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 tested...kids 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