May 25, 2011
Whoo-hoo!!! Hello everyone. It has been a long, long day. Started at 6:30 a.m. with our zone going to Bako National Park. It took an hour by bus and another 20 minutes by boat just to get to the entrance. Then we hiked all these trails and arrived at a secluded beach. Borneo on the beach is paradise (or as close as you can come on Earth at least). I’ll send some pictures next week; you’ll be amazed.
So, let’s start with last Saturday. The Stampin Branch (the branch our group leader is in), went to the Matang Wild Life Reserve. We were planning on having an investigator and two less-active kids go with us, but all three of them canceled while we were boarding the bus so we went anyway. The rest of the branch stayed down by the river and swam. Of course, we can’t swim so Elders Porter, Tippetts, Jenkov, and me all went into the reserve to see some animals. We saw a bearcat — which is what the ROUSs (Rodents of Unusual Size) from The Princess Bride must have been based on — porcupines, orangutans, a Gibbon, and I finally saw the Sarawak Hornbill! At first all the animals were boring and did nothing, probably because there was a huge school group there with us walking around and making tons of noise. At one point Elder Porter and I climbed into an empty cage and Porter said in Malay, “Five ringgit to see the white guy and the red guy.” (We didn’t hear the end of that goof until they all left the reserve.) But when they finally left, things started to get fun.
First, the two baby orangutans came down to the fence right in front of us and were just staring, so we gave them leaves and rocks and stuff to play with. They tried to eat everything. They were so funny! One of them actually shook my hand. Haha, can! Beat that, sisters of mine! I shook an orangutan’s hand. While this was going on a Gibbon Monkey started making absolutely crazy noises. It’s hard to explain. It whooped really long and loudly a few times and would then get faster and faster until it was a trill, like a high-pitched machine gun. It’s jaw moving faster than you could imagine. We were in tears because we were laughing so hard. We came home and had a really good appointment that evening with Mr. Kho. He committed to follow the Word of Wisdom and pray as long as we texted him reminders. So that was sweet.
Elder Jenkins was sick on Sunday, Monday, and some of Tuesday so that kind of killed things for a bit, but I did get some good studying done. He’s feeling much better now so everything is okay.
Tuesday was strangely good for the work, even though we didn’t get out. We received a good referral from Elder Jones, one from the zone leaders and tomorrow we have a member-present scheduled (my first in four months!) and three from the sisters. Mind you, the sisters should have given those referrals to us when we first got here but Sister Lim could speak Chinese so they took it upon themselves to teach them. If you’re counting, we received five referrals in one day, more than I had in Sibu and Kuching combined! It was great sweet.
That brings me to today. Bako was so cool. A lot of the elders complained about having to hike too far in the heat, but it was still so cool. At one point we found a vine in the shape of a swing so we all swung on it. I doubt I’ll be able to send anything computer. Things are really looking up this week and I’m in a much better mood than I was last week.
So my motto here is “You can’t win ‘em all.” Next time something doesn’t go your way try saying that. It adds a bit of lightness and humor to even the darkest of situations and it always make me feel better.
The revelation of the week comes from our new zone leader, Elder Evanson. “Elder Moody, you do realize that your parents gave you a last name (Johnson), followed by a first name (Todd), followed by an adjective (Moody), right?” So thanks
Mom and Dad for the adjective last name. I thought it was pretty funny.
Love you guys! Mission life is awesome. If anyone reading this is thinking about serving a mission, stop thinking and just do it. Follow the counsel of living prophets and get your butt into the field!