Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Elder Bednar's Visit

Hey Everyone,

Well we just got back from KL and it was pretty dang awesome. First things first; last week we contacted Sister Lucy’s husband and he is a pretty cool guy. We have a return appt for tomorrow the only problem is they are going to Bintulu for 3 weeks right after our first lesson.... But, what to do. He is cool and he is the road repair crew for Sandakan… he is way nice.

Melvin and Rosmina made it to church last week and are one step closer to baptism; they are way cool and nice. Melvin it turns out has never been baptized and he is way pumped to get baptized in the coming month. They have no problems with the Word of Wisdom; he told us he quit smoking all on his own back in 2007 with no drugs or anything. He was proud to have done it by himself which, he should be because it is not an easy thing to kick.  

Rosameeni and her daughter Kurniawati got baptized on May 21 which was way awesome. It was a very spiritual baptism, even a lot of the members said it was way good and the best they've seen in a while. Mostly because it was so spiritual and that they wanted this so bad and had to overcome a lot to get it. Jeffrey a member baptized Rosameeni and I baptized Kurniawati. 

Elder Watkins and Elder Martin were very happy with the baptism of Kurniawati (L) and her mother Rosameeni (R) - her sister Tingak (in orange) is beside her - President Wieland and Jeffrey Tabiar on right.
We are also teaching Jennifer and her family they are so awesome and they are probably some golden people that have come back in church. We are hopefully going to put them on baptism date tomorrow. Her aunty is way cool and loves church so much. She used to be a Christian but, after she got married she just followed her husband in Buddhism. But, they are doing great. 

So the much waited for… Elder Bednar.... Well first I got to go the new chapel in KL out in Puchong for PJ2 branch and it is way nice I got some pictures of it I’ll send home. But, Elder Bednar is way cool and Funny. He talked a lot about following and teaching by the spirit and how we make it so that everyone is edified and not just the teacher going up there and just putting out his discourse on everything he learned throughout the week and giving it to you as you sit there. They also just organized a stake in Indonesia which is way cool he was there before he came to KL. He is meeting with the government officials there but, what about, I forgot or I am pretty sure he never told us. So we learned a lot from him that morning we got a group shot with him that Pres. Clark will probably send us in the next week or so but, it was awesome.
But, after that we had zone conference which was good but, it was my last one and so I had to give my last testimony at a zone conference.  The returning missionaries always give a testimony at their last one. Well it was good, if you want to know more you can ask the Larson in KK about my testimony and I will leave it at that but, it was spiritual but long because there was 17 of us there, a lot from our group and the Blissett's group that goes home 3 weeks after my group.  So it was cool.

President Wieland really wanted to go to the top of the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur while we were there.
This is the view from the 41st floor skywalk.

It's all made of stainless steel and laminated glass, with a super-strong cement -- this is the view looking down.

 We waited two and a half hours in line to buy the tickets to ride the elevator, we were allowed 20 minutes on the skywalk to take pictures

But, we had some extra time in KL so I was able to go and see Sister Yanti and Dewi in KL and it was good to see them and tell them to stay strong in the church and things because the elders said it’s been a couple of weeks and they haven't gone; they said they were just being lazy... So hopefully they can get them to come back to church and be more frequent about it. We also went to the bridge at the Petronas Towers and it was good and way cool. We also ate at Chili’s as my early Birthday lunch ha-ha it was good. We also saw lots missionaries from the mission again like Elder Lewis, Elder Carter, Elder Thomas and Sister Rinet and stuff it was good. Now we’re back in Sandakan emailing you guys and that’s all I can think of so that’s it.

Mejumpa Vagu Ingin Oku Diikau
Elder Watkins

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Taking a bit of a beating...

Sister Wieland sent this picture to us...It looks to me, that they are all "patiently" waiting to dig into some yummy looking food.
Sister Marlita invited us and the missionaries to dinner -- she is an excellent Filipino cook.  There are deep-fried 4" prawns drizzled with a mayonnaise honey sauce  three kinds of chicken - fried, baked, and with a sauce, two different fish dishes - one with sweet and sour and one with garlic and onions, and another new vegetable to me that was delicious.  
What a royal smorgasbord!  If you notice, the silverware is always placed either on the plate, or on a separate plate -- the Chinese are particular that their eating utensils are not placed on the table where they could get contaminated with germs.  And, I have never seen napkins served, usually it is just a roll of toilet paper that is offered and you pull off a piece to wipe your hands on.

Hey Everyone, 

Well last week was pretty good and we are still fairly busy just trying to keep up with our people and with the traveling stuff. First off we are going to see Elder Bednar next week on Monday morning at the new PJ2 Chapel so, I will get to see him and the new chapel there ha-ha.

This weekend Rosmini and Kurniawati are getting baptized so they passed their interviews and so they are good to go. Her son Elvin still hates us for some weird reason but, he finally accepted the fact that whether he likes it or not, we are going to teach his mom ha-ha. So he stopped crying but, now he just beats up my companion and me…he tries to punch us and stuff but, well he is 4, he did make Elder Martin bleed a little though ha-ha. We still teach them but, we just take a bit of a beating besides. So things are going pretty sweet with them.

We are still teaching Irene our Pakistani investigator but, as of right now she is not willing to accept the BOM which is really rough and so we are just going to have to keep working with her. She came to church last Sunday again, which was good. She stayed the whole time and hit it off really well with the members there. She told us also she'll continue to learn and to come to church but, for right now she is going to have to take it slowly with the BOM and she hopes that one day her heart will open and receive it. We invited her that if she finds things to be true; would you get baptized? And she said; yes, so we are going to keep it up with her.

Del Rosario is doing a lot better, he is the man that was way sick in the hospital but, now he is doing so much better and will be out soon. He told us stories of how back in the day he was the number one hunter in all of Borneo. He used a shot gun with slugs to take down his prey ha-ha he is nuts… as in cool. He has killed a total of 7 Elephants, 1 Rhino and lots of Deer and Boar and anything else they have got in Sabah. He is a cool guy and reminds me a bit of grandpa.  We took the sacrament to him again last week and he told us that he is going to come back to KK for sure at least for a year and he'll stay with his less active daughter; Dosy and bring them back to church. He told us; “I am going to come to Mormon Church every Sunday when I get out of here.” So he is way cool.

We also went and saw Enol; he is another guy from a part member family who is way awesome and loves his kids a lot. He was going to come to church but, the Saturday before church his father, Maju got a job so he couldn't watch the old Nenek at the house so Enol couldn't make it but, he made sure to send his two sons who hadn't been in a long time. He has already figured out how he can make it for next week.  

We saw Justin and his sister last night and just talked about prayer with them; it was a pretty good lesson and they should be coming to church this coming week. We will just have to do our best at following up with them.
Sister Marlita's husband is doing good as well he goes back in for chemo next week but, we are going to stop by on Friday and see him and teach a bit. He is a way nice guy we just hope we can invite him to have a desire to come to church.

Melvin and his wife are doing great and moving right along for baptism. They are so awesome and he has a true desire to learn… it’s so crazy awesome. The father read the pamphlets and actually understands them; he is cool. We asked him; Melvin did you read the Book of Mormon he said; No, I didn't and we were sad but, he was like but, that is because I read the blue Joseph Smith pamphlet because I wanted to make sure I understood where the Book of Mormon came from before I moved on ha-ha. Because he works in the factory he can only make it every other week but, he will make it next week. His wife still comes even though but, man his wife is dang tall btw she is 5'10" maybe taller and her brother we met very briefly while he was here is a 6 foot man they are tall. But, they are doing great.

Last but, definitely not least is Jennifer and her family. Her Mother-in-law and her daughter and 11 year old son have come to church the last two weeks. Jennifer is a Filipino lady from Manila; she was baptized about 20 years ago in the Philippines and has been inactive for 18 years; basically since she moved to Malaysia. Well the day before I got here she stopped Elder Martin and told him she was a member. We went and talked with her and gave her a BOM again and helped her understand how to get to church. So she came with all of them on Sunday. Even though the aunty and the son only speak Chinese, they loved church to death. We went Monday to teach her and her Mother-in-law with the Lee's, it went way well. The Lee’s speak Chinese so that really helped with the aunty. Hopefully later this week we can invite them for baptism; they are way awesome. Jennifer is way happy because her family likes to come to church and she said she really misses church a lot. Turns out the aunty loves to wake up Jennifer at 7am to make sure they get to church on time. Jennifer’s sister in the Philippines is a member as well and a RM; she told her how awesome the temple is and so now she is really working towards get her family to the temple and being active and learning the things that she has forgotten; so she can make it there. So that’s pretty much everything I can think of.

Mejumpa Vagu ingan Oku Diikau,
Elder Watkins

Ka'amatan is the Harvest Festival doesn't start until the beginning of June.

Check out this Basketball court...

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Lots of Exciting things happening here in Sandakan

With his companion Elder Martin...

Hey Everyone,

Well it was really nice to talk to all of on Mother’s Day and to see Bridger and grandma and grandpa. But, now all me and my companion can think about is how cool it would be to have a sweet iphone now ha-ha.... But, it doesn't distract us ha-ha.

Well this last week was good. Monday after we talked with you we went and saw our investigator Irene from Pakistan she is super awesome and came to church last Sunday. We stopped by and she told us that she believes that Joseph Smith was a prophet but, she is still waiting for her answer from God. She is crazy awesome and every morning messages us a bible quote if we aren't going to be able to see her that day ha-ha. She has already read 6+ chapters from the gospel principles manual and has read just as much from the Book of Mormon so she is doing way awesome. We are planning on putting her on date sometime this week maybe even after church this Sunday. She also has a MDA and is way smart. Her father has lived in Sandakan for 15 years but, she has only been here for 6 months now. At some point she wants to move to KL because, well…she doesn't speak Malay but, she is learning but, she has better opportunities in KL.

Melvin and his wife Rose Minna are doing awesome as well.  We taught them last week about the gospel of Jesus Christ after they had come to church that day and it went really well. We invited them to be baptized on the 4th of June and they are down for it. Melvin is the only one who can read in the family but, he already has read from the introduction to somewhere in 1 Nephi 2. They are cool and their daughters are way funny and so easy to make laugh ha-ha. You can just stare at them and they will laugh. Rose Minnie not Rose Minna ha-ha and her daughters Kurnia and Wati are doing amazing as well. We finally got them to church after we figured out the reason her son was freaking out and screaming and crying when he saw us it was because he thought we were doctors coming to give him a shot and so he was scared to death. But, they are all pretty cool. They are preparing for baptism on the 21st of May.

We also have a whole bunch of cool members here. We went and visited some PM families in hopes to get some of their spouses interested in learning. We have had some pretty good success with doing that. We met with Sister Lucy and her husband last week and it went pretty good. The best one so far was when we went to see was Sister Lisa and her husband Justin. Justin has a degree in Electrical engineering and a degree in IT so he is crazy good on the computer and we watched him delete a virus in like 30 seconds but, not using his antivirus using CMD ha-ha it was crazy cool. He is a Kadazan from KK and so now we are starting to teach him and his sister who recently moved in with them also. So we are way excited for him. He speaks English, Malay, Kadazan, and 4 dialects of Chinese.... He is insane and his computer is way nice and it was crazy awesome it was one of those mini computers but he had a 400 gig hard drive and he also had 4gig of ram in it. It was awesome. So that was another way awesome lesson we had last week.

Recently there was a man here who was a father and uncle of many of the members here and he had a crazy bad infection in his hand and had been in the hospital for about 2 weeks now. Well it wasn't getting better so the first week I was here we gave him a blessing and he started improving. The pain wasn't as bad but, it still wasn't getting better and they were preparing to amputate it…well we went and gave him the sacrament last week and then we went and saw him yesterday and he has improved so much and he is going to get released in a couple of days. It is truly a miracle that he was healed. He has such strong faith in Christ.  It was so cool to see someone with such strong faith even though they aren't a member of this church.  He was living in Ranau which is in between here and KK. Now he is going to move here because all of his family is here and so we are going to start to teach him and his wife and we are excited for that as well.

There is also another PM family we started working with Sister Marlita's family. Her husband is Chinese and actually didn't like the church at all. He wouldn't let the elders come to his house at all when he was home or when he wasn't home. He got cancer which sucks but, we visited him a couple times and stuff and he is going through chemo and he is getting better but, because of the visits and the love we have shown. He is doing awesome now and he got out of the hospital last week and he asked his wife when we were going to come over and share with him so, he has had a huge 180° turn. So we go and see them this Friday.

There are lots of exciting things happening here in Sandakan. Things are good though and we are finding lots of cool people to teach. One member Brother Kennedy he has two daughters like 6 and 4 and they are so cute.  I’ll get a picture of them and send it to you he always dresses them in the same outfit it is way funny…they are hilarious and love the elders.

Rose got baptized back in KK last week which was awesome and Desy and Maryann should be getting baptized very soon because Desy is getting married to her husband this week or next week. :) So things are good. I still miss KK a lot but, watudu ha-ha. 

Mejumpa Vagu Ingin Oku Diikau,
Elder Watkins

Monday, May 9, 2011

I Love Skype!

We are able to use skype to talk to Nathan on Mother's Day!!!  It was the best...What amazing technology we have today...I am glad I am a missionary mom in this day and age.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Last Visa Run to Singapore

Elder Nathan B Watkins Week 96

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

I am in the airport on the free internet in Singapore on my last Visa run.  I will try and email later.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

I don't have a whole lot of time to email or anything because our flight got delayed last night by an hour so I got back in Sandakan around seven and then we took a taxi back to President Wieland’s house.  From there we went and picked up my companion and then preceded to our nightly appointment with Jeffrey a part members family kid, who were less active and now are coming back to church. He passed his interview and should be baptized next week.

We recently contacted a new family that we are teaching named Milvin and Rose Minna a young couple. The wife is Sungai and the husband is Dusun from KK they have 2 young daughters so hopefully they will pan out.

We are also working with a couple of other part member families in hopes to get some more of the husbands of these wives here into the church as well.  We are also trying to find the next Branch President for when the Wieland’s go home.

Sorry the email is short but, no time…I will get something out next week. Hope everyone is good over there.

Mejumpa Vagu,
Elder Watkins