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

Oct 12 2014 - Thanksgiving

Hey this was the last zone meeting in Sibu

Hello Everyone!
Just saw on LDS Newsroom the statistics for meet the mormons (a movie playing in some theatres this week) haha, looked pretty cool.
I'm downloading General Conference talks right now, so that we can share them with members, and to have them for study! General conference was so incredible. (It's still super cool to be able to watch it in 2 languages)
I like pretty much all the talks haha, but a few of my thoughts on the talks in general, the General Authorities made a definite emphasis on Priesthood Power, Organization, and how this is God's Church. It seemed to me that General conference was almost stern, trying to correct some of the passiveness that has snuck into the church.  I found that the last session was very strong and bold, as well as priesthood session.
I enjoyed how the apostles were very bold this conference in declaring how they are apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ.
My favourite talk however, was addressed to the non-members of the world, by David A Bednar, and although the main focus was investigators, the talk was well written to the members. The analogy of his sons was incredible, and I encourage anyone and everyone to read and study that talk.
His notes on our individual responsibility:
"Devoted disciples of Jesus Christ always have been and always will be valiant missionaries. A missionary is a follower of Christ who testifies of Him as the Redeemer and proclaims the truths of His gospel."

"88,000 full-time missionaries laboring in over 150 sovereign states around the world. These remarkable men and women help the members of our Church fulfill the divinely appointed and individual responsibility each of us has to proclaim the everlasting gospel of Jesus Christ (see D&C 68:1)."
and his boldness in declaring the gospel:
"Absolute truth exists in a world that increasingly disdains and dismisses absolutes. In a future day, “every knee [shall] bow” and “every tongue [shall] confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:10–11). Jesus the Christ absolutely is the Only Begotten Son of the Eternal Father. As members of His Church, we witness He lives and His Church has been restored in its fulness in these latter days."

"As one of the Lord’s Apostles, and with all of the energy of my soul, I bear witness of His divinity and reality. And I invite you to “come and see” (John 1:39), in the sacred name of the Lord Jesus Christ, amen."

(I'd also like if mom could put the conference video on my FB with the caption: "Why I'm serving a mission")

Letter that he sent to the family for Thanksgiving

Well for thanksgiving (I hope I'm not too late, but if I am I guess this is just for you!) I've been thinking about family a lot, this last weekend I had the opportunity to watch the leaders of the LDS church give counsel and advice, and all the talks (as usual) are centered on the family and happiness.
The home can truly be heaven on Earth, and when a family is gathered together, we come together emotionally. Sometimes we gather, and we are still thousands of miles apart, but we put our best foot forward to be with our family.
If there is one thing I've learned as I've been learning and serving in Malaysia, it is that the family is the basis of everything. A family gives a home, where all members of the family can come into, and take refuge from the outside world, and grow together.
I miss the family, but I know, as I've sacrificed two years away from my family, I've helped others have their families for eternity, and I know that I have the chance to be with mine for forever.  I'm glad for the home I was brought up in, the relationship of my parents, and what they taught me has taken me to great places, and supported me as an individual. I hope that I will be able to come home and follow their example, and be an incredible, dedicated father later in life. I know that my parents have given everything they can to their kids, and I hope that I will one day be able to make my home, a heaven on Earth.
I miss you all, and look forward to the next thanksgiving, where I will be able to meet, eat, and play football together with every one.
With love,
Elder Brent Bester

Monday, 6 October 2014

Baptisms! - Oct 5, 2014

How were the baptisms, did everything go ok?
The baptisms went great! All 5 got baptized, however, as Melvin was leaving the baptism, he got a call that someone in his family had died, so he was unable to get the holy ghost this week so he will be getting it on the coming sunday.

Coleman is leaving on his mission this week.
Coleman is gonna be a beast, I'm excited to hear about him... what is his mission email?

Do you want me to send stuff for Christmas, or maybe buy you some music, or just put some money in your account?

Music is great... but I really don't have much time...

Money sounds like a good option :P

Also! There were two people who came back from the temple from our branch! The first two to ever get sealed in our branch! (There have been 2 others endowed, both currently on missions (Elder Takin, came back and baptized 3 of the people (because they were his family) this last saturday))

Our next investigator getting baptized (Oct 25) her name is V, she is 14, which is cool cause it's like baptizing mom!

Do you watch all of conference, just Sunday, do you watch on Saturday and Sunday? Just Sunday? Do you have to translate?

Haven't watched any of it. They pay people (returned missionaries) to translate it in Salt Lake... they send a flash drive of general conference in Malay. Watch it on both days

also just for information I've been a little sick, but life is good

Mom don't freak out

This of course prompted me to send questions...

A little hot, but I am fine. note that I said "just for information" and not for "mom should freak out and ask questions about it :P "

anyways I'm outa here! Jumpa Lagi!