Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Goodbye 2009

We say Goodbye to 2009 and Welcome in 2010!

Jerry gets Baptized!

Nathan, Lidam, Jerry with son and Elder Herbst

Hey everybody! Well last week was pretty normal except for Christmas and the fact that everyone wanted to feed us and then we were so full going to all our appointments everyone was sick for the next couple days and didn't want any food ha-ha.

So exciting news; first is Jerry got baptized Saturday night by the member Lidam and it was a great service the spirit was strong and he bore a great testimony after. Then... it obviously didn't sink in enough how important church was and he didn’t come to church the next day, so he was baptized but not confirmed ha-ha..... Luckily, because of heavy snow in France his flights are delayed till the 25 of January and well get him confirmed this coming Sunday hopefully. But President said if he doesn’t get confirmed this week we have to rebaptize him, because we got special permission for him to be baptized sooner because he was leaving and such, so complicated but something that must happen.

Other than that this week has been pretty normal. We had some exchanges here in Butterworth, so I was in Penang yesterday and it was an exciting adventure we started off by fixing bikes because the AP’s are coming today to go on splits with the Zone leaders and so we did that. Then we met this investigator Brent who is pretty much an unbaptized member and the only thing that is keeping him from baptism is that he can’t believe that God has just 1 form (1physical form) so we tried to help him with that but nothing. And apparently according to him I have ET eyes :/ which makes no sense and was just totally hilarious when he said it to me when I was with Elder Shipp.

New Years is coming up but it’s not something super special here. What’s big is Chinese New Year here and it’s all about fireworks food and parties. During Chinese New Year they give out something in English called red envelope and inside it has money! Woohoo ha-ha it’s like getting a card with some RM (Ringgit) in it which is totally sweet and so we will have another holiday already coming up ha-ha.

So recently we found this comic book called Doraemon and it’s in Malay so we read it for language study and its pretty sweet and it’s a completely Malay made comics so it’s pretty sweet, so I'll have something to show you that’s in Malay in a package. I also got your package with the cookies and stuff in it; December 26th everything was still in it.

And that is all to report for this week. You stay classy America.

Elder Watkins out.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Our Christmas Phone Call

The Best Christmas Gift that every Missionary Family gets is the "Phone Call" from their missionary!!! :)

We were able to talk to Nathan on our Christmas Eve, his Christmas morning. His toe is almost better!!! What a relief. The Butterworth area where he is serving is about an hour away from Thailand and they are as far North as his mission goes. He is hoping that he will get to go to Thailand for his next visa run. Butterworth has only been open to missionary work for a year and half, and Nathan is the 14th missionary to serve there. They can only wear their name tag at church or when they go to Kuala Lumpur. He will being going to Kuala Lumpur on January 8th. Elder Russell M. Nelson is coming to speak to them. He had two sisters baptized on December 19th and then they will have Jerry, on Saturday. Their area is really starting to take off. When we asked him what his favorite part of his mission is; he said that he loves seeing how the gospel changes the people’s lives.

Elder Watkins, Denise and her sister, and Elder Herbst (Nathan's new companion)

at the girls baptism on December 19th, 2009

Sorry, this is just the highlights of this week here in Butterworth we don’t have much time since its Christmas, so here is what I sent to the Mission President. Thanks to everyone who has sent me mail, here are some that I received recently Bates, Kezerian, Williams, Jones, and a couple others that I am sorry I forgot. :/ Thanks for all your love and support.

First is Movina who’s a members sister who is right on track to be baptized which is way exciting :) she loves coming to church and loves the gospel so much.

Next is Suresh a man that I found towards the end of November, he loves the way he feels when we come and he prays, and he's already made the goal for himself to quit smoking by the end of the year, that way he can be baptized on time. He’s got great support from his mom and she loves to learn too, we just need to get her to church which is getting here to get work off since she works 7am-7pm every day :/ but well get her :)

Next is an Iban man we have named Jerry who will be baptized tomorrow at 7 pm which is way exciting he loves this gospel so much and has already felt the Lord’s blessings in his life. He loves for us to visit him and awaits what we have new to teach him.

Our 4th really great one is our recent converts Erica's boyfriend he slowly learning and willing to change since Erica is a great influence on her friends, we are now teaching 3 referrals from her and they all are willing to change because they have seen how it has effected Erica and her mom.

Also the man named Jerry whose being baptized tomorrow is moving to France by the Eifel Tower, is Ben close to there? Because then he can take him to the church there :) He doesn’t leave till the 25th of January though.

Elder Watkins

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

No Email Today...

We didn't get our Wednesday email today :(... We are hoping that it is because he has P-day on Christmas. He was supposed to let us know when to call him...oh least he gave us his phone number last week and if all else fails, you can be sure that we'll call him!!! We are looking forward to talking to him and finding out how is poor toe is doing :(

Thanks to all of you that have sent him things this means a lot to all of us! Your generosity is truly amazing. We are constantly being blessed for his Service to the Lord.

May the spirit of this Christmas stay in all our hearts in every season of the year. Merry Christmas Everyone!!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Poor Toe...

Hey everyone,

So this week was pretty intense in the fact of a bunch of new things are going on. I’ll start off with the good news first. Well Denise and her sister are ready for baptism on Saturday and it will be an exciting day. But the Iban, Jerry had to postpone because he didn't get to church this week but he worked overtime so now he can be sure he won’t get called into work. Suresh is doing great and he came to church again and had a great time. Our investigators are all great and slowly progressing.

Things with Elder Herbst are going great he is a great guy and knows a lot. He rocks and is way funny; we have a good time together. He is from Salmon, Idaho they had a cattle ranch for Black Angus Beef…Mmmmm.

We didn't get a whole lot done this week because on Monday I had to have my toe nail removed. And it didn't hurt too bad, but it still hurt cause the numbed it and then they didn't wait long enough :/ but oh well. So for the past couple days Sister Clark said I had to stay in unless I have an appointment... so it’s been pretty boring. But we saw Darshana and Movina and they are a great set of kids. Movina should be baptized on January 9 2010.

Elder Thomas didn’t get a new companion just I did. So on Sunday we had a good amount of people come to church and it was exciting to see so many people coming to church since the last couple weeks have been kind of low.

Another sad thing happened last night when we went to see Darshana. After the appointment we came down and our bikes had been picked apart. They stole my seat, my seat pin, and my back mud flap... so annoying. I was really annoyed and angry but Elder Herbst said, oh well what can you do and we road off very slowly ha-ha. It was really frustrating and such but what can you do.

The other day we had a funny story with these 2 drunk guys. One Tamil man was drunk and was riding a bicycle and he had some hedge trimmers. We just talked to him and were nice and then he’s like, where you going? and we said, to Taman Panda and he said, I'll take you there, so not knowing what to do we had him follow us to our bikes, but then he said, let me go stash my weapon and were like o.k.?! So when he went we ran to our bikes and then road away really fast laughing, he was so drunk and so funny keep saying no offense... laugh ha-ha. Then we ran into another really drunk Chinese man that same day and the same thing happened, but he was taking us to this house, we hurry and ran off when he turned a corner. Then 2 days later we ran into the drunk Chinese guy again, and of course he’s still drunk and tries to show us to this same house again and when he turned the corner, we ran off laughing again ha-ha… so good times.

But now my toe nail is gone and it’s a sad story, but I get to wear sandals now ha-ha. Other than that, nothing too new happened. Till next week.

Elder Watkins

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Went to Zone Conference and came back with a New Companion...

Golden Statue by the Batu Cave (only about 275 stairs to climb to get to the cave)

Nathan with Elder Thomas trying to get the Monkey to take whatever he is holding!

The Petronas Towers in the distance...

Hi Everybody who reads this email!

Well Zone conference was a very exciting week. I guess I’ll start off with the news of I found skinny ties here in Malaysia :) So I bought three ha-ha. Kuala Lumpur was pretty intense by the way of we went pretty much everywhere. We saw the KL towers again and went to the Batu Caves which is way cool. It has a giant golden statue out front and has something like 275 stairs to the top and of course a bunch of monkeys everywhere ha-ha. From there we went back to Petaling Street and to the Central Market like we did last time and got some sweet souvenirs.

Zone conference we learned a ton about recent converts and how they are on fire for referrals if you teach them what to say because they all have good intention. But they bring up the church like this. Hey you want to learn about my church? Umm maybe. Well we don’t smoke or drink tea or alcohol etc. ha-ha. So we tried it out and got 2 referrals from our recent convert. We still have some baptisms coming along just slowly. The 19th will probably be a big day because 1 we have lots of baptism set for that day and 2 it’s the Branch Christmas Party!

This week I also have some more good news and bad news. Well it seems as though every zone conference I will get a new companion ha-ha so now Elder Leavitt has now gone off to Kuching in East Malaysia and now I have Elder Herbst from Salmon, Idaho… wooohoo ha-ha. So in about two months I will probably have another new companion ha-ha. He’s pretty cool and he has red hair like Dads and so everyone loves his hair and always asks if it’s natural. He also has a lot of freckles as well so everyone always asks… does everyone in America have freckles.

So far we have had some sweet adventures starting with yesterday we contacted this Chinese lady and she’s like… I am the Buddha one and you are the Christ one, let’s be friends so she has us come in and gives us some water and then we talk and as we are about to leave she goes wait… its hot, you guys have an umbrella and then gave us one, so now we have an umbrella.... ha-ha.

Our investigators are still slowly chugging along. Suresh is doing great but he told us he smokes almost 30 sticks a day... that is a lot of sticks but oh well. We have Movina Darshana (a member’s sister) on a baptism date and she is totally ready and way excited.

I apologize my SD card is with a member because she wanted to print some pictures so I will have to send some next week. And yes my toe is pretty much destroyed. It’s all infected and swollen and hurts always. Sister Clark gave me some info but it not helping right now so sometime next week I will probably have to go to the doctor. But I should live from this… just with pain till its solved ha-ha. Well that’s all for this week.

Elder Watkins

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The best way to get naughty Iban kids to behave :)

This week and past week were pretty normal but it was just a more intense heat this week. The Iban Jerry is still progressing well and we taught WoW (Word of Wisdom) last week and to our surprise he has no problems what so every :). So he is still on track to be baptized on December 19. Turns out all the Iban's are going to France to work for 6 months in February (just the husbands) so it is like 6 of them who will head out. It should be crazy. It could almost be a movie title like "Ibans in France" ha-ha. We also have two other baptisms for December 19. Dennis and Andrea which are Sister Myra's kids. One is a convert baptism because she is 9 and the other one is 8, so we go teach them. Sister Myra is a Pilipino here who is married to a Chinese man and has 6 very naughty girls and boys’ ha-ha but they are still sweet. Her husband isn't a member either and is always in Kuala Lumpur for work though. This week we also set Suresh a great Tamil man up with a baptism date. It was probably the most intense one to set ever. He is way good though and he loves to learn. We found out he smokes though and he just laughed about it because his sister who's a nurse is also trying to get him to quit but, he said he is willing to try to quit smoking.

This week wasn't too eventful though… we are here at the email cafe getting ready to head out to Kuala Lumpur. Our Zone leader Elder Stone is leaving us to go to Singapore this week to become the new AP (Assistant to the President) so we lose a good Zone leader :/ but stuff happens.

Funny thing we saw the other day was an old lady probably 60 playing Grand Theft Auto on Play Station so before we knocked on her door we watched and then we knocked and she jumped and it was pretty funny.

I don't remember if I said this already but I finished my training 3 weeks ago so that was sweet. I am still learning Malay slowly but mostly just speaking broken English right now ha-ha. We decorated the church on Sunday for Christmas and decorated 3 Christmas trees. Then the church member decided I’d make a good Christmas tree and then the next thing you know is I have ornaments all over me ha-ha.

Something way exciting this week is Sister Wendy sent in her mission papers the other day so it’s pretty exciting. She should be getting her call in a couple months.

We are supposed to eat at TGI Fridays and Steam Boat… all today, so expensive but a delicious day ha-ha. Also at this mall we stop at to get on the bus has a really sweet tie shop and we are going to try to stop there if we can.

We also found out the best way to get kids to behave from the Ibans. They have two tornados for kids and they are so naughty and when you ask them how their kids are they just say very naughty ha-ha but they had their neighbor hide in a closet with a mask and then come out and scare the kids from the back room and it worked the kids sat on their Dads lap with no problem and stopped throwing food everywhere. Also Myra's kids are really scared of grasshoppers so I caught one and showed it to them and they ran away screaming ha-ha it was way funny and then Myra kept it to help keep her kids under control ha-ha. Well that's all I can think of for the week.

Elder Watkins

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Intense Visa Extension...

This week was pretty intense. First we had no idea what we were going to be doing for visa runs. We figured we were going to just get an extension in Butterworth but then we received a call from Sister Carpenter, the Office couple saying we were going to Ipoh for an extension but, they have the same giant sticker they put in your passport here. So what it looks like is your picture with a Malaysian passport and it takes up a whole page in your passport. They didn't want us to get those because they cause a lot of problems so they were going to send us to Singapore. But they didn't they just told us to get an extension here because it was too late to send us to Singapore. So right now I will be going to Singapore February 2 or sooner but we have no idea. So I got my extension this morning and so everything is fine for now. I can't remember if I told you but next week we are going off to Kuala Lumpur again for zone conference we leave next Wednesday and come back Friday.

Umm this week was pretty normal. We meet a guy named Suresh who is pretty sweet. He came to church once already and he is one of the first Hindu people to come to church in a long time. And he really liked church.

Funny story for the week is I forgot our house keys inside the house and so we couldn't unlock our bikes or get back inside so we had to somehow get back inside. So Elder Leavitt squished through the gate and somehow got in it was crazy for about 45 minutes. So then we got our keys and then placed a spare key so now we won't have to do that again ha-ha.

So this week we also got invited to a catholic party at the church last night. So we went and pakai'd Biasa dressed normal and went. It turns out it was all in Tamil but was still way crazy. They started out with some crazy prayer and then worshiped some and then wham! They all started having like seizures and speaking in tongues and it was way crazy and that went on for maybe 10 minutes and then they worshipped some. It was freaking crazy. Then they had some crazy Candle Dance and some Tamil girl danced to some music and had all these crazy piercings. So then we left feeling like, what... and still had no doubt in our minds which church was true ha-ha. This week we also saw Joseph a man who has been catholic for 66 years and he likes our church but is having a hard time choosing because he’s a warden and a committee member in his church. So we watch with him Elder Holland's talk from last conference and after it he said he really needs to read the Book of Mormon. So things are going good with him. Oh yeah and we also found out that Anthony from Myanmar used to be a professional lightweight boxer. Crazy huh?!?

They do celebrate Christmas here it’s just like a holiday here for most people and for the Christians here it’s a little more I think. Everyone here is going crazy over the movie 2012 or something like that some members in Penang Branch have been teaching false doctrine because of it and everyone is always asking us about it. And on the matters of false doctrine we ran into some Jehovah Witness and they gave us some pamphlets but I guess they believe the 2nd coming already happened and that Christ is here and he’ reigning invisibly.... yeah and so that’s pretty much all for this week. Later.
Elder Watkins

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

First Baptisms

Nathan, Brother Titus, Ooi, Ericka and Elder Leavitt

So this week was pretty dang sweet. The baptism was a complete success and Ericka and her mother Ooi were baptized. I ended up baptizing Ericka and Brother Titus baptized Ericka’s mother. We go out to the pool to start the baptism then it starts pouring rain like no other it was crazy. So we were already wet before we even got in the pool ha-ha. It was a great! Then the next day at church Elder Leavitt confirmed Ericka and I confirmed Ooi. It was overall… pretty intense.

This week we also found a great guy named Suresh who is an Indian man who is Hindu but has a giant picture of Jesus that his neighbor threw out one time. When he told us the story it was funny because he was really upset…because you just can’t throw away a picture of Jesus because he is a super powerful man, is the way he put it. Which is all true but the way he said it was funny. He used to work as a money transporter or something like that where he carried an M16 and a Glock and they drove an armored truck for a bank. Then he decided it was too intense so then he became a DJ at a club and then started to drink a lot and didn't like what it was doing to his life so he quit and stopped drinking and smoking. And then we found him ha-ha but the missionaries a year ago had found his younger brother whose 14 and had given him a pass along card with our card attached which he still had sitting with his family photos. He’s a great guy and he reads everything we’ve given him so far. He’s way nice and already loves the church. Last night we challenged him to pray about Joseph Smith after watching the Joseph Smith movie and he said he will and that he tried and felt good but didn't know if he did it right.

We are also teaching a girl named Jasmine and she’s way good already reads the Book of Mormon and just needs to come to church at this point she’s about 19 and is way cool because she asks all the question you want them to ask as a missionary ha-ha.

This week has also been intense as in we haven’t had water from Saturday till Monday afternoon because our pump wasn’t working or something so the 25 floor to the 28 floor didn’t have water. Then our phone line was cut today because they somehow cut it while fixing the water down below... yeah pretty annoying... Well that’s all for this week. Later.

Elder Watkins