September 15, 2010
Let me explain the subject first. Singapore has a fine for everything: picking flowers, spitting, importing chewing gum, etc. So the big tourist shirt is Singapore is a FINE city with a list of fines on it. I’m sending one home in my box to you guys. So, since I apparently don’t explain enough, let me answer all those questions you sent.
- No, I don’t completely undress every time I go to the bathroom. I did at first but I’m getting good now.
- There are two other elders in our apartment, and four more live just across the hall. The APs and ZLs live next door.
- P-day usually consists of jalan-jalan (Malay word for sightseeing) e-mail, food, and then games with the zone at our house. Maybe a nap too. And, of course, study time.
- No we don’t knock on doors, it’s still really iffy on whether or not it’s legal, so President Clark told us not to until it’s been tried and tested.
- People remember seeing me because I might be the only red head in all of Malaysia. (That and I’m far more pale than anyone else here.)
- Most people are not very nice. In fact, the Singaporeans are mean most of the time. I’ve been sworn at several times and had the cops called on me once, but nothing ended up happening so no worries. The Chinese and Malaysians are very nice to us. They always stop and listen even if they don’t care at all.
- I’ve been grocery shopping three times. I always get milk and Cocoa Pebbles.
- We are very spoiled in this mission. We have our own washer and dryer. Also we don’t have to wake up until 7:00 a.m. and we get to stay up until 11:00 p.m. (Everything is pushed back 30 minutes.) So awesome. Also, we get a new approved movie list once a quarter. This quarter’s list includes The Blind Side, so I’ve seen that twice. We can only watch them on P-day.
- I see President Clark once every couple of weeks. He’s awesome.
- I love church. Sunday is my favorite day. We teach discussion at the church and only at the church. I think it’s some kind of law here but I’m not entirely sure.
- There are four Chinese elders in Singapore. Elder Teng, me and zone leaders.
- I used my debit card yesterday to buy you some presents. You’ll like what I’m sending. I’m buying Dad and Sam sarongs today. I got myself one for $5 Singapore (i.e., $3.75 U.S.) last week. So cheap, so awesome. I’ll ship the stuff off tomorrow.
- Yeah, I’ve been used to the time change since day three or four.
- The transit system is sweet. It’s called the MRT. Not a clue what it stands for. It’s similar to the New York subway system but you pay by distance and put money on this little card you keep in your wallet. Then you just put your wallet on this little stand. It taps you in, and when you leave it takes money off the depending on the distance you traveled.
- I should be here until the end of October. One of the Chinese zone leaders leaves then and we get two new guys, so I’m expecting a full transfer. So how’s that for responding?
So let’s talk about this week. It’s been very slow again. People just seem like they don’t want to listen lately, so we’ve been out scouting different areas to try something new but no success thus far.
Yesterday I found my favorite place in all of Singapore! It’s called Clarke Quay (Clark-key) and it’s like a series of malls and food places next to the river. There was this one street in particular that is covered with bars and seafood markets that was so, so, so cool. They had an entire place dedicated to Manchester United. There was one for Chelsea too but it wasn’t nearly as cool.
So, let’s talk about Chinese blunders of the week. We were contacting these three girls at Bugis and they kept asking Elder Teng questions about me in Chinese. I would always reply, but they refused to believe that I was answering coherently so they just kept asking him. I got fed up with it and eventually said: “Ni keyi wen wo.” But I said “wen” with the wrong tone. Instead of saying “You can ask me,” I said “You can kiss me.” Great! They laughed. I had no idea why until like ten minutes later when Elder Teng finally told me.
There are some very peculiar churches here in Singapore. The Pentecostal Apostolic Church of Singapore is the one I run into the most. They teach that anytime you feel the spirit you must speak in tongues. They cite 1 Corinthians 14:6 as the doctrine. I always bring up verse 9 that says if the words cannot be understood then it’s of the devil. They always just shrug it off. It’s interesting how people will misconstrue things to fit their desires.
There’s also a church where people show up and act like animals for an hour then go home. Very, very weird.
Well, we had two baptisms lined up for this Saturday but one fell through because the girl drinks wine and the other fell through because of some moral issues.
Also, I assume you’ve heard about the anti-Muslim guy in Florida? He’s causing a lot of trouble for us over here. In fact, since we’re going to Little India today, I’m dressed in normal clothes so I don’t attract attention. We have to be very weary of who we talk to and what we do now. We had a big discussion on it in district meeting yesterday. But I’m not worried; I’m on a mission for the Lord, so it’s all good. I know that I really am doing the Lord’s work. I know that what I’m teaching is true, and I know that the best way to teach is by example. Never be afraid to share your joy with others.