Saturday, 28 December 2013

Dec 22 emails

We did a bunch of emails back and forth again. The first email was a response to my email, where I told him about our trip down to Hillspring.

Oh my goodness the Hillspring Christmas I forgot about that...
Christmas is brutal for missionaries because everyone is busy and there are parties and activities so we lose a lot of time and I'm excited for it to finally be over so that we can be more effective again.

and wow! no trip to the hospital!
We set our distance record for biking yesterday at 66km... it was sedikit jahu (really hard?)... but it was worth it.

it's hard work out here, but it's a lot of fun also. It's really tiring though :P
eventually I'm gonna stop by this big sports store and buy a rugby ball :P but still haven't done that :P

Some days p-days are the worst :P it's been a lot of shopping... but never really for stuff that I want/need to get, and that has been kinda annoying cause it's felt like a bunch of wasted p-days.
anyways, I'm excited to skype you guys!!!

talk to you on wednesday... or tuesday i think for you guys, tuesday night?

Jumpa Lagi
Elder Bester
Troy: Hi Brent, are you having a good time in Malaysia?  Did you have a good time today? Do you have Christmas there?
Dad: What's Christmas like there?
Mom: shoes yet?
Dad: you should go Christmas carolling with a bunch of missionaries and hand out treats.
Troy: today Bro Laughlin gave me a Detroit t shirt, it says Datsyuk on it. Do you know what number he is?
Dad: go carolling at a mall
Troy: what's your favorite hockey player?
Katie: I am reading Mockingjay and I'm over half done.

Troy I'm having a good time in Malaysia. Today was kinda boring so far, but I still have a long time left :P and yes we have christamas.
Dad christmas is all about Jesus

mom, nope. still have the pair I'm wearing... and going to get some at a store that the missionaries all get them at maybe... hard to find white people sizes.
Dad, we go out with our branch and see less active members, and then they all still don't come to church :P
we can't do things like random caroling cause we are in a Muslim country

Troy I have no idea what number he is
dad, no

Troy, Iginla
Katie, I still haven't read the first one

Troy: are you going to send me a really cool present? Like a monster truck?

I'm not sending any presents cause I haven't got any yet :p and I don't have money :P And I send letters :P
p-days have been really lame recently, and we were gonna go to a crocodile farm, but we couldn't because of one of the sister missionaries in our branch
Christmas has just killed our numbers, and I'm really excited for it to be over so we can do more work again, cause it's been caroling and branch parties, and meeting all the missionaries and a lot of time that would have been better spent if Christmas wasn't right now
I told him something about how maybe he was planting seeds, not seeing the results yet...
so the big mission theme out here is that the field is white, and that we aren't here to plant seeds
and we don't do much contacting, we work with members, because member referrals are the highest success rate, and there are so many less actives in Malaysia that they take up a lot of our time
also there is no home teaching program here, and we are starting it... so it isn't like being back home, the missionary things that they do at home I think (from what I saw) were both ineffective there and if they were applied here.
the area we are in has no completely active families, one is active but it's a single father and his daughters, and one is active except that the mother and father have been taking turns deciding to not go to church
I would like to finally do something on p-day :P and really want to buy a rugby ball and still haven't

if you're having a bad day you need to go strengthen the members because this is a branch. These branches aren't like wards back home. it is like 1830 here
Would you be able to play rugby? Do people there play rugby?
people play rugby here. and you can play touch, or just throw the ball, or just have a rugby ball.
I know pretty much every active and inactive member :P
the thing is, in Canada, a branch still is in a stake, and there are people who know what they are doing. The city of Kuching has only sent out 6 missionaries in its history and one of them is serving right now. So there aren't many people who really know what they are doing...
Rugby is decently big in Canada, it's about the same in Malaysia.
They play a lot of badminton, soccer, and everyone does track
Stayed on your bike ok this week?
I didn't get knocked off last week cause Heavenly Father was looking out for me lah
i stayed on my bike :P
Any comments on Jordan's great bball skills? He played one on one with Dad yesterday, which was funny to watch. Dad still has some skills and much longer reach than Jordan, but Jordan can outrun Dad.
dad has the skill of being able to push jordan around due to being twice his size :P
also I could beat dad 1v1 cause all dad can do is post around, and he can't out beat Elder Bester ;)
Also the Iban name tag language picture (with the 2 tags) was one of the only reasons I ordered the 2nd tag :P
Dad is wondering if we could maybe set up a fund here that members could contribute to, to help people to go to the temple there. Like, if you know of a family that we could all help to go.
I'm not allowed to set up things like that, white handbook lah

it's called the one trip temple vist thingy :P that you put in other on tithing slips and just specify malaysia
it was announced at a general conference a while ago, the one trip temple fund, and a lot of members already use it.
No funny stories this week?
on sunday we forgot our phone in our suit jackets (we keep them at the church in the branch presidents office) but we had to get it... but don't have a key to his office... and we didn't have a phone... so we broke into his office :P
it's been a good week, but rather long and a little unproductive... and it's just cause it is christmas :P
I had to talk in church :P so it is my 3rd time speaking in sacrament meeting... and my companion still hasn't yet!
hmm what else, i still haven't had pop or ice cream because D is stoping coffee... oh ya and we are going to have to give D to the Kuching International branch... :/ which is unfortunate because that branch is really hurting Kuching... and it has all the educated members (they speak english there) so it is just going to build that branch meanwhile it could help sentosa.
Sentosa is pretty good, like in Kuching there is one really strong Malay (Batu Kawa) then the International, and then us, and we are decently functional, and have quite a few priesthood... the other 3 branches are hurting though
oh ya, so we had to drop one investigator, one went back to indonesia for christmas, and we have to give donna to another branch, and we have one other investigator who is progressing :P so it has been a little different :P
Why are there 6 branches instead of all together? is it because of distance?
distance. no one has transport here. it is the biggest freaking problem ever. like there are around 3-4 cars in our branch.
also there are about 40-70 people who go to each branch, but 300+ on the records in each branch because of all the inactives
and they are trying to build a stake, and you can't do that with 2 wards...
remember that most of Sarawak is 3rd world, although Kuching isn't... but it deffs isn't first...
also my area is just outside of Kuching... and most the members live in shacks

H (the indonesia guy) texted us merry christmas :) he is great i love him :P
anyways merry christmas!
saya akan cakap bersama kamu semua pada hari natal!!!
Saya sayang kamu! harap kamu semua ada seronok! Selalu belajar supaya kamu boleh menjadi pandai macam saya!
What did you speak about it church?
and I talked about christmas lah and doing missionary work.
because I'm a missionay lah, and it is almost christmas lah 
Do you ever have days without rain? Do you worry about floods?
yes we have days without rain, we live in an appartment building... so no, however we have to walk through flooded water a lot. Sarawak is the province in east malaysia, and Kuching is the capital of sarawak I don't really want to leave Sarawak unless I go to sabah, because (for example) in KL they speak English, so you don't learn as much Malay, and if i ever go to west or singapore I am never speaking english with my companion and im gonna tell him i was adopted by ibans.
also boleh is a good malay word, it means can like saya boleh, i can.
i bought new white board markers!

everyone and their dog invited us for christmas :P im gonna get fat :P
Ok jumpa Lagi!
Elder Bester


Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Dec 16 2013 emails

This week, most of the family was awake when Brent emailed. This is the first message he sent:

so this week i got hit by a car!

Trying (and succeeding) to scare me.  Then he sent more info:

but I'm all good! didn't fall off my bike
and then
Elder Sutherland saw the whole thing and doesn't understand how I wasn't thrown off my bike, but Tuhan looked out for me :P

Tuhan is the word we use because we can't use Allah for God, and actually when I got hit it has helped me shift in to 5th gear easier
I sent some questions about the pictures, and a comment about last week's pictures

What is the melon? Who is cooking? Is that your kitchen? Nice hat!

Fashion advice from Katie - don't leave your pants tucked in to your socks when you are not on your bike.

The melon is watermelon... it taste the same, they have yellow and red here. The melon is right after Elder Sutherland threw it at me :P I walked past the kitchen and he says "Elder Catch" and I didn't think he'd actually throw it... so it bounced off me and cracked :P

The guy cooking is Elder Sutherland... :P

and yes that is our kitchen.

I love the hat.

I was getting on my bike katie #DontTellTheLordsServantsWhatToDoSmallChild

We asked if he has many investigators

we have a few right now, and we have really started to get referrals as we have been working with the members a lot

Then another email, about his branch

This week we had 66 people at church! It's just nothing like church at home where everyone knows what they are doing :P We have 2 returned missionaries... in the whole branch... and only cause one moved from kk to here.

Oh the primary presentation was  this week! It was really funny :P

and like everything is completely fine with me and my bike... like Heavenly Father really helped me, don't worry, i only told you to scare you :P
Any words for Katie so I can send her to bed?

The Book of Mormon is true!

And finally, his "long" email

So we had the primary presentation this week! It was awesome, except imagine trying to get all of the primary to sing in Malay... so all the primary sang in English... so it was very umm... interesting :P but it was awesome and really cute :)

D (an investigator) is stopping drinking coffee, but this week she is only having half a cup each day, so in order to help her... I can't have any pop or ice cream! and man, I can't imagine how hard getting off coffee must be, cause getting off pop is killing me :P

I got hit by a car, but truly God helped me out. (unrelated, did you know you don't need hand to ride a bike :P) both by providing me the opportunity to become skilled on a bicycle, so that I could handle the impact without falling and also by a little extra help while I was in the collision, cause I should have been thrown from the bike :P

My companion threw a watermelon at me :P

and it is always hot here :P

I love you all, and miss you.

I hope you are all growing as much as I am, prepare to serve a mission!

Jumpa Lagi!

Elder Bester

Monday, 9 December 2013

Dec 9 2013 emails

Once again, a bunch of short emails all put together.

Hey guys!

So this week I got a new companion! And he is super cool! HE's kinda a lot like Baranov actually! He's district leader and he works hard

I have to get off in like 5 minutes...

but I really miss you guys! I hope you're all having fun! I wish I knew more about what was going on back home! I love the advent calendar! I love mom's letters!

I hope you're all reading the Book of Mormon and continuing to grow!

I'm super excited to talk on Christmas!

Jumpa Lagi!

Elder Bester
I still haven't opened my Christmas presents :P
we bought groceries today... and we spent RM200 :P cause Sutherland likes to cook
Maybe you will learn something! That explains some of the pics. What are the green bags of stuff
that wasn't with Sutherland... that was with Baranov and we were at Belinda's to say goodbye and it is rice wrapped in leaves :P
Also I've gotten locked out of my apartment 2 times...
once with Baranov cause we went to teach  across the hall and we forgot our keys.
and then once with Parker, the day when Baranov had left and Sutherland hadn't arrived yet, we went to take out the trash and forgot the keys.

also I bought a triangle :P

What about shoes?

I'll buy new ones eventually

hey have you guys got my letters yet? cause i still haven't sent my Christmas ones... oops :P
I have all the bike tools i could need, I bought a new tool and tubes, bikes are good, and I have a pair of shoes... i brought 2...
ok love you all! k really gotta go now :P


Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Dec 2 2013 emails

Once again, instead of sleeping like a normal person, I woke up every 1/2 hour or so, to see if Brent was online. So, instead of a big email, I have a bunch of small emails that we sent back and forth in the middle of the night (for me).

First, I told him about our beautiful weather...

man a blizzard? we have those all the time... except it's rain, and we have to bike in it anyways haha

Are you ever dry?

not really... always either rained on, or sweating

starting to upload pictures!

Then, asked him what the strange plant thing was in last week's pictures

That was rambutan! it is delicious!!!!!!

I have a lot of amazing pictures, but can't send them all :P
And why the long sleeved shirt in all the pictures

Oh I was in a cave, so didn't want to scratch my arms too bad.
Today's pictures look like volcanic rocks, do I need to worry about something else too?

I don't think there is any volcanoes...

Also! transfer news today, I am staying in Kota Sentosa, but Elder Baranov is being made the Sibu Zone Leader, so I;m getting a new trainer, but apparently he was really good friends with Baranov in the Mtc, so he should be really good.
Does your new companion know the area at all? What do you do while the other guys are travelling around, switching areas? Are you in the Sibu zone?
No, I'm in the Kuching zone. It's ok, apparently Elder Baranovs favourite person in the MTC was Elder Sutherland (my new guy) and he has been in Kuching before, but not Sentosa
I was talking with Aunt Janine yesterday, and she asked me how you do your laundry, and I didn’t know. Do you have machines in your apartment or building? Or do you have to go somewhere? Or does someone do it for you?

They don't have driers in Malaysia, washing Machines only and then you put them on a rack for like 20 minutes outside :P or just inside in case it rains.

I got the package with all the book marks and stuff! I haven't opened the Christmas stuff, but I got the bike tools and stuff :)

Unfortunately I don't have a spare tube... which I kinda needed this week :P cause my tire popped and I'm using the AP's bike cause he keeps it at our house.
Did you get new shoes yet?

No, but because of transfers we are doing a bit of shopping tomorrow...

Did you have the primary presentation? How did it go?

The primary presentation is in a couple of weeks.
Have you done any service for people?

We end up just like cleaning their dishes and stuff, there's not much to do cause people don't really have anything...

Next week is the swim & dive meet. Jordan actually went to Talisman on Friday and did his dives. Nothing like waiting until the last minute. I was worried he might not even try them until the meet! Did we tell you Dad is helping to coach the Dief team? (Swimming, not diving!) I will keep you posted on how that goes.

Is he gonna swim also? :p I bet Dad loves that, and is trying to coach kids to kick J's butt.

Well, I've chatted back and forth a bit :P told you about the transfer news :P I've got a couple of storise coming in my letters, nothing too big, but still :P

Jumpa Lagi!

Elder Bester
ok done emailing, forgot to mention that I learned sign language because we have a ym who is deaf so I can talk to him in Malay sign now.

Monday, 25 November 2013

Nov 25 email

I realized some of this email doesn't make sense without my email included, so I've put some parts of my email in italics, before Brent's responses.
How are things going this week? It’s so funny every time we look at the weather forecast, does the weather ever change there?
The weather changes here, it goes from really really hot, to swimming.
Then, told Brent about Katie and Troy participating in the Primary presentation in our ward.

Hey! I get to play the piano for the primary presentation in Kota Sentosa! Troy you are so awesome, you are such a stud.

Katie, I better not have to start writing letters to Everett... that's all you can do :P sing duet's only :P
Next, told him about the Grey Cup...

Dangit the ti-cats lost :/ they're my east team. Oh btw I am uploading a bunch of pictures... but there is no way they are all gonna upload on time... so hopefully next week I can get some more also.
And about Jordan's fender bender and basketball tryouts

Oh my goodness, Russell was with him! Dangit I wish Russell had emailed me this week about that :P oh well he'll tell me eventually :P I heard about basketball from Jordan :P
Told him that Hedley was the half time act at the Grey Cup

Luke said Hedley was awesome!

Well, we have quite a few investigators, one with a baptism date for the 21st of December, but I don't know if he'll make it in time... cause he needs to quit smoking... I hope he does though!
Craig did magic tricks at Troy's birthday party.

Craig does magic? since when haha that's awesome.

Hey so Malay music is really good. It's almost like alternative in Canada, my favourite Malay song is Mungkin Nanti.

so a couple things I'm asking for... :) would you guys be able to (one day in the future) send a USB with Royals by Lorde, and Mungkin Nanti on it? Everybody in the mission has hard drives so they can add music :P So I'm buying one soon.

Also, in the MTC Elder Harr had a shirt... and it said "real missionaries ride bikes" and I was wondering if you know... one day...  a shirt like that could end up in Singapore for me... :P


Okay, story for the week... well one of them :P

So my shoes had been taken a bit of a beating (I'm buying new ones this week) so we were going out to a half active family for a party (as in the two kids... who are older than me so i guess not kids... are active and the parents aren't) But me and Baranov went and played soccer with these little kids in the community first, boosting our rep for when we are out there next time. And my shoe totally fell apart :P like the metal piece is gone, the soul went another way... I sent some pics home but I don't know if they'll make it in time :P It was really really funny haha.

So also, at this party, President Hedges showed up with... DURIAN!!!!! (really smelly fruit) and it was awesome. I really like it. It's really good over here... probably only cause I had it in the MTC though..

So today for p-day we went exploring In BAT CAVES!!!! We climbed all over these caves, we went up this one shaft that went straight up, and it was one of the sketchiest things ever.  I hope a bunch of those pics get through.

Well We are always wet here, always hot, and always smiling.

Also Elder Baranov ran over a dog while biking today :P I wrote about it more in my letter.

Jumpa Lagi!

Elder Bester