Saturday, September 28, 2013

July 14, 2013 – Tough Week… – Week 4 in Kuching

So I totally forgot my SD card reader at the house so if I said I would send a picture of something I’ll actually do it next week.

This week kind of sucked. But this coming week’s outlook is awesome!!!!

So it started out with our bikes being stolen last Monday morning...

I will be buying an Elder’s, who is going home for medical reasons, 6 month old bike. It is similar to mine except that it does not have hydraulic brakes. I’m also getting a good deal on it.

Anyway, Tuesday and Monday were bust because we had no transportation.

I forgot to tell you guys, Simi is a 67 year old single Iban lady, who is a retired nurse from a clinic.

On Friday we had our third and unfortunately probably last lesson with Simi. She was moving along really well, but had a hard time understanding our Malay because she spoke Iban mostly. anyway we got to the end of the restoration and she said that she thought that she had received an answer to her prayers but even though she said she had had an answer she said "Elders, I know that this is true and I know my church is wrong (Anglican) but I’m still going to keep going to my church because it’s what I started going to when I was a kid so there’s no need for you to come back".

Ughh. Worst moment yet ever. We are going to continue to check back with her though, and she said that if she ever changed her mind she would call us.

So ya. Our current bikes are interesting to say the least. We are riding one bike that is like 6 years old that we found in our backyard. It is a women’s bike and is girly pink. The front fork has no shocks and is slightly torqued so that the bike constantly pulls from side to side. The crankshaft is also wasted so that the front pedals and gears wobble as you pedal. The other bike is about four years old and is much better, we trade off every few kliks. 

Tomorrow we are going to help some of the people in Kudei build new houses. Basically they, a lot of them, are squatters, and someone bought the land to build a hotel. So we will help them rip down move and rebuild their current houses. It’s going to be cool I think, they basically use the same method as we use on our huts at the creek, add a floor and stilts.

As for other investigators, we have a lot of possibles, that’s our goal this week, to get in contact with all our possibles. One family is bow-die-you (not sure of the spelling, another tribe like Iban) and speaks Malay, were really hoping for that one. The other 4 families are Chinese and so since they speak Chinese and English we will pass them off to the English speaking Elders if they become real investigators.

Answers to questions and awesome stuff:

Our Branch is pretty cool, we typically have anywhere from 25-50 people every week. It’s an average Malaysian Branch size.

We meet in a church building that is one lot in a converted shop block. I’ll send a photo of a shop block such as i have.

The meetings are pretty good. The four Elders trade off teaching the gospel principles class and sometimes priesthood.

So there are these things called biawaks here. That’s pronounced bee-a-walk/wok. Basically it’s a monitor lizard. We see road kill ones sometimes, and so far I have seen 2 live ones. No picture yet, the things are too smart, the moment I stop my bike and try to get my camera they’re in the jungle. I guess if you go to Sabah, and want to, you can go hunting for them on p-day and then barbeque them afterwords and use their bones to make stuff. Their natural habitat is the jungle but they have adapted well to life in the storm gutter/sewer (you hunt the jungle ones in Sabah).

Cool stuff, more. We were on our way to Siol Kandis the other day and it was after dark, we heard death chanting and wailing coming from the local mosque. Kind of eerie (Elder Berger hated it) but I actually thought it sounded cool (it went on for like 3-4 hours). I don’t remember if I told you guys this already, but they broadcast the call to prayer here from every mosque on loudspeakers, really cool sounding actually.

Something else, the month of Ramadan started on Friday...? Anyway that means that Muslims fast during the day, so they buy all their food early and then eat it after dark and before sunrise. For us that means, awesome lunches and early dinners, but stores close way early 8-9 and open kind of late, 10-11 ish.

Also before the bikes were stolen I was actually getting to the point where I could keep up with my companion on a bike finally. That means pedaling at about as fast as Cotton Eye Joes beat in front gear 3, rear gear 5-7 (9 gear bike) on flat and slight hills. On real hills you just drop the front gear to gear 2 and call it good. I’ve never actually shifted into front gear 1.

I’ll send some letters, also thank you Sister Ward for the encouragement and the advice, it’s much appreciated.

Love you all, 

Elder Halpin



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