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.
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.
weaving a basket with her cats.
President Mobil Sister
Nisi and their family with us.
Saying goodbye to
NOTE: The pictures never made it this week.
Well maybe not. The
computer is rosak... mintah maaf...