April 27, 2011
One of our most promising investigators right now is named John. He doesn’t speak Mandarin but his English is okay. He told us to call him “John 3:16” because it’s his favorite scripture. Needless to say, John is an interesting guy. He may try to contact you on Facebook. His daughter was baptized with his consent but not his wife’s because she’s a strong Catholic. Well, Samantha is now at BYU Hawaii and her mom, Judy, is starting to open up in a big way. Judy is finally talking to us. She’s made us dinner three times already! Good dinner too! Also, to top things off, they invited us to go to Serikin with them. It’s a little town right on the Indonesian border and Indons come up to sell stuff super, super cheap. I got a sweet tikai and a cool bag made of rattan. It was a good trip. It also opened the door to let us go do some good service for them. Usually they won’t let us do anything, but I convinced them we needed to pay them back somehow so Monday they let us go over and clean out this shed-thing in the backyard that was filled with bamboo. By the way, the bamboo was mostly rotten and swarming in bugs so me and Elder Jenkins had to brave it out and still ended up with a million and a half bites or more. But it all worked out. You see, while we were in Serikin, Judy showed us some little green bean things called petai and had us try them. They tasted like straight garlic and were horrible, but she promised to cook them well and made us a good dinner after we finished helping them.
So as a premise you have to understand what belacan (blah-chon) is. It’s a paste made with gutter fish and shrimp that Malays dip fruit and other food items in. I hate it because it tastes like you’re eating straight sewer water. Well, Judy made belacan for us with the little beans in it and since I never deny a new food, I tried it. It was amazing! I asked why it was so good and she said she made it without the fish so it was kinda like a good curry with shrimp and garlic inside. Really, it was incredible. She also made chicken cooked in rice. It was to die for! I think that’s the kind of food I might actually miss when I leave Malaysia. Speaking of that, can you believe I’m almost 11 months out? This is the last month counting up and it’s going way too fast. I have so much to do, too many people to talk to, too many to teach, and too much to share. Another year won’t cut it; not even close.
While I wallow is self pity I’ll talk some more about my week. Monday was a really, really good day — unusually so. It started with the usual Big Mac Monday. After that we saw Brother Lim, the one that’s a bit coo-koo, then headed to John’s for the service project and had that awesome meal. Finally, we went to Brother Danny Kho’s house to plan for the branch with Brother Alister Teo. And was I impressed! We discussed problems, the less active, investigators and even discussed possible callings for various members. It was almost like talking to a seasoned leader. I gave him an extra measure of encouragement. Things are really looking up for the Chinese group. I’m excited to get things moving and I do not want to leave Kuching anytime soon.
I’ll conclude with some funny texts I received this week. The first is actually a series of texts between me and Sister Lim after the power went out to our house while I was making baked macaroni and cheese. Homemade! Kyal would be proud.
Here’s how it went:
- Me: What’d the landlady say?
- Sister Lim: Whole Bampfyle no electric lah. (Bampfylde is where we live.)
- Me: Aiyoh, we kena screwed one.
- Lim: Wah-piang! V kena screwed 2 one lah!
- Me: No need go out today. Just stay home play, play only lah.
- Lim: Play, play, play till your head is pain. You Singaporean already liao lah.
- Me: I know lor, Elder Lim sabo me already. Go back to America… Adu, finish already.
- Lim: Funny one tis one lah.
And that was it. I understood every word and it seemed almost normal for me to talk like that. I’m getting more and more worried about English…
Then, my recent convert from Sibu, JB, who’s still a bit nuts said:
- I like you because your hand have a lot of hair and it like pillow. Also you cute, fat and have big eyes. Wow like teddy bear!
And that is quite possibly the most encouraging yet insulting thing I’ve ever been told in my life. It’s like a back-handed compliment, but there was no back-handedness meant in it. This is an interesting place!
That concludes this email. Love you all. The Church is true and I love serving God and His children in Malaysia!!!