Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Happy New Year!

Halo Keluarga Aku! Macammana?

Well, we're still reeling here from the after Christmas release. It's such an awesome holiday, but it definitely comes with a lot of plans, excitement, occasional stress and tomfoolery that it always makes it a little weird to go back to normal life. It ended up being so good here even though most of the country really doesn't celebrate. Getting to call home was really the highlight of the day though. So good to hear from you all! Well, it feels like this week just got started, but it's actually going really well so far. Maybe I'll tell you about it backwards since that's easiest for me to remember!

On Sunday we attended all of our wards in one day for the last time. Right now, we have two wards that meet at 9 and one that meets at 2, so, so far Elder Merrill and I have been able to go on splits with members to make the two in the morning, and then both go to afternoon church later. For the new year though, almost all the local Singaporean wards are switching to 9 o'clock, which means we're going to have to miss at least one of our wards at least once a month. What a mess, huh?

We also found out that the Filipino ward that meets here is being changed to become a Filipino non-Permanent Residents ward. All the PRs are being moved to the local wards, which is actually going to be a huge change. There are a lot of Filipinos here (that ward was huge), so it looks like all the local wards are going to be getting a big influx for the new year. It will be a really good change in the end though I think.

Both of our baptisms went through on Saturday! So, so good! S.H. ***and H.Y. ***were both baptized by their home teacher, which was really, really awesome. So good to see people make those simple right choices that will bless their lives forever. They just both looked so happy afterwards too. It was awesome. It turned out to be a really good week for the whole mission actually! We were able to have the most baptisms this last week we've had since the mission split 2 years ago. So very exciting! Definitely a good way to end the year. So good to be able to be out here doing this work that blesses people forever.

Everything else is going really well. I think Elder Klemm and I are going to go visit an art museum later today, which should be really good! I'm doing great though! Bahagia (happy), Sihat (healthy), dan kerja keras (and working hard)!

I love you so much! Glad you're feeling better! Talk to you soon!

Elder Blissett (Kevin)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Halo keluarga saya,

I can't believe I'm writing home again already! The weeks here have really started to pick up and things are going better everyday. I guess the first piece of exciting news is that Elder Merrill and I should be having our first baptism on Saturday! Hooray! Her name is M***, and she's super awesome. She's a Singaporean here in her twenties. Really friendly and very funny. She's been learning for over a year now, but she's finally made the decision to go ahead and be baptized. It's so exciting to see how excited she is about it, and to be looking forward to performing my first baptism ever this weekend. So it looks like everything is going to go through alright. Very, very exciting.

I've had a good week besides that as well! The people we taught this week first of all were a lot more consistent in showing up for appointments, but were also just some of the very most receptive people I've met the whole time I've been here. One of the most notable is a Myanmar lady named R ***. We met her through J***, our other investigator from Myanmar, and so far she's been on fire. Just a week ago she hadn't heard anything at all about the church, and now she's reading the Book of Mormon everyday (even taking it to work to read on breaks) and meeting with us a couple of times every week. Sometimes it just looks like people are ready for the gospel. She's actually a nurse too, Mom, which kind of feels like a connection back home. Her life has been really tough lately (both of her parents are very ill, one in the last stages of cancer, another with kidney failure. Her brother who stays here in Singapore just got married to someone she doesn't really get along with, and she's having some trouble finding a place to stay here at all), but instead of letting all those things make her bitter, she's tried to just turn everything over to God. It's awesome, and it looks like she's just ready. So we'll see where things go with her. Very exciting.

It's beginning to feel a lot more like Christmas here, although you wouldn't know it by just looking around here in Singapore. It's a much smaller deal than I thought before here in Singapore. In fact, it seems like whatever decorations there are put up anywhere are just designed to advertise sales happening at one of the many, many malls here. You'd think it'd be a bigger deal here with all the revenue it's bound to bring in for all the malls, but apparently most people just don't celebrate.

I'm picking up little pieces of Singaporean slang now. The big word I've started using now is "can." A lot of times here, the affirmative answer instead of being "yes", will just be "can," as in the sentence, "Hey, do you want to go to the park today? Can!" "Will you take this picture for me? Can!" or, "Would it be alright if we met on Thursday? Yeah, can, can!" It actually sounds kind of nice. One we should consider bringing home.

Anyway, things are still going awesome here. I'm working hard and learning more everyday. We're meeting people to teach, and our teaching is going better. Aaaand we have our first baptism this weekend. Awesome!

Hey, thanks to everybody out there who sent me Christmas letters. It makes suuuch a difference to hear from you all, and I really, really do appreciate it. It may take me a little while to get back to you all, but I'm planning on it! Thanks so much. I love you all so so much! Hope everything is still going well! Talk to you soon!

Love,Elder Blissett (Kevin)

P.S. Hey! I did meet Sister Nielson! Awesome to have a connection back home!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


Things are going really well here! Everything is moving so much faster now. Elder Merrill was telling me the other day that when you get into a new area, time seems to move really, really slowly, and that that's just a little blessing to help you get adjusted. Once you're in the groove of things though time flies by. We're constantly saying to each other that it feels like we're always going to bed, sleeping for a few minutes, waking up and then going back to bed again!

Christmas finally is starting to feel a little bit like it's coming. It's defnitely weird to have a warm Christmas season, but there are so many decorations up here by this point, and our wards are having a nativity this weekend, so it finally feels like the holidays have arrived. It's so funny, I keep asking people here if they're excited for Christmas, to which most people reply that they don't really celebrate. You can always count on them saying right afterwards though, "Yeah, I usually just go over to a friends house and have a big meal and we give each other presents and stuff." Don't celebrate, huh? Think again!

So this last week was really good, but pretty tough. (Literally) almost every appointment we had set up all week fell through. That was kind of disappointing, but we were able to fill it up with lots of good contacting so hopefully a few of the people we met doing that will meet with us again. Usually we have pretty good success with that, and that's really where most of our investigators come from.

So last night we had kind of an interesting appointment. Here in Singapore, we almost never meet people at their homes. I think most people are just uncomfortable doing it and from what I can tell people don't even really have friends over a lot. So last night, as usual, we met a couple of people Elder Merrill met on the MRT the other day. They were two really friendly girls and Elder Merrill just asked them if they knew a good place where we could go and talk for a little bit. One of the girls said she knew a park near there and off we went. So we start walking over and chatting a looking at the national library and things, not really knowing where we're going, until we finally get to this building with glass doors. Elder Merrill must have been thinking at this point, "Hmm... this doesn't look much like a park," but I hadn't heard where we were going in the first place, so I just kind of went along with it. One of the girls tried to open it, but it was locked, so she told Elder Merrill she wanted to go ask a nearby security guard what was going on. As she started to walk over she asked Elder Merrill, "So hey, do you guys drink?" Uh oh... So it turns out the words "Park" and "Bar" can sound suprisingly close in a crowded MRT station. We were in the building and were starting to sit down before we fully realized what was going on, got a hold of ourselves and beat a hasty retreat to a nearby McDonalds. The lesson went ok, but they weren't really that interested...

We're having good appointments too though! Still have people who are progressing and we may even have a baptism on Christmas Day! How cool would that be? Every time I go to a member's house here, I see how different it feels there from everywhere else we go. There's just something different about the spirit that goes with people who are faithful members of the church you can't feel anywhere else, and I want that so badly for our investigators. After we meet a new investigator for the first time, it's gotten pretty common for me to turn to Elder Merrill and say "Elder, I want them to be baptized so badly." And I don't want it for the numbers either! We just meet so many good people who deserve the gospel so much, and I just can't stand the thought that they might not get to experience that. There are definitely some cool people here in Singapore. (My favorite are the people from Myanmar. Soo nice, such good people. Haven't met an unfriendly one yet).

Anyway! I think that's kind of the news for this week. Things are still going really well. Elder Merrill and I are working really hard and having good success. It's the Spirit that does the work though, I'm learning that more and more everyday! I love you so much. I can't wait to here from you again, and I'm thinking about all of you back home all the time! Love you so much! I'll talk to you soon!

Love, Elder Blissett (Kevin)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Morgan's Mission Call...

Halo Keluargaku,

It's so exciting to hear about Morgan's mission call! I thought I was going to have to wait an entire extra week to hear, so it was a pleasant surprise to see my inbox filled with the good news. Anyway, I already told him congratulations but congratulate him again if you see him. And how cool to keep up the tradition of Horns in Colorado, huh?

So things are really starting to look like Christmas here. There are lights going up all over the place and the shopping malls (which is basically every building in Singapore) are starting to get really busy. Have I talked about the malls here yet? They're everywhere! We take the metro system here all the time (it's called the MRT), and it literally feels like every station is a mall. I'm convinced it's some huge percentage. Anyway, if you're a shopper, Singapore is the place to go. They have pretty much every store in the world here. Lots and lots of "Western food" as well. I'm actually pretty shocked with the number of times we've eaten at a Quiznos or McDonalds or something like that (I heard there even used to be a Taco Bell). I think after spending 8 months in Malaysia, my companion is dying for good old American food though, so, no problem.

This week the work was good, but definitely tough. We've had lots of appointments fall through, but the ones we've been able to keep have been really awesome. One of the best people we met this week is named J ***. She's from Myanmar (there are a ton of Myanmars here), and actually somehow found her way to go study nursing at Idaho State University. So, she's only here in Singapore for a few months while she tries to save up some money and work her way back to the states. Anyway, she's really good. Super good hearted (I think Myanmars are the friendliest people I've ever met) and willing to learn and come to church and everything. She's actually been learning from some Sisters in Idaho for a while, and comes to church almost every week, but hasn't really been willing to commit to be baptized. At our last meeting though we set a date! Dec. 26. That would be some kind of Christmas present, huh? Anyway, things are looking good so hopefully everything goes through ok!

Anyway, the work is really starting to pick up here and Elder Merrill and I think are finally starting to feel like we're getting the hang of things. It looks like we have about X number of people who will be baptized in December which is a pretty good number for Singapore ***6***. So hopefully everything works out! We're working hard, and working better everyday.

So good to hear about Johnny too! What an adorable, active kid, huh? I talked to a guy just yesterday whose wife had had a new baby just the day before. He seemed really excited about it, but when I asked him what the baby's name was he looked at me kind of funny and said "Oh, he's still very young." So after talking to him a little bit, I found out that at least in Southern India, people don't name their babies until a goodly time after their born. He seemed to think it was kind of funny that we did too! The things you find out, huh?

I can't believe how diverse it is here too! I just did a quick count, and I think I've run into multiple people from at least 13 different countries! You'd think with all these Asian countries being so close to each other they'd all be pretty similar though. Not so! Every group is so, so different! Did I tell you that here in Singapore almost everything (defintiely things the government puts out) is written in 4 different languages? English, Mandarin, Malay and Tamil. So crazy, but very, very cool.

Anyway, it was so good to get to write home and hear about how everything is going out there. I'm still well! Having a warm (very unusual) Christmas season, but all is well! I love you all so much! I can't wait to call home!

Love you!

Elder Blissett (Kevin)

Working Hard and Giving Thanks

Halo Keluargaku,

So good to hear from you (like always). We just had a big thanksgiving lunch at the Mission President's house and I was wondering what all of you were up to back home. I've been looking forward to finding out all day!

So to answer your question, no, people don't really celebrate thanksgiving here in Singapore. Actually, that's not entirely true. I guess a lot of the church members here have thanksgiving celebrations of sorts, but definitely not quite the same as back home. This morning we went to the American School here to play some good old, classic American football for a few hours. While we were leaving, we saw a local woman who was working at the school and one of the Elders called out "Happy Thanksgiving! Do you celebrate Thanksgiving?" to which she shouted back, "No, I'm not Christian." Who knew it was a Christian holiday, huh?

Anyway, our celebrations were really great. Almost felt like being back at home and celebrating Thanksgiving with everybody (except not quite so tasty). Sister Clark even commisioned our Elder from Singapore to find somewhere to buy a pumpkin so she could make us some home-made pumpkin pie. It was truly excellent.

This week has been going pretty well in terms of the work too. I really feel like I'm getting the hang of how to be a missionary and how to approach people to talk. I feel a little more confident and in control which I think helps other people want to talk to me a little more too. Plus we're working with a few really awesome investigators. The first is this guy named J***M***. He's really cool and although we've only met him twice, things are definitely coming along with him. He's a super, super receptive learner. The other day we were teaching him about the Plan of Salvation and were talking about Adam and Eve. I knew that he came from a Buddhist background, but he'd told us earlier that he'd read the first couple chapters of Genesis a few years back. So I asked him if he would tell me what he remembered about that story. He then went on on maybe like a five minute nearly flawless recitation of the story. He seemed to remember even every subtle detail. To understand exactly how crazy that is, I guess you'd have to understand that I'm in a country where people rarely have any idea what a "prophet" is, and most people I talk to haven't even heard of a person named Moses. It was awesome.

We're also teaching a teenage chinese girl named C***. Her boyfriend is a member but I think we're the first missionaries she's ever met with. Last night we asked her if she'd like to be baptized to which she replied basically, "Oh yeah, absolutely." It's just so good to find people so willing to accept the gospel. Sometimes that's rare here in Singapore.

The last really awesome people we met with this week is actually a family. The father's name is P ***, and they're actually from India so they don't have a family name at all. We usually just call them the "P family." Anyway, they have to be the most humble people I've ever met in my life. Just soo good and attentive. We planned on just stopping by and giving a lesson, but they wanted to feed us before we left. They didn't eat with us though, just set up the table so that we could eat first and they would just eat after we left. It would have been kind of akward, but you could just tell as they were doing it they just thought they were doing the decent, hospitable thing. We didn't even really know them, but they just took such good care of us. Such good people. P even walked us all the way to the bus stop, and then waited with us until the bus arrived. He showed me just how far I have to go in humility...

Unfortunately our meeting with that woman (whose friend had just died) I met didn't really pan out. By the time I was finally able to get a hold of her to confirm our appointment (I was dialing the phone number wrong!), she just told me she didn't think we could meet that day because it was raining. Just after that call she sent us a text saying that she was really happy with where she was in life, and didn't really want to meet with us. It's tough because I know we had so much to offer her, but I know that this isn't going to be the end of her exposure to the church either. God has a plan, and someday, somehow or another she'll hear the message of the gospel. It just wasn't time I guess.

Anyway, things are still going well here. Elder Merrill is awesome and I'm learning a lot from him everyday. It was really hot outside today, and I actually got a little sunburned playing football, but I don't think things really ever get much worse than this. The heat actually isn't nearly so bad as I was expecting. Good news I guess!

I love you so, so much! I can't wait to hear from you again!

Love, Elder Blissett (Kevin)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Hello dearest mother (and family)!

How's Utah? I imagine there's probably already snow on the ground, right? It's so funny, I think my internal clock is tuned to Utah weather because everytime we're about to leave the house here, I catch myself looking around for my jacket to put on before I go out. Still warm here though. I don't think there's any worries about that changing!

This week has been really good. I feel like I'm learning so much everyday about becoming a better missionary. It's funny, you wouldn't think there's much to learn about how to have a conversation with a stranger on the MRT until you tried it. It's not easy! Not only because it's very scary (which it is!), but it's also hard work to keep things moving. People just aren't used to chatting and it certainly takes a lot of effort to get started, but it's getting easier and more natural everyday.

Goodness, there's so much that happened this week I don't even know where to begin, but maybe I'll just work backwards! So! Today is P-Day. Not a whole lot going on on our P-Days, just hanging out, doing any shopping we have to do and watching movies on our approved mission list (which actually includes a lot more than you'd think it would). It's so nice though.

Missionary work is pretty stressful, we're always rushing from place to place and trying to muster up our courage to talk to people and trying to find out where to go. All things you don't really think about normally, but that get really taxing when it's all you do everyday! Most of our days here we just spend street contacting, which I think is pretty different from most missions in the world (and even most areas in our mission). We can't knock door to door like most missionaries, so we spend most of our time trying to find public squares and things where people are just sitting around and we chat with them. Singapore is so busy not many people are ever just hanging around, so we'll often talk to most of the people in an area pretty fast and have to move on and find something else. Hard work for sure. Most of the time people we talk to are not particularly interested in learning about the church. There's a lot of rejection here in Singapore, but everyone is almost always really friendly about it and we don't really spend a lot of time trying to convince people who don't really seem interested.

It's so refreshing though when you finally find someone who looks like they might want to learn.
I've actually been really surprised by how many people I've run into who just seem like they've been prepared to receive the gospel. A few times now I've talked to people who randomly have a copy of the Book of Mormon, or even a guy the other day who's run into missionaries in multiple Asian countries. Places where there are hardly missionaries at all. Just the other day I talked to a girl from the far northern tip of Sumatra (in Indonesia) in a city up there called Medan. I started to teach her all about the restoration, and just as I was about to give her a copy of the Book of Mormon she told me she already had one. I was shocked! I guess though one of her friends in Medan gave her one, which is shocking because I think the branch there is really, really small. There's only two missionaries in the entire city, and it's very isolated from the rest of the church. Sometimes it just seems like people are being made ready though. It's amazing how you can kind of see God's plans unfolding with people you'd never really expect.

Just yesterday I met this really awesome girl I'm convinced is going to be baptized. We were just sitting around in kind of a park area in the financial district talking to people, and I saw this woman sitting across the square I thought I should talk to, so I went over there and started a conversation. It turns out that one of her good friends had just died unexpectedly about 3 months ago, and she had just decided that it was really time for her to pick a church to start going to and be baptized. She explained that her friend had just died and that he hadn't been baptized and she was pretty worried about that. I guess she'd just asked a priest if there was any way that people could be baptized after they'd died, and was pretty disappointed to hear that the answer was no. So I pulled out a Plan of Salvation pamphlet and explained to her a little about the Spirit World. She kept saying how weird it was that she'd just been wondering about all these things, and here I showed up to talk to her about religion. She actually wasn't even on break from her work, she'd just gotten kind of stressed and decided to take a few minutes outside. I dunno, the whole thing was just too perfect. We actually even set up an appointment right then to meet and teach her again. It's the kind of thing where you just can see clearly that God really is preparing his children to accept the gospel. Definitely a cool thing to be a part of.

Anyway, we're still out here working hard. Things are sometimes tough, but I'm doing my best to learn how to relax a little more and just let what happens happen. I'm doing better everyday though, and I'm sure it's just a matter of time before everything really starts to just feel more natural.

Anyway, I have to run, but I love you so much! It's always so good to hear from you and get to write home. Hope things are still going great in Utah!

Love you!

-Elder Blissett (Kevin)

Monday, November 9, 2009

First Week in Singapore

Halo Keluarga Saya,

So, here I am my first week in Singapore. It's probably one of the craziest cities I've ever been in. Very different from what I was expecting. So, first off, what does it look like. It's definitely a big city, but the rumors about it being very clean are definitely true. The only place I've ever seen trash on the ground is right next to a trash can, where someone must have missed trying to put them in the can. It's also really green here. Not at all like cities in America that are just packed with concrete. There's tons of trees and grasses and bushes and all of those kinds of things all over the place. Sometimes it's almost like being in a Jungle.

There's an unbelievably large number of Chinese here. I had no idea how many there actually were going to be. Tons. Almost everybody. There's also a lot of Indians, Bangladeshi, Malay, Sri Lankans, and lots of Filipinos. All kinds of people. And basically no white people at all. I wasn't expecting that. I'd always gotten the impression that there would be lots here on business or working (it turns out 1/4 of Singapore's population [1000000 people] are non-Singaporeans just here working). Not true though. In fact, this morning I counted while we were on the MRT (their subway system) coming to the mission office. I saw six. Six out of hundreds of people. I think I go every day seeing less than a dozen. Definitely makes you start to feel out of place.

The food is pretty good. Ethnic foods from all over Asia mostly. Our first day here we had Indian food on banana leaves and they taught us how to eat with our hands (you'd be shocked how much technique goes into it). We've also had lots of Chinese food and whatever the members will make us. There are still American places around here though. In fact, today our zone is going to Chili's! You wouldn't believe how many 7-11s there are around. Tons!

People speak very different English here. At our first appointment multiple times I thought my companion and the investigators were going off in Tamil. So afterwards I asked him about it, and he looked at me kind of funny and just told me they hadn't spoken a word. I couldn't believe it! It's a miracle anyone here can speak english to each other since everyone has a totally different accent (Australian, Chinese, Indian, Mongolian). It's actually made me feel pretty proud of my own native-level English. Probably not good, but true! They also sometimes use words here that don't really exist in English. For example, people are constantly saying the sound 'lah' after words. 'lah' is kind of an emphasizer in malay, so I think that's where it comes from, but often you'll hear people say things like "all the timelah" or "they just tell me all that garbagelah."

I've been totally blown away by what kind of workers people are here in Singapore. It's actually hard to get appointments with anybody since they all work so hard. The other day we were talking to a girl about our age on the bus, and she told us she worked 60 hours a week. That's 5 twelve hour shifts in a row. And all that for something like 1000 Sing a month (1.3 Sing is worth $1).

One more funny story. The first day I went to my new apartment (which is the nicest in the mission by the way. Very nice apartment), I went almost straight to the bathroom. I was just about to sit down, when I noticed there wasn't any toilet paper, so I found Elder Bukhchuluun and asked him where I could get some, to which he replied "Oh, we don't use any." "What? What do you mean we don't use any?" "Yeah, we just take a shower. Everyone in the mission does it." Uh... Surprise surprise! So, I've been on a big search for toilet paper these last few days. I already finished off the paper towels in our house, and I've taken to hoarding extra toilet paper every time I use one of the bathrooms at the church. Crazy place.

Anyway, I'm doing ok. Trying to learn a lot all at once is hard, and sometimes I think maybe I push myself too hard, but I'll figure it all out. Growing pains, right

Love you so much! -Elder Blissett (Kevin)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Minggu Akhir

Halo Keluarga Saya

We're there! It's the very, very last P-Day! We're so close, and you can definitely feel the excitement in the air. Class is becoming a little less hard study and a little more chatting with the teachers about what things are going to be like when we get over there. We're all guessing where each other's first areas will be (I guessed a city in East Malaysia called "Kucing." [The c makes a ch sound.] "Kucing means "cat, so it's got that going for it, and it's also supposed to be a pretty great area to serve). Tomorrow is culture day, which we've been looking forward to since basically the day we got here. So lots of exciting things going on.

I've started to get a little irrationally nervous about getting into the country though! There's all kinds of visa problems going on here at the MTC. We actually have about 140 Brazillian missionaries here at the MTC(missionaries *headed to* Brazil, not actual Brazillians. We also just call them the Brazillians, or the Mongols, or the Indos. They're not actually from those countries. Just clarifying! :D). I guess Brazil just changed their visa requirements so none of them were able to go to the Sao Paolo MTC, and it's starting to look like they're going to be here for more than 9 weeks. They actually had to hire 10 new Brazillian portuguese teachers to teach them all. They didn't have any before.

I don't think there's really anything to be worried about though. We should get in just fine.

Elder Perry came and spoke this Tuesday. He talked about effective teaching, and it was definitely very awesome. Such a good farewell from the MTC.

OK! Quick Indonesian cultural tidbit. Indonesians (and I assume Malaysians) eat rice for pretty much every single meal, including breakfast. Brother Ross told us there's a phrase that goes something like "Jika anda tidak sudah makan nasi, anda tidak makan" which means,"If you haven't eaten rice, you haven't eaten." (Interestingly enough, I guess they think the only thing westerners eat is bread, cheese, and milk. Who knows where they would have gotten that idea!) Anyway, we were singing "Because I Have Been Given Much" a couple of days ago and I've really been working on translating songs as we were singing them. So we got to the part of song where it says "my glowing fire, my loaf of bread, my roof's safe shelter overhead." When I realized that instead of saying, "my loaf of bread" in Indonesian, they just sing "my rice" instead. Perfect! Good to know at least some of the hymns are adjusted for culture. (Other notable changes in songs include the title of "Put your shoulder to the wheel," which is just called "the world needs people who help" and "Did you think to pray?" which is called "Before you left your house.")

Anyway! I've got to run, but I'll talk to you on Tuesday! I can't wait!

I love you so much! I'm doing great, and I know everything's going to go just great with traveling.

Dengan banyak kasih,
Elder Blissett (Kevin)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Ada Dua Minggu Lagi! (There are two weeks left!)‏

Halo Keluarga Saya!

How are you all doing? How are things going back in good ol' Salt Lake City? I'm sure you already heard, but I actually had a little connection back there this week. We had a chance to host this week which means that we got to be the missionaries who help brand new elders and sisters at the curb to get their luggage to their rooms and get their books and their name tags and everything. It was very, very awesome. We've been looking forward to it for a really long time and were starting to wonder if they were ever going to ask us to do it. It finally happened though! Not only is hosting a really wonderful break from going to class all day, but it's also kind of a sign of seniority around here. Everyone knows that once you're hosting you're the elders who kind of know their way around, know which foods to avoid at the cafeteria and know all the best games to play at gym. It's actually a lot like being a senior in high school. So anyway, just getting the opportunity to host is a nice acknowledgement that we've been here a really long time. As a bonus though, I totally randomly had the chance to host Elder Sperry! I didn't even remember he was coming in this week, but as I was sitting at my station, I noticed the Sperrys dropping him off at the spot just right next to mine, so I just switched with the elders who were already there and got to be the very first person he met at the MTC. Very cool. He didn't even say a ton about home, but it was just nice knowing that he had just come from there. Almost like finding a relic from life before the MTC. Anyway, last I saw him he was doing really great, and I hope Sister Sperry told you I looked like I was doing great as well!

The other big news is that we've kind of sort of received travel plans! Last week ( I think it was Thursday, but I can't entirely remember), Elder Christiansen (from the other district going to Singapore) received travel plans in his mailbox... for Kansas City, MI! So, there was definitely a big moment of panic where he wasn't sure if he'd been reassigned or if his travel arrangements were all messed up or what. So he and his companions rushed to the travel office to try and get things worked out. I guess they told him it was just some kind of huge mistake and said something like, "well, as long as you're here, why don't we just go ahead and give you your real plans." So he got them a week early, and it says there are 10 people in his traveling group, which means I'm pretty much guaranteed to be doing the same thing he is. I should know for sure later today, but, here's almost definitely what the travel plans look like! On Nov. 3rd we leave the Salt Lake Airport at 4:50 PM to arrive at LAX at 5:52 PM. So, I'm probably going to end up calling sometime around then. I guess we have pretty much as long as we want, we just have to find a payphone and make the call whenever we can. Anyway, you can pretty much plan on sometime after 6 PM (LA time) on Nov. 3rd. Sooo, we have a five hour layover (heavens! I don't know what we're going to do), then we leave for Taipei, Taiwan at about 11 PM. We'll arrive there about 5:30 in the morning, and I may actually be able to call again from there. I'm not sure though! I think it's like a 14 hour time difference, so if I'm not mistaken, that would be at like 7PM here? Anyway, we'll work that out and I'll tell you what the plan is for sure next week. So we have 2 hours in Taipei, then we fly out for Singapore and arrive there at 12:05 PM on the 5th of November. You'll notice that looks like 48 hours of flying, but we cross the dateline and lose a day there. So! I don't know if I'll be able to call from Singapore. When we get there it will be like... 2 in the morning here, but maybe we'll be able to call a little later! Who knows!

Phew! So that's one piece of big news. The other is that Elder Lang and I had the chance to teach our first non-member on Saturday! It went really really really well. It's such a different experience to be teaching people who have real legitimate questions about the gospel, and I was so much more aware of the Spirit as we taught. She was from Jawa (or Java, I'm not sure how they spell it here) in Indonesia.

Plans for sacrificing Lucu are well underway. We haven't determined exactly how we want to do it, but it should be somewhere in the next few days here. Out teachers couldn't be happier. I'm not too torn up about it either.

Umm... So! I learned some more kind of funny Indonesian factoids! I'm really starting to feel like I'm getting a grasp of the language, and even though after listening to our investigator, I'm pretty much 100% positive I'll have no idea what people are saying to me, I'm pretty confident that I can at least get what I would like to say to people across. We taught one of the other companionships in our district yesterday, and one of the other elders (who was pretending to be an investigator) and I had like 1/2 hour conversation about the word of wisdom pretty much entirely in Indonesian. Maybe not totally effective teaching, but it sure felt cool to be able to do. I've really come to learn exactly how real the gift of tongues is. It's like all of the effort I put in is magnified many, many times by the Spirit. Very cool.

Anyway! Indonesian has no word for "comfort" in the sense that we mean when we say that the Spirit can comfort your heart during times of trial. So the best equivalent they have for the title "Comforter," is penghibur which actually means "entertainer!" It's the same word that someone would use to describe Michael Jackson's job. I guess people understand what you mean though! Very funny! Also (and I'll have to tell you very quickly), we learned the word "Budak" means "child" in Indonesian, but "slave" in Malay. Who would have guessed?

Anyway! I have to run! It's been so good to write home though, and I can't wait to give you a call. I'm doing really really well. Feeling better than I've ever felt in my life! The church is true! It's God's true church on the Earth!

I love you all so much!

Dengan Kasih,Elder Blissett (Kevin)

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Halo Kelaurga Saya,

So! I put the word of the day in my subject line, 'sakit,' which unfortunately means 'sick.' I've come down with kind of a nasty cold/cough/virus something in the last few days, so, no good there. This is the second time I've gotten kind of sick here so far. Some people just have all the luck, huh? Anyway, I figure this just means my immune system is gearing up for swine flu, so, good news right! Unfortunately, I may be sleeping during the time I normally write letters home to everyone, so, if you wrote me and don't get a letter back this week, sorry! I'll do my best! (P.S. Did you know that you're supposed to change your toothbrush once a month to prevent disease? I'd never heard that before, but the doctor gave me a slip of paper when I went in with that advice. I think that's what I'll blame for all of this...)

Other than that, the week has actually gone pretty well! I feel like I'm learning so much every week and growing faster than I ever have before. I've really been working on learning to rely on the Lord and the change it's brought to the way I approach my teaching is pretty awesome. I just feel like I'm doing the right thing almost all the time now. Awesome, huh? A mission is definitely a one of a kind experience.

We've finally gotten to week six. We're finally those guys that people say just have a little bit of time left! How great is that? I can't tell you how ready I feel to just hop on the plane and head out to Singapore/Malaysia. I've gained a lot of appreciation for the MTC, but it just kind of feels like the step before the real thing, you know? Our teaching has really progressed and we may actually teach real investigators this Saturday, which is very, very stressful, but also pretty awesome. We've gotten to the point in our practice teaching now where we're extending baptismal commitments, but I don't think I'll be giving that a shot this weekend! Who knows though, right? :)

Anyway, I'm still loving the work and I'm actually picking up some other skills along the way. We've got about fifteen minutes kind of to ourselves every night and I've been learning to juggle. I can actually do it now, which, although maybe a little frivolous, is a great stress reliever after having class all day.

We marked a few hours every day in our class for SYL/BBK (Speak Your Language/Berbicara Bahasa Kamu), where we have to speak entirely in Indonesian. Anyone who speaks English has a penalty like singing this funny Indonesian song called "the happy song." It's even got some ridiculous actions, so although it's truly embarrassing for those performing, it's awfully fun to watch.

Oh! I forgot to give you guys the latest Lucu update. I know you're all sitting on the edge of your seats waiting for it. So, the other day Lucu started to leak a lot so we decided to fill him with playdo as well as his gel so he didn't look so flat. Brother Leo stole him though and he actually exploded in his bag (that's what he gets)! Anyway, we were able to recover him, and he was looking ok. He'd developed this huge playdo-gel scab over his hole so he wasn't really leaking that much. Well, the other day I was trying to hang up my jacket and accidently knocked him off his roost. I reflexively tried to catch him, but unfortunately just smashed him against my leg, where he exploded an realeased the foulest, rottenest substance I think I've ever had the displeasure of being around, all over my leg. It was very, very nasty and I've now firmly committed to being the first one to sacrifice him at the end of our MTC stay. Nasty creature. :)

Well, not a whole lot of news this week! Can't wait until I can tell you all about travel plans next week! Thanks again so much for writing and sending stuff and everything. I really, really appreciate it!

Dengan Kasih dan Hormat,
Elder Blissett (Kevin)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Onward, Every Onward

Halo Keluarga Saya!

Things are going really well here! I feel like such a veteran. We're finally the people who really know their way around the MTC. We've picked up all the tricks of the trade and everything. Really awesome. And everyone says that the last couple of weeks move even faster than these are now, so hopefully the next thing I know I'll be in Singapore!

So! Lots of exciting news this week! First and foremost though, I've got to tell you about our surprise visitor. We were just sitting in class one morning doing our personal study when this guy with an "MTC coordinator" nametag burst in and said, "OK elders and sisters, are you ready, do you need to do anything else except for clean up? Really, you need to clean up a little bit." We all sat there staring a little blankly while he started taking some of our pictures off the wall and continued, "So you know who this guy is, right?" Again, more blank staring. Finally, one of the sisters mustered up the courage to say "Umm... We have no idea what you're talking about." Turns out the Minister of Religion of Indonesia, Mr. ("Bapak" in Indonesian) Pasaribu was in Provo for a conference at BYU and was going to come visit our class. Immediately we started panicking and rushed to get everything cleaned, finish up our personal study and spend like 45 minutes prepping some questions and answers and everything. It all turned out really well though! He spoke hardly any English, spoke really clear Indonesian so we were able to understand a lot of what he said to us and even got a chance to take a couple of pictures. It was very awesome, but very, very stressful. It turns out that he's the guy who has to sign all of the Indonesian missionaries passports for them to even get into the country, so it was really important that we didn't goof anything. It went really well though! Everything turned out just fine!

So! I guess that's the really exciting news! We've started to speak a lot more Indonesian in class now. We have whole periods that are designated SYL (Speak Your Language) where we can only speak Indonesian. And we're giving talks so that we'll have something prepared when we get into the field. I guess brand new missionaries are a favorite target for speaking in church. I already gave mine though and it went really well. I'm really starting to feel like I can express myself pretty well at a basic level. And we've finished all the major grammer so it's just vocab from here on out!

Unfortunately, as a side effect of my Indonesian training I've pretty much lost all of my ability to speak Spanish. I think about half the missinoaries here are Spanish speaking and they'll often stop us on the sidewalks to practice contacting in their language. I can almost always undestand what they're saying, but as soon as I start to try and respond Inodonesian just pours out. That's a good sign though I guess!

Hey, fun Indonesian fact! Have you ever seen the old Disney Swiss Family Robinson movie? I don't think I have, but apparently the pirates speak Indonesian! So, next time you're watching it keep an eye out!

Oh! Conference! Wasn't it spectacular? I don't think I've ever loved it so much. Just tons and tons of stuff felt so applicable to me, and hey, compared to sitting in class all day it was actually kind of a vacation! Definitely awesome. I think my favorite talk was undoubtedly Elder Holland's. I couldn't believe the kind of power he came out with. I've never heard a stronger testimony of the Book of Mormon in my entire life. It was cool to be able to see in him where I'd like my testimony to be someday. Definitely a lofty goal to achieve though!

Ah! Our class suffered a major betrayal this week when we found out that Brother Leo stole Lucu away from us. He disappeared a few days ago after several very suspicious notes about "lucu exterminators" and "false idols" were left in our room while we were away at Gym or Lunch. We were all pretty convinced it was the other class who took him. But it turns out, just yesterday Brother Ross told us it was Brother Leo. We've all missed him dearly, and are definitely excited to know who to confront to get him back.

Umm... not a whole lot of new cultural information this week. We learned a little while ago how to play Rock, Paper, Scissors though! They play by making a fist with their hand and then sticking out either their thumb, pointer finger or pinky to pick either gajah (elephant), orang (person), or semut (ant). The elephant steps on the person, the person steps on the ant, and the ant crawls in the elephants ear and eats its brain. So a little different, but funny that they even have the game at all! Brother Ross said pretty much every culture has some equivalent.

We've played softball in gym for the last few days, and, surprise surprise, I've actually grown to like it a lot! I've certainly come a long way since those days so many years ago of standing out in left field with my glove on my head, trying to take a nap and hating every second of it. I guess there's some truth to the idea that you'll start to love something if you'll just try it first. I've also become a big volleyball fan! Crazy, huh? I dunno though. Good times to be had and none of us are that good so it's always pretty even.

Umm... Turns out my malaria medicine, Doxycyclene, is also sometimes prescribed for acne. Have I mentioned that already? I guess I'm just pretty excited to see if there's really clearer skin in the Singapore mission!

Well! It's been super good to talk to you all again! I can't wait to here how everything's going! I love you all so much and pray for you every night!

Saya mengasihi semua kamu!

Dengan kasih dan hormat,
Elder Blissett (Kevin)

Sunday, October 4, 2009


Halo keluarga saya yang kukasihi!

How are you all doing? It sounds like things are going really great! I can't believe how grown up little Johnny looks. That picture you sent me of John feeding him is probably the most adorable thing I've seen. He just looks sooo excited. Definitely the Johnny I remember. Thanks so much for the picture. I hung it up on my little board and I laugh everytime I see it!

Things are going really well here at the MTC. I'm getting over my cold which is definitely a welcome relief. Stuffy noses are just a pain! Unfortunately though, it looks like the MTC is kind of going into lockdown mode for swine flu. We had an informational meeting with one of the doctors here to talk about swine flu prevention, and he told us that they've already had 4 confirmed cases. There are signs all over the place now warning people not to shake hands or hug or anything! Very weird for missionaries. Don't worry though, I'm still applying all the good disease prevention techniques you raised me with!

Saturday is our halfway point! I can't believe it! We will have been here for a month as of tomorrow which, I've got to say, is very very exciting. Don't get me wrong, I love the MTC, but I think Singapore/Malaysia is going to blow me away. Plus it's starting to get a little cold here. I can't wait to step off the plane into that wonderful tropical heat.

Indonesian is still going really well! This last Saturday at the TRC we taught lesson two. Turns out we only had two volunteers show up to be investigators though, so we had four missionaries teach each investigator. I think maybe it was a little overwhelming for everyone. Can you imagine if we taught every investigator with four missionaries? Talk about applying pressure. We did really well though. Things are defintely coming along faster than I ever dreamed they might. I talked to some elders speaking cambodian the other day, and they told us that after being here for six weeks, they'll be teaching the first lesson for the first time. I think we nailed the right southeast asian language!

Hey, Mom, you wondered last week why the church doesn't just print the Book of Mormon in Malay with all the words 'Allah' replaced with the english 'God.' I don't know exactly. In fact, in Malay there's a word, 'Tuhan,' which means 'Lord' that gets used all the time in the scriptures. They could definitely just replace all the 'Allah's with 'Tuhan' without changing much meaning at all. I guess they just want all or nothing though. Which is good I guess! Brother Leo said he thought that by the time we left they'd have worked out with the government to get Malay materials, so we can hope, right?

Speaking of Malay, the language is coming along well, but it's definitely very different from English. You just have to learn to express your ideas in a way you'd never think to do in English. I mean, Malay has over 6 or 7 different words that basically all mean "to say," but with slightly different meanings, and no word at all for "excited." What kind of language doesn't have a word for excited? Who knows! I do love it though, such a different experience! Another kind of funny thing Malay does is cram a bunch of words together to make like these monster words. Everything already seems to take twice as many syllables to say, but then they'll bust a word like "mempertanggungjawabkan" (which means "to take responsibility for") out and you start to think maybe your teachers are just playing a joke on you.

Hey, speaking of Malaysia, I heard there was a big earthquake in West Malaysia? Is everything over there still ok? Is that even true?

Ah! The big news this week is that I had kind of my first success and first rejection as a missionary! I don't know if I've told you about the Refferal Center (RC), but we go there every week to spend an hour calling people who request free materials from the church (like Bibles or movies. Lots and lots of free Bibles for people in the South. I think like... over half our calls are for them) to make sure they received them ok. Anyway, our "supervisor" type sister has been really urging us lately to invite people to watch conference this weekend. Soo I mentioned it to this lady who started to sound really interested. She even stayed on hold for a little while while I got her Bishops number for her to call and find out where to watch it. So very cool! It sounds like I sent a sister to conference. Hooray!

My first rejection was actually kind of fun as well. I called this lady and introduced myself with,

"Hi, my name is Kevin, and I'm from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints"

"The Mormons?"

"Yes Ma'm!"

"I thought I told you people not to call me again!"

"Uh, Yes Ma'm!!" *rushing to hang up the phone as fast as possible*

So that totally counts as a door slammed in the face, right? I think so.

The MTC is such a... well... let's be honest... kind of funny place. We always sing three prelude hymns before firesides (which I actually really love), and this last week our final hymn was "If You Could Hie to Kolob." Immediately when it was announced there was such a collective gasp of excitement that the Brother announcing it actually commented on it. Where else in the world do teenagers get so excited about singing a hymn? It's really a great place.

Anyway! Things are going really well! I'm getting along great with my companion and everything is coming so fast. I really feel like I'm growing more than I ever have in my life. I know I'm out here doing the right thing, and that this work is going to bless the lives of many, many people in Malaysia. I love you all so much. Thanks so much for all your letters and support!

Saya mengasihi semua kamu!

Dengan Kasih,
Elder Blissett

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Selamat Pagi!

Halo keluarga saya!
How's it going? Sounds like it's going well! Things are really good here too! Thanks so much for writing and the pictures and everything. It's definitely always a pleasure to hear from home. And the food too! Everyone in my district has closets packed with food! In fact, the guys from the other Indo district just got three boxes of food from some of the outgoing elders. Guess it's something of a tradition to pass on your leftovers... The MTC is kind of a weird place.

But hey, speaking of the district next door. They're the zone leaders now! The Indos (we) are officially the oldest guys in the zone now. We just had a huge group of Mongolians head out over the last couple of days, leaving us the guys in charge. So that's kind of exciting. Always nice to be able to be the guys who look like they know what they're doing!

We've actually got a new branch president too! President Dodge just got released, so President Crawford has taken over for him. He's an economics professor from BYU and is actually really nice. Always good to have people in charge that you can get along with.

Phew! Sorry, this really lacks organization. Anyway! You asked about the food, mom, and where my companion is from. The food here is... umm... ok! It's about what it was at the cannon center at BYU with probably a few fewer options. The rumors are true though, it definitely does some weird stuff to your digestion. Just good preparation for Malaysia, right? And my companion is from Southern Califronia. Thousand Oaks is the name of the city. I kind of doubt you've ever heard of it. Most people around here seem not to have. Apparently it's nice though.

Things are definitely speeding up here. When we first came, everyone told us that after the first week, everything goes into a kind of hyperdrive and I can definitely confirm that that's true. I don't know if it's just that we're doing the same things everyday or what, but something has made this last week fly by. It seems like Sunday was just yesterday and we're already halfway to the next week. It's a good thing though! With this much class you need time to go a little bit faster in order to keep from going a little crazy.

Speaking of crazy, our district has a mascot now, and things have gotten a little out of hand with it. We blame it on cabin fever. Our mascot is this little squishy, spiky green ball we drew a face on and named Lucu (which means funny or cute in Indo). At first people were content to just squeeze him and make jokes about him now and again, but in just the last few days, somebody found a little car for him, built him a perch, began construction on a house for him and wrote home to get another ball so he'd have someone to keep him company. Several of the elders in our district are actually involved in a bit of a custody battle over who gets to take him home at night.

Like I said, the MTC is kind of a crazy place...

Ok! I learned all kinds of interesting facts about Malaysia that I'm dying to share! Sooo, it sounds like most people in Malaysia don't actually speak Malay as the first language, at least the non-muslims. That means that in West Malaysia, the Elders basically teach all of their lessons in english, since almost anyone over there who speaks decent Malay is Muslim and illegal to teach. Over in East Malaysia, pretty much the opposite is true, all the Elders teach in Malay all the time. Only the people there have only learned Malay as a second language after their local language, so I guess they don't even speak it particularly well (or at least "properly" I guess). Anyway, very interesting.

Also! We found out why there aren't any church materials printed in Malay. The government over there is pretty restrictive about what can and cannot be printed, and I guess they decided the church could print their materials in Malay if they wanted, but that they couldn't use the word "Allah." I guess they feel like that word belongs just to the Muslims. Unfortunately, there isn't really another word they can use, I mean, you can't just take the word "God" out of the scriptures, so until the government budges, the Malaysians will just have to figure out Indonesian (which can be very confusing). The church has a team working on translating the materials anyway, so hopefully some day we'll be allowed to print them.

Oh! Ok! I was supposed to describe the TRC! It's basically just a center here where we go every Saturday to teach volunteers in kind of a "real life" investigator situation. The volunteers all speak Indonesian, they're either return missionaries or native speakers, and it's almost always a very intimidating but also very awesome experience. This Saturday we're teaching Lesson 2! Wish me luck, huh?

Anyway, thanks again so much for writing you guys, it means a lot. And the pictures! Johnny is definitley looking adorable. I love you all so much, I think about you all the time. It's so fun to teach about eternal families and think about my family back home that, you know, is almost kinda just getting started (or starting over at least)!

Thanks again! I love you all so much! Can't wait to talk to you again!

Dengan Kasih,
Elder Blissett

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Minggu Dua (Week Two)!

Halo keluarga saya!
How's everything going back on the home front? It's been so good to hear from all of you!  It's funny, I've only been gone for two weeks but it kind of feels like forever. You become very disconnected from the world around you at the MTC which is actually really unnerving. It's pretty funny to hear the rumors spread around about how BYU is doing or anything else. News travels fast around here and letters from home are almost always filled with sports updates.

Whew! I really feel rushed, I guess I'll just have to send a letter with whatever I miss, huh?

So! Laaast Saturday we finally taught in the TRC for the first time. That's a place where people from around Provo come in to pretend to be investigators so we can get some "real experience." We taught in Indonesian the first 6 (of 8) principles from lesson 1, and even though we had notes, the entire experience was very terrifying. We got to teach Brother Leo's wife, so it was good to have someone so forgiving, but still very scary. This weekend we're actually teaching the whole lesson in Indo without notes, so I hope it all turns out OK! I'm pretty sure it will, the language is actually coming along really well. I only have to look up a few words per panel in my Book of Mormon stories book and I'm starting to read Preach My Gospel too! It's very exciting!

Alright, sooo, my companion is still great. We're really close as a district and close with the other Indo district as well, so sometimes it's hard to stay focused, but I'd rather have that problem than have a district I didn't get along with. I can tell we're all really growing up a lot. It's amazing to see how people are starting to realize the measure of the calling and growing into it admirably. Everyone in our district is doing really well.

Ok! Every Sunday we have great firesides with staff from the MTC, and every Tuesday a general authority comes to talk to us. This week Elder Holland came, and since I'm singing in the MTC choir, we got to sing for him and for the whole MTC. It's a huge choir, but it's still fun to be a part of that. Anyway, his talk was absolutely amazing. I don't think he read a single word from a prepared talk but the whole time just spoke to us like the missionaries we are! I had no idea he was sometimes kind of a "table pounder." He definitely gave it to us straight, but it was so awesome. I'd never really realized how important, how wonderful and what a privelege it is to serve until I heard his talk. He was really really great!

So, we spend lots of our time talking about Indonesian culture in our class and we hear lots and lots of crazy things. It's definitely a very different part of the world. Most notably, Brother Leo was telling us about in his time in Malaysia, he almost always had an Orang Putih (white person. Which reminds me, in Indo "parents" is orang-orang tua, which means old people. Funny, huh? :D) companion. Which, you know, isn't that surprising. What was, however, is that he said routinely when they'd knock doors in Malaysia, people would open up, take one look at the white guy on their doorstep, gasp and run away to go hide in the house! Not close the door, not say anything, just run away and hide. He said after they called out to them to tell them everything was ok, they'd start to see a the whole family kind of peek out from around the corner, and finally after some coaxing they'd come out to invite them in. He says they just don't really see many white people so it's always very shocking when they do. Very, very strange.

Anyway, it's been so good to hear from all of you. Thanks so much for the pictures and letters. It's always so exciting to hear from home. Isn't Dear Elder great? I love you all so much and think about you everyday. Thanks so much for giving me the chance to come out here and do some good. I know this gospel is true and that our family has truly been richly blessed by it. So good to get to talk to you guys again! Dear Elder me if you have any specific questions for next week!

I love you soo much!

Dengan Kasih dan Hormut, (with love and respect. I guess they sign letters like that! Who would have thought to sign with respect?)
Elder Kevin Blissett

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Selamat Pagi!

Dear Family!

Thanks so much for all your letters and support, it really means a lot out here where any contact with the outside word is a little bit limited. It’s kind of funny, all the sidewalks here are covered almost as if to prevent you from seeing any of the outside world (including the sky). Very unsettling.

Thanks again for writing, it means so much to me. It was so good to see pictures of little John Boy. He even looks so much older in the pictures we took while I was still there. I guess I’m just getting used to seeing the slightly younger Yellowstone version of him.

The MTC is going really great! It’s a very, very cool to be in a place where (quite literally) every minute of your day is planned out in order to help you to become a missionary machine. Everyone here is very serious about using every minute of your time to learn how to more effectively invite others to come unto Christ and to bless their lives with the gospel knowledge we have.

Indonesian is going excellently. The language is very straightforward and actually leaves out a lot of the parts that were very hardest about Spanish. Our very first morning here our teachers had class, so we were just assigned to learn how to introduce ourselves on our own. By the end of the next day we had already learned how to bear our testimonies and pray. So now we’re only praying in Indonesian at the beginning and end of every class, trying to bear our testimony in the language everyday, and singing exclusively Indonesian hymns. One of our teachers said that by the third week we’d probably only be speaking Indonesian. Very, very exciting. I just bought the children’s songbook (Buku Nyanyian anak-anak) and one of those Book of Mormon story comic book type things (Cerita-Cerita Kitab Mormon) and can already get through most of them with the help of a dictionary. So things are going great. I can’t believe we’ve only been here a week. We truly have been blessed with the gift of tongues.

My companion is named Elder Lang and we’ve been getting along really well! He’s much more outgoing than I am, but I feel like we really compliment each other and have made a power companionship so far. He’s actually become kind of the funny guy in our district, so it’s pretty fun to always be where the action is. There are four other elders and two sisters in our district as well. One set of elders and the sister s are going to Indonesia, and the other elders are coming with us to Singapore. There’s actually another district learning Indonesian as well, and I think they’re all coming to Singapore. Elder Lang’s best friend is actually in that district. They opened their mission calls on the same day and got the exact same calls, funny huh?

Our teachers are excellent. Brother Ross is about 26 and served in Indonesia, and Brother Leo is actually from Indonesia and served his mission in Malaysia (Singapore). So we definitely have guys who know what they’re talking about. It's so fun to see their different teaching styles and to learn so differently from each of them. We spend a lot of time talking about the culture of the countries we're going to, which is definitely an MTC highlight. It's gonna be a really different adventure, but I think I'm going to be really safe and have a lot of fun too!

Umm... Ok... so! Fun fact! The name of the church in Indonesian is
Yesus Kristus
dari orang-orang suci
zaman akhir

which means literally, "The Church of Jesus Christ from the Holy People of the Last Time Period." Definitely cool. The first line of the name is taken from Portuguese, the second line from Dutch, the third is Indonesian and the fourth is Arabic, so you can tell even from that that I'm headed to a very diverse, very culturally rich place.

I've seen Elder Brown, Elder Taggert and few other people I know which has been a lot of fun. They both seem really happy and very focused on the work.

Um... Anyway, thanks again so much for writing, let me know if you have any kind of specific questions you wanted me to answer, there's so much to talk about it's hard for me to know what to include. We've only been here for a week but it kind of feels like forever (which is a good thing).

Jadi, in the end, saya tahu bahwa gereja ini adalah benar dan saya tahu bahwa Thomas S. Monson adalah nabi Allah. Saya tahu bahwa Allah Mengasihi kita dan membagikan injil ini untuck kita dapat punya kebahagiaan. Saya banyak mengasihi kamu!

(So... I know that this church is true and I know that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God. I know that God loves us and gives us the gospel so we can be happy. I love you so much!)

I love all you guys a lot! Kiss Johnny for me and tell John I said hello!

Dengan Kasih (with love),
Elder Blissett

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Options for sending letters

Posted by Georgia:

Hello everyone! Should you wish to send a letter to Kevin (and I hope you will), you may use his address in the column on the right. Another option is to use the website www.dearelder.com. This is a free service when you are sending a letter to someone in the Provo MTC. You submit your letter electronically and they print and deliver it. This means you don't have to hand write your letter or go to the trouble of mailing it. If you submit the letter by noon MST, it is delivered to him the same day.

You may also use the website to mail letters to him once he is in Singapore or Malaysia. There is no "pouch" service there, so you do need to pay the cost of a stamp. You just sign up for an account on the website to pay.

I'll be posting Kevin's letters on this blog while he is on his mission. He won't be able to access the blog to see any comments, but feel free to make comments and I'll print them out and mail them to him.

Kevin is safely in the MTC! Everything went well and he was very excited to go.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Here we go!

Well, in about 21 hours I'll be set apart as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. That means if you guys are interested in keeping up with me, this is the place to go. While I'm gone, my family will be posting my letters here so anyone back home can enjoy my mission vicariously (almost as good as the real thing!).

I guess that's it. See you all in two years!