March 30, 2011
Yesterday we crossed a street and had to jump a median. Elder Porter crossed about 30’ in front of an oncoming car. Now this car wasn’t anywhere close enough to even be worried about hitting him but the driver freaked out. He laid on the horn and just started screaming, “What is that?!” over and over again in his thick Chinese accent. I burst into laughter. Looking back, I probably shouldn’t have laughed because that definitely infuriated him even more. Honestly, I couldn’t help it. It was just so funny! So as he passed us standing on the median he “swore” at us in English which only made me laugh harder because what he said was “flip you.” They use it all the time here.
By the way, it just started pouring down rain, enough to cause a flash flood in Vegas.
Before I start my weekly report, my zone leader here in Kuching is from Mission Viejo; pretty flippin’ close to the California Moodys. His name is Elder Bench. His family lives at Palmetto Place off of Oso and Margarite. Cool huh?
So let’s get into the week. We taught lessons!!! It was my first 1st lesson in almost two months. Only two of the contacts we had actually followed through, but they’re both pretty good. Mr. Liang has a big family and they all live together in this little house. He, his wife, his son, and his son’s girlfriend that lives with them all sat in on the lesson and participated really well. They even understood the need for a restoration after the great apostasy, and that is something that I haven’t seen before. Then there was this guy, Evenyee (that’s his nickname anyway), and his friend that that showed up. They asked a lot a lot of questions, almost too many actually. But it was all good. They all committed to come to church last week, but none of them did. Mr. Liang was so close, but he called 15 minutes before it started and told us that no one else would be coming so he didn’t want to come either. His name is Liang Tian Fu. The exact same sounds you would use if you said “two heavenly fathers” in Chinese, just different characters. That’s kind of funny right? But no one came and that was rough. We’ve been back to his house twice but he hasn’t been home. We dropped off a Restoration DVD for them to watch and hopefully we’ll go check-in with them tonight or tomorrow.
Now for the biggest development of the week . . . drum roll . . . we moved!!! And into a way better house, like three million times better! It’s closer to the Chinese areas, although it is a bit further from most of the members’ houses. It has things to cook with. I get a bed. And there is A/C in all the rooms instead of just one. I have a closet and a desk to study on. It’s basically heaven. My desk faces out of the back window towards the jungle. It’s not a terrace house, it’s an apartment. A senior couple lives right across from us and the sisters live right above us. The move is one of the best things that has happened since I’ve been in Kuching.
This week reinforced to me that I really need to find some Chinese leaders here in Kuching. We went to visit a recent convert last week. I’m not sure how he was ever baptized. He doesn’t speak English or Malay and the missionaries that taught him don’t speak Chinese. We walked in and he immediately tells us that he isn’t Mormon anymore and that he’s going back to his old church. I reminded him of the feeling he had when he was baptized and his testimony of the Book of Mormon, but he wouldn’t respond . . . just two or three minutes of complete silence. I eventually decided he didn’t want anything to do with us so I said if he didn’t want us there we’d leave. He agreed so we left. The next day I called one of the missionaries that taught him. The missionary told me he had already seen him and “reactivated” him. By this point I was floored. How did they even communicate? Well, I have since learned that Li is very slow mentally. His silence wasn’t because he didn’t want to talk, but because he zones out and loses his place in the conversation. It would have been nice to know that up front, right?
Sunday I taught Gospel Principles in Chinese. We went over the LDS canon and the history, content, and practical use of each of the four standard works. I found out after class that it was the first time that our Mandarin section has been taught in their own language in over four months. It drives me nuts that everyone wants to use English when they don’t even speak it.
A white guy actually took us to dinner on Saturday night. He’s loaded and he’s a total nerd. We spent two hours discussing Orson Scott Card, Harry Potter and Star Wars. It was awesome! He’s a funny guy. Maybe we can prepare him to lead this group.
Elder Lim is in California now. On Monday he flew from Singapore to Chicago then to Salt Lake and on to Provo. It ended up being a 22 hour flight. He’ll be in the MTC for three weeks.
I got a haircut this week. The Asians always neglect to cut the back slope of my head. I hope that makes sense. I don’t know what else to call it. It’s the part that’s kind of on the top your head and kind of on the back of your head at the same time. For some reason they leave my hair longer in that area. I have some Asian style going on I guess. I’m cool.
That’s all I have for this week! I love you guys. The Church is true, the Book of Mormon is blue, and God is Mormon. One of our APs told me that last week. Pretty funny line. Next week I’ll be in Sibu for training, so I’ll be e-mailing on Thursday. A week or two after that I’ll be on a visa run to Singapore so I’m not sure when I’ll e-mail. Write me! I love you all!