So, here I am in Singapore for the first (and probably only) all mission conference ever! I can't remember if I mentioned this was going to happen, but the entire mission (all 80 missionaries of us. Malaysia is totally empty of missionaries) is in Singapore right now for four days doing a brand new training from the first presidency called the "simplified curriculum."
So, totally awesome! It's perfect too right before the mission split to get to see everyone for one huge last hurrah! So, we're just hanging out, doing tons of training and kind of enjoying each others company for one of our last runs to Singapore. With the new visas, they should be getting rarer and rarer. The new training is interesting. Nothing really earth shattering, but just kind of eight teaching principles that we're supposed to focus on a lot more that hopefully will make a pretty good difference in the results we see.
Hey, I have some other random great news I heard the other day. They're officially teaching Malay at the MTC! Hooray! We're finally getting a little bit of acknowledgment. Apparently we're still looking at about three years before we get a Book of Mormon, but this is definitely a huge step forward. The Singapore mission is moving up in the world! So, to meet with our new transfer schedule (we're going to get on a twelve week transfer cycle apparently), they're changing the language program to only six weeks, aaand they've separated us from the Indonesian missionaries. Good deal.
I got to go around on kind of exchanges with Elder Skanchy (our new AP) the other night. He actually went to East High and lives up by Steiner, so it was pretty fun to get to remember home a little bit with him. I actually met Elder Wheelright too the other day during training, who is the Prout's grandson. So, lots of random connections to home this last week.
Tawau is doing well. We had to miss church there this week to fly to Singapore which was a *huge* bummer (it's funny, before my mission I never would have guessed how important it would be to have missionaries at church), but during training here we're getting a lot of new ideas that I think are really going to help out. We've just got so much potential, and I think the longer I'm there the better things will get. Apparently President is very committed to trying to keep us in our areas 6-8 months now though so I should have plenty of time to get everything figured out.
It's funny though, as slow as things get I absolutely love Tawau. It's just a fun area with great members, and everyday is kind of an adventure out there. So, I'm doing well too.
I'm hitting my year mark next year. I don't know if I have any shirts or anything I can afford to burn, but, we'll have to find some kind of way of commemorating it. (Fire is definitely not a huge danger though. Any building of size in Malaysia is built almost completely out of cement. They're working on getting more fire alarms out into the missionary apartments, but, honestly I don't know if we could light our apartment on fire if we wanted! Maybe the couches!) I can't believe how fast it's gone, but, shockingly enough, as much as I miss home I find myself kind of wishing this second half will go a little slower. I'm just finally starting to love the work, and the thought that would end too quickly kills me!
But, I'm doing great and loving the work. The church is so true and such a huge blessing to have in our lives. There's just nothing else like it in all the world. It's a truly inspired organization from the very bottom to the very top, and I love being a part of it. It's a miracle that they assign the responsibility for taking the lead on the missionary efforts to nineteen year old kids, but the bigger miracle is exactly how well it works. I promise we perform above our natural abilities, and it's so good to know that whoever looks like they're in charge, the Lord is always the one behind the scenes making everything work. It's awesome to be here during a time of so much change, but every time a big one comes it just becomes so much more obvious how inspired President Clark is in leading our mission. Good to know we're in the Lord's hands.
I love you all so much. Thanks so much for your support, and it's always so good to hear you're all doing well too!