Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Happy Halloween in Sandakan

helo keluarga saya!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY OSKAR!!  man how old is that kid.  i'm going to send you something soon but i haven't yet because i've been really busy.  but don't worry oskar i will...eventually!(name that movie)  p-day is always a highlight of the week.  i love hearing the news from home.  GO UTES!!!  oh man they better pull it together for tcu.  that is going to be an awesome game.  maybe i'll be able to watch it somehow.  it'll be one of those tender mercies of the Lord.  don't worry dad i'll be praying for them, and i'll make elder garrett also, and maybe our recent converts.  keep me updated on the status of the nation.  the elections are very interesting.  everytime someone her says obama! to us, i boo.  ha ha maybe they'll catch on.  dad maybe you should be president.  actually the other day me and elder garrett were talking about what you said.  we were talking about why everyone hates america.  america is the place.  without us the world would be in chaos.  we settled that they hate because its the promised land.  hopefully our next president realizes that.  hey speaking of that little british outpost in zulu...send me the men of harlech lyrics!!  i've asked like 10 times.  to answer your question there are a lot of good singers in our branch.  there is a lot of natural musical talent in malaysia.  the three of our piano players can't read music but they play the hymns by hearing the notes and man they're good.  they can also sing.  i guess sister ______ just drowns them out haha.  i don't know why a lot of people have western names.  i'd say its mostly the chinese or the filipino.  they have long chinese names but they go by a christian western name.  i guess the world's just getting westernized.  our native malaysian investigators and members and old members all have weird names like rinijah sujira enol surima jumrah tingak jasli. its interesting.  this place is a mix of cultures.
Jumrah and Children
     this week was awesome like usual.  first of all we had a baptism of Jumrah and her family.  

Jumrah is the mother.  her and her husband have a 19 year old boy 17 year old girl 12 year old boy and 8 year old boy.  the mom, girl, and two boys were baptized.  this family is the cousins of our recent converts the Nings.  she's really an awesome lady. 

it's sad that the husband didn't get baptized. i don't know if he ever will.  he's super super lazy.  he is always asking us for money.  he actually told us that he would come to church if the church would pay half of his house payment. ha ha ha.  oh man we almost just laughed in his face.  he sits home every day.  he doesn't work and he doesn't want to find work.  and the big problem is that he smokes like 20+ a day.  every time we ask him if he's cut back he says yes yes, and then proceeds to smoke 2 or 3 during our lesson.  ha ha he's a joke.  but he gives us a laugh.  i won't forget about him.  anyways the mother and the three kids are really really nice.  they are solid.  the mom can't read but she told us that if she could read that she would read the whole Book of Mormon in one day, that she wouldn't sleep till she finished.  that's pretty easy to say when it can't be tested i guess but she is solid.  the 17 year old daughter is pretty good.  my fear is that she likes the church because me and elder garrett are so funny and awesome and good looking.  i can see her going back to st micheals but hopefully not.  i can tell she's gaining a good testimony.  she even showed a lot of interest in next years youth temple trip.  so they're great.  we were blessed to teach them.  like i said they are a referral from the ning's.  this upcoming week we have another baptism.  i'll tell you about them next week. they're a bunch of cute little kids.
     last week we lost a faithful saint.  it's going to hurt the branch but hopefully we'll get blessed because of him.  last friday torch tabiar went to the manilla mtc and in a few weeks he will enter the singapore mission.  he's so awesome.  he was the branch mission leader and the pianist and taught gospel principles. we'll miss him.  he was a funny guy.  when i first got to sandakan he barely knew english and was having a hard time getting his papers in for some reason.  his family is dirt poor and his mom had cancer or something.  president wieland worked a lot with him to get his papers in and he paid for a lot of his stuff.  also his english is getting pretty good.  he's going to be a good missionary and his family can only be blessed from this.  well on wednesday he had a farewell kind of party at the church.  a lot of members came and also some investigators that knew him.  we sang a few songs and then had like a testimony meeting thing.  his younger brother and sister are members.  they are not as active of members as they used to be.  the three of them are really close.  niether lina or jeffery could get through it without crying.  i almost cried to ya know.  it pulls at your heart strings.  they aren't going to see this huge role model in their lives for two years.  i'm pretty sure he supported the family at least in part with his job.  i started thinking of when i left the mission and how much i knew i'd miss you guys.  i also thought of what it would be like to come home in two years.  i started getting emotional.  i almost started crying, not because i was happy or sad but because i just know that you guys love me and i love you too.  just thinking that made me feel really really good.  oh man trunky thoughts.  so just so you know, i love you!!!

       well halloween almost went unnoticed here in sandakan.  good thing we were here.  we still celebrated it.  we looked hi and low and eventually found pumpkins.  they weren't your average american bright orange pumpkin but they were pumpkins.  on sunday night we took the four pumpkins to the ning's house.  it was a blast.  at first they were pretty confused.  they didnt' catch the vision at first.  but they had fun cleaning out the inside.  after they knew we were carving faces into the front they got even more into it.  we brought four pumpkins so that me and garrett could have our own then the boys could share one and the girls could share one.  it ended up like this somehow: garrett had his own, ronny had his own, rayne had her own, and i had to share with the two little kids.  ha ha oh well they are the coolest kids.  needless to say we kept it simple.  triangle eyes with a big nose and a big mouth with one tooth in the middle(the tooth was rinijah's idea).  

it was a lot of fun.  they took a lot of pictures on their phones.  they were pretty proud of their handy work.  so halloween lives on in malaysia!!

     that's all this week.  i have some pictures to send you.  i'm not sure what our time difference will be after daylight savings time changes you.  oh well.  dad will you check and tell me how much money i have in each of my accounts.  and if that one is still making a ton of interest?  i took money out once and it seemed low.  keep an eye on my money!  and keep me in the know about UTAH and about the elections. i heard there was a terrorist attack on a bunch of catholic followers by al quieda.  i don't know really.  alright peace out. i love you!  saya tahu bahawa gereja ini benar!
elder petersen

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