Thursday, October 27, 2016

Week #15 - I'm not Korean: October 18, 2016 - October 24, 2016

Eating Korean food with long noodles.
This week was my first time trying Korean food. It was very delicious but SPICY! Since I've been in Malaysia, most people ask me if I'm Korean, Japanese, or any other type of asian except Chinese. As I walked into the Korean restaurant, the Korean man at the counter greeted me in Korean and when I asked if he thought I was Korean, he said yes. Well at least I even fool the locals! 

The upside down museum.
For p-day, we went to the Upside Down Museum. The pictures were totally awesome as we defied gravity, kind of. You have to use the context clues to see what angle the picture needs to be turned so that the right side is up :) This week we are saying goodbye to Sister Larkin as she returns home to Australia.  She has been a wonderful companion to both Sister Durham and myself.  Good luck Sister Larkin!! Sister Quan, coming from East Malaysia, will now be joining Sister Durham and myself in Penang. We are excited to have her with us.

This week we went back to Ipoh for both Zone Conference and District Conference. Zone Conference occurs once per transfer where we learn how to be better missionaries with the mission president and his wife. The Ipoh Zone also had District Conference (similar to stake conference). The Ipoh Zone includes Ipoh, Penang, Butterworth (mainland Penang that is an elders only area), and Sitiawan (elders only area). It was fun to go back to my first, original area and see the awesome members in both Ipoh and Penang! When members from Ipoh asked me
Ipoh Zone
about Penang, my companion just had to spread the news that I fell into the sewers. Now everybody calls me Sister Drains. During conference, we learned more about faith and how faith in Jesus Christ and His atonement leads us to repentance. I enjoyed a quote by Elder David A Bednar in the October 2007 conference, "Our spiritual purpose is to overcome both sin and the desire to sin, both the taint and tyranny of sin". I know this purpose is only accomplished through the atonement of Christ and our faith to act and repent. 

Friday, October 21, 2016

Week #14 - Exchanges in KL: October 11, 2016 - October 17, 2016

Kuala Lampar, Malaysia
This week we went on exchanges for a day with the Sister Training Leaders in Kuala Lumpur. It's a busy city, but it was fun to contact people on an LRT, a type of public transport similar to the subway, rather than on our bikes. We were able to learn different teaching techniques, styles, and ideas. It was fun to be in the city and get more ideas for missionary work in Penang.

Penang is an awesome city! It's an island so it's hot and humid. It's also a touristy destination. There are a lot of vegetarians here, so I see a lot of vegetarian houses (restaurants). In Malaysia, there are 3 main cultures: Chinese, Malay, and Indian. Most people speak 3 or more languages: English, Malay, and whatever heritage they have. I often hear Mandarin, Tamil, and Hokkian (a Chinese dialect) around Penang. In Ipoh, it would be Mandarin, Cantonese, and Tamil. Wherever I go, the signs are usually in English, Malay, and Mandarin. Funny, Mandarin, Cantonese, and Hokkian are all Chinese dialects, spoken differently, but all are written the same. As for food, it is
delicious! Penang is especially known for its food. The Indian food is delicious! I love cheese naan, and we get it quite often. The Chinese food is also delicious. Rice is eaten with every meal, so the food fills you up fast! Instead of forks and knives, they eat everything with spoons and forks. We scoop up all of the food with a fork, and put in on the spoon to eat, or we eat with our hands (mostly an Indian style). The culture and people here are so awesome and interesting. Most people I meet here are religious in some way or another, mostly Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, or Christian. It's been fun to have so many cultures meet in one place!

The Petronas Twin Towers, KL
On Sunday, the primary children had their primary program in the church. The primary children are kids in the church ages 4-11, who had a short program of singing songs. It was so fun to see the kids. The theme was the scriptures, and their hope is that each of the children could say, "I know The Book of Mormon is true" with confidence by the end of the year. It was precious to hear their singing and know that they were genuine when they sang the songs and shared their testimonies. There were a couple of talks after the primary children concluded. One of the talks was about the primary children and how courageous, fearless, innocent, and forgetful they are. The primary children are very forgetful, but in a good way. When we do something to hurt their feelings, we just need to say sorry, and then they are happy again. It's because a child is so innocent, and CHOOSES to have the best image of people in their heads, that they are so forgiving. When we say sorry, they are so easy to forgive and forget. That is what makes children so precious and innocent. We should be as little children and CHOOSE to have the best image of the people in our lives in our head. We CHOOSE to forgive, we CHOOSE to forget. This will help us have more love towards one another, and more peace in our lives.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Week #13 - The Sewers: October 4, 2016 - October 10, 2016

Trying on Malaysian elephant pants

This week while biking and trying to get past the cars, I fell off my bike, and my foot slipped into the sewers. It was disgusting. Least to say, my companions sandwich me so I don't die. So that was the fun moment of the week.

This week was awesome, because we were able to watch General Conference! I was able to see quite a few friends I had in the MTC and from high school in the MTC choir singing during conference. That was a lot of fun! There were a lot of members here who came to conference in Penang. I am amazed by the faith of the members here. Most of the people have a hard time getting to church, but they do what they can to attend faithfully each week. In conference, I loved the theme: The Atonement. After conference, we watched a video about missionary work and the atonement. It was so inspiring and beautiful. If you can, look it up. It discussed how missionary work is not an easy task; it is hard. That is because salvation was not easy, and did not come by a cheap price. Yet, the worth of souls was so great to the Savior that he was willing to pay for everyone. How much are we willing to pay to help our fellow brothers and sisters?

After conference, we visited one of our investigator's, A. By the acts and love we've shown her, she's talked about us to her family. They were impressed and her son told her to bring us with her. When we arrived, 14 members of her family were wanting to meet us. They all welcomed us with open arms and warm smiles. It was awesome to see how just showing love to one person impresses upon another so much. What can you do today to show more love?
Penang, West Malaysia

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Week #12: Transfer to Penang, September 27, 2016 - October 3, 2016

This week I've been emergency transferred to Penang. When we entered Malaysia, my companion was only allowed
Goodbye party for Sister Vranes and Montague
2 weeks. Due to the chop (Singapore missionary term for having to leave the country), she is now only allowed in East Malaysia and Singapore. She's gone to Singapore, while I was moved to Penang, which is still in West Malaysia. Here, I have two companions, Sister Durham and Sister Larkin. Sister Durham is a Chinese speaking sister who is from Logan, Utah. Sister Larkin is a Malay speaking sister from Australia. She goes home at the end of this transfer. Oh, and there are 4 elders, and guess what? Elder Gould from my MTC district is in this area! Anyway, Penang is awesome!! It's basically like Ipoh, except more humid, because it's on an island. Plus it's a tourist spot with lots of visitors.

So since I've been in Penang, which was Wednesday, my first day we had two lessons. In the second lesson, we have an investigator, M, who actually
Sister Montague and Vranes at the goodbye party
asked to get baptized before we could ask him! He's had a rough life, and is trying to change it around. On Saturday, it wasn't our turn to clean the church, but we were called in to clean it anyway. When we arrived, M was sitting outside of the gate. He had arrived 15 minutes earlier, and had walked an hour by foot from his home to get there. He was very humbled and sought out the help of the Lord. He knew he needed solace, so he sought out the church. I was so very impressed by his choice in the first place. We were able to show him the chapel, and teach him a lesson. This was a tender mercy of the Lord. He knew what M needed and where we needed to be in order to help M. I know the Lord places us in people's paths for a reason, and at the time that they need our help.

Last story, before I left Ipoh, a member, N, has a tradition called The Temple Pic. She asks each missionary to print off a picture of their local temple and write their testimony on the back. Then she puts every one on her fridge. She has never been to a temple before. There is not one here in Malaysia. The closest temple is in Hong Kong, and soon Thailand once it is built.
Penang Island
The members in Ipoh and Penang try to arrange a temple visit every year, but only a handful are able to go. I am amazed by the faith of these members, like N, and so many others here who have never been to a temple let alone seen one in person, but still have the faith that one day they will enter into the Lord's house. It's so very humbling to remember how blessed we are to be so close to a temple. How will you remember the Lord this day?
Sister Vranes, Larkin, Durham, Penang Missionaries

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Week #11: Ipoh, West Malaysia September 20, 2016 - September 26, 2016

This week while contacting we met two ladies who spoke mostly Chinese. They were really sweet, nice, and funny. They spoke broken English saying they only spoke Mandarin. My companion rode up to them, started talking in
Zone Conference in Ipoh, West Malaysia
English, and then in Mandarin. When they saw me ride up, they ignored her and started only talking to me telling my companion (because she is white), "No. You don't speak Mandarin. She does." Unfortunately, my companion's mandarin is better than mine. whoops!

Ooo, just a little fun thing, I was able to wash N----'s dogs for service. We washed all 12 of them and a little puppy Bella that she rescued the other day but gave to her neighbor. It was cuteness overload here. They were all so big and cute. Sadly, I forgot my camera so I didn't get a picture :\

This week we had zone meeting, so all of the sisters and elders in West Malaysia came together. There are only 2 other sisters in Penang, and us four in Ipoh. All of the elders I met would only talk to me in Mandarin. The sisters said it was just them trying to see how well the "greenies" (newbies) spoke. Ugh. Elders. Anyways, it was a great time, we were spiritually enlightened and it renewed our drive to go out and serve.
Zone Conference in Ipoh, West Malaysia

Well this week I have been studying about the enabling power the atonement. Elder David A. Bednar gave a great talk at a BYU devotional about it. I know hat the Lord's atonement is not only to heal, but to give us strength beyond our own. When we go through trials we think we cannot handle, the Lord will help us, all we need to do is ask. The Lord loves you and wants to help you. He wants you to be as a child, and ask for help. I know He will answer and give you more strength than you could ever imagine.