Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Pictures from KL

KL can be such a pretty city.

View from apartment

A picture in an area called Central Market. It's a place where a lot of people go to buy souvenirs and things. The big kite looking thing at the top is called a wau (pronounced 'wow'), and is a traditional kind of kite that the Malays make here. The real ones are like six feet tall and very cool.

A picture of one of the strangest things I've tasted here in Malaysia. It's called Cinceluk (I'm not sure how to spell it, but it's pronounced 'cheen-che-loke'). It's a shrimp based sauce kind of thing they eat with rice here, but it's got one of the strangest flavors I've ever tasted. It's super salty, super sour, and very spicy all at once. Interesting combination!

A bathroom I was privileged to use the other day. Yes, that's right, the bathroom is a wall. :D

A New Companion

Halo Keluargaku,

Well, our baptisms both went through and now we have two more Nigerian brothers here to strengthen the branch. It was really cool so see that, and we're super privileged to have them. It's pretty fun to be part of the International Mission, building the church all over the world right here in KL.

I have some more exciting news to report. I have a new companion! It's always a little bittersweet to change, but I'm really excited to be serving now with Elder Gottfredson from San Antonio, Texas. He's a really likable, easy going guy and a hard worker, so I think we're going to get along great! Elder Peterson is off in Tawau now, which is kind of fun. I sent him with a lot of greetings for the members there. So, things are always changing! Elder Gottfredson and I are going to hang a Texas flag in the apartment, so at least in that small way the change has been positive. :D

Well, this week was filled with doing lots of kind of time consuming, but very important things. We managed to get our second Nigerian *** baptized this week by making the long trek out to his house to finish teaching him, which he was very excited about. ***, our other Nigerian brother, actually got really sick on the Sunday of his baptism and we were really worried he wasn't going to make it. After explaining to us that he was sick though, he told us he was probably going to be late, but that he was definitely going to be there, and he was. What a trooper! It was awesome to see him exercise his faith like that and not push things back even when it would have been understandable. I know that faith is going to lead to a lot of blessings for him in the future, and already has blessed him here.

Next week Elder Gottfredson has to go into Singapore for three days to get his special professional visitors pass renewed, so I think I'll be spending some time down in Johor Bahru which should be fun. We have to go down for exchanges anyway once a month, so we might as well kill two birds with one stone, right?

Well, there's not a lot else to say, other than that things are going great. I'm loving the gospel more and more everyday and I truly know that the church is true. I'm loving serving as a missionary. This is the Lord's work, and it's blessed me more than almost anything else in my entire life.

I love you all so much!

Talk to you soon!

Elder Blissett

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Message to Elder Hall

Hey Cameron, apa khabar?

Saya belum pasti apa ibu saya akan buat dengan pesanan ini, tapi mudah-mudahan dia boleh sampaikannya kepada kamu. Kamu ada sudah di KL? Saya dengar nanti you mahu datang, tapi lama tak ada apa-apa khabar. Ada dua orang yang pernah misionaris yang sekarang ada di sini di KL, jadi mungkin salah satu mereka bantu kami, saya tak berapa pasti.

Oklah, kita bincang nanti.

Elder Blissett

e-mail address:

Upcoming Baptisms

Halo Keluargaku,

Well, we did finally hear about the tsunami on Sunday at church. It was really unbelievable to see the pictures of what's going on there in Japan. It's hard to believe that something like this could happen even in a developed nation like Japan. It's a huge blessing to hear that all the missionaries are accounted for though. I hope to hear soon that the members are safe, and we're definitely praying for the people in Japan. It feels a lot closer to home being over here in Asia!

Well, for the last two days Elder Peterson and I have been out of our area doing exchanges with the other elders here in KL. It's always tough to be away from your own investigators and area, but it's been really cool to see what the other elders are doing and try and find ways that we can help them. The elders here in the zone are really awesome, and we're very blessed to have a really motivated and faithful crew doing the work here in this part of the vineyard. So I've definitely learned a lot the last couple of days and I feel like I've gotten to know the elders in the zone a lot better, which is very important too!

As for the rest of the week, it's always hard to even remember what happened! One of the things that has really surprised me about missionary work is how fast everything changes. It really feels like week to week you're working with an entirely different group of people. Even the investigators you work with for a long time seem to change so much it's hard to keep tabs on what they're all doing. But, for a minor update, it seems like our very spiritually sensitive Myanmar investigator is doing very well, although she's going to have some trouble coming to church for a while since her boss is out of town and she can't take a day off until he gets back. Can you believe that? Not a single day off. It actually seems to be a pretty regular schedule for a lot of people here to get two "off-days" a month. They're actually really lucky if they're working at a company that allows them to take those off-days on Sundays, since those are some of the biggest business days here in Malaysia. So that's always a challenge to deal with, but we pray and do the best we can and often something will work out.

We're planning to have two baptisms this Sunday! One is ***, our Nigerian investigator who bore his testimony the first time he ever came to church. He's really done awesome, and has made a lot of progress really quickly. He didn't really have any major concerns and he's looking very solid for baptism, so we're really excited about that. Our other potential is a man named ***, who is really excited to be baptized, but lives really far from the church, making it a little difficult for us to find good times and places to meet him. So if we can work it out, we're going to finish his teaching this week and get him baptized on Sunday, if not, it should be another week.

So Heavenly Father is still blessing us with lots of really awesome people to work with. It's been cool to see the sentence in Preach My Gospel fulfilled where it says that the Lord will put people in our path and put us in the paths of others who are prepared to hear the message of the gospel. I've definitely learned that that's true for myself.

Well, other than that, it's been a pretty standard week. I'm so grateful to be serving a mission. I know that the Lord has called me here and I know that this is his work. It's one of the greatest blessings of my life to get to be a part of it!

I love you all so much!
Elder Blissett

Thursday, March 10, 2011

A new investigator from Myanmar

Halo Keluargaku,

That's so fun to hear that the family managed to get back to a little bit of our Louisiana roots and have a king cake! I'm pretty sure that I've never had one, but I have definitely heard people talk about them over the years and have always kind of wondered what that was all about. I was especially interested in hearing about all the Christian themes in a King Cake. I had no idea that Christian motivated traditions were part of Mardi Gras at all, but I guess I was just underinformed!

The story about Johnny and his tricycle was pretty funny too. It really does seem like little kids are just born with inclinations to love certain things (like playing with guns)! It seems like the culture doesn't really even make a difference. One of the fun things coming here and seeing so many different kinds of people from all over the world has been to realize that little kids are pretty much exactly the same no matter where you go. I don't know how it works, but it always feels like you're not far from home if there's a little kid around.

It's fun to hear about all the lessons and things that you hear in church too. It's cool to realize that the things going on back at home in church are actually pretty much the same things that are happening here too, it's just that here it seems like all those things are happening in three languages!

This week in KL has been really nice. We just finished up a Zone Conference yesterday and a Zone Leader Council the day before that, so I think I've had my fill of meetings for the next month or two, but I learned a lot and I'm definitely grateful everytime we get to hear from the Mission President and the APs. President Clark is really a special Mission President and we're super blessed to have him. He gave us awesome trainings the last couple of days on Prayer, Conducting Meetings, Leadership Skills, and all kinds of other missionary skills that have given us plenty of information to digest for the next month. The Holy Ghost is always very strongly present and it's always interesting to see how He points out to us the parts of every little lesson that are the most significant to us personally. I feel like everytime we go into a Zone Conference we all hear the same words, but come out with completely different messages. It's really exciting to see that.

We're teaching a few people that we're really excited about, but one of the most notable is a 27 year old girl from Myanmar named ***. She's turned out to be one of the most naturally spiritually sensitive people that I've taught on my entire mission. The first time we met her we were actually teaching another investigator when she just came into the room and sat down. Interestingly, although I was a little bit inclined to set her to the side and focus on the investigator we came there to teach, Elder Peterson really felt like we needed to focus on her. So, we started to teach her, and it wasn't long before I got the same feeling as Elder Peterson that we were there to teach her that night. It was awesome, she was so focused and so open to hearing everything we said. She really listened carefully and seemed immediately interested. Well, the next time we went to her house and taught her there and had another awesome experience with her, only this time it was made even better since we took the first investigator we'd been teaching (***) along to help. *** did awesome, and we left the lesson with two investigators that had strengthened each other's faith although they were both just learning the gospel for the first time. The next time we came back to teach *** she told us that since she'd had a hard time understanding us the first time we met with her, she'd (on her own) asked Heavenly Father to bless her so that she'd be able to understand our English better, and it totally worked! She told us the other night how when we're there with her she can feel a really strong, peaceful, nice feeling that goes away with us when we leave. When we asked her to pray and ask whether or not Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, she did it, but told us she didn't really feel like she'd received an answer. "It's ok though," she said, "I just believe that Joseph Smith is a true prophet. I just believe that it's true." I think she's well on her way to finding her answer.

So, she's doing awesome, and the investigator we always bring with us to teach her has basically become a missionary herself before she's even been baptized. She's an awesome teacher and is sharing the gospel with all kinds of people at her work. It's really exciting to see and is an absolutely huge blessing.

We're teaching two Nigerian men right now as well (I think I mentioned one before who bore his testimony at the first sacrament meeting he'd ever been to, the one who came with us to hand out food to the poor). They're both doing awesome, have accepted dates to be baptized, and are looking really solid right now, so we're enjoying a huge wave of blessings.

It's awesome to see how Heavenly Father has this whole experience planned out. I know that he's watching out for all of us and gives us exactly what we need when we need it. Sometimes that means a lot of blessings, and sometimes it means a lot of adversity, but I think that even the adversity can be a blessing if we treat it that way. It's funny though, lately I've just been feeling like I've entered the "reward" stage of my mission. We're just getting so much more than we deserve, and I know that Heavenly Father is behind it.

So I know that the church is true. Serving this mission has been the greatest opportunity of my entire life, and I think the blessings are just begining. I love you all so much, and I'm so grateful that we have an eternal family. Thanks so much for all your support. I love you guys!

Elder Blissett

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

An Iban Baptism Experience

Halo Keluargaku,

Welp, we finished off the week last week with an awesome Iban baptism! Woohoo! It was really sweet to see *** get baptized, and it was kind of fun for me to to get to experience that kind of a Sarawak style baptism without ever even having to go there! The opening and closing prayers were given by our Recent Converts (***'s sister and brother-in-law), we had talks from one of the Iban members of the branch and from one of the returned missionaries from this mission. ***, who is the wife of another of the returned missionaries from this mission (the sisters were teaching her) was baptized first, then our recent convert. And almost all of it done in the awesome Iban language. Lots of fun!

So, the next day we had church, but instead of being at its normal time at 10 they moved it to 3 this week so that it wouldn't overlap with some protests that were taking place here in KL on Saturday and Sunday. It's funny, I think back at home 3 o'clock church would be far from my favorite, but here I actually thought it was pretty fun. We even got to go to a member's house before church for lunch, which is something I've never done before! Anyway, both the recently baptized people from Saturday showed up and were confirmed on time which is always a relief. So now there's officially two more members of the KL branch.

Monday and Tuesday we spent doing exchanges in Johor Bahru, which is a city at the very southern tip of Malaysia, right across the ocean from Singapore (There's actually 2 bridges from JB to Singapore). It was fun to see the missionaries there and definitely helpful to see how things work there everyday. We're actually a little wiped today since we had to take a bus back from JB at 11:30 last night and didn't get into our apartment until 4. Normally I never have trouble sleeping on cars or buses, but I was really not as successful last night as I usually am. But, we made it back! I'm glad I have a full P-day to recover before we jump back into the normal work. :D

Welp, the sisters from my group went in to Singapore yesterday to have their release dinner, which means that today is officially my 18 month mark. I don't think anything more needs to be said about that!

Well, I think that's about it for the week in KL. We've got a few potentials looking really good for baptism in the next couple of weeks, so hopefully we'll have more good news to report soon!

I love you so much! Have a great week!

Love you!
Elder Blissett