Tuesday, February 22, 2011

but just believe me it was hilarious

hey dad.

well, i really dont have anything to say. not much happened this week. lots of contacting trying to get new people. lots of people who dont want to listen. some who do, but not really anyone progressing yet. that'll come in the next few weeks tho, so dont worry.

one cool experience i wrote in mom's letter as well, but i'll include it here as well

we had a cool experience the other day. we were knocking doors in some flats and we found two blocks that were entirely muslim. so we couldn't teach anyone. it's kind of tough to just go and not even be able to talk to the people. but as we were leaving those flats, we encountered a man on a motorcycle. he asked us if we were christian teachers. we said we were. he said he also was christian, and that he wanted us to teach him more. so he brought us to his house and we had a lesson. and we will go back tomorrow, so i'm pretty excited for them. not often when we get contacted by people. but i guess the spirit just whispered something to him, because he said he saw us and had a feeling like he really wanted to talk to us.

so that was pretty much my spiritual "highlight" for the week.

my non-spiritual highlight.. well, there's durian in johor! i havent had durian in over a year. my trainee wanted to try some. so we got a durian and brought it back. i've got some good pics of myself with the durian. unfortunately i took a video instead of pictures when my trainee was eating it, so i can't send you any good ones of his face. but just believe me it was hilarious. needless to say, he didnt like it. it's crazy tho. the more i eat it, the more i seem to like it. we had it two days in a row, and i'm thinking about buying another one next week. it's just something i'm never gonna get back in america, so i gotta take advantage of it now, you know?

anyways, hopefully next week we'll have more progressing people, and then i'll have more excitement to tell you about them. thanks for the letter. take care dad.

love, zac

hey mom.

it's ok about not sending me a letter. i also have to apologize. the computers here are hidden so as of yet i still can't send any more pictures.

things here have been going pretty well. we've been getting lots of new investigators. work is tougher in johor tho. lots of muslims. not too many christians. and even lots of people that say we can come back tend to just avoid us afterwards. but even so, we have been meeting some good new people.

we had a cool experience the other day. we were knocking doors in some flats and we found two blocks that were entirely muslim. so we couldn't teach anyone. it's kind of tough to just go and not even be able to talk to the people. but as we were leaving those flats, we encountered a man on a motorcycle. he asked us if we were christian teachers. we said we were. he said he also was christian, and that he wanted us to teach him more. so he brought us to his house and we had a lesson. and we will go back tomorrow, so i'm pretty excited for them. not often when we get contacted by people. but i guess the spirit just whispered something to him, because he said he saw us and had a feeling like he really wanted to talk to us.

also, at church on sunday, we had a good family come. wong and his wife ana. the wife is still really shy. when she is with her friends she acts like she doesn't know us. but the husband is really good and has friends in the church. they've been to church twice so far. hopefully some time in march they will get baptized.

my new companion is good. he's pretty awesome actually. i feel bad for him. every day i just realize how horrible of a trainer i am. sometimes it's easier to take most of the lesson instead of watching him struggle through his parts. but i need to help him learn. it's a tough predicament. but he's a sharp kid and has a good attitude about things. he's coming along in the language already, which is good.

but about the bus, we are actually mostly on our bicycles. we only ride the bus out to the area where our bicycles are kept, and then we ride around our area on bikes. so we still get exercise. we've been talking to lots of people lately, so things are good that way, but still don't have too much to talk about. maybe when we have some people who are progressing a little more, i'll talk about them.

thanks for the pics mom. talk to you next week.

love, zac

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

i picked up my trainee, elder browne.

hey dad. it's elder hill here.

things are going pretty good. well, i finally left singapore and am back in malaysia, which is a good thing. i picked up my trainee, elder browne. he's a pretty cool kid from utah. he's smart too, so it looks like things won't be too tough. it has been kind of rough so far just because neither of us had been to johor before, so it was basically a "white-wash." but the president just wanted to add another companionship, and we were the lucky ones to come here. on monday we went out by ourselves and got lost a little bit. we ride lots of buses around here. one thing i think is crazy is how huge johor is. our area is kind of far away, so we ride a bus for like 20 minutes to a place where we keep our bicycles, and then we ride from there. we don't have anyone to teach really so far since we just got here, and the past few days that we've been here we've just been contacting. it's been fun, but hopefully in the future we'll have more success. i am actually really enjoying johor. it's a pretty cool city, and the members are pretty cool too. i am really excited to work here and am loving every minute so far. plus, i am in a six elder house which is way fun, one of the elders being elder lang, a former companion of mine when i was in sibu jaya. so it's been pretty fun.

anyways, thanks for sending me that letter from elder mabeza. i would love to go meet them, but being in johor bahru, i'm pretty far away from them. if they were ever in johor, i would love to talk to them. or,... we have zone conference in KL, so maybe we could work something out while i am there to see them. i've not yet been to KL before, so i don't know much about getting around, but maybe when i find out when zone conference is we can work something out. that would be so awesome. please thank elder mabeza for the letter. i hope to be able to meet him some day. how long has he been in the ward already? how long has he been a missionary?

well, since i'm still so new to johor, i dont really know what else to say. i'll have more to write next week hopefully. thanks for the letters dad. i'm glad you're getting over your cold. feel better.

love, zac

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Transfer to West Malasia

hey mom

well, things have been going really good. i had a tough week tho. we baptized those six people i told you about last week, and everyone got confirmed and things are going awesome in our area.. but the night before the baptism day, i found out i'm getting transferred. out of sarawak. out of borneo. luckily not into singapore, but to a city called johor bahru, west malaysia. and if that's not enough, i will be training. that threw me for a loop and was something i was completely not expecting. so i was pretty sad because it means i will have to leave kuching.

being a missionary, you are always looking for ways to improve, and to build up those christ-like attributes in yourself. so naturally, you can't help but learn to love the people that you are teaching. i have never loved people as much as the people in kuching, and i am really sad to have to leave them. my last sunday was fast sunday, so it was pretty cool to be able to give my final testimony before i left. there were quite a few people who even came to see me off at the airport, which was pretty cool. but anyways, as of now, i am sitting in singapore until my new companion shows up from america. he should have been here by now but his flight got delayed. poor guy. anyways, all the trainers normally pick up trainees in singapore to go through a bit of training together and meetings. so i wont actually get to see my new area until friday night.

but i'll still be able to call the people we had on date and make sure that they will get baptized.

i think it's kind of funny that jake said i look the same, because no matter where i go, everyone says i look skinnier than the last time they saw me, malaysians and missionaries included. "woah elder hill, you look so much skinnier than the last time i saw you!" i feel like i would be dead if i just kept getting skinnier and skinnier as time goes on, but maybe it is true.

anyways about the pictures, now that i am transferred, i'll hopefully be able to start sending you some. maybe it was God trying to send me a message, eh? but i'm currently on the singapore office computer. they are afraid of getting viruses, so they wont let me put pics on here. i'll have to wait til next week.

i dont know. i dont really have much else to say. i'm healthy. i'm happy (besides missing my recent converts) and i'll continue to baptize. please let me know what's going on. i dont really understand what you mean by "the other island," but that's ok. anyways, glad to hear from you. take care. love you, and i'll talk to you next week.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

it's chinese new year

hey dad
sorry about not having pictures, but like i told you guys a few weeks ago, the computers here are pretty terrible and wont read my camera. i can't send any pics via the internet, so you'll probably have to wait til i get transferred to get pics from me. i'll pray my next area has better computers. it looks like i'll probably be here til at least march, so just hold tight.

anyways, we had an ok week. it's chinese new year, which in malaysia is celebrated for weeks. on christmas day, chinese new year music was already being played. so lots of places have been closed. lots of people have a week off of work, so even if they arent chinese, they are going back to kampung or doing something which takes their time away from learning with the missionaries. so about half the investigators we thought would come to church didnt because of chinese new year. gong xi fa cai.

but we still managed to do pretty good. ah chai and shirley ended up getting baptized and confirmed after all. that was pretty sweet. ah chai lives at dorms in his medical college, and there was an outbreak of swine flu. so they put the place on quarantine and wouldnt let ah chai out. we got shirley interviewed on thursday, and she told us they'd have to delay the baptism, which had already been delayed like 3 weeks. i was pretty sad. but then friday night we got a call and found out the baptism was back on. so it happened, and ah chai gave an awesome testimony about how he prayed and found out the book of mormon was true. and then he told us that when he was under quarantine, he felt the holy ghost tell him that he needed to be baptized that weekend. he said he was able to escape through a bit of "deceiving" which i'm not sure exactly what that means, but hey, he got baptized. now we just have to work on getting his wife to class. she's the laziest church-goer i've taught. but i love them

anyways, this week we should have 6 people. a family named ramas and dickson. i probably told you about them already, but i can never remember what ive written in the past, so i'll tell their story again. elder wheelwright and i contacted into them when he was still here, but they didnt really want. so we never went back. then wheelwright went home, and elder simon and i happened to be in that area for contacting. and we contacted into them again. she found our message intriguing, and invited us to come back. but that was kind of close to christmas, so whenever we tried to call her after that, she kept giving excuses that she couldnt meet us, like she was back at kampung, just plain busy, or she would hang up on us. she seemed so good that first time, we didnt want to give up, but we had just about had it with her excuses. anyways, one pday, we had an appointment scheduled, and ramas was the backup plan. elder simon dropped our phone in some water during pday, and accidently left it in some other elder's bag in our zone. so for the day, we were without a phone. when our first appointment fell through, we went to call ramas, but didnt have a phone. so we decided to just go there. when we went there, we knocked on the door we met her at. it turned out to be her mom's house. her mom brought us to her house, but she went a good amount ahead of use while we were locking up our bicycles. when we approached, i heard her arguing with her mom about how she didnt want to meet us and she didnt have time. she was pretty angry. anyways, we walked up all smiley and were like hey ramas, hows it going? she told us she didnt have any time and didnt want to meet us. my mind was blank. i had no idea what to do. i looked at elder simon and he looked about the same as me. i new something had to be done or we would lose her. so the thought came to my head to ask her about how she felt last time when we taught her. normally people answer "good" and then still dont want to listen to us. she answered good, but you could see the look on her face change. i dont remember how the rest of the conversation went, but all of a sudden she invited us to have a drink. we agreed and she went to go make us some water. she came back out and invited us in and we met her husband. we had an awesome lesson and invited them to church. them they came. but if we had had our cell phone, we would have called them before we went over, and i am sure that she wouldve given us another excuse and we may never have gone over. also, if our appointment before had gone through, we wouldnt have gone to her house. things happened exactly the way they had to for this couple to receive the gospel, and now this saturday they will be baptized. they have already given us their neighbors as referrals too. pretty awesome people.

also, we have katty and her two kids, metron and belinda getting baptized. they are awesome. they have been working so hard to get us referrals, but the people that live near them are... let's just say not very prepared to receive the gospel. we contacted into katy's fam. they've had some big problems and bad things happen in their lives, but what they do notice is that they just feel happy when they meet with us and go to church. they were pretty much golden contacts, and are turning into a source of referrals, which is good. i'm super excited for them. they have an uncle, tingau and a friend, sanchez who should be baptized within the month.

also, the 6th person is ajong, a 25 year old cousin or some sort of relative of a member who recently moved in from kampung. he's doing well, and taking in the gospel well. luckily he has a good family to guide him and watch over him.

so the next few weeks have an unknown number of baptisms. we'll keep you updated, but we have some good people we're working with, and we keep finding new people all the time. so it's good.

our entire zone is on fire right now. we're projecting 25 baptisms or so in between 5 companionships for the month. so pretty good. our goal for each companionship per month is 3, so we're looking good. kuching is where it's at.

anyways, i'm all out of words. i'll write you more next week about the progress of other people we have (hopefully we'll be able to meet them after chinese new year)

thanks so much for listening to me dad. as an update, my application at byu is completed and pending decision, so i'll just be waiting now. thanks for your help with my application also, mom said there's an elder in the ward from west malaysia? what's this? what's his story and where in west malaysia is he from? please tell me all you know. but i'll write more next week. love you dad.


hey mom. yep. the baptisms went through. i'll send you what i wrote to dad telling him about my week.


so that's the update. we're way excited with things going here. why would desiree not go to church by herself? that's really sad. if you see her, you should encourage her to keep coming. does she still work at jo ann's with you? or did she change work places too? dont give up. keep trying with those people that you know, and there will be some that want to learn about the gospel.

well, i'm sorry it's been getting cold there. it got hot here for a few days, and then it got way rainy again. ive been forgetting to put my shoes on the fan, so i've had to go out with wet shoes the past couple days. i've been kind of cold lately too. stupid rain. but my bronchitis is gone. ive been healthy for a while now. the future is looking bright, but i really can believe how fast time goes. anyways, my brain hurts from staring at this computer screen, so i'll go. talk to you next week mom. love you.

love, zac