Elder Matthew Halpin here.
I'm serving a Mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
I've been assigned to labor in the Singapore Mission.
I'm currently assigned to the Kota Kinabalu 2 Branch in Sabah, East Malaysia on the Island of Borneo.
My Family is updating this Blog for me.
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
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
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
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
I’ll send some letters, also thank you Sister Ward for the encouragement
and the advice, it’s much appreciated.