It has been such a week. ugh. First off, here is the package story. I came home on tuesday and found a slip in the mailbox saying that they came to the house, but we weren't there. That was all it said. Nothing else. Except for a telephone number. The next day I called the telephone number and they said they didn't do 2nd drop offs, and that I would have to find the nearest Poslaju center. So then on thursday, I called the senior couple and asked if they could help me. THey were on their way back from Brunei, and said they would call us in a few hours to pick us up. I was very excited. While I was downstairs doing scripture study, they called the cellphone, and my companion answered. They said they were on their way, but he told them we weren't ready, when it was only HIM who wasn't ready. THey were a little miffed. I come up stairs 30 minutes later, and ask "I wonder when they're going to call?" he then tells me what he told them. I was furious. I hurried and called them back, and they were annoyed because they made time to come get us, but that WE weren't ready, and that they wouldn't have time to get it today. I chewed my companion out so much. He was afraid to talk to me for the rest of the day. We were doing companion exchanges that day so it was a good thing. Well, bodhaine tells the hodders what happened, and they felt bad, so they said they would take me on friday. So I make sure we're both ready on friday, and the hodders drive us into town, only to find out that IT IS THE LAST DAY OF HARI RAYA (muslim holiday) and all companies are shut down. Again, I'm furious. And post isn't open on weekends. So here we are, almost a week after it arrived in malaysia, and I still don't have my package!!!!! From now on, send it to the senior couples house. Elder Bodhaine has received 2 packages in the time that mine has been here. His mom found the hodders email and got their address. It is a lot easier that way. Ugh. Very frustrating. It made me very upset at my companion, and I tried as hard as I could to be cool about it, but it is so hard. I know I shouldn't be worrying about a package, but on a mission you start to look forward to things like that. Hopefully the hodders will be able to take me today :/
Elder and Sister Hodder:
Lot 2827 Berembang 7 Pujut 7B
Miri, Sarawak, Malaysia 98000
for the next package, PLEASE INCLUDE DEODORANT! Malaysian deodorant is NO BEUNO. I uploaded a picture so you can get the right kind :) Also, send some pancake mix that doesn't need anything but water.
I also did a companion exchange with one of the zone leaders, which was a lot of fun. They live with the Chinese elders, so I got to spend time with them. They're so much fun. Elder CHiong is from sitiawan, malaysia, and worked for three years in a bakery. I didn't have any food at their apartment, so he woke up and made me egg tarts that were sooo good. I uploaded a picture of them. SO nice. It was also very fun to practice my chinese again! THey both were confused as to why I'm not a chinese elder, which made me a little depressed. Oh well. The chinese elders had a baptism this week, so I also got to talk a lot with the Chinese group. They're all so nice. Group Leader Chan found out that I can mumble a few phrases in Chinese and then continued to talk to me and stuff chinese food down my throat. I'm not complaining!! I'm glad I get to be with the Malays and Chinese here.
Elder Bodhaine made dragon fruit smoothies, I should upload a pic of that.... it was bright pink/purple
We finished conference yesterday, and we were able to watch one of the sessions in English! It was very good. As a missionary, it is a lot easier to focus and get stuff out conference I believe. I really liked President Eyring's talk about submitting your will to the Lord's, and everything will work out. I have a lot of personal motives, I've come to realize, and it takes some real trust to put aside the pursuits that we think are important to focus on what He needs us to do. I memorized the verse in Luke (in Indonesian) that talks about not my will, but thine be done. I'm glad I did (that was before I even heard him use it!). I also really liked Elder Bednar's talk about testimony versus conversion. So many investigators, and members, have true testimonies about the gospel. Yet, we cannot rely on that alone. I learned that lesson in the MTC. It is the same with the investigators. I really do think they can feel that this message is true. It is not until they go through the conversion process, and put in their efforts (or oil, 10 virgin example) that they will be able to endure. I like Joseph Smith's story because he so clearly sets the pattern for us. He had a concern. He turned to the Scriptures. He pondered and prayed. He acted on what he read and felt by going to the Sacred Grove, and trusted in the Lord. Because of his Faith and Trust, he was able to receive and recognize an answer. He then went on to act on the answer he had received. So straightforward. At first it was a little difficult to see the importance of his conversion, but it really is the same for each one of us. I really hope that we can lead investigators to follow this fool proof pattern.
I also got a surprise email from Elder Beesley in Honduras!! He is doing well, and he says it is kicking his butt! I understand. I'm excited to email them.
I am so jealous that it is snowing there >__< it is sooo hot here. Woof. It rains really hard, and then the heat comes back and gets SO HUMID. haha.
Yesterday, we had a dinner appointment with one of my favorite investigators (this was the first official dinner appointment we've ever had). He doesn't have electricity in his hut, so we helped him barbecue a bit. this is what we ate. We had some boiled turtle, which was pretty good. He also went the store, and bought pig fat. Straight pig fat. he then, with a bag of margarine and other red sauces, made a spread that he put on top of the pig fat. he barbecued that up. He then literally grabbed a fish, and threw it on the coals. Whenever you eat at an Iban's house, they don't use any silverware, so you have to use your hands. and there aren't any chairs (ever) so you always sit on the floor ( i have calluses on my feet from sitting cross legged), They were all making fun of me because I wasn't any good at eating with my hands! To eat the fish, we literally just reached over and grabbed a chunk off it. The pig fat was.... ok actually, other than the fact that you were eating margarine and pig fat. THey had a chili sauce that Sister Mundun ground up herself that was really good. I have never felt so sick after that dinner though! hahah. The people are so nice and hospitable here, and it really is expensive for them to feed us. They always serve food with a ton of rice.
I'm jealous you were at the beach! When I was with Elder Christian, Zone leader, on a way to an appointment, we rode through his area by the beach. There is a road that goes right along the coast (south china sea) so that was fun to finally see the beach. There were kids playing with kites, it was nice.
I uploaded some more pics from Singapore, and then some other random ones from our area. Next week, we have a training conference in Miri for all the elders in all of Sarawak and Sabah. Most of the elders will be staying at our house-- so we have all been desperately cleaning to get it prepared... except for my companion
I feel bad that I have only portrayed him like that. I have learned a lot from him. We hardly see eye to eye on anything, but it balances us out. He likes to follow the schedule exactly, which I really like. He also likes to follow the preach my gospel standards for planning and preparing, which I am really thankful for because hardly anyone else does it. I am glad we're developing this habit. It is hard, because he sometimes doesn't notice things that I think should be done differently, like he never helps clean up after meals or just messes that are in communal areas. We had a long talk about a lot of things, and hopefully he will embrace the changes. I can't really complain a whole lot else though. We've been getting along well, for the most part. We just need to learn to be more open with each other.
I don't know what else to include.......
Oh, we found a place that sells bread, and made french toast for breakfast! It was delicious. Syrup is way too expensive, so we just used canned sweetened milk with ground cinnamon and bananas. It is so good.
KK, I've got lots of emails to respond too.