December 1, 2010
So, let’s start the report on Malaysia. First of all, our house is extremely nice compared to the rest of Sibu. Two stories, a kitchen, and study rooms for each companionship. The down side? There’s only one bathroom. Also, the shower is just attached to the wall and there’s a drain in the ground. Since it’s the same place you use the bathroom, you can actually shower and do your business at the same time. It’s revolutionary! Cleaning yourself inside and out at the same time.
The other downside is that the bedroom is only made for four and we have six, so me and Elder Lim literally sleep under the other elders beds. Well, halfway under. Seriously, my waste down is under Elder Pingle’s bed at night. Weird and also a bit awkward.
I miss the food in Singapore the most and its cleanliness. Malaysia is a mess. My new bike is sweet. Her name is “Stella”. I bought a really nice helmet. It was 150 ringgit but it doesn’t have reflectors on the helmet itself. Stella has reflectors and lights I bought for her, so I don’t think helmet reflectors should be a problem.
My Chinese is coming along well. I can now get main ideas across. It’s the specific words I need to work on at this point.
Knocking gates is definitely different than street contacting. We ride up to a gate on our bikes. I take out that coin that Brother Edgel gave me and the rest of the missionaries and rap on the gate with it. The people inside usually pull back the blinds a bit and then sit down until we leave. At least have the courtesy to tell us your not interested! Still, we have been blessed with quite a bit of success. For example, the second day I was here me and Elder Vance went out for an all day knocking session. It gets terribly hot and depressing when you don’t have any success, but we met this lady and she invited us back the next day to meet with her and her kids. Her last name is Xu (shoo) and she has three kids; 17 (boy), 14 (girl) and 8 (boy). She originally invited us back to help her son stay out of trouble. Then again, I don’t know what kind of trouble he can get into. He’s super shy and really short and kind of a goofball. But after we taught her the first lesson, she said she would bring her son to church, and did. He said he liked it. We named him Austin because he didn’t have an English name. So Austin liked his new name and we’ve seen his family almost every day since. His dad won’t come to church but he welcomes us into his house and even bought food for us yesterday. Good guy. He’ll come around. Except for him, the whole family is on date now. We went over last night and taught the 2nd lesson. Mrs. Xu ate it up! She believes everything we teach her, readily. We’ve seriously been blessed to find this family. There have only been two Chinese baptisms in the past nine months here in Sibu. I’ll get a picture with their family and send it to you. She even called us her “new family” yesterday which was way cool. Mom, she reminds me of you a little. Just shorter and … more Asian. She’s just sweet and loving and good, like you.
Other investigators include Selina, Kevin, and Johnny. And it’s only been a week. Sibu is ready to receive the gospel! We got into a nice Bible bash on Saturday night. Elder Vance was loving it because he was getting to practice Chinese, but I’ve never wanted to punch an old woman in the head so bad in my life. We met her daughter the day before and she invited us back to teach her. But it was a trap! The mom sat us down and immediately started telling us we should be back in America studying the Bible more. She just wouldn’t listen to a thing we said. And worse? She isn’t even active in her own church. It’s just ridiculous how close-minded people can get when they don’t even know what they believe, but they’re sure that you’re wrong. Enough ranting.
I saw one of the funniest things I’ve seen in a while at McDonalds on Monday. I was looking out the window, and there was this mom that led her son over to the storm gutter, pulled down his pants, and the kid peed in the gutter. Right in the middle of downtown Sibu! That’s just a normal thing for Malaysia.
Now we can discuss Iban life. Iban is the biggest native group here and most of them live in appalling poverty. We were with an Iban family yesterday that lives in a house … with six other families! Each family gets a room about the size of dad’s office. All six families share one bathroom and kitchen. And they’re happy! They just don’t know anything better so they’re perfectly content. It’s strange to think about, but really material things don’t mean anything. It’s all about spiritual wealth, and as members of the restored Church, we’re the richest people in town. It still blows my mind every time I ride by one of these long houses. The church is true, families are forever and Heavenly Father loves us. Truly he does. I love you all. Have a great week!
Also can, Elder Moody
P.S. The Malay is coming along slowly but surely. Saya tidak pandai cekup bahasa Malayu. But I’ll be pondai soon enough!