Oh dear! Kuhara Road (or Jalan Kuhara) is *exactly* next to where we live. It's the namesake of Kuhara Court. When did you hear about flooding? Things were looking really normal when we left, but there was actually a storm coming in. I guess we'll find out in a couple of days what everything is like. How did you hear about that? (Looking back I'm remembering that there's a place called Pasir Puteh that's kind of famous for flooding sometimes. We have a lot of less active members out there. Is that where it was?)
We're having a great time here in Singapore! Everything went smoothly on the flight and it's been a blast to see everyone again. My dear son (Elder Whittaker) is doing great, and it always feels a little bit like coming back to my mission "home" when we come back to Singapore. It's funny, Singapore was definitely a tough area for me, but there are lots of things that I miss about it and it's always fun to get to come back for a couple of days. I think sometimes it's the harder things that you look back and remember the most fondly, right?
We're planning on having a baptism sometime this week, but we have a couple of problems to resolve this week. I don't know if I've ever mentioned this, but Tawau struggles to an extreme degree with Melchizedek priesthood holders. To more specific, there are three that are currently active, the branch president, a missionary who just got returned from his mission in this mission and is now the first counselor, and an incredibly Christlike, faithful brother who went blind a few years ago and lives very far away, so he only comes in for sacrament meetings (he's the second counselor). Well, in sacrament meeting a couple of weeks ago the Branch President announced that he has to go help out with the family business in a small town called Lahad Datu about two hours away from Tawau. So, he's only going to get to come to church about twice a month, and he's leaving in just a few weeks. Well, that was really hard, but we were feeling pretty good knowing that the first counselor, our recently returned missionary, could be the next branch president. Come to find out he's moving to Lahad Datu as well, although he'll be coming into Tawau every Sunday to go to church, but he'll still have to spend the week in Lahad Datu. So, we don't really have anyone to be the new Branch President. We're thinking they're probably going to send in a Senior Couple, but we still don't really know what's going to happen at this point.
Anyway, how that relates to the baptism is that we're supposed to have a Branch Presidency member at every baptism, and the Branch President just went to the temple in the Philippines this week, and the first counselor is in Lahad Datu already. We've been trying to call the second counselor to see if he can make a special trip into town, but we haven't been able to get a hold of him. So our baptism may be waiting for a week. Life in Tawau, huh?
Other than that, things are going really great way out on the Indonesian border. I'm loving it there and I'll definitely never forget the lessons I've learned in Tawau. It's been awesome.
Anyway, things are still going great. I'm loving it. My mission has been the best experience of my whole life. I'm so grateful to have been born a member of this church. It's the truth, and it's a massive blessing to be able to share it with others everyday.I love you all so much!
Sounds like next week I'll be letting you know how it feels to be swimming through the floods of Tawau!