Wednesday, July 28, 2010

"Fruits" of the labor

hello hello
how are you all.  oh man i really really enjoyed dad's email this week.  it definetly took me on a trip down memory lane.  ha ha the jamboree was awesome.  i'm glad they're having a good time.  ha ha it makes me really want to go.  we'll have to go on a family trip back east some time.  the philly cheese steaks sound good and also midevil times.  ha ha i can only imagine that place packed with scouts it would be hilarious.  so much fun.  Jeremy shot himself in the hand?!  oh my heck thats not good.  but he's doing alright?  wow.  is it going to affect his work or anything like that. 
I got your mail!!!  ha ha oh man it was a happy day i'll tell you that!  it had rained all day.  as i got home, we checked the mail box.  there was some junk mail that was soaked.  we waved hello to our neighbor/landlord and he said wait a second.  he ran into his house and got our mail that he saved from the rain.  what a nice guy.  i got a letter from jaynanne and dad and john.  they were great.  i loved the pictures from jaynanne.  ha ha they were really good.  and the trip down memory lane was nice.  you said something about an earthquake in the indian ocean?  ha ha there's no way we felt that.  we aren't even close to that ha ha but thanks for caring.  don't worry we're all safe here in Sabah.  also what is the ragnar.  you said spencer is doing xc, which is awesome!, and that they were running the ragnar.  whats that.
     ok this week was excellent.  i don't really know what to say though.  so many thoughts so little time.  it is like dad trying to tell you all of the jamboree stories, there's just no way.  so first thing first is Ning's family.  he is the father.  there is him and his wife and 5 children. they are so awesome.  yesterday the zone leaders came into town and gave them their baptismal interviews.  they will be baptized on august 7th if it all works out.  they are in our prayers.  this family is basically our one shining hope.  ha ha.  they are the best thing we have going right now.  and they are really really good.  they will help strengthen the branch big time.  
      this week was also a good week for trying new fruits.  i tried mangostein and rambutan.  ha ha both very good.

 the rambutan was given to us by a man we contacted.  he just pulled it off a tree and put it into a bag to give to us.  it is these little red fruits like the size of a golfball.  then there is all these green things coming off it it like hair.  google it or something to see better.  inside is a sweet fruit with a pit in the center.  its good.  the mangostein is intersting also.  a little bit bigger.  the shell is dark purple and kind of thick.  inside is this white fruit that is pretty sweet.  kind of in little wedges like an orange.  very good.

     this one crazy kid came home to sandakan this week.  his name is john chin.  he's jason's brother and the son of marrycle.  he's pretty funny.  he's been living in bintulu, in sarawak, for a little while to work and whatnot.  now he's waiting for his mission call.  so until it arrives he's basically coming with us to visit and stuff like that.  he's so funny.  he thinks he's so good and sports but i put him in his place.  for example.  last week we went bowling.  we had a little deal that the loser would buy the winner pizza.  i wasted him.  haha.  so he's owes me a personal pan pizza hut pizza.  it was a close match but in the end i conquered.  its really good to have him at our lessons because of course he knows malay very well.  i've learned a little bit from him.  who knows, if he gets called to the singapore mission we could be companions one day.

     i told john and jason mine and jaynanne's facebook profiles so don't be alarmed if they invite you as a friend.  oh and go onto mine and accept them so they can look at my page.  ha ha don't worry their cool.  just accept them if they ask. 
well thats about all here for this week.  i emailed a bunch of people so sorry this letter is short and random.  next week will hopefully be better.  i will be in singapore in two weeks and president clark will be here on friday.  so i've got some things coming up to look forward to.  hey since dad's in virginia i want an email next week from jaynanne or mollie.  ok?  bagus.  so thats all.  until next week.  saya sayang kamu
elder petersen

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Up's & Down's

why hello        July 21, 2010
wow what a week you seem to have had.
i say this every week but i love your letters they are so awesome.  thats great that spencer got his eagle!  tell him i'm proud.  mom you are wonder woman.  ha ha you work so hard.  we would all be lost without you.  oh man the youth spectacular sounds like it went pretty good.  you said you couldn't write about it without crying.  it also made me cry just to read it.  that veil part sounds awesome.  i got the chills just reading it.  its so cool to think about.  i'm way over here on the other side of the world teaching people about the plan of salvation also.  you know its just kind of cool to think about that we're all doing the same thing really.  oh man i'm tearing up just typing this.  i know this work is true.  its awesome.  i just want to share it with everyone that i can.  

well i sure hope spencer and dad have fun on the jamboree.  i will never forget those times.  so fun, so memorable.  oh don't worry about sending letters to sandakan.  thats totally fine.   ha ha elder carter got a package here the other day.  it hadn't even been tampered with.
well this week was just full of ups and downs.  saturday we had a service project with the young men.  because we're out here in the middle of nowhere and this branch is so small we can basically do what we want.  like in other missions the elders wouldn't help out with these kinds of things but here its totally alright.  we worked all morning in the rain clearing the  yard of the church.  we cut all of the trees and flowers and just made it look really good.  afterward we went and played some good football.  there were like maybe 16 or 18 of us.  man if you want to play some good ball play with a bunch of native malaysians.  it was a blast. my team won of course.  ha ha it was muddy and wet.  we all played barefoot.  i showed them all that this orang putih (white man) can play just as good as them.  i scored a penalty kick even.  ha ha it was really fun.  

we had a baptism sheduled for that night so we went home to shower and study a little bit.  after we started studying we got a bad text from hendry.  he said that he was busy at 7:00, his scheduled time, and he wanted to do it right now.  we were like what?! so we ran over to the church as fast as we could, probably about 20 min away.  and we met with him.  we said no deal.  it had to be tonight at 7:00 or maybe next week.  we had already invited other investigators and most members.  how much did he really want this.  he said he couldn't do it tonight because he had to watch his older sisters children.  so he left.  its heartbreaking really.  he was so close.  i was really sad, not for me.  he's not just a baptismal statistic.  i'm sad for his eternal salvation.  he doesn't realize how big this is.  it was so frustrating.  i feel like i couldn't convey what i wanted to say because i can't speak malay that well.  arg.  

after that i had a good sit down with Jason.  I told you about him earlier.  he is the amazing return missionary that went to the philippines.  he just talked with me.  he told me his thoughts.  he said this happened to him a few times and he would cry for them.  his eyes started watering up when he was talking to me.  he said this is why we need to work even harder.  he told me things he did to improve his planning and lessons and teaching.  i learned a lot.  this man is truly genius.  i'm so thankful to have met him.

after that we stayed at the church to tell people that showed up that it was a no go.  afterward we stayed and cooked dinner in the kitchen.  jason is also a very good cook we had rice soup with chicken head and feet.  ha ha it was good.  the brain was gross but like the throat and everything was good.  it was fun.  the three of us cooking at night in the church.  it was definiately a day of ups and downs.
so that is what happened on saturday.  i don't have time to tell you what happened on the other 6 days.  but things are going good here.  i'm still working hard and still alive.  the work is still slow but its moving.  right now i am sitting in a internet cafe.  there is always music blasting.  today it was 'the climb' by miley cyrus and 'my life would suck without you' and 'because of you' by kellie clarkson.  ha ha the climb is an awesome song.  good message.
have a good week this week.  don't worry about me out here.  i hope the summer continues to be successful.  I Love You!!
Elder Petersen

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Letters from home :)

Dear one and all,    7-13-2010
Man i love your letters.  i was just cracking up the whole time.  you make me trunky, in a good way.  the ward squirt out sounds like a fun success, at least for you.  ha ha your scout flag tactic is genious.  i can just see you doing it.  question, how do the targets change.  if you kill someone do you get their target.  can you be eliminated?  i'm a little confused.  sounds fun though.  the youth spectacular sounds interesting.    i can't believe korver what the heck.  so do we have anybody to replace them?  that is interesting.  the bulls aren't even that good anymore.  and lebron james is an idiot.  ha ha but he's dang good. 
i don't really know what to write this week.  nothing huge happened.  nothing other than the normal day to day activities which would bore you.  I got mail!! i've been here for nine weeks and i have finally recieved mail.  it was from the Johnsons.  oh man they are awesome.  i mean i hear from you every week in email but i can't believe i haven't recieved any mail from you in nine weeks, it hurts.  in the mtc when i told brother maynes that i had two younger sisters he said oh then you will be getting mail your whole mission.  this has not come to pass yet.  that is a coinincidence that you talked about mail when i was planning on reporting about my letter.  ha ha anyways...i still want something, even if that sounds selfish.  did you ever recieve my mail?  you never said.  i sent a letter to mollie and jaynanne once and then another time i sent a birthday card to jaynanne and spencer with a postcard also.  did you get either of those. 
they are changing the zone conference ways.  instead of having zone conference every 6-8 weeks we will now have it every 3 months.  thats a bummer.  i was looking forward to going to kk in a few weeks.  instead, president is going to visit each area and go visiting with the elders when we would have had zone conference.  oh well i have a visa run on august 10th.  so i will get a small break.  that may also be the same time as transfers because many elders are going home.  i'll let you know about that.
of course i have been following the world cup.  thats cool that spencer has too.  the other day we went to an appointment with Jason Chin.  he is a cool 17 year old kid in our branch.  he's way into football.  it was on the day that spain beat germany.  so we were of course talking it up.  he wanted spain to win it all so naturally i chose the netherlands so that i could mess with him.  ha ha so then he made a little bet with me.  if spain won i would have to buy him a spain jersey and a romli burger, if netherlands won he would buy me a jersey and cook dinner for us.  we shook on it and it was legit.  as you know, spain won.  the game time was 2:30 am so pretty much every kid stayed up all night to watch it,  it ended at 5:30 and then they all had school at 6:00.  ha ha so today i went and bought a jersey.  he's so funny, last night we saw him at a branch thing and he would not let me forget who won.  ha ha he's a really cool kid, good member, probably the best young man that is most likely to serve a mission. 
as for investigators, they are still all the same.  nothing different than last week.  Hendri should get baptized this Saturday and the Ning family is doing awesome.
since i couldn't think of what to report on this week i just started thinking back to the good old days.  i keep thinking about camp loll.  man i miss that place.  i want to write a letter to them but i don't really know what to say.  my experience there was life changing.  then i thought back to our trip to San Fran for some reason.  that was so fun.  thanks for taking us.  then i thought back to the jamboree.  oh man that was an adventure.  i'm so jealous that you get to go again.  you better take a lot of pictures and give me a good report.  don't waste any time there either.  do all of the activities and make sure you get into the patch trading.  also enjoy washington dc.  that was awesome.  i love that place.  hey will i still get an email from you when you are at the jamboree.  someone better still write me.  anyways sorry that was random. 
I miss you all.  i promise my next letter will be better. tell someone, anyone to write me a letter.  i miss you all!
elder petersen
ps  i have been emailing john.  he's hilarious.  he told me to tell you to write him a letter. 

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Apa Khabar

Apa khabar!  7-7-2010

oh man i love your letters.  so entertaining. so interesting. so uplifiting.  it seems so strange how time is flying by.  when i left to the mtc it was the beginning of march and school was in full swing. now all of a sudden it is july and the summer is half way over and flying by.  it sounds like you are very very busy. thats good.  

ha ha.  so daddio.  when it comes to email i have a new idea.  I asked the zone leaders about this and they said it was fine.  our mission rules is that you can only write emails once a week.  but if you get letters in the mail you can read them anytime.  this should be the same with email.  you can read them anytime.  so the weilands have a mac at their home and they have the internet.  my plan is to read your email on sunday or monday because they usually feed us then.  then by wednesday i can write something.  i asked sister weiland and she said she would even print it for me.  so this means you would have to send an email by saturday evening around 5 oclock your time.  i don't know if you could do that but if you could that would be good.  but this will only work as long as i have the weilands so only as long as i'm in sandakan.
This week was truly awesome.  we reached every key indicator but one.  actually we blew most of our goals out of the water.  it all started with that family of eight i told you about.  they are so good.  the mother and father and one kid are illiterate but they are so good that they read the book of mormon together as a family.  last week on friday i believe, we committed them all to baptism.  they only hesitated for a second to talk it over and then they all agreed.  so now we have 11 people on date.  i expect them to make it all the way.  the only problem is that every one else we have put on date before gets many problems or falls away from us before they can make it to the waters of baptism.  hopefully they are different. 
now the fourth of july.  very interesting.  ha ha obviously no body celebrates it or aknowledges it here.  but we did.  it was fast sunday so after church we went and had "hot dogs" and "potato salad" and "jello" and "brownies".  i put those all in quotes because basically they were malaysian style ha ha so it wasn't exactly an american meal but it was close.  like they don't have buns or good jello or good ketchup.  but we got by.  it was fun. 

church was really really good.  we had 77 people come!!  Jason has been home from his mission for two years and he said this is the best he has seen the branch in that time.  the chapel was packed.  it was busting at the seams.  and 9 of those people were investigators.  testimony meeting was really good.  we have been told that the missionaries should bear their testimonies every month so i got up.  my malay is getting better.  i talked about how before i did not even know where sandakan was but now that i have lived here for two months i have come to love it.  i said that sometimes i miss my family but its ok because the people here are now my family.  the members here really are like family.  they are so good to us.  there were several other people who got up.  all in all it was a really good meeting and our investigators all really enjoyed it.
so this week elder carter keeps saying that he thinks he will be transferred soon.  there is really no way to tell but he's sure of it.  ha ha if this is the case then i will have to teach a new elder all about this city.  i think i could do it but it is a big task.  it is more likely that i will leave because i'm a trainee but he has already been here for 6 months.  only time will tell.  we'll probably know the first week of august because we have to make a visa run then.  it is interesting.
well thats about all i've got this week.  it was an outstanding week. ha hopefully i'll remember all of my stories for when i get home because i don't have enough time to tell you everything that happens here.  I'm really starting to love this place.  the people are awesome.  the language is fun.  its fun to be the tall white guy amidst so many short asians.  the food here is awesome. pretty much right now things are going really good. i love you!
Elder Petersen