Sunday, September 29, 2013

September 1, 2013 – Back to Work - Week 11 in Kuching

This week was half and half. So first off our week didn’t really start until Wednesday because of all the goings on. But anyway we continue to teach less actives and recent converts. Thursday we taught Anaias who was baptized by Elder Trotter right before he left. She is really awesome, we have already finished the recent convert lessons and now since she said she might go on a mission she is teaching us all the lessons. We continue to teach Brother Jini too.
On Thursday we had dinner with one of our families, brother Dungott (he is just like grandpa, no joke), Sister Dina their daughter Dorina and Alexsius who is a returned missionary boarding with them until he goes back to Sabah. We learned how to make rice "holders." You put uncooked rice into them and put them in a bucket of warm water and the rice will slowly expand and fill the cavity overnight taking on the flavor of the leaves.

On Friday we went on splits with the Zone Leaders. I stayed in Matang with Elder Madsen. We visited several families and also with Stephenie our investigator that you are referring to. She wasn’t progressing for a while but it was because the family had to go back to kompung. Now she is back on date for Nov 9. But ya. Sister Mihi, our investigators mother’s husband works somewhere in the jungle doing something. Anyway he came in contact with some orang asli (original people, people who still live like they lived a couple hundred years ago) and they gave him a baby monkey whose mother had died. So ya they have a pet baby monkey. They said they will return it to kompung when it gets big.
On Saturday we went to brother Dungott’s Palm Oil farm. Lots of fun. Basically one person cuts the palm oil kernel out of the tree with a 30 foot long scythe and the other person uses a 3 foot long spike to impale it and haul it to his lorry through the swamp. We did it for like 7 hours... I saw three snakes. It is much like bucking hay. Just as we were driving down the road from the farm the lorry slid into a ditch of sorts. Took us like 1 hour to get it unstuck. Anyway Elder Berger had never done anything quite like it and was completely exhausted.

Sunday was a normal Sunday.
Nice Adam on your accomplishment of tree cutting.

The Zone Leaders are going to Singapore next week for MLC and will pick up my package then.
About Malaysian names.
They have no surnames. Their names go something like this "Robert anak John" (Robert the child of John)  and then Robert’s children would be "anak Robert" therefore one family can have three "last names" the fathers, the mothers and the children’s.

Iban vs. Malay.
Iban is the tribal language used by the Ibans, who are most of the people we work with. The thing that is tough is that it is only used by Ibans so anyone else can’t really understand. Therefore the missionaries learn Malay so they can speak to everyone. The thing is tough is that most Ibans, especially the less educated ones, compur Iban into their speech like crazy, making it hard to understand. Some of it is very similar and many missionaries who spend enough time with them learn to speak it pretty fluently. For instance in Malay the word "jalan" means road, way, path or movement of yourself or others. In Iban the word is "jalai" very similar but not quite the same so it can easily throw you if you’re not careful.
They are working on an Iban translation of the Kitab Mormon so that will be good, and I soon will have a name tag in Iban.

Thanks, love Elder Halpin

Me with the "Rice Holder"

This is a "real" baby monkey!

The Dungott Family!

Cutting down the palm oil kernel!

Hucking the palm oil kernel into the truck.


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