Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Sunday is a Day of Rest

hey guys
     dad your email was great.  very interesting.  not too long.  i wish i had more to read actually.  a lot of my emailing has gone down hill.  nobody writes to me like when i first got here.  i guess that excitement is just gone.  i don't have a bike because i have not been in a biking area.  when a missionary gets transferred to a biking area they have to buy their own bike with personal funds.  in Sandakan we had buses and here we have buses.  oh well.  elder garrett absolutely hates the bike.  ha ha he loved sandakan for that reason.  your theories are very interesting.  it makes sense.   well guess what.  elder thomas is andy and amanda ward's nephew.  i was looking at some pictures that his family sent them of a party and the ward's were in it ha ha it was crazy.  his mom is andy's sister.  now that i think about it i remember them saying to me that they had a nephew on this mission.  it's funny that we ended up as companions.  small world.  yeah our cell phones are pretty nice.  i don't know how much it costs to call.  i know in malaysia missionary to missionary is free cause of our plan.  singapore to malaysia is more expensive but i don't know how much.  oh well.  it is a rare thing to call them anyways.  atta boy spencer going to loll!!!!  that is so awesome.  you'll love it.  hopefully you'll be more prepared than i was.  i didn't know what to expect.  bring warm clothes.  and slippers for the lodge.  just ask christian.  you'll have to tell me who is all working there.  it's probably all new people.  how long do you think delose will stay there?
     well that was all in response to your letter.  i don't have a lot to say this week.  first of all comment for spencer.  i remembered this the other day.  we went on a heck of a long fishing trip with grandpa.  we went to southern idaho or something.  anyways it was awful.  we didn't catch anything.  actually i broke my pole.  we had to ride home with grandpa.  he wanted to stop by an old idaho friend's house.  he talked forever and we were so so so so bored.  spencer do you remember?  it came to me the other day.  hey i saw a preview for a movie called 127 hours about that guy who cut off his own arm in southern utah.  is it any good.  good reviews?  it looks kind of cool.  jaynanne you disappoint.  i thought you would have someone that i could write a letter to.  you're killing me.  i need your help here.
     this week was slow actually.  but sunday was awesome.  sunday is the best day of our week probably.  we just have to hope that our investigators will come to church then besides that we just sit back and let the teachers teach.  this sunday we had 10 investigators at church.  it was amazing.  we were expecting 4 or 5 but a bunch showed up with their friends or what not.  it seems to me that the wards here are just very missionary minded.  they talk a lot about missionary work and inviting your friends.  it seems like back home we never really focused on that.  interesting.  we have 2 people on date.  daniel and michelle.  they are still doing good.  a few of our investigators tanked.   they just totally lost interest or something.  they were probably anti'd.  that's one thing about singapore.  everyone has access to anti mormon crap.  in malaysia that's not a big deal although it is there.  it is frustrating.  we had and still have a lot of dinner appointments this week and last week.  the white people ward is great.  they love us and love to feed us.  i have gained a little bit of weight.  but don't worry i still exercise.  we ate dinner at this one family's house.  they were excellent story tellers.  they would rival you dad.  the father just had so many mission and college stories.  they expected a lot of stories out of us too.  ha ha it was fun.  this morning we played some intense basketball.  there were about 10 of us elders there.  i know it's cold in utah but it is still dang hot here.  i was absolutely soaked in sweat.  we should have played inside.  but it was fun.  i was on the winning team every single time.  coincidence?...i think not!!  nothing crazy happens here like it does in malaysia.  i really just want to go back.  oh well it is fun here just not crazy.  ask me some specific questions and then i'll give you some specific information. 
     sorry it's short.  i've got to go.  say hi to the crew.  jaynanne work on those referrals.  invite a friend to church.  say hi to grandma. say hi to the stowers.  i love you.  munkin minggu depan saya akan tulis lebih daripada minggu ini. kamu pernah terjamahkan pesanan saya?
elder petersen

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Jungle Biking and MRT

umm.... i don't have any new greetings
     ha ha sorry.  wow your letters this week were great!  i don't even know where to begin.  i want to comment on them all but i don't know if i will be able to remember.  first of all thanks for all of the advice.  i'll take it into consideration.  i've got another concern but i'll wait till next month to ask you.  ha ha ok old man i'll take you right there at the baggage claim.  i'll still pin you in no time flat.  do you ever take spencer down?  i can't believe you guys are going to boston.  i am quite jealous.  oh well.  ha ha i'm in singapore which is freakin sweet!  you want to go to europe eh?  i would gladly join you unless i was the third wheel for some romantic get away.  actually if my plan works out i'll be in europe anyways with elder garrett running the amazing race!  i knew your musical referrence before you cited it daddio.  i am for some reason quoting a lot of musicals/old school movies lately.  nobody knows them. i also nailed mom's karate kid referrence (was that right?).  but anyways things sound great there.
     well sorry this email was a little late.  this morning we went on an adventure.  last week president clark took about 6 missionaries on this crazy jungle biking trail.  i don't have a bike so i didn't go.  this morning me elder ngo and elder ulrich went on the trail.  it was tough.  through the jungle.  saw a bunch of monkeys.  crazy rocky down hills and up hills.  i am so sore.  it was about 20k.  i'm not in "bike shape" so i took a beating.  but i survived and then watched the best two years.  ha ha ha so much funnier now. 
     i read james's email.  he sounds good.  he only gets 140 bucks a month and can only now text?!  we get 600 dollars a month and live off of our phones.  i can't imagine not having it.  we'd be lost.  everyone here is attatched to their phones.  i heard our mission is one of the more expensive missions.  they spend a lot more as far as support, flights, supplies, housing, phone, etc.  i am lucky
     this week seemed pretty mundane so perhaps you'll enjoy this letter.  it may be short.  first two questions.  ok my motorcycle?  are you going to sell it?  now would probably be the best time of year to sell?  don't sell it unless you get a good deal because that is my money.  but i trust dad yang thrifty.  also i was considering something you said last week about the book of mormon being like unto nowadays.  i was reading in ether.  moroni really talks about secret combinations for a while.   so today what do you see as secret combinations that could possibly overthrow/infiltrate the government and even hurt the church.  we've been promised that the church will be around until the 2nd coming but maybe it could still get hit.  any thoughts?
     alright so i got the new companion.  mr elder thomas from bountiful utah.  went to woods cross and might know elaine.  graduated in 2008.  he goes home in july.  pretty cool guy.  i feel bad for him.  no malay elder wants to get transferred to singapore and nobody wants this as their last area.  he is a little depressed.  also we had a bad week so it made our area look even crappier ha ha but things are looking up.  we have gotten a ton of referrals this week.  we went tracting door to door for ever with no success.  at least finally we got referrals.  that's the way it's done. 
we went to a sweet parade.  it was on saturday.  this was no cherry days parade.  it was huge.  huge floats. huge cast.  sweet costumes. fire.  firecrackers. loud music.  it was so cool.  it was at the base of the flyer ferris wheel.  so that was cool.

     well i have nothing to write so i'll tell you a detailed description of yesterday. we woke up at 7:00 and went down to our gym.  i ran on the treadmill and then pumped some iron.  i'm huge now.  then i had an egg and ham and cheese sandwhich.  very tasty.  we studied and then at 10:00 headed out to district meeting at the church.  ddm started at 11:00 we had a rivetting training by our zone leaders who relayed a lot of information to us from president about retention.  investigators now have to go to sacrament meeting 4 times before baptism instead of 3.  hmm.  we went to lunch at mcdonalds, because it was mctuesdays of course.  i got the big mac.  and a sundae.  we went over to a part of town called clementi. there we contacted only for a little bit and then met daniel.  he is so awesome.  we taught him the plan of salvation and he said he wants to be baptized after he understands more.  he asked deep questions about post celestial kingdom and outer darkness.  ha ha we couldn't answer them all but i think he was satisfied.  then we headed to bukit batok to find a referral we recieved.  found the house but he wasn't home.  the chinese auntie invited us in and gave us a bunch of snacks and juice.  very tasty.  we did teach her though.  she's buddhist but her nephew was listening and he is christian.  cool.  then we headed to the shopping center to eat.  i ate rice with two kinds of pork and a fried egg and green beans.  very tasty. then we talked.  i got to know elder thomas pretty well.  by now it was late so we headed home.  it took 50 min to get home.  a lot of our day is travel.  at night we planned and then chilled.  we talked with some missionaries in malaysia.  then went to bed.
     hope that wasn't too mundane.  i did skip some stuff cause i was bored.  ok well i have to go.  have a good week.  send me cool emails next week. love you!
elder petersen

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Red Packets for Chinese New Year

sing yuen kwai le (another chinese new year greeting)
     i hope you all had a great chinese new year!  i love your emails.  they are just fascinating.  i makes me quite trunky.  man dad your theories are very interesting.   what you said about the muslims makes a lot of sense.  the muslims are interesting people.  they have great teachings.  unfortuneately for them, everybody focuses on the radical members that don't really represent the whole.  they are good people.  but they have a lot of problems.  i read this one book in sandakan about the history of islam.  it was good.  it's cool to learn about other religions.  your takes on the singles ward are interesting.  i think they sound great.  i don't see any downside to going to a singles ward.  eventually the singles will have families and move into a residential ward.  but not now.  singles wards are designed to help people of the same needs and concerns that sometimes get looked over in residential wards.  interesting.  that's pretty crazy that the stowers will move in.  so there is nothing in the basement? tv? fooseball? craft? will you have access to the cold room like when grandma and pa lived there?  hope it all goes well.  atta boy oskar.  don't let it go to your head.  i thought the temple was already closed and would open soon after i got home.  oh man i'll have to wait longer than anticipated.

     this week was quite prosperous and eventful.  we did in fact receive some red packets.  i got about 50 dollars.  which is more than i expected. one companionship got 100 each.  i can see that everything about chinese new year is about money and wealth and prosperity.  what a great tradition.  when i get home i expect to get red packets from you on chinese new year.  i expected there to be big celebrations here for the holiday but there was nothing.  everybody spends the time with their families.  the stores were all closed.  it was a ghost town.  none of our investigators really wanted to meet with us because they were busy.  which is understandable but it is a shame.
     speaking about rice krispie treats.  we had a dinner appointment with an australian family.  they are pretty cool.  there name is the dube's.  i guess brother dube was in charge of making the rice krispies.  ha ha he didn't follow all of the instructions.  he put like 3 times the amount of marshmellows and also a lot more vanilla.  they were delicious of course but they were loaded with sugar.  there was a thick layer of marshmellow that settled to the bottom of the dish.  ha ha it is better than them being too dry though that's for sure.
     no baptisms this week but we have been having awesome lessons with our investigators.  right now we are teaching some quality people.  i would say i am teaching as much as i was in malaysia.  the difference is that in malaysia we teach mostly families and here we teach single individuals.  a lot of students and maids and such.  also here they are very intelligent.  not to say that malaysians aren't smart, but they think different.  malaysians are more open and receptive.  here we have to be top notch.  we put michelle on baptismal date.  that's awesome.  she has awesome fellowshippers so she's doing really well.  i just realized that if i don't have a baptism this month, it'll be the first month since last july without a baptism.  that is 6 solid months of baptisms.  how awesome.  we'll see how this month plays out.
     well transfers are today.  elder dass got the boot.  i am in fact not training.  on the contrary, i will still be junior companion to elder thomas.  he is coming in from sibu.  he is in the same group as elder garrett that goes home in july.  i think he'll be pretty cool.  he's probably bummed about coming to singapore as most people are.  oh well.  there were a ton of transfers this week.  the whole mission got shaken up.  its cool.  i'm coming up on my year mark.  i want to do something to celebrate but i don't know what.  i'll probably burn something.  dad did you ever do anything like that? 
    on monday we had a dinner appointment right across the river from the singapore indoor stadium.  afterwords we went over and took a picture.  sorry jaynanne, that's as close as i'll get to taylor swift, standing outside the stadium.  at the time we were there, janet jackson was performing. we could hear it from outside.  at a restaraunt outside the stadium they were playing the superbowl.  we watched a few drives and i had to explain mostly all of the rules to dass.  we saw the packers intercept a pass and run it back for a touchdown and then we saw the steelers drive and score a field goal.  oh man it was so weird to watch.   it was the first time seeing american football in one year.  it was awesome.  ha ha trunky!
     well that's about it.  i was thinking about backpacking the other day.  i can't wait for our trip dad.  i love yellowstone but i really want to go on the teton crest again.  i don't know which would be better.  also we need new/more gear.  like filters and stuff.  i suggest you talk to dan mauchley from loll.  he would know the best stuff to get.  anyways have a good week.  stay warm. i know i will. dad you are right, our family is awesome!  us siblings are just so cool.  i'm glad we all get along and can have fun.  i miss you all.  keep up the missionary work.  mom see if you can get another baptism before i get home. ha ha but seriously.  alright peace out.
elder petersen

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Gonna be a NEW YEAR :)

gong xi fa cai! (chinese new year greeting)
     whats up family!  how're ya'll?  it sounds cold back home.  it's cold here, but only if you are using the air con.  last week seemed to be pretty good for you.  i heard about ol jimmer in the white people ward.  that's pretty crazy but it is funny that they turn around and lost.  the jazz always find a mid season slump.  they'll be back on top soon.  no doubt.  the wilkins have cute daughters if i recall. abbie's house sounds fun.  that would be hard to fix up in the winter.  how long before they can move in.  8 acres? wow. that's a lot of acres.  i hope they are successful.  thanks for celebrating my birthday ha ha.  that is cool.
     well this week was good.  everybody is gearing up for chinese new year.  i believe it is the 3rd of feb.  it's huge.  i'm not sure why.  all i know is that if we get invited to people's houses that we give them 2 or 4 oranges and then say gong xi fa cai and they give us red envelopes with money inside.  the envelope is called ang pow.  last year sugi was here and he got like 120 dollars in ang pow.  ha ha i don't count on getting that much but an extra 20 bucks would be cool.  i'd say thats a good tradition.  i'm trying to remember a few other chinese phrases so that i impress the chinese people.  ha ha they love it if a white man knows something in chinese.
     we had a baptism on saturday!!!! oh yeah!  pretty sweet.  it was kim.  i had the privelage of baptizing her.  her full name is Doan Ngoc Kim Anh and its not pronounced like it looks so it was actually tough to memorize ha ha.  the water was cold and the numbers were few but it was a great meeting.  the two talks were good and her testimony was pretty good too.  she was confirmed on sunday at sacrament meeting.  i think she'll do good.  she likes the spirit at church.  the rest of our investigators are doing good as well.  it will be hard to meet anybody this week because of the holidays. oh well.
     major milestone a few days ago.  i accomplished a mission goal.  i had a goal to eat rice for breakfast lunch and dinner.  i did it!  ha ha sugi cooked rice two mornings for breakfast.  so on monday i thought sure i'll see if i can eat rice for lunch and dinner also.  ha ha so now i have experienced the asian culture.  i feel a rice belly coming on.  oh well.  i won't do that again. 
     another goal is coming into fruition.  i thought to myself a while ago that if i serve a mission in asia everyone will expect me to know how to use chopsticks.  thats not really the norm in this part of asia.  most people in malaysia and indonesia use a spoon or their hands.  but here in singapore there is a ton of chinese people so they have chopsticks right next to the fork and spoons.  i have been eating as many meals as i can with chopsticks.  i must say i'm getting pretty good.  i've made some big progress.  they don't use chopsticks only.  they also use a big spoon.  that is how you eat all of the rice.  but if it is at all sticky then i can pick up rice pretty well.
     i bought a new camera.  it's pretty sweet.  it is not the model i intended to buy but the sales man talked me into it.  it is a good one.  it is a panasonic 14 megapixel underwater camera.  i like it.  the pictures are pretty sharp.
     well yesterday elder dass made it back to singapore.  he only got a 13 day chop.  most likely he'll be transferred out next week and i'll train a new missionary that is coming in on wednesday.  elder sugi tried to get to his area in malaysia but they wouldn't let him enter the country.  so now he will serve in another part of singapore.  i'll still see him around.  there are a few other passport problems around the mission.  elders were entering back into Kuching in east malaysia and the immigration guy said i know what you mormons are doing here going around from door to door and stuff.  that elder only got a two week chop.  i think this is because we changed our policy to wear our missionary clothing and say straight up that we're from the church instead of that we're just visiting friends.  interesting.  so pray for us.  like president Monson says pray that the hearts of the leaders of countries will be softened for missionary work.  our mission could use that.
     i feel like there is more to tell you but i can't hink of it.  oh well.  have a good week and a happy lunar new year.  say hello to everyone.  dad don't forget to tell me about your muslim/book of mormon theories and about the singles wards.  i am interested to know your theories.  and don't get to excited about the fortune cookie thing.  it was probably refering to your son who will recieve tons of ang pow this week!  if you haven't send "forever strong" then don't.  we found it at a member's house. ok bye
elder petersen