Monday, April 20, 2015

April 19, 2015 – Going to Miss the People I’ve Come to Love… - Week 12 in Sabah

So last email.

This week was good. Not a lot to report though.

Celynne’s not baptized yet, just on date.

We have an appointment with Sally later, should be good.

Cherilyn and Tan are doing well too.

Mothi is also doing well. We met on Saturday, taught a lesson and then went to his older brother’s birthday party, way fun.

I’m giving my bike to Adrian.

My last day of church was good, gave a talk, kind of did a preview of my returning talk. I gave at least 3 prayers in 2 classes, haha. Took a lot of pictures with members. Ate my last kampung food.

Anyway, it has been interesting, I think I always thought the end would feel different from the beginning, the last week would feel different then a middle one. Nope. It, for the most part, felt like any other week. Just kept on working like normal, just another week.

I’m in shock, I can’t really explain what I’m feeling. Indescribably sad to be leaving all the people I’ve come to love.

You gotta love the journey, not just the destination.

Love you guys, see you in a few days.

Elder Halpin,

Over n, out.

Andryano, Faralia, Me.

Elder Yang and I

April 12, 2015 – Conference… - Week 11 in Sabah

The last week of my mission.

Going hard!

This past week was good.

So yeah, we will all fly together to Seattle, and then will go our separate ways. I guess I never told you but Elder Paul from our group in the MTC went home for medical about a year out, he got a way nasty eye infection and was going to need surgery and such. So just 10 of us. Also a bunch of Sisters from another group, I know a couple of them, I guess one of them is from the Spokane East Stake or something.

Eeeesh, hip replacement just doesn’t sound fun. I hope my knees and back hold out.

General Conference was good, there were several talks that stood out to me, I liked the Saturday morning session. Also, those guys who stood up and were like "no". Interesting idea.

Anyway, Mothi, Cherilyn, Tan and Sally all came to conference.

Sally coming really was miracle. When she came to District conference we actually had not had a teaching appointment with her yet. So we had not taught her anything. Anyway District conference turned out to be probably the worst church meeting I have had on my mission, not exaggerating. I think when I emailed you guys about it before I said it was good, that was a lie, I was trying to be positive. Anyway after that we had no hope that we would ever meet her again much less get her to church. So we just kept texting back and forth, we brought up conference. Anyway, Saturday night she texted asking if she could come with us to church on Sunday!  She ended up staying for both Sunday sessions! She liked the talks and was way intrigued by the ones about temples, so in between sessions we talked about that with her. Way cool. First time on my mission that I’ve had an investigator come to church twice without ever having a real lesson with them. Cherilyn and Tan are doing good. They were both on school trips this week but came to Sunday conference.

Mothi is doing good, his younger brother was sick Monday night and asked us to give him a blessing on Tuesday. On the way there he texted telling us his brother was feeling fine now. All good.

I’ve been writing letters to members in all of my past branches, it’s taking a LONG time. I don’t understand how some Elders manage to write their girlfriends everyday... (I actually only know one who did and he stopped after about 9 months). I’m going to miss all of these people so much!!!! Really all of the fear/nervousness I felt about going home and the future has been replaced with sadness, I’m going to miss my mission terribly. 

Also, just found out, literally 30 seconds ago, that Celynne, Elder Wright and I's investigator from Singapore, is getting baptized! Way dope!!!


Elder Halpin

Elder Ferguson...

 No 4's. 
The 4 symbolizes death 
in Chinese culture.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

April 6, 2015 – Refocusing Our Investigators… - Week 10 in Sabah

This week has been really good!

That’s great news about Gladys and Bright!

We will be watching General Conference this upcoming week. But I did hear about the Temple in Haiti, that’s so wonderful! The church will also be building one in Bangkok, Thailand, which means that members here won’t have to go all the way to Manila or Hong Kong! Apparently it will cost about 1/8th what going to Manila would, members in West Malaysia and Singapore will be able to bus or take a train!

The Missionary work has been going good also!

We were able to meet with both Mothi and Cherilyn and Tan. We really felt like these lessons would be critical so we really tried to pray and figure out what they needed to hear.

We felt like Cherilyn and Tan needed to be refocused. They have been coming to church but not really reading or praying much, not really seeking out a testimony.  So we decided to just talk about our purpose. It really opened up the discussion and we were able to figure out where each of them were and also recommit them. The spirit was pretty strong and they felt it. Later that evening Cherilyn sent us a text thanking us and recommitting to build her faith. Way dope!

For Mothi we decided to really just focus on the gospel and especially on baptism. We met with him and also some of his siblings and his aunt. His aunt has learned before and when we read out of John how we need to be baptized she pointed to Mothi’s siblings and was like, "baptize these ones, they haven’t been baptized yet", way funny. He committed to be baptized on Oct 7th. Not sure why that day but that's what he wanted. We feel like he still feels like he’s not ready, we need to meet with him alone so that he’s not shy to talk about it in front of others.

Also were able to go meet with Adrian and Alana so that Yang could cut Adrian's hair, they are way dope!

Also met with Sakarius a less active member ye have met a couple times before. He’s from Indonesia. He also came to church! He’s way dope, it’s always fun to talk with Indonesians because they are very patriotic, they like to tell about their history and Indonesia.

My interview was good, but it’s not my departing one, that’ll be when I go to Singapore...

This morning we went to an island, way nice. That’s why we’re emailing late.


Elder Halpin

March 29 2015 – Referral Machine, Wahoo… - Week 9 in Sabah

This week was good. I’m short on time, Celynne, one of Elder Wright and I's (? my grammer is dead, how do you say that?) investigators from Singapore emailed me asking a bunch of questions about the church and receiving answers to prayers so I had to answer those first.

So first off we were not able to meet with any of our normal investigators, or really any of our members, or really any of the less active members that we normally meet with. Basically everyone was just busy all week.

We still managed to get a lot of work done this week though.

Peredick is coming along good, we met him and talked to him about milk before meat etc. It was good a lesson, we taught him how to bear his testimony effectively and how to introduce the gospel in a non- threatening way. So after the lesson he took us back through the sketchy part of Kota Kinabalu (again) to a convenience store that was next to something else. He introduced us to the workers at the convenience store and we contacted them, one of them, Lydia, seemed to actually be interested, we will try and meet with her in the next couple days. We met with him again on Saturday and he introduced us to more of his friends, this time some people that worked in a Catholic bible store, and some that worked in a Protestant bible store. Basically he is a referral machine, our primary goal this week will be to get them going.

We went contacting in Inanam, the place is loaded with Christians. We knocked on one door that turned out to be somebody that the missionaries had contacted in English 10 years before. She was down to listen anyway, she wanted to know what we thought about how we are saved. we talked for long time about a variety of stuff, Baptism for the dead, prophets, prayer (as an apostate Catholic she said she thought God was mad at her for saying what she wanted in prayers and asking questions and stuff, we told her that was perfect!) and bunch of other stuff. We committed her to read the pamphlet and she said we could meet again.

We met and contacted a ton more new people this week.

The weekend was District conference. President and Sister Mains came, I got interviewed for the first time since April of last year. District conference was way good, all of the members and missionaries came from Tawau and Sandakan (the other 2 cities with the church in Sabah) on buses. It was way nice.

Also, Cherilyne, Tan, Mothi and Sally came! Sally had a good experience, I have never seen better fellowship on my mission then here, even in Singapore! Pobably 10 people came up and introduced themselves, and other YSA's invited her to sit with them, way dope!

The day were in Inanam just as we were going to go back we happened to meet a less active member that we had tried to meet before but had been unable to. Her name is Melin she is really cool, she showed us where she lived so we could meet her sometime in the future.

Anyway that’s about it


Elder Halpin

Kota Kinabalu has been choked in smoke, 
it really needs to rain. 
It makes for pretty sunsets though.

Playing cards after a lesson with some members, 
Roy, Lem, Roy’s sibling and Mixter.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

March 22 2015 – Shell Game, or, the Innocent Missionary… - Week 8 in Sabah

Apa khabar?

This week was pretty good.

Mom, maybe I shouldn’t email, I guess you can catch virus' through the internet...

The fires are mostly on purpose but then get out of control, it’s very common. Borneo gets drier the further north east you go, towards the Philippines. Thus Kuching and Sibu are the rainiest cities in Malaysian Borneo and all of Sabah is much drier. It’s still a rain-forest I guess but it has only really rained once since I’ve been here. It’s also the dry season. The grass is actually drying out and dying like it does in America. It’s really sad what’s happened to Borneo in the last 40-50 years. In Sarawak, for example, 90% of the original growth forest has been logged.

We were finally able to meet with Justiff’s family again! This time Gabriel, the father sat in on the lesson also, so that was way good. They have started to pray and read. We are really trying to get them to church.

Cherilyn and Tan are doing good. The problem is that they really don't have testimonies, they’re basically just going to church because it’s fun. We met with them on Thursday or something and originally planned to teach priesthood and auxiliaries but as we asked some questions and started figuring things out we changed the lesson and decided to focus on why and how we should gain a testimony. The lesson went alright, they are hopefully working on praying and reading consistently now. They had a school field trip so couldn't come to church this week.

Mothis’ family decided to go to Kampung on Friday until this week so we couldn't meet him and he couldn't come to church.

We were able to meet with Sally this week. She is a sort of a referral contact. Her family lives in Matang, next door to the Taman Sri Perkasa house, the one the other Elders lived in. Elder Yang lived in that house and had talked to her before but not about the church at the time. Kelvin Alexious knew her sort of and told us that she was going to school at UMS next door to us. So we got her number and set up an anointment. She is 27, WAY smart, working on her Masters degree in city planning and something else. Speaks very good English. We were talking about religion and she was saying that she had tried going to various churches around Kota Kinabalu but didn’t like them because the pastors didn’t teach anything they just praised themselves. So we continued talking and she was saying that she thought a lot of churches just said what the people wanted to hear not what Christ taught. She was going to come to church but then slept in, so next week.

On Monday evening we visited Brother Peredick. Elder Yang gave him a haircut and then he told us to follow him. So we followed him through the sketchy part of Kota Kinabalu to what turned out to be his cousin’s house. His name is Hipotomus, “Heap” for short. Brother Peredick immediately starts off by talking about how the Book of Mormon teaches us that Jesus was born on 6 April not Christmas. I'm just thinking, actually it doesn't and this isn't relevant at all. So we seized the conversation and started asking questions to try and ascertain his religious background, knowledge, etc. Suddenly Brother P (Peredick) goes off on a tangent about the temple... So after we recover from that we start teaching the restoration in brief. As we get to the part about praying to know for yourself I started to sense another tangent coming so I asked Brother P if he had ever prayed and gotten an answer. He responds "yes, but I think fasting is better...” so then came a fasting tangent.  Anyway Heap said we could come back. Next time we meet Brother Peredick we will teach him how to teach, he has a lot of missionary spirit, we found out later that earlier in the day he had taken the sisters to a different friend of his. So we've just got to coach him up a bit and it should be way good. But yeah, this story illustrates why coordination with members before a lesson is important.

We went on splits this week to show the other Elders more of the area and also to explore. I took Elder Ferguson to Inanama and Elder Yang took Elder Coloma to Kingfisher. We started off by getting into a van that went somewhere I had never been before. It went up a valley in the mountains past Dambai where Justiff lives and continued up until the end. At the end there was this way beautiful series of waterfalls and pools. A bunch of kids were there jumping off the cliffs into the pools. We stopped and took a few pictures then headed back down. At Inanam we found a massive open air market. It was huge but it was low. I had to duck to go through the whole thing, it was probably 5 feet tall on average. They had everything from chickens wrapped in newspaper to fruit and vegetables to clothes to flashlights. Anyway as we are walking we come up on this old guy sitting on the ground with a board in front of him. On the board was three coke bottle caps. I’m thinking "ok well this is interesting I’ve never seen this in real life". As we are standing a man comes up and excitedly puts down a 50 and the man puts a watermelon seed under one of the caps and mixes them up. The man easily picked the one with the seed and the old guy let out a half hearted moan and gave the other guy his 50 plus another. I’m thinking "well that's interesting, these guys suck at acting, this is one of those classic youth takes his inheritance to the city to make his fortune and loses it all to hustlers scam." Suddenly two other guys come up and drop 100. The same thing happens as before, the betters howling in excitement, the man with the cups not nearly as disappointed as he should be. I turned and we begin to walk away. Just then Ferguson grabs my shoulder and says in a very excited voice "we could make a fortune, we should go do it!”  I then proceeded to explain the situation to him, he was utterly shocked, he had been completely taken in. I laughed at him the rest of the day. Not sure what the gig was, if the guy was going drop the seed out by slight of hand or if they were going to try and rob us once our money was out, there was about 6 of them by the time we left. So yeah, just interesting experience. 

Love you guys. My life is way bitter sweet right now. I just about cry when I think about leaving Malaysia and all of the people here and not being a missionary anymore. On the other hand coming home will be nice. So mostly I try not to think about it very much.


Elder Halpin

The uppermost waterfall and pool.

The bay at sunset.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

March 15 2015 – Into the Final Stretch… - Week 7 in Sabah

This week went pretty well.

Just got my flight itinerary.....  I come home on 4/22/2015.

Dad, I got you a picture!!!

Transfers went smoothly. Elders Ferguson and Coloma are a funny companionship. I’m really impressed with Elder Ferguson. It’s strange because all of us in the house have served in the Matang area.

So we went out to Kampung Dambai to try and meet all of our potentials out there. Really, the only one that is going anywhere is Justiff’s family. We talked to them at the door and they wanted to meet again but they were just way busy. Hopefully this week we can meet them again.

We went out to Sepanggar again and met 2 really dope families. Hopefully we can meet them again this week and get them going.

One of them is Victorious and his family. They are from Indonesia, have two kids and are nominally catholic but not really active at all. We talked about what brings happiness in this life and what they want for their family. We talked a little about eternal families and some of the other blessings that we can receive from living the gospel, they were way interested and said we could come back later.

The other family was Brother Sibin and his family, but we mostly just talked with him. He started off by asking what we needed to do to be saved, so we talked about the gospel, the five steps, faith, repentance, baptism, the Holh Ghost, enduring to the end. We then tied it into the restoration, talking about how it’s important to be baptized by one with the proper authority. He was intrigued and said we could come back later also.

2 of our investigators came back this week! Cherilyn and Tan, They are dope. They are Chinese, from Johor Bahru in West Malaysia. They are students here at UMS, Cherilyn is studying Forestry and Tan Physics, both are way smart. They started learning in November and just came back from break (they’re so dope they learned from the missionaries in Johor Bahru on break). They are just about ready to be baptized, we feel like the missionaries before just didn't put enough emphasis on how important it is. We are meeting them on Tuesday, maybe we can put them on date.

Mothi is doing good. We weren’t able to meet him this week, but we talked to him at church a little bit and will meet him this week.

Yesterday was way nice. Church was honestly one of the best I have been to on my mission. In sacrament meeting Elder Ferguson gave a talk about charity. The talk was good but what hit me was the word for charity. I don’t know why I never thought about this until yesterday, I’ve been talking about charity for 2 years. So in Malay one of the translations for the word charity is kasih amal. Kasih means love. Amal means to apply. So basically charity is love applied. Charity is the pure love of Christ put simply. What did Christ do? He loved everyone perfectly and applied that in the atonement and in all of his actions. So how can we develop charity? By acting on our love for others. If we can do that then we will never fail, Moroni 7:46 says that charity never faileth. So yeah, pretty cool spiritual experience for me.

We also went to President Ling’s (the District President) house Sunday afternoon. He is pretty dope. We are trying to introduce the new Elders to everyone here so we took them, and the Kota Kinabalu 1 Elders took us there because even though they are in our branch they live in Kota Kinabalu 1 branch boundaries. So we were a convoy. Anyway there and back added up to about 40 kilometers (25ish miles)... Way tired. We disused how to overcome some problems that President Ling can see in the district in regards to missionary work.

Kota Kinabalu is way beautiful. It has been burning though this week. The day we went to Dambai and the day we went to Sepanggar there were fires in the hills around them, at night riding around it looked like some of the hills were volcanoes.

So, yeah, Elder Yang is trying with my hair.

Glad you guys had a great week. Sounds like I won’t be the only menace on the road when I get back, great job Adam!


Elder Halpin

Brother Peredick and I.

Elder Yang and I.

March 8, 2015 – Last Transfer… - Week 6 in Sabah

This week was rough. The first little bit was great but then I got sick...

Father I had every intention of taking said picture... Then I got sick. I don’t have my flight plans yet, I will forward them to you when I get them.

Monday President Mains and Elder Funk of the seventy flew into town. The Sandakan Elders came to stay at our house and we went to the beach and threw a football around. Way nice.

Tuesday was the mission tour. Elder Funk is going around to all the zones in the mission giving training's and such. It was pretty good. The whole time though I felt just way warm and feverish. Went home and rested. Took my temperature later, it was 102.5.... ugh. So I took some Panodal and slept. The next day I felt just awful, coughing, headache and my sinuses were screwed up.

Anyway at this point I am healed except that my ears are plugged up, I’m half deaf.... It’s way annoying.

Some good news though! Mothi's parents ok’d him for baptism! He said that "it’s not the time" when we talked with him on Sunday. So not really sure, he doesn’t feel ready though, so we will see.

On Thursday the Chuas invited us over for dinner so we went. Way good. Friday we went to Brother Sokupit’s home and cut their entire family’s hair. Saturday I was ready to go but then Elder Jackson fell sick and they (the zone leaders) had appointments so Elder Yang went with Elder Fowler to those appointments and I stayed back and slept....

So yeah, this week will be interesting. Waiting for transfer news. If I transfer I will not be happy.

As we waiting to hear from Matthew on his transfer news…

Mom: The beach looks the water really warm like it was in Haiti?  So you went and cut hair?  When did you learn to do that?

Elder Halpin: The water actually felt more like Hawaii, which is weird because the last time we went it was like Haiti... I didn’t cut hair, I assisted Elder Yang in cutting hair, which is to say I played with the children and talked to people while he cut peoples hair.

Elder Halpin: Ok, so I’m staying here in Kota Kinabalu with Elder Yang. Both zone leaders are leaving and Elders Ferguson and Coloma, my sons, are coming to replace them.


Elder Halpin

going from the church to lunch after mission tour. there are three more elders in the car you cant see.

The beach.

Going from the church to lunch after mission tour. 
There are three more elders in the car you cant see.