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.
First off dad, that is huge
progression. When I left you probably would have died had you tried that....
Adam, yep, pretty much the youth
conferences are the best. Also, nice with the tiller.
Micaela, that’s pretty cool.
David, I bet your voice is improving
a lot. Also Turbo does look cool.
Mom interesting with the whole
Katherine, I miss you too. my chess
skills have improved I think, I’ve come up with an opening, middle game and end
game that I seem to be pretty good at. I will teach it to you when I get back.
The first half of the week a lot of
the less actives we are working with were at Kampung so we couldn’t really meet
Theresa I don’t think will be going
anywhere, she really doesn’t want this and has cancelled on us twice now...
Also we found out that the "Jumats"
already moved to their longhouse. It is in Batu Kawa branch and is 20 (we
think) minutes by car from MJC where the Elders in that branch live. Any way we
are going to try and pass them to the Batu Kawa Elders after we get some more
info. However the less active member who referred them to us said that our
building is actually closer for them than going to the KDC where Batu Kawa
meets. Anyway, we will see. Apparently this longhouse has 18 doors meaning that
up to 18 families live there, probably less. Anyway if it is within a doable
distance it will be good.
The best part of this week was with
Bro Aret and his family. They left for the Manilla Philippines Temple this
morning and will be there for a week. We went to his house on Thursday and
helped them fill out family group sheets for several hours, that was a lot of
fun. I’m so excited for them.
We also have a new half active
family to work with, they moved in from Kota Sentosa branch on the opposite
side of Kuching. Basically it’s Bro Dickson and his wife Sis Remus with their 3
kids and her 2 younger brothers Jimmy and Danielson. Jimmy is 16 and Danielson
is 14. Bro Dickson and Sis Remus want to keep attending Sentosa at least for a
little while. Jimmy and Danielson are going to start coming to our branch
though, and Jimmy came on Sunday. Anyway he is super excited to able to come to
church again. Basically they were less active in Sentosa and when they moved
nobody really knew. Anyway because of the distance to the Sentosa building Jimmy
and Danielson stopped going because Kuching buses are NOT reliable and the
family only has 1 motto. Anyway the bus route from where they live to the
church is much more reliable and they will be coming from now on.
The rest of this week was pretty
normal. Not sure what all we are going to do today... We will have to figure
something out. This evening we are meeting with Christy, a recent convert, and
Pres. Mobil and his family.
So this week was my most
unproductive week on my mission ever....
So first off on Monday we had an
appointment scheduled with a potential named Madeline. It fell through that
The next day we had 2 appointments,
one with Teresa and one with the “Jumat" family. Both of them fell
We weren’t able to reschedule any of
the 3. Teresa can only meet Thursday. The "Jumats" are gone the last
half of the week working on their new longhouse and Madeline isn’t answering
So yeah. Anyway on Wednesday we went
to Singapore. We jalan jalaned it up all afternoon and then had dinner and a
family history workshop.
Thursday was Zone Conference. It was
pretty good, learned some useful things and also was spiritually uplifted.
Friday we traveled back to Kuching.
That went well until I had waited for a long time at the baggage claim and
realized they had lost my bag. Anyway, they said they thought it was on the
next flight so we went home and proceeded to unpack and plan for the coming
We then found out that our house
rent was up and so we had to call the senior couple who are in charge of that
and have them work it out. Anyway,.yea.
Saturday they finally located my bag.
and guess where it was.... Beijing China..... Yeah I know right, apa hal.
Anyway I proceeded to call them,
actually no just kidding it finally arrived in Kuching, and set up a taxi to
bring it to me. Said it would arrive around 2 in the afternoon, but it didn’t
arrive until about 5....
Ugh ugh ugh ugh ugh ugh ugh ugh ugh
But anyway, we did go visit a couple
members yesterday, Bro Dunggat and his family and Sister Munah. Both of those
visits went well.
We didn’t have any of the less
active young men come yesterday, but a couple random less actives from Siol
Kandis came, so that was good.
Anyway this morning we went to the
wind caves again. There was just 4 of us this time but it was a lot of fun,
instead of renting a van took the public bus... Slowest jankiest thing in the
world. We finally made it to Bau and found the caves. They were a lot wetter
than the first time we went, it is the rainy season.
I did hear about the storm in the
Philippines, no land break here. Malaysia is probably the most storm proof
place in the world though. The Philippines take all the storms from the pacific
ocean and Indonesia takes all the storms from the Indian ocean.
Anyway the caves were really drippy
and soggy, but we still managed to explore quite a bit, including getting up,
close and personal to the bat hoard.
The trip back was fun too, took us
forever to find a bus, but we eventually did.
Anyway we made it.
Love Elder Halpin
Some random village in the middle of the Borneo rainforest.
David, sounds like you are kuat pandai biking api! (very
good at making fire!)
it’s a very good drawing, also, your handwriting is sangat cantik (very
pretty). I miss you a lot Katherine, when I get home we will have to hangout. Good
luck with your school, the kids here are almost to their "summer
break" if you could call it that. Anyway just be grateful you don’t have
to wear a uniform to school.
This week was good.
On Monday we jalan jalaned it up at waterfront, went to a bunch
of museums and such. Also our sink exploded. Anyway, a new pipe and some
tinkering and we have jury rigged a new pipe to the faucet.
Tuesday I woke up feeling well, we rode to the KDC for
district meeting. Half way through district meeting I started to feel off. By
the time we were at lunch I was genuinely ill. I then realized that it was my
old friend the 24 hour stomach flu. Anyway, it turns out that either the Malaysian
form of the virus is weak or my immune system is strong because I felt better by
that evening and never threw up. Anyway, first time getting sick in Malaysia!
Wednesday I woke up and just felt off, we stayed close to
the house and contacted, and also went to dinner at Brother Ulat and Sister
Jantas house, it was good. Typical stuff, curry and rice, some sort of noodles,
some sort of vegetables / fruit and also some fish.
Thursday we went to KG. Kudei and met with a bunch of
people. We first met with Bro Sirai and his wife Sis Rimbor. They are a great
family, still trying to figure out why they don’t come to church and how we can
help. Anyway, in preach my gospel it says to ask everyone for referrals. The
whole time we’ve been doing that, and on Thursday brother Sirai took us to
visit a family that lives close to them in the kampung. Their names are Jumat,
his wife Leah and somebody’s Mother Sudang. They have 2 kids, Justin and Giri. They
seemed somewhat interested and we have another appointment tomorrow. The
problem is that they live in kampung Kudei, and if their
"fellowshipper" is less active why should they come to church? Therefore
they are like Theresa in that that they live or die by those around them, to a
certain extent anyway,however, if they are truly converted they will be fine.
We also met with Theresa and her family, they are doing alright.
Friday was just another day, nothing special.
Saturday we met with President Mobil’s family. They are so
Anyway, yesterday we went to Bro Spincer and Sis Pauline’s
house and after that to another member’s house. Both made us dinner and I pretty
much died from over eating. According to Elder Tyler that’s what Christmas is
like. You pretty much are invited to everyone’s houses and you are force fed
2-3 plates of food at everyone’s. I guess you just throw up every 3rd house....
Looking forward to that....
Anyway... my shirts are doing better. It’s taking a few
washings but they are noticeably whiter than they were last week. Anyway, I
think I will try the vanish stuff again, maybe this time, since it’s being
backed up with a real washing, it will actually work...
Thanks for the photos guys, also the recipes Mom!They’re
all great. Christmas music is an anytime CAN. There is no Christmas season here,
as it were, so you just kind of up and listen to it. Actually last night at the
2nd house they had Christmas karaoke going, heaps and heaps of Christmas songs
in Malay, it was pretty great.
We go to Singapore this week for visa runs and Zone Conference
should be fun.
Today all the Missionaries were invited to the District President’s
open house, he is Tamil and the open house is for Deepavali, the celebration of
lights. Should be fun.
Mom and Matthew exchanged an email and it is added below:
thought the pictures of us at the Temple with Rosemitha would be great for you
to share. Are members there able to get to a temple? Where is the nearest temple?
Elder Halpin: The Temple: The people here
go to the Manila Philippines Temple. Brother Arets family will be going on the
18th of this month. Basically they prepare themselves and their families and
attend the Temple preparation classes and save a certain percentage of their
income, and the church will basically pay for them to go, it’s pretty great.
This week has been pretty good. We contacted a ton of people
and will hopefully have some new investigators by the end of the week.
We have started to teach Theresa again. We will have to see how
far it goes, she is married to a less active member and yeah, we will see.
On Friday something both wonderful and terrible happened. We
were waiting in our house to go to an appointment and the other Matang Elders
came over to get some supplies. One of them pointed out that Elder Ferguson’s
shirt was basically yellow. We both agreed and Elder Ferguson lamented the fact
that no matter how hard he scrubbed and no matter how much soap he put in the
wash the sweat stains wouldn’t come out. Elder Tyler then asked
what kind of soap we used. I cheerfully responded with full confidence
"Softlan." He then asked a
question that will forever haunt my mind: "is it... FABRIC SOFTENER?"
I responded with a muttered, "never thought of that".... "maybe
that’s why my clothes always stink".... We quickly walked to the back and
confirmed my fears. For the past 4 months I have been washing my clothes with
fabric softener. Yes you heard that right. For the past 4 months I might as
well have been just soaking my clothes in a bucket of water....
Anyway it’s all Elder Berger’s fault. He’s the one that
picked it and I never questioned his decision. So yeah on Friday night I washed
all my clothes and hung them up to dry. The next morning when I could put on
clean clothes for the first time in 4 months was quite possibly the most
glorious feeling ever...
Anyway, holding out on bleaching things seeing as I haven't
actually used SOAP yet...
Anyway this week people were all in Kampung or super busy, we didn’t
get a whole lot of appointments in. We did meet with Sister Munah. The old one
in Siol Kandis that used to be Muslim. Well anyway, last week she was in Kampung
and was cutting a ring around the bark of a tree, not exactly sure why and some
sort of juice or sap from the tree got in her eyes. Long story short she is
partially blind now. It’s super sad because she can’t read now. She loves to
sing the hymns but can’t read them now. At one point some missionary recorded
all the hymns in Malay and so I am trying to track down someone who has them so
that I can burn them onto some discs for her.
We also had a district activity all day Saturday. In the
morning was a Young Men’s activity, so we went to Kampung Kudei and got
together a bunch of less active youth to go. They had a lot of fun and the next
day one of them was at Church. While I feel that a lot of the adult less
actives are somewhat hopeless, I feel that if a good Young Men’s program were
to be built that a lot of them would stay active and eventually go on missions.
So yeah, new project.
Love Elder Halpin
Here are some pictures
Sister Gulang’s house.
You will notice that the bottom is concrete and the top is wood.
That is because it is an old Meleyu house and 30-100 years ago the bottom wouldn’t have existed.
It would have just been the top half on 6-8 foot tall stilts.
You’ll notice the door going to nowhere on the top level, that is the original door.
Me attempting to Oxybleach 2 shirts overnight.
worked better if had had real soap the next day!!!