Thank you so much for the love and support! It was wonderful to open my inbox and see the huge influx of Birthday Messages and love! The pictures of Halloween looked fun as well, they don't celebrate that sadly.
Mother! Thank you so much for the birthday present! That picture album was just what I wanted. Also, you wouldn't believe how good those Butterfingers and Pixy Sticks were. Seriously.
To resolve one concern: We're guaranteed to get out mail at least once a month because that's when people will go to Singapore and back, or something like that. E-mails I get to see every week, so I have limited time. Letters are easier to read on my own time. Also, Dear Elders or Hand Written doesn't matter because I will get them the same time probably anyway.
Anyway, onto Miri. Life here is fantastic! I know a lot of people have questions about stuff, so I'll just ramble and hope they're answered.
Miri is a seriously beautiful place. The best way to describe the atmosphere is that it Singapore and Malaysia are like Western cities and neighborhoods where everyone is Asian. A lot of things are different of course, like everyone driving on the wrong side of the road, and palm trees and exotic plants everywhere (Mom, eat your heart out), but the Gospel is true everywhere! The favorite meal I had so far is Nasi Beryani or 'Brave Rice'. Also, I've been blessed a lot to be safe on the roads so far. You know about that "don't ride in darkness or heavy rain"? Forget it! If we actually did that we would never get work done. Also, we like to cross road medians.
There's also probably thousands of these little Pandai (shops) where Indians give you awesome meals for like 9 Ringet (3 U.S. dollars) We eat out a lot because biking home and cooking use a lot of our time.
A lot of members we have live in Kampung (Villages) where the Government doesn't technically own the land. That doesn't mean they're poor though. just lazy. They usually have comfortably furbished houses, 2-3 cars, and sick stereo systems (seriously everyone has huge speakers here). Whereas, people who live in Terrace houses actually care about improving themselves, but they're usually harder to convert, but once converted are solid forever.
Other stuff: We have our entire schedule moved down a half hour, so we get up at 7 instead of 6:30. The rest is in the white handbook from there. I haven't had Durian yet or any other exotic fruits, specific questions about culture, please email me!
The wonderful thing about missionary work is that it is missionary work! Though we started with no investigators, the work is already progressing! One thing that we have been mandated to do is to Pray every hour, as a companionship if possible, and place a B.O.M. every day. On my first day of tracting we had a awesome experience. The only people we're really teaching is the Panang Family, with like 6 kids that we're teaching to read, then share a spiritual message. It's great.
After one such meeting, we prayed and felt we could place our daily B.O.M. though it was 8:30. We randomly rode through the neighbourhood and the first house we stopped at the guy came out and talked to us instantly. His name was Desmond, a Catholic Taxi driver that had been to Utah before and always wondered about the Church. He easily took a B.O.M. and invited us to come back and talk about the experiences with God we've had! Sweet!
Similar Experiences have happened with a woman named Jeanie from Hong Kong and a Ex-Malaysian Commando named Francis. I'll keep you updated!
Love you all! -Elder Christensen
Everybody on the Trax
The Berhenti sign on our street
Other tidbits of information...
We asked and he would prefer snail mail...Dear Elder or Snail Mail, he wants to have and re-read them and just doesn't have enough time on the email....
Are you a little saddle sore from bike-riding? Answer: Golds Bond Body Powder.
For my Birthday my wonderful Mother and Father
financed us to have a delicious Italian Dinner consisting of Pizza AND milkshakes! Oh the Luxury! Also we're staying with 2 chinese Elders, Flecher and Mitchell, they came also.
What was church like? How is your language coming? What do you eat for breakfast? How are you and Elder W getting along? What is tracting like? Trucking along, Apples and Tomato Sandwiches, Swimmingly, and it's fun. You pray a lot.
Remind me to talk about church and Robert next week.
What time do you leave the apartment in the morning? How long are you in the apartment, what time do you usually leave? We study til lunch because of Language and Training hours, leave around 12:30 or one
OH YEAH! Zone conference is this week and apparently we get Papa Johns Unlimited!Hi Everyone
1)An Iban family cooking dinner
3) Here is my pickled egg
4)There is an old Iban grandma that makes these ties out of beads. She is making one for me right now
5) A close-up of the beads. This is a very traditional Iban craft and they can make some crazy things out of beads such as ties and sword sheaths and such
1) The stairs to get up to the long house
2) Inside the long house
3) From a different angle
4) An Iban shield hanging up above a doorway. They make really neat shields and carve them really well.
5) Still inside the long house
6) A hand made mat
1) The jungle
2) A river in the jungle
3) Another picture of the river in the jungle
4) A waterfall in the jungle
5) Another waterfall in the jungle
6) An Iban member standing next to the long house
7) The long house
1) One of the main paths in Kampung Api
2) A house
3) Another house
4) Another house. This one is interesting because it shows the reason why all the houses are built on stilts. It also has several chicken coops built around the side that are also on stilts.
5) This is the road that connects Kampung Api to Kampung Pasir
6) This is the jungle where we went hiking today
7) Some plants growing in the jungle. I thought this picture looked pretty neat
1) A crocodile
2) see #1
3) see #2
4) A sun bear drinking sweetened condensed milk from a can