Beautiful beach-side Tawau Chapel
Views from the beach
Old and new shoe comparison
We're in KL! Crazy, huh? You're probably starting to feel like we're never in our area based on how many times I've e-mailed you from crazy places now, but it's not as bad as it seems, I promise! We had to come here for another of those big missionary trainings (this time with all of Singapore, West Malaysia, and Sabah only) so we're here for four days getting to see all the other elders again and having some awesome training from President Clark. So far it's been really awesome and I'm super excited to get back into our area and start applying some of this good stuff. We're going to be a lot more effective for sure.
Our Baptism went through! Woohoo! Everything went great and the best part of all was hearing ****'s absolutely amazing testimony. It's so cool to see how far she's come in really only a few weeks of learning from missionaries, but in over a year of good preparation from her awesome mother. Her testimony started out normally enough for a recent convert, but after only a few sentences you could just see something change in her countenance and she couldn't even really speak for about a minute. When she finally could she just expressed so much love for her mom, the Lord, and the elders and told everyone about her commitment to endure to the end and make it to the temple. She said she'd never stop coming to church and learning about Heavenly Father. She said she hoped the Elders would keep coming to visit her so she could keep learning about Heavenly Father. It was absolutely music to this missionary's ears, and made all the time I've spent in Tawau 100% worth it. She's solid and is going all the way to the temple. I couldn't be happier! I'm just sad Elder Whit had to miss it, but Elder Cazier has been great too for the few days we've been together.
Elder Cazier is from Elk Ridge Utah and is pretty darn cool. I think we're going to get along really well.
I'm sending some pictures. Most importantly a picture of Elder Cazier and I plus *** and her family at the baptism, a few pictures of our beautiful beach side church (it's so pretty, the pictures don't really even do it justice), and *drumroll please* my new shoes, or at least my shoes newly delivered from Singapore! Yay! I was pretty blown away how different they looked from my old ones (that's a old shoe vs. new shoe picture of the soles. The old ones are hardly recognizable!) But they're super comfortable and shiny and I'm really grateful to have them. Awesome.
Elder Whit and I never did find the beach! We actually didn't even find anything very touristy and just avoided not coming back with any souvenirs and all. It's funny, you always hear about it, but other than scuba diving there's really not much in Semporna at all. Not even touristy shops or anything. It was kind of crazy, but fun anyway just to "jalan-jalan" (a Malay word for kind of just walking around and hanging out). I'm just glad we didn't get lost.
Other than that, things out here in Malaysia are kind of same-old same-old. We're thinking about busting out the bikes in Tawau and seeing how it goes. The buses all shut down at around 7:30, leaving us abandoned pretty much wherever we happen to be at around 7:30 until we decide to go home which limits our options a lot. So, we're looking into using buses during the day and bikes at night. I think it could work out pretty well.
Well, Kuala Lumpur says hi! Things are going great and we're looking at another baptism in a couple of weeks which is very exciting. We had a member's daughter just move here from Indonesia who was immediately interested in joining the church. Well, things were going great until last week we called to confirm an appointment and she told us that she couldn't meet because she'd moved to a city about four hours away. Malaysians are prone to do that kind of thing at the drop of the hat. So, we were getting ready to pass her to the Elders who lived there only to find out she'd decided to move back again. That's ok by us :D. Honestly though, as long as she gets baptized it's not really important to me who does it!
I got the package with the insoles and the candy and everything. Thank you SO MUCH. You forget how awesome stuff from America is until you're away from it for a while. Those pens you sent me are like a bright, gleaming ray of well manufactured goodness in a country filled with crummy pens. They're awesome, and I really needed some new pens, so thanks a lot!
I love you so much! Thanks so much for all your support and everything. I'm so grateful to be in this family. The church is true and it's the greatest blessing to have the opportunity to spend two years full-time sharing it with others. Malaysia is the best (and Singapore too)!
I love you! Talk to you soon!