Sunday, February 23, 2014

February 17, 2014 – P-Day Trip Back to Matang - Week 5 in Kuching

So this week was ok.

Charlie has sort of dropped off the end of the earth, we aren’t sure if he went to Kampung or what...

Andrew is doing ok. He makes commitments but then doesn’t try very hard to keep them. For instance, on Sunday we dropped by his house on the way to church, (we live across the road from the church and he lives in between us and the church) and he said he would be there after he took a shower. He never showed up... So ya, that’s kind of the situation we are in with him. There is another guy his age that wants to help us teach so we will be taking him with us this week, his name is Anthony and he stopped smoking and drinking to join the church, we are hoping he can help Andrew.

On a positive note, Bro Raymond is almost ready to turn in his mission papers.

Also we have had some success with some of the less active families in our branch. Bro Clement and his family and also Bro Skee and his family came.

On Monday I resolved to visit the people up in Matang. On the way we stopped at several internet kedais but all were either closed or the internet was down. Anyway we were able to visit 5 families, Sister Munah (her eyes are better she can read again!). Sister Gulang, Brother Dunggat and Sister Dina, Brother Aret and Sister Linyang and President Mobil and Sister Nisi. Good times.

On the way back we stopped at our Branch President’s house (President David) for a birthday party. We had wild boar in 3 forms, fried, stewed and dried. In a while I have been told I will be treated to fermented Babi Hutan (pig, jungle)... It has been sitting in a sealed container in their kitchen for the past few times I’ve been over... 33-38 miles later I slept surprisingly unwell.

Anyway, sounds like things have been good at home, good luck to the people on the basketball team!!!!!


Elder Halpin

P.S., Sort of a cool thing I guess, a Malay/Indonesian music scene does exist. Some of it’s pretty good too. There is one such artist named Yuna. One of our members said that some of her English music was on a radio station that only plays English popular music so my question is basically addressed to Micaela, has Yuna made it to the USA?


Monday, February 10, 2014

February 9, 2014 – Attack Monkeys? - Week 4 in Kuching

This week was pretty good.

Mom: What is Mee Sedap?

Elder Halpin: To answer your question, Mee Sedap is Malaysian “Top Raman.” The difference is that it is much tastier and is a fried noodle dish vs top raman which is a soup noodle dish. You can also fry in a pan with an egg or 2 to make it "Malaysian mee sedap" or you can discard the flavoring and eat it out of the pouch raw and it is called "lazy mans mee sedap."

Mom: Had some fun at church today.  The fire alarm went off during the last talk.  We all sat there looking stupid and then the Bishop told us to go outside.  Turns out the Water's littlest one pulled the alarm!   Anyway...we have now had our first church fire drill!

Elder Halpin: Also, you’re not the only one with interesting sacrament meetings, last week a kid barfed all over the floor in ours...

Katherine: Me and Virginia can go sledding on our knees without holding on.  We can sled standing up on our seat, but it has to be a special sled to allow it to work.  The Finnoe’s have two of them so we can both go at the same time…

Elder Halpin: Katherine that’s really cool about the sleds!

The snow sounds wondrous, sledding sounds pretty sick. Here it is a nice mixture of sun, rain and more sun. Other than a dusting on Mt Kinabalu every once in while the only time it snows in Malaysia is when you smash the birdie in badminton and feathers fall to the ground.

We were able to meet with Charlie and Andrew this week.

Charlie is doing well, he is progressing but slowly. He has a hard time understanding everything in Malay so we try to use as much Iban as possible and also to really explain everything.

Andrew is doing good too. We committed him to live the word of wisdom and we are helping him quit smoking. We committed him on Saturday and since he doesn't have a phone we won’t know how he is doing until we can meet him tomorrow. He was really excited to quit and we are praying for him to have the strength to do it.

On Sunday one of our members was unable to do his talk so I learned that I would be giving it halfway through the announcements section of sacrament meeting. It went pretty well anyway. I decided to give it on the meaning of repentance and the freedom it can give us. Repentance is change wrought over a period of time, when we truly repent we change. As we truly repent our hearts change until we have no more desire to do evil but to do good (Mosiah 5:2). When we are steadfast in this change of heart we can receive all the blessings of heaven in our lives and also receive Gods greatest gifts to us in the life to come (Mosiah 5:15).

Today we went to Bako. It was fun of course. We hiked to the same beach that we hiked to last time. When we were at said beach I was wading a bit and I looked over to the beach where my backpack was. What do you think I saw??? A monkey had unzipped my backpack and was rummaging through it. He took out the two empty water bottles and laid them nicely side by side on the sand and was proceeding to try and open my water proof pouch when I realized I probably needed to stop him.... Anyway Elder Poppleton and I followed him into the jungle and found a group of probably 10 or so. We proceeded to enter a cold war of hissing and growling at each other for territory which only ended when we realized we were outnumbered and that monkeys have awfully large teeth.... Realizing that maybe we didn’t really want a fight we vacated the premise...

I forgot my adapter... pictures next week.


Elder Halpin

Sunday, February 9, 2014

February 4, 2014 – Happy Chinese New Year! - Week 3 in Kuching

We did not get an email from Matthew on Sunday February 2, 2014 as we expected.

We finally got an email from Matthew on Tuesday February 4, 2014

Elder Halpin: The reason I didn’t email until today was because there were no email kedais open until today.

We did get another email from him a few minutes later:

So, Happy Chinese New Year!!!!

This past week has been kind of weird to put it lightly. Basically, starting Thursday, the entire world shutdown. We were able to visit a few members last week but basically today the world is finally coming out of hibernation mode. Even big chain supermarkets were completely closed down. If we hadn't had a large stash of eggs, mee sedap and oatmeal we would have starved.

Something interesting you might not know, they cook the eggs and milk here until they can sit on a shelf at room temperature forever.... Probably not the best.

Anyway, Andrew is doing good as is Charlie, Andrew wasn’t able to meet that day though. We will be teaching him tonight. We haven't been able to meet Rini in a while but we are working on that.

We went to the caves on Monday. That was pretty sick. Tight spaces and crawls, towering caverns, waterfalls, cliffs, holes, skylights and such, lots of bats too.

This evening we have a bunch of lessons planned so it should be good, also a bunch of our potential investigators are available now to meet.

I have been working on using the Book of Mormon to teach better. When Elder Wilson spoke to us, he really stressed the importance of reading the Book of Mormon with our investigators and less actives,  Since then, I have been trying to do that and have seen the blessings it brings to people. When you read the Book of Mormon with the intention of teaching the people you are reading with you will be surprised how many gospel principles you can pull out of a single chapter. It kind of blows your mind. I don’t know if I’ve just been living with my eyes closed or if this is something new, but try it.

I finally have a grip on the area and all our members and can pretty much navigate it.

Sort of bad news though, this transfer has been shortened. President Mains has to go to Hong Kong for a meeting. So it has been moved up a week. We will know on Saturday the 22nd and actually move on the 24th, that Monday... I seriously hope I don’t leave, one transfer in an area is too short.

Love you all,

Elder Halpin



A little dry dock we found on the river.

Ramond (Bro Beliang’s son who is going on a mission),
Elder Poppleton and Me

Chinese New Year craziness