Sunday, March 31, 2013
It has been a crazy week, but a very fun week.
The first part of the week was spent trying to get Elder Trotter ready to go! That was a struggle. We had about 2938479265 errands to run, investigators to teach, and everything that could have inconveniently gone wrong... of course... went wrong. haha. Elder Trotter's suit that he had made had some issues in it, so we had to rush back to the tailor so he could get it fixed to exactly how he wanted it. The suits look SO good though. Look like a million bucks. I refuse to wear them until I get home... malaysia will destroy them.
As if we weren't busy enough, the AP's scheduled our flights at 8:30 in the morning at KLIA.... whihc is about 2 hours from our apartment.... So we had to spend the night in the Subang Jaya apartment, and stayed up all night trying to call/find taxis that would take us there at 5 in the morning that wouldn't charge an absurd amount. Easier said than done. After about 20 calls to different cab drivers, we finally found someone with some form of integrity that gave us a somewhat reasonable price. So, no more Elder Trotter.
Singapore was SO much fun. because my flight was there so early, I beat almost everyone there, so I had lots of time to do stuff. Elder Mayo is also training, and he will be serving in Singapore. Singapore right now has just about all the fun elders, I'm kind of Jealous. Anyway, Elder Mayo, Elder Crum and I did the usual (hit the town) and had a ton of fun. Too much fun. We got some really good Indonesian BBQ food as well as Burritos from a Mexican restaurant. We also had a really good training by President and Sister Mains. They always do a really good job.
I got my new companion! His name is Elder Stahle. He is from Layton, Utah, went to davis. He actually was in my MTC group, but had to leave almost immediately after he came in for emergency back surgery. So he went home, got the surgery, recovered, and came back out. He is pretty funny, likes to learn Chinese, and likes spicy food (so pretty much we get along just fine). I have learned so far, from something that President told me once, that the happiest missionaries are the most obedient missionaries. Definitely true. We strive for EXACT obedience. I was reading in Alma the other day about the stripling warriors, and how their success and protection was directly related to them doing exctly what they knew to be right. Same here. I think it's funny that the missionary mom website tells you to tell us to be obedient. It's actually very surprising how many missionaries rationalize being 'less than obedient' to the rules. I guess we all have our agency, right? We love them all.
It is very strange being senior companion. A lot more responsibility, like, a noticeable amount. It seems like I am constantly thinking about where our next investigator will come, what our next lesson will be about, and how I can to better to improve myself for the next time. I also find myself constantly self checking to see if we are following all the rules. If the trainers don't trian the new guys with all the right rules from the beginning, then the next generation of missionaries is not as effective. It's a lot of work, and somehow the hours keep going by faster now. Oh, and I feel about 2x as tired. it's a good tired though.
Oh. Beh is going to be baptized this upcoming Sunday. Last night, we went through the Baptismal interview with him and it was amazing to see how far he's come. He is very ready. He is so strange, but so funny at the same time. His testimony is very simple, but very true. The fact that we can eliminate bad feelings in our heart, by turning our hearts towards the Savior, and becoming new people. For him, since he knew nothing about Christianity before the missionaries, it is cool to see how someone with no preknowledge can understand this message. It also is a testimony to me that this message isn't for christians alone. It's not just something we tell ourselves to help us sleep at night. It's not something some secret group of guys way back when conjured to oppress the masses. But rather, it's something that each person can find for themselves. Something that does not change. Truths that are found in many things, but in it's fullness in the gospel. It's a precious time we have to share this with others.
We've been having the opportunity to do just that with a group of Hindus. Starting from scratch. You cannot assume they know anything. I like it that way. That way, they have to check for themselves if it is really possible/plausible/true at every step. They're all doing quite well.
We also found some random less actives that moved from Sarawak to Klang, and we got them to church yesterday. They are all so funny. Good language practice.
Ok, so I'm happy and healthy. Today I'm taking my greenie into China town to buy some fake sunglasses and see KL. Should be fun.
Oh, and NO one knew it was easter yesterday. In fact, I taught sunday school about easter because no one (except for the old time members) knew what it was.
OH, and one of the Klang families will be in Salt Lake this week. I can't say why right now, because I think it hasn't been 'announced' yet (hehe). I may or may not have them bring you guys something.
Monday, March 25, 2013
It's been a pretty exciting week so far. Transfer news came this morning, and I will be staying in Klang and training a new missionary that is coming in the group. So some time this week I'll be going to Singapore again to pick him up (which I'm very excited about because Elder Mayo is also training, and the Singapore Elders are way fun so it will be a good time). Elder Trotter is being transferred to Kuching. I don't know if he is happy or not about that.
This week was the mission tour, so President Mains and Elder Gerrit W. Gong (of the Seventy and Asia Area Presidency) toured the mission. They were scheduled to come into KL on tuesday night to give a YSA fireside, and then on Wednesday morning there would be a missionary training. Well, because it takes 1.5 hours to get to the PJ chapel from our house in Klang, elder trotter and I decided we would spend the night in KL because we had 2 investigators that wanted to go to the YSA thing, and then we had to be there again at 8:30 in the morning. So, we packed up all our stuff, and went to the YSA activity. During the activity, we learned that we were supposed to have our suit coats (we both forgot) and that we HAD to have them for the missionary training in the morning. So, Tuesday night was a disaster. We had to FLY back to KLang, and FLY back to KL. Not actually, but very close. It was a big ordeal. Well, we showed up to the training looking good in our suits, only to have President Mains invite us to take offf our jackets (literally) 10 minutes after it started. oof.
Aside from the suit jacket ordeal, the training was really good. You could just tell he was a general authority by the way he answered questions/concerns. One thing that really stood out to me was how much he treated us like adults, even when some of the missionaries shouldn't have been given the honor haha. A lot of the training was talking about how the increase in missionaries needs to work towards Malaysia getting a stake. It was kind of funny, he let us have a 10 minute break (because it was 5 hours long) he was walking around, and then he comes up to me. He asked me how I was, and then casually asks if I learned anything. I (of course) said yes. He then says, oh really? what? He quizzed me right on the spot! It's a good thing I actually had something in mind to say. It was kind of a cool experience actually. Anyway, it was a great training. He and his wife are fluent in Chinese and live in Hong Kong.
Another REALLY cool story. Sis. Sophie's daughter and son in law are staying in Klang for a few months. Well, her son in law, Mike, who isn't a member and has met with missionaries, agreed to let us meet with him. We have been, and he is a great guy. As we have been meeting him, he told us he wants to be baptized, for himself and for his family. It was really cool. He is scheduled for the 28th of April. Everyone in the mission will be jealous that we have an American Baptism in Malaysia :D
Also, our investigator Beh is doing really well too. He should be baptized on the 7th. I'll send a picture of him, and two of our other investigators (indian) that are pretty great also.
Today we went up into the Petronas Towers! It was way cool. Definitely one of the nicest buildings I've ever been in. We weren't allowed to wear our name tags inside. And we went through a ton of security checks (about 3x as much as the Malaysian airports do, but that's not saying a lot) We got to go to the bridge, and then up to a members office on the 52nd floor. If we want to go to the top, we have to pay 50RM.... so.. not happening. It was really cool, even though it wasn't the clearest day. Maybe when I have my "greenie" we'll come back on a nicer day. I really want to be an expat over here. They have the coolest lives, and get to go all over the place. Maybe if I keep learning Chinese I'll be able to come back over here and maybe work for an Oil company
So last Pday we went and got fitted for custom suits, and we got a really good deal. We told the little chinese guy that we had to have them in a week, because we knew elder trotter was leaving. So, we were fitted, and then today we were fitted again, and we will pick them up tomorrow after district meeting. They look very nice. Too nice. I probably won't touch them until I get home.
^^ all the perks of serving in KL.
I am really excited for this transfer. I'm happy that I am training. i think it will be a great time/experience introducing a new elder into the mission. Crossing my fingers for a good one. I remember all the things that I wish I would have known the first week haha. And Klang is going to be such a fun place. Especially because some of our work is finally coming to fruition. I am just very excited. A lot of people get disappointed with transfers ( not getting leadership positions, or not leaving an area) but I can honestly say that I am extremely excited with this one.
I can't remember what else I wanted to tell you.
I shrunk down the images so I could send them in an email
Monday, March 18, 2013
hope you all had a great week. I'm glad the highlight of everyone's email was about the cat.... haha i actually only read the first one (no time for repeats!)
Singapore was a lot of fun. I was pretty upset that I didn't get to go to Pulau Ubin... because we literally didn't end up doing anything. On the other hand, we got to be with some other Elders to just relax and catch up. The Elders who went on the bike trip said it was way fun though >.< We stayed in a nice hotel and had a nice Zone Conference. President Mains did a great job, as always. It felt super short. The sad part was that this was the last Zone Conference for a huge group of Elders before they go back, including my old Companion Elder Matheson, Putnam, Sroufe, Brookes, Corob, etc. I'm going to miss those guys haha. It was cool to catch up with them again. It was also fun to be with Elder Bodhaine and Crum again. Those Elders are a fun time. It was so short that we had to run straight from Zone Conference to the other side of Singapore to catch our bus to Kuala Lumpur. Five hours later..... we got to KL way late and ended up staying up late and sleeping in the KL apartment. Another fun time.
I don't know if this made any headlines, but there is a little bit of a war going on in East Malaysia right now. Apparently, a tribe of muslim Filipinos that immigrated to Sabah years ago decided it was going to create it's own sultanate. So some random guy proclaimed himself the new sultan and sent a bunch of guerrilla fighters against the government. The missionaries have been on close watch in Sabah. The government is quite literally trying to eliminate the problem. No one knows exactly who has died, but supposedly the govt. is trying to keep the news away from it. Lots have died. Anyway, the reason I mention this is because of it, Sabah wouldn't let the missionaries come back in. They gave them 7 days to leave. So.... thankfully transfers are next week, so there is going to be big changes in the mission. I am positive I'm staying here (so glad!). Elder Trotter is sure he's leaving.
Do you have a copy (or can you get a copy) of our priesthood line of authority? I would like to show that to people here. If not, let me know.
One of our best investigators, Beh, is getting so close to baptism. We just found out the other day, however, that there is something he needs to take care of before he is fully ready. We had a really memorable time with him last night. Everything has been so easy for him to accept and understand to this point. Now, there is something that is much more difficult. President Mains talked about how the problem in our mission isn't a retention problem, but a conversion problem. This is the perfect opportunity for Beh. I'm glad that he sees it for himself too. Not that we told him, but that he can see the desire to change, and the need also. I don't want to say much more about it, but it was one of the best moments of the mission so far.
Yesterday at church we had members from the Subang Jaya branch visit our group, which doubled our numbers haha. It was so nice having more people there. We taught sunday school, and it was so much nicer when the members get up and say something so our investigators can see another's perspective. We also had a FEAST afterwards. I think every sunday we've had food... which is nice because we used to starve on sundays. So much curry, fried rice, shrimp, meehoon, and CARROT CAKE. american style. So good. Oh, and one of the expat families from Subang brought real turkey, and being the missionaries... we get all the left overs ^___^ One thing I've noticed on my mission is that free food = delicious food.
On saturday, we had kind of a cool experience. The KL district had all the missionaries come to the church in PJ to take the youth on exchanges with us. I've never done this.... and I feel like I'm one of the only people who didn't do this before the mission haha... It was a fun experience though. It destroyed our proselyting day, because we had to travel so far. Luckily, we had a lesson early in the morning before so the day wasn't completely lost. It was funny because they took us (the Elders who live the furthest away from KL on one side) and sent us to take these young men to a member on the OPPOSITE side of the KL valley. It was good for them to see because finding your way through malaysia, when you have no idea where you're going, is often a struggle.
Oh, I'm going to a tailor today to get two custom suits designed. I'm thinking of getting a dark navy blue one, and then maybe a nice dark black one. There's four elders who are doing it too. On of the members is hooking us up with a friend.
If you send a package, could you include some nice tooth brushes/ tooth paste?
This week was kind of slow because 3 days were taken up with Singapore, and then Saturday was taken up with the youth activity. So not too many stories.
Ok I forgot to tell you that I was going to Singapore. I am currently in a ridiculously nice mall right now, at a very nice computer just giving you a heads up. I didn't realize that I forgot to email you about the trip until I was on the plane, haha! And the plane was giving out free postcards/postage, so I wrote one telling you where I was haha.
I'm actually kind of mad right now. The mission planned a trip for us to go to this place called Pulau Ubin (an island off Singapore), where they have a mountainbike course through the jungle. i was way excited about going, and Elder Crum called me from Singapore to set it all up so we could go together with Elder Bodhaine too. I was so excited. Well, Crum was supposed to pick us up from the airport. Elder TRotter's friend kind of told us wrong information, plus we didn't have a working cell phone, so Elder CRum ended up waiting at the airport, and we went into the city. By that time, the others went to the island without me, and no one that we were with wanted to go, so now we're uselessly walking around Singapore seeing teh same old same old. We get to come here ONCE every 3 months to do something cool, and we are spending it doing what we could do in Kuala Lumpur -___________- soo disappointed. It goes back to my companion and his friend not wanting to go. So... hopefully I will get something fun happen. I just bought a huge bowl of Korean Bulgogi and edamame, so atleast I'm not as hungry :)
We may have a chance to email again later this week.