Tuesday, August 31, 2010

kota sentosa

hey dad
sorry if you feel i havent been giving that much detail. i really do feel rushed while writing so i never remember what i did in the past week or what ive already written before, etc. so if the is something you'd like to know more specifically about, it would help if you asked a specific question so i could answer it. that's crazy about all the kids wanting to learn french. at least it will help you to sell those preps, yeah?

well, so i arrived in kuching. we've just been going around getting to know the members and investigators of the branch. it's been fun. there are lots of good people here. i'm glad to be here. the dynamics are a little different from my last area. i've been doing a lot more bike riding, so i'm starting to get back in shape. 8 months in sibu jaya made me weak. we almost never rode our bikes there because it was so small. kuching is huge! we live like 8-10 miles from the actual city of kuching. kuching recently split from 3 to 5 branches, so they extended the area from what it used to be to include another place way south of town called kota sentosa. so lots of biking. church at the moment is 40 min away. i'm still trying to get used to it here and to get to know the people. the area is a little slow right now, but things are already looking up. i'm excited. anyways, nothing much to talk about. sorry. hopefully next week will be more interesting.
love, zac

hey ma. so singapore was pretty crazy. the training we got was good. i guess we'll have another one in october to keep training our skills up and help us to be better at teaching. i think i said this last week, but i felt like i had learned so much about missionary work up to this point. these trainings are just showing me how much more i have yet to learn. so hopefully i'll be more effective as a missionary in the future. the next one will be just for people in east malaysia, so we wont be going to singapore again. good thing too. singapore really takes it out of me. (and the pocket)

the good thing about the word of wisdom, is that if the desire to stop is there and people rely on the lord, it can happen. i cant believe how many people ive seen give up smoking when they thought they never would be able to. the Lord really does take care of his children. so i'm confused. people are amazed at my success until you tell them i'm in a new area? pff like that makes the work easier. success can be achieved anywhere, you just need to take the right steps to get it. in this mission, west malaysia is seen as the part of the mission where no baptisms happen. but you do see those companionships that have crazy success there. i feel that elder lang and i just worked really well together and were blessed a lot by the Lord. i guess people can blame my success on the area being brand new, but i worked through plenty of hardship and sorrow to know what really happened in sibu jaya.

it is so crazy being back to kuching. i'm in an area that is really far from where i used to be, so lots of new things too. but we still go to church in the same building for now as i used to, so i get to see people from the other branches after our church is over. there are lots of people that i used to know., and there are even people in my current branch that i have met before from going on exchanges with the elders that used to serve here. it's a pretty cool experience. it's a litttle tough, because the area i inherited is low on investigators at the moment, but never fear, we'll get that crazy success going again. we've got a lot of good potential started, so we'll just keep it going. the church building is pretty far from our area like a 40 min bike ride from our house, but they are working on a new building that will be right near by, so hopefully that will help us to overcome more of the transport issues that come from living in a big east malaysian city. i tell you what, i've been lucky before this point to have never had to replace another elder. but this past transfer was my first time. i feel kind of awkward, just because i know the elder i replaced and i'm a lot different than him. you just never know what the people are going to think of you when you get to a new place. i feel like i've had a pretty warm welcome so far, but the investigators seem to still be trying to get used to me. hopefully things wil be back to normal soon.

also, like 2 weeks ago i caught bronchitis and i seem to finally be on the mend. we played indoor soccer again for pday today, and i was hacking up a lung, but it seems to be going away. the work just keeps going, you know? i really do love the people here in kuching and im excited for what the future holds here. besides that i dont really have much to talk about since i'm still really new here, so i guess i'll just talk to you guys next week. love you lots.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

the best week of my mission

hey mom and dad
holy moly crazy week! this has been the best week of my mission. i dont even really have any time to write about it so im sorry you will get a condensed version that prolly leaves a lot of stuff out. anyways, right now i'm writing from singapore and they shortened our p day. thats why not much time. we just got back from really fun indoor soccer. we're here for a training on how better to follow the spirit as we teach and how to ask "inspired questions" its pretty crazy and weve been doing a lot of practice. every night we go out and work on what weve learned. just when i thought i was kind of getting good at missionary work the lord gives me a crazy training filled with lots of ways i can improve. it's good. i'm having lots of fun here and i can't wait to get to kuching. i will be in a different part of town than i was last time, so that's cool. who knows how long i'll be here, but it looks like a huge chunk of my mission will be in only two cities which i feel up to this point was kind of rare in this mission. i like it. i didnt have a good bye party, but i got pictures with people on my last sunday. i got some pretty cool bead trinkets that people made for me. included are 3 tissue box covers. one for the home car and office. i'm gonna miss the people i taught. but the coolest part of the week is the miracle my comp and i saw happen. the family that dropped us over coffee.. we kept meeting with them because the son got baptized and we were doing recent convert lessons with him. but we focused them all on the parents and just tried to build their faith in Christ and so before i left, i got to see them get baptized. one of the biggest heart aches and also biggest miracles ive seen. that saturday we had 13 people get baptized in one meeting, which is pretty crazy. right before the baptism we were still not quite sure who would show up, but everything worked out, which is a miracle in itself! i love being out here and i love you guys. i hope you dont mind i'm writing the both of you in one email my time is up and i gotsta skedaddle.
love, zac

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I dont really trust the internet cafes.

hey dad. i'm sorry about the lack of pics. i'm in a dilemma tho. the last memory card i used got something from one of the computers so some printing places cant read my card anymore. i dont really trust the internet cafes. i switched from my infected card to a new card, and i'm pretty afraid of infecting my new one. i may print some pics out and snail mail them to you. i havent quite decided how to approach this situation. when i do, you'll get some pics.

so yeah, i told you guys last week i was getting transferred. well, like i just wrote to mom, i mispoke and wont get to kuching until the 27th. in the meantime, with have a crazy training in singapore with all the elders of the entire mission. things are also pretty busy around these parts. i'm pretty excited for what the future holds for this mission. hopefully i'll get to meet a lot of the new people that have been coming into the mission. i have hardly met anyone that is younger than me. we've been getting tons of new guys and all the older ones have been going home. so singapore should be fun.

about your home teaching, that sounds pretty crazy. are the families you went to families that i know, or are they new into the ward? have there really been any changes in the wards population since i left, like people moving or new people moving in? i'm glad to hear you've been helping those families out. about the school coming up, i understand how you feel. but i just realized the other day, right after the school year ends, i come home. pretty crazy huh? when you have parties for the french club, eat lots of cheese for me. malaysia has no appreciation for cheese, and it makes me sick. haha. do you know what classes you will all be teaching this year? still lots of people wanting to take french?

anyways, i'm sorry i can never think of anything good to say when i email. i'm hoping that just one of these weeks i can send home a really good one, but it hasnt happened yet. there's always next week. talk to you then.
love, zac

hey ma.

well for the moment i'm still in sibu jaya. i was mistaken about the transfer by one week. so this sunday is my last day. theres actually been a sort of crazy development about the singapore trip i told you guys about. they are just having me take al my stuff to singapore with me. we have a 4 day conference not including travel days. so i wont get into kuching until the 27th. pretty nuts, huh? almost all the missionaries in my zone are flying out before church even. including my comp. so i'll have to find a member to hang around with me until i have to take my flight. i'm not exactly sure what we need a 4 day training on, but everyone in the entire mission is coming. that should be pretty nuts. i'm excited.

i am sad to leave, but i guess it's kind of different as a missionary. you go into an area knowing that some later time, you will be leaving the area. i'm sure the people i taught will do well. i really never thought once that i would go back to kuching. it's pretty crazy. it will be in a different area than i was in before. but actually, the entire district changed. they changed all the branch boundaries and created two new ones since last time i was there, so i dont know what it's like there anymore. who knows who i'll see when i get there. it should be fun. i'm hoping to make this experience in kuching better than my last one. last time i was so new and didnt know anything. we have a lot of people porjected for baptism this upcoming weekend, so i'm hoping we can pull it all together. the trip to singapore on sunday really threw a wrench in our plans, but i'm hoping we can salvage things. i'll write more about the people and what actually happened next week. we're hoping for a good last hoorah. the branch is still doing well. more callings going out. we had the teachers go to a seminar on teaching just yesterday and they all had a lot of fun. so that's nice. hopefully they learn how to make lesson plans and teach. it's all very new to them here.

that's pretty crazy glen and kenyon are going to college. i guess the world does just keep going while i'm away, huh? thanks for the news about home and for the pics. they are awesome. i'm glad temperatures are getting bearable for you. with all the rain we've been getting lately, it's been actually fairly cool. some people say this is supposed to be the dry season. it doesnt seem like anyone here knows what the weather is supposed to be like. anyways, i'm all rambled out for the week. not too much news. i will be sending a package with a few things that i've acquired that are too much for me to lug around malaysia, so i hope you guys dont mind. anyways, talk to you next week.
love, zac

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

best pday of my mission

hey dad & mom
yeah this week was actually pretty awesome. well, no matter really how the week goes, if you have a good sunday, you had a good week. so we've been meeting with a lot of people and teaching them. an unfortunate fact about this week was that pretty much all our appointments and back up plans fell through so we really struggled to find people that could meet when we had time. and then when we didnt have time all the people wanted to meet. kind of annoying, but what can you do. we have been getting a ton of young men in the branch, so we've been making good use of them and going out on splits a lot. some of them are getting pretty good at teaching too. i wish the missionaries would have had me teach more before i can out. even when i went with them, i just sat there and didnt do anything. but that's enough grumbling i guess. anyways, this week we caught a break. we had the family of that lady who was miraculously healed get baptized. and the best part is that her husband had gone to go work far away, but somehow wasnt supposed to work so he came back and was able to get baptized with his family. doing the whole thing together is so much better. and it looks like he should be here this sunday as well to get the priesthood. things are going well. then last wednesday we had a lady named suzyline get baptized. she's awesome. we had her younger borther donny (who was the first male in sibu jaya baptized) baptize her. well, there's the baptisms. we topped the week off with a really awesome p day. we went to the kampung of a lady in the branch that was a ways away. we saw this crazy monkey that they had in a cage and went fishing in the river and had a bbq. best pday of my mission. well, it was pretty much the first time ive done anything besides sleep. we caught a prawn and a tiny fish. but we cook them both. everyone was looking at us because we were white and were pretty impressed when i busted out my crappy iban skills. it was awesome. one of the ladies gave us some cloth that she had made and told us to use it to remember her. she was the mother of the member that brought us there. funfun. anyways, in other news. i'm getting transferred so i hear. back to kuching. you really never know the way things will go, but i'm pretty excited. so next time i write i should be there already. i'll be sad to leave sibu jaya. there's some good families that i won't have quite made it to see baptized (i dont know if that sentence makes any sense to you guys) but you just gotta takes things the way they come to you, you know? this weekend i'm going to have snuck two baptisms in for just before i leave. a man who is pretty good named kennedy who is like 21 and his wife. they are neighbors of some members. so that should be pretty good. i'm sorry i haven't sent pictures in a while. i dont have much time to write since we had such an awesome pday, which means pictures of it and other things will have to wait. anyways, that's all i can think of now in my rushed condition, so i wish you guys the best. have fune and take care.
love, zac

hey mom.
it's me again. i kind of wrote everything i had to write to dad, so i hope you read his email to. but i figured i'd write you as well to reply to whatever you wrote to me and so you'd have a new email in your box. the baptisms went through. that family is awesome. so far this week has gone well too because the mother of the family that got baptized has been helping us. she gave us some referrals who seem to be doing really well. they all live in the same block. it's like 6 families out of one flat of apartments, which is pretty crazy. the block is exploding right now, which hopefully brings more attention and later success in that flat. they all seem to help each other to be excited. it's nice. speaking about pizza, i miss good old american pizza. they have a pizza hut here, but i live in a different town than the pizza hut. my comp did get sent cheese in a package so he shared some with me, which was nice. it was delicious. about this elder sorenson, maybe the memory is repressed, but i really am drawing a blank. i dont even remember eating any ice cream cones in the mtc! i dont know why i would repress or lose that. he was in the mtc in july or august? did he say he was in the same zone as me? i remember while i was there, there were some kids in my zone going to my home mission. it's pretty crazy that someone who remembers me is serving where you guys are now. i really wonder how i will feel about the heat when i go back home compared to the heat here. it'll be interesting to compare. anyways, that's all for the week. hopefully better news next week. love you mom. see ya.
love, zac

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

next week, that's when the magic happens.

hey dad & mom

this week was pretty crappy, and i kind of dont have a lot to say. so i hope you dont mind that i'm writing both of you in one letter this week. so i'm excited that jake's kid was born. those pictures of her are cute. luckily the baby takes more after amanda than him, huh? just kidding,. dont tell him i said that. he'll beat me up. it's pretty crazy as well that nate is getting married soon. lots of stuff going on all close together. hard to be bored when it's like that. before you know it, school will be started again and all that fun stuff. sorry your date with mom had some obstacles. i figure satan has just been working extra hard this week to make people's lives crappy. sometimes i ask myself, if good will beat evil in the end, why can't it also beat evil in the beginning and middle too? anyways, next week is a new week. i'm sure it's gonna be filled with fun for you guys. so anything new for you guys at home? how's the summer? how's the broken toe? anything at all?

we did have a baptism this week. the indonesian lady's kids. she is still good. helps us teach quite frequently. she just got called as relief society president so that is good. it's nice that her family is joining. even her husband is interested. he works in another city so hopefully the missionaries there will get into contact with him soon and start teaching. that should be good. but that one family who didnt like the pasta i cooked.. well their baptism didnt happen. i dont feel like parading reasons or feelings or failures accross this email, so maybe i'll tell you about it after i get home if i remember. or if we can fix things i'll also let you know. but in the good news, we have another good family on the slate for baptism on sunday. they are awesome. it's a woman who we met while she was sick and who only wanted to learn after we prayed for her and she was healed. miracles, baby! she is faithful and has a good testimony. when they got interviewed, she was telling all her kids more or less something like this, "do you know what this means? you can't do bad things anymore. no smoking, drinking fighting ..etc" and telling them how important it was for them to be really good kids now that they are going to get baptized. i was impressed at her conviction. so i guess you can't win them all, but the Lord does give you a break when you need it. i'm feeling a good week next week.

transfers are also coming up. the strange thing is that we havent heard any rumors going around the mission. the assistants now are pretty tight lipped, so i'm guessing that's the reason. we'll see what goes on soon enough i guess. i guess also towards the end of aug all the missionaries are going to fly into singapore for a training, which sounds pretty fun. the entire mission together. hopefully we also have some activity like volleyball on the beach in stead of just training, but i guess that might be asking too much from the lord. i'll take what i can get.

anyways, i'm done rambling. next week. that's when the magic happens. and who knows, if i feel we're in a reliable internet cafe, i may even send pics.
love, zac