Thursday, December 12, 2013

December 8, 2013 – New Companion and New Area – Week 1 in Ipoh

So, lots to tell. Please excuse my typing, I’m using a keyboard where the letters have been painted on with nail polish, literally.

First off, saying goodbye to everyone sucked. I miss the people on Matang so much! You don’t realize how much you love the people until you have to leave them.

That being said Ipoh is awesome so far. There is only 1 branch here, split into 2 halves, we have the east half. The members here are all either Chinese or Tamil, there is one half Karazan family (a tribe from Sabah). Typical attendance is about 50-80. Basically the biggest difference branch wise is that the branch is more mature and runs much smoother. I think I already told you but almost all the people here speak a broken Malaysianised form of English.

The members here are really great. On Thursday after flying in on a janky ready to fall out of the sky turboprop Kit and June picked me up, they are the sons of one Sister Chris. They are 18 and 19 respectively and received their mission calls the next day (1 Hong Kong and the other San Jose California). Anyway we met Sister Chris at a restaurant and we ate there. Sister Chris is famous Mission wide because of the things she does for the missionaries, I found out yesterday that every week she buys us some groceries such as real milk and cereal (just an example). Almost all the members in Ipoh have cars and they drive the Elders to probably about half of their appointments, it’s awesome twofold, first cars are much quicker and less sweaty than bicycles and second it means that there are members present to testify and help teach. They also throw tons of referrals our way.

Elder Coloma, he’s from Paris, France. English is his second language. He is pretty cool, and we’re getting along alright. He and his first trainer didn’t communicate much and so he’s not too sure about some things. He also had never touched a bike before his mission. He’s doing alright but still pretty shaky. He related to me a story from like his first week. The poor guy was trying to follow the other Elders in and out and around cars and in one particularly narrow stretch managed to break off 3 side view mirrors.....

Our apartment is in a condominium tower, we are only a 3 minute walk from the church. The apartment is truly a step up from our last house, the shower doesn’t flood; there are two usable bathrooms, and much, much more. The church here is sort of a middling church if you will. It is a standalone building, maybe it was a house at some time. It is basically the step between a shoplot and a full sized building.

Work wise it’s all right. Right now we have a few investigators, maybe 1 or 2 will be baptized soon (maybe within this transfer?). The other thing is it’s not burned over like Matang was. Basically we have half of a city about the size of Kuching. Also distance doesn’t matter because almost everyone has a car. On Saturday we tracked maybe 10 houses while waiting for an appointment and we got 1 return appointment and 1 maybe return appointment. So I’m pretty enthusiastic because there is a lot to do.

I’m placing the shipping order for my bike today.  It should get here in about 1 1/2 to 2 weeks. Until then I am using an old bike from an Elder that already went home. I also am going to order an English name tag, I’ll have three languages then. Our mission has 5 available, English, Chinese, Tamil, Malay and Iban.

This morning we hiked up a mountain (through the jungle, lots of fun). Ipoh is in a valley. on either side are jungle covered mountains. Also throughout the city HUGE chunks of rock stick up through the ground covered with jungle, like as tall as the Finnoe’s hill, maybe as big around as our property but sheer cliff most of the way around with jungle all over it. Also there are large Chinese and Hindu temples all over. In Kuching the predominate religions were Islam and Christian. It’s kind of different, here you see people all over praying to statues and such all the time, straight up idolatry.

So yeah, having a blast, Dad nice job on your talk, that’s cool that he remembered your lesson from all those years ago.

Now for the bad news.... I managed to forget my card reader in the mad rush out the door this morning at 6.... I’ll send some pictures from my last days in Kuching, but Ipoh will have to wait until next week.


Elder Halpin


Sister Gulang weaving a basket with her cats.

President Mobil Sister Nisi and their family with us.

Saying goodbye to Anaias.

NOTE: The pictures never made it this week.

Well maybe not. The computer is rosak... mintah maaf...



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