March 9, 2011
Well, I was transferred. Here’s how it happened. I went home after e-mailing you last week and got a call from the APs. “Elder Moody, we’d like you to be on the first bus to Kuching. You’re being transferred and will open the area to Chinese work.” Elder Lim wasn’t even back from Singapore yet! He was still in transit to Sibu, and he had no idea. In fact, he didn’t believe me when I told him. It took some convincing. We didn’t end up leaving until Friday morning because we simply didn’t have time to pack and catch the bus on Thursday.
Getting here was an adventure but the real shock came when we arrived. Our house is terrible; absolutely terrible! It leaks, badly. Everything leaks. The ceiling below one of the bathrooms has been leaking for five months. Water has eaten away most of the drywall. The roof in the main bedroom leaks. Three sinks leak. Two toilets leak, and two air conditioners also leak. These leaks are such a problem that we have to shut off the water whenever the water isn’t on for fear the roof will cave in. And it’s a well-based fear at that!I don’t have a mattress, a pillow, a desk, a closet or a study room. I have no idea how to get around in Kuching yet. Basically I’m at a complete loss. However, things are looking up! After five months of searching the other companionship found our landlady, and she came to see the problems and now has a plumber scheduled to repair things on Saturday.
A little about Kuching: it’s the capital and most populous city in Sarawak, East Malaysia. It’s also the largest city on the island of Borneo and the fourth largest city in all of Malaysia. It’s the wettest city in Malaysia, averaging 247 rainy days a year. There’s an orangutan sanctuary here that I’m excited to see. It’s called the Semenggoh Wildlife Centre.
We live with four Malay-assigned missionaries: Elder Porter and his trainee, Elder Tippetts (from Las Vegas – no relation to the Tippetts in our stake) and Elder McCormies and Elder Ang (a native). Porter and Tipetts are moving out at the end of the month so I should have my own study room before too long.
We attend the Batu Kawa Branch in the Kuching East Malaysia District. The District President’s son, Elder Govindasamy (“Govin”), was my zone leader in Sibu. President Govindasamy has only been a member for three years. He’s awesome! Meetings are in Malay, but they do have a Gospel Principles taught in English. Very few people speak Mandarin in Kuching. Most Chinese here speak Hokkien. Comparing Hokkien and Mandarin is like comparing English to French. There’s not much in common between them. I’ll do my best to keep up on my Mandarin.
The Chinese members here a few, but pretty cool. Also, they’re a bit crazy. Denny Kho, the elder’s quorum president, believes that English is his best language. It’s not, and listening to him is a bit painful. He doesn’t speak Malay or Mandarin, so I have no clue how he has survived this long in Malaysia. But hey, he’s willing to help and already gave us a referral! That’s more than I got from Sibu in three months.
Denny is really, really devoted to the gospel — which is good — but sometimes he comes off as a little preachy, if you know what I mean.
Then there’s Brother Lim. He says we need to see him once a week or he might “quit the Mormons.” I’ve heard his conversion story three times now and I’ve only seen him twice.
Peter Ching is cool. His Malay is better than his Chinese though, so that kind of limits how much we can use him. We don’t know any other Chinese members yet, but I’m sure that will change soon.
I am happy to report that J.B. was baptized on Sunday back in Sibu. I really don’t have to much else to say. I’m still a little lost and confused, and things generally are pretty crazy around here with so many recent transfers.
Elder Lim will be leaving for California in three weeks so we’ll have to wait and see what happens when he leaves. I’m gonna go ahead and end it for this week. I love you all!