Monday, September 30, 2013

Week 9

Hey everyone! This week was a lot better than last. We actually had some success. Slowly but surely things are getting better, and we are building a foundation with people by doing a ton of contacting. It isn't effective, but it's all we have to work with at the moment. We have found 7 or 8 people that are really interested, and only were able to teach 2 this week, but it's a start.
Monday we went to Batu caves, which translates basically to some caves with a ton of monkeys! you can buy a dozen bananas to feed them. While I was looking at a monkey to feed it, another monkey jumped on me and stole all of my bananas. I think some of the other missionaries got a good picture of it. It was pretty cool. They have some fun things there. :)
Tuesday we kind of went exploring into the jungle today. We had a referral to meet but we had no idea how to exactly get there. When we got to the person's house, it was pretty much in a huge jungle. People freaked out and thought we were "orang Eropah" which is Europeans. I guess everyone here thinks we are Europeans, but they were scared of us because nobody ever comes to their neighborhood. Someone called security on us, but we got a ride back home from one of them.
Wednesday, I ate my first durian. The national fruit....It's alright but after eating a whole durian, I wanted to throw up. Anyway, I gave a Book of Mormon in Tagolog. We basically have to keep a Chinese, Tamil, Tagolog, Malay, and English Book of Mormon with us all the time, because you never know who you are going to come in contact with.
Thursday, I ate some Domino's which is as cheap as Little Caesars. The pizza here is okay but not as good. I met one person that wants to meet with us tomorrow. Yay! Finally. We went home early because Elder Dailey was having a killer headache and the loud traffic wasn't helping out.
Friday, I had my first bloody nose...woohoo! I thought I was going to be over them, but nope. But that didn't make the day bad, because we taught our first lesson! , seems pretty interested but he's hesitant about baptism because he has already been baptized. We will probably teach again next week. We also met 2 other people today, one of which basically told us that we better call him within a few hours or he'll be upset (he never answered) We've placed 7 books of Mormon this week which almost doubles Elder Dailey's record.
Saturday,  Finally we are getting stuff to do. We walked over 8 miles today.
Oh, and also I've been offered a prostitute several times now, but it's from a guy that speaks really bad Malay, so I don't understand a word he's saying, but Elder Dailey just tells him that we already have a girl back home so we don't want one.
Sunday- We had our first baptism since December! He's an investigator from the other Elders in Puchong, Really fun day. Every week, we have food after church that the members bring. I wish America was like that. They looooove food here. :D :D

Also, I don't know if I let you know, but there are NO stars here. Absolutely none. The clouds and smoke cover them up, so I haven't seen one star since I've come. Sad day, but oh well! It usually gets dark around 7:30 here.

So there is my week, I love you all! Have a great week. :)

Elder Vincent
 Batu Caves
 Monkey at Batu Caves that Stole My Bananas

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Week 8

Thursday we got to Singapore, and we went through customs. I thought we were going to have a hard time through it, but they just looked at my passport, stamped it, and done. I then got my baggage, which really scared me. I found my one bag, but was missing my other bag for about 20 minutes, finally it came through the baggage. :) Then I met my mission president and his wife, who are super super cool. I can't even describe how awesome they are. They are very relaxed about things as far as some things go. Sister Mains is very nice, but when she puts her mind on something, she goes overboard. She gave us all a whistle to make sure that we would be safe from dogs, and she has a huge book teaching us to use the correct pronouns in prayer like thy, thine, thou, etc. President Mains really is cool. He doesn't know Malay, but he has been so busy that he hasn't gotten the chance to yet. We then went on the SMRT (which means "dead" in Czech) which is the transit system, which is super super advanced. They have cards that we use to access, but we don't even have to get them out of our wallets, they can read them through our wallet and it will let us go through the little gate thingy. We tried proselyting there for a while as we were going back to the mission house, but we only placed one Book of Mormon, and that was because some kid just came up and was really interested in the church already, so I don't count that one. We are supposed to place one each day, but I've been kind of failing at that so far...It's hard to talk to people here, everybody is on their handphone, but I am starting to figure out how to do it. So really, it's not that difficult, but I am just having a difficult time getting used to the way people talk. I sometimes have a hard time understanding what they are saying, but getting better.
I met my new companion, Elder Dailey on Friday morning. He is really nice. Met me by giving me a hug.  We went out to lunch together at the mall in Singapore, which is super super huge. I got a yam panggang which is something like grilled chicken, but better. Everything is real here, so it has bones. Of course there was rice. We tried for like 20 minutes to find a place to sit, but it was literally impossible. Finally, a small Chinese lady offered us to come sit by us and we talked to her, but she left before we could talk to her about the church.
Most people are really friendly here, but since we are white, they won't really talk to us unless we talk to them first. But, the children are absolutely hilarious. I'll talk about them in a minute, but first my first night at, it was super hard. Most people were asleep by 6:30 and they were zonked. You couldn't get them awake if you kicked them in the head. But I knew that I had to pack my things, even though I was about to pass out myself. This was a STUPID idea, because when I got to Malaysia, I opened up my bag and I had absolutely no white shirts. I left them in Singapore...ughhhhh so I was feeling like an idiot about that for a really long time, but I was like "okay, the Lord is just going to start my trials now. I can go through it." And I did, I found another elder's shirts that I can use. They are a little dirty, but I washed them and now I have 5 shirts I can use, which isn't too good, but it will last me until I go back to Singapore.
Sorry, I'm jumping all over the place. So Friday, we had our flight at 5:50 to KL, so we were at airport by 3. We changed out of our dress shirts and put on a casual shirt to go through customs.  We didn't get back into our normal clothes until Saturday afternoon. As for my flight, it was 1 hours long and I didn't feel like sleeping, so I talked to a Chinese man all the way there. Really nice man, just not interested in the Church. Has a friend though that he talks to that's Mormon. Anyway, we got to Malaysia, through customs just fine, and got our baggage. not much to say there. We rode a super long train to an area of KL called Klang...and we stayed with Elder Stowell and another missionary there, because Elder Dailey left his stuff in Klang. By the time we got there, it was 12:30.  I took a shower, finally. I felt super gross. I hadn't shaved for maybe 4 days.
Then the next morning we got up, and we had a service project to go to. (Saturday) We were going to meet a member and clean the church , and so we tried getting a taxi. Nobody wanted to take our bags. we wasted an hour just to have to call a cab to take us there. But as we were going there, a group of Chinese high schoolers ran up to us and wanted to take a picture with us. I guess no white person had ever talked to them before. Then, when I started speaking to them in Malay (cuz i couldn't understand their English) they started freaking out, and then took a video of me speaking to them in Malay. It was really funny, which made my day a little better. :)
We got to our the church about 12:40 and we missed the service project, but we met the member and he took us out to lunch. I ate duck with noodles. Yes, duck. Buahaha, I'm going to tell Ethan that. :) I was still learning to understand people's accents, so I had a weird visit with him. Then we went to our apartment, put our stuff away, and then took another shower.
Which now I will take a break in writing, and tell you a few cultural differences. Here there are toilets, but no toilet paper. I'll explain in a sec how that works. Every bathroom is about 10 centimeters lower than the rest of the house. So there is a little step that you go up when you get out of the bathroom. The shower is just a corner of the bathroom with a shower nozzle on it, and tile descends a little so that the water goes out, but there are not tubs or anything. There is hot water, but you have to turn it on, and let it sit on there for a while. As for the toilets, once you are done pooping, you take the hose, point it up your butt, and get water literally EVERYWHERE. Simple as that. Just don't wear pants, and it's all good. I actually don't mind it. I am still learning how to use it, but it's alright. :P
Uhmm.....let's see...
This area we have no one to teach right now. The missionaries that came before us wrote down nothing, so people they contacted are completely gone. We just have to go street contacting until we actually get a few investigators. Saturday I was pretty upset about this, because I was hoping we would get straight into the work, but right now we just have to do a lot of prep work. Our district leader and his trainee gave us some people to contact. We have another couple visits with people, but not too many. We will just have really slow days for a while. Our numbers will be super low, but hopefully within 6 months, we will be bosses. And I am making sure that we write down everything, so that the next missionaries have stuff to do.
Sunday, we went to church at 10, and I was surprised that there was actually 80 people there. It's a pretty big branch. There haven't been any baptisms since December though, but the other companionship has an investigator of the church that might be getting baptized in January. The people are sooooo very nice! I love them all. I will talk about a couple of them. One of them is a former missionary. He has a learning disability, but he is very sweet. He wants to teach his friends here, and so he has asked us to come with him to talk to them. We are probably going to see one of them tomorrow, and then another one probably Thursday or Friday...not sure. He walked around with us for a while as we tried to talk to people, but Sunday really isn't a good day to talk to people...not many people out at all. Then the other Japanese, and he speaks very little English, so I used my Japanese that I have learned with him. He invited us to come over to his house on Wednesday for lunch. Hopefully I can become fluent in Japanese by then. :D :D
Most of what we have done is some training. Elder Dailey has been training me on how to teach people and told me a lot about the culture here. I have a lot of questions for him as I go throughout the day, and he seems fine answering even the dumbest questions I have. By the way, this is a left-side of the street country like I said, which is really confusing sometimes. I will be looking for traffic to my left, and realize that I should be looking right, but then there are some one-way streets, which doesn't help matters.
At our apartment, we have a really really nice pool. I wish I could go swimming in it for my morning exercise, but alas... tidak boleh.
Anyway, that's about all for my days in Malaysia. The first few days are going to be really rough starting off, but I will make it fun. I have a good companion.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Week 7 - Arrival In Singapore

I AM IN SINGAPORE!!! YAY and it is absolutely amazing here. We got here safely and I have both my bags so all is well. everyone thinks its super hot but i don't think its bad yet.. :)

Oh, and we tried placing a Book of Mormon today (English one) and a 18 year old ish guy just came up and asked for one. That was pretty cool. :) That was the only one.
 Elder Vincent with Mission President and his wife

Friday, September 6, 2013

MTC West - Week 5

Hey! I have so little time today.  I have a lot of things to write, so I am going to try to make this pretty simple. I got my flight schedule a while ago. I apologize for my mistakes in my emails. I had to type at full speed to get everything written before I go to Singapore. Which is on Tuesday!
Thursday:  I'm not sure how people consider p-day to be a relaxing day.  I walk and do so much more on pday than any other day, but! I got to go to a burger restaurant and I bought a 1/2 pound bacon burger.  I met another Poky citizen today. So excited. Didn't know him, but he went to Poky High school.
Friday- went to the MTC main again to pick up my pills for malaria, so I had a good time, spoke with the Russian and Czech missionaries. I always look for Ethan and Brigham, but they must be in class when I come. I taught 2 lessons back to back and they went really well. I also got my travel plan and we have an awesome ride for 2 whole days from here to LA to Hong Kong and Singapore.  So I will be flying to LA with 15 Malay Singapore missionaries, and about 8 Indonesian missionaries, and then we meet up with the English and Chinese Singapore missionaries in LA and we fly to Hong Kong together.
Saturday- So today was just awesome, plain awesome. Our teacher told us about his first couple days after getting to Singapore. :D
Sunday - So it's fast Sunday, for no breakfast or lunch. wasn't bad actually.  I got up a few minutes later than normal but I can't wait to go to Singapore because we sleep in til 7, and for other reasons of course. I played the violin today.  It was a little out of tune, but I figured out how to play.
Monday- relaxing day. easy stuff to do.
Tuesday- Saw Ethan and Brigham again! last time before we go on our missions. Tonight I got like 5 letters cuz I didn't get any from Saturday to Monday due to the Labor Day Holiday. 
Wednesday: Today I helped bring the new missionaries in instead of going to class so we showed them to their apartments. I met another Elder Vincent!! it was really funny to meet him. :) He is from Bountiful and named Spencer. Maybe he is related to the family somehow? Not sure. :)  We brought in 200 new missionaries, and guess what? Wyview had only 200 missionaries there, when we got here.  Now there is like 700.

Anyway, that's all for this week, and probably I won't have time to write next week either. It depends on when my p-day is at. I might skip it entirely. 
I love you all, I hope you are doing well. Keep in touch!

-Elder Vincent