Wednesday, October 2, 2013

September 29, 2013 – To Plan or Not to Plan … - Week 15 in Kuching

So first off to answer everyone’s questions, and also to ask a few of my own.

First off when did Adam get the first 8 stings?

We were not able to visit Bro. Tuhah again this week, we could not get a hold of him. We’ll try again this coming week.

There is actually a baptismal font in the top floor of our building. I’ve never seen it and also don’t know if it works. Most baptisms are done in the KDC (Kuching District Center, the nicest building in Malaysia).

Do people get sick living in swamps here? No, not really. Maybe white people would but that is where Ibans and many other races traditionally lived. KG. Samariang and also KG. Kudei are both in swamps/over water. Additionally the Malaysian government does a decent enough job fighting malaria that it’s not really a threat here. The only disease that is a problem is dengue fever (mosquito spread virus that’s pretty nasty, I have heard of 2 or 3 missionaries that have gotten it).

Nice work Micaela! Also.... I forgot to tell you to take 1st aid from Snyder.....(slinks off in shame for forgetting such an important thing to tell you).... Saya mintah maaf. (I ask for forgiveness)

Adam, good work chain sawing. Also, nice security baton.

Secondly, Father, google translate is a cannot. It uses Indonesian words a lot and also butchers the grammar and meaning. However, I was able to decipher some of the meaning and then reverse google translate it to get the gist.

It sounds like you are progressing with your knees. Although you can’t quite straighten them yet it sounds like they are much better than they were before. Keep working at it I know you’ll be able to eventually.

Also I did pick up the package when I went to Singapore. The Gatorade and chocolate is great as is the assurance that I will not have to buy the crappy melt in your armpit deodorant they sell here when mine runs out.

If I understood it correctly you want to know if I want another package, betulkah? (correct?)

Well yes of course, naturally I would love a package. I will start thinking about what I need/want and send you a list next Monday. The next time I go into Singapore will most likely be towards the end of November/beginning of December.

Now for a rundown of the week.

The Tuesday turned out to be a waste...

The last three days were very productive.

Wednesday taught me a very valuable lesson.

Aunt Heather you asked for language bloopers, here it is:

First off on Friday we determined to go tracting and then visit Sister Gulong. I’ll tell you about the tracting later. Our visit with Sister Gulong went well, she gave us dinner too. When it was about time to go I had a piece of garbage I wanted to throw away so I asked if she had a place to throw it away. She responded sort of puzzled like. I asked again and she went outside and a came back with 2 large papayas. I’m sitting here thinking, "well these are nice but I just want to throw away my garbage"... I asked again and she goes over to this humongous bunch of bananas sitting in the middle of the living room and cuts us off 2 or 3 bunches... Once again I’m like "hey, do you have a place where I could throw this away?" and then I realized my mistake...

Buah means "fruit". Buang means "to throw". I had mixed them up and had been asking for fruit the whole time.....

That’s ok though. Next time.

The rest of the week was a mixed bag. I did learn 2 important lessons that will guide the rest of my time in Matang and also Malaysia.

Wednesday there was a Branch activity-that was planned on Sunday, bad idea all around. They gave us missionaries the job of telling people.... We did but there’s only so much you can do with 2 days. Secondly, we had no idea where the place we were going was. We arranged for a ride in the morning with a member and since our day was half taken anyway we decided to do weekly planning on Wednesday instead of Thursday thus making better use of our time. Basically our ride fell through after being juggled around the few members with cars and since we had no idea where it was we couldn’t get there... Day gone...

First lesson learned. Proper planning does not exist in Malaysia.

The first part of the day was good however. We called a whole ton of less actives and setup to go to KG. Kudei on Thursday and Siol Kandis on Saturday. Thursday went well. Friday was ok, the tracting was fruitless... Saturday was almost a disaster. The first member we went to see was Sister Munah... The best member ever. I think I explained before that she’s basically an ancient Indonesian lady. She being the only active member in the Siol Kandis and comes with us to all the less active houses. She likes to sing so we sang some hymns before we left her house to walk around. She has a very strong testimony about Christ and in the middle of how great thou art she broke down crying. The spirit was quite strong. anyway we tersed to the first less actives house that visit went well, however the people didn’t remember that we had called them on Wednesday. The second visit was terrible. Basically the family is less active and the father has returned to his old habits of drinking and smoking. When we got to the house he had 4 or so friends over and they were all drinking arak (Iban homemade alcohol). At first they were going to have us go upstairs and visit with the kids but then he instead had us stay downstairs. We sat there for a second while the father was apologizing for everything... Then Sister Munah stands up and tells them that unless they repent and come to church they will in her own words "kamu AKAN pergi kenereka! Which translates to "you WILL (will as in a prophecy) go to hell!". That put everyone in a tizzy... But it ended up all right, we made it out alive and gave a bunch of pamphlets to his drunk friends.

Second lesson learned. Proper planning does not exist in Malaysia. 

From now on I shall do like most and call everyone the morning of only. No more weekly planning. It’s utterly and completely useless in this country.

Anyway, sincerely,

Elder Halpin 


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