Monday, January 12, 2015

January 4, 2015 – Singapore is Different, but… - Week 3 in Singapore

So first off the Singapore post (post office) is the worst. They close at 5 pm and for like the whole week of Christmas. The stamp machine dispensers only take a card and they don’t like the church card or my personal one. Therefore I have not been able to mail Mom’s letter. I will try again after I finish emailing.

Otherwise I am learning to live in Singapore. The MRT or train / subway still just gives me headaches. I am now a master at using busses. I can get anywhere. Thank goodness for map books.

So the church will pay up until I get to wherever I’m going, so they would only pay until Hawaii. Also they asked me where I wanted to fly to today, on the 23rd. So I suppose I will tell them Spokane? I have a smart phone here in Singapore, I will check my email tomorrow, you tell me where I should ask them to fly me and I will tell them later this week. I am not going to extend I think.

When I get home? I will probably sleep a while. Then probably go into mission withdrawals. They are probably similar to the Sarawak withdrawals I am going through now.

The work is different in every aspect. The less actives are typically less active because they want to be less active, not because they lack encouragement or fellowship or have broken the commandments, as was the case in Malaysia. As a result, so far we have 2 less active family's to work with. We have knocked on the door of almost every less active member in our area.

The members are way cool and supportive, but they, like everyone else in this place, are busy, like way busy. Talking to other missionaries and from my experiences so far it seems that you visit members once every 2 weeks to 2 months depending instead of the once or even twice every week in Sarawak.

So anyway we passed the less active ex-Muslim girl to the Sister Missionaries. A little too friendly if you get my meaning.

The Buddhist was good. Her name is Cassandra. She is Chinese/Filipino. Just starting to go to university. We met at a library and taught her the Restoration. It went well, committed her to read the Book of Mormon and pray.

Today because people so happened to be not busy we met with Trishalin, a potential investigator we met while on the bus to find a less active family (the less active family asked us to remove their records :(. Anyway, she is Filipino, just finished secondary school (highschool) and is Baptist. The lesson went well.

Teaching is so much different here. The people are literate, they understand what they read and aren’t afraid to explain or state their opinions. So yeah. I don’t really know what I’m doing, glad the spirits on my side or I’d be in trouble.

Later today we might be meeting with 2 more potential investigators, at 4 and 6 respectively.

Cool things that happened this week. We had absolutely nothing to do on Saturday. So just walked out the door to see where my feet took me. I felt like skipping the bus and walking into some HDB flats (the government owned flats that cover the entire landscape of my area). Anyway we saw a Chinese man with a baby. Decided to be bold. Walked up to him and was like "hello, we are representatives of Jesus Christ here to teach people about him and his teachings. Would you be interested in hearing our message?" He was like "yes.” Wait what? So, we got his number, hopefully we can visit him this week.

Also met this Muslim lady from Indonesia who said we can meet maybe this Saturday. Pretty cool. She didn’t believe I could speak Bahasa until I did.

Yesterday was interesting. So for the first time on my mission I was late to church. Really just rubbish. Anyway, we went out in the evening. Decided to get on the bus to the checkpoint on the way to JB in Malaysia. We wanted to get off at the checkpoint and maybe walk around, slowly meander back towards the city. No can do. Once the bus enters the checkpoint you are committed, no turning back. So of course, not having our passports the guards told us to go wait in this corner. Eventually we were escorted up into the interrogation office. They took us back into separate interrogation rooms and asked us a bunch of questions. My interrogators talked in Malay to each other and English to me, I guess to hide what they were saying. Didn’t work. They were talking about how stupid we were for coming to the check point. They made some immigration jokes. Talked about an incident earlier in the day when somebody tried to come in on a stolen passport. Once again said we must have been pretty dumb to just come to the border. Anyway took our thumbprints then put us back on a bus to the city.

Never again will I get on that bus....

We were able to meet with a couple members this week. Brother and Sister Soh. They are Chinese, older and are ward missionaries. They invited over several other families, the Ng family that we visited on Christmas Eve. Also the Leong family that we met my first week here. Also Brother Jimmy Tan. He is pretty old. He was the first person baptized in Singapore. Pretty cool. He was telling us about his day. Apparently back a while ago Singapore had a 2 child policy similar to china? I don’t know anyway, interesting stuff.


Anyway, so things are picking up. Life is good in Singapore.

Love you guys,

Elder Halpin

BTW, members aren’t picture crazy here so I actually don’t have any with members yet.

Don’t pee in the elevators.

The view from Brother Soh’s apartment. 
That’s the bridge to JB with the checkpoint on the far left....

HDB flats for days.

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