Wednesday, October 31, 2012

This Week


so this week has just flown by, and it ended with a fun District Conference in Penang. Penang is probly the richest part of Malaysia, maybe excluding parts of Kuala Lumpur. its way nice and ive also heard it has the best food. we werent there for long and didnt eat anywhere except what was provided at the conference... So a few weird things about Penang. there are "Ex-Patriot" members which means people that are i think from outside Malaysia, but live there. Anyways the District president is a half french, half black guy who grew up in Britain. haha so hes an interesting guy and has a sweet accent. also theres a member there from America, who has an American wife and that was REALLY weird. Seeing white people is really weird for me, but to have as member who is AMERICAN, that was just too much.haha so that was that. District Conference is like stake conference; for the church members. Branches are contained in districts; wards are in stakes. Malaysia does not have any stakes, but Singapore does have one stake. but ya district conf for the Ipoh District is the branches from Sitiawan, Ipoh, Butterworth, and Penang. Our Zone conf consists of all the missionaries from the Ipoh and KL districts. but thats for missionaries. 

Thats cool to hear about romney rising in the polls. that would be really crazy for him to win! but already we have been asked about romney and obama. not necessarily about him being mormon, but they know who he is. i konw the elders from penang have been asked about romney being mormon. Im sure where there are educated people, missionaries are being asked about it.  Also way sweet than MOM can work SKYPE on a TV! haha but thats crazy that Katie is getting married. when did that happen haha? 

So ya we have been contacting a lot this week, and have seen a little success. the thing about contacting here is that the house are not like that of America, i will take some pictures this week, but they are called terrace houses. they have a little like driveway area in front of the front door, but it is closed off by a gate... so getting to the front door is literally not an option. we get lucky if there is a doorbell outside the gate, but thats uncommon. usually we try to make noise by banging our keys on the metal gate, or by shouting "hello!" resulting in few people willing to leave their house haha. so its best if we can find a person who is outside. but anyways, this week we found three people who are willing to meet, but they have reported that they are leaving Sitiawan within a couple months... but we met one indian lady this past week, and she invited us in right away and then her daughter (grown up) came out to visit with us. the mom who invited us in was catholic, but her daughter didnt really ahve a denomination. anyways the daughter is who we talked to. she shared her life story and at the end, she was like "so now ive come back to christ and i am not sure which church i should join" we got real excited and tried to explain that, among other things, we believed that we were the answer to her prayers! ...this she did not agree with. she thought we were Jehovah's Witness, but then found out we were the mormons, and i thought she was going to kick us out haha. luckily she didnt and she asked us a lot of questions about what we believed. after about a 2 hour conversation, we had answered all her questions thoroughly, but she was still very uninterested in meeting again. she lives in KL (Kuala Lumpur) but didnt want to give us her number for her to be contacted in KL. anyways, it was eye-opening 1. to talk with an educated person who knew Gospel things 2. to talk with a Christian who is very very confused about what Christianity means. it was sad to see how confused she was about what is important and what is not. Even though she said she would pray to see if she should try to meet with missionaries, i could just tell that she hadnt really been listening to the answers we had been giving her. she let all the things she's heard before about mormons just hardened her heart. so even though we told her that we wanted her to pray about our message, and that the missionaries in KL would just ASK IF THEY COULD MEET, NOT FORCE ANYTHING. she wasnt having any of that. so we keep praying that she DOES pray and gives us a call, because we know that God will tell her to call us.

So thats one story from the week haha

so elder Tyler was in Bintulu, Sarawak before, and his Malay is as good as mine. I think sometimes he is just less confident in his language than he should be. the other two chinese elders are ok. one is finishing TODAY, so a new will be here by the end of the week. it is much different than tawau here cuz we just a malay speaking GROUP that WE are in charge of. so there are a total of like 30 members, but a good week would have 15 people for sacrament. the members are very busy and cant really help us as far as following to appointments. they have already been completely hounded for referrals haha so nothin there. its basically made up of one family and her extended family. but one of the recent converts here is unrelated, and we are currently teaching her husband. 

but ya should be a pretty normal week this week. im not sure when the conference in december will be. the way we see it is either like the first week or the third week. but not sure. so you probly want to get that package off by the second week of november. 

Love you all

Elder Giblette

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


Elder Tyler's cheap bike failed cuz he used too much power and he tumbled over the top

me n some cows

the prince of egypt, but not for Muslims...

Baptism of Suzie and Hobilyanan, baptized by grampa nunong

A Joyful Week!

hello americans!

Singapore was a blast! i got to see everyone from my MTC group while there, so that was way sweet. (except for the two that went home already. but actually Elder Thee is finishing his mission in California, so thats awesome!) Ya we had late flights back and therefore had extra time to walk around in Singapore. Singapore is so cool. everything there is just so up to date in technology, its really clean, and just everything is awesome! our zone conference was really cool and its so cool to see other missionaries. probly the highlight of being there was seeing the latest and greatest in TVs. ULTRA DEFINITION. it was an 84" 2160p screen. just ridiculous. the demo was showing like shots of different cities and landscapes around the world, but it was like better than real life. so idk what kind of TV you just got, but its not quite the newest haha. speaking of which, whats the new tv like? (i feel more connected to home if im updated on such major changes) So the new way of doing visa runs will be to have quarterly zone conferences in singapore, that way less people will have to leave their companions and area for a solo visa run. our next one will be in December, and then after that the quarterly schedule will be setup. this zone conference was themed on gratitude, and it was awesome to hear about all the different ways we can be grateful, and all the different blessings that come from gratitude. 
also Singapore makes me miss home cuz it feels like being in America, or at least in a first world country again haha. Malaysia is like 2nd world. it has nice things sometimes, but everything is so cheap and has 3rd world aspects at the same time. but ya singapore is really nice

our teaching is slowly increasing, mostly here people have problems with getting work off on Sundays. which is the worst problem to have in my opinion. we try to build their to the point of them possibly finding a new job or something, but its hard to build faith if they dont come to church... so thats that. I've seen that mostly its the teenagers and young people that are most receptive. the older people are just stuck in their ways and have no space or desire for learning or accepting anything new. haha the Prince of Egypt movie had that sticker cuz it's Christian themed haha. It's kind of a touchy issue so we're advised not to even mention that religion in our emails. so suffice it to say that they cant switch religions, and we cant teach ANYthing to them. but they are really nice people and are almost always the only people who actually take 30 sec to talk to us. Christians are the not nice people. so i will take this chance to let you konw that i will actually be ending my mission now and will convert to that religion who shall not be named. 

just kidding actually i'm not :) haha they are just really nice people and Christians aren't, so sometimes it seems like the Christians are doing something wrong. and they are, which is why we're here to try to soften their hearts so later they might listen to missionaries!
Elder Tyler and i have decided to learn to write and read Jawi, which is the Arabic alphabet for Malay. its pretty sweet and tough to write. there are 37 characters and they write right to left, but its fun and interesting to learn. 

my bike is doing well, and we are pretty sure the rainy season is pretty much upon us. this past week we got rained in hard throughout the day. i'm positive in the coming months many pictures of wetness will be sent home hahaha. sometimes we delay going out cuz of the rain, but usually we just say its not going to let up and we just go out. it feels really good and riding through huge puddles is always fun. we get to be kids dressed as adults haha. no i dont wear my rain jacket of use an umbrella haha. just too cumbersome. The branch president of the chinese/english speaking branch has been a member for a while. he found the church while on a trip in i think switzerland. so its a pretty cool story. he's a pretty sharp guy and a retired navy person. that branch is all chinese, but i think everyone can speak pretty good english. the chinese elders stay busy, but they dont have many investigators. Chinese people here are tough. generally they are very prideful and i dont the envy the chinese elders haha. no we dont go on splits with them. 

kellen said he was wokring on sending pictures of the basemnt and new tv. maybe you should help him with thatmom, so it doesnt become an overly long process haha. (meaning do it for him cuz he'll probly forget) 

the weeks here are really starting to fly by and soon i will be nine months out! (Nov 1) have you gotten the package yet? it should be this week of next. Thats cool that mom and kellen went to the play. 

this next week we have district conference on an island north of me called Penang. i've heard its really nice and is quite wealthy. the district president is an englishman ive heard, which will be very weird to meet a white member from Malaysia! we will go there on Saturday and come back on Sunday

should be sending some pictures later on today :)

love you all! 

Elder Giblette

Monday, October 15, 2012

Zone Conf in Singapore

So of course all other missionaries are probly talking about conference as the highlight of their week, month, etc. and while i will share a few thoughts we had some other happenings that were better haha.

I'l go with conf first. Elder Nielson's about missionaries: way awesome to be talked up by an authority. it's always kinda weird and cool in general to hear a talk about missionary work and finally being able to say, "thats' me!" but i really liked the story he shared and all the ways missionaries can help you. I also liked the fact that it was really only addressed to non-members, and members could kind of sit back and hear about all the good stuff us missionries do. It really is amazing all the things this church does, besides having the restored truth and Gospel. Elder Ballard's about the honey bees was a classic analogy about small acts of kindness. I really liked Elder Christopherson's talk abuot being a man (given in the priesthood session) cuz it really is a big deal in today's world. He made awesome points about how men are being put on the back-burner and are largely sterotyped as dummies and "un-needed." Unfortunately I didnt get to lsten to Elder Holland's talk in english, but i could see by the looks on his face the emotion he used. We'll watch the Sunday sessions in English once we get a chance.
Our conf attendance was quite small. Have i not told you we are over a small group of Malay speaking people here? i swear i have. Anyways me n E Tyler are the assistant group leaders (but the group leader is less-active) meaning we ARE the group leaders. 20 people at sacrament is good for us. So total attendance for conference was 22 including us two at each session. The member that normally drives everyone to church saw conference as a break from church and went to Kuala Lumpur on Sunday, so nobody that relies on her came. but we did have a recent convert come and her investigating husband also came to both the Sunday sessions. So that was really really good. Another thing that was cool for me about conference was that after watching the priesthood session, i found myself actually excited to watch more the next day. I could honestly say i didnt want the priesthood sessions to end. It was a really great feeling to fully appreciate what i was watching: Counsel and teaching and uplifting from Prophets and apostles of God. the best kind of teaching and counsel and uplifting there is.

So this week two great things happened. While we were contacting, 3 teenage Indian girls called to us and asked for our number right away. clearly they just thought it would be funny to ask two white guys for their number, so I'm sure they were as surprised as can be when we came over and shared a little from the Restoration pamphlet and told them our number was on the back. We were surprisingly able to get a return appt and the day we went back we didnt know what to expect. turns out two of them within the last few years had converted from Hindduism to Christianity, and the other expressed interest in becoming a Christian! So we gave a short lesson about who God was and who Jesus Christ was. they are approx 18-20yrs old and pretty typical teens, but they were actually listening quite intently (between texts) and seemed to understand everything we were sharing. One had read a little from the pamphlet, and asked about the BOM. So we shared a little abuot what the book was and gave her one. Yesterday we returned and gave two Tamil copies of the BOM. as of now they seem really interested and we are excited to meet them again this upcoming week. It's always cooler to teach from contacts that WE found rather than refferals...even though investigators from contacting is nearly always fruitless.

Also this week were finally able to find the place of a guy who had the met the elders we replaced. After three seperate nights of trying to find them, we got in contact with the previous missionaries and found his place! Turns out he lives in the middle of some vegetable fields with like 6 other people. they are Indonesian, which is way better than most other kinds of people haha. Anyways they will have problems with getting work off on sundays, as well as other likely unforseeable problems, but it was awesome to finally find them! 

So today we are going to Singapore for Zone Conference. We will be there until Wednesday night. They are having zone conferences in Singapore now to avoid having one missionary from a companionship at a time go do a vise run. This way everyone in the zone will get their visas stamped at the same time. It's a pretty good idea and It's always cool to go the promised land of Singapore. where people live in the future, not in the past (like Malaysians). haha so thats that. This morning I quick emailed as we were printing off our flight plans, but no worries cuz we got a chance to email before we go to the airport in Ipoh. 

Ummm i dont know who gladys knight is, so maybe you can tell me more? also tell me more about this guy falling from space, it sounds really cool! I think i saw a commercial for it while at a members house, but i dont know anything about it of course
Um we do have a McD's, but its like a 20 min bike ride so we dont frequent it as we did in Tawau. There is also a KFC, Pizza Hut, and Dominos. Dominos was not in Tawau and it looks like a much better option than Pizza Hut, so thats cool. I now live in a house, which is much bigger than my condo in Tawau. three floors, 4 bathrooms, but i'll take a pic this week. no oven. I cook a lot raman noodles (here its wayyyyy better) also a lot of eggs n other foods. 

Thats all for this week! Love you all very very much!

Elder Giblette

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Last Pics from Tawau

ya so some way big statues at a chinese temple/tourist trap

my monkey zodiac

the large family from tawau that lives in the jungle

ling-ling and her siblings the night before i left tawau


Couldn't think of a clever subject

so hi everyone! 
i hope you enjoyed your plush american lives while watching conference this weekend. haha just kidding, but i do hope you enjoyed conference. we were able to get the saturday sessions on audio and we listened to those yesterday. they were so good! we cant wait to get the sunday sessions tonight and listen to them later. mom i also really loved elder nelsons talk about missionaries! it was so cool to hear about how awesome i am! hahaha 

so this week we have been able to meet with some of the investigators that the previous elders were meeting. their numbers were lost in an accidental throwing away of planners before we got there, so we havent been able to conact them until this past week. they arent the best investigators as they live very far away and are illegal, but its nice to have SOMEone to go meet. we also were contacted by someone who must have briefly met the elders before they left, and he told us he's living with 7 other people who may want to learn. so we are going to finally meet them this week and hopefully they will be awesome! the big problem here is that the town is so little that the bus system is basically non-existent, but people still need a way to get around. 

Also last p-day we went bowling and i bowled my best game EVER at 155! haha it was crazy. my first four frames were strike, spare, strike, spare! theres not a whole lot to do in sitiawan, but we recently heard about some caves that are relatively close to our area. so we might be able to go there!

so ya this age change is crazy! we think it will have a big increase on the number of sisters, and will have a devistating effect on BYU freshman and dating culture hahaha. but its pretty cool and we think it is in anticipation of opening some major new missions. E. Tyler thinks it wont be long before China is opened, but i dont really know. 
In other news we should be getting the Malay book of Mormon within a month or so! we have been using the Indonesian translation and while elders can understand a lot of it, many members and investigators ahve a hard time understanding because it is very in depth indonesian. im sure the Malay will also be in depth, but it will be Malay, so it should be a great benefit to the people here!

Theres a store called Tesco here, ive heard its from Australia, but its basically like walmart. its really nice and feels like america haha. thats where we do our grocery shopping :) 

so this little town is kind of funny because of all the chinese people. i cant tell you how many classic old chinese ladies riding around on bikes ive seen. im talkin like they look like 100 years old haha. or so many old chinese guys just sittin around without shirts hahah. chinese people are so funny!

sorry but i have no pictures... :( i'll take some this week!

love you all!
Elder Giblette

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

New Area News

So this week has been pretty tough actually. i think we set up 11 solid appointments with new people, and only 2 of them happened haha. so what we have been doing is trying to contact the people that the previous two elders were meeting, and many of their numbers got lost in the transfer. mostly because the elders left their planners there with a lot of phone numbers, but the chinese elders (thinking they were doing us a service) threw them away before we even got there. they were innocently cleaning up some garbage but unknowingly destroying any chance of contact with people... we've also been going through the area book and while we were able to talk to quite a few people, even people who met with elders in 2006, we werent really able to find anyone solid. so basically what our area boils down to is approx 20% of the population by our guesses. we have the Indians, the indonesians, and the ibans. the iban all live in cheap appartment complexes called flats, and they have all been contacted too many times already. so that leaves us with the indians, who are mostly hindu, and are difficult to contact because of language barriers. the indonesians are a small amount and are largely illegal... so while we are not sure how we are to meet new people, we press on undiscouraged.

as for that possibly iban speaking elder. no chance haha. unless he is from malaysia, he does NOT, no chance, no way speak iban hahaha. i think i remember you telling me about him though. wasnt it the elder with the fake legs? wasnt he speaking some really remote like oriental language?

ya so sitiawan is a pretty small place, smaller in size than tawau, but much nicer in most ways. its got about the same feel as far as weather goes. except it rains alot more. also we are coming up on rainy season here, so that should be fun.

well this week was another crazy week in church for this little group. we've figured the group was basically formed for this large-ish iban family who couldnt speak enough english to keep up in the chinese/english branch, so all the active members are ibans who are related to each other, except for one sister... i spoke conducted and spoke again, and did a pretty good job of filling the time that the other two speakers didnt. i stretched my talk to a little over 20 mins, which i dont think i could do in english even ahah. so i think one thing i'm supposed to learn here is how to give talks. i've found its a lot easier to speak in front of people when there are only fifteen, and only three are adults. and when you know their level of education and gospel knowledge is way lower than it should be haha. so anyways its really relaxed and its fun to conduct for this little group. also funny when the guy conducting also blesses the sacrament. then the one presiding (elder Tyler) plays the piano and then passes the sacrament. we almost have four active aaronic preisthood holders. so i also basically run the primary, and last week there were 6 crazy indian kids who are almost ready to be baptized, and this week they didnt come, but were replaced by 5 iban kids who were equally as crazy. my patience was certainly will only color for so long.... so thats that.

me and elder tyler get along really well. we have the same taste in music, he constantly quotes movie lines (even more than our family does!) and ya we have a good time despite our challenges here. sometimes its hard to find a balance between missionary work and group leader work. also sometimes it feels impossible to fulfill my purpose as a missionary when we try to support this barely standing group, which at many times seems as though it shouldnt have been started in the first place. but we know we are supposed to be here so we dont complain.

thats cool to hear about kellen. he's been a little lazy in emailing me, but thats ok. no big deal that his emails are the ones i most look forward too... (but seriously) anyways so i wanted to ask if my mission address has been sent to ben yet...? if not please do :)

so this week i have been thinking alot about how great a blessing it has been for me to grow up in the church, and to have lived with a family so strong and such great examples in the Gospel. especially you my wonderful parents! it really has made a huge difference in my life, and i can see the contrasts being around people who are just beginning to know the gospel. only a few of the youth of the church in malaysia have grown up in the church, and it will only be a matter of time until they are what the church is built upon in malaysia. so i will take this chance to thanks you mom n dad for all the things you have put up with with me, and for being such great examples of loving, caring, and faithful members of this the true church :D

love you alls
Elder Giblette