Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I can't believe you broke your toe!

hey ma
so i can't believe you sent me an email that says you broke your toe, and you didnt give any more information than that. now i have to wait a whole week to find out about your crazy antics. anyways, before i forget, i was wondering if you could email me a few recipes that are easy to make. we have been having a few recent converts and investigators insisting that we cook for them so they can taste what "american" food is like. we already promised a family that we would cook for them after their baptism on july 17. maybe it was wrong of us. but i was thinking maybe you could send me jared's chicken spaghetti thing recipe that i love so much. that would be awesome. anything else that you can think that doesnt have too crazy of ingredients would be good. sometimes things are tough to find, you know?
anyways, speaking of the work here, yeah it's going pretty well. last sunday we got 76 people at church, which is still a record for us. we're hoping for 80 next week. and we'll take it from there. it was pretty crazy because a month or so ago, we got a referral from a lady- her friend and her friend's teenage brother. so we've been working with them and they are pretty awesome. so a few weeks ago, we had youth conference for all the people in sibu. we invited the teenage brother, and he invited his friends. last sunday he brought 8 friends to church. it was pretty crazy. so we're trying to work through them to get at their families. there's not much else you can do with a teenager anyways. haha. some of them already aren't looking to good, but we've got high hopes for the rest. there are some kids who seem pretty interested in learning.
last week we had a few baptisms that were pretty awesome. all of them were referrals, so it was pretty exciting. on sunday, we baptized this lady who is the sister in law of the man and wife we baptized last week. she had been learning with them and going to church, but just didnt believe the joseph smith story. she went out of town, and when she came back she said she had received an answer and wanted to be baptized that sunday. her testimony at the baptism was pretty awesome. she gets up and says she wanted to join the church because she prayed and knew that it was true. then she sat down. i was impressed at the change she's had. we originally thought that her husband was going to be working off shore a few weeks ago, but that hasnt happen yet, so we're going to start focusing on her husband.the cool part about that baptism was we got to have her brother in law baptize her. he was pretty nervous but he did well.
it seems like this next week there wont be any baptisms. but next month should be full of baptisms after that. we'll see how the people prepare themselves. luckily lately we've been having lots of members thinking of their friends.l we've got some referrals in the works, so september is also looking promising. just yesterday, we got this referral from a 15 year old kid (masam's son). he said while he was in class this kid asked him out of no where about how to find the true church. and masam's son happened to have the joseph smith pamphlet on him. so the kid read the pamphlet and i guess had some sort of dream that made it so he wants to learn about the church. the only explanation they gave of the dream was that there was some sort of light. but i thought that was pretty cool. we'll hopefully meet with that kid tomorrow and then his family.
there was also another pretty cool experience we had. we had a potential investigator that we called like a month or more ago. at that time, he had asked us to come up to the house he was at. when we got there, there were like 20 people al sitting and staring at us. i guess there was a woman who lived there that was pretty sick. they all said they were of different religious and didnt want to hear what we had to say, but wanted us to pray for the sick woman. so we prayed, told them they needed to have faith that our prayer would have effect, and left. so that potential investigator never panned out to be anything, but the sick lady is the neighbor a few houses down from one of our recent converts who is the best at talking to people about church. the sick lady i guess is healthy now, and now wants to learn about the church. we met with her the other day. she seemed good, and wants to go to church on sunday. so we'll take it from there. anyways, that's pretty much all that happened in my week. i love you mom. hope that toe gets better. take care of yourself from now on. haha.
love, zac

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

So this last week, we had some awesome people get baptized

Zachary Royden Hill
to me

show details 8:46 PM (1 hour ago)

Hey dad. things are going well here in sibu jaya. so this last week, we had some awesome people get baptized, which was pretty sweet. i went to send you pictures, but the computer here is crappy and wont read my camera, so maybe next week. there were two teenage boys whose baptism will hopefully excite their father and brother into quitting smoking all the way to prepare for their own baptisms next month. they are really faithful at going to church. their dad has a pretty sweet name: masam, which means sour in malay. i'm thinking of this name for my first son. haha. we also got the mother and sisters of a 21 year old dude we baptized back in march. and the sister of a lady we baptized in march. she had been really struggling with the decision to be baptized, but then she was at her moms house and the sisters in sibu knocked into them. the mom should also be baptized next month (by the sisters). the coolest part is we got a family. yeah! a man and his wife. (their kids are all under 8, so they'll grow up in the gospel) the man is pretty good, and hopefully in a few months can get the Melchizidek priesthood. it's crazy starting a new group, because you know the people that you baptize are going to have to be the leadership in the future. missionary work is pretty crazy. and we've been getting a good amount of referrals lately. teaching members' friends and family. which is good because it makes the group just a group of friends. everyone can support each other.

we also found out that masams father lives close, and that when he was younger he used to be a warrior. they said he's taken japanese heads, as well as people of various other tribes in borneo. he's pretty devout catholic now, but we're hoping to baptize a head hunter. so the husband and wife that got baptized have a sister in law that lives with them. we taught her along the the others, but she didnt believe that the church had been restored. so we were over there on monday asking how things were, and she said she had gotten an answer from when she was praying. we asked if she wanted to be baptized. she said "yeah, this sunday" that was the shortest notice for a baptism i've had. but it was pretty sweet. school is finally back in session here after their break for gawai, so pretty much everyone is back in town, which is nice. so hopefully all the referrals we've had floating out there will be contacted soon. i'm pretty excited to be out here. lots of fun experiences. i think it's the craziest opportunity to be a missionary, because you just meet people all day.all kinds of different people. i remember being so scared when i first got out, but life is good now. i hope things are going well at home. how's that summer break? anything good going on? any crazy changes? how's the ward doing? how are the other missionaries of our ward doing? if there's anything going on, i'd love to hear about it. we've been hearing a lot about soccer lately since the world cup is going on right now. for the first time in my life, i've been mildly interested in soccer. but that's pretty much the most exciting worldly thing we have going on right now. so, that's pretty much all that i have right now. i'll talk to you guys next week.


hey mom. i don't know if your email got returned again, but i figured i'd still write and say hello. i remember back when i was in america hearing sister peay complain about terrans emails, i always wonder why you wouldnt send that great of emails to your family. but i soon came to realize, writing letters as a missionary is hard. you dont have much to say because you do the same thing every day. the only that changes is the investigators. i dont mean to excuse myself for writing crummy emails.

so this past week has been good. still teaching some good people. i really love the people here. it's just so easy to be friends with them. i've gotten a lot more talkative on the mission. most people like to be friends with us, or are interested in what we are doing. this morning while waiting for the email place to open, this dude comes up and starts talking to us. most people try out their english. he did a little but also spoke malay. and then for some reason he was surprised when we spoke malay back. he kept turning to his friends to tell them we could speak malay.

so did you have fun with brit and matt? how is work going for you? let me know all of what youve got going on. anyways, i'm running out of time so i'll have to get outta here. i love you mom. talk to you next week,

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Everything's awesome!

Zachary Royden Hill
to me

show details 8:16 PM (53 minutes ago)

hey dad.
so that's sounds like a pretty crazy week you've had going on. i hope things are getting better with your sickness. anyways, my week was pretty good. i got back from singapore safely. we were pretty busy trying to get all our people to church and it turned out well. we had 72 people total at church, which was awesome. 27 were investigators, which is pretty crazy. lots of people wanting to learn. so we should have a few baptisms this week. some actually just a few hours from now hopefully. i'm excited. the people getting baptized today are the mother and sister of the 21 year old guy we baptized back in march. so that's pretty cool. and also there are 2 teenage boys whose father should be baptized in the coming weeks. they have been coming to church faithfully for months and we're trying to use their baptism to excite the father so he'll quit smoking. they're pretty awesome. on sunday, hopefully we'll baptize a man named clement that i've talked about a time or two. he's awesome. loves to have us over and learn. so he and his wife should be baptized. it's nice to get a family all at once. their kids are all young, so they'll be able to grow up in the gospel.

We had been teaching a man and his family for a few weeks and they had been really struggling to learn and come to church. We were feeling like we might have to drop them as investigators so we gave them a lesson about who God and Jesus Christ really are, and that to show Them we love them we need to go to church and worship. It really worked, and now they have been to church 2 weeks in a row. sweet!

Also, we had been working with a man for quite a while who had never been Christian before, but is a very good investigator when it comes to learning. He likes hearing new things and actually studies and learns what we teach him. The past few weeks he had really been struggling with smoking. He was even to the point where he didn’t have a desire to quit, I think mostly because he didn’t think he could. So we asked him to pray for help right there, and we fasted for him. Now he is doing much better. He said he hasn’t smoked for a few days and doesn’t really want to anymore.

We just got a new group leader, and he is doing well. He seems pretty excited to help us out with missionary work when he can. he's a good man. so that's pretty all that went on in my week. next week we should have some baptisms as well, but we'll see what goes on next week. you never know what can happen in malaysia.

anyways, i gotta run. love you dad. take care of yourself and mom.

love, zac

Zachary Royden Hill
to me

show details 8:33 PM (40 minutes ago)

hey mom, dont worry about the letter not coming. i really like getting pictures, so if you want, you can just send multiple emails so i can get all the ones that you want to send. or, if you want, you can edit the pictures and resize them to like 30% of their usual size, which makes the file smaller so it's easier to send. you can still see it fine, but it's easier for over email. that's what i do with my pics.

i'm sorry i'm not looking my best in that baptism pic. it's intentional tho. i gotta do something to keep these ladies off of me. just kidding. my eyes just hurt a little bit. i'll try to look extra nice in the next baptism pic i send. i'm just not very photogenic, you know what i'm saying? but yeah, i've been having a good time. it's surprising how much the group is growing. there's just more growth in the future. you never know when i'll get transferred, but i'm glad to have had this opportunity to serve in sibu jaya. it's an aweosme place, even if it is tiny. the aerial photo i sent is actually of sibu jaya, in case i forgot to mention last week. so you can see for yourself how small it is. that's where the magic happens. i'm sorry i dont have any pics this week. just not been much going on that i want to take pics of. when did you get this sandbox? where did you get it? sound slike fun for the kids. it's good that youve been enjoying them around. i hope things have been going well.

so elder lang and i go to the church and clean on saturdays and when we got there, we found out there was no power. we went down the stairs and found out that the power box had been hit with something and it severed the cord. it was pretty nuts. unfortunately there are no phonebooks or electrical stores in sibu jaya so we had to go around to different places and ask if there was someone who could fix electrical problems. we got the phone number for some random guy and he came and fixed it. that was kind of crazy but easily fixed. also, there have been a few yelling fights here in the flats between drunk people. i imagine living in the flats here in sibu jaya would be a pretty crazy experience. you cant keep anything private. but it's been fun. oh yeah, there was one thing i forgot to write about. so tomorrow we should baptize this 17 year old girl we've been teaching for a while who is the sister of a lady we baptized in march. she lives here on the weekends. anywyas, the sisters tracted into her mother, and the mother had been going to church and wants to be baptized now. the girl we've been teaching was pretty strong catholic and even tho she believed the story of joseph smith was hesitant to be baptized, but with her mothers interest and us still teaching, she has finally decided to be baptized, which is pretty sweet.

so that's all i have for the week. i'm sorry it's short. i always say that. sometime i'll write better emails somehow. anyways, i love you. take care of yourself and talk to you next week.

love zac

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

people just screamed like they thought they were going to die

Zachary Royden Hill
to me

show details 9:07 PM (23 minutes ago)

hey dad. sorry i forgot to email you. normally i save your email for last, and last week something came up where we had to leave the internet cafe earlier than normal so i didnt get a chance. so i guess i'll write you first. so far this week not much has happened. i'm emailing from singapore right now. i came to renew my visa. but while i was flying to singapore from kuching, the plane experienced some heavy turbulence and went through a split second of free fall and people just screamed like they thought they were going to die. maybe it was more of a surprised gasp, but it was pretty loud and fear filled. i thought it was pretty funny. maybe you had to be there. but so we teach lots of people. we mainly work in an area of apartments. the day before i came to singapore, there were two fights that involved people we teach. one kid is like 18 and i dont know if he was drunk at the time, but he took a hocky stick and started swinging it at other people at the flats. and then we were walking by this other families house and we see all these people gathered around. which normally is kind of fun because you can go up and meet new people that know the family being taught, but i looked over and saw one of the ladies we teach just bawling and her mother was on the inside of the house just yelling at her. unfortunately i couldnt quite understand her, but it was pretty crazy. so hopefully when i get back we can sort the craziness all out and get things back to normal again.

besides those fights though, everything is going well for our group. we almost had 60 people at church. lots of people were still gone for gawai but lots of investigators still coming out. we just got a new group leader which i'm really excited about. i think he will be able to get things done and that our group will be able to grow even faster. speaking of growing, we have a new family coming to church that was a little unexpected. we knocked into them, and they were pretty reluctant to let us in. we told them that we had a message to share about church, and they said they couldnt let us talk because they belonged to another church. so in my head i already saw that meeting kind of going no where. but i never like to leave people with doubt that our church is true. so we weasled our way into a lesson right then and there. (this occurred a few weeks ago.) they didnt seem like much was going on, but we made a return appointment. after some struggling, they came to church. the father has been twice. it's a miracle they are actually progressing. i just look at the people we baptized and are the ones doing the most progressing now, and i always think how different it is now from when i first met those people. if i made a guess upon meeting, i wouldve suspected they wouldve been dropped not too far after that. but they come to church and they get converted. it's awesome. the indonesian lady we baptized is still doing well and gave us her first referral, another indonesian woman. so hopefully it works out. i'm glad to see her progress in the gospel. she recently told me, that she hated me a few months ago because we told her that our church was the true church. and look at her now. hopefully i'll get a picture sent to you of her. she's one of the shortest people i know. but she's funny. no baptisms this week, but we're hoping for next week. i guess i'll inform you next week what is going on. things are moving. we are even starting to get a youth program. there's a youth conference thingy for all the youth in sibu, and we have like 8 or so member/investigator youth who are planning on going. it's nice. someday, the church will be strong here.

so yesterday i went teaching here in singapore with an elder from my mtc group. it was pretty fun. we only taught one man who was like a rich business man. he had a pretty crazy background story and was quite the talker, but he seemed interested as we taught about God and Jesus Christ. we didnt have much opportunity to teach him more than that, but hopefuly he becomes a more solid investigator. work in singapore is a lot different, is basicaly what i learned from that encounter. it was a lesson one in a ritzy hotel lobby with lots of high class people walking around. i felt kind of out of place. people speaking in english and all different kinds of people. man singapore is nuts. but the food is good. carl's junior. wendy's. dairy queen. yeah.

so then we went to a birthday party where everyone else there was from the philippines. it was nuts. they have some delicious food though. and since it's in singapore, all of them could speak english at varying levels of skill. there was a man who was a 2nd generation or so member and also returned missionary who sounded almost exactly like an american. he seemed pretty talkative and i talked to him pretty much the whole night.i didnt know it before, but filipinos are pretty awesome. anyways, that's pretty much how my week went. hope you are doing well at home. love you all at home. talk to you next week.
love, zac

achary Royden Hill
to me

show details 9:37 PM (5 minutes ago)

hey ma. i dont have much time but i wanted to send you a few pictures so you can see whats going on here in sibu. the one title pig is pretty gory. it's headless. so if you are feeling weak, dont look at that one. but the rest are good. i hope you can read the email i sent dad to get the rest of the scoop on my week. love you. talk to you next week.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

have you seen a pig run around without a head?

hey ma
malaysia is doing well. it's still pretty hot and still getting a lot of rain. i'll try to send more pics next week. gawai was this week and it was pretty crazy. the first day we went around in our area and we ate at investigators and members houses. they fed us until we couldnt eat anymore, and then we ate some more. holy moly i thought i was gonna die. but it was fun. we went to the flats and they had a pretty big party we stayed for. everyone was excited and startled to have a white guy come. lots of people drinking which was a little strange. not that great for missionary work, but what can you do. anyways, we had zone conference so we went into town and had interviews and on that, but on our all day p day we went to a long house and ate some more. we also saw a live pig get beheaded. i dont know if that's iban tradition or what but it was pretty gruesome. you know, you always hear about the chickens running around without heads, but have you seen a pig run around without a head? well it didnt actually run around, but it looked like mesh when he's running in his sleep. i'm sorry if you dont want to hear about that, but it was one of the main events of my week. how often do missionaries get to see that on their missions? the long house was huge. 40 doors. there's like a big hallway in the middle and from one end you could barely see the other. they also have this tiny palm tree that they cut down and bring inside and hang all these drinks and things to eat all over it and people dance around the tree and cut things off of it. and eventually they chop all the leaves off and cut it down. i'm not quite sure what that's all about but it's pretty cool. anyways, yeah lots of people have been out of town, so proselyting has been a little slow, but we've still got some good things going on. hopefully at the end of the month we'll have a good amount of baptisms. that one last week went well. again hope pictures will be there next week. anyways, i'm sorry this is so short, but we dont have a lot of time. i'll have to finish my ramblings next week.
love, zac