Tuesday, July 27, 2010

carl's jr., what a wonderful place that is.

hey dad. how's it going? how's the summer break? that's cool you guys celebrated pioneer day. as usual in malaysia, pioneer day stood uncelebrated. so about the house, is it still under the water? or did they tear it down. if it's still there, could you guys see it? that sounds like craziness to me. i'm sure ibans seeing a house under water would be convinced that there were ghosts in it. speaking of grandma naida, how is she doing? how close is she to finishing her project on gunlock bill? if you could, tell her i said hi and that i love her. Also, Grandma Beesley, grandma and grandpa hill, & jared and amber. when it comes to chinese food, tho, we almost never get any. we just eat iban food if we can. and if we're in singapore, we go for carl's jr. what a wonderful place that is. you never know how much you miss certain aspects of america until you go without it. it's kind of nice to have a riceless meal with lots of meat some times.
so about moms foot, is she going to get it checked out again r anything? i hope it heals soon. that sounds horrible to just wait and let it heal on it's own. are you still a teacher for the 12-13 year olds? or are you back to being in with the adults again? you know, i guess i'm not surprized that on sundays you are teaching since throughout the week you are also teaching. teaching here in malaysia is i guess a more respected profession than in america. i found out that even tho school starts at 7.30, the gates close at 7 to make sure the kids are there on time to sing for their teachers as they enter the school. and also i've heard quite a few kids whose ambition is to become a teacher. they think it's pretty cool when i tell them my father is a teacher.
so let's see. this week went pretty well. i guess every week has thinks that aren't particularly awesome. but what can you do. we got a referral a little bit back from the indonesian lady. it's her aunt. the aunt has been not really progressing and kind of difficult to meet with. but we try harder when it's a referral because it's like a gift from a member. so we had taught her about the plan of salvation and the spirit world. she happens to be a widow. so we had a good lesson and when we came back, she told us she had read the joseph smith pamphlet and had prayed. then she said after she prayed, she dreamed that she saw her husband. but he didnt say anything. then she prayed a second night and had the same dream. but she still doesn't know if she will try to go to church. sometimes people are tough. it didnt help that she had consumed alcohol prior to our visit. we didn't stay long, but haven't had an opportunity to see her since. hopefully she'll figure things out. but the main people we have on date are doing well. like i wrote to mom, there's this family i sent a picture of at kfc that is finally going to get baptized. they were supposed to last week, but there was a slight issue. this week will be the week. so hopefully all goes well. anyways, i'm gonna scram. good talking to you dad. love you.

hey mom, thanks for the pictures. hopefully i can get them printed out so i can show people my "hometown" it's the closest thing i have. that's one of my regrets. i didnt bring any pictures of friends, family, las vegas or anything. i had no idea people liked to look at those things. they not only didnt like the pasta, they were disgusted by it. like it was the worst thing ever. i'm still offended. haha. i think stir fry would definitely be something they should like. if you want you can try to send me the recipe, but as long as i'm in sibu jaya i doubt i be able to find much by way of spices. but hopefully that family will get baptized this week. it should be good. the mother had a horrible battle with coffee, but it looks like she finally won, so things are looking up.
i still can't believe you doubted that i would baptize the whole town. don't you believe in me mom? i'm kiding. i'm not going to lie, our success has surprized me as well. it's nice that we have so many people now, because pretty much everywhere we go in sibu jaya, we see our members and can stop and chat. i love them. even with all the people we have coming, there's still so many that want nothing to do with us. but hwat can you do. just keep working. i'm sorry if i dont look up to your expectations in the pics i send you. if i look tired, it's probably because i just might be. but i think the real root of the problem is a lack of photogenicity. hopefully some time i'll learn how to control this face of mine. until then, i'll look funny in my pics.
this week was a little tough. got dropped by some investigators that we hoped would turn out well. some families aren't progressing like we thought they would. but we did have some success. we finally got the husband of a lady baptized back in may to come to church for the first time, and he also said he would come next week. that's pretty exciting. plus the neighbor just quit smoking and should be baptized soon. last week, we also baptized masam and his family. they all quit smoking and are awesome. they are pretty much the main source of aaronic priesthood in our little branch. pretty good family. we're still working on the mother so she comes to church. we'll see how that goes. one of the other families that we've been teach is from a non christian background. they said lots of people from other religions had tried to get them to follow their church, but they never wanted to. then the man, christy, said when we walked past he just wanted to talk to us. and now look. he's one of our best investigators. he can't read, but he's pretty smart. so things are going well. we've got lots of other people, but nothing too interesting to talk about. just a few other people learning in the first stages. our branch president is doing well, and this past week has been interviewing people for callings. we're becoming more and more like a branch all the time. it's good.
i can't believe terran is home already. so crazy. i feel bad because i haven't really kept in contact with him. how's he doing. so now he's a big rm, huh? good for him. and it's pretty cool you guys went to saint george. i remember that time we took the drive out there. i'm sure after the long flight for me home, and drive out to utah will seem like nothing. well that's pretty much everything. i'm doing well and feeling healthy. talk to you next week. love you mom.
love, zac

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

some neighbors came over to see the white guys cooking

hey mom. so, they are not going to build us a building just yet. they are just going to find a bigger shoplot for now and rennovate it so it looks nice. maybe a few years from now they'll be able to have and actual building, but who knows when that will be. we've been having some good success. lots of people came to church last week- 103. i hear it will take a while for them to even get the new shoplot. but we sure are filling up the shoplot we have pretty fast. we've now got a good amount of aaronic priesthood holders, so neither of us missionaries has to bless or pass the sacrament anymore. hopefully in a few months we'll also start getting some melchizidek priesthood holders so we can fill up our leadership positions. that will be pretty sweet. we've got baptisms lined up for the next 4 weeks, so hopefully they all happen like planned. you never can tell tho.
we had this family that was preparing for baptism, all except for the oldest son. we had asked him to go to church, and he never wanted to. we tried to teach him during the lessons, but he never seemed to want to listen to us. he was friendly, just didnt seem interested in the church. so we focused on the parents and the other kids who were coming to church .anyways, they were all having a problem with the word of wisdom. they just never seemed to understand why they needed to stop, and they always brought up that the uninterested older brother smoked. we always told them it was his choice and we can force people to change. things like that. well, we found out all the confusion came because the entire family thought that the oldest son was going to get baptized, including the son himself. so because they saw us seem to not care that he was going to get baptized while he still smoked, they felt they didnt need to give up other things in the word of wisdom to get baptized. luckily we got it cleared up. the family has given up the things they need to give up. we have the oldest son committed to church so he can be baptized hopefully sometime next month. it was just the craziest situation. i've never had that big of a misunderstanding on the mission. it was kind of funny and the attitude of the family made a lot more sense after we realized what was going on. we had explained before that you need to go to church before baptism and all that, but still confusion. what can you do. at least things are better.

anyways, about the weather.. it doesnt ever really change here. it's pretty hot like normal. we've been getting a little bit more rain than usual. but besides that, pretty much the same since i got here last september. i cant think of any other really cool experiences that happened this last week. well, besides that a lot of people that we wanted to show up to church came and even some that we didnt expect. oh i almost forgot. so i cooked jared's chicken spaghetti stuff for a family here in sibu jaya. now it wasnt quite as delicious as normal because i didnt really have any spices to use besides pepper, and even that i didnt use enough. but the people here hated it. some neighbors came over to see the white guys cooking and they looked so disgusted at the food. the look on this one womans face was priceless as she stuck a noodle in her mouth. i thought she would throw up. so i guess that's that, eh? maybe they'd like hawaiian hay stacks better, to keep in line with their rice. but it is really hard to find different ingredients here. like for those tacos, i'd have to buy all the ingredients in sibu town. we'll see how things go later i guess, if they want us to try to cook again. anyways, that is all. i'll go now. love you mom. i hope your toe gets better soon. tell grandma hi for me and that i love her.
love, zac

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

lawn mower grass, bathroom floor mushrooms

Zachary Royden Hill
 to me

show details 7:50 PM (56 minutes ago)

Hey dad. how's it going? things are going pretty well here. about me getting transferred, i have no idea. i thought it would be last transfer since i've been here for a while, so i'm gonna go ahead and think it's the next transfer, which happens mid august. i also hope the next area i have is successful, but elder lang and I have set a tough mark to live up to. we'll see how it goes. as for the people we've been working with, things have been going really well. so we went to see that lady whose daughter had the dream about us flying, and she said she really wants to go to church on sunday. also her neighbor wants to follow, even tho last week they tried telling us that they couldn't because they were busy. this week they just agreed right away. there's a teenage boy in the neighbor's family who we made friends with through another kid we know. they've both been going to church and really like it. the neighbor's son asked last time when he could be baptized, so we talked with the family about how important it is to enter the church as a family and that the rest of the family would need to go to church. i think that helped a lot for them to want to go to church. also it was pretty funny.. this week was elder lang's birthday so we threw him a party. at the party, the kid i've been referring to as the neighbor's son asked if we could watch the joseph smith restoration movie. there are a couple people who really like it and want to watch it all the time.
so also there's that other kid who had a dream and wanted to meet with us. this last week we had trouble meeting with him because he never brings his phone and lives a few kilometers away from sibu jaya. but he came to elder lang's birthday and we were able to set up a return appointment in person. normally we had been trying to set up an appointment through his friend, but it's much better in person.
that family that i talked about last week where we met the guy at a gawai party is really doing well. last sunday was district conference, and they went saturday and sunday. which is a pretty big deal. they really liked it as well. when we talked to them after church, they were all excited for church and they asked when they could be baptized. it was pretty sweet. the melayu looking guy is also doing fairly well. he said he definitely will try church, but he has a mother in law who lives with him and is a "born catholic die catholic" type of person. luckily he's methodist so we're hoping there's not too big of a problem. but i've seen in laws ruin investigators before, so i'm always a little worried. but the guy himself seems pretty open.
so that's pretty much all i can think of for our investigators. on friday, we held a kind of sembahyang of our own, because we were asked by our recent converts. we invited a good amount of members over and we sang and prayed and learned about the church. then we ate. it was pretty nice. everyone there seemed to have fun and seemed to get to know each other more.
that's hilarious about the ward party. i was surprised to hear about you joining in on the water melon eating contest. how much watermelon did you eat? i think that sounds like something fun to do here, but you never know how an iban would take that. the people of our branch seem to want to have a party, so hopefully they can get something like that set up. us missionaries are still the most experienced members the branch has, so we still have to teach a lot of how the church functions. it's a fun time and there's been a lot of improvement, but still a lot more to go. anyways, that's all i've got for now. take care dad. love you
love, zac

Zachary Royden Hill
 to me

show details 8:08 PM (42 minutes ago)

hey mom. yeah it is pretty crazy the success we've been having. i remember back when i thought i might not have any baptisms since i was going to a country of predominately muslims. who knew what would happen? i ask myself sometimes why i got to be the person to come here and have this success. i really have been blessed with being in the right place at the right time. the teaching is going really well too. we've been getting a lot of referrals from the members, which is so nice because that means our investigator already has friends in the church. since we've been baptizing a lot, we have a lot of members who can help us now. so we've been using their help a lot.  and they seem happy to do it. the area is really improving. sometimes it's tough because the majority of our members are less than 3 months baptized and there's quite a bit still learning. it'll definitely be good in the future.
i really dont know how they make curry. but there's a lady i know who is an awesome cook, so hopefully if i see her i'll be able to get the recipe from her and send it to you. the recipe you sent me last week has all kinds of fancy things like "italian seasoning." dont be surprised when the recipe i send back isnt so fancy- lawn mower grass, bathroom floor mushrooms. those are a must for malaysian curry. i'll see what i can do about other sorts of recipes too because that lady i talked about makes a table full of all kinds of different delicious food and i eat til i want to die. that reminds me of a kind of funny experience. now, in malaysia, it's really rude to not finish the food you have on your plate, and the people giving you the food can get easily offended if you dont eat much. around holidays is when everyone has food, so every house you go to you get stuffed and feel like you want to die. anyways, we celebrated elder lang's birthday last week. it was a bunch of investigators. so we made them "american style" burgers and other types of food. then we had cake. it came down to one piece of cake left. i asked who wanted it. everyone covered their plates and moaned because they felt they couldnt eat anymore. finally those malaysians could feel how we feel. sweet justice. anyways, i also dont have much to say.. sorry mom. so i'll talk to you next week. love you.
love, zac 

Thursday, July 8, 2010

even more!

more pix

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

i guess it means it's time to get rid of max?

hey dad. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! thanks for the letter. no problem about not sending me anything. it's nice because i feel it's been a trend. if one of you guys forgets to write me, at least the other one remembers. so about the toe incident, i guess it means it's time to get rid of max? i see all the malaysian cats and cant help but think of how spoiled he is, and he doesnt even know it. cats here are so abused by kids. but theyre fighters. sucks about mom's experience at the hospital. hope things get better.

when it comes to amanda.. does she not like her missionaries? shame. i dont know much of what the work is like in las vegas, but when i was a ward missionary i remember the missionaries had like no lessons. amanda could be the only "sure" thing they've got. i hope things get better for her and she has a better experience.

when it comes to sibu jaya, things are going pretty well. we just got word that the first presidency approved sibu jaya as it's own branch, which means hopefully soon we'll have more than just concrete walls. that's all after only 6 months of area opening. this area has been blessed a lot. recently we've just been working had at getting referrals and we've been getting them. it really feels like the things you pray for do come. nice. and we've even been lucky enough to have some good people come up to us and start talking. and also it looks like i might be here for another month or so, which is nice. life is going. i hope things are going well for you. have you ever gone to a lesson with amanda to help the missionaries out? it might help her to have someone there that she knows who also has a lot of experience in the church. might be kind of fun as well. anyways, i'm sorry i kind of unloaded all my weeks stories and pictures on mom. i hope you can read those and find something you like. love you dad. hope your b day is going well.
love, zac

alright, ma, so those pics were the baptisms that happened the last few weeks. the pic titled chris is the son of the indonesian lady we baptized. he likes to wrestle and follow us around. he gets real excited when we come and cries when we leave. someday, he'll be a missionary. his mom has been helping us like crazy. apparently, she knows everyone in sibu jaya. everytime we meet someone, she knows them already. the good thing is she's the most knowledgable person we have in the gospel and she's got a really good conversion. and she talks to everyone about church, which is nice. i've never met anyone who thinks about God and church as much as she does, which is kind of sad since i'm around missionaries all day. anyways, she told me last week that she talked to her friend who used to go the the SIB church with her about how she changed churches and told her conversion story and all that. well, the lady she talked to happened to be a dropped investigator from a while back who told us she didnt want to learn all of a sudden. i guess her pastor had told her not to learn anymore. but catherine talked to her and now she wants to learn again. i guess you never know what the influence of a friend can do, eh? also i guess her daughter had a dream where we were climbing up a hill that no one else could climb to get to this building and that we went and fell of the edge of the hill, but we were angels so we flew up to heaven and were saved. her ecplanation was pretty funny, but i guess i'll support anything that makes someone want to learn. we've been getting lots of referrals from that indonesian lady, and life is going well. lots of people wanting to learn. hopefully soon we'll have more baptisms.

also, i talked las week about another kid who had a dream. we met him once, and he seemed really good. unfortunately it rained on sunday, so he didnt quite make it to church. but we have an appointment with him on thursday and we're still hoping to meet his parents. things are looking good with him. he brought another friend when we met him the first time, so we'll how things go with him as well.

on monday we were heading home from a flat and we walked past this guy wearing clothes that normally only muslims wear, so we assumed he was melayu. anyways, he comes up and starts speaking english to us, which happens fairly often as lots of people like to test their english on the white guys. his was pretty good. so we talk to him about his religion and he says he's christian, which surprized us but was good. so we asked him where he lived and he just invited us over for the next day. so we met him and taught him the first lesson. he seemed pretty good and hopefully on saturday we'll meet his wife who was at work. this last week was kind of strange for us because all these investigators just came out of no where.

now that i think about it, we had another awesome investigating family come up to us. it was some guy we saw at a gawai party who said he wanted to come to church but wouldnt give us his phone number or address. so we didnt think much of it at the time and he never showed up to church. but last week we ran into him again out of no where. we talked about church. he's still a "pagan" as the government calls religionless people. anyways, he said he wanted to go to church again, but this time he gave us a phone number. so we called him sunday morning and things were good. then we get to church and he's the first person there, almost an hour early. he brought his mom and two kids. they all seem pretty good. they mentioned how people always tried to bring them to church, but they never had a desire until we talked to them. and they really like church, so pretty sweet.

man ive got so many things i could talk about. this week was awesome. anyways, we made friends with this highschool group of kids that always play soccer that we got off a referral. i talked about them last week i think when i mentioned we were trying to meet all their families. so we were trying to meet with this one kids mom. we called them and they said we could come over, but they said they were at some relatives house and they really wanted us to come. we were thinking it should be pretty sweet to get muliple families at once. but it turned out to be a 1 year old's first birthday party and there were like 30 people crammed into this tiny house. so the reason they were so anxious to have us come over is because malaysians have this church ralated tradition of "sembahyang" or worship. where basically they pay some priest to come over to pray and preach and chant. ive only seem them from the outside and they are pretty crazy. anyways, little did we know that we were expected to be doing that. we get there and they just want us to pray. after the prayer they all looked around and were like "is that it?" it was pretty awkward. then they tried to give us 10 ringgit. but it was a fun experience.
that's crazy that you broke your toe. i always try to tell you to be more careful. tisk. so those doctors made you pay all this money and they didnt even do anything? that's pretty lame. it's why i never got to them. but i've seen plenty of cat's tails here in malaysia that couldve done with some treatment after a broken bone. every single cat has a nasty crumple and or otherwise unstraight tail. but i digress. it's cool that you still got to watch fireworks. we got invited randomly over by recent converts for a barbeque for our 4th of july. america! but yeah, so we had some pig lungs and stomach. they go well with mowed grass. it's good that you were able to share something for relief society. breakin out of that shell. what's next, a talk in sacrament? i hope i'm there to see it. thanks a ton for the recipes. that should be good. we'll be the talk of the town. more so than normal. anyways, i'll have to talk to you later. times a runnin out. have a good week. i hope that toe gets better. love ya ma.
love, zac