Well, this week is a little exciting, first off because I'm writing from lovely Semporna, Malaysia. No, I didn't get transferred, although Elder Whittaker actually is headed off to Singapore. The companionship is coming to an end to soon, but Heavenly Father always knows best, right? So, to celebrate his leaving we decided to finally take a P-Day out to Semporna which is about an hour and half away from Tawau. This is actually the place with all the amazing diving, but Elder Whit and I just came looking for beaches and souveniers. Unfortunately, now that we're here we're not exactly sure where to go to find the beach, but we'll find it! Don't worry!
Our first baptism is this Saturday! Things are looking really solid, so we're very, very excited. Unfortunately Elder Whit is getting transferred on Thursday so he's actually going to miss his first baptism, which is pretty much the worst part about him getting transferred, but we're going to take a lot of pictures for him and make sure he still eats "baptism ice cream." It's very important to eat ice cream after every baptism! Good luck I've found...
I'm super happy to hear conference was cool. Unfortunately it's actually probably going to be a long time (if ever) before I get to listen to it in English! Before Singapore would send out DVDs in three languages to the branches (English, Malay, and Chinese), but now it sounds like they're only going to send the Malay. So, we'll probably watch that next weekend and I guess I'll just have to test to see how good my Malay has really gotten. I'll try and read the "highlight" talks during e-mail as soon as the text is posted, but it sounds like I'll mostly just be waiting for the Ensign. Ironic to be missing conference as a missionary... :D
I did, however, hear from the members that they're building another temple in the Philipines which is very exciting. Go Asia!
Things are still going well with our investigators. We had one investigator set up to be baptized actually move away this week, which is tough, but she's in a place where there are other missionaries, so hopefully everything works out ok. Our family is still doing well. Thanks so much for your prayers, it makes a big difference to them and to us.
My new companion is named Elder Cazier. His last area was in Sibu, Sarawak, and he's a few months younger than I am in the mission. Other than that I don't really know much about him, but I'm excited to pick him up on Thursday. I'm sure we'll have a great companionship.
I'm happy to hear that Johnny likes to read so much. A sure sign of a brilliant Simmons boy. I'll have to teach him Malay when I get home so he and I can have secret brotherly conversations behind your backs. Babies are supposed to be fast at picking that kind of stuff up, right? and if he's already gotten to "shoe" in English, Malay shouldn't be any problem for him at all. :D
I was thinking it was probably cooling off in Utah. Things are just as hot as ever here in Tawau, although people tell us that the cooler season should be starting soon. The big secret is that the cool season is pretty much the same as every other time of the year, so you can feel free to tell people it's just about to start whenever you want! I think the consensus is that there's actually two cooler seasons throughout the year separated by a few months. Who knows!
Other than that it's been a pretty standard week. I'm sad to see Elder Whit go (my little boy has gotten all grown up and is having his first transfer), but that's just part of missionary life. I think he'll do great in Singapore.
Oh! I remembered what I wanted to ask for for Christmas! I think for the first Christmas ever I'm actually hoping to get clothes! The big thing is just a few more pairs of black socks. I seem to have an amazing ability to lose those! And a couple of those broadcloth white shirts would be awesome, those are the best. Also, if you wouldn't mind looking for a thin, fairly inexpensive wallet that would be the icing on the cake. The duct tape wallet may not be surviving a whole lot longer. Seems like a year of Malaysia just makes about anything start to fall apart. And, if one more thing wouldn't be too much, we just got the new movie list and The Emporers New Groove is on it! I love that movie. Would you mind finding a copy? Thank you so much!
Ok, we're going to go search for a beach. I love you so much, wish us luck! Miracles happen every day here in the mission field. Thank you so much for your prayers and faith. The Lord is watching out for us and things are going great.