So I have arrived safely in Bintulu! Luckily, I talked to two of my buddies who have served here already, and they put my mind at ease about coming here. Saying that i was gonna love it and a bunch of stuff I needed to hear. And since Ive been here Ive just been having a BLAST! Even though my bike hasnt come yet (classic Malaysian Courier service) we live close enough to a large group of members that have been walking to the area where they live. Although we mostly go and visit Less Active members, there are also a lot of not less-active members who are super fun to hang out with and teach. I think its largely due to my companion, Elder Laycock, but since ive gotten here i think maybe ive taken a big chill pill haha. casually walking to appointments, just takin it easy with members as we talk to their non-member friends..It great. So far this is the PERFECT transfer after 3 months of feeling the stresses of training in a tough area. So as usual the Lord knew what I needed, and I feel at home already in this area. We live in a big house with just two of us. My comp isnt too dead, and shows no signs of becoming a burden i have to carry around.
right now we have 6 people on date to be baptized, even though two are 9 & 10 year old girls, its great to have a decent pool of investigators to work with. Even though the "quality" and intelligence of the people here is significantly lower than Kuching, I guess it'll be good for me to humble myself and simplify my teaching even more. Bintulu is much smaller than Kuching, but I live in whats called Bandar Jaya area, and that kind of means the "new" downtown.. so its "new" and there are more i guess suburban type living arrangements. But most of the members live in like "rented rooms." basically a lot of places all connected, but they call each seperate place a "room." theres a living space, probly about 10' by 10', a small kitchen, and then usually one other room in each place. so probly in total about 50 feet square. they certainly make the most of what the have, and the living conditions in general are much more like what i saw in Tawau. But the people are no less happy than anywhere else. This past week there were about 80 people at sacrament, which apparently is really high compared to what atttendance has been lately. The big problem though is people leaving after sacrament only. Also finding members who will fulfill their callings. there were about 15+ people in sunday school, yet nobody is the designated teacher. I did pretty well at not giving in to the members in Samarahan when they just asked me to teach, so maybe while im here i can help them take initiative and responsibility. We cant wonder why growth and retention is so poor when we just teach and do things for them. So we'll see how that goes.
E Laycock is pretty fun to be around, its hard to tell when hes being serious and when hes not haha. we like to mess with the members, we both speak the language very well. thats the nicest things, not being the only one who can speak with people. he also speaks Iban, the native tongue of the the Iban tribe. I can speak a very little bit, and im excited to get better at it. like 99% of the members are iban, so its good to know how to speak. Even though we do not teach with it during the lessons, its fun to speak it conversationally. its very close to Malay, but its kind of "twangy". like you put weird accents on words. fun to speak haha. I want to send some pictures, but this computer wont let me plug my camera in... oh well, next week. So Laycock goes home the first week of august, so I will have 6 weeks to master the area. Im not too worried about it, cuz its pretty small. but there are A LOT more members here than my last branch, so i'll have to work on my name remembering skills.
So obvisouly theres been a big turn around from last weeks attitude haha, so hopefully you guys didnt get too down on me getting down.
Kimble and Nathy's mission calls!!!!
WHOA! there coming to my part of the world haha. are they both English speaking? So exciting! I'll have to send an email to aunt mel and have them email me. SO cool how they are going at the same time, and opened thier calls at the same time! nice. more Giblettes going foreign. nice.
Crazy about the storms in MN. now that i think about it, it doesnt really strom here, mostly just rain. Ther avent really been any exceptionally windy or stormy days. Malaysia almost literally never has natural disasters. i think one time Penang, where E Tyler used to be, got affected by a hurricane once. but thats the only thing ive ever heard of.
All of our investigators who are on date came to church, except one who is in the hospital in Kuching. But she was visited this past week, and we heard that she has her BofM at her bedside, so thats pretty great!
Nothin much else, still waitin for my bike to arrive, E Hirschi called me last night to tell me they put Kelvin on date to be baptized, so thats exciting. We didnt get to see the missionary training thing, but i agree with what you said mom, the grace period for the members is over, and its time to step up. it will be exciting to come back and be on the SECOND line of the battle haha. (dont worry im not done yet over here.