Elder Coy at Five Years Old!

Elder Coy at Five Years Old!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

My Last Week in Miri

Dear Wonderful Family At Home

I am so happy to write to you about this, my last week in Miri.
I'm flying to the great land of West Malaysia in K.L. tomorrow, to speak the foreign English Language with an English Elder (Elder Moore) and I'm really sad to leave. Apparently many people don't even SPEAK malay until they come to some certain areas in East, such as Miri.
Anyway, this last week has been fantastic, and bitter-sweet. Bitter because we had to drop many of our investigators, including the Penans and James. The Penans we dropped because it is just not their time. Not only do they not really understand us, but after they returned from Kampung they've been extremely busy. We have been praying for them though. James stopped coming to church because his wife doesn't want them to go to different churches. He did say that he would take us to dinner or lunch sometime so that the missionaries could explain our purpose and hopefully convince her to just change her church as well!
Other then that this week has been full with great experiences. There was this one day when we came home to a broken doorknob on our apartment (Kong and Chan were inside). Accordingly the friendly Muslim custodian came and bashed it with a hammer until it opened, then biked to the store and bought a shiny new one. But the next day we came home to find that I had accidently left the new door key inside the appartment. We spent an hour trying to figure out how to break in, until we finally had to climb a ladder to the back balcony and lift up the sliding glass door to get in (it unlocked when we did that). Fun times.
Andrew's family wasn't able to meet yesterday when we had planned, they were too busy being drunk and singing karaoke.
BUT! We found another new investigator in Kampung Pasir. His name was Andrewson, and we randomly ran into him when he was fixing a chicken coop. He knew who we were, and had been taking lessons from the Elders before! He could read, had transport, and had excellent malay. We taught him yesterday, and he told us he was just wanting to know what church was correct. When he took the B.O.M. he asked if he could read it with his family (wife and two daughters). It's hard to leave after something like that.
We also met with Bro. Hitam again this week. He said he was feeling healthy again, and he came to church again with his family! It was so amazing to see him there! Elder Wilson (traveling 70) said in the last Zone Conference that when you see a less active take the sacrament, you should see it with the same joy as a Baptism. I definitely did.
Saturday we had a really fun luncheon at the Senior Couples house where we heard the transfer news via the Zone Leaders, and that night Elder Griffin and I celebrated with the 32 Ringgit Monster Chicken King Burger at Pasar Malam (which we split). We took a video with Elder Kong's Camera's Miniature effect, and it's currently loading. I'm only sending that and the picture with Bro. Hitam because you should get a memory card this week! Get Excited!
-Elder Christensen
Some images of Kuala Lumpur added by Mom  He said it's basically like moving from Bluffdale to New York City

Monday, February 17, 2014

So just so you know, the temple was Taoist and not Buddhist.

Hello Family! I am so grateful to be able to email and thank you for your wonderful love and support! This last week has been probably one of the most formative of my mission, so let me tell you about it!
Monday was fun, as we went to that temple, and that night we had a family night with Sis. Katrina. Our lesson was on the Parable of the Wicked Servant (forgive our debts as we forgive our debtors) and we had them act it out while we read it! It was really fun and the food was wonderful as usual. Unfortunately, that didn't count for a key indicator as it waswith active members, but that's not important. What was important is that Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday had all zeros as well. Every Plan seemed to fall through and nobody could meet or wasn't home. It was getting very bad. This last Sunday we had decided that Friday we were going to fast for Bro. Day, but we expanded that into a full day of prayer and fasting for all of our investigators and less actives, as they are all facing problems that we cannot solve directly. We spent half the day just taking turns praying and studying in our appartment, and the other half we went contacting with the Chinese Elders in Taman Bulatan (Garden of Circle). We had barely been there when we received an amazing contact with an open college professor who was jogging there! That night we met with the Penans for the first time since we had returned! The next day we met with Bro, Day for the first time that week and 3 less active families, on top of finding a family of 8 to teach in Kampung Api! The dad's name was Andrew, and they all spoke some English on top of some excellent Malay. Sunday we managed to get Bro. Giraji the Sacrament again and Dividson followed us to that appointment. You can imagine everything I could say about thankfulness. The interesting thing is that I have only one strong Spiritual revelaiton from that day of fasting, and it was that the only thing that could change was Me. I had to change. My mindset and attitude changed.

Cool Stories: THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE PACKAGE! We used the picture of me and Annie on her Baptism Day to make Bro. Day cry, because he was saying that he felt wicked and couldn't change.
Sunday we got a call from Sister Anderson saying that they had been fasting all day and asked us to make them dinner and bring it to that night's correlation meeting, as they wouldn't be able to return home. We whipped up some Mi Goreng and Apples and Butterfingers and rushed the Church. I swear I could hear the William Tell theme playing!
Love you all!

-Elder Christensen

Monday, February 10, 2014

Hello Wonderful People!
It is so good to be able to write to you this week, it's been interesting and full of stuff so here we go!
So we had a cool experience finding a less active who lives smack dab in the middle of a Muslim Neighborhood. Her name was Sister Sayu, and though she's rejoined the S.I.B. chuch she was willing to listen to us. Speaking of Less Actives, our branch is officially starting their home teaching program! Right now we're getting them the updated addresses and numbers so they can have home teachers come! Pres. Atos is truly amazing.
We finally met the Penans again! They are safe and happy so thank you for your prayers. Christopher and Davidson came with us and the lesson was fantastic. We have some active members on their street who are willing to take them to church, which will be fantastic.
We did also have some hard things as usual. Our phone broke on Saturday so we had to get a new one, and the petals on my bike were so worn that we bought new ones as well. They're purple. Bro. Day is still having problems so please keep praying for him.
The highlight of the week though was definitely the Chinese New Year Party! It was the most stressed over and well planned party, and it was awesome. I was in charge of a team in the Eating Competition (I ate like 4 oranges and a 3rd of a Pamello in like 2 minutes) and we WON! It was so cool. Anyway, it's Hot in Malaysia right now. Very much so.
We also had a great lesson with Bro. Hitam this week, the Risers (our new Senior Couple) do this thing where they drive us around for part of one day each week. They accompanied us and Elder Riser is amazing. He's a man that's served 4 missions (including his first like us) and he's now the 2nd Councillor in the District Presidency. Bro. Hitam has been feeling sick, so it's good to get him more friends in the branch.

This Sunday we were able to bring Bro. Geraji the sacrament since he can't leave his house. It was an amazingly spiritual experience, and we hope to have members bringing it for him every week.

James didn't come to church this week, and we couldn't call to ask why because our phone broke!

We got haircuts this morning, and the lady who cut my hair said she wants to marry and love a white guy that looks like me.

We're going to a Buddhist Temple today! I love you all so much! 

Sis. Bickmore was feeling sick this week (actually all the sisters were, last week as well), but she got emergency transfered to Singapore. Sister Anderson now has a new companion, Sister Tai from Kuala Lampur! She speaks like 4 languages and she's a very fun person, a true match for Sister Anderson.
I just ordered name tags in English, Iban, and Chinese!-Elder Christensen

From Elder Griffin's letter:
Elder Christensen and I have decided to set apart a day of fasting and prayer, specifically going somewhere secluded where we can pray and speak to Heavenly Father. We hope that we will both receive a lot of revelation, especially on how we can help with transport and with Brother Day. The issue with transport, by the way, is that Miri City cut ALL the buses that are in our area, so now 20 or so people cannot come to Church. Seeing as many of them live in Kampungs, they have no vehicles. 

A list of Kampungs in our area (this is basically our entire area);
Kampung Api (Village of Fire)
Kampung Damai (Village of Peace)
Kampung Krokop (Village of Krokop)

Kampung Pasir (Village of Sand)

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Dear Family
Thank you so much for the constant love, prayers and support I feel from you. They've carried us this week for sure.

SO! As I'm sure I panicked you all with the short letter and the awful communication from last week, let me tell you we are doing fantastic here in Miri! I feel I forgot to mention some other good things that happened last week. Elder Tony, an A.P., went on splits with us on Wednesday. We had some good experiences, including helping an old Chinese Man changed his tire. As a result of that, a nice Buddhist man gave us a ride home from where we had to walk because Tony didn't have a bike. The Lord truly blesses those who serve him.
This week has been another relatively harder one because of the massively celebrated Chinese New Year. Accordingly, and the fact that all our sisters got sick at one time or another, all the missionaries had a hard week with trying to meet the people we wanted to, but we had some fun days filled with parties at members houses. At one point, we biked over 2 hours just to get to Sis. Tracy's house! Though, she did give us a Kamus Dewan she hadn't used since school. It's a Malay Dictionary in Malay, sort of like the Oxford English dictionary for English People. Lots of fun.
Also, speaking of Books, right now I carry around a Bible in Iban, a B.O.M. in Malay, and a D&C and P.G.P. in Indonesian for teaching purposes. Also, the church has a new security guard named David who apparently was a former investigator and remembered the church! He's way cool, and an ex paratrooper in the Malaysian Airforce. Also, we had an American show up to church! His name was Matt McDonald from Texas and he's going to be living in Brunei with his family on a 4 year assignment with his family who's coming in about 2 weeks. Anyway, the prayer list is the same, and I love you all! Enjoy the Pictures!
-Elder Christensen

Here are a few things from Coy's new companion's letter, Elder Griffin (from his last two letters):

We also visited Sister Sia. Now, Sister Sia had told the missionaries the last time that they visited that she didn't want them to come anymore. She is a baptized member, but she's basically stopped believing. So she agreed to let Elder Christensen and I come back one final time.  As we met, we listened a lot to her and showed her a lot of love, the Gospel softened her heart, and I showed her the pictures of my own baptism. She agreed to a return appointment, and we hope that she will return to full activity!

We also met with some potential missionaries, Darrel and Robert. They are really cool! So, we were in a Kampung and that's where all the poor people live, and when my camera actually works again, I'll try really hard to send pictures. You can probably look up Kampung on Google Images. Anywho, due to the fact that they are poor, they have no electricity, so we literally taught a "candlelight lesson". It was so cool! We just lit like three candles and taught. The houses are all wood, on top of these stilts in a river, so I felt like I was in Pirates of the Caribbean or something, it was so legit!

 On Thursday, one of the AP's, Elder Toney, followed us. Unfortunately, both of our lessons fell through. So, we saw an old man who had a flat tire, so we helped him. By the time we were done, it was pouring rain, but we were on foot so we just walked and everybody tried to huddle under my umbrella. Out of nowhere, this random Chinese/Buddhist comes and offers to take us home. So we get in his car, teach him a little about the Gospel, and referred him to the Chinese Elders. When we asked why he was willing to help us, he said, "I saw you helping to change that man's tire, so I figured that I might as well help you out as well." It was nice!

So, we have an investigator named Brother Day, and he is extremely addicted to alcohol. He has been trying for a long time to overcome it, but it has been very difficult for him, so we suggested that we could give him a blessing. He accepted. So, last night, we went to his house with President Langi. There, President Langi anointed the oil and I pronounced the blessing. During the blessing, Brother Day just started weeping! And Brother Day is a small but tough Iban warrior, with a deep voice. I was so surprised, and I almost started crying too, because the Spirit just flooded the house and it was so strong! I know that there were angels in that little house, I'm positive of that. After the blessing, he thanked us profusely and then hugged us. He also wept during the closing prayer. It was probably one of the most spiritual experiences of my mission, that's how powerful it was! It was a miracle!

We emptied the baptismal font. We ended up making five siphons and then pouring buckets of water into this little drain. It worked really well and it was a lot of fun! We didn't even get too wet! By the way, I'm going to get an Iban and a Chinese name tag. Therefore, I will have Elder Griffin name tags in four different languages. (Malay, Iban, Chinese and English. Possibly even Tamil.)

I biked for over three hours a couple of days ago, due to Chinese New Year. We bike to the airport, nearly, to eat at a member's house, and then we biked to the entire other side of Miri for another appointment. Suffice it to say that my legs probably haven't worked that hard on my mission and my legs are still recovering haha but it was fun. I'm not sure how far we biked, but we were biking for probably an hour and a half straight, not to mention us stopping and being force-fed. I almost threw up, it was great and terrible all at the same time, probably like the Second Coming will be!

 We were going to visit a less-active member, Sister Sia, who lives in a place called Kampung Api. She wasn't at her home, so, feeling a little down, we returned to go see if some other less-active members of that Kampung were in their houses. As we continued back, Elder Christensen randomly started talking to some Iban Datuk ("grandpa", pronounced Dato') that was working on a moto. His name is Franky. We talked to him and his daughter, Silla, gave them a Book of Mormon, and set up a return appointment. They asked us to Sembayang, or pray for this baby that Silla had. Franky was saying that it just cries all the time, so we did and it just stopped crying. Then, we left and it started again haha.