Sunday, November 18, 2012

Not that exciting

Dear Family,

This week was not as exciting :( oh well.  In fact, I didn't take any pictures this week, and once again, I forgot to take a picture of my bike/apartment/neighborhood.  We were all too exhausted from the trip on monday to do much else haha.  


We got a new branch president yesterday!  His name is President Willi, and he is great.  He has been a member for almost ten years, and speaks really good english too.  He is Pedayu (tribe), and they are generally pretty educated.  His family had us over for dinner the other day and we ate some tastey spaghetti.  We also had a priesthood training last night with the District President, President Ingkon, for all the Miri priesthood holders.  The church has been in miri for over 10 years, and supposedly there are over 1,000 members here.  Less than 200 are even considered less active.  I never thought I would say it, but this is my testimony to home teaching.  Home teaching is literally the only thing that will save the church in Miri, and apparently in Malaysia too.  A lot of missionaries will plow through and baptize a lot, but because of differences in language/tribe/area/income, members do not fellowship eachother, and recent converts fall through the cracks.  It is really sad, I've seen it happen already.  We have been working with the district president to make home teaching happen.  If it works, everything will be different in the church here.  Just yesterday, I saw two sisters in the branch talking and laughing with one of our investigators.  It was such a seemingly insignificant moment, but you could see the friendship, the support, and "spiritual nourishment" taking place.  President Hinckley said every new convert needs a friend, a responsibility, and spiritual nourishment.  I am so excited to see how the hometeaching will work - starting next month.  We heard from one of the senior couples how his home teachers brought him out of inactivity by just visiting him once a month.  If his home teachers hadn't been there, he would have forgotten about the church.  I am happy to see a new support system coming to help our investigators.  Very exciting.  It made me feel really guilty about the 'effort' I put into hometeaching in SLC.  ALthough the circumstances are quite different, the principle is not.  The bishop needs help, and everyone in the branch needs help.  We need to be there for eachother.  

What else.  OH, those "Nuevo Cocina" spice packets you sent were delicious.  We tried making tacos yesterday (the HOdders bought taco shells in Brunei), but the beef here is terrible, so they were kind of disappointing.  We're going to just stick with chicken.  WE're getting very creative with what we eat now a days.  THanksgiving is this week!  We have all been talking about all the good food we used to eat on thanksgiving.... Kind of depressing.  We're going to a place called "Hartz Chicken" for thanksgiving probably.  It is pretty trashy all you can eat fried chicken, but it is the closest thing we can get to a feast here haha.  I am kind of disgusted with myself because I have a new found love of Fried CHIcken.  Probably because that's the only time we get meat.  I feel like a vegetarian here... no bueno.  We do eat quite a bit of chicken though.  OH!!!  Will you send me the recipe to make Cowboy special???  I was craving that this week, and I think we can make it!  Make sure you eat lots of food for thanksgiving.  Especially turkey, and yams, and that yummy pink creamy cranberry stuff.

Speaking of food.  I was at an investigators house the other day, and I went to go say hi to him behind the house, and he was hunched over a fire.  I asked what he was cooking.  he answered, "dinner".  Went I walked over to the fire, there was a DOG HEAD in it!  With the fur, eyes, and mouth open.... It was actually a really creepy scene.  I fumbled with words and kind of just ran away.  Embarrassing.  

what are your plans for Christmas?  Any fun vacations?  Turkey?  That sounds fun.  We can't stop talking about our Singapore Christmas trip!  We're going to bring suitcases and buy a ton of real food to make Christmas meals all week when we get back.  I have a fun idea for sending you guys a little christmas thing, but I need to figure how to mail it..... 
Thank you for getting an album.  Make sure they are good pics too.  Maybe one of temple square with christmas lights too!  Lots of snowy mountain pictures, because they don't fathom the idea of snow here.  

President Mains came to Miri this week!  It was for training, so he just came and gave us some good advice and then interviewed us.  He has to put up with a lot of non-sense.  In PMG it has a quote saying, "are you a burden or a blessing to your priesthood leaders?"  It is very easy to distinguish between the two.  Especially here.  Supposedly this mission is notorious for having some of the best missionaries in Asia, and the worst.  I've heard a lot of stories....... ANyways, I'm determined to be a blessing at all costs.  I really like President and Sister mains, they are so great.  

Funny moment, we were at an appointment, and we were finishing with a closing prayer, and during the prayer, the entire house fell like a foot.  It was the scariest thing ever.  The investigators asked if that was the Holy Ghost.   haha.  We never found out why the house did that.  

Happy birthday, happee birth day ay ay, happy birthday (proud fam).  Did you get my postcard I sent????  Do you remember the mystery scavenger hunt I did for your scooby doo birthday?? hahaha.  I think that was the same birthday that sammy banner gave you a lighthouse photo album.  (why do I remember these things?)  What treats are you bringing to Student GOvernment?  I've been thinking all morning about what I should by myself for your birthday!!  You know what sounds really really really good?  A gourmandise fruit tart.  You would think that fruits and vegetables would be in abundance here, but they're not.  Unless you're into Malaysian fruits and vegetables, which are not the kind  you like.  I may splurge and buy a durian or fresh mangos soon.  I uploaded a picture of the worlds largest box elder bug.  It was crawling on my companions shoe and I had to take a picture.  HOpe you enjoy your birthday, and eat lots of good food.  

I really don't have anyhting else to say!  Oh, I'm going to try and remember to answer your questions.  There are 14 missionaries in our zone.  our zone goes from Bintulu, to Brunei.  So technically, brunei is in the Miri district, so that's kind of cool.  I'll try to take more pictures this week.

Mariel said that her Parents are coming to singapore in january!  I wish I was there!  I really want them to come to miri..... that would be hilarious.  

Have a happy thanksgiving, and say hi to the whole family for me!  

Elder Robinson

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