Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Landed and Left

well i have made it.  it was a long trip but i am alive and safe.

dang it is so different here.  to tell you the truth i was a little bit depressed my first day in malaysia. i will start from the beginning.  

so basically on last wednesday i got to singapore.  i already told you about those first few days.  it was really fun.  it is an awesome city.  i want to spend a few more days there, actually.  i will on visa runs.  the second day we woke up and went running with president clark.  president clark is so awesome.  he is a really really good guy.  it was so humid while we were running. i was just soaked. it was kind of like that 5k in the jamboree. probably worse.  anyways the training was really good.  that night we ate out on the streets and then went contacting.  it was very fun.  it is hard to communicate.  you have to speak very broken english to the filipino's and chinese.  they call it singlish i beleive.  you say 'can' for 'yes' and stuff like that.  anyways that was cool.  i contacted this guy on the bus who happens to hold the singapore record for the 7x7 rubiks cube. 2 minutes something.  he was cool but he was muslim.  you can't teach muslim.  in their religion if they convert to something else they get the death penalty or something.  

the next day i went to KL (Kuala Lumpur) then to Sandakan.  that took all day.  i'm sick of planes. 

we arrived in the evening and it was dark so i was lost and couldn't tell what was going on anyways.  so i couldn't get a feel for the city.  we went to this indian restaraunt by our house for dinner.  it was good, and spicy.  we ate with our hands again.  it is fun.  so our house i thought was very dirty and kind of run down.  after the next few days i realized that we have one of the nicer houses in town.  so that was a shock.  me and elder carter are the only two missionaries.  they haven't had a couple for months.  so, they just called elder and sister weiland, sister weiland is president clark's sister, into our area along with sister clark, president clark's mother.  they are very energetic and ready to serve.  i think they can get the work moving again. 

so about the area.  it is a struggling area.  there are quite a few members but there is very low attendence at church. many inactives.  we had 47 people at church this week and it was the most they have had in months!  i was amazed.  elder carter has been here for four months and they haven't had any baptisms in that time.  this will change.  the area is very spread out.  we do not ride bikes, we just use the public transportation.  now this is crazy.  most of the "buses" are just little minivans with a bunch of seats in them.  two nights ago i counted 17 people in our van.  ha ha and the drivers are crazy.  basically no one uses the blinkers or anything like that.  there is no right of way.  luckily they do stop at stop lights.  

the people here are very poor.  it is sad.  the living conditions are basically terrible.  some peole just have one room houses with dirt floors.  the flats are so filthy on the outside.  they are not so bad on the inside.  oh man it stinks bad.  they have these canals along the road.  they always smell like poo.  i mean they reek!  it is nasty.  i have become slightly more immune to it.  

This is a Kampung.  Houses built on sticks over the water, (South China Sea).

elder carter is pretty cool.  he is from fairview utah i believe. down by manti.  he entered the mtc in june of 2009.  he knows malay very well.  he comes to about my shoulder.  i am the tallest one for miles.  probabably the tallest person these people have ever seen.  everyone stares at me.  it is comical.  especially the little kids.  they don't even hide it.  if i see a kid staring at me i wave and say hello.  they usually start giggling and turn away.  it is funny.  a lot of kids yell stuff at us about being white.  if we reply in malay they usually stop.  i guess they don't expect white people to know their language.  anyways. elder carter is pretty nice.  we get along well.  he is diligent.  he is a good teacher.  i think we will do well together.

so on sunday we went to church.  it is in a nicer home that has been converted to a church.  the couple used to live there actually.  it is pretty decent.

they changed up the branch presidency.  hopefully this will also help us move in the right direction.  they put elder weiland in as branch president.  the counselors are also very good.  so president clark was up here.  all of the old branch presidency bore testimony and then all of the new ones. then the senior missionaries and then me and then president clark.  it was really neat.  the senior missionaries had to have a translator but it was still very spiritual.  when i got up i did it in malay.  i know it wasn't very good. for some reason i really started crying throughout it.  that is the first time i have really felt the spirit while speaking in another language.  it was so cool.  it just hit me how far from home i am and how long i would be here.  it hit me how important my work was and how much i needed to do.  president clark promised the members that they would fill that chapel and that there wouldn't be enough room for all of the members and they would have to build a new building.  all within the year.  that was big.  i know it is possible.  i am ready to work hard.  hopefully the language starts to pick up.  i think it will.  just keep praying for me.  i need it.  but don't worry. i'm doing fine out here.  success is on the horizon.

it is good to be able to talk to you.  you can send packages and letters to the mission home in singapore or letters to my home here.  i heard it really doesn't cost too much.  my address in singapore is:

Singapore Mission
253 Bukit Timah Road 4th floor
Singapore 259690
i'm pretty sure this next one is reliable.  i don't know if this is it.  actually wait till next week and i will confirm it but i think it is this:
E2 taman hinglee lorong 5
mile 3
Sandakan East Malaysia 90000

i love you.  i look forward to your emails.  i will talk
to you again next week.
Elder Petersen

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Singapore Airport headed to Sandakan May 14

well hello.
i am in the singapore airport using their free internet.  its pretty sweet here.  i am about to get on a plane to KL then to Sandakan.  i'm pretty nervous.  i met my companion, elder carter, he's pretty cool.  me and him are the only elders in our district.  we're all alone up there.  i believe they are putting a senior couple up there as well.  i heard that up there is where they speak the best malay so hopefully i will do good at learning it.  these last few days have been crazy.  i have been pretty busy with trainings and stuff.  last night we went out into singapore to do some first time contacting.  it was so fun.  we went and ate on the street first.  very interesting.  i had sweet and sour pork with chicken rice and vegetables.  it was good.  then we went contacting in front of this big mall place.  i talked to this one guy on the bus who had the singapore record for the 7 by 7 rubik's cube.  he was really nice and really interested.  we talked for a while and i gave him the missionary's number.  after we got off the bus one of the other elders told me that he was muslim.  we can't teach muslims.  so i guess i struck out.  i tried to contact this other really nice lady but she was also muslim.  oh well. it was fun.  p-day is now on wednesday so i will talk to you next week. wish me luck!
elder petersen

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I made it!!! May 12, 2010 1:57:28 AM MDT

i survived.  it took 24 hours and 45 minutes to get from salt lake city to singapore.  we were in the air for 18 hours and thirtyish minutes.  oh man it is so hot here.  

No name tags allowed 

as soon as we got here the mission president and his wife and a senior couple and the assistants brought us out to lunch.  they took a bunch of pictures.  it was just a bunch of rice and curry on a huge banana leaf and we ate with our right hand.  haha 

Right Hands only...on banana leaves...

No Forks? Nope!

it was weird  my first area is at the top of east malaysia in a city called sandakan, i think.  it is very small.  president clark said that they have been struggling.  we'll see what happens.  i'll email you again in a few days i guess. bye!

Elder Petersen

Elders Tovar, Thurman, Trevor...Williams and Sis Hite