Tuesday, September 28, 2010

the lady's name is bella

hey mom. sorry if you got confused, but that picture that i sent you is of all the missionaries in the entire singapore mission, every single elder and sister serving here. there are about 80 of us. it was taken in august so not too long ago. all of us went to singapore for a training, actually the same training that nyssa described having just been through. missionary work is actually undergoing a transformation, so every mission is having trainings like the one nyssa described to get missionaries used to teaching towards people's needs and not teaching lessons. next year, the mtc will also change the way missionaries are taught to be more in line with teaching towards investigators needs. our mission president told us something kind of funny. i'll try to describe briefly what he said. well, missionary work used to be done with memorized lessons, written by apostles. then they made the switch to preach my gospel so missionaries would teach by the spirit. after preach my gospel, success in the world went down. he said the problem was that the missionaries after preach my gospel came out were still using memorized lesson, but ones that they had come up with themselves. the comment i thought was funny was this "when i was a missionary, at least we memorized lessons that were written by apostles!" so they've really been working us hard to make specific lessons for each person so they are tailored fit to whomever we will be teaching. it's fairly tough. lot's and lot's of planning, but it's been good. it is a little frustrating when you spend a good amount of time preparing a lesson and then at the last minute the person cancels, but i guess that's part of being a missionary.
anyways, as for the missionarying this week, things have been really good. our baptism did go through. i'll attatch a pic. the lady's name is bella. she's indonesian and pretty awesome, but way shy. her husband was baptized a few months ago. it was awesome to hear her testimony. she seemed really happy to have joined the church. also, we've been tracting in various areas for the past few days. we contacted this german lady who speaks really good english and is married to a chinese malaysian. that was pretty unexpected. she seemed to be pretty happy to talk to another white person. she said we could come back and teach a little bit, so we'll see how that goes. it always surprises me to run into white people in malaysia. there's so many more in kuching than sibu. we also ran into this scottish guy. and as we were riding past the airport, we encountered an english man who wasn't very nice. what a stange week. but after we finished talking to the german lady, we saw this kid on a moto. he drove past us and then turned around and started driving back towards us. so we kind of flagged him down and started talking to him. we found out he works with one of our investigators. so he invited us to go to his house. just yesterday we met them, and the kids family seems awesome. they have trouble with work, so we'll see how things go, but the family is pretty cool.
we're still working with those people i talked about last week, but they're being bums right now. it's tough to get them to church. they seem good, but i guess we haven't done a good enough job at conveying the importance of church. i can see some of these families becoming big strengths to this area. we'll just have to keep working hard and see how things go. anyways i guess that's all for my week. i will add that i am pretty jealous to hear your plans to visit cold stone. malaysia just hasn't quite figured ice cream out yet.
thanks for the letter mom. i guess i'll be going. take care and have a good week.
love, zac

ok here are some pics. they are of the lady who got baptized, bella, then there's the 18 of us i told you about who played soccer last week, and then there's this crazy building that i saw while riding my bike one day. notice which side all the motos are on. you can think of it what you like.
anyways, that's all i have for this week. see ya

Thursday, September 23, 2010

in the ZC

hey dad.

things are going well here in kuching. i'm really enjoying being here. we bike a lot more than i did in sibu jaya. i've been riding the bike of the elder i replaced for the last month, but they finally shipped my old one from sibu jaya to kuching. i cant even describe how much better it is. it's like i'm not even riding. it's so smooth and nice. life is good.
we just had zone conference, but we were accompanied by the sibu zone. there were 18 of us elders all together. it was nice to see some old friends. we had lots of fun playing soccer for p day. but we did learn a lot. i feel like there's no end to the amount i can learn about missionary work. i feel like i should be just an awesome missionary by how much i feel like i learn, but every time it comes time for zone conference, i always learn so much more. nuts. but i think it's been working. we are getting more people to teach. we've got a few families that i'm excited about. i wrote more about them to mom if you want to read about them. hopefully things work out with them.

also we kind of had a funny/cool experience yesterday. we were riding trying to find a good area to contact. we kind of just went exploring. we saw these houses but they were pretty much all chinese. so we kept going around scoping the area out. we saw an old run down shack off in the distance and a house with a light on. so we went and checked it out. we trecked through lots of plants and even crossed a chasm. chasm i say. anyways as we got closer we could see it was more than just one house. we had found a kampung that was completely hidden from the main roads. theres a section that is all muslim, but a pretty large part that is all christian. we didnt get much time to contact there, but i'm pretty excited for later. it's so big. i feel like there have to be people there who will get baptized.

also, this weekend we should have a baptism. the wife of a recent convert so were are pretty excited about that. they are really awesome, and indonesian. i love indonesians. the ones ive met have been pretty funny. anyways, that's all i have for the week. i guess i'll talk to you later. have a good week. have fun with your classes.

hey ma.
so dont worry about not having written me. it so happens that it was zone conference this week so our pday was changed to thursday. we had a lot of fun this past week. they actually combined sibu and kuching zones for zone conference so i got to see all the elders from my old zone. we had a really good training. the best of which we learned more effective patterns for committing people to do things like go to church and pray. it was really helpful. we've been using the stuff we've learned in trainings and things are going way better. this past week was pretty cool. for zone conference pday kuching zone played sibu in futsal, which is indoor soccer with a net surrounding the court. it was really fun. we came from behind for the win, and then we just played around after that. but next month i'll be able to see them all again because we have another conference this time in sibu towards the end of october. it's actually the week before my comp goes home. pretty nuts.

anyways, yeah we did actually get to teach that one lady again. we've been to see her a few times since i wrote last. she is doing really well. you can tell the change that has taken place. she is much happier and really has a desire to go to church. and she has a lot of family, so it looks like it will be a big source for referrals. i dont know why we havent asked her for any referrals yet, but we will, and i'm sure things will go well. we were teaching her about baptism and she really understood well. the cool thing about her is that she is so interactive. she asks lots of questions to check for her own understanding and understands well. i'm just not used to not having to push people to talk to us.

anyways, while contacting we got this other good family that we've just seen once, but they seem really good. they are bidayuh. the father of the house was pretty interested in what we had to say. he asked us to just sit and share with him a bit. we were asking all these questions about how to know which church is christ's church, and he was like "you know, that's what i don't know. there are so many churches. maybe some are just made by men. which one is christ's?" i was pretty surprised by that, but it was a good question. it's also a plus that our church is way closer to his house than his old church.

there was also this other family we've been teaching. so the son of this family married into a member family and got baptized. so now we're working on his parents and siblings, which i guess used to not really want to learn. anyways, we were over there and they had also just had a death in the family. so we talked with them about christ and the resurrection. they were really surprised to hear that they would see their grandmother again. they were really excited to learn about how they could all be together forever. we had taught them before, but only the father listened. this last time the entire family came and all said they wanted to learn more. it was pretty cool. they were even about to leave right before we got there, but we asked for just a few minutes to share instead of just letting them go, and we had a really good lesson with them.

we're also teaching a daughter of a member who is jehova's witness. you dont run into too many of those in malaysia. it's been pretty interesting but the woman seems to be open to what we have to say. she asked if we only had the bible as scripture. normally that question comes when people just want to fight and discredit our church because of the book of mormon. that's what i anticipated so i answered based around that assumption. then i asked what she was expecting by learning from us. she said she just wanted to learn more about God and hear more of his words. so i guess she is definitely open to new books, because she feels like she can learn from it. unfortunately at the time, i didn't relate this desire to the fact that we have a living prophet who always receives more of God's words. hopefully things will work out next time.

but yeah we've been contacting and getting new investigators. i'll let you know how the others go as they progress. we are getting busier and things are going well. hopefully we'll have a lot of investigators at church. that's the best. anyways, i think that's all for the week. thanks for the letter mom. i love you. talk to you next week.
love, zac

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

hari raya

hey dad. i'm sorry youve been sick. i hope you are feeling better now. i was also not feeling to good the past
couple of weeks. i guess those bugs just find their way around the world. how are the classes doing? any giving
you trouble? so how did they solve that issue with the permanent substitute who didnt speak french? i'm sorry
this letter is so short. i sent quite a few pics so it ate up most of my time. please refer to the emails that i
wrote to mom to get a scoop on my week and see the pics. it was hari raya here in malaysia, celebrating the end
of the month of fasting. so people were pretty excited. like i wrote to mom, we got to meet and take pictures
with the governor of malaysia. lots of food! anyways, i gotta get going. love you dad.
love, zac

Zachary Royden Hill
to me

show details 9:17 PM (58 minutes ago)

wee! it was hari raya this week. you know, like that big party they have where they eat a bunch after the month
of fasting? that one. it was pretty fun, and made for an exciting week.we got invited to a few open houses where
it was expected that we just eat as much as we could. everyone was excited to have the white guys over, and needles
s to say, wanted pictures. anyways, i sent a pic of me and my companion, elder wheelwright, standing with a pretty
old malaysian man. that is the governor of the malaysian state of sarawak. we managed to snag an invite to his
open house to celebrate hari raya and got a pic with him. pretty sweet, huh? the big white building is his
house/palace. anyways, the picture of the lighted city at night is singapore when i was the 3 weeks ago. they had
some youth olympics thing going on, so it was a pretty crazy time to be there. lots of fire works. the picture of
4 missionaries is myself and the rest of my district outside of the governors palace. all the baptism pics are
from my last baptism in sibu jaya yet. still working on a kuching baptism. we'll see how things go.

i still dont have too much to talk about. we did lots of contacting this week so far, but have yet to do the
follow up appointments with anyone new that we got. there's potential but not much to say about it right now.
well, i guess i'll talk about a few people. so a recent convert gave us a referral- this lady whose husband just
died, which is a pretty intimidating circumstance to go contact someone under. we went one day to bring the member
over to the ladies house, but the member had already left. we still felt like we should go see the referral. i'll
refer to her as norina from now on. when we went over there, there was still some sort of get together going on
after the funeral and the lady told us to come back in a week. so on tuesday was the day we went back. now we've
just been having lots of trainings on asking "inspired questions" which are questions that open up the heart and
mind to give place for a witness of the holy ghost. so we've really been working on asking better questions. so we
went to the house and norina came. the first thing she said was "i'm not ready yet. maybe in two months you can
try again" i can't even remember what we asked her, but after like two minutes of us talking, she asked us out of
no where to come in and sit down. so we did and she just opened up about what had been happening in her life. so
we just listened. and we just started talking to her. i really cant remember the way the conversation went, just
the results of it. multiple times during our discussion she turned to her father who was sitting near by and told
him that she felt really good talking to us. and then when the time came to leave, she told us that we could come
back to her house every day to teach her if we wanted. even twice a day, she said. i just couldnt believe the
change that occurred. it went from i'm not ready to come every day. it was a pretty cool experience.

then we met this other lady who is actually learning in the jehova's witnesses church. the rest of her family are
members, but she isnt yet. so we went there and talked with her before she left for work. we just really asked
about what she wants in life and out of religion. it was crazy how she just opened up to us. i was reallly
expecting her to really be opposed to us coming. she told us how she feels like lots of things are bad in the
world and wonders why God lets them happen. i dont know why, but after that we started talking about prophets and
why we have them and she said she believed there should be a prophet today to lead us. then she said she believed
that joseph smith's story could be true and she had a desire to follow the restored church. i guess her husband
is a non-christian and is uneasy about her learning about christianity, so we'll have to see how it goes.
i'm excited for it tho. i just really learned this week how much better things go when you focus teaching on
asking questions and getting the investigator to do much more talking. ibans and malaysians are pretty timid,
especially around two white guys, so they dont like to talk a lot. it takes a lot of work, but really is worth it
to get them to talk more.

anyways, i'm having lots of fun and things are going well around here in kuching. success is on the way. anyways,
all the pics took my time away so i'm gonna have to go. love you mom.
love, zac

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

not much went on this week

hey dad & mom. well i'm glad to hear things went smoothly with Nano's wedding. it sounds like you guys had a lot of fun. sorry i'm writing this to both of you, but i really cant think of much to write. i hope you dont mind.

i'm not going to lie, not much went on this week. well on sunday my companion and i went to sibu for a training which was pretty cool. lots of training lately. they just slowly by slowly keep raising the bar a little higher. they taught about accountability and gave us this introspective question 'would you be happy if everyone's area in the mission was like yours?" it made me think. i just got here, but the area could use some work. we are fairly low on investigators. i feel like this week went by so fast so i can hardly remember anything, but somehow we were busy enough to not leave much time for finding. we have some good investigators who will be baptized soon. there's a lady named bella who's husband got baptized a few weeks before i got transferred here. she is really good and pretty ready. they are both from indonesia. i like them a lot. they seemed to take a bit of getting used to me being there as opposed to the elder i replaced. i feel like most of my reception has been pretty good so far tho.

we live in an area that is far away from the area i used to work, so i get to see a lot of new people. our area is pretty far from the church so we are facing some problems with transport, which has always been present in kuching. i was spoiled in sibu jaya without transport issues. it's always interesting to have new challenges to work with and have to adapt to them. i feel like i'm learning more than ever about how to do missionary work. the trainings we've had have taught us how to ask more effective questions and to speak with people so they open up and have a conversation. i'm still working on correction some issues with my teaching style (i like to talk a lot) and it really is seeming to go much better. also, ive never gone into so much detail to plan a lesson at any time in my mission as i am now, and that is really nice. lots of questions and scriptures. thinking about what our investigators might ask. i'm having a lot of fun here in kuching. i really like it, even with the added distance of bike riding. i really wouldnt mind if i stayed here for the rest of my mission, but i doubt it. i guess i'll just take whatever is given to me.

so this upcoming week we have a lot of new investigators to find, so we're hoping that next month just has a ton of baptisms. we'll see how it goes. we have lots of people who have referred their friends that we will also contact before the close of this week, so looks like we will be pretty busy soon. oh yeah, they are also building an actual chapel in kuching that will be finsihed sometime next year. now everyone is meeting in shoplots. they had the ground breaking for the building on sunday, but i missed it because i was in sibu. shame. well hopefully i'll have more to talk about next week. i love you guys.
love, zac

hey ma
thanks for the pics, although i am quite surprized you didnt send any of nano with dawn. well i didnt get any at least. we are still a little low on investigators, but this upcoming week we'll be doing lots of finding and referral seeking, so i'm sure things will open up soon. our area is pretty far from the church, so it's kind of hard for people to get there. i like being in a big city, but transport is a pretty big problem here. they are working on a new shoplot closer to our area that should be finished in october, so hopefully by then we'll be getting more people to church. we'll see. i dont have much time left. i thought i'd send you just a quick note to respond. the letter i sent to dad has more info that i intend both of you to read. anyways, thanks for the pics and letting me know about the goings on. hopefully i'll have more to say next week. jangan marah. faham. i love you lots. take care mom.
love, zac