Well this week has been a little tough and a little fun. tough because NONE of our investigators came to church... Basically the biggest reason for people not coming to church is that they are illegal and they do not have documents. they are always too scared to ride the bus into town because if they get stopped by the police they will be thrown in jail basically without question. Pretty much the exact situation with Mexicans in the US. The Phillipinos and Indonesians come over to work, and they either dont bother to come legally or they dont have the money. So that was pretty tough not having a single investigator at church. This means we will probably have to push one girls baptism back another week, but her situation is different. She works very far from the downtown area and she can only come down if her boss comes down. but she usually is able to come down for church, but this past week her boss for some reason decided not to come down. the bus or taxi is the only way people can come to church. Only the senior couple and the branch president have cars. we kind of dont bother asking either because we know if our investigators rely on free transportation, they will not remain active. Our investigator pool is pretty small and it's really hard to find new investigators. trotter and i had been successful with referrals, but we kind of exhausted that resource, and I dont really know of a lot of places in town where there are a lot of non-Muslims. anyways this is just the normal challenges of a mission i suppose
Getting to know Elder Tadius has been interesting and largely funny. He understands a good amount of English but rarely speaks it. so im always asking for clarification or what a word means. so thats all really good. He's from a fairly remote part of Malaysia, it's about 3 hours from the city of Kota Kinabalu (KK) which is the big city in the state here in Sabah. anyways his story was that he wanted to become a Catholic priest, but when he applied they told him he needed to have two years "work experience" which basically meant take two years to enjoy life before you become a slave to the Catholics hahaha (seriously though) so he went to Singapore to work and it was in Singapore he found the church. he's turning 25 next week so he's pretty old as a missionary, a convert of about 4 years.
that's kind of his conversion story. he also told me about some of the things his ancestors did. this is good stuff. He was telling me about how in his kampong (hometown) that there were a certain number of black magicians, and that he himself dabbled in black magicry as a teenager. haha he didnt go too far in depth with that though. he also told me that his kampong used to have (few generations before his time) a decent number of head hunters. He told me about his own family (generations back) were head hunters and that they would regularly EAT MOST OF THE HEAD OF THEIR VICTIMS! CRAZY!!!! he told me about more crazy stuff like his great grandpa having some kind of object that seems to be the direct cause of the death of his grandparent's family's deaths... crazy stuff. He also kind of gave me a history about Borneo/headhunters in general. he said that when the British came and introduced Christianity, the headhunter culture quickly fell away in the area that Elder Tadius used to live. that the government and Christianity kind of reformed the poeple and civilized them. But to this day, further into Borneo, the state of Sarawak, headhunting still occurs, and that many people still carry on a lot of the traditional Borneo cultures. Where elders serve is only in relatively big cities, where headhunting is a thing of the past. but still elders can/have found houses of members and investigators where people still keep the old heads hanging in the house! So it is likely in the future that I will send a picture home of me standing next to decapitated heads... :D
Also i'ev been a lot more...outgoing... with food this week. E Tadius likes eating fish, so i first tried some at a restaurant, and it was super expensive but pretty good. my confidence was built, and after that, TWO NIGHTS IN A ROW, a philipino member wanted to serve us dinner: sardines and other various dried fish with rice. needless to say they were NOT good, and i struggled for a considerable amount of time... Last night though she prepared a new dish that involved the hind legs of a pig. basically it was just that. the hind legs chopped up and served in a soup. Once again i prepared myself for a struggle. but the sop was actually quite tasty and the legs were so soft and tender. the skin even was quite soft and the fleshy muscles underneath the skin tasted quite like boiled eggs. also in a different dish of with rice and fish and pieces of the heart of the pig! the heart wasnt that great, but it wasnt that bad either. I think so far the best thing a member has made for me, and maybe the best food since i've been out, was chicken curry. She prepared pieces of chicken (nothing special) and also she had chopped up potatoes in a kind a curry soup. eaten with rice. WOO! dang good. i told her i wanted to learn how to make it so maybe she'll teach me. So i hope you all can be satisfied that i have finally suffered some less than palatable foods this week hahaha.
Mom i hope your surgery goes well (maybe it is happening right now) you have my prayers as always and I know that this will all be ok. I hope everyone has a good week!
some dudes playin some mud soccer right on the stinky, dirty beach
A muslim cemetery
another classic Malaysian product the "Dr. Martini" shoeline. hahahah.
a pretty good story for the picture with all the people. if you'll remember when i first arrived in Tawau i went to a group of houses on sketchy stilts that goes out over the ocean. E Tadius wanted to go there so we were walking amongst the houses and came across this group of older ladies who were just as happy as can be to see a white guy haha. anyways i was kinda talkin to them and then all these kids start crowding around me and start to just like poke/touch my exposed, white legs hahahah! like in a movie or something haha. so I asked if i could take a picture and of course they were thrilled. as we were kind of getting into position one of the ladies just like hands me her baby and was like "take my baby!" hahahahaah so thats me holding some stinky little malaysian baby ha! pretty crazy