Monday, 29 December 2014

Dec 28, 2014 - Update from Kuching

I asked about the flooding, since we saw a video of flooding in Kuching on the weather network, and told him he didn't have to hide it

I'm in Borneo. No flooding here. Just in the Malay areas of west Malaysia. No proselyting area in the mission has been affected. Not hiding, it just has no impact on me so I didn't talk about it.
The flooding is in the provinces of Kelantan, Trengganu, a little bit of Pahang, and a little bit of Johor, but not the area where the missionaries are.
Then I sent another email, that started with I don't have a lot to say, and then ended up really long. Katie thought Elder Bester wouldn't read it, so we put a question in the middle to see if he did.

I read all of it!

but when your first line is "Well, I don’t have a lot to say" and you type that much i get pretty scared for next week :P

Anyways, I ran into a investigator I had in Mukah... about 30mins ago that was super cool, she is planning on coming to the Kuching District party this wednesday (her brother lives in Kuching, that's why she was here)

anymore University news? what are all the universities you applied to...?

No more news from universities since probably everyone has been off. I applied to u of a, u of c, UBC, u of Regina, u of s

I wish the world worked on my schedule, and I could know where I'm going to live next year in a timely manner...
It will work out. I think you will get accepted at u of a, with plenty of time to organize stuff. For Calgary, Regina and Edmonton we have family where you could stay as a worst case scenario while we find a great place for you. Don't worry (hahaha so funny for me to say that)

and on top of all of that, I have to re-learn everything, start engineering, and get married :P

You will remember everything quickly, first year is easy, you don't need to get married right away, Dad was 28, just date a bunch of girls and have fun!

and pay for things. :P
and not get fat
money is the worst :P one day i'll be barely out of university, and making a starting wage of 65 000 a year as a starter engineer and I'll be laughing. but until then... (and then I'll be rocking it and in a few more years... i'll have my own firm and i'll be making bank :) )
Just remember who helped you with physics and faithfully write emails when you are rich and famous :)
I asked if they could watch Disney movies on their mission
I've never had time to watch a movie on my mission. So I have no idea. I know some elders in Johor got permission to watch the other side of heaven, but we played basketball instead.

and you can see my friend from west stake, Elder Al Juels!

also this is a way beautiful picture!

Calgary Alberta Mormon Temple

Just checked UBC, they say they make decisions mid – March to early May.
yay exciting :P at least I know that, every 6 weeks I get a surprise here :p at least I know when my surprise is coming :P

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Kuching again - Dec 21, 2014

Hey I'm going to skype on the morning of the 26th here, so Christmas night for you all.

Kuching is awesome, I love the branch, I know most of the active members already. There is a family here that just went to the temple, I reactivated them in Kota Sentosa, then they moved to Matang branch (cause they live there...) and they just went to the temple! And now I get to serve with them again!

I got to go to a few members houses in other branches for caroling (haven't seen anyone from Sentosa yet...) but that was cool to get to see members again!

Opposite end of Kuching, like South Calgary, and North Calgary.

Anyways, its been a good week, moving around a ton, my mission has cost the church a fortune :P

Jumpa Lagi,

Elder Bester

Did you have a Christmas program in sacrament meeting?

No we didn't, but we have been doing carolling.

I gave a talk Yesterday on strengthening faith, that was really good, I enjoyed it (I got told about it Saturday night :P)

Dad's lame :P No pictures from Japan!?

So, we sent some pictures

I appreciate that the first picture Dad uploaded was food :P

also, I wanted to challenge dad officially, to a 100M freestyle race when I come home. I won't have swam for 2 years, so it gives him a chance.

Dad says how about a 50?

Nope, Dad well need to work if he wants to beat me in the 100, in the 50 he won't have the same motivation. If it's a 50 he'll procrastinate and I'll beat him by 10 seconds :P

If he gets to work, he could put up a fight in 8 months.

Know what's sad? even without swimming, I'll probably be able to beat all my times when I come home... (except maybe the breast stroke times...)

And sis reeves read your blog and told me today that if someone gets to pick you up from your mission it should be me, which I agree with. But it might be fun to go back, like the summer after, just need to figure out how to pay for it.

remember that it's a way different culture, so if you come, you'll have to endure some things :P

I see a mission hasn't changed you as much as I thought! Still trash talking

the change has been in different aspects of my life :P

but for reals though, I think I could beat a lot of my times because my body is stronger... my upper body is better, and my legs are used all day for biking... I think I could beat my freestyle, fly, and back times... just not Breast Stroke... cause I was way good.. and I had technique... that I've probably lost

Anyways Im going!
Jumpa Lagi!
Elder Bester


Monday, 15 December 2014

Transfer news - Dec 14, 2014

I'm glad the house is all decorated! That's exciting! You should send some pictures of the house!

We had our Christmas conference this last week in Singapore! (I almost didn't get back into Malaysia because the guy at immigration didn't like how many stamps my passport has, and he said I need to get documents from the church... (but I got in :) )
 I got to be a Shepherd... (not too exciting, they just ask some Elders to sing and be a shepherd... but last year I didn't do anything so that was fun.)

I'm sending home some stuff for Christmas today... so who knows when it will go to Calgary, I have everything in my backpack right now, and I'm gonna go over to a store, find a box, wrap the box, and send it home!

I am living with a bunch of Americans (#mywholefreakingmission) so we play a lot of basketball, I touched the rim with both hands! and I can grab rim! when I was in Mukah I was too fat and I couldn't touch rim any more, so I'm in good shape again.

I haven't played street hockey yet, I've only played a bit of mini sticks, but I mess around with them sometimes. I win a lot at soccer, but mostly kids here play footsal, which is like smaller soccer (I think it's better)

I always find it funny when people complain about Christmas songs and Christmas trees back home, yet in a Muslim country there are Christmas trees in every store, and last year almost every day in Kuching I heard the Boney M Christmas Album playing in stores (How weird to hear that in Malaysia) I've also heard it a couple times in Johor.

I think it's funny that in 'religiously free North America' we have to have "winter concerts" and can't have "Christmas concerst" but in Malaysia muslim kids celebrate Christmas.

anyways :P

Jumpa Lagi!
Elder Brent Bester
so my pictures... (the last few weeks that I haven't sent them...) btw still waiting for transfer news
There is a malay kite (we went to the kite museum)
American thanksgiving.
A poorly worded english sigh
(Red building) stake center in Singapore
(white building) Pasir Panjang building in Singapore (also a church)
fyi there are 3 churches in Singapore, and I have only seen 2... but the stake center has 3 chapels, 2nd floor, 4th floor, and one in the mission offices behind the stake center
Chinese guy juggling in Singapore, he was freaking good
More Singapore.

Elder Lallemant from Quebec (English speaking)
Elder Pun (Vancouver) Elder Lallemant (Montreal) Elder Bester... (I hope you knew that one...) (Calgary)
Elder & Sister Boyter, last zone conference, they went home last friday, they were the senior couple in Kuching when I first got to the mission.

I just got transferred to Kuching... Matang branch!
This is so weird! I was only here for 6 weeks!!!! What the heck!
Still a malay speaking branch, or maybe you don't know anything about it yet?
I helped a family from that branch go to the temple. I know a lot about that branch. It's the opposite side of Kuching though.
I'm with Elder Sessions from my mtc group!

Elder Harr is in Kuching, Elder Chang is in Kuching, Elder Poppelton is in Kuching, Elder Christenen, all from my MTC group

Dec 8 2014 - Testimony

What did you do for PDay?

I called some of my Recent Converts in Mukah, that was way exciting! They are all doing way good :) So that was a good start to the day.

We went caroling yesterday with the branch, that was awesome, exactly what our area needed! We have a baptism coming up on the 27th, she is the niece of one of the councellors in the branch presidency, (10 years old) her parents aren't members (yet... :) ) but she wants to be baptized, so that's way cool

I'm sure you've seen this already, but this is my little message I have for now.

I've been reading a lot of the teachings of Christ over the last year, and I'm particularly drawn to his life in this month. My message, or testimony, that I have for this week, is that Jesus is the Christ, and he did suffer for every single one of us.

I haven't experienced a lot of this world, at an age of barely 19, there is still much I have to learn, and a lot I need to grow.


There is one thing I do know. I do know, that Christ was born and raised for all of us, he lived a perfect life for all of us, he atoned for all of us, and he was resurrected, so that we all can return to our heavenly Father.

In short, I'm young, and very small in this world, but there is one thing I know, and that thing is that Jesus is the Christ, and through him my weakness can be made strong (See Ether 12:23,26-27)

Also, just a thought, cause I'm coming home in 8+months, if someone wanted to come and tour my mission with me, that would be way cool
yay! ok well I gotta go! I love you all, and I'm excited for Christmas!

Monday, 24 November 2014

Nov 23, 2014 - Incredible week!

hey, I am on, but I'm finishing the UBC stuff so might not write too much.

sorry, e-mailing can be such a pain sometimes, so much to do in so little time. Is there any questions from the family :P


This was probably the most miraculous week of my mission, we had so many lessons, had so much success, and it was all just God's will, we just stayed humble, worked hard and got to work.
Sorry I get snappy when I e-mail, e-mailing stresses me out every week, so sometimes, some questions irk me, but most the time I'm good. There are a lot of weeks where I wish that there was just 7 days a week of work...

Incredible week, the district exceeded almost all the goals, we were able to see a lot of miracles this week.
Also couple other miracles I saw this week. My convert in Kuching (R) was able to get new work (he was pretty much a slave at his last job... as in he was a slave) with the branch president of Kota Sentosa! He's already finished the Book of Mormon, and when he goes back to Indonesia, he is going to live in Jakarta so he can still go to church!

Also J from Sibu called me yesterday to say thanks for finding him in Sibu. (in case you've forgotten who he is) he was the LA who we found at a birthday party, smoking, who said in English that he was a member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day saints. He is being set apart as the Sibu 2 Young Men's President, getting the Melchizedek Priesthood next month, and currently going out to find less actives and bringing them back!
Also there was a convert of mine in Kuching (had been baptized, never got the gift of the holy ghost) (10 years old now) who just got sealed to her family last week! So that was also incredibly exciting!
2 brothers who I worked with in Kuching just got the MP and one of them just married Brother C's Daughter.
in the same group trip to the temple was a family that was less active in Kota Sentosa (he was the branch mission leader) and he went to another branch when he was active again, and just got sealed!

Anyways I gotta go!

Monday, 17 November 2014

Nov 16, 2014 - Good week in JB

Sounds like Canada is being cold : P unfortunate if you live there, it's currently 30 degrees with 70% humidity :P

I'm out every day, almost all day :P

Go Stamps! I didn't even know that it was playoffs (thanks for keeping me in the loop)

Well done Padoch! That is really impressive, I'm glad that he got to play with them. (Abe Jr Football, won city championships)

Luke don't be that guy. Don't wimp out and play v-ball instead of football.

Troy is so old! (And katie...)

I have Christmas stuff to send... the problem is that a member in Sibu Jaya was making it... so I have to wait for everything to get to me... so might not be arriving on time... haha oops

anyways I'm on, finally had an interview with President Yesterday! (I haven't since Kuching...) Had a cool week, I'm really tired 'cause the other companionship wasn't ready for reporting, so I had to stay up and report with the ZL... so I'm about ready to fall asleep on the keyboard.

Tell Jordan to look up Proverbs 21:19

look how interesting the scriptures are!

My week was good because... I don't know, we work hard, everyday is long and tiring, but for some reason at the end of the day, it was awesome. Little miracles everyday, meeting prepared people. I had an awesome interview with President Mains, that was nice, haven't had a conversation with him since May.

I am really liking the house, I've got 3 awesome friends living with me, who all want to work hard, by far the most obedient, and as a result, the happiest I've been on my mission. I'm having a good week cause we're going hard haha.

You should remind dad, that he's my dad, and there is probably at least 10 minutes in his week to e-mail his son on a mission :P I know he's busy, but there are other people, who are busy, who e-mail me every week...

also Mom, Johor is very large, lots of hills, my area is 15km away from my house, lots of Islams, we go and find Ibans who work in the factories here, or who work in Singapore and live in JB

Gotta go!

Elder Bester


Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Nov 9, 2014 - 1st week in JB


Johor is defs a change from Mukah haha, so many more people it is ridiculous... however we can't teach 60% of the people here... 3 in every 5 people are Muslim.

The branch here is as Elder Capener called it "all the Sarawak all-stars" the Ibans from East who want a better life and move to Johor for work. It's similar to language Elders in North America, they just find the people who are scattered.

Looking out of my apartment I can see Singapore, which is weird because I've never been so close to Singapore. There is a decent mix of bidayuh and iban in the branch, so they just use Malay in church (which is nice, although my Iban is coming along now, so I can still understand church in Iban.)

We are a 15km bike ride away from our area, there are only 4 malay elders for all of the province of johor.. so our area is pretty big... we have some members and investigators closer, but most of our work is far away.

Elder Spurrier is super dope, this is his 3rd transfer in the mission, so he just finished training, it is a lot of fun serving with him, he has been in JB his whole mission, so he knows it pretty well.

Johor is so big, the actual "city of JB" is 0.4 million, but the Johor Area is 1.3 million (roughly the same as Calgary's "General area")

It took me 27 hours to get from Mukah to Johor... and RM270... so I have to get that reimbursed haha. I went to Sibu the night before (because there was no bus that could get to sibu in the morning for my flight) flew to KL and then took a bus to JB... and then a taxi to where we actually live... all in all 27 hours not in my area.

So are you and Elder Spurrier in your own apartment? Do you get to do stuff with other elders and/or sisters on PDay?

We live with Elder Egbert (my old ZL in Kuching) and Elder Capener (was in my district in Kuching) There are no Sisters in JB, I have no idea what we do for p-days cause I've had one so far... and I'm still emailing.
What is your branch like, big or small?

singapore ward=big for Malaysia, small for back home.

Everything compared to back home is small :P
I'm excited that you still get to speak malay. I've always wondered, when it's just you and your companion, do you speak English or malay?
When I'm with my companion I speak mixed and broken english.

and school weekend is friday and saturday so no kids can come to church.

also, low on time so I will upload pics next week
bye! Jumpa Lagi!

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Transfer news - Johor Bahru - Nov 2, 2014

Responses to emails:

Told him that Luke wore the crayon costume this year
The crayon costume is the best... but what did Padoch wear if Luke had the crayon haha.

And about a presentation at work
Well good luck at work! That sounds exciting, just in time for you to go back to full time work! :D

Sent a link to a church video
"Am I allowed to watch it" (Already did...) it's on LDS.Org...  I didn't watch the 4 missionary one yet (also

And mentioned that we are waiting for Jordan to get his braces off, so he can submit papers for a mission
You can serve with braces... can't you?  Has Jordan got his patriarchal blessing yet? And did you get my answers from the missionaries yet?

Also Mom and Dad, could you guys like... tell me your conversion stories... cause I know nothing about your conversions.

Also Mom, could you send me some of my resumes/ submissions for the Highschool awards? Just to review for the UBC application, I'm gonna ask President Mains to be one of my references.

Also should have transfer news... eventually...

Katie's questions:

What is it like in Malaysia?

Malaysia is hot, and really Muslim :P but things are going great, I'm really loving Malaysia, especially Sarawak :)

What are some crazy things you have eaten?

Chicken Butt. (Snake, Iguana... IDK almost everything (except alligator, because in Iban tradition, if you eat Alligator, later another alligator will eat someone in your family))

I can't believe that it is less than a year before you come home.

I tell myself that I still have 18 months left, because I don't want to go home yet! :P

How many baptisms have you had.

After last Saturday I have had 11

I Just got transfered :O

I'm going to Johor Baru in the Malay branch (only Malay branch in West Malaysia...)

I'm ok with it, haha, cause I'm gonna go hard in JB, still a lot of Ibans. I can keep calling people etc.

I'm DL again, with Elder Spurier
Pics this week!
Pictures out in Dalat a member from the Kuching International branch came to Mukah, and we went to his home in Dalat (even smaller town than Mukah)
Abandoned house
Former investigator (who hopefully gets baptized this year)
Old Lady who I taught in Sibu (friend of Sis K... turns out they are related) and met her at her long house!
Playing bola
other pics...
Is that the font? Is that as much as you can fill it?
ya... and it is tiny :P

Monday, 27 October 2014

Oct 26, 2014 - Stories from Sibu

Hey everyone! I'm on, just want to make sure, Mom have you been mentioning my AP exams while applying? because, for example UofA, gives me a significantly higher percentage...

Mukah is the best, actually just missions, missions are the best :P

We have a baptism coming up this week, which is super exciting! Anyways hope to chat with you all!

Next, there was supposed to be a picture, but it didn't come through

So the furthest Iban to the right is J, (so not the white Elder... the native :P) a few months ago we were at Bro.J's birthday party, and I went outside and started talking to this group of guys all smoking and drinking, I talked with J (who at the time I didn't know) the dialogue goes as follows, Me: Hey, how are you   J: good   Me: What's your name?   Js:J    Me:What is your religion   J(In English):The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

I was so shocked, he had been baptized before the church was in Malay, so he used to go when it was all in English, no Malay missionaries, and natives would translate church every week.

We started to meet with him, and helped him (with the Branch President) to quit smoking and drinking, and he is currently a young Mens teacher, and was able to baptize a young man this week, he is preparing to get the Melchizedek Priesthood in January, to me, one of the many miracles of my short time in Sibu.

Also (furthest two to left) Brother E, who we re-activated (branch mission leader) was able to baptize his sister, it is incredable to see how working with activation brings people in to the waters of baptism!

I love when you sound excited about your mission! I was worried the other day because to me it seems like Mukah would be harder than the other places you have been, must just be what I needed to hear tonight

Haha Mukah has been my most succesful so far

So any other news? Must be a week or two until transfers or a trip back to singapore?

Also we were wondering if you still ride your bike tons in mukah? Or is it less since you are in a smaller place?


Next monday is transfer news

I ride it more than in Sibu, but less than Kuching, because it is a smaller place we have to go out further to get people. Sibu I had the downtown (bandar) area, so I just rode to my area pretty much... In Kuching we lived 5km away from our area, so it was atleast 10Km of biking every day.
We chatted a bit about missionary work, and that we had the missionaries over for dinner. And, how members need to be missionaries, and I said: But remember it's going to be dark and cold here for about 6 months now. Who wants to be friendly and open in that? 

Members friends will be open :P... Missionary work is all members... missionaries just teach their friends...

President Mains "Perfect World" Members give referals to the point that missionaries spend all day going from appointment to appointment teaching and never have to contact.

anyways! Jumpa Lagi!

Elder Bester

Monday, 20 October 2014

Oct 19, 2014 - Chatting about school and food

Excerpts from emails to the family

Also, I looked up applying for BYU, and you need to have taken the SAT or ACT exam, in order to apply. I emailed them, and told them that you were on a mission, blah blah blah, and they said no exam, no admission. So, looks like I can’t send in an application, unless you are able to get permission to take the exam in Malaysia or Singapore.  Also, do you want me to apply anywhere else – SF, UBC, U of S (I looked at their website, looks nice if you can deal with Sask for 4 years), Queens, McGill, etc?

I might ask president if he would let me right the SAT, he has allowed some missionaries before, just explain the "hey I'm not from the states so I need to write the SAT" but I don't want to go to BYU... soooo....
In terms of school, I could endure U of S... probably more than I could endure Ontario...  UBC can.
Ya, apply to UBC, UofS, and Queens... although I don't know if I want to go to Queens... so maybe not. 

How many times have you eaten snake. (Mom wants to know if you ate monkey)

Do people eat rats in Malaysia?

I've eaten snake 3 times, but it is my favourite and I want to eat it more. I haven't eaten monkey, the only time I was offered monkey was in Kapit, and I was only there one day, and the monkey was just sitting out in a market, so a little gross and sketch. There are a few places to get Dog, but I haven't gotten Dog yet. (There was one in Sibu (not known by health people haha) but it was sketch)
People don't eat rats here, rats are gross! But every now and then we find a dead rat or two close to our house, #albertaratfree
I am going to be a JEDI for Halloween. 
I am going to be Elder Bester for Halloween.

How are you feeling this week? Did the pepto bismol make it through? Tell me if you need more, I wasn't sure if I could ship it. 

Pepto Bismol is still in Singapore because I couldn't check luggage on the way back to avoid getting a bad stamp in passport (long story)

What are you doing for PDay? Do you guys get to exercise ever? Do you spend all of PDay in your church clothes?

Pday... probably emailing and eating. most pdays are spent in church clothes haha.

I think maybe you have a baptism scheduled for next weekend, is that still on?
1st of November!
also explanation of some pictures, and RC family asked us to come and worship with them because their (someone) had died, we went there, and they had us take pictures with the baby because the baby is really white.
Biking selfie
Alot of rain and out flooding driveway...
Melanau Kampung's
Sego worms!

What is the picture with the little pictures?
That is the transfer list from when I was a black square! (Meaning my 1st transfer) with Elder Baranov in Kuching! It was in the branch clerks office!
Did you eat the worms? And where was the monkey?
Didn't eat the worms, but we might end up eating them... because lots of people eat them here...
The monkey is our investigators pet haha

interesting release from the mormonnewsroom

Also I've started reading the bible in iban (new Testament, old testament in English puts me to sleep, not ready to struggle through that) and I've been very surprised with how much I understand

Cool. I've probably asked, but is it similar to malay? I'm guessing no Book of Mormon in Iban yet? Do you have a malay hymn book?

I have an Indonesian hymn book because there is no Malay hymn book (Indo and Malay are almost the same) Iban has similarities, and I can understand it because i've been around it so much, but for example, if someone told me they speak two languages, and those two languages were Malay and Indo, I'd say they only know 1. If they say they speak Malay and Iban, I'd say they know 2. 

 have I told you that I teach English? isn't that so ironic :P

That is funny! Mostly members or non members?
haha practically no one comes any more, there used to be a lot of Chinese students... but they all went to school... so now it is just one member :P