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.

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