Monday, January 27, 2014

January 26, 2014 – Busy in Samarahan - Week 2 in Kuching

This week was pretty good. So first off just sort of a rundown of the area.

Kota Samarahan is basically the equivalent of Cheney - lot of college students because of UNIMAS and UITM but also a lot of normal people. Similar size too I’d say as well. test

The branch meets in a shop lot chapel like the one in Matang. The Branch President, (president David) is pretty cool, he runs a car rental company. His brother Brother Jeffrey helps with missionary work a lot.

Elder Poppleton is from Utah, like I said before he’s been out 3 months. He is pretty funny.

The work here is going pretty good. We have 3 investigators right now.

Andrew and his sister Rini are both about 23-25. They live with the rest of their family which is a one minute walk from our door - makes visiting them really easy. We have met them about 4 times. Andrew is making really good progress!!!!!!!! He has almost completed 1st Nephi AND is praying regularly. Next lesson we are going over the Word of Wisdom. We already know that he smokes. He smokes one after every lesson so it’ll be pretty interesting. This is the 2nd time I have taught the Word of Wisdom.

Charlie is our other investigator. He is an old man that lives in a house in the middle of a big field in the middle of the jungle. He is pretty slow to learn but enjoys it. He is also learning from the Jehovah Witness’ right now so we will see how that goes... He is good though and he should be coming to church next week.

We also are teaching a couple recent converts, Brother Kelvin and Sister Karen and Brother Niga. Both were baptized last year and both are doing well.

We have a lot of less active members we are working with too. The Beliang family is one such. There are about 7 of them plus Ma and Pa. Every time you go over you meet different ones. One of Brother Beliang’s sons Raymond (he’s 20) is the only active one in the family. Yesterday when we were in Brother Jeff’s car with him, he informed us that he was going to start his mission paperwork!!!! Super excited for him!!! Anyway, the whole family is starting to make progress. Brother Beliang came to church yesterday for ALL 3 HOURS for the first time in years!!!!!! There have been a lot of things lining up to bring them back, and it’s really cool to see the Lord’s hand in it.

Some pictures I think:
President David and Brother Jeff
(Brother Jeff is Driving).

Elder Poppleton, Raymond and Dylan,
the Branch President’s son.
I’m sitting in the only corner you don’t see.

Sorry for the lack of quality pictures I’ll work on getting some this week.


Elder Halpin

Love you guys so much!

January 19, 2014 – Crazy Week, Back to Kuching - Week 1 in Kuching

So, this week was pretty good.

Elder Coloma, as you know, was finished with his training, and so he started training in Ipoh.

So Mom, the Kampung Matang was the furthest area we ever went in Matang. Kota Samarahan is the thing you saw. The branch goes up to the river in between it and Kuching proper.

After the craziness of transfers and the sadness of saying goodbye to everyone I hopped on a bus to Pulau Penang and then on a plane direct to Kuching.

So one of the cool things about this mission is that every area is different. Not one is the same as another, even in the same city. Samarahan is WAY different than Matang. Anyway we have a few investigators and also some less actives we are working on.

We also have Brother Jeff. He is the Branch President’s brother and helps with the work quite a bit. So we are waiting for my bicycle to arrive here from Ipoh so we are reduced to member rides and walking. We have done a fair amount of both over the last few days and actually accomplished quite a bit.

Elder Poppleton, or Elder Pop as he is known, is pretty cool. He’s from Utah and is 19. Anyway, short email this week, super bad internet and laggy computers.

Mom: I assume that you are not hanging around the computer but just in case.....   You said samarahan is way different than your other Kuching area.  In what way?   

Elder Halpin: Still here, for a couple minutes. Look at google earth. The stuff above the river in Kuching is Matang.  Matang was more built up. Also it was mostly a Muslim area. This area is much more jungley and spreadout. It just has a different feel I guess.  Also only one set of elders so we work with all the members in the branch.
Also forgot my adapter so no pictures......


Elder Halpin

Sunday, January 19, 2014

January 12, 2014 – Life is Good, Transfers: back to Kuching - Week 6 in Ipoh

First off we are currently waiting for transfers. Maybe Sisters will come and we will have to split Ipoh three ways. Maybe Elder Coloma leaves.  Maybe I leave? I don’t want to but I feel like I might based on comments and rumors I’ve heard.

Things have been going really good. Our investigators are almost all progressing. Angel’s husband, KC, finally sat in on a lesson. The trick was to get them out of their house to the Church. Anyway we watched the restoration video and then talked about it and the plan of salvation a little. KC was pretty interested and they said that they would read together every day!!

We got to meet the 2nd Myanmar family yesterday. It was an interesting lesson. The father was there for the first time. He was very skeptical but we got them to commit to read together. Achung and Tinting are very interested and they explained a lot of things to Akam (the father) in Chin. Next lesson we will probably try to put them on date. They are a very fun family to teach. At the end of the lesson Brother Akam said (literally translated) "so, I must read it" referring to the Book Of Mormon (super exited)! The other Myanmar family was in Kuala Lumpur this week so we could not meet with them.

Xavier is doing good. If you remember the only thing holding him back is that he now has school on Sunday 11:30-1:00. This week his father gets back from “I’m not sure where” and will be able to take him to school instead of his friends. So he will be able to come to the first 30 minutes of Sacrament meeting anyway. We also talked to him to see if maybe he could switch class times or something. He has a strong testimony and has a desire to be baptized so I’m not worried about him. We just have to find some way to get him to church.

I don’t remember if I told you about Raj last week. He is an old Indian man living in a nursing home that one of our members works at. He is very smart, just a little slow. He has a sincere desire to learn and said on Saturday night that he wants to be baptized once he understands everything a little better. He said "no man in his right mind wouldn’t want to be baptized." It was a very big shock to us since we thought that he would be very slow. We will be visiting him more often now to read with him and such.

We met with one of the many pastors that we met at the Christmas party on Saturday too. His name was Bother Gabriel. He used to be Anglican but started his own church recently. It was kind of a weird meeting, he was trying to convert us pretty hard. Anyway, he said that he would read the Book Of Mormon and that he would come to church this coming week, (his church services are held in the evenings).

We met with Ken again this week. He is solid. The only reasons he isn’t baptized yet is because he is worried about his family and school situation. He doesn’t think he has enough time to go to church and finish his assignments. Also his parents just got divorced and he worried about that as well. God doesn't give us trials we can’t overcome nor commandments we can’t keep. We invited him to pray and ask if he should be baptized now or wait. The Holy Ghost could help him so much in school and with his family problems, I hope that he recognizes that.

Sounds like you guys are having a lot of fun at home. Micaela, I told you geology would be fun! Sounds like Hawaii was fun. Too bad you didn’t get to try durian! Gladys and Bright it’s glad to hear you are doing all right. Dad is reading Les Misrebles????

Life is good ... Still waiting for transfers... Ugh, they are late... I’ll send some pictures.

Mom:  Any news on transfers?  Also....just reread your excited for your investigators!  And a will Brother Akam (sp) (the Myanmar dad) read the Book Of Mormon if he only understands Chin?  Awesome that he committed to doing that...

Elder Halpin:  His Son and Daughter (Achung and Tinting) will read with him. Transfers just came in. I’m going to Kuching again, this time in the Kota Samarahan Branch (opposite corner of Kuching). My new companion will be Elder Poppleton, he’s been out 3 months.


Elder Halpin

Here are some pictures.

Me, and from left to right, Brother Cristopher (really good member missionary), President Yap (District President, awesome guy) Sister Patricia (aweome recent convert).

Xavier and me
Sister Loh (family history guru and really good missionary) and Joshua (Sister Patricia's Son, really good artist) and me.

Me and Kit (Sister Chris' Son, epic at badminton, really just toys with everone else, going on mission to Hong kong end of march)
Dylan (only member in his family, really good at tracting, hopefully he will be turning in his mission papers soon)
Jun (Sister Chris' other Son, going on mission to San Jose at the same time)
Sister Chris (epicest member ever) and Sandra (Sister Chris' niece, going to Australia soon to work).

Sunday, January 12, 2014

January 5, 2014 – Another Good Week - Week 5 in Ipoh

Apa Khabar?

Life is good we made some really good progress this week. I really hope I don’t get transferred next week, things are really picking up.

We met Angel on Wednesday and put her on date for the 1st of March. The lesson was really good and the spirit was pretty strong.

We were finally able to meet Xavier again yesterday, so basically his Mom won’t really come back. She will come home for a few days and then go back. He wants to be baptized and understands everything but he has classes or maybe a tutor every Sunday. We will have to talk to his Mom when she comes to see if that can be changed otherwise we have a conundrum. He prays and reads every day and is really solid, we just have to get him to church.

We have several new investigators this week as well. We met this guy who’s name is Ken, he is a friend of Kits. He was being taught last year and was ready to be baptized but his parents said not until he was 18. He is 18 now and back from the university on break. He isn’t sure now about what to do because his family is still against it, we will see what happens.

Mala is a longtime friend of Sister Chris. She is Indian and Hindu but not really practicing. She is a tutor and speaks very good English, (better than mine). She was taught before and has had many spiritual confirmations that the Church is true. Before, her family used to pressure her not to learn, but now they don’t really care. We had a lesson with her where we just went over the restoration again. The spirit was very powerful and she accepted a baptismal date of March 8th.

So yeah, this week was very good. On Friday we went to Kuala Lumpur again for New Missionary Training (NMT) because Elder Coloma was never informed to go the one he was supposed to go to. Anyway this was the 3rd I have attended, and actually probably the best. We came back that night. While waiting for our ride we met an Indian man who looked like Spock with dark skin. He was literally a mad scientist but wants to meet again to discuss our message.

On Saturday evening Sister Letchemy invited us to a Tamil Christian dinner thing. Anyway it was like 4 or 5 churches that combined together for a worship thing. It was all in Tamil and very different. Anyway, over dinner we talked to several of the pastors that were there. Some were very interesting in their doctrines and beliefs. Anyway, one preliminarily invited us to come preach at his church on the 26th of this month. So we will see how that goes. I don’t know if he realizes that if we preach we preach our doctrines and such... Maybe some people will be interested. Who knows, maybe the whole congregation will mass convert, haha.

We committed Awan of Myanmar family 1 to live the Word of Wisdom on Sunday, first time I’ve ever done that. It’s been rough with them because the Church has no materials in Chin and only the Book of Mormon in Burmese (which we still don’t have). Anyway, things are good with them.

We are going to Singapore tommorrow for Zone Conference/Mission Tour. Basically Elder Wilson of the Asia Area Seventy will be coming. After that, on Friday, the 10th, he and President and Sister Mains will be coming to Ipoh because it is the Family history hub of Malaysia. Anyway that means that we have to go home after this and clean a LOT. Sister Mains is notoriously picky about apartment cleanliness and our apartment wasn’t clean when I arrived and it hasn’t been clean since then.

Anyway that’s about all this time, our ride is pulling us towards the door to leave so no photos.... Next week I promise a lot. Like 3 emails worth, OK...

Elder Halpin

Also... Happy New Year!!!!!!!! The last one was pretty quick you know, maybe this one would do me a favor and move a little slower... Christian Fullmer and John Lahtinen are almost to their year marks you know...

Sunday, January 5, 2014

December 29, 2013 – Busiest Week on My Mission, thus Far - Week 4 in Ipoh

This week was very good.

The work is really picking up. This week was probably one of busiest on my mission so far and it’s looking like this week will be the same.

This week we were finally able to meet with Angel again. She is from mainland China and has a child named Cloey who is about 2 or so. We taught about the gospel of Jesus Christ and about how to gain a testimony. She already has a testimony that the Gospel is true. She is just worried about leaving behind her Buddhist traditions. We are hoping that she will decide to be baptized soon.

It seems that Xavier has disappeared off the face of the earth. He’s not answering our calls and we haven’t seen him around the condominium like we use to. Maybe he left town for a while? Not sure.

Pue Xue Ching was a referral from Brother and Sister Loke and King Loong their son. King Loong will be going on a mission at the beginning of Feburary to Anchorage Alaska. Their other son is on a mission here in Singapore. Anyway Pue Xue (poxway) is one of his friends. I guess that his sister is member and just got back from a mission somewhere and is now working in Kuala Lumpur. We met him on his lunch break at the mall where he worked. He is Buddhist by birth but doesn’t really believe anything at the moment. We taught him a little about who God and Jesus Christ are and also explained a little about the Book of Mormon and Bible. He said that he would try to read every day and pray about it, really excited for him.

Helen is a friend of Sister Loh. Sister Loh is in charge of family history work in Malaysia. She travels all around helping organize and move things along. She just got back from China where she found 20 generations of Loh family named (yes 20...). Helen is probably about 60 and is kind of depressed/sorrowful. She is Buddhist. Her husband passed away about 7 years ago and she is still very sad about that. Her aunt also passed away about 1 year ago. So yeah she said that she kind of feels lost as it were, she really doesn’t have purpose. We shared a little about the Plan of Salvation, what makes us truly happy and about God and Jesus Christ. I am so grateful to have the knowledge I have about the plan of God and the blessings it brings. I am so grateful that I have a purpose in life and that I know what can bring true happiness and joy.

David Kam is a less active guy who is about 20. His parents are Buddhist. Last week we were able to meet with them but not with David, this week was the opposite. He was taught and baptized when he was about 13-14 and has since then fallen away. At this point he says that his beliefs are "50/50" as it were. He believes in a God but doesn’t really know who he is or what not. We challenged him to read in the Book of Mormon every day and pray every day to strengthen his faith.

It’s really sad what the love of money can do to people. When we asked Sister Helen about what brings Happiness in life she answered "money." A lot of people are of the same opinion here. When we asked David about his plans he said something along the lines of "finish school, get rich and then live it up". You know the Beatles had it right when they said "money can’t buy me love" and it really can’t buy happiness either.

The Myanmar family 1 (Awan, Asong and their kids) is sort of stuck as it were. We still don’t have the Book of Mormon in Burmese and there is no translation in their race’s language, Chin. We shared the restoration video with them to help them understand Joseph Smith more.

Myanmar family 2 (not sure about all their names, Chin names are worse than Iban names in difficulty of remembrance I would say, I do know  Chung, Tinting and Amun). We finally got to meet again for the second time and it was really good. We shared about the restoration and they seemed really interested. They are Catholic currently. Chung can read Malay alright so we gave him a Book of Mormon and hopefully the family will read together.

Ha Fei is a less active guy too. He is a chef at a restaurant and is one of the funniest people I have ever met. He admits that his biggest problem is that he is a little bit lazy, but he is trying to overcome that and it’s good. He came to Church yesterday, a little late and in shorts and a t-shirt but hey, he came right? He will be good though, he is getting back into good habits like reading and praying every day.

Anyway that’s pretty much the rundown this week, Christmas was good as was talking to you guys.


Elder  Halpin

PS: I don’t have enough time to include pictures this week. All is good though. After this we are going to play laser tag and then badminton.