Monday, February 2, 2015

February 1, 2015 – Getting to Know Kota Kinabalu… - Week 1 in Sabah

So Sabah is dope.

I flew in on Wednesday through Kuala Lumpur. Because my old suitcase was falling apart I picked up a 30 Sing (Sing: what missionaries call the Singaporean dollar) suitcase from a market in Singapore. I now know why it was only 30 sing. On the way to the airport the top handle exploded off. When I got it off the conveyor belt in Kota Kinabalu the entire wheel and extendable handle was gone, completely ripped off. That’s ok. The next time I use that suitcase will be when I am going home.

My bicycle hopefully comes today. It’s alright because Kota Kinabalu has a dope bus system. You can pretty much get anywhere for 1 ringgit. A lot of driver’s customize their busses with large speakers and paint and stickers and the like. We have been trading off bussing and biking with the other Kota Kinabalu 2 Elders.

Anyway so I am in Kota Kinabalu 2. There are 2 branches in Kota Kinabalu. It has been open for a long time and there are a lot of really strong members. Sabah is different from Sarawak. There are a lot of foreign peoples here, a LOT of Filipinos and Indonesians. Some are Muslim some are Christian. Some are legal some are not. Altogether
Sabah is 90% Islam. There are also several tribes that are native to Sabah that are mostly Christian, the Kadazans/Dusuns, the Rungus and the Sungai are several of them. The Muslims that are native to Sabah are Melayu and also a tribe called Bajau.

Anyway Kota Kinabalu is on the ocean, it’s basically just BEAUTIFUL. There are Kampungs everywhere, some in the jungle others on lakes and rivers or on the ocean. Kota Kinabalu 2 is the northern half of Kota Kinabalu. We live in or rather on top of, the biggest shopping mall in Borneo. There are hills surrounding most of Kota Kinabalu, they are way pretty. If the day is clear you can see Mount Kinabalu poking over the hills from our apartment.

Church was way good. About 45 people came. It’s been way good to speak Malay again. They use a different slang and vocabulary here, so I’ve been learning that.

Elder Yang, my companion, is from San Francisco California. His family emigrated from Thailand when he was 2 ish. They are Hmong.  He is way dope, he cuts hair, worked in a high end barber shop before, cut a lot of famous people’s hair. He has been out a year, but his Malay is WAY good. He speaks basically 8 languages, English, Malay, Hmong, Bugis (a Muslim tribe here), Tatar (a tribe from Indonesia), Iban, Tagalog and Thai. So yeah, he’s a boss. I think it would be cool to speak a bunch of languages, maybe I will make a life goal.

The work here has historically been slow but were pretty confident we can get it going. Right now we have 2 investigators, Mothi and his sister Karen. They are Dusun. Mothi is 18 and Karen is 16. They would already be baptized but there parents won’t allow it right now. Hopefully when mothi gets his results from school in March his parents will allow him to be baptized.

We have been contacting and exploring and right now. In one massive water Kampung we found about 7 potential families we’ve talked to, 2 or 3 of which are way solid. We also discovered a HUGE Kampung in the jungle that, on first look Sunday night, appears to be almost all Christian! So hopefully we can go tomorrow or Wednesday and start contacting there. So yeah.

We have been able to meet with a lot of the key members and a few less active families. The branch president is President Sebastian. He is way cool. We have also met with his younger brother Adrian and his wife Alana.  Adrian came back from his mission in Utah when I was in Kuching. He came to visit a friend but met Alana and he proposed 1 week later. That’s the fastest I think I ever heard of people meeting and then getting engaged. We also met with the Chua family, way strong. Also a bunch of others.

Today was way good, mostly. So a member, David, his parents own this sort of resort/diving place something such.  I don’t know how to explain it. Anyway, there are lot of islands off of Kota Kinabalu and so we went and hung out on one of them, way dope. Anyway, there were these huge fishes in the water by the dive platform. I wanted to take a picture of them and I realized that my camera was waterproof and I had never tested it..... Anyway, it took the pictures just fine. Later though I pulled it out to take a picture and it wouldn’t turn on :0........ Aduh... So it’s now in a bowl of rice. I will pull it out and maybe try again tomorrow, but it might be the end....

But yeah, other than that everything’s been good.


Elder Halpin

P.S. The computer is being janky and won’t let me upload pictures....

Sunday, February 1, 2015

January 25, 2015 – I Let Go and Let God… - Week 6 in Singapore

So this week was good.

We are currently waiting for transfer news.

Dad:  You mentioned your have a smartphone in Singapore – how come you have one of those?

Elder Halpin: We have smart phones in Singapore for a couple reasons. 1. Because everyone uses Whatsapp, they don’t text. 2. It’s way nice to have the gospel library app also. 3. You cannot get brick phones here.

Our investigators are doing well.

But, Trishalyn dropped us....

None of them were able to come to church this week, but they have been praying and reading. We are meeting with Celynne later today at 3. Should be good. She is progressing well, if things go well then maybe we can put her on date later. We are currently trying to help her gain a testimony of Jesus Christ. She is basically agnostic right now.

Doris is coming along as well. She is starting to actually pray and read, and is praying to know if god exists.

Dad:  Pretty awesome getting investigators walking from the intersection…  Was this your idea or your companions?

Elder Halpin: Contacting people at intersections was a combined effort idea.

On Friday I went on splits with Elder Egbert in his area. In the afternoon we went to a food bank and unloaded a bunch of vegetables from a truck and also chopped up a ton of hotdogs. I went into their giant freezer. It was cold....

On Wednesday we went to the YWCA and helped sort and organize stuff to give to poor people.

So yeah. Still waiting on transfer news....

Also if I didn't say last week, Kenneth, from Sibu Jaya, got baptized!

Yesterday we picked up Presly, a member from Johor Bahru, from the border and took him to the chapel so he could become Elder Ngerantar. He left for his mission in Toronto this morning.

Transfers have come in - So, I’m gone. I’m going to Sabah (the northern state in East Malaysia).  To the City of Kota Kinabalu, the promised land!!!! I’ll be in the 2nd branch with Elder Yang. We are whitewashing again. It’s a biking area, so my bike will be shipped form Sibu Jaya. Should be way dope. Sabah has Malay that is clear, fast and grammatically proper. Hopefully I will finish my mission there. This is the area that Elder Blackwelder started in and he storied me with how cool it was. I’m way syked!

I didn’t think I would ever say this but I will miss Singapore. When I arrived I was pretty frustrated, but after a week and a half of fighting myself, I let go and let God make what he wanted me to be. I’ve learned and grown so much spiritually in the last 6 weeks! Elder Wright and I have taken the area from nothing to 3 progressing investigators in 6 weeks notwithstanding extreme limitations on how we could work.

I know why God sent me to woodlands.


Elder Halpin


When we walk around we find random stuff. 
This is a hat left at a bus stop.

Ginormous woks at the helping hands place.