with flavor packets..... just lots of rice.  I really like rice though, so it's not really an issue.  It is cheaper sometimes to eat out here, so we've been going to the little places around town.  There are lots of delicious Indian places here, and everytime we eat at one, I remind myself of how jealous you all (except for Mom) would be if you were eating it!  They have Roti Susu (roti just means bread, but it is more na'an like) with sweetened condensed milk, and delicious curry, and Nasi Briyani (special spiced rice) and a cold drink for 10 RM, which is about $3.30.  There are also a lot of good middle eastern restaurants here, which are very flavorful.  Lots of Chinese places too, but we haven't really tried those.  The members are very poor, and whenever we go to their house, they always feel like they have to feed us.  They almost always give us milo (HOT CHOCOLATE, even though it is boiling outside) with crackers.  The Iban tribe here chops up just about anything they can find and cooks it.  I ate several different types of wood this week. All.... tasted like wood.  I was also fed fried stingray..... it was pretty good, white meat, a little fishy though.  

The big event of the week was a member of the biggest family here passed away.  He was one year older than me.  He had a hard life, however.  Although his family was strong in the church, he sort of fell away.  His brother is the second counselor in the branch presidency, and his sister is the relief society president.  He fell away from the church, and got a Malay girl pregnant.  This caused a lot of issues, because if they were married legally, they he would be forced to become Muslim.  Their child is automatically muslim.  About six months ago he was diagnosed with cancer, and just went downhill from there.  He passed away on Monday morning.  My companion told me that Iban funerals were a little.... "different"
We went to their house, which is a wooden one built on stilts, and in the middle of the room was the casket with the deceased in it.  It was kind of awkward, just seeing him there.  There were people moaning, and laying on top of him.  Yet, at the same time, they were cracking jokes, and laughing.  The mother asked my companion and I to find a scripture for the funeral program, but the stuff she wanted it to say wasn't really church doctrine about families... which was so sad because of the situation.  We didn't really know what to tell her.  We eventually found a different one that worked.  They fed me some part of the palm tree with little fish, a bunch of pig fat, and bean wrappers (? traditional Iban food...).  The actual funeral was at 7:00AM.  They asked me to play the organ, and it was a disaster because there wasn't a pedal board, so I had to try and make all four voices legato with my hands (since there is no sustaining pedal on the organ).  I was very embarrassed, because it wasn't as smooth as it should have been.  Not to mention the branch president fiddled with the volume several times while I was playing.  The senior couple said none of them would care.  We then drove with the Senior couple to the cemetery, which is really far inland.  I was pretty sure we were lost.  We drove on a dirt road for a while, which jungle on both sides, till we came to a field where they have above ground plots made of concrete.  It was raining so hard that day, and everyone was completely soaked.  They put the casket in, and we all throw flowers on top, and drink a cup of Chrysanthemum Tea and Soy Milk (...tradition?)  and then they cement the box closed.  Pretty much the entire church went on hold for the past week because of this funeral.  THere has been a bunch of things for it.  Even last night, there was a sembayang for him (still not sure exactly what that even is).  It made me think about how precious time is here on earth, and that we don't get to pick and choose the amount of time we have.  It makes me realize that every time we do wrong, we gamble with time.  It not only hurts that person, but it hurts the family even more.  It is especially hard to see the little family he left behind, and the legal mess everyone is in.  Family is like chain, and every link is necessary.  When one of the links is weak, or doesn't function properly, the whole chain is effected.  It is really sad.  We just had two more deaths in the branch.  One was hit by a car, and the other died of cancer.  I don't know the details.

Lots of embarrassing moments this week:
1.  We went to an investigators hut that was over the river, and when I was taking off my shoes (you never wear shoes into another person's home here, even if it is dirty), there was a cage packed with squirrels (dirty, brown ones that smelled like dead animal).  Our investigator was standing by them (wearing only underwear), and I thought I'd practice my Malay and make the joke "is that dinner?" pointing to the cage..... He looked at me and said no, his wife had already cooked rice, and they were going to eat those tomorrow...... >.< I felt like an idiot.  

2.  There are lizards every here.  Big monitor lizards that crawl around outside our house, to little geckos that find there way onto and into everything.  We were at a members hut and the little kids kept throwing these geckos at me.  finally they stopped.  As I was getting out to leave, I hit my head on the door because it was so small, and they all yelled something about my "kepala.... sakit..." and I didn't really catch anything else.  i though they were talking about me hitting my head, but as I proceeded out of the door, a rooster literally hit me in the face.  You know when eric says I make that "a bluh abluh abluh" thing when I'm in those situations??  I did it sooooo bad then.  Oh, yeah, they have chickens and animals all over the place.  I was so embarrassed because of the chicken thing, that I hurried and put my shoes on.  As I was walking, the little kids were laughing and pointing at me.  I yelled and asked why they were laughing, and they just responded "Kasut Kamu!!!" which means, "your shoe!"  I took off my shoe to find that they had put a gecko in my toe area.... and that when I hurried and put it on, I smashed the poor thing and its guts were all over my shoes and socks.............. lovely.

3.  We also taught a guy with a strange tattoo on his neck, and my companion asked what it was for (the old people have lots of tattoos that are tribal) and he said he got it when he killed someone..... 0.o

It is sad to see how poor the people here live.  Like I said before, the chinese live their own lives, and the malays do too, and then there are the tribal people.  We taught several lessons that were done by candle light.  They are so sweet though.  It is sad because they have to work soo much, and then they come home and don't have much energy or initiative to do much else.  It is hard to see the members here fall away, because a lot of them just don't have the roots sufficient to keep them through the thick and thin.  We're lucky to be in a place where the church is established.  We're also lucky because we have been educated, and taught to think deeply (well.... some of us).  A lot of times the people here only see the surface of the principle, and don't understand the much deeper implications.  There was a big baptism on Saturday, and my companion had two people there and they asked me to baptize the child.  It was a neat experience.  I feared, the whole time, that they thought it was the end.  A lot of people think baptism is the end all goal, and that once you've done it, your done.  If you look at the baptism as just being dunked in water, it doesn't mean a whole lot.  But if you remember that there is clearly a reason why our omniscient Heavenly Father established this ordinance, you realize that it goes way beyond just being dipped in water.  Trying to teach people of the journey that this life is, that they have a purpose beyond just working and sleeping, is extremely difficult.  I haven't quite figured out how we can share this message.

It is interesting to hear about all the stuff going on in the news back at home.  We don't hear any of it.  I was wondering how the political arena was going.  Keep me updated on the news, and how the new iPhones are ^__^

Oh, the generations here are very interesting too.  The older people, like the grandparents, can't read, and very few of them speak languages other than their tribal one.  The parents can read, but just the words, no meaning behind them.  They can usually speak pretty good Malay.  The kids speak Malay, and have to go to school.  They show more signs of thinking.  It is crazy to see how in these generations the amount of learning could be so different.  But looking around the city, all of the houses and buildings in the center can't be more than twenty years old.  Once you get out of that, it feels like you literally step back in time.  I bet this whole area was like that not too long ago.

I think you guys can send me packages to the senior couples house, and it usually takes a few weeks.  I don't know their address, so I will have to get it.

Oh, every wednesday we have BMW (Big Mac Wednesday) because there is a new McDonald's in the city.  

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