Elder Coy at Five Years Old!

Elder Coy at Five Years Old!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Oh mah Goodness This Week.
To preface this, Elder W said this week probably had some of the highest highs and the lowest lows of his entire mission.
Lets get started. Everything I say now will lead up to Sunday.
This week we've been focusing a lot on our less active work. The Asia mission presidency asked us to spend at least half of our time doing that, and we've seen miracles after we worked for them. This week we've worked a lot with Bro. Day. His story is that he's an alcoholic that is married to a member and all his Children are baptized. He's gone through 3 companionships already. He has a sincere desire to change and even asked how soon we think he can be baptized. We met with him a couple times this week. His kids are fantastic and come to church every week (Augustine, Diana, and Moose). 
This week we unfortunately weren't able to meet with Bro. Hitam. He's doing much better though, and we've been praying for him every day.
We also have been able to meet with the Penan's once, compared to three times, but now the day-by-day account.
Wednesday was when it started going down hill when Sis. Sia, a less active in Kampung Api, told us bold faced she doesn't want to go to Church any more. She's been drawn in by one of the charismatic churches here, involving weekly 'stage healing' by priests and rock bands. We then went to Sister Katrina's house and talked with her. When we left Elder W hit a nail, and their dog followed us to the nearest PETRONAS Station. We had to fend off all the dogs that tried to kill the traitor. We've developed a theory that dogs must have devils possess them when Missionaries are near unless they belong to members, and that would explain a lot. A nice man gave us a ride in his van, but Elder W's helmet fell off the bike and we didn't see it, so he has it now somewhere. We tried for almost an hour to fix it, and in the process Coby (the dog) got hit by a car. Don't worry he's fine. I got the idea to pray over the bike, we did, and it held air. Coby was still traumatized; so Elder W carried him all the way back while riding his bike. After we got there, it went flat again so we walked home. We pumped it again and miraculously it worked again.
Thursday we had an appointment fall through, though we were able to place 1 B.O.M. contacting. We also had to bike all the way out to Senadine for the Sisters baptismal interview. Because of Weekly Planning, that took all the time we had.
Friday, we had the great opportunity of every planned appointment falling through, except for when we met with Robert and Darrell who were going to help us teach the Penan family that night. Also, to get to everything (including a Baptismal interview at the Church for the Sisters again) we biked for over a total of 5 hours that day. Also, Elder W's bike went flat again, but we pumped it and it held air since. We took Robert and Darrell to Pasar Malam (Night Market) and I bought them burgers.
Saturday we were going to visit Bro. Hitam, when Elder W was pushed into the Open Kampung Sewage Ditch by a Pakistani Loan Shark on a Moto, because of the narrow path and the mud. Of course we went home after that, and Elder W was clean in time for the Baptism that night. It was a pleasant experience, a triple baptism at that, and there was a Makan (eating event) afterwards so that was the highlight of our weekend. Then after walking in the door at home, the Sisters called and said that they had a flat at the church, and we rode all the way back to help them.
Then came the blessed day of the Sabbath.
We left at 8 am to wake up the Kampung. We visited Bro. Day first, he was drunk (He's very functional though), and he told us that due to the nature of living on technically illegal land, he might have to move soon because someone might have bought the land. We weren't sure that was what happened though, but he gave us his Iban drinking jar to remember him by. 
Sis. Rita said she couldn't come either, but all their children came again.
We went back home for a little to prepare, and then we came to Church.
We had 6 less actives come yesterday, which was amazing. Also, Bro. Hitam showed up and even stayed for Gospel Principles, which was amazing! Also, Bro. Kevin is the Branch Mission leader for branch 2, and his parents make things to finance their future trip to the Temple. They finished my sweet bead tie and they're making a basket for me for 180 Ringgit total.
The last Sunday of every month our branch has started having a Potluck Makan, last month was the first and didn't really do that well. This time lots more people brought food and it served its purpose perfectly by uniting and mingling, and it was a great experience for that. Also, we were able to finally finish the Plan of Salvation with the Penan family that night, the spirit was super strong. We were able to get to have a soft commitment for Baptism, and they committed to start having family prayer. It was great.
Now we're exhausted so we'll go home and sleep. I got Dropbox working so more pictures will come by next week, Dad, please Download and Delete so I can have more space to work with.
McKay, We're going to the Caves week after next.
I love you all, thank you eternally for your prayers this week. They were felt and needed.
I'm looking forward to the Letters when the Zone Leaders come within a week or two!
-Elder Christensen

Monday, November 18, 2013

Hello wonderful family of mine!

This week has been a fantastic one for me, with many great and wondrous works and disappointments, but so goes the life of a missionary! (and most people I'd assume)

So, this week Elder W and I focused a lot on Less Actives, as that's where we feel the Lord wants us. We taught 9 less active lessons this week, including around 10 hours of contacting and 3 lessons with the Penan family. Super busy, but so satisfying! There's no better feeling in the world then falling into bed knowing you've made the world a better place.

One such is Bro. Hitam (Literally brother Black). He's seeing some very hard times in his life, and we were able to give him a priesthood blessing. It was apparently exactly what he needed, and he came to church this week for the first time in forever!

Another cool story: at 8 A.M. on Sunday's we leave to go wake up the Kampungs and get people to church. The people we usually invite all denied our invitation yesterday, but as we were riding away from Kampung Piasau, Augustine, a child of a drunk but baptised member, came running after us in full Sunday attire. (Elders!) He and his sister got two other daughters of less active members and we walked them to the bus stop where they rode to Church that day. Two of the Penan's were also there waiting for us when we rode up! We had 5 less actives (including Bro. Hitam) and 2 investigators at Church! The gospel is so true!

Enough Miracles for now. This week I tried 4 indigenous fruits: Durian, Mangostein, Orang Butan, and Cimpaduk. They were all not bad, Mangostein was the best.

Anyway, pictures later of those. I love you all and we feel your prayers and love every day!
Until Next week!
-Elder Christensen

Mom note: In other letters to siblings he mentioned that they have Gecko's in our house, and these harmless little sugar ants that attack any piece of food we leave out. It's useless to try to stop them, they get in somehow anyway. 

We asked him what specifically to pray for in his behalf and he said "Pray for the Spirit to Bless and Uplift the People of Malaysia and the Miri 1st branch."

We asked what one his favorite parts of the day was and he said "Thanking the Lord before I go to bed."

Also, if you want a fun geographical education experience, Coy mentioned that the Borneo caves are an hour from him on bike.  They are the largest caves in the world and absolutely spectacular. Natives climb in and through the to harvest the bird's nests for bird's nest soup, which sells at $200 a bowl and is made entirely of spittle.  The images are incredible. 

Also, he is working mostly with reactivation, and has asked for any advice anyone can send on! Thank you Thank you for loving and praying for this boy and the people of Malaysia! Have a great week! 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Hello Wonderful People!
This week has been a great one overall!
Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday were mostly shot for missionary work because of our Zone Conference, but that doesn't mean we didn't get stuff done. Wednesday we flew out and that took basically our day, but we still went to Chili's for dinner that night. It's apparently the only place in Singapore or Malaysia that has free refills on drinks or chips, and we had both! Needless to say there were many happy missionaries that night.

Zone Conference itself was amazing the next day. It was kind of like the M.T.C. crossed with General Conference completely focused on Missionary work ALL DAY LONG! Then it was all topped off with endless Papa John's pizza. We learned a lot and had a lot of guidence, and we also had like 20 departing testimonies with a lot of advice mixed in.

One cool thing was when we got lost trying to find Chili's, we were just wandering around the endless shopping malls when a random guy named Jason came up to us. He asked what church we represented and if we could give him a book or something, so of course we gave him a B.O.M. He thanked us and said he would read it.

Then on the M.R.T. back to the Airport, Before our last stop, I placed a B.O.M. again. It was this cool guy named Fren Lee and he was super interested. He was an Asian that had gone to a Catholic school growing up, had heard a little, and wanted to learn more. He was happy that I was actually willing to give him the book! He even asked what Terminal we were going to so we could keep talking, but we had to leave. I just wrote mormon.org on the inside cover.

Other miracles this week: We've really seen the Spirit working on the Panang family right now. It's amazing how far they've come and how much they comprehend even though they cannot read the Book of Mormon! We're stepping through the Plan of Salvation of them right now, and they've become much more reverent during prayers. We also invited them to Church and 3 of them came! For like a 30 minute walk! It was so cool to have them there! We also had a less active come and bring the children of another less active family we are working with that the parents can't come (the children on the bikes in that one picture).

Anyway, Elder W summed up a lot of the other things I could have said culturally in his letter last week, and I'll be sure to keep you guys updated! I love you so much! We feel your prayers and love even though we're so far apart! Elder W ate his Pickled Egg today with Elder Fletcher and Almost Puked!

Love you all! 

-Elder Christensen

Monday, November 4, 2013

Hello Family!

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!
Now, Pictures!
Love you all! -Elder Christensen 

 First view of Singapore

 Last moment with Sessions

 Everybody on the Trax
 Nasi Beryani

 The Berhenti sign on our street

 The Stake Center in Singapore
Exit sign

Yield sign

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

Sweet boy, before you go, just tell your family, are you happy? Are you doing well? Are you alright?Yes, yes and yes

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