October 6, 2010
Ok, so I’m getting smarter. I took time this week to write down what I’ve done, then penned out this e-mail in my planner beforehand.
SMRT is just a pun, it means Singapore Mass Rapid Transit. It’s the subway we take every day.
So . . . I was contacting this week, and this guy kept asking me if I wanted to buy an iPhone app, like three times, in broken Singlish. It kind of hurt my head to listen to. So about the fourth time he asked, I stopped, turned around and said, “Would you like to be baptized into Christ’s true Church and be saved in the eternities?” He was dumbfounded. He just stared at me for a while then said, “I’m Muslim.” My reply? “Well, I don’t have an iPhone.” Needless to say, he left me alone the rest of the day. It was sweet.
Have I mentioned the amazingness of chili sauce yet? Well it’s amazing. They put in on everything and have it everywhere, even in McDonalds. Instead of packets of ketchup to put on fries, they have a big ole chili sauce dispenser. And lemmee tell ya, chili sauce, especially garlic chili sauce, blows ketchup right out of the water. Seriously, that’s gonna be one of the things I miss most about Singapore after I leave. The chili sauce is so good, but sometimes it’s almost too hot to handle. And that means it’s flippin’ hot! I’ve found that my taste buds can take about as much as a normal Indian person in terms of spiciness. That’s far more than the average Chinese, but less than a Malay.
So Monday I ran into my first anti. We were contacting and some guy walked by this guy we were talking to and said, “It’s a cult; don’t listen.” I said thanks as he walked away. Luckily the guy we were talking to only spoke Chinese and pretty much swore at the guy for being too loud. Way funny. There really is opposition in all things, even in Singapore.
Ok, you’re gonna love this. People here in Singapore usually choose their own English names. So far I’ve met Echo, Seven, Poem, and Kuzco — all females. But this tops it off. We were meeting a new investigator on Monday and I asked her name. She said, “Shakira.” I kid you not. Shakira? I burst into laughter, but calmed down pretty quickly. She couldn’t have been anymore different than the sex-idol that is Shakira. I’ll send a picture.
Ooh, this is fun news. We’re having missionary training next week in Kuala Lumpur!!! I’m leaving for KL on Monday and I’m stoked. Apparently, everything is so cheap there. Hopefully, I can find some sweet sarongs and other stuff too. We’re taking a super nice bus. It’ll be a five hour drive, but the chairs lay all the way down. There’s a lounge section, and they serve food. Sweet!
This is a fun little tid bit. UNLV has a campus in Singapore. Yep. Ridiculous! We got our new approved movie list for the next quarter! Secondhand Lions, Facing the Giants, Rudy, A Walk to Remember, and – drum roll, please – The Emporer’s New Groove! I love that movie so much. I’m stoked, and also a little spoiled.
And a new mission rule. We now have to wear our suits to church every week. So much for two years without a suit. Our Area Seventy told us two weeks ago. But at least we look good, right?
Ok, this is a great story. Last Friday we baptized a girl named Rosa. Her real name is Luosa but Rosa is her English name. Anyway, one of her friends from Sichuan, China was in town and came to her baptismal service. His name is Yang Yuan Dong. He is 20-years old and was in Singapore for five days to visit her. We were the first people to ever talk to him about Jesus Christ. His father died in the huge earthquake in China in 2008 and he takes care of his mom and five-year old brother.
Three days after Rosa’s baptism, Yang Yuan Dong called us and said, “I really want to be baptized.” We hadn’t taught him any lessons, and he was leaving to go back to China the next night. We talked to President Clark and he said that as long as we taught him everything and he could pass an interview, we’d be good to go. So we left the next morning at 8:30 a.m. and taught him for three straight hours. Then he had an interview, and was baptized at 6:00 p.m. It was amazing to see how strong his testimony had become in just four days. Four days! He expressed that he wanted to be with his dad in heaven after he died, and knew that he could through this church, even though he wasn’t sure how. Elder Teng explained baptism for the dead to him and taught the doctrine of eternal families, and he was instantly and completely converted. I’ve never seen anyone so readily accept something so foreign and with such zeal. So amazing.
One night last week, I only got about three hours sleep. There was super heavy thunder that was shaking the walls, an elder on a visa run was snoring super loudly, and Teng was grinding his teeth (it makes a squeaky noise that impossible to sleep through). Elder Teng said my name in his sleep, twice. When I told him the next morning he was super offended. I guess sleep talking is . . . bad or something? I was so tired.
Well, I’m sending some pictures with this e-mail and hope you enjoy them.
Oh, Teng almost got in a fight with Schone on Sunday night. I’m basically used to that kind of thing from him now, so I just sang “There is Beauty All Around” in the background the entire time.
I haven’t seen General Conference yet. We won’t have it until this next Sunday and it will be on DVD. In fact, I didn’t even remember it was going on. Everyone makes it sound like it’s coming live this Sunday. Dang Singlish! I never understand it.
As for Christmas presents, just have someone pick me out a sweet Swatch Watch. Anything else you send will also be appreciated but the watch is the only thing I can think of. Make sure the band isn’t leather. I had to get a different band for the watch I broughth because the leather was starting to smell so bad.
Dad mentioned Elder Perkins and that his daughter went with Nightingale to prom in Hong Kong. That’s hilarious. Nightingale is such a goof, but he’s so cool.
I am convinced that Asia had the gospel at some point in the past. The Chinese character for “beginning” is a woman, a mouth, and a snake. That’s the Garden of Eden, people. I’ve also heard that they’ve found statues in temples in Taiwan reminiscent of our temple ceremony.
Well, that’s all this week. Hope you’re all doing well! I love you. This Church is true; I know it.