So good to hear from you again. I don't know if e-mails on P-Day will ever stop being a much needed refreshment! Just nice to hear about everything going on at home. Things over here are also going really well though! Malaysia is great, and I feel like I'm starting to feel more at home here all the time, even though Elder Hall and I have had almost not a single regular working day since I got here. Just so much going on!
Things here with the churches and everything are definitely not a big problem. Elder Hall and I were actually in KL for mission tour (when a general authority comes here to tour our mission and do like a zone conference and things. More on that later) on Thursday when things kind of got started, but we didn't even hear anything about it the whole time we were there. Missionaries are still in KL and everything, so we're all pretty safe!
But, like I said, took a train down to KL with the rest of our zone and also KL zone to visit with Elder Watson of the Seventy who was here touring our mission. It was really cool to see him and all of the other elders and everything. Missionary gatherings are always just so exciting! Always have good training prepared with nice, practical things to go home and apply, but every bit as enjoyable is seeing all the other missionaries and hearing fun stories and how things are going and just enjoying ourselves for a day. I finally got to see a couple of the other missionaries I was in the MTC with! That was awesome, and they're all doing really great. Working hard and having good success and everything.
After that, we came home, had a very productive Sunday packed with good appointments, and then yesterday the zone leaders came down from Penang to do an interview with an investigator we have scheduled to be baptized on Saturday! So, a good way to celebrate a birthday for sure, huh?
I'm getting a lot more used to life in Malaysia even though we've been so crazy with traveling around and everything! The food here is so delicious, and I'm working hard to get my chopstick skills up to scratch! It's funny, I wouldn't have thought I'd be going on a mission where I'd need chopsticks, but there are so many Chinese here that sometimes it feels a little bit like I'm visiting the Chinese countryside instead of the Malaysian. We're actually even teaching a few investigators through translators, although almost everyone here speaks Malay since they all have to learn it in school. So! Good to have a common language even if English isn't the best to use!
The other major groups here are Tamils from India who have mostly been here for a few generations now. Sometimes again though, it feels like you've been thrust into the middle of India. The other day we biked through a Tamil neighborhood where I saw a cow wandering through the middle of the streets next to a Hindu temple. Who would have guessed, huh?
Which reminds me! I'm totally a biking missionary now, which I'm loving, but has made me very, very sore. I think I'm getting over the shock of the first couple of days, but you'd be amazed how much there is to learn about how to move through the streets here in Malaysia. One important lesson I learned just yesterday was "Do NOT ride your bike through puddles" after seeing one of my zone leaders hit a hidden pothole and flip all the way over onto his back. He was fine, but the look on his face was definitely one of a surprise I'd rather not experience. Also, "stay close to your Senior companion." That one I learned after getting separated and lost for about and hour. It's ok though, I met a very friendly Nigerian man and everything worked out ok!
Anyway, I'm doing really well out here. Really starting to love it! Malaysia is an adventure, but very, very awesome, and I wouldn't trade it for anywhere else in the world. I love you all so much, and it's so good to hear from you! Can't wait to hear from you again.
Thanks for all the Happy Birthday wishes, (and to answer John's question, Happy Birthday at least in this part of Malaysia [I'm finding more and more that Malay varies wildly depending on where you are in Malaysia], is "Selamat Hari Jadi," which means something like "Happy Happening Day." Like the day you happened I guess! Very strange... Another possibility I've heard is "Selamat Ulang Tahun," which means something like "Happy Year Repetition." Not quite so nice).
Love you!! Elder Blissett (aka in Malaysia as Elder Bliss, Blizzard, or Lizard, but who still just prefers, Kevin)