Tuesday, April 27, 2010

. . . it was that lady who was pregnant . . .

Zachary Royden Hill
to me
show details 9:05 PM (13 minutes ago)
hey dad
the macaroni grill sounds pretty good right now. they dont have
anything close to that in sibu jaya. but in june i'll be going to
singapore to renew my visa. hopefully around then i'll eat some good
food again. carl's jr or applebee's. or both. life is good here in the
singapore mission. it's so much different from what i've heard of
other people's missions, but i love it. craziness all the time. so who
all is in the bishopric? i've forgotten. also, who's in the stake
presidency? it'll be stange being interviewed by someone new when i
get home.

so you're gonna be able to go to the tournament of kings this year eh?
is your french club pretty big? do they actually speak french there,
or do they just sit and speak english like the old ones did? if i were
there, i tell you what. i'd break out my cane and go crazy. anyways, i
hope they enjoy. wish i could be there, but maybe sometime later. it's
a shame about father's and sons. you could always just go up in the
morning for breakfast like some other people used to do. where is it
this year?

hey thanks for wishing me a happy birthday. 20 is pretty old. i dont
know what to do with myself. i think i'll spend my birthday teaching
people. i was excited a few weeks back when i realized my birthday
would be on a pday. then they scheduled zone conference that week and
changed pday to the day after my birthday. but i cant complain. zone
conference pdays are all day. so it's a pretty good present from the

i dont know if the people here like my head or what, but they sure do
like messing with me. crazy people. ive changed a lot it feels like
just from hanging out with these crazy people. we have a lot of fun
tho. i really cant believe time is going so fast on my mission. i
guess it really is true what the stake president said when he set me
apart. i'm glad i still have a long while left tho. there's so many
more things that i'd like to experience about this part of the world.
also, my malay can use a little more development. i acn speak easily
to people, and there arent many things i have difficulty describing or
talking about, but i still use such basic words. learning a language
is a lot of fun. speaking of languages, how's that welsh of yours

this past week we had a few new investigators. some seem like they
could be pretty good. others, i'm not so sure about, but we keep
trying. there are some people who have made tons of progress who i
thought would make the least amount of progress when i first met them.
it's crazy how there are certain things that you just can't predict.
you never know how someone will react when they feel the spirit. it's
cool to see tho. i really just cant describe how unprepared i was when
i first came out. i had no idea what to expect and had to change in
many ways.

anyways, i'm gonna skedaddle. hope you have a good week. talk to you later.
love zac

Zachary Royden Hill
to me
show details 8:42 PM (38 minutes ago)
hey ma. people have a lot more respect for me now that i'm the big
cheese. be jealous. fear me! i'm kidding. what a joke. we did have a
baptism last week, which was good. it was this lady who had never been
christian before. she's pretty good and was pretty excited. i've been
meaning to send pictures but last week the computer wouldnt read my
camera, and this week i'm in sibu town on exchanges because my comp is
in singapore renewing his visa. in my ignorance, i neglected to bring
my usb cord, so pictures will have to wait another week. i'm starting
to build up a good collection i want to send. my new comp always takes
pictures and it's starting to rub off on me a little bit. when it
comes to the spider, i'm sad to say it sounds like you may have an
image in your head that is bigger than what it was in reality. i may
have exaggerated in my description. i get bored out here in a house
with just me and my comp. something needs to keep me going. it was a
lot bigger than the average spider you get going around. dont worry,
next week you'll see.

so what are the cool movies that you've seen lately. i've seen some
pretty good ones lately too. the joseph smith film restoration and
finding faith in christ. people seem to like seeing the story more
than just hearing it from us. but other than that, not many movies.
our mission president approves a list of 5 movies every few months
that we can watch on pday, but the newest list is impossible to find
in sibu jaya.

so, we also have another baptism coming up this week. it was that lady
who was pregnant. she had her kid now and is ready for baptism. she's
solid. the work is going pretty well. we've got a few new families.
there is a man named patrick who is awesome. he seems to really get
what we are teaching him, and he seems pretty excited to go see how
our church is. he should come this sunday. we'll see how it goes from
there. also, there is another family where the father works in kuching
and comes back for pretty much sunday only. we taught them only once
and invited them to church, and they surprized us by actually coming.
and then saying they would come again next week. so that's a good
thing. it'll be a little tougher only being able to meet with the
husband once a week, but we're still gonna keep working on him. there
are a few other families that have potential that we are still just
working on. hopefully all will go well. dont worry about my getting
nasty kuih tho. i always get something nasty. you just learn to eat
without tasting much, know what i'm saying? being picky my whole life,
i started developing that art before i even came out. (tactics like
swallowing in stead of chewing first.) i'm really loving life here
tho. i'm hoping to be in sibu jaya for a long while yet. at least til
after i hit my year. i really just love malay. and speaking malay.
it's good. i wish there were more people who spoke malay in america.
anyways, i'm sorry for just rambling. this week has been a little
strange since my comp is in singapore. hopefully i'll have more cool
stuff to say next week + pics. take care of yourself and have a fun
week. dont do anything to crazy now.
love, zac

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

"district leader hill"

Zachary Royden Hill
to me
show details 7:06 PM (17 minutes ago)
hey dad how's it going?
sorry i didnt stay on for longer. i figured you were just busy with nyss leaving, so no big deal. that's hilarious about your second period class. there are tons of little bamboo stick like things here. maybe i can buy you one and you can make use of it in your classes with naughty students. the people here also make use of hangers, so i guess you could give that a try. teach those kids a lesson or two, and not just in french. i'm a little bummed when i think about french. every time i try to say something to myself in french, malay comes out so ive pretty much given up. i remember it was the opposite when i first got here. french words always came out. but now malay just feels so natural. so what are you going to do for summer break? i can't believe summer is already coming up again. it feels like i just barely left.

about the phone issue, i'm not sure i entirely remember! sorry. there's this little like u-turn looking button that takes you back to the previous screen, and if you hold it down it will cancel out of any windows you have open. i dont know if that will help or not. there are a few people here with the same phone, so if i remember and i have time, i might just ask to borrow theirs and mess around with it. i'm sorry about the loud music. i was young and rebellious back then. but i'm not gonna lie, every once in a while, i catch myself singing a song or two while i'm out and about. there are just mobs of kids that run around wherever we go, and they seem to think it's hilarious when i sing and dance randomly while walking down the street.

yeah so i'm still in sibu jaya. my new comp's all right. it's still a little weird, just because it's only been a week since i've known him, and it's just the two of us at home. i remember people telling me that the mission will give me a little taste of what being married to someone will be like, and after being cooped up in a house all day with one person for 3+ months, i'm a little afraid. anyways, my comps name is elder lang, he's from some place in california. i think i may have told you that last week, but that's still about as much as i know. the baptisms last week had a slight issue. well, so it's two sisters that want to be baptized together. one of the sisters had a death in the family and went out of town the day the baptism was supposed to take place. that was a little stressfull having to tell everyone that it wasnt going to happen. the problem is, this weekend, the other sister is going out of town. and ibans have a tradition where they wear black cloth for two weeks, and then they go back to the place where the person died, and they take off their cloth. so next week, the first sister is going out of town again for her deceased relative. so this snowballed into a few weeks of delay. we're hoping tentatively that they will be baptized on may 8th, and that by that time, one of the sister's husbands will also be ready. tomorrow, however, we have someone else who is going to be baptized, so we're pretty excited about that. she seems pretty excited too.

we got a lot of new investigators last week. we got like 5 families with men, so we're hoping a few of those pan out so we can have some potential priesthood holders. this last week was fairly fun. we've been pretty busy. the prime minister of malaysia has this slogan of "one malaysia" trying to get everyone united i guess. so they had this concert to promote "oneness" that my comp and i spied from afar. it wasnt very good tho. there was a huge crowd. pretty much all of sibu jaya came to take a look. so it was funny to see all the strange looks with two white kids walking around and checking things out. they also had some booths with things for sale. this group of melayu kids came up and started talking to us, and then wanted to introduce us to all their friends. it was pretty crazy.

so last sunday, we had conference. unfortunately, it was in indonesian. these poor ibans just didnt understand a lot of it, i'm afraid. it's sometimes already a stretch for people to understand malay fully, since it's not these people's first language. indonesian just throws them for a loop. so that was interesting. they built this little game booth outside of the church that started thumping music during boyd k packers talk. but luckily we got the people to turn it down until church was over. it will be a lot less stressful i think to go back to normal sacrament meeting.

so on saturday, we were stopped for a dinner break at a place called the sulu cafe. when we got there, there was this family staring at us. i said hello trying to be polite. then they asked if they could take our picture, which really isnt all that uncommon. i can guarentee no white tourist has ever been to sibu jaya, so we're wtill pretty much the first white people theyve seen. so we ordered our food and were sitting there, and they started asking what we were doing here. we told them how we teach about church, and then they asked if we could teach them. so tonight we have an appointment, and i'll let you know how it goes. it's pretty much the best when an investigator contacts into you.

so things here are still running smoothly. life is good and not any problems that we cant take care of. how are things back home? how's that new dishwasher working? here we wash all our dishes by hand. and i even wash most of my laundry by hand, since our machine isnt working 100%. but i think that's pretty much all that went on this week. i'm sorry if it feels like i was rambling. talk to you next week.
love, zac

Zachary Royden Hill
to me
show details 7:29 PM (1 minute ago)
hey ma. dont worry about not writing. i'll still write and life goes on for me. so i may have exaggerated a little bit about the spider. but not much! i'll let you be the judge with the picture i send. if you look closely, you can even see his glistening fangs! dont worry about nyss tho. she'll be just fine out there in the big world. if i can do it she can. and you'll still be able to email her. just wait til her crazy stories start rollin in. like i told dad, there was a problem with the baptism. which snowballed into a larger problem so it will be delayed until may 8th. hopefully no longer. until then, we've got another lady being baptized tomorrow. she's a lady crazy, but good. we had her interview yesterday and she fed us corn drink and this nasty.. i really dont even know what to call it. every one here just calls a wide variety of snacks "kuih". but it was nasty kuih. the people here just have different tastes than us americans, that's for sure. maybe when i'm coming home i'll bring you a few things for you to try. yam and corn drink being the top priority. it's crazy that you can see me on a soap box, because i still can even see myself just preaching like that. it's crazy how easy it really is to go contacting tho. i think a mission can cure any shy person. but it's created another problem. now i just talk and talk and talk. i even annoy myself sometimes.

so the new comp is all right. like every comp, there are going to be things that bug you. but you just gotta work through it and not let it bug you too much. get the work done. eventually you'll get a new one. i guess since you asked, i'll tell you. yes, i'm senior comp now. the big cheese, top dog. and just to let you know, it doesnt end there. i expect to be referred to as "district leader hill" at all times from now on! the power!! but for reals, it's not any different than i was when i was junior comp. also,my district is also just me and my comp. it's kind of silly when i think about it. i just want to go out and teach and baptize. that's all. conference was kind of strange. it was all in indonesian and we only watched the first saturday session so far. so i'm not sure exactly what to think of it yet. the couple made a coupy of the english version, so they're going to let us borrow it for personal study for the next week or so. they also have the priesthood one, which i'm excited for. in kuching i only got to see sunday conference. so things are looking up. the work is going well. we're getting lots of people in our teaching pool. we just got to weed out the ones who dont really want to learn. a lot of people here just think that all churches are the same and that it doesnt matter which one you go to as long as you believe in Jesus. so sometimes it's a little bit of a struggle. but things are going well. we've got some new people that i'm excited for, but i'll hold off on talking about them too much until we see how interested they really are after a few lessons and see if they'll come to church. that's the real test.

tell jake good luck on finding a new job. so anything new going on there? i have to question whenever you say there's nothing new now, because i stumbled across nyssa's blog and saw that there's been a change in stake presidency that i have yet to be informed about. i'm sorry about you being lonely tho ma. things will get better. dont worry. life is good. but i should probably get going. i love you ma. if there's anything i can do for you, let me know.
love, zac

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

a pretty terrifying experience with a spider

hey dad
i just wanted to drop a note and tell you things are going well here. like i told mom, i've got a new companion named elder lang. he's from california. that's pretty much as much as i know about him. anyways, we've been having some good lessons and are preparing more people for baptism. we've got one coming up this weekend. that'll be good. hopefully i remember my camera this time. we're just working to find more new investigators, and more people to come to church. it's been a fun week, and i imagine it will continue to be fun.

something just came to my memory. we got cell phones a few months back, and they did away with the lan lines at our house. i guess phone cards dont work with the cell phones we have or some strange thing like that. anyways, president put out a new policy that for mothers day and christmas calls, you and mom will have to be the ones making the call, because it is free in malaysia to receive calls. anyways, i figured i'd tell you early so that you can figure out if it's worth it to call me or not and how to do it. i'll leave that decision up to you. anyways, i hope to hear from you soon. i hope things are going well back home and that you are giving your students a ton of homework. talk to you next week. i lve you dad.
love, zac

hey ma.
how's it going? things here are going pretty well. i just got a new companion on monday. his name is elder lang. it's always strange to get a new comp. i've changed a lot on my mission, but i still dont like things to change. i think we'll do well tho. we have a baptism coming up this friday. it should be pretty good. it's a lady whose husband will be baptized next month, and the ladies sister. we're still working on the sister's family as well. i dont know what the deal is, but men are so much less receptive to the message here. not to mention that there are tons of families whose fathers work out of town and only come back once in a few months. but we are still trying to prepare the rest of our investigators for baptism and find some new ones. we went to a flat last week that we hadn't been to yet so we could do some contacting. normally most people are inside their houses, but there were tons of people outside just staring at us. we started talking to this lady and then all these kids and a few adults surrounded us. we had this kind of soap box preaching deal going on for about 10 mintues teaching about joseph smith. it was pretty sweet. there was this one lady who said she really wanted to go to our church. hopefully we can get her to come out this sunday. we'll be holding general conference so it'll give everyone a chance to see a living prophet. that's a pretty cool opportunity. a lot of people here are kind of amazed that there is a man alive today who can receive revelation from God. so we think it'll be good for our little group.

i had a pretty terrifying experience with a spider a few days ago. the thing was a bird eater. it went straight for my jugular. luckily i had a thing of cockroach killer spray in my hand. when i sprayed it, it jumped about ten feet in the air onto our brick wall. i snapped a picture, but i forgot my camera today. i'll have to get it to you next week. so after about 10 minutes of spraying this thing with cockroach killer, he falls off the wall and starts to curl up. my comp lit a piece of paper on fire and tossed it onto the spider and the thing got up and started runnin around again with flames shooting off its legs! i asked the group leader about them, and he said they were completely harmless. i'm not ashamed to admit i was terrified nonetheless. i tell you what, you never know what you're going to run into in sibu jaya. other than that, nothing too special going on. i dont know really enough about my comp to give you a run down on him. things have been kind of awkward around here, being just the two of us. but i'm still just as excited as all get out about our area. life is good. anyways, i gotta run. take care of yourself ma.
love, zac

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Zachary Royden Hill
to me
show details 7:11 PM (13 minutes ago)
hey dad
things are going well here. that's cool that easter was fun for you guys. it was interesting here. for some reason, there was a big public holiday for the weekend, so there was like no one at home. we got rained on a few times over the weekend, but that's normal here. the unfortunate thing was that last wednesday, i succombed to the rain and got sick. so up to sunday, my voice sounded part like it was changing and part like i was dying. no one understood me for 4 days. it was kind of funny to go contacting like that, but mostly annoying. i'm better now tho. other than that, we had a pretty fun week. there are little wood houses around malaysia for people who work constructiong. little temporary houses. and the people just move around next to the places of work they have. normally they have humble people living there and it's pretty good to find people to teach there. in sibu jaya, since it's pretty small, there are only a handfull of those little wooden houses, and they are full of people who dont want to hear about the gospel. we went last week and no one wanted to hear from us. but i'm not gonna lie, it doesnt get me down like it used to. there's just something about this work that makes you try to find something that'll make you happy. so after that, we got this grand idea to send our recent converts over there. that normally works better as well, because ibans feel way more comfortable around ibans than white people. even they were rejected. they felt a little bad about it, but it was good because they told us it doesnt matter what happens as long as you're doing the Lord's work. they really impressed me because they really want to help us out in finding new people. you can see that they really know the church is true. so after that, we had them go contacting a flat with us. i went with one on one side, and campbell went with the other guy on the other side. we got a few people to invite us back, but it's fun to see how these new people approach missionary work. the guy i went with was really good. i was impressed and he's not scared of anything. so on monday, we had our zone leaders come up and do some interviews for baptism. they passed, but they are going out of town this weekend and forgot to mention it to us before, so we have to postpone the baptism til next week. we're still just getting more people who want to learn, so it's good. unfortunately, one of our best new potential investigators just left because he actually works far away and only comes back to sibu jaya once a month. there's surprizingly a ton of people who do that. the least frequently i've heard of people coming back is once in two years. and they're only back for a month. no matter how much i learn and feel like i understand about this country, there are always things that come up that just stump me. but it's good. i'll just keep on going like i know what's going on. fake it til you make it baby! anyways, that's about the extent of my week. i didnt feel any earthquakes or anything. i dont even know where that sumatra place is. but i guess it's not close enough to feel anything. other than that things are just a mouth full of joy. i'm glad you guys are still having fun at home. soon it will be summer break for you. lucky! anyways, i'll stop rambling and let you go. have a good week.
love, zac

Zachary Royden Hill
to me
show details 7:32 PM (32 minutes ago)
hey ma. thanks for the pics. this last week has been pretty good. as for easter, we kind of just went around like normal. well, i guess i'll tell you a little secret about malaysia. there are christians here, but very few know much about christianity. at church we had our meeting talking all about Christ and his resurrection, but we're still trying to teach people about that. there's one family who has been in the church for almost 10 years, but pretty much other than that, everyone else is brand new in the church and still learning. no one has really celebrated easter before, so it's really a new thing. there are no traditions of the easter bunny or eating ham or anything liek that as far as i've seen. it really is a different world over here. but it's fun. the people are learning well and are on their way to becoming just solid members of this church. we just need to make them members first.

so when it comes to the couple missionries, in sibu jaya we are like a 40 minute bus ride away from a much bigger town called sibu. there are like 10 missionaries serving in sibu. so the couple missionaries are also there. we just make the sojourn every week for district meeting down to sibu. (mostly for the food). i think without it, i might die. i dont know what it is, but since i've been here, my appetite has gone way down. i think i could get by on eating one meal a day. you talked about broccoli and cauliflower. i think when i get back, i'll prefer to just go to the lawn mower bag insteading of eating those abominations. anyways, i gotta finish this up so i can send some pics. they'll come in a bit. take care mom and have a good week. (i'll tell you what i think of conference in two weeks when we get to watch it here.) love ya
love, zac