Tuesday, September 8, 2009

first letters from the field

Re: ‏
From: Zachary Hill (zrhill@myldsmail.net)
Sent: Tue 9/08/09 8:58 PM
To: quiltingqueen57@hotmail.com
hey mom! how are you! things are going so well here it's crazy! i love it here so much.
it's pretty weird to get used to at first. there's so much going on. i got to
singapore just fine. it was nuts because oure group of 16 was the biggest single group
that has ever come to the mission at once. our mission president had all of our
trainers come to meet us in singapore and we all had an orientation on how the mission
works and all that. it was really cool being in such a huge group of missionaries.
we walked around the city a bit and did some contacting on buses and all that. it was
some much fun. then after two days they flew us all out to our areas. everyone in
the mtc group went to malaysia. i'm here in kuching, which is pretty much the best
area ever. it covers so much area tho. holy moly there was one day where we rode over
40 miles in the day i think. lots and lots of riding. but it's so awesome. i meant
to get a picture of my bike, but we've been really busy with the work so i havent
had much time to get pictures for you. don't worry, i'll try to get pictures of all
the sweet stuff. there's an area we travel to where we cross this huge river and it's
really amazing to see. i can't believe the area here. i've never seen anything like
it. i live in a 3 story building on the top, and our backyard has a pond with fish
in it, and then it's just jungle! we share our apartment with two other missionaries
working in the same branch as us. my comp's name is elder rajah-kaganasabai. lol he's
pretty cool. he's from australia of sri lankan descent. the other elders in the
house are elder herbst and elder tyler. elder tyler was in the mtc with me, but he
was in the other district. it's pretty cool to have another newbie with us. we have
a lot of fun teaching. it's been pretty hard trying to understand people these past
few days. the first day i was here was so intense. i couldn't understand anything!
it's getting much better bu t i still have a lots of trouble. i can speak a little
but i still just gotta work at it. i can take part in lessons, but i still don't
teach much because it's kind of hard to think of what to say, but i say more and
more every day. basically, since ive been here we've been meeting some of the
members and investigators. we've also been contacting. we've gotten like 7 new
investigators so far. the work here is going great. we're working on trying to
split our branch. we have about 130 people coming to church every week and we need
about 170, so we're really busy all the time finding and teaching. teaching is so
fun! the people here are great. they always give us drinks. they have crazy drinks
here, like rose flavored and lots of fruit flavored drinks. they also have this type
of hot chocolate stuff called milo that they serve piping hot even tho it's really
hot here all the time. oh man, it's so humid here. i dont think ive ever sweat more
in my life! and we all have to hang our clothes up to dry. haha. food wise, i havent
really had anything to crazy to eat. we dont really eat at members houses.
investigators will put out some bread or something to eat, but that's about it.
elder tyler also says his investigators give them tons to eat, but not ours. lol.
we had some chicken the other day (which was pretty much the only meal ive eaten
from someone) it still had all the bones and skin and all that. there was the neck
heart and kidney as well. it's a little weird to get used to, but that's what the
people eat. besides that, we've just been teaching a lot. there were about two
investigators on date for baptism when i got here. we havent gotten any more yet,
but we're working hard on it. oh yeah, it's kind of funny. there's this little
gravel road that leads to our house when we come home at night that has no lights
or anything, so we have to kind of ride it blind, and the missionaries here call it
"jalan beriman" which means "have faith way" or something close to that. i'm sorry
it's been a while since i've written. know that i love you all and that i love it
here in malaysia! my p days are on wednesdays, so i'll be writing to you then. oh
yeah, as well, we dont wear our name tags in malaysia, but we can in singapore. we
found out that the church is cleared in malaysia with the national government, but
the local government still hastles us so we oblige them. as well, by law we can't
teach muslims, bbut there are lots of tribal people here that we can teach. they are
the coolest people ever. mostly here they have ibans and another tribe that i cant
remember lol. the ibans used to be head hunters back in the day. my comp has a
picture of some skulls from wwII. but they are the nicest people ever. so friendly
and just a people with great faith. i'm truly blessed to be working here, especially
at this time. anyways, i gotta go. talk to you all later!

love, elder Hill

Re: RE: singapore‏
From: Zachary Hill (zrhill@myldsmail.net)
Sent: Tue 9/08/09 10:23 PM
To: wodenowl@hotmail.com

hey dad. yeah the island of borneo is pretty crazy. it's so jungly here. there are lots of little shacks here, but in kuching there's also some nice developed areas. i'm surprized, because i've seen some of the biggest houses here! but almost everyone we teach lives in a little shack. it's so humbling. these people have some much faith. some of them cant even really read, and they are converted on our words and prayer. it's so amazing! it's been such a wonderful experience for my first week and i cant wait for the weeks to come. i've been pretty eaten alive by mosquitos tho. but i'm having so much fun. the people here are great. the tribal people are so awesome. they have the coolest decorations. sometime i hope to get a sweet blow gun here. they used to use them back when they were head hunters. but they are the nicest smallest people. i would never expect them to have been head hunters. also, when it comes to muslims, it's really easy to tell because they almost all wear traditional clothing and they have kind of a certain look about them. plus, when we contact we just ask what people they're from and if they say "malayu" we thank them and walk away. pretty much anyone else we can teach, so it's really good. the work is going really well here. we've been getting new investigators every day. we're working at splitting the branch we're in, so we have a big goal to keep us busy. i'll keep you informed on anything else sweet that happens. i'm sure ive forgotten a lot, since this wekk has been pretty busy and kind of overwhelming. but take care. i love you and i'll talk to you next week.
love, elder hill

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