Wednesday, April 21, 2010

All About the Food

Me with my favorite Malaysian dish. It's amazing. You'd be blown away. They're called Watan noodles, and they're these long flat noodles saturated in this delicious sauce with a bunch of egg (cooked) all mixed in. Very savoury, very delicious.
A member sent me these pictures. I have no idea why she sent this one. But it's kind of a good example of what it looks like to eat at a hawker stall in Malaysia. That's some delicious cili (chili) sauce I'm reaching for right there. Good food.
*Every* event in Malaysia is followed by food. So here's our after baptism food. Rice, doughtnuts, and some curry. Yum.
Here's Elder Porter and I eating at a resturaunt randomly owned by a American in Ipoh. It claims to be the only authentic American food in Ipoh, but ironically we went there because it's like the only place we've heard of to get Mexican food. We're dying for Mexican food. I'm telling you, South America is completely unrepresented here. It's the only culture missing. So, here we are about to enjoy some fairly delicious burritos.
Elder Porter and I enjoying some food. Unfortunately our picture is blurred or else you could view my awesome skills at eating with a fork and spoon (which is what you eat everything with here. The spoon is much more important here than in America). I'm a pro now.

With a member.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Craziness in Ipoh

Halo Keluargaku,

I'm doing super well. Malaysia is definitely awesome this week as it rained every single day. I'm gonna be honest, the heat is probably the hardest thing here, but when it rains like that it's like the beauty of the whole country just opens to your view. This morning as we biked to e-mail was totally amazing. Not raining, but the coolest I've ever felt it here. I told my companion, "if only it were like this all year I could live here for the rest of my life."

The work is going really well. These last couple of weeks Elder Porter and I have spent a lot of time calling former investigators which is way more successful here than knocking, and, as a pleasant side effect, leads to a whole mess of completely crazy experiences. This activity is frequently accompanied by Elder Porter and I shouting "Why is every person in the world completely crazy?!" Some choice calls over the past two weeks.

One woman refused to make any response except with a humming sound. "Hi, is this Mrs. Michelle?" "Mmmm" "Hi, how are you doing?" "MmmMmm" "So, do you think we could meet you sometime?" "Mmmm." "Oh good, what's your address now?" "MMMmmmMMM" Who does that?

Last night a little after 11 o'clock a man called us and informed us his name was "Pastor John." Turns out Pastor John is going to Sarawak with some friends for some "ministry work." I have no idea why he called us to tell us that. When he started to ask where we were right then (about to get in bed), and where we lived, Elder Porter was sure he was going to knock on the door any second. A few minutes later, he called us again and told us, once again, he was going to Sarawak with some friends.

Some people here are absolutely crazy about telling you their name. They completely refuse. After asking three or four times "Is this Mrs. Lin? Are you Mrs. Lin? I'm looking for Mrs. Lin," only to have them refuse to answer, you just move on, having an entire conversation with a person you're not really sure is the person you were looking for. Yesterday a lady try to verify my identity after I asked if Mrs. V was there by asking me what her job was. "I have no idea what her job is." "You don't know what her work is?!" Apparently I didn't know the secret password.

But, overall, we meet a lot of great people, and the crazy ones are always good for a story. We're meeting with a lot of good investigators right now, and I'm really starting to get pretty happy here in Ipoh. It's a great place.

Well, I'm already running a little late, but I love you all so much. I've been reading the scriptures a ton lately and have been filled with a love of them. The more you read, the more you see how priceless they are. I've really learned in this last couple of weeks that if you stay close to the scriptures you'll always have that guidance you need to keep you on the right path.

Ok! Love you!! Talk to you soon!

Elder Blissett (Kevin)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Baptism, Revelation, and a Monkey In a Baby Carrier

Halo Keluargaku,

Things are going really well here in Ipoh. I'm really loving it here. It's funny how no matter how different a new place is, you just start to find the lovable things about it the longer you stay. That's kind of how it was with Singapore and that's how it's turning out to be with Ipoh too. It's funny, I'm starting to feel like I've been here for kind of a long time already when really it's just been about three months. I'm just so used to change in my mission so far that any kind of consistency is a change from the norm. It's great though, I wouldn't change it for anything.

We have another baptism scheduled for tomorrow. Hooray! This one has been a long time in coming so we're really excited to finally getting to it. The sister's name is N ***, and she's a really nice 24 year old Tamil girl. We met her through another member here and have actually been teaching her for a couple of months now. She's definitely ready, so it's super exciting to see her make such an important commitment to the Lord. She'll actually be the first convert I taught entirely in Malay also, so that's kind of fun. It's amazing to think that I can say that now. Who would have thought a year ago I'd be able to teach someone the gospel in Malay. I didn't even know Malay was a language a year ago! But, I've really come to learn in a personal way that the Lord can do his work, and that he qualifies us with everything we need to be a tool in his hands.

I've just finished reading the gospels in my study of the New Testament and it has been a powerful experience for me. I'm a little bit ashamed that I haven't spent much time in the New Testament before, learning about the Savior's life from the only primary sources that we really have, but, it's never too late to repent, right? It's been such a testimony building experience for me, and such a comfort to learn again for myself that anyone who really desires to know the truth and is willing to put in the work for it, can really know! It works for everyone! Your culture, your background, your language, all of those things don't prevent anyone from learning. We can all know, just like the apostles did, that Jesus Christ really was the Son of God. That was one of the interesting things I learned during this study. That the apostles didn't really know Jesus Christ was the Son of God because they saw his miracles or heard his teachings or ate with him or walked with him or any of those things. It was because of revelation. It was because they learned it through the Holy Ghost from God, and that that's still available to all of us! We can know just like they did. Such a cool promise, and hopeful too! Just think about all the things we still have left to learn...

Ok, I love you all so much! I'm doing really well, healthy and working hard. Everything about my mission is better now than ever before and I think it's just an upward slope from here on out.

Love you!

Elder Blissett (Kevin)

P.S. I had an "only in Malaysia" experience the other day. Elder Porter and I had just gotten a drink at a gas station and were taking a short rest before getting back on the bikes. I was kind of just staring around, not really looking at anything when I heard Elder Porter say something like, "Holy cow! Did you just see that?"

"No, what?"

"I just saw a guy riding by on a moto (scooter) with one of those baby carriers slung over his shoulder... but there was a monkey in it!"

Only in Malaysia do people carry monkeys in baby slings on their scooters. Southeast Asia is the best!

Love you all!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

P-day Adventure Hike

Halo Keluargaku,

Glad to be e-mailing you this week. Elder Porter and I have been dying trying to wait so long. We had 9 days before this P-Day since our last P-Day was on Monday. Just yesterday Elder Porter and I were talking about how "e-mail trunky" we've become. I'm glad the wait is finally over!

Speaking of dying, I've been sick! I'm pretty much back to normal though. I'm feeling a lot better now. It was the first time on my mission I've had to stay in a day, so I guess that means I'm doing ok so far.

So, pretty much the most exciting things that happened was our P-Day adventure hiking up a waterfall and our baptism this last weekend. For our P-Day, we always have a zone activity before zone conference, and this week we decided we'd go to this waterfall that was near our place (or so we thought). There was only one of the senior missionaries who had been there before, and he told us it wasn't more than 20 Km (12 miles) away. No problem. So we all got in taxis and started to drive. It wasn't long for us to realize this was *much* farther than 20 km. Oh well, we were already on our way out. So, finally, after more than an hour of driving we arrived and got out. Hooray! We took a few pictures and started hiking up a trail that led to the top of this waterfall when, you guessed it, the rain started coming down. Hard. I think maybe most of us would have turned back, but President Clark took the lead and just started cruising up the side of mountain. Not to be outdone by the mission president, we followed. So, about another hour later we made it up and then down, totally and completely soaked, and covered with leeches. I have no idea where the leeches came from, but almost all of us had at least 3. That was a fun experience. Then we started to work on the problem of how to get back into the taxi covered with rain, mud, and blood as we were. One of the couples came up with the great idea to make something like diapers out of trash bags, and have us wear those the whole way home. It actually worked pretty well.

So, that was the P-Day adventure!

Our baptism went really well! She's a little Indian girl about 10 years old who is the children of some members who were previously less active. I had the chance to confirm her, which was super cool, and I actually recorded it so that I could translate it into Malay for her (I didn't really feel comfortable giving it in Malay). So, remind me next week and I'll send it to you!

Aye, anyway, that's the week here in Ipoh! So glad to finally here from you all. I love you so much and I can't wait to see you again! Oh Yeah! Conference! So, we watch it a week later here. They send us DVDs from Salt Lake and we'll watch it at the church this Friday and Saturday. Elder Porter and I actually downloaded the audio though and made a CD, so we'll probably be listening to it most of the day. So far we've gotten through the Saturday morning session and part of Saturday afternoon. It's awesome so far!

Ok, I love you all so much! Talk to you soon!

Elder Blissett