Monday, 26 May 2014

First week in Sibu - May 25, 2014

The talent show sounded like so much fun! That was by far one of my favourite things in 2nd ward (right now I'm in 2nd Branch) I wish I'd seen it :P


Rugby, that feels like sooooo long ago, we might play today cause Elder Misa (my ZL) is the elder who played rugby with me back in Kuching!

I haven't gotten a camera yet... might get one today... maybe. :P (If have time)

Sibu is really awesome, but the branch is really kurang on priesthood holders... like way lacking. We had 3 Melchizedek Priesthood holders stay for all 3 hours (our branch president was out of town) but the Elders quorum president's son is currently serving in this mission, don't remember where, but I have met him before, which was super cool!

The area where all of our members live is a ghetto... the Bandar area is really poor... but not like africa or south america... kinda like Detroit :P Lots of people, not a lot of houses, all the houses are really small.

There are some awesome families that we are starting to work with, and there are so many people that you can just contact for days! I love the area, but the branch is really struggling. However the 1st coun. is freaking awesome! One of the best members so far that I've met in Sarawak, really strong faith, like he is up there with the Kuching Branch presidents and District President's. His faith is really strong, and his diligence is incredible. 

Lots of people are just lost, it's like the problems that there were in Kuching... but magnified by a 100... like in Kuching 18 people went to the priesthood fireside from our branch... here, maybe 5 would go...

The Kuching district has a branch in the city of Mukah, a branch in Sibu Jaya, Branch 1 and Branch 2 in the city of Sibu and a Chinese branch. Branch 1 is freaking solid, I don't know about the other cities (I've heard they are both very small though) and the chinese branch is really struggling, the Sibu district is having some struggles, but me and Elder Hobbs are about to change that!

Elder Hobbs is AWESOME! We get a long so well, both have good Malay, both want to contact, find through members, everything, he is really obedient, which is awesome, and we are having an already very successful transfer, and we are going to change this branch.

There are a lot of kids in the branch... there were 47 @ sacrament and of the 47 20+ were under the age of 18... and the remaining 27- includes 6 missionaries...


The house I'm in has 6 missionaries.

Interesting thing, if you look in the bible dictionary under temple you find:
"A temple is literally a house of the Lord, a holy sanctuary in which sacred ceremonies and ordinances of the gospel are performed by and for the living and also in behalf of the dead. A place where the Lord may come, it is the most holy of any place of worship on the earth. Only the home can compare with the temple in sacredness."

Which obviously is something I didn't fully understand until I went to the temple. If the house is cleaner, the missionaries are happier, and more obedient, already more blessed by the Lord, and when that all comes in to play, then studies are being done properly, and everything is taken into place, as well as being happier and more united, and boom, more investigators, more baptisms, more less actives coming to church, and the more strongly knit the branch becomes, especially when it is a branch that so heavily depends on the Elders.

But I really love this branch, and Elder Hobbs, and I'm so stoked to serve with him and change this branch
How many people have you guys invited to church? It should be so much easier there with many activities all week, an attendance of 200+ and a functioning ward, so get to work and split the stake.

The temple quote wouldn't mean anything if I hadn't gone through the temple... so that is why the house back home is not quite the same :P cause only 2 people there truly understand the holiness of the temple.

I brought my bike, it's not as bad as Kuching, less traffic... except in Bandar... where there isn't much space on the roads.
Hey this is the message from our mission president this week, I like it cause it is where I am in the Book of Mormon (Malay) right now,

President Mains

Dear Elders and Sisters,

Today is Memorial Day in the US – a national holiday dedicated to the memory of members of the armed forces who gave their lives in defense of their country and for freedom and liberty for all peoples around the world. In the spirit of remembering valiant soldiers, I remember the example of Captain Moroni. In a great conflict between the Lamanites and Nephites, while Amalickiah, head of the Lamanite armies, was obtaining power by fraud and deceit, Moroni was “preparing the minds of the people to be faithful unto the Lord their God.” (Alma48:7) He was “preparing (them) to support their liberty, their lands, their wives, and their children, and their peace, and that they might live unto the Lord their God, and that they might maintain…the cause of Christians.” (Alma 48:10)

Moroni was a strong and a mighty man who embodied all of the Christlike attributes we are studying in PMG; “…he was a man of perfect understanding (Knowledge); ..yea a man whose heart did swell with thanksgiving (Humility) to his God, for the many privileges and blessings which he bestowed upon his people; a man who did labor exceedingly for the welfare and safety of his people (Charity, Love, Diligence); …yea, and he was a man who was firm in the (Faith) of Christ,..” (Alma 48:11-13) He was about “… doing good, in preserving his people, yea, in keeping the commandments of God (Obedience), yea and resisting iniquity (Virtue).” Alma 48:16)

“Yea, verily, verily I say unto you, if all men (and women) had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto Moroni, behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men.” (Alma 48:17)

As we conclude our month’s focused study of Christlike attributes, I invite you, soldiers in the army of God, to be like unto Moroni, a man of God. I promise you increased success which will be coupled with more joy and happiness as you labor with your might to “prepare the minds of the people to be faithful unto the Lord (our) God”

With love, your fellow servant,
President Mains
I love Sibu though, there are a lot of things here that I have been hoping more, a lot of area, and a condensed population, but missing some things, however I have an awesome companion, so life is good!

Monday, 19 May 2014

Transfer! May 19 2014


I'm going to Sibu with a pretty great guy (Elder Hobbes) He is in the group ahead of me!

One thing I wanted to ask last time, how often do you get fed by members? How often to you eat out? Do you cook, like maybe breakfast/lunch? (Which probably isn’t really cooking.) I remember you said it was expensive to cook.

Fed by members every time we go to their house, but not much food... so we eat out a lot. I don't eat breakfast... and I prefer to eat out :P
Did I tell you that I am going on Trek this year, with Dad?

TREK IS GOING TO BE SO MUCH FUN! too bad I'm in Malaysia :P
Just looked on the map, so same zone? Is it a different district or the same one? Are you still district leader? What have you heard about the area? 

I'll be learning Iban :P and speaking Malay, so it is still in Sarawak (where the Malay is) and it is the 3rd largest city in Sarawak (but Kuching is the largest, and the "general Kuching Area" only has 700 000 people... and the "general Miri area" only has 300 000 people...) Sibu is it's own zone. I'm not DL, I've heard that is the best place in Sarawak for baptizing, not as established as Kuching
So what are the travel plans? Do you get a chance to say goodbye? Will everything fit in your suitcases? 

I don't know when I leave, Probably thursday, we are trying to have a good bye party Wednesday night

and (last week I started packing because I knew I was being transfered to Sibu, I had a dream I was being transfered there)

I think everything will fit... I just need to find a way to ship my sword home...

more like machete
Is Iban just a dialect of Malay or is it totally different? Do you know if you will actually be in the city? Or anything about where you will be living? do you know any of the other missionaries in Sibu?

different dialect, but a lot of it has been lost because of the main usage of malay, but it is still a different language, the older the Iban person, the purer their Iban, also the further away from Kuching, Miri, or nothern Sibu, where different races are and everyone speaks Malay.

My Iban is ok, I can't teach with it yet though.

No idea about anything else.

Both of my trainers are in Sibu, I know my companion, Elder Jensen is there and

 Elder Christensen from my group, there is a lot of people I know in Sibu :)
Do you still have your camera? Don't forget to take lots of pictures so you will remember all the people. And if you don't, go buy one and I'll transfer some money in to your bank to cover it!
To be honest my camera has been gone for a while, but I was hoping that it would turn up for while I was still in Kuching, but now that I'm going some where else I give up :P

So I will go buy one. :P

also maybe this will answer some questions about Sarawak

I gotta go!
I'll email you from SIBU!

Monday, 12 May 2014

Mother's Day - May 11, 2014

Today we got to Skype!!! But first, we had to wait for a couple of hours, so we emailed a bit.

Sister B gave me a list of Bidayuh words, so I'm learning how to teach the first lesson in their language.

(Also, so B is really awesome, wants to go on a mission, and she is dating P right now!)

Bidayuh is another race, they are by far my favourite race in Sarawak :P
but they all have tons of different languages, but I love this family, so I'm going to learn how to teach it, you can teach a lesson in any language with basic grammar and a 100 word vocab...

How is your sign language?

He doesn't speak ASL so I learned how to pray, but that's about it... and he stopped coming to church for a while... but came again last week so I got to talk to him again!

Umm these are the universities I would like you to look at (in order)

1) U of A

2) U of C

3) BYU

4) UBC
Before the total craziness of the skyping starts, mostly we just want to know if you are happy, and healthy too. And, what do you do all day, what is church like, do you get to exercise, what have your companions been like, what is your mission president like?

I'm happy, boleh tahan (can endure), haven't had many invesetigators because I'm training, and it is hard to get efficient work done with someone new

Church has been awesome, we've had over 65 people at church the last 3 weeks which has been awesome. I love this branch and don't want to leave and this might be my last week in Sentosa :(

We do work all day, lose a lot of time on studies... my companions have been great. Elder Reynolds is really good, but I'm worried I haven't trained him well enough, and haven't put my foot down, but I've let him learn for himself, which takes longer, but I hope it has a lasting effect.

Malaysia is my favourite place in the world. I don't ever want to leave Kuching.

Very Healthy, exercise enough...

Don't really see my mission president that often, but he is freaking awesome and very inspiring.
Oh yeah, and questions that Katie and Troy really want to ask are:
Katie - how many times have you gone to McDonalds?
Troy - have you gone to Dairy Queen?
Dad's questions: are you serving hard? Any advice for Jordan?
Jordan has his Bio AP exam tomorrow morning.
McDonalds, too much, and It makes me not feel good :P
and I haven't gone to DQ yet.
I'm serving hard, but not as much as I would like to cause I'm training.
Jordan, read your scriptures and give Jonah a copy of the Book of Mormon
Good luck on your exam, read the scriptures before you study and do your tests!
How many languages do you run in to in a given week?
like a billion.
How are you at getting up in the morning?
good, up at 7 every morning.
Don't missionaries get up at 6:30?
nope, in our mission it is 7 because the sun gets up at 7. and we go to bed at 11
Then, we got to Skype. Mike asked what are the top 5 things you have learned on your mission. Here they are:
- the purpose of the church, to further the work of the Lord
- the importance of the family and also the church family
- the importance of personal devotion
- Doctrine & Covenants 3: 1-3, this is God's work, and we decide if we want to align ourselves to it
- love people

Monday, 5 May 2014

Kampungs - May 4 2014 emails

I got the package with the temple pictures, the picture of our family framed is sitting on my desk :P

From Troy: How many people have you taught? Did you get a new companion?
I have taught a lot of people, we have found a lot of members who haven't gone to church in a really long time this last week! And I still have the same companion

I really like Kuching, and I don't ever want to leave! It is a wonderful place and I am learning so much about the Book of Mormon and this Church. Remember to read the Book of Mormon because it really is sooooo important!

We told him about his friend Ronnie being Katie's swim coach this year

Happy Birthday Dad! you are getting even closer to the minimum age for stake patriarch! (that's 55 btw)

And told him that he is in second place to Grandpa in the hockey pool so far
I have to beat Grandpa :P All of my other picks can still happen!

Brought him up to date on the NBA playoffs
Raptors all the way! Except for Miami! but otherwise :P I can't believe that Toronto made playoffs :P

Asked him for any cool stories from this week
Cool stories... I don't know all the days kinda mesh into one... like I go and teach people, every day :P

actually I have a few, we were knocking doors, and this guy invites into his house, turns out he is a member who is currently preaching at another church, and he didn't want to speak Malay, and his english was really bad :P

P (who I baptized) went back to Kampung where there is no church so that he could finish school :( but he made us bead braclets with our names in them to remember him, and he said he is going to go on a mission after he is done, so I'm stoked :P )

He is going to come back everytime there isn't school on saturday or sunday. I'm going to email him etc, but he lives pretty far away.

We found another less active family that had been here when I first got here and then left, they were in kampung, building a house, don't really have money for the materials, and the Mom was really sad, cause we went with a few other members, and she was so shocked that all her friends were there, and then realized that they all saw her incomplete house, and she went through a lot of emotions, but they all remembered me, and the mom asked me to baptize her little son, so hopefully they go to church a couple times so that he can pass an interview and I can baptize him!

and I love the people here :P

Those are cool stories. Do you ever get to help out with fixing/building houses?

How far is the kampung from the church?
no, cause no one really ever fixes their houses, they just let it fall apart.

theirs is pretty far...They live at about mile 23 (the church is at mile 7) and then they live a little ways into the Kampung... so about 20 miles (so they all use kilometers here, except that they measure distance away from city center in miles... except none of them know what that is and they have to think of it in KM) but that is pretty far when you don't have a car.

So, explain Kampungs again?
Everyone wants to live in Kampung. They are all farmers, it's like how grandpa wants to live in Hill Spring. But that takes money. So all the Ibans go to the city for work, and then go back to the villlage.

They would rather be in kampung, it isn't like how we have cabins. It's like if we all lived at grandpa's (like every single Bester ever in the same house) and lived in Calgary in a tiny house until we had enough money to chill at kampung.

Pretty much, kampung is really hard to explain, cause it takes meeting the people and getting to know them to understand why they live in Kampung. Another thing is that a lot of time they wouldn't finish thier schooling, so couldn't really get jobs out in Kuching for a long time anyways.

But the uprising generation is changing things.

It is also due a lot to racial differences. Chinese Malays and Natives.

There are Kampungs everywhere... like there is only a couple cities in Sarawak, everything else is kampung....

ok I'm gonna go!

Jumpa Lagi!