Friday, September 27, 2013

July 1, 2013 – Getting Started – Week 2 in Kuching

So, it was an awesome week.

We visited a lot of the members in our area and also went contacting a little. District Conference was this Saturday and Sunday and that combined with the bike situation meant that we didn’t get a whole lot done this week.

That’s ok though, we already have like 6 potential investigators and we will see this week if they become real investigators. We found most of them by going through an ancient list of numbers we found and calling them. We found the rest by actually talking to people.

Our area has SERIOUS problems with inactivity so most of our work this week was going to their houses and inviting them to the District Conference. Some of them came (for the first time in a year or 2 in some cases) so it was worth it.

It looks like Kuching will probably be the first stake in Malaysia, probably in the next couple years. Hope I get to see it.

So our area is pretty cool. 95% of our members and less actives live in 2 different kampungs. There are 2 different meanings for the word "kampung". When someone says they are going back to their kampung it means their home place. That could be downtown Kuala Lumpur or it could be a hut in the jungle 100 miles from anything. The 2nd meaning is basically a geographical area, divided by roads, rivers, economic situation, religion/race, etc. The 2 kampungs our members mainly live in are called kampung Kudei and Siol Kandis. They are both EXTREMELY poor. Like candle light, garbage all over, houses made of wood and sheet metal and cinder blocks. The people who live in them are mostly Ibans (probably what you were taking about mom, Iman is the Malay word for faith) with some other tribes thrown in.  Kudei is by the Sarawak River and is sort of in a swamp about 30 minutes from our house. Thus, all the walkways are elevated 2-6 feet off the ground and are extremely sketchy. I’ll send some pictures next time to illustrate (I don’t have any yet). Our Branch President, President Mobil lives here.

Siol Kandis is on the opposite side of the river about 45 minutes-1 hour away from our house. It is in a very hilly jungle type place. I do have some pictures of this one so I’ll send them to you.

Most of our area besides these places is Malay and Chinese. Malay= no contact. Contacting the Chinese is a pain. Either they completely ignore you, they pretend not to speak Malay or English (maybe they don’t, but almost all Chinese speak one the two), or they are very prideful, they say things like "can’t you see I’m Buddhist?" (if Buddhist) etc. We still contact those areas when we have time though, it’s just not our most efficient use of time so we do most of our work in the kampungs.

Bicycling is a PAIN. I haven’t seriously biked in a LONG time. It’s kind of dangerous here. There are a lot of cars and motos here. So if you want to get anywhere you basically have to act like a car. Most of the time you ride on the side of the road but if you want to cross a street you basically have to ride with the traffic and merge through the lanes across the road. No crosswalks. Can be pretty sketchy at times. It pretty much sucks. Our area is pretty flat, the thing that sucks is the climate.

Basically unless it’s raining or going to rain soon you start sweating in about 30 secs-2 minutes. I have never sweated this hard in my life. It’s like literally my whole body is just covered in water. It’s like I just came out of the shower. It’s like you step out of a pool and have rivulets of water running down your body and face. EVERY minute of EVERY bloody day. Almost every day it rains twice, usually in the early morning before we wake up and in the afternoon/evening. For instance the clouds were rolling in for rain when we went into the internet kedei (shop) it will probably rain on us before too soon. When it rains it usually rains for about 30 minutes to an hour HARD, like walking through water. Sometimes it comes back for a second shot about an hour later, usually much lighter though.

The clouds here are the most beautiful clouds I have ever seen. I’ll take some pictures and send them next p-day.

Elder Berger is from Utah, like 10 minutes from the MTC.

THE HOSE (I’ll try put it delicately, some of it’s impossible though)
I can’t believe I never told you this. In Malaysia/Singapore they don’t use toilet paper. They use a bucket and either a hand or scoop if they are poor, or a hose (sometimes the shower head) if they have money. Nice houses either have toilets or bidet (basically a toilet built into the bottom of your shower that you squat over). You use your LEFT hand to help the water if it’s sticky. When you have to go number 2 you just take off your pants and underwear and put on the communal shower sandals (or personal in the case of the missionary apartments). Believe it or not you become much cleaner using water than with toilet paper.

Personally I go either in the morning or night when I take my shower, much more convenient.

This p-day we went to the wind caves. TONS of bats. Awesome. No pictures, to dark.

Out of time dang it. I will write a letter, it should take a about a week and a half to arrive.

Elder Berger and I  
A sweet cloud formation
Kampung Siol Kandis
The inside of a durian fruit,


Elder Halpin

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