Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Elder Russell M. Nelson's visit.

Elder Ng-Woon or "Elder Kiwi" as they call him...

Kumusta Ka Po? (How are you in Tagalog),

Well so far I have learned a little Tagalog just because we teach quite a bit of Filipinos here and their pretty cool. Umm I guess I will answer those questions before I forget. We have two apartments right now since we are covering 3 areas. Elder Kiwi has been out for 14 months and has served 4 months in KL and in Singapore and Tawau. He is Samoan and was born in New Zealand and both his parents are Samoan. We serve in three branches and we are the only missionaries for them as of right now. Our ZL’s are in KL or Ampang which is by KLCC (Kuala Lumpur Community College) and there are also sister missionaries over there too. So as of right now there will only be us for those two area's till new missionaries come in March. And even then we will still be really low on missionaries, since most missionaries cover multiple areas. The food here is ok and there is a lot of American food, so it's expensive. We went to Carl’s jr. the other day, but they don’t have six dollar burgers ha-ha. Oh yeah yesterday I had a Ramly burger and the meat was Ostrich :) yummm.

So I guess this week’s highlights is Elder Russell M. Nelson came :) it was way cool. He talked about a lot of cool things, but the cool stuff was that he said the greatest message that we have to share is Jesus Christ lives. I guess when he was in Miri in East Malaysia he said at the member fireside that they should write down how many members they currently have in Miri, because in the future they will have multiple Stakes in Miri and so many members. He said you'll look back and think the Branch was established at this time and the number of members were so few, then you can laugh about it because it will be so big. And he said you can take this as Prophecy. It was crazy and the spirit was so strong the whole meeting with the members and missionaries in KL. Sister Nelson said she had never felt the spirit it such a way like in our Missionary Meeting and that she loves it how many languages are spoken in Malaysia and so far in every meeting there has been some kind of translation being done. We had a member from Indonesia at the missionary meeting, she’s a maid and she got lucky that she could get work off in the morning to see Elder Nelson, since the only off time she gets is to go to church. But I got to translate for her and it was a great experience because she has such a great soul and she was so excited. She got to meet him and shake his hand and she was so happy and that point I could really feel the spirit as she talked with him and Kiwi and I translated for her. Over all it was crazy awesome.

The other day we went to this museum thing called Petrosian which was way cool had a lot of interactive things and was way fun.

We had our sweet investigator Kalyany and her daughter at church on Sunday and she really liked it a lot. I also had to give a surprise talk on Sunday since Elder Jeffries was supposed to speak and since he was no longer here I had to speak.... and then no teachers showed up for Gospel Principles so they asked for my help in that too... so overall it was crazy. But we have some American members here in KL and some from England and it is cool but weird to see other white people. Well, that’s all for this week.

Oh, except when I was on exchanges with Elder Mattox from Florida we were teaching and he went to say the prayer and he totally ripped his pants in the crotch area ha-ha… so funny. He said he was so embarrassed. Ok now that’s all.

Ingat Po.
Elder Watkins

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Transferred Again...Ipoh last week, Kuala Lumpur this week!

Well I am no longer in Ipoh ha-ha.... I am now serving in Kuala Lumpur in 3 branches PJ 1, PJ 2, and the Klang branch. So far it’s been pretty good. So I guess when Elder Stone said it would be short it was really short ha-ha. So I won’t really answer too many questions about Ipoh since I am no longer there but the members were way awesome.

Chinese New Year consisted of a lot of fireworks a lot of food and a lot of ang pow :) ( “ang pow” is a small red envelope that usually has money in it and is for good luck) So pretty much Chinese New Year rocks if you’re single because that’s who ang pow usually goes to.

That’s pretty crazy I served with Joe’s cousins stepson? I’ll see him in a couple weeks at Zone conference with Elder Russell M. Nelson. Elder Blissett started out in Singapore for 2 months and then in Ipoh for 1 month. My new Companion is really cool his name is Elder Ng-woon or Elder Kiwi he is from New Zealand he’s pretty sweet. He speaks Samoan though since his parents are both there, but he was born and lived in New Zealand. Ipoh was great though we did a lot of work and it was way fun. The members there are crazy awesome. Elder Blissett has some good things that are going to come from Ipoh soon from baptism to referrals so it’s exciting.

Here in KL we have an Indonesian lady getting baptized in two weeks and then in 3 weeks a Tamil lady, then at the same time a way cool Filipino lady. There is a lot of Filipinos here and they are way cool, but KL has a huge mix of people from Africans to Koreans to Chinese etc. it’s pretty sweet. So far I have met a couple of members. Sister Clarita and Sister Klarence both Filipino and way cool. They totally tricked us in to saying something in Filipino though. We were trying to get there referral to come and sit down and learn, so we say how do you say like, come here in Tagolic and they say, Halikan Mo Ako and so we said it, and turns out it means “kiss me” ha-ha there was no kissing but a lot of laughter. Then yesterday we went and meet with Sister Louisa and her family she is from the Philippines and she’s married to a Tamil man and their family is way awesome their middle daughter just graduated from BYU Hawaii with a Masters in piano, so she is crazy good. We went and helped them trim their trees yesterday and it was crazy awesome ha-ha. They hooked us up with a referral that is also Filipino tamily girl who's way nice. I’ll send some pictures.

Sister Louisa's Family with Nathan after tree trimming!

Yesterday also we had some traditional Chinese New Year’s food and then got to see a crazy dragon dance with a nice member here. I love this place so much the people here are so amazing. Malaysia is pretty much the place to be. Malay will become tougher to master here but slowly, slowly ha-ha. Most people here just speak English ha-ha. But it’s weird to see other white people. But the people of Malaysia are amazing and it’s awesome. Elder Kiwi begs to differ on Malaysia ha-ha, he doesn’t like it too much or their language so he’s learning Indonesian instead ha-ha and Tagolic ha-ha, but he’s still cool even though he is a rebel. Umm that’s all I can think of for this week.

Elder Watkins

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Be My Valentine!

Valentine's is just not Valentine's without these three things...

Valentine's Day is just not the same since my kids have been out of elementary school. I miss the Valentine's Parties at their school and the cute Valentine Boxes we had to make. But most of all I miss leaving a Valentine at your friends door and ringing the doorbell and running! I miss those good old days.

Yummy Sugar Cookies...!!!

Conversation Hearts...Valentine's just wouldn't be Valentine's without them. I heard the other day that they changed the flavors this year. What are they thinking...don't mess with a good thing!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Goodbye Butterworth :( Hello Ipoh :)

This one is my favorite!
The Ching Family...Sister Wendy (who just received her mission call to Salt Lake Temple Square Mission), Kelvin, Elder Watkins, Ewin, and mother Maggie.

Movina's Baptism...Front row: Movina, Senthia & Darshana
Back Row: Nathan, Mangayarkaras & Elder Herbst

Last week I asked him for a few pictures of his apartment...
just in the nick of time!
We knew this was his desk because of the stacked Mountain Dew cans on the left. I am sure he brought these back from his trips from Singapore and Kuala Lumpur :)

Elder Herbst just chillin' doing his Rubix cube. Notice the two guitars in the corner...I think Nathan's is the brown one.
Elder Herbst was a great companion and I think he really helped Nathan with his Malay.
It's a good thing he took the bus to Ipoh so he could take all of his "treasures" he collected from Butterworth.

Nama Berita Dek?

So this week was pretty dang intense. Well let’s start off with Elder Herbst is getting better but we still don't know what is exactly wrong but, he was feeling better when I left and he was planning on going back and getting checked up again. This week the AP's also came to Butterworth to hang out and see how we were doing at the end of their Mission tour. So we found some really good people that day we found, a guy named Mr. Lee and he told us at the end of the first appointment that he has never felt as anyone cared this much about him or loved him so much in a long time and he wants us to teach his whole family. But sadly Friday night I also found out the bad but, good news that I was being transferred from Butterworth to Ipoh. Barlow went to Kuching to be a Zone Leader. And now Elder Herbst and Thomas are companions and the only companionship in Butterworth. So now I am in Ipoh which is about 2 1/2 hours south of Butterworth so I just bussed down to there. Before I get onto Ipoh I guess I'll finish Butterworth. But the Mexican food was legit Mexican food cooked by a Malay man ha-ha but, it was good.

We go down to KL on the 23rd of February for Elder Russell M. Nelson. There’s a senior couple down here named the Dabels in Ipoh from Canada. The branch has been here in Ipoh for about 30 years so it’s more established and so far I have met a great bunch of people down here. We have the same mix of people down here but, were in a bigger city less motos and more cars. We live in a condo again and it’s nice but my bike was junk but, it’s getting better since I went and replaced some stuff on it the other day. I am now with Elder Blissett who went to East High School and is from Salt Lake City. So I went from Junior companion to District Leader just like in The Best Two Years movie ha-ha and now I have a lot of things I have to do that I have no idea how to do them ha-ha. Oh yeah thanks to the "birdhouse" :) for the card and thanks for the support :)

Here in Ipoh we have some baptism up and coming for March, right now 3 which we set the first day I got here and 1 we set the next day for Mala and she’s pretty much done she just want to make sure a Sister Low a members here can make it. We have some sweet members here and I am pretty excited to serve. Umm also I don’t know how long I’ll be here but Elder Stone said this wasn’t where I was suppose to come first but, I could be here a long time or a short time he said, things could change ha-ha. But right now were low on missionaries because a lot went home and we have about a month before we get new ones in. Ipoh is a lot bigger city and they listen to more American music like, I just heard Jason Mraz, Avenged Sevenfold, Ateryu, and Hot Hot Heat ha-ha, all in the cyber cafe here ha-ha. Here we actually have a standalone building like a church at home and its really nice, I like it alot. Umm that’s all for this week.

Bertemu Bahru
Elder Watkins

Last night our first email came through with a few pictures saying, "Here are a few pictures of my "old house" and when I left Butterworth." So that's how we found out he had been transferred and we had to wait until his letter came through a half hour later. Of course I had to Google (I love Google) Ipoh and find out where Nathan is now and a little about it. So, for all of you who love his food stories it sounds like Nathan will have plenty to tell from Ipoh because it is especially known for its food. Ipoh is perhaps most known for its Chinese cuisine, although Malay and Indian dishes are also very popular throughout the city. Local specialties are the stir-fried vegetables from the locally grown produce and "Squid". Tropical fruits are cheap and plentiful, especially the pungent Durian and sour/sweet Pomelo. I wonder how long it will take before he tries the "Squid"??? So... Goodbye to Butterworth for now and Hello to Ipoh, the next part of the journey...

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Sister Wendy Got her Mission call and Thaipusam Festival

Thaipusam Festival...check out those hooks in his torso

and in his Mouth and Chest

Look at the guy in the left of the picture and look at the size of the hooks in his Back and then he is pulling something with the ropes that are attached to the hooks.

Well this week was pretty good. We went and saw a member named Ronnie who was baptized into the church in the UK and returned to Malaysia a year ago and didn’t know there was a church here. It went pretty well. This week Darshana and Movina’s mom accepted a baptism date in May and we’ll slowly slowly work her towards her date. But the most exciting thing to happen this week is Sister Wendy got her mission call... TO..... Salt Lake Temple Square Mission, craziness all over. She reports to the MTC for 3 weeks on July 6th 2010 so you guys will have to go see her when she gets up temple Square. It’s pretty exciting. I gave her your email and she can email you guys some question she has…I hope you don’t mind ha-ha.

We didn’t see Mohan this week because of Thaipusam which is a Tamil Holiday and its crazy they put hooks through their bodies and pull giant statues of their Hindu Gods and shave their heads etc. you'll have to look it up on Google or something. So Jerry and all those guys are off to France now... so hopefully they will find the church or the church will find them.

Well when we went to pick up Elder Herbst, Thomas, and Barlow from the airport Barlow and Herbst got detained because of Kitab Mormon (Book of Mormon in Indonesia) and they took all of our supplies they were packing in Tamil, Chinese, Indonesian, Tai, Burmese, and English.... they were back there for an hour or so. This is all because of the recent thing with the word Allah. But they said we could get them back. So they called us on Monday and said that we could come get them back or most of it.... they gave us it all back but the Indonesian, they are detaining them because they have the word Allah and they think they are in Malay and so it is a book that goes against the Al Quran..... So we might get them back we don’t know and it could take a couple months to find out.

Something else exciting is we found some Mexican food in Penang so we are going to go and eat there tonight :). Umm I finally sent out all the letters and packages by airmail so they should get there soon. I sent one package to Grandma and Grandpa Watkins just to mix up where I was sending everything.

Well we got some fun facts to send you guys about the area that we learned from Elder Watson when he was here. In the Southeast Asia area (me) Hong Kong to Middle East, Mongolia to Singapore. So it doesn’t cover the Philippines, Japan, Korea, Russia, or Australia all that over there is different. So we have 25 countries and 3.4 billion people in the Southeast Asia area. Over 1/2 the world’s population and only 200 million of them can be taught. This area has the greatest number of non-Christians in the world and more Muslim people than the Middle East. So it’s just crazy how many people here can’t be taught because of religion mainly. Well that’s all for this week.

Elder Watkins