Sunday, April 28, 2013

Klang baptism/2

Dear Family,

What a good week!  As you already found out, we baptized Michael Whitson yesterday!  I don't think I have ever called him Michael, we all call him Mike.  His mother-in-law exclusively refers to him as "Mikey" which was pretty sweet when she gave the closing prayer yesterday. The baptism went flawlessly yesterday, mostly because the members were very supportive and willing to help out.  It also helps that it was Sis. Sophie's son-in-law!  When Mike first came to Klang, he had no intention of being baptized.  In fact, he seemed quite opposed to it.  It is amazing how much he has matured, and developed, in such a short amount of time.  The reasons why he started learning are pretty cool.  He said that he has always wanted his kids to be raised in the gospel, after seeing the way Mel (his wife) was brought up, and how much it helped her.  According to him, he said he started to realize that if he ever expected his kids to accept or live this way of life, he would have to be the example and also live that way.  It was nice/rewarding to hear him bear his testimony of how the gospel gives so much potential to people, and even though now he isn't much different than a day before, that the days to come can be that much brighter and more fulfilling.  
Because he is a marine, we had some of the ex-pats in the Subang branch speak at his baptism.  A very common theme was the idea that, like the marines, the gospel has a strict code of conduct, which brings about irreplaceable results.  How his duties will continue to be to God, his family, and his country.  I think that really helped him understand more. 
Mike asked me to do the confirmation, which was a great opportunity for me.  I was able to stand with some of the greatest people I know, as holders of the priesthood, and place our hands on Mike's head and be a means of the Lord in giving Mike this gift.  I think the whole branch became a little closer.  
Sis. Sophie has been like our Mom here.  She has done SO much for us, it's not even funny.  She sacrifices so much for teh church, and literally asks for NOTHING in return, even though she is quite busy with her own life.  I'm glad we could say "thank you" in this way to her.  I know she really appreciated it.  I/we can't take much credit for anything, because the spirit was manifested in so many other ways that really contributed to Mike's decision.  I also think it is cool that I'll be able to see him when I get home!  My companion's mom added Sis. Sphie on facebook, and they've been chatting it up, so I think Sis. SOphie will also be planning another US trip soon! 

What else....

I got an email from Elder White!  I'll have to respond after this.  I'm excited to write back.  

I went on exchanges with the Zone Leaders the other day, so that Mike could receive his baptismal interview, and learned a lot.  I honestly can say that I haven't met one missionary here that I don't like.  I don't know if that's because we just have an awesome mission, or if I'm becoming better and liking people.  Probably a little bit of both!  Elder Scott was very impressed with our area, and especially impressed with VJ, our hopefully next baptism.  He says VJ has the potential to be a leader in the KL area.  I agree.  Elder Scott and I talked a lot about the role of obedience in our lives, as we were waiting for a train to come.  He said that he gets to travel to a lot of other areas, and he gets to see the difference that obedience plays in all of them.  He said that as far as the KL Zone was concerned (which is all of West Malaysia) we were the strongest/most obedient.  

Went to a Pasar Malam (night market) and had some great steamed peanuts and satay.

We also had some really cool chinese investigators come to church yesterday, which was perfect because the lessons at Subang were practically personally catered to their needs.  So nice.  I was so proud of the Subang Branch, they fellowshippd them soooooo well.  In fact, Sis. Sophie is taking us and him for dinner tonight! +1

Yes, this past week was absurdly wet.  It rained SO much.  On Pday, we were in KL and decided to walk through the bird park.  It's pretty much a giant patch of jungle right in the middle of KL (they're version of central park?)  and about half way through, the strongest rainstorm I've seen since i've been in KL hit and we were stuck in the middle of it.  We were running, trying to find covering (that wasn't in the jungle) when some police officers saw us and took some pity on us and took us into their office.  It was kind of fun to talk with the officers.  They let us dry off/wait for the rain to let up.  We all were laughing because we had never heard thunder that loud before!  It was still boiling hot.

That's all I can remember,
Elder Robinson

Monday, April 22, 2013

Dear Family,
> I didn't spend any time thinking about what to email, so this will be even more scatter brained than usual.
> what happened this week?
> Oh, yesterday, we had to take the bus into Bandar Klang with Beh, because he wanted to teach her a lesson (I'll talk more about that later).  Well, it must have been some random public holiday because the masses came out to Bandar [Bandar means like downtown, or center, like "Bandar Seri Begawan" in Brunei].  We were literally fighting to get onto the bus that heads to the port to go home.  I told Elder Stahle to be careful..... well... we get on the bus, and they pack us in like sardines.  I thought it was amusing how little space there was left in the bus, especially because there was only one door on the bus, so if someone wanted to get off, there would have been NO way to get there.  Anyway, I asked ELder Stahle to take a picture of it.... he goes to the pocket on his backpack... which was already open.  TUrns out someone stole his camera, whether on the bus or in the crowds before we got on.  He was fuming/still is.  haha.  Very disappointing though.  He had it in his front pocket for easy access... for him and the robbers O.o  So it looks like my Pday is going to be camera shopping in Bukit Bintang KL.  :(
> So Beh is set on baptizing his family, which is really cool/humbling to see.  He was telling us yesterday of all the ways the gospel could help his mom, and his family.  Like all families, they have there fair share of issues.  People here are not shy about telling you about them, which can be a good thing and a bad thing....  After hearing more about them, it is so clear to me that the same thing that has helped Beh so much can also help his mom, and their family.  We had a formal lesson yesterday in Bandar with her, and I think there were some things that really stood out to her.  Especially when she was asked, what is her purpose here, she had no idea, but kept wanting to know what WE thought her purpose was.  I'm excited for Beh to get a taste of missionary work.
> There was a baptism on saturday in CHeras, so we took Beh there and tried to get another investigator there (he had last minute plans).  He is an Iban man working in Cheras (outside KL) and his family still lives in Sibu, Sarawak.  The cool part about it was that at 7:00 on saturday, his family was baptized in Sibu Jaya, and at 8:00, he was baptized in KL, and his family was able to watch it via skype through a senior couples iPad.  (sidenote, literally all senior couples use iPads here....)  It was a good experience to see, although the hours of public transportation nightmares made me almost go crazy before we got there.
> What else?
> Oh!!  Mike Whitson is going to be baptized this Sunday!  He is our American investigator!  He is so great, and we never thought this was going to happen.  In case you've forgotten, he is married to Sis. Sophie Ting's daughter.  That family takes such good care of the missionaries.  Whether it is taking us out to nice meals (or getting us take out when they go), or driving investigators to church, they are always there.  It's really nice that we have the opportunity to help out their family with this Baptism, because they have been hoping and praying about it for a long time.  What's even cooler is that he is moving to Utah soon, so we'll be able to see him later!
> My District is about half of the KL area.  So there are about 10 of us.  How we do it here is that KL is divided into 2 districts, with 2 district leaders, but we all meet together for district meetings for a big get together at the senior couples apartments.  I take turns with the other DL giving training/guiding discussion.  Last week, during my training, the AP's called and said they were in town and wanted to come see the training.  I was sweating bullets, but thankfully I prepared something (not winging it like people usually do -____-)!  haha it was fine.
> What else...
> before I forget, for the next package, please send more of the good deodorant!  I just opened my last one yesterday.  I will proudly be one of the few people in this beautiful country that wear deodorant... haha.
> OH, this story is kind of for Eric.  So jackfruit is actually one of my favorite fruits here.  There are two kinds.  One is the plain jackfruit, the other is the honey jackfruit.  It turns out that in Hawaii we ate the fruit completely wrong.... way to go Robinsons  on vacation.  In Bahasa, it is Nangka Madu.  Anyway, we found a little street vendor that sells some delicious nangka, so I'll send a picture of it.
> Last week we finally went to the Muzium Negara.  It was really good, except I might just be saying that because I've been dying to go to a museum.  For a national museum, I was disappointed in how small it was.  It only talked about the ethnic malay history, so the Ting's told me it was small because the malays have no history!  haha.  I'll send some cool pictures from it.  As we were touring it, an entourage from the Jordan military came in with a bunch of reporters.  They had some US naval guys with them also.  They rushed me through the first part of the museum -___-.  I still don't know why they were there.
> That's sad to hear about the boston bombing.  No good.  Elections are in a few weeks here and there is rumors that it could go bad.  Missionaries might have to stay in.  Did I say that in the last email?  Our neighborhood has been plastered with all types of flags, banners, and posters.  It's kind of cool because they have them all in english, tamil, Malay, arabic, and chinese, so the people voting can understand!
> I can't think of anything else.  HOpe everyone has a good week.
> Bai
> Elder Robinson
> ps, I can't believe Elder White/Christiansen are almost done with their missions.  That is so bizarre.

Friday, April 19, 2013

loooong week

Dear Family,

Another very long but really good week.  I say it was long, but it feels like I was just emailing you guys yesterday.  Not anything new to say really!  

Yesterday was conference Sunday (because Klang is so small they decided to just NOT do saturday session....??)  We were really excited to have people come and see it, because we heard it was a good one.  The church sends out flash drives with all the conference talks on it, so we had the english one playing on a projector in the chapel, and then we had a laptop with the Bahasa one plugged in, and then set the translation microphone next to it so the Bahasa speakers could hear to.  Genius!  haha.... all my companion's idea...  Anyway, when we got to the church to turn on the air con, NO ONE WAS THERE.  Very disappointing.  Of the 6 investigators that told us they would be there, 1 had come for the morning session.  I was livid.  After 23947 phone calls, I was more perturbed.  After the morning session, during our 1 hour lunch break, I told Elder Stahle to get on his bike, we're rounding up the gang.  I don't think I've ever sweat so much in my life (except for when we went to the jungle in miri XD)  because we were sprinting across town to get people there.  There is goal setting, and then there is making sure your goals actually happen.  We were able to get some more people there, so I felt much happier during the second session.  The issue was that their phone/alarm had died, and they had just worked the night shift, and so were still asleep.  Probably not the best thing to wake up to (elder robinson pounding on your door).  The conference that I did see was awesome.  Elder L. Tom Perry's talk on obedience was spot on.  It's funny, because a lot of the stuff about obedience that we learned yesterday confirms all the emphasis on obedience that President Mains has been using since I've been out.  I really liked all the talks.  Someone told me, if you guys really believe you have prophets of God on the earth today, why aren't your church members running to go head his counsel?  Food for thought.  

What else.

I probably ate the best fish of my life the other day.  Ikan Assam is what it's called.  It's this sweet and sour chili sauce thing with a whole fish and vegetables, I'll send a pic.  


Oh, interesting story.  We had contacted a lady who said she was somewhat interested.  When we came back for a return appointment, she just yelled from her window that she wasn't interested any more, but that her neighbors were Christian.  So, we tried their door.  Elder Stahle was standing closer to the door, so I couldn't see inside, but he could.  Two young men came out, one of them cleaning his nose.  It felt kind of weird, but I began talking to them anyway.  After just a few minutes, I started to feel really weird, like I was inhaling something.  My chest started tightening up (this is all happening really fast) and I darted away from the door and started coughing, Elder Stahle did the same.  It turns out that Elder stahle saw all the drugs they were doing, bags of white powder, needles, and one person in the back had started to smoke something strange and we got a whif of it!  It was terrible.  I felt sick and weird the rest of the day.  I asked the guys (from 20 ft. away) what on earth they were doing in there.  They just gave us an eery smile, and responded tiadahal, which means... "nothing to worry about" (more or less).  

Oh, and the thing that they wasn't announced was that President Chan from our group was set apart by general authorities as Elder Chan.  He is a new Asia area seventy thing.  It was really cool to talk to him about it yesterday.  I'm still not 100% sure what it is, but he was flown to SLC for it.  They said SLC it was quite cold haha.  

Another cool story.  The other day, Beh's mom told Beh she wanted to meet with us to ask us a few questions.  I wasn't quite sure what she thought about the Baptism, so I wasn't sure what these questions were going to be like.  It turned out to be great.  She said that of all her children, Beh was the saddest, but something has changed that has made is so bright and happy.  He has a new desire to learn, she said, and that he is more energetic, more hopeful, more happy to be around.  She wanted to know what exactly it was.  What was even better was that Beh wanted to tell her.  He was so excited to tell his mom about it.  He was the translator, because she only speaks chinese, and my limited chinese didn't cut it.  Beh said that it was like a pill, that after he took it, his bad 'symptoms' went away, and that he felt so much better.  He went on to say that after the symptoms had gone away, he couldn't deny that the pill works.  Same with the gospel, he said, at first he didn't know what to think, but now he can't deny what he has experienced.  He told me this morning that he wants to be a missionary.  :')  

I'll have to take a picture of my suits.  I'm afraid to wear them here... in case they'll be destroyed.  

I'm currently trying to find the links on for general conference in tamil and mandarin... english was too hard for a few of the people yesterday.

Also, side note for Eric and Kaitlin:
You know the speaker, Elder Falabella?  his talk was really good, but one of the things that stood out the most to me was that all the names he used in his stories were names from destinos O.o

First Jamaica, and now in Las Vegas?  All you guys are doing now is having fun it sounds like!  I'll be sure to compensate over here.  I think today Elder Stahle and I are going to try and find the national museum in KL.

Ok, bai
Elder Robinson

Monday, April 8, 2013

Baptism of Beh

Baptism Time!

Dear family,

wow.  We had probably the busiest week of my mission yet.  That was kind of nice though.  We had lots of people to go see, so much so, that I think my greenie is already sick of it.  Especially the bike riding haha.  It doesn't help that we'll have days where we ride across town multiple times to different teaching appointments.  

So Beh was baptized yesterday!  It was great.  I have some funny stories leading up to it.  So, we had to have the Zone Leaders come interview him (usually the District Leader does it, but since I'm the district leader... can't) so on Saturday, I literally spent all day riding the Commuter Train (KTM) back and forth so we could do exchanges, and then pick them up right afterwards.  Anyway, Beh kept sending me some SMS messages that were making me nervous, so I was kind of scared for the interview.  He was so ready, so I couldn't understand why he was so nervous/scared.  When we all met up at the church shop lot in Klang, I asked him, "BEh, why you so nervous?"  .... He slowly responded, "Because I never wear tie before" .  -______- i thought, are you serious???  I have been sweating bullets for the past 24 hours because you're nervous about tying a tie?  I made sure there was nothing else, and there wasn't.  He was just really nervous about having to wear a tie.  I guess it's better that be the problem than something else!  

Here's a really good story.  So, we had 6 investigators coming to church yesterday.  Because it was fast sunday, and a baptism, we were meeting in Petaling Jaya.  We had one of our investigators give us a ride, and we picked up 2 other investigators.  Well, our ride was way late, so we came into the chapel during the sacrament hymn.   As we were sitting in the back, I was looking nervously for Beh.  As I was looking, I couldn't find him!  After a minute, someone sitting by the Rama family turned around to look back at me.  There was Beh, his hair cut cleanly, wearing a SUIT AND TIE (properly tied), with a giant grin and the classic thumbs up.  It killed me.  I was so proud of Beh.  I shouldn't be surprised, after all the changes he has made, that his whole countenance and appearance would reflect it.  He was so happy yesterday.  He was walking up to everybody, introducing his Mom and Sister (who only speak chinese, and haven't been to church.... but came to support his baptism) to everyone.  He looked so great!  Because only the missionaries wear their suit jackets (it's so hot that the only people crazy enough to wear jackets are the missionaries.... which is rule, unfortunately) all of the members in the Subang Jaya branch who didn't know him thought he was a missionary!  Beh is only 23 years old, so a mission is a definite possibility.  He likes the sound of "Elder Beh".  

I got to baptize him, which was really special.  Right before the service, he we said a prayer of thanks together, and by the end of it, both our eyes were a bit wet.  Because baptisms in West Malaysia are somewhat rare, we had all the missionaries in the whole KL area come see it.  Beh was so happy that lots of people came to see him, and he demanded he get pictures with all of them.  He is also SO excited for next week for his confirmation.  One of the best days of my life.

Anyway, the baptism, and preparation for that was so time consuming/nerve racking that I cannot think of anything else that happened this week.....

I see you all enjoyed your trip to Jamaica.  The beach looked pretty nice.  Sounds like you guys just bummed around for a week.  haha if you think it's going to be a lazy day trip next year, you better think again!  I'm already working on the itinerary.  

OK bye
Elder Robinson