I just found out transfer news: I'm staying here with Elder Broadhead in Sibu! Elder Hobbs' companion, our district leader, who's spent his entire mission here (8 months) is moving farther into east Malaysia. Other than that, our house is unchanged.
Well, I'm a little thrown off my game by all the excitement over transfer news, and all the other people I just emailed as fast as I could. I don't have a lot to say that I didn't say last week.
It was SOO fun to face-time you all (is that a verb now?) last week!! Thanks for arranging so that you all could see and talk to me! It was, as it always is, a great boost to my morale for the week!
I realized I didn't actually give you answers to your questions very well last week. You asked, what things to people do/say here that are strange or culturally different. right?
1. People communicate in multiple languages in one sentence. Whichever language comes to mind first, or whichever language has the better word at a given time is what comes out. Also, there is a whole language of grunts and "uh" and "ahw" -ing that I had to pick up on. You're in for some miscommunications when I get home.
2. People seem to be afraid of the rain. They'll cancel indoor activities, even, if it begins to fall. "Will you come to church this Sunday?" "Sure, Elder, if it's not raining."
3. Discipline. Spoken in Chinese by the child's grandmother: "If you hit that Elder again, I'm going to smack you silly! You can't hit people!" He got smacked. That would be a hard way for me to learn the intended lesson, I think.
4. Food: It's like people will die without it... oh. But at activities/mealtimes, more pictures are taken of the food than of people or anything that would help them remember the event. I've just never seen people so absorbed by what's on their plate.
5. For the natives here, (not so much the Chinese), furniture is just uncomfortable. When things get serious in a discussion, everyone goes to the floor, if they weren't already sitting there.
You asked, "What was your biggest adventure?" Besides my plane flight into Borneo through a lightning storm, I'd say:
Being followed down a smoky alleyway at night by three guys.
or Exploring the jungle in my area.
or Hefting a Brazillian Snapping turtle by the tail.
Well, I had more to share with you but I forgot to photograph my short letter from my journal. Next week, I hope I'll have more to say.
One special point: Rosie (you remember her from my letters in JB) was baptized this week!!! She sent me an email that showed me how much her life has changed since she heard the message of the restoration, and how much joy and peace she felt at her baptismal service. I was very fortunate to be granted permission to speak with her over the phone this week and congratulate her. It was an experience I'll treasure as one of the most special of my mission. I was filled with real joy when I heard the news and was able to talk with her again!
I know our Heavenly Father is watching over us, and He knows each of us personally. He wants what is best for us, and he will lead us to it if we are willing to listen to the Holy Ghost's promptings. I'm glad Rosie has, and I hope that we can all remember and follow her example!
Tons of Love,
These guys were heavy! 30+ Kilo's. and Mean! I'm impressed Elder Broadhead lifted him up with just one hand and held him there!
I'm not sure what's actually celebrated at Gawai. I think it's alcohol. Luckily, our church party didn't have any of that there. Enjoy the pictures!
Elders' Eating Contest! This was the craziest Church party I've ever seen!
Part of the traditional celebration is shown here by the clothing and the tree. Candy or treats are tied to the tree, then one by one, adults dance around the tree and cut off treats with the sword and throw them to the children!
Elder Hobbs and Elder Broadhead take part!
I think this is an Iban holiday. It was really cool to see their traditional clothes and games!
Chinese Temples and Roti. Yum!