Wednesday, February 23, 2011

HAPPY BIRTHDAY POPS!


My usual proselytizing attire...ha-ha!

The Beast
Anti Spider Gear :)
Hey Everyone,
HAPPY BIRTHDAY POPS!!!!!

Well the news is true that we will be having 100 missionaries by August in the mission. Which means all these areas that have some super awesome possibilities will be opening up.  There will be 84 missionaries that are foreigners...meaning anyone who is not from Malaysia and Singapore. So that means the mission will have to supply 16 natives to serve in the mission and that doesn't mean just 16 people from here it means more natives because there are probably 16 native missionaries already from the mission here but, half of them are in other countries.  So right now we have a lot of missionaries in the mission. So from when I was in Kuala Lumpur it has gone from being just my companionship over 3 branches well it is now 3 branches each having its own companionship! Elder Lewis my Trainee is now with Elder Kumar in PJ2 and that branch is actually moving to where the members are and it is a great new location so it’s going to start booming! Well, KL is finally getting some help and some love after I am gone.... ha-ha. Elder Hunt and his Trainee are in the Klang branch and Elder Thurman and Noland are in PJ1 still. So things there are going great in their part of the mission. Elder Kampenhout made it back into Malaysia, just last Saturday they shipped him back to Singapore and got him a new passport pretty dang fast and now he is back and doing great. 

Well things are going well here in KK. I guess I’ll just start out with Thursday of last week. Thursday we just did our planning as usual and well it went well and got a good plan set up for the week ahead and then we headed off to see Norina and Hendria I am not sure if you remember who they are but, they are Elder Wrights recent converts that like…got lost when I got here. And well the Sisters found them again and so we went to go visit them and Arne. Since Arne was only visiting from KL. So it was pretty sweet to see them and the best part is Sister Hite and Howard will continue to teach them and hopefully get them back to church and fully active again. After that we met with Sister Hite and Howard and took them to a member’s house and then we headed to visit with Sister Hellen and try to get some referrals. Well she wasn't there so we went next door and contacted her relative…his name is Sibin and he learned a long time ago but, we will be seeing him tomorrow night, he seems to be pretty good but, we are glad something came out of it.  Thursday was also the last day of Chinese New Year so there were fireworks everywhere and they were going of constantly. All the streets were filled with smoke from them and it was crazy, everyone was just like; Yeah, this year was the best in a long time for fireworks in KK ha-ha…it was cool. 

Friday was pretty awesome and crazy we set up a sweet day to go see some good people.  Everyone we went to see wasn't there for some reason. So. I called Fiona and she is like come teach my neighbor from my old house and I was like oh yeah so we walked 20 minutes to her old house only to find out that she wasn't home after Fiona said she would be. so well we called her again and Fiona was like no Elders she is at my home here right now..... So we went back and taught her the gospel ha-ha. After that Fiona took us to her new neighbors home and we talked with him about church well he told us that his heart was not open right now so we just explained the Book of Mormon and well someone had anti'd him pretty hard core even before we had got there so we just invited him to read the pamphlet since he wouldn't take the book of Mormon and then he is like do you play guitar? and I said a bit and so we jammed for 10 minutes before heading off to grab a buss back home.  So it was good but, just planted a seed. 

Saturday was also a pretty good day. We Taught Desy and Mary Ann again and it went well and they said they were coming to church and THEY DID!!!! It was awesome. Last night they told us they are going back to the Filipinas for a visit for 1-2 weeks........ So pretty much every baptism that is about to come, takes a vacation. But, at least they are coming back. After that we headed off with David Chong to brother Gary's house where he made us some delicious food and we jammed to some church music while eating and then taught his referral and it was pretty sweet.

Sunday we taught Madam Yapp and Mac Duncan before church and they are still getting baptized on March 6th! So that was a great lesson to have before church and well her husband came back from Sipatan for Chinese New Year and he read the Book of Mormon and the Gospel Principles book and loved it so, when he gets back from work again he wants to learn!  So that was a great. Michael, the Chinese man back from December also just showed up again and is down for baptism and is ready to make a commitment. He also came to the Young Single Adults FHE at the church the next day which was good. After that we did some knocking and found actually quite a few new people. But, the thing that made Sunday so awesome was Sister Fiona took us to her aunt’s house. Wow, we got some awesome new people to teach. We started teaching her Auntie Rose, her daughter who we call Mrs. Wong and her husband Jeffery. We are also teaching their niece who stays with them named, Christine and they are super awesome. They are Pentecostal but, they were open with what we taught them Sunday night; it was an awesome lesson. About half way through the lesson a guy walked by their home who is related in some way.  Well we thought he was just going to bother us but, man he is awesome. His name is Jomil he used to live in Singapore and he had actually met the missionaries there a couple of times. Well he joined the lesson and man it was one heck of a lesson and the spirit was so strong. We went back last night and had another awesome lesson; the only problem was Jeffery family wasn't there but, they came towards the end and he was still interested in learning. We taught Christine, Rose, and Jomil and they were all concerned…they thought that they had to wait until next Sunday for us to come back because they said they had felt something so awesome they wanted it again. So we read the Book of Mormon with them and it went very well. Rose said she feels so good and would like to come to church. Jomil was really pumped to read and get his own answer about the book. They both said after the first time we met them that they wanted to be baptized if, they found it was true. They are right on their way towards it. Next time Jomil is bringing some of his friends and actually has a brother he wants us to teach. So it was a great day. 

Monday was also super awesome as we were going to teach Mia we were walking by some guys just hanging out in front of a shop and Elder Wright walked passed and thought they just wanted to bother us. I stopped and started to talk to a guy name…Jason. Well Jason is SIB and is Christian and had seen us around a couple times. We I taught him a quick rundown of the restoration as Elder Wright distracted his Muslim friend next to him ha-ha. He was super excited and the first thing he asked was; if when we could meet him again. We set up an appt for tonight and I called him last night to confirm the appt and  he was upset that I didn't call him earlier to confirm the appt sooner because he thought we forgot about him. I apologized and said we will meet you tomorrow night. He is awesome and we are pumped for him.

Tuesday I already talked about a bit, but, well it was good we met Mary Ann and Desy and Jeffery's crew. Then we headed off in search of Alex and Linlin. We found them finally and got a new return appt since they moved last week. Well here is the crazy thing. They used to live in a one room house with shared bathrooms. It was just big enough for the four of us to sit on the floor. Their boss was like you… you guys can live in my second home since I am moving to this new place. This house they stay in now is a HUGE 3 STORY HOME!!! It is so big. It’s like the biggest home I have been inside in Malaysia. I guess Alex’s 20 years of hard work and dedication at his work finally paid off. Now they have it even easier to get to church now so, we’ll push to get them to church this week. And that’s pretty much our week.

Till next week
Elder Watkins

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Crazy, Busy Week...


Hiking the trails of Mount Kinabalu
Hey Everyone,

Well it is now entering the dry season from the hot season which basically it rains a little less so it is hotter more often such as yesterday.... soooooo hot..... But, this last week was pretty crazy and we weren't able to see as many people as we would have liked... Last week on Monday I got some good old diarrhea and it lasted for the day and so that is the first time I have really been sick on my mission. We still went out but, a lot of our plans fell through due to Chinese New Year but, we found out a member has a sister who might be interested in learning.

Tuesday we also got some things done, like the baptism you saw in the pictures and it was awesome. We also taught Lia and Reaty they are doing pretty well but, Lia who we taught for about a week or so isn't so willing to come to church right now because she is getting a free ride to this other church. But, we got like 4 referrals from her so maybe she isn't the one but, her friends could be so, we will have to just wait and see.
 
We also saw a less active member named, Sokupit and we got him to come back to church which was some success and it was nice for him to come; he is so awesome. It is sad though cause his whole family has been coming except him. But, now he’s doing better.

Dammy who is Samuels’s brother is doing good but, he has a lot questions about prophets and how do we know that the prophet isn't a false prophet. Him and Samuel didn't make it to church out of laziness but, Samuels’s wife, Ah Ling came without them, which was good. We will see him tonight again and hopefully we can help him to feel the spirit and get him to church.

Our visa run was ok, basically it was meetings so, we got there and we had Carls Jr... Mmmmm..... and bought some ties really quick before going off to a zone leader council. But our day started way early we had to wake up at 4 to catch our flight at 6 and so this whole week I have just been beat from lack of sleep. Then the next day we had a big training with zone leaders and district leaders and I got sick again from what I don't know but, I was sick for the 2nd half of the conference with diarrhea again but, now I am doing good and it actually went away after that day. We flew back and got in really late Friday night like at 1:30 a.m. or something like that.

So that Saturday we were excited to get back into our area and get things moving and hopefully get some people to church the next day. We taught Mia Sister Fiona's co-worker and it went really well; she says she loves the Book of Mormon and knows it’s true, it is just new to her and she doesn’t fully understand everything. Her boss Monica apparently hates the Book of Mormon and keeps saying she doesn't believe it but, lo and behold she hasn't tried reading it or anything yet but, we hopefully can meet with her this week and work things out about it. Well Mia was going to follow Fiona to church until the taxi to pick them up that they called failed.... And we were pretty excited because Mia right away had asked Fiona to bring her to church.

To make the day even crazier right after we taught her I got a call from Elder Kampenhout in Sandakan saying he is being detained at the KK Airport Immigration.... So after that we called Sister Jemimi, who works with passports etc... And got her to take us over there to try and get him out at least for the day. Well after talking with many people and walking around to many places and talking and waiting and waiting they won't let him out and they are going to send him back to Singapore on Sunday at noon. Well they really had no reason to detain him they were just trying to cause problems etc. So, now Kampenhout is in Singapore waiting for his new passport because they Red X him... So that day was crazy.

To top it all off we went and had a great lesson with Linlin and Alex; two Filipino's that have been here for a long, long time and they are good and we were super happy to have received them from Fiona. Well they didn't make to church because we had just meet them and committed them for the first time Saturday night and they already had plans for Sunday but, they are coming this Sunday. They also told us that they are moving and we got sad but, then they are only moving to another part of town that is super easy to get to church! So there is a blessing in that. We meet them on like Friday or Saturday and they are sweet.  

Sunday came around and with our efforts we did only get one investigator to come to church and then another did come late but, it was Leonard who came late.... Well Sunday night we had a dinner appt with the Ng's and it was actually a Chinese New Year party with delicious food and fireworks! Before that we saw some new contacts that will hopefully bring forth something.

Chinese New Year Party
Monday night was a FHE Valentines thing at the church for the young single adults.  We had good food and for the young adults dancing and games and we got some referrals. Jacob’s girlfriend came and she told us she had a blast. Sister's Howard and Hite had two good referrals that we taught the first lesson to before the party started and man they seem cool, two outstanding young guys; one who want to be a catholic priest but, we think he'll be a better priest here ha-ha and the other one wants to be a business man and speak great English.

Tuesday we taught some cool people. We finished Jacob the last recent convert lesson and got some potential referrals. His, Uncle Yafet will hopefully be back and baptized in the next 2 weeks, hopefully next week. I really wish he was back cause he'd be baptized already…dang rice harvest....

We taught Fiona and  she is doing awesome and  her husband finally apologized and said he is ready to change and  he is going to start learning so, that the gospel of Christ can change him and make him an awesome priesthood holding man ha-ha…we'll have to see first. 

At the bottom of Mount Kinabalu

Some Crazy Bug
Leaf Bug
But, things are going good today we went to Mount Kinabalu but, just the part below and walked some trails and went to a Kampung and good some sweet souvenirs.  And that is our week ha-ha.

Till next week. 
Elder Watkins

Monday, February 14, 2011

Simply a Fabulous Tea Party!

Front Row:  Becca, Rachael & Isabelle  Back Row:  Cindy, Annie, Miss Scarlet, Miss Peacock, Rachael and Baby to be...to the right...Miss Scarlet
Tea Party Group 2010...and Miss Snow at the right

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Diabolical Plan...

Gong Xi Fatt Chai.

It is Chinese New Year again here in Malaysia which is pretty awesome. Which in detail it means lion dances, fireworks all night for 2 weeks, lots of food, and Ang Pow? (the red envelopes with money in it). So it was a pretty exciting week last week.

Chinese New Year Lion Dancers and Us
We started off by meeting lots of cool new people and most of them were referrals from Sister Fiona. Whenever we are with her and she knows anyone around her that is Christian she is always sharing the gospel with them and we got a whole bunch of new investigators because of it.

We started off by teaching her new boss and co-worker; the boss is named Monica and the other one is Mia. They are both really cool and Monica is Indonesian from Celewesi and is married to a Chinese guy here in KK and owns the Saloon here. She is pretty good and so far loves what we teach her. Mia is also doing good but, we haven't been able to see them since last week. With the Chinese New Year and everyone went back to kampong; so, yeah well everyone was gone...

While we were at the saloon still Sister Fiona was cutting a ladies daughter’s hair and I contacted her and now we are teaching her and her neighbors. Her name is Lia and we are teaching Jolina and Rosna but, Jolina husband doesn't like the Book of Mormon so we lost her but, Lia and Rosna are pretty good. Rosna is from The Church of God and well it is definitely a very interesting church.... and well, she is also a missionary for her church but, man she reads the Book of Mormon and truly understands it and takes notes and even chooses a favorite verse. We figured we'll just replace her missionary work when she joins the church with Visiting Teaching ha-ha. Well Lia has gotten a testimony of the Book of Mormon; we are just trying to get her to church this Sunday. Well she basically wants too but, the church that she goes to now, well, they come and pick her up and brings her to church... But, we won't give up just yet. We also asked Lia yesterday if she had any other neighbors that would be willing to learn so, she took us over to another friend’s house that we will start teaching as well.

Sister Fiona's other neighbors are learning as well named Alex and Linlin and they are pretty sweet we had a was spiritual lesson and we know they felt the spirit even though it was raining so hard and that they couldn't quite hear part of it and then when it got the important parts…I swear it got louder.... but, watudu?

We went to Simpang Mengayau with Sister Jemimi, Leslie, Randy and Relphie and their father; who we just call uncle who is here from KL for Chinese New year. It was awesome; it was way beautiful and fun. We went up to the Tip of Borneo and walked around on the beach etc. We looked at the crabs and the little fish and took some pictures. Oh, I almost forgot the best part. Well we drove in a Ben 10 car all the way up to Kudat it had the stickers all over the outside of it the only difference was it was white and not green. Well we left early in the morning and got there and it was pretty sweet. We had some lunch and then went and visited Sister Jemimi’s Mom in her kampung and it was pretty cool. We got a lot of cool beads and her mom taught me how to make a bead cicak (gecko) and gave me some beads to make some at the house. So it was a pretty awesome trip but, only pictures can describe it. That night after we had Branch Correlation and we went to their open house and had homemade steam boat.... soooo good. Well it was awesome and a pretty sweet adventure. We even got some Ang Pow. 
Kudat Kampung
Kudat Rice Fields
Me at the Tip of Borneo
Us with Jemimi and her Family
 Thursday night we had a pretty dang- sweet appointment with Samuel and his brother. Long story short Samuel has a marriage problem which will be solved before not too much longer. But, that is not what I want to tell you about. He got his brother to follow him to drop something at the church and while he was there he talked to the sisters. After that Samuel thought of a great idea to get his brother to learn, because normally when the elders came his brother Dammy booked it to his room and locked the door. So this plan is so diabolical that you know it is just crazy enough that it might work ha-ha. Basically we knocked on Samuels door and instead of just coming in and sitting with Samuel like usual we knocked on the door and when Samuel answered we said;  Hey Samuel we are here for Dammy and then Dammy was like huh?!? How do they know my named etc and we just talked with him a bit and found out what he liked. He loves to do water colors and pastels and he has got a lot of natural talent for sure. So Samuel knew he had a special drawing cut out for The Plan of Salvation that I did and he said; Elder Watkins can I see it and then he set it up and Dammy was like huh, what’s this? So we taught him The Plan of Salvation and he loved it and now he is learning and everything is pretty awesome. He is 29 and he can hold the priesthood and he is down though for coming to church; which was awesome. So we are pretty excited and ready to teach him and best part is that the plan worked ha-ha.

Selester is also back for a couple weeks and this Sunday her baby is getting a name and a blessing! So that is super awesome. Even better we have started to teach her FiancĂ© Leonard about the church. He has come to church twice now and he seems pretty good. We will see him again this Sunday and teach him some more. He is a local Chinese and speaks Malay, English and Chinese. We taught him the first lesson and it went really well; so hopefully we can come and teach him again. We also committed Selester's mom and sister to be baptized and they accepted but, the only problem is they are in kampung until the next school break... So hopefully we can get them later on then but, they are super excited.

Wendy is also doing great she bore a super strong testimony on Sunday at fast and testimony. The District President was really excited about her testimony and hopefully we’ll get her a calling sooner now because it has been a couple of months and still no calling but, he thinks he has got something for her especially since she speaks Chinese, Malay, and English well.

Madam Yapp is doing well.  We have had to move her date so that for sure the Buddha was defeated ha-ha but, her mom apparently said after the 28th of February she can do whatever she wants with the church. So her new date is March 6th.

The new problem is that Yafet the best investigator ever is in Kampung for 3 weeks for the rice harvest and while he is there he has no contact with us because there is no cell service and he has no home phone... So now we have to wait for him to come back but, hopefully when he comes back he will have quit smoking.
Kathrine and Us
Elder Wright, former Elder Neil, Kathrine & Me
We have a lot more people we are teaching but, it will take some more time and they are new and nothing super awesome yet. But, things are going great with no complaints. I'll get some pictures in here. Also Sister Juliet’s daughter Katharine got baptized. She picked Brother Neil the former Elder Neil who served here a year or so ago to baptize her. Just so you know who that other white guy is in the picture. Hopefully it won’t be too much longer until Randy will get baptized also. Well until next week.

Misavaru vagu,
Elder Watkins
We had to say goodbye to Sister Zafar...she is off to serve in Kuching

Thursday, February 3, 2011

6 months left...

I think 6 months until his release date is totally worth Celebrating...don't you???

As of January 27th...we only had 6 more months until his release date...on February 1st he had been out 19 months...Lots to Celebrate!!!

This photo was tagged on Facebook.  I am sure he is smiling because he only has 6 months left...ha-ha!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Late Email...

Kudat is about a 3 1/2 hour drive away from Kota Kinabalu... I thought I would look up where he went since he wasn't able to email much this week...because he didn't have time.  I am just glad he is okay!  You never stop worrying...even when they are far away.

Hey,

I am okay…sorry for the late email we had no time today. We went with members up to Kudat; it was super awesome but, we missed out on emailing.  So, I am fine and you’ll hear from me next week.

Elder Watkins

The Tip of Borneo - Peninsula of Kudat. It looks pretty amazing to me too.