Tuesday, February 23, 2010

more pix

more pix

pic from sibu jaya

I'm sending these from gmail, because it's better. hope you enjoy!

Zachary Hill

to me
show details 7:32 PM (23 minutes ago)

hey dad. how's it going? life here is pretty good. that's a pretty funny story. i'm glad everything turned out. i find it almost always does. remember how stressed out i used to get? boy that was silly. it's funny to start growing up and to see how silly i was back then. i imagine i'll look back on my mission 10 years from now and think the same thing. attatched is a cool house accross one of the rivers when i was in kuching i hope you enjoy it. i'm going to send this right now, because if i try to attatch a lot of pictures, this thing gets all messed up and erases my email message. i'll try to figure something out as i go
love zac

hey mom and dad! so i'm just going to write quickly about how my week
was. we got back from miri on monday, where all the missionaries in
east malaysia met together and got to listen to elder russel m nelson
speak. we all got to shake his hand and everything. what an
experience. i was a little embarrassed because i had forgotten my
nametag, but luckily everything turned out all right. it was good. he
gave us advice on how to get to know people and how better to teach
them about the gospel on like a door contact. so hopefull more success
will follow.i dont have much time left after all those pictures, so i
hope you dont mind that this letter is kind of short. we've still been
having some good success here. we ran into a family, who said that
their cousin wants to learn. so we went to his house, and he turned
out to be like our best investigator. he's really smart, and he said
he had already tried 3 different churches looing for the right one. we
taught him about joseph smith and he seemed really interested. his
family seemed confused still (because they only really spoke iban and
not much malay) so he turns to them and explained all about joseph
smith in iban. what a champ! anyways, so we have high hopes for him. i
dont have time to talk about everyone we're teaching. just know that
things are going well, and i am really enjoying myself. tell everyone
i love them and i'll talk to you next week.
love, zac
p.s thanks for the picture. it should help a lot!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Hujan Panas

Zachary Hill

to me
show details 8:35 PM (4 minutes ago)

hey dad
i just had a fever for like two days, but nothing bad. all the ibans here tell me it's because i went out in "hujan panas" which is when it rains and the sun is shining. they think that when it's like that, spirits come out and make people sick. we went to teach this lady the other day, and they were explaining some traditions the people have. if someone in the family dies, they believe that the spirit of that person comes by the house of their relatives during hujan panas. also, if a woman is pregnant, there are many things she cant do, like kill a chicken. after she has the baby, no one can go into the house besides family, and she has to keep herself warm. normally they put on warm clothes, turn the fans off and start a fire. i think i would die if i tried that in this weather! but i tell you, traditions like that make some fun people. just talking with these people is so fun sometimes. i havent had anything like your mission story just yet. maybe someday. but even if it's not as obvious as yours, i know the lord helps us. we just run into people sometimes who are really prepared to listen to us, and it's awesome. anyways, i'm sorry this is so short, but we've got an activity planned for today. we are going to visit some people whose ancesters were head hunters, and the still have the skulls. so hopefully i get a pic or two. anyways, take care dad. keep yourself healthy.
love, zac
ps. i do have one request. i know i shouldve listened to you before my mission and taken a picture of a girl with me, but i was young and stupid back then. anyways, i have come to see your wisdon, and was wondering if maybe you could email my prom pic with alex? that would be really good. i could just put it onto my memory card and take it to a picture store here and have it printed out so it wont take forever to come or cost you anything. thanks. later! :D

Zachary Hill

to me
show details 8:08 PM (33 minutes ago)

hey ma.
that's pretty nuts that we have a new bishop. valentines day here was pretty lame too. i spent the whole day with a dude! but i survived it. it also happened to be a very special day here for a good portion of the people here in malaysia- chinese new year! gong xi fa cai! what a horrible holiday. bombs going off til like two in the morning at our chinese neighbors house. we did get invited to a few places tho. they fed us all kinds of goodies, like cuttle fish and squid. mmm. i'm not gonna lie, the dinner description you gave had me drooling. the people here all talk about how they couldnt live without rice, and that even if they ate a huge steak it wouldnt fil them up. theyre pretty nuts sometimes. all the people here also think that americans have never eaten rice. and that america is covered with ice all year round. i really see how silly stereo types are now that they are against me! haha. we have so much fun with it tho. people always tell me how cold me hometown is, so i play along and talk about how there's snow above my head. that sure freaks them out.

but so here, i'd like to explain a little bit about the people here. they have what's called a kampung, which is like their hometown. although they live away from kampung, their lives revolve around it, and they go back for any deaths, marriages, holidays, etc. even chinese new year i guess. most of the people who own businesses here are chinese, so they give long holidays for chinese new year. since the people have lots of time off, it's back to kampung. so a lot of our investigators gave us the slip. but it was good. it gave us time to knock a few flats and pick up new investigators. what joy!

yeah i was sick a bit last week. kind of feverish, but nothing to keep me at home. i went straight to bed after we got home two days in a row, but i feel in perfect health now. i had some medicine from america that i took, so no worries. if anything gets serious tho, they send us to singapore, because hospitals here are pretty silly. it's been a little tough to get some investigators to church, but you can tell the good ones because they come to church every week. we've got a member moving in from town, so that will move our active adult member total up to like 4. so hopefully we'll get some good member help soon. i never really realized how tough it was without member help until i didnt have any! but life is good here in malaysia. i love the people. they love us. we're gonna have more members soon, so we're excited for the future. march is sure lookin good! anyways, i'll keep you up to date with things that are going on. oh, so at iban kampungs, they live in a place called a long house, that has a bunch of doors in one building. so we're gonna go visit one of those today for p day because they have some skulls hanging from the head hunter days. i should have some cool pictures after that, so i'll send some your way. also, i got the pictures you sent me of the fam yesterday. thanks so much. you are the best ma! i gotta go.
love, elder hill

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

feb 8

Zachary Hill

to me
show details 7:08 PM (1 hour ago)

hey dad. how's it going? that's pretty cool that nyss got to go to the temple. i still remember whan we all went with richard, that was pretty sweet. quite a while ago now. that's pretty cool about the french club. do people actually try to speak french? i was surprized when i went with you and no one spoke french. crazy people. my french is pretty bad now. i couldnt even remember how to say merci the other day! it all comes out malay. i love malay tho. such a good language. i'm sorry about your fish tho. are they still alive? did you get your tank fixed? things are doing well here for me. i've been sick for the first time this past week, so that was pretty fun. all the people we saw kept trying to feed me medicine. that's just the way these people are. they're pretty good. there are lots of flats here. there are blocks with 80 doors, and there are blocks a-t. some dont have anyone in them, but there's still a ton of people. so one day we knocked an entire block. lucky blcok n. there were a few people who say they wouldnt even change churches if christ came down and told them to. what can you do with that? we mostly just thank them and leave. we got a good family out of that block tho, so we're excited for them. the husband actually comes home from work every day, so we're really hoping things work out. a mission is very exciting. so do you have any sweet experiences from your mission you'd like to share? anyways, im gonna skedaddle. take care dad.
love, elder hill

Zachary Hill

to me
show details 7:18 PM (1 hour ago)

hey ma. that's crazy about the weather over there. it's been pretty hot over here. i can't believe how hot it gets when the sun is out in the middle of the day. whew! sweat like it's no ones business. things here are good. unfortunately, it's quickly becoming chinese new year, and all our investigators are giving us the slip! just for a few weeks tho. but, they should be good for march. we're still picking up new investigators all the time, which is nice. i told dad about a family that we got, who seem pretty good. they havent been to church in years, which is good because then we have to fight less blind stubborness. the lady was excited to have us come over, because here daughters are not yet christian, so she wants us to teach them. little did she know, we'd teach her and her husband too. haha. what a sneak i am. we can always find people who are interested, never fear mom. there will always be people. some just take a lot of work. we've had this indonesian lasy we've been talking to, who is kind of crazy, but she seems pretty interested and always invites us over. she believes a lot of crazy things, but she could be a good member. so we're trying to get her to pray right now, even though all her friends are telling her that our church is apostate. we know if she prays sincerely, she'll get an answer and then we'll have something to work with. anyways, i'll tell you more next week. love you ma.
elder hill

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

feb 1, 2010

hey dad
i really hope you received an email last week, because i sent a huge
one to you. i told you about everything i did that week. if you
didn't, i tell you it wasn't my fault! haha. well, we haven't heard
too much about the situation here in malaysia. everytihng that is
going down is pretty much in west malaysia so it hasn't really
affected us here in east much. people just tell us to be careful and
they tell us in west there have been churches that have been bombed. i
dont know how much you've heard about it, but i guess it's because of
a controversy over the word "allah." in malay there is no other word
for god, and the muslims get angry because they feel like christians
disrespect Allah. the issue came to a vote, and it was passed that
christians could continue using the word, so there was a backlash. i
guess some people in west had to stay inside, but we're still safe.
it's crazy to face politics as a missionary, because i have no idea
what is going on in the world. people always ask where we're from, and
when we tell them america, they just go "barak obama!" it's so funny.
and then they ask what we think of him, but i dont know anything. i
might just tell people i'm from france, because no one knows where
that is anyway. so we had a pretty good week last week. well, there
were some tough things that happened i guess, but mostly good. we've
been working with all our investigators, and most of them are doing
really well. you may have heard me talk about this lady named kitty
that we have been teaching. she's so good. she is really prepared to
hear what we talk about. she's been to church twice, and pretty much
ready to be baptized, but she's a little nervous to be by herself so
we're going to postpone it a week so she can be baptized with another
person. we should have quite a few coming up, but we need to wait a
little bit to see how things go. one day, all our appointments fell
through, and even our back up appointments. it was like 830 at night,
and we knew it was too early to go home. we didnt yet have bikes at
that point, so we didnt want to go super far and have to just walk
back. so we started to contact around where we lived, which normally
night contacting goes no where because people are scared of two big
white guys when its dark out. anyways, we go straight for this one
house, and the guy is a stud. he let us in and he's really receptive.
he's been to america before, so he likes to talk to us in english a
bit. so we met him that first time, and last week, we met him for a
second time. he really seemed excited to hear about the book of mormon
and on thursday he invited us back, and he said he would bring some
family members, so we're really excited for that coming up. we've got
some members who are giving us referals, which is always helpful. that
should go well. sacrament is pretty strange, but it's so much more
peaceful with just a handful of people. anyways, we just meet in a
terace house until we have enough people to merit the renting of a
building for church. and some people dont want anything to do with us
until we have an actual building. it's a little sad, but you can
really see who is prepared and who isnt. anyways, the hard thing this
week was that we have a family who seemed pretty good. a mother and a
few children that love to have us come over. the husband works far
away and comes back once a month. so he came back, and has banned her
from going to church. he says once we have an actual building for
church, he'll let them go again, but you never know if he'll keep his
word. so that's a few baptisms we'll have to wait for. it's always
hard to see things like that, but you just have to keep going.
everything else here is going great. we get rained on almost everyday
now, and that's just the way i like it. so i was originally going to
send this just in myldsmail, but i decided i'd send it twice just so i
could make sure you get it. take care dad and know that i love you.
let me know how things are going back home. later.
love, elder hill


Zachary Hill

to me
show details 6:54 PM (2 hours ago)

hey mom. i havent gotten the pictures yet, but they should be in singapore right now. normally, they wait until someone from the same city goes back to singapore, and they can just pick up the mail for free. so i should get it in the upcoming weeks. plus, you never know how long it will actually take to get to singapore. i just got the christmas card you sent me last week! haha. what a fun experience this is. i can't even tell you how much i love malaysia. i have had so many experiences that just make me laugh, that i can't even describe them all. i wish you guys could all experience it, but i'm sure you'd have to experience it as a missionary to have one like mine. i'm not sure how much i'd like coming here as a tourist, but getting to know all the people is so much fun. especially being able to talk to them. but yeah, malaysia is always pretty warm. it's nice. i think i wouldve died if i got sent to russia or dare i say canada! brrr! but yeah, there are some pretty sweet jungles around here. way more than in kuching because i was just surrounded by city. i'm sorry i've been so bad about sending pictures. i'll try to remember to take some. there's this raging river we have to cross to get some places. it's pretty crazy. also, there's a really really tall bridge we ride over to get to some members. when i get to the top, i feel like i'm gonna pass out, but it sure is fun to ride down. the family we had isnt ready to be baptized yet, and wont be for a while. i explained a little more in depth in dad's email (i really hope you both read both emails i send, because i say different things) anyways, the husband has currently forbidden them to come to church until further notice. so we'll wait to see what goes on. we still have some good people, and are expecting a good turnout for february. the people here seem to really like us. we get invited over for food a lot more than i did in kuching, so it's pretty nuts. malaysia sure has some delicious curry, but i think it would be better with no bones and no skin on the chicken. either way, you just gotten eat what's given to you, know what i'm saying? i wish i would've realized that when i was younger. i'm sorry i was so picky back in the day ma. anyways, i'm sorry this one's short. i should probably get. i'm gonna try to write better emails, so we'll see how it goes. i love you ma. take care of yourself.
love, elder hill