Tuesday, April 26, 2011

back to borneo

hey dad. thanks so much for the help, and thanks for the info. anyways, like i told mom, i have some news. i got transferred. pretty crazy, huh? i was only in johor for 2.5 months. so short. how long was your shortest area? longest? well, now i'm back in sarawak where i belong, in a city called bintulu. it's a pretty tiny place. pretty junky by most poeple's standards, but i think it's heaven. i love it here, and i love the people. we met some investigators yesterday. one is a 22 year old dude who's getting baptized this week. he's really solid. he was just bearing his testimony to his family who have been reluctant to learn. we just had some fun together. and then as we were leaving, the floor caved in a bit. woops. i guess it was our fault for bringing 4 white people. white people are pretty heavy. so we'll go back tomorrow or so to help then fix it. my companion is from the same mtc group as my last companion, so he's pretty new, but he's a cool kid. i like him a lot. i think we're going to have fun together. he seems like a hard worker, so hopefully we can get a lot accomplished in the next few months. it's crazy. in bintulu there are 5 elders from my same mtc group. it was like an mtc reunion when i got here. pretty sweet. i'm excited to be in this zone.

also like i told mom, since i changed areas and senior couples, i'm not sure if my current senior couple has skype or what, so i'll talk to them this week and get back to you next week to see how we'll be able to communicate for mother's day. the senior couple here seem really nice, so that's another cool thing about bintulu. anyways, that's all i have for now. thanks again for all the help. talk to you next week dad.

love, zac

hey mom.

things are going great. anyways, so on saturday, the mission president told us that all the johor elders had to come in on sunday for a meeting with the church history representatives. right after church we left. while i was in the office, i was able to get the package and card you sent. right on easter too. it was a miracle. the meeting with the church history dudes was pretty cool. there was a big fireside where everyone could ask any questions they had about church history. so the crazy part about the trip is that right before, i found out i was getting transferred. i had a night to pack, and then i left. i spent a few days hanging out in singapore with my friend, elder thomas, who was serving there. we met up with a member who is from las vegas and works in singapore. when we got to the place, i recognized him, and later found out he is the son of bishop larsen from meadows 3rd ward. pretty crazy huh? small world. anyways, he took us up to the top of the place where he works, which is really tall. we got some pics. from up there, you could see malaysia and indonesia. so that was fun. on tuesday i finally got on the plane and went to my new area, bintulu. i'm back in sarawak! i just got here yesterday, so i havent done much. but i'm way excited to be here. i'm surrounded by ibans, and i love it. the people i've met so far are awesome. it should be a fun 3 more months.

anyways, about skype. since i just got transferred, i dont know if i'll be able to skype anymore. i'll have to talk with the senior couple, and i'll get back to you next week. in the mean time, could you please send me times when you would be available to talk to me? then next week after i figure things out, i'll be able to look at my own schedule, make a decision and let you know what is going on. it may be possible to talk over gmail as well, so i guess you can consider that too. i'll make sure with the senior couple.

but yeah, bintulu is awesome. i feel like i'm back home, and i'm excited for the future. we are going to be busy. anyways, i gotta run. talk to you more next week mom. good luck.

love, zac

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

not much by the way of news

hey mom

thanks for sharing that story with me. it's pretty cool what can be done with faith and the priesthood. hopefully it will be able to help that family to become happier and accept the gospel.

i'm also pretty excited to see elder bednar. this will be the second apostle we've had since i've been here. what an opportunity. also, a man in the asia area presidency came a few months ago to visit the missionaries here, elder carl pratt, and he spoke in conference. it's pretty crazy to see people you've met speaking in conference. makes me appreciate it a little more.

so we finally got to watch conference here last week. it was good. unfortunately the turn out here was pretty small. the new members don't realize what an opportunity it is to listen to the prophet. but we had an investigating family come. it was pretty cool. amin and lisa, the one guy on the moto who contacted us. he's doing well and they still seem excited about the gospel. with amin's work, he can only come to church every other work, but he seems to be doing the best he can. we're excited for him. hopefully sometime in may he can be baptized.

the area here is doing ok. we've still got some people who have good potential but arent really progressing, so that's a little frustrating. we've been doing some contacting lately and meeting lots of new people. it's fun. not much by the way of news. anyways, i gotta run. talk to you next week mom.

love, zac

ps, as far as i know now, i'll skype you on mother's day your time. not sure the exact time, but i'll confirm next week.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Elder Bednar is coming to Kuala Lampur

hey dad

thanks so much for helping me out with housing and the fafsa application. you are the best!

it's good to hear that things are going well over there. family getting together and all of that. pretty jealous. how is school going? any naughty students? any plans for labor day? i cant believe how fast the summer is coming.

so we have some pretty sweet news here. well, firstly elder bednar is coming to kuala lumpur, and my mission president has arranged for all the elders in west malaysia to go see him. he'll give a training and we'll be able to meet him and have dinner with him. that will happen 23 may, so all of us missionaries in west malaysia are pretty excited about that. can't wait.

also, on chrsitmas, our mission president gave the elders the option of using skype to talk to their families back home, and i believe it will be available for mother's day as well. anyways, the senior couple has offered to let us use their computer to access skype to talk to you guys if that were possible for you guys. i really don't understand much about how skype works, but if you do and would like to use that to talk to me on mother's day, can. if not, the old fashioned phone call will do.

so we just back yesterday from being in kuala lumpur for a missionary leadership training. i got to go since i am a trainer. that was pretty fun to spend the day with the mission president and some other missionaries. i also got to see that one missionary i'll be rooming with which was pretty sweet. we all had fun together, and got to go check out a little bit of kl before going back. we've been trying to get to know the members in the new area we just picked up, so that's been fun. members are the best. hopefully we'll get some referrals coming in. our chinese family that we've been working with said they will be coming to church on sunday, so we're excited. they seem pretty prepared. everyone in jb is still really busy and lots of the time work on sunday, so it's been a bit of a struggle to meet with people, but we're still going. after a meeting with the mission president you always feel more pumped to go out there and get work done, so this week should be good. i feel pretty pumped.

we're also hoping that our iban guy can get work off this sunday for church. his boss got pretty mad at him. he also had been having money problems since his brother lost his job, but is living with them. so we had a good lesson on how the lord will provide for us as we follow the commandments. we committed him to pray. so we met with him again a few days later, and he had a pretty cool experience about how he was really stressed, he had been praying and just felt better. and then he had some ideas pop into his head and he talked about how he was able to fix his financial problem. he didnt really tell us what the problem is. when it comes to finances it seems people get pretty embarrassed to be having problems, and as a missionary i dont want to dig too deeply into it. but what was cool is the experience seemed to add to his testimony. so he seems to be doing really well.

anyways, thanks again dad for all the help you've given me and for the support. thanks for the emails. i appreciate all you do for me. i gotta run so i'll talk to you next week. until then, take care.

love, zac

hey mom

yeah our investigators are doing all right. still a struggle to meet people. we had some training about being more effective at following up with people, so hopefullyy this week we'll be able to follow up more effectively and be able to help our investigators progress more. the cool part about a mission is that you never stop learning.

but yeah, its pretty cool that i'll be rooming with some elders from my mission. they're pretty cool and i'm excited. we've been friends from the mtc. haha. anyways, yeah i also think itd be pretty cool to teach at the mtc. i feel like it be a good job for while i'm in school, but i'll have to wait to see when i get back. i can't believe i'm signing up for school and all this. it like forces me to think about going home, but i dont want to think about it. time is going by way too fast. i'll be really sad to leave malaysia. it's so far, i dont know when i'll be able to come back. sad. but i just gotta enjoy the time i have here. johor bahru is a lot different from sarawak, but i've been enjoying it. we've got some really cool memebers and ive been making some good friends. i love spending time with these people. i wrote most of my news i nthe letter to dad, so hopefully you can get most of it from there.

sorry it's so short. that's for emailing and thanks for thinking about me. i love you mom. talk to you next week.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

so our area just doubled in size

hey mom.

sorry i dont have much time. i have been way busy trying to get things figured out about school. it gives me a headache, but hopefully this fall i'll be attending byu.

anyways, since we are so far away and in such a different time zone, we wont be watching conference for at least another two weeks.

things here have been going pretty crazy. when i got transferred to johor, my comp and i were the third companionship. we were put there in anticipation of a branch split. the split is looking more distant, and so a companionship is being taken out of johor. my comp and i are staying in johor, but we're taking the area of the elders who are leaving. so our area just doubled in size and we are inheriting their investigators. it's pretty crazy, and i hope everything goes well. we'll continue to work hard.

we're still struggling with getting our people to progress even more. everyone that we had is doing about the same as last week. we'll meet amin and lisa tomorrow in hopes that we'll be able to get things worked out with his work schedule and get him to church regularly. our chinese family is doing well, and we've recently been picking up some chinese investigators here and there, which is cool. besides that, not much is going on in the area so far. next week i'll be going to kuala lumpur for some training. that should be pretty fun.

anyways, that's all for me. hope you have a good week mom. talk to you next week.
love, zac