Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Hari Gawai

Halo Keluargaku,

Well, this last week actually was a good one. We had a great conference in KL, I got to get to work with Elder Christiansen, and we're shaping up to having a good week this week. The zone leaders are down here on exchanges today and tomorrow too, which is always a lot of fun and very helpful.

Well, as far as news go, I think this week was pretty standard. We had a good time buying Elder Christiansen and new bike, I think this week we knocked into more drunken Ibans than I've met my entire mission, but other than that it was pretty normal. It's still the season for Hari Gawai and I guess that might be the reason for all the drunken Ibans. The actually holiday is only for a day or two, but the celebrations extend for about a month. We heard a concert going on in between some shops the other day so we went over to see what was going on. Well, lo and behold there was an open court filled with about a dozen Ibans doing the poco-poco (pronounced "pocho pocho." It's the traditional Iban line dance. Who knew that anybody had a traditional line dance? Anyway, you should try and find videos of it on youtube.) One of the organizers of the event almost immediately ran up to us and invited us to sit down and take pictures and everything, so we asked him what was going on. He explained that they were doing traditional dances to celebrate their Hari Gawai. I asked him, "Wasn't that over a week ago" to which he unabashedly replied something like "Yes, but we're still celebrating." Someone mentioned the other day that if you have enough "Last" Gawai parties you can get parties stretched out for a pretty long time. I kind of like the month long holidays though! It's a little bit like the Christmas Season in America.

Well, this week we've just been finding some more potential investigators. Unfortunately it looks like our Chinese family is not doing super well. The wife has told us a couple of times that she's having a really hard time accepting the Book of Mormon. We kind of halfway think that she was antied, but she's still friendly so we're not really sure. Anyway, her husband is still in Indonesia so we're just hoping he's having a lot better experience than her. We're still hopeful though!
It's been nice to work another week in JB. I think you really just come to love whatever you put a lot of work into, it seems almost inevitable. That's a great thing for missionary work though because you really come to love every area. It doesn't really matter where you serve, but just how you do it!

Well, things are going well. We're still working like crazy and seeing the Lord's hand in the work. We're just looking for a miracle in finding somebody who has all three of the necessary attributes of an investigator: Interest, Transportation, and work off on Sunday. It's a rare combination out here!

I love you all so much though. I'm having a great time out here and enjoying my mission more than ever. The work is still the same joyful stuff. I grow more grateful for the church and the Book of Mormon and especially the Savior with every passing day. Being a missionary is the best, and I wouldn't have traded it for anything I could have been doing back at home!

I love you all. Thanks for everything!

Elder Blissett

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Elder Bednar in KL

"I'm Not Home..."

Halo Keluargaku,

Well, this week was another pretty standard week out here in JB. No visits from general authorities or other famous people but lots of knocking and teaching. So it was standard, but pretty good!

One of the highlights was a lesson we had with a Chinese family early in the week. I think I told you about meeting them before. They're the family I told you had been praying for some comfort just before we knocked on their door. Anyway, they're still doing great and we had an awesome lesson about the Book of Mormon with them, the senior couple serving here and one of the branch missionaries. They're a family that's really sincerely searching for the truth (which I've found can be a really hard thing to find) and who are really committed to following whatever answers they receive, so I'm confident that they'll be getting the right answer soon. Unfortunately the husband has to go to Indonesia for business for about a month later this week, but we're still hopeful that everything is going to work out fine.

We've had some weird weather lately. Just the other day we had a day that was super overcast and very hot, but that never rained. It was really strange. Usually if you walk out of the house and it's a really hot day (which really just means it's a few degrees Celsius hotter, I think the temperature here just varies between 29 and 32 degrees, but it always feels a lot hotter!) you can almost be positive that it will rain that day. It's actually pretty predictable. So it was weird the other day to have a full day that was hot and cloudy without rain. The clouds were actually nice though, it's always better to have the clouds than the sun. The sun can be really brutal out here.

We had a fun contacting experience contacting and Indian man at his home just before he left for his job as a bus driver in Singapore. Well, we asked him if we could come back the next day and he told us a little bit reluctantly that that would be ok. So, the next day we start the fairly long bike ride in the hot sun to go out and go see him. Well, you can imagine our relief when we saw that his bus was still parked in front of his house, meaning that he hadn't left for work yet. Anyway, we walked up to the door and rang it, waited for a couple of seconds and saw just a flash of somebody walking out the front door and hearing a short of muffled gasp/shout. Well, that was strange we thought, but we figured he'd be coming back out in just a second after he grabbed the keys. Well, we waited there for a few minutes in the beating sun and... nothing happened. He didn't come back. After waiting a couple more minutes we retreated to some shade at his neighbors house and gave him a call.

"Oh hello friend, we're at your house right now and it's very hot. Do you think we can come in?"

"Oh uh, actually I'm not home right now. Ya, I'm visiting my relative"

It was at this point I realized that I was not only hearing his voice on the phone, but could actually hear him speaking inside the house. Well, after a short conversation (wherein he asked us to go visit him at his "relative's" house that was actually some distance away!), we just went on our merry way. Sometimes things don't quite work out the way you hoped they would, but at least it was funny!

Well, other than that, things are pretty much going the way they've been going here. We're still having a blast and doing our best to teach Heavenly Father's other children.

Anyway, I'm still loving it here! We're working hard and I'll be finishing up strong for sure!

I love you all so much. Thanks for everything!

Love you!
Elder Blissett