Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tea Bagged....courage

ah mercy
     wow i had some really interesting emails this week.  thanks for the men of harlech lyrics.  ha ha i think it would be impossible to memorize those.  yes our church is full of kooks.  ha ha you would crack up if you met the members here.  ha ha just our discussions in sunday school or priesthood are pretty comical.  you went to seven peaks huh? so does that mean that it finally warmed up over there?  i didn't know if it would.  
     alright well this week was pretty uneventful.  just the usual day to day grind.  things are going really well in our branch right now so i'll just tell you about a few people.  first of all last sunday was oyoki's confirmation.  it was great.  on the day of her baptism she brought a neighbor or cousin or something named raymond.  he is 17 and really cool.  this sunday he came again and brought another friend named john.  he is also really nice.  they both loved church and want to come back again next week.  right now we are just cranking out the referrals.  there is this one lady in our branch who sometimes goes out knocking.  ha ha perfect.  she has given us a few referrals. on sunday the father and son of a family she met came.  they loved church and committed to come back for sure next week.  the dad just went off and off about how much he needs to go and how good it felt to be there.  we visited him yesterday and he out of the blue he turned to his son and said son do you want to go to church and be baptized?  yes!  ha ha perfect.  also at church a good member brought her boyfriend who really enjoyed it.  sunday is the best day of the week and this week was especially good.  i guess all of the members noticed all of these new faces and they wanted to be apart of it because after church like 4 members told us about friends that they wanted us to meet.  ha ha wow so we got so many potentials.  things are looking good.  like i said, the recently switched buildings.  since they switched attendance has almost doubled.  things are just looking really good.  i don't want to drop the ball.  at the start of may this one lady and her son were baptized.  the father and the two daughters were not baptized.  the father loves church and comes every week but he is like the top dog of a big tea company.  last week the sister told us that he had plans to quit his job so that he could be baptized.  we were supposed to keep it on the down low because it was more of a hope than a real plan.  well on monday he quit and started a new job.  that is so awesome.  it would be really hard for me to do something like that.  he is a champ.  so pretty soon he may be baptized.  sweet.
     last week after we emailed we went over to this place called seoul garden.  it is an awesome restaraunt.  i feel like i already told you this.  oh well.  it is buffet style.  in the middle of each table they have a pot of soup on a burner surrounded by a grill.  you just go pick out raw meat and slap it on there.  i cooked so much chicken.  ha ha oh man so much.  we destroyed the place.  it was good.  i have a few pictures.  speaking about eating, i have gained a lot of weight.  wow.  i don't think you'll recognize me when i get home.  i'm getting quite fat.  ha ha too much rice here.  and everything is deep fried.  ha ha oh well.  this morning we went bowling at the mall by our house.  it was really fun.  i dominated.  my high score was 167.  no one was even close. 
     for the last few weeks we have been going around trying to find members so that we can pump them for referrals.  we marked on our map where there were clusters of members so that we can hit a lot.  this place is so spread out so we've been doing a lot of walking.  well last week we found the coolest house ever we found the house of a member on our list and it was a freaking mansion.  wow i'm serious it was huge.  nicer than any house i've been to in singapore.  that is impressive because there are some major slums here.  well the member was really cool.  we talked for a while.  the father was one of the first ten people baptized in malaysia.  they have three generations of church goers now counting a little toddler.  the girl was pretty impressive.  she could read at one year old, before she could walk ha ha.  the chinese are crazy.  the secret is flash cards.  anyways after we talked for a while we were ready to leave but the guy was like i'll give you a tour of the house.  ok.  so the main floor was pretty nice.  really clean and modern.  they have two or three maids.  on the back porch they had 7 washers and dryers.  in almost every room they had a big flat screen mounted on the wall.  we went up to the second floor where all of the bedrooms are.  they all had big flat screens.  really nice.  they showed us what they called the mom's sanctuary.  it was the bathroom.  huge.  the bathtub was massive with tons of jets.  there was a huge tv at the end of the tub mounted on the wall.  the wall tile was flecked with real gold.  over on the side there was a door with a finger print scanner lock.  it was a door to a huge walk in closet.  i mean huge.  back in sandakan we helped someone build a house and it could have fit inside of there.  in the middle there was a big massage chair.  wow.  then we went to the top floor.  there was an automatic sliding glass door at the top of the stairs. it opened up into a big hang out room with a full kitchen and a huge tv and couches and a projecter and speakers and a playstation three and tons of stuff.  needless to say this house was huge and way expensive.  i can't even get into all of the details. I was just amazed.
     well i'm sorry this email was lame.  ok throughout this next week i will make a note of things to tell you so i don't forget.  have a good week.  don't be too bored this summer.  i'll be home soon.  i love you all
elder petersen

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


     oh man where to begin.  jaynanne you trunked me out of my mind.  ha ha those pictures were awesome.  so many!!  i think a lot of them need explanations though.  dad did you have a garmin watch on?  that is sweeet.  did justin wear his number on his shorts so that he could run without his shirt on?  jaynanne you're looking pretty cute, so are some of your friends ha ha. the trip looked awesome but i feel like it would be like hurding cats with all of those kids.  mom you looked pretty slim in those pictures.  it kind of looked like jaynanne and tara owned the place.  the pictures on delose's blog were cool.  it sucks that you can't even go to camp yet.  it will totally shorten your summer.  i remember on mid summer's night eve (longest day of year) last year that we all danced shirtless around a bon fire covered in blue paint and offered a sacrifice of pine needles to the pagan gods.  ha ha spencer missed that.  dad your talk was good but really frustrating because it was a cliff hanger.  (spencer do you recognize this "cliff hanger hanging from a cliffffff and that's why he's called cliffhanger.. can't..hold..on..much..longerrrrr!") 
     HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!!!  hope it was good.  i'll be there next year.  well i had a bunch of stuff to tell you about but again i didn't write it down and now i can't remember and i'm in a time crunch.  haha it's an endless cycle.  the big news is that on sunday we had a baptism!!!  but it could have been better.  after church we were planning on baptizing this woman named oyoki and her two sons.  they are chinese.  in the past the father has been against them learning.  he doesn't want them to forsake all of their family traditions.  our branch president went over a few weeks ago and they talked for a while and wrinkled out the problems.  so it was good to go.  on saturday they had their interviews.  on sunday all three showed up so we were looking good.  then she told us that the husband was once again against it.  she said he didn't mind her getting baptized, it was her own choice, but he didn't want the sons to be.  so for the next two hours during church we tried to communicate with this lady that knows no english and very little malay.  after a long talk we decided to put off the kids for a few weeks.  it is so frustrating not being able to communicate here.  i don't know how she sits through church not understanding anything.  she is solid though.  she read the whole book of mormon in chinese and the whole gospel principles manuel in like less than a month.  so after church she was baptized.  that is a good thing.  maybe her husband will see that she is happier and still normal and will later allow the sons. 
     after being back in malaysia i remembered how much malaysians frustrate me.  oh man my patience is tried during church.  dad would be losing his mind.  if there's one thing i've developed from my mission it is probably greater patience.  some of their talks are just pointless rambling.  or they don't take stuff seriously.  that's what really bugs me.  they stand up and joke at the pulpit.  east malaysia was way worse.  ha ha oh well.  it's a first generation church.  it will come with time.  i don't know if i told you but when the church historians came to singapore they said something like since joseph smith there have been a total of 16 million members and right now 14 million are alive.  this really is a first generation church.  they said it is always 1830 somewhere in the world referring to the size of the church in 1830 in america.  so true.
     speaking about not understanding people, yesterday i was lost.  i think that most missionaries that go to a foriegn country go through a short time where they just don't understand what's going on in the lesson because they don't know the language yet.  but they move past that.  in this mission you never move past that.  ha ha.  i learned malay.  people here speak chinese, tamil, hindi, tagalog, or any dialect of those.  so it is a very typical thing not to know what is being said during a lesson.  we teach a lot of lessons with members so that they can translate.  i've gotten good at just sitting there smiling.  yesterday i went on splits with the branch pres to go talk with sister oyoki's husband.  he doesn't know english or malay.  so i had a lot of time to sit there.  every now and then pres chi would ask if i wanted to add anything and i would say something that i hoped would gel with the last statement.  he was actually pretty good at translating for me.  we tried to talk to the husband about the importance of families in our church. i brought my four generation pedigree chart to show him.  after i gave my shpill i just sat there.  i thought a lot about that chart.  i thought a lot about what my ancestors had to go through.  like immigrating to america or trekking west or surviving the great depression.  i thought a lot about grandpa petersen.  he went through quite a bit in his long life.  i'm so thankful that he raised such a good family because dad is a product of grandpa's influence.  dad is like the best guy i know so grandpa must have done something right.  i'm just grateful to him and grandma because they provided the way for me to have a happy family.  i noticed that on my chart it doesn't say a death date or place for grandpa.  it almost made me cry to think that grandpa is gone.  like i said i had a lot of time to think so i just ran through all of my grandpa memories.  there's quite a few but unfortunately they are mostly from the last year and a half of his life.  to tell you the truth if grandpa would have died a few years earlier i would not have been as impacted or aware because i just didn't know him that much.  i'm so glad that we had the life changing oppurtunity to take care of him when he was sick.  i learned so much more about him, about his past and about his personality.  i really came to love the old guy as i took care of him and was almost forced to be responsible for him.  i think our family even came together more.  it is something i will never forget.  he lived with us for like 7 months and i will always remember that.  one thing i loved was just to see him give a genuine smile.  ha ha it was always fulfilling to get grandpa to really laugh or be tickled by something you say or did.  i can just picture him now smiling up at me.  ha ha i miss that.  anyways i don't want to get to sappy these are just some thoughts i had while sitting through a long lesson that i didn't understand yesterday. 
     well the zone here is really cool.  last week we had a zone fast.  we broke our fast together at chili's.  it was delicious but i ate way too much.  PJ is treating me good.  like everyplace it has it's ups and downs.  the transportation here is frustrating ha ha.  we were going to do something cool for pday today but it fell through thanks to some weenie elders so i can't report on that.  hope the summer is going good.  have a good time there.  don't forget about me here in asia.
elder petersen

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Rice, Rice, and more Rice

hey guys
     wow i don't even know where to begin.  you guys delivered great emails this week.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY JAYNANNE!!!!!  you thought i forgot didn't you. how could i forget.  my little girl is all grown up.  don't do anything stupid now that you are an "adult".  that is so cool that spencer blessed the sacament.  i remember the first time i did it was on shut-ins with spencer shupe.  i read it out of the book of mormon and i said wine without noticing.  he corrected me and i did it again.  i was pretty nervous the first time i did it in sacrament meeting.  sounds like you did fine.  dad i don't think you could make me any more trunkier than i am.  ha ha i want to go backpacking when i get back but april is probably too early in the season.  arches would be fun.  i want to do something with my friends but they won't be back until a little bit later.  are you guys still planning on going to europe?  that would be a blast.  but anywhere can.  i'm wide open.  i spelled my companion's name wrong.  it is maughan not maughn.  he's from sacramento area.  yeah he loves yosemite.  he's told me a bunch of stories.  he's done this one big climb called el capitan a bunch of times.  and also the face of half dome.  he like to do multi day climbs.  crazy.  i'm so glad that dallas won.  that is sweet.  about the santasquoys i just talked about how we had them over for a lesson and they didn't really accept it but that we didn't lose our friendship.  i'd say most members are scared of losing friends and that is why they don't share the gospel.  it is false.  since being on my mission i've been asked to invite investigators to be bapitized on the first lesson and it makes me think back to that.  i have mixed feelings but in the end i think it is a good idea.  they have to know why we are even meeting with them.  but you don't nail them.  you say something to the effect of "if you were to find out for yourself that this was the true church, would you want to be bapitized and join it?"  if they say no you don't drop them.  it can't be an attacking invitation.  most people would say yes to that broad of a question.  i remember dad was pretty nervous because the missionaries wanted to ask them about baptism.  haha.  it also helps us to see how determined of an investigator they really are. 
     well yep the new area is pretty sweet.  it is way different from singapore or sandakan.  i swear our mission is so diverse.  east malaysia is a lot poorer all around.  KL has its slums but it has some really nice facilities.  east is almost all small cities.  in west there are a lot more chinese and indian people and everybody tries to find middle ground with english.  east is pretty much all good malay.  we have a senior couple but they are over all 8 missionaries here and we don't really ever see them.  they go to a different branch.  they're cool.  they are the browns.  they are from harrisville.  they'll go home around the same time as me.  they are mostly over family history for west malaysia.  we're on public transportation.  KL is so weird.  there's so many different types of transport.  taxis, big buses, small buses, LRT train, big KTM train, and a mono rail thing.  they are not nearly as organized as singapore.  we've already waited for a bus more than once for almost an hour.  none of the systems really connect up that well.  ha ha it's a mess.  it is mostly muslim here.  there's mosques everywhere playing that call to prayer.  there's also a lot of hindu and buddhist people.  christians are pretty rare.  our apartment is awesome!  it is brand new.  it's a condo.  it is reported to be the nicest in the mission but i think singapore had better.  it is pretty small, just the two of us.  there's three rooms and three bathrooms.  we have a flat screen tv that we can use on p-day.  ha ha awesome.  they just moved the pj2 chapel and so we live about a 15 min walk from it.  and it is in a great place by a busy road so it's easy to find.  the food is the same.  a lot of rice.  a lot of rice.  i mean a lot of rice.  there's fast food but it is expensive.  we do live right next to a big mall.  i hope i'm not here for 7-8 more months because i want more that 2 months in my last area.  hopefully i'm here for 5 there for 4 or something.  i don't know though because between the end of july and the start of september there are like 35 missionaries out of 80 going home.  ha ha so it's anyone's guess.
     last sunday was district conference.  so the four branches in KL and the branch from malacca got together.  basically i didn't know anyone but the missionaries and a few members haha and i couldn't tell who was in my branch.  so i still don't really know anybody.  the talks were all awesome.  the theme was about strengthening the church by strengthening families.  it made me trunky.  i was in the back and couldn't hear that well so i kept zoning out and reminiscing about home.  haha.  elder dass's dad is in the district presidency.  he gave a talk and he is just like elder dass.  all of his mannerisms were the exact same.  ha ha it is comical.  i saw president clark.  we had a good chat.  he's doing a run here on july 30 and if i can find a willing investigator then i can run.  it was good to see all of the elders there.  we have a sweet zone.  we're planning on going paintballing soon.  that would be so fun.
     bad news.  there's this one elder named elder ulrich who i became pretty good friends with.  he came out the group right before me.  he was in singapore the whole time i was.  he is from kaysville and went to davis high.  he was big into debate and drama.  we knew some of the same people.  anyways like yesterday he went home.  oh man.  he had 6 more months left.  he was having some medical problems and he reacted bad to a drug he got here.  he was so awesome and i didn't even get to say bye to him.  it's a bummer.  i think he knew it was coming though because a few weeks ago we talked about what it would be like to go home early.  i hope i didn't offend him by saying how much it would suck to go home early.  ha ha i can't wait to meet up again.  he was cool.
     hey dad did you ever get a message on facebook from someone named john lee?  he sent you one.  and jaynanne too i think. 
     sorry i emailed so late this time.  we were out a batu caves this morning.  it is this big cavern thing here with a lot of indian shrines all about.  you have to walk up like 200 steps into it.  there are tons of monkeys and if you hold out food they will climb up you and take it.  it was fun to mess with them.  sorry that i don't have any good stories from KL yet.  nothing too exciting has happened yet.  we might have a baptism this weekend.  that will be sweet.  i'll let you know.  i hope i can meet more members.  i'm going to send you guys a cd with a bunch of pictures from singapore.  it doesn't have them all though because i switched cameras.  and you've already seen a lot of them.  i might send you a postcard too.  i don't know my address or where the post office is either so i don't know how i'll send it.  well have a great week.  i look forward to your awesome emails next week.  if you get bored this summer then write me a letter! i love you all!
elder petersen

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Transfers...it was a GRAND 6 months!

apa khabar
     wow i am incredibly jealous of your trip.  it sounds like so much fun.  it just brings back all of the memories of havasupi.  but it sounds like you were able to do more.  it is definitely something you will never forget.  most of the youth will never do something like that again in their lives.  like i said before, you had better plan a huge trip for when i get home.  that is sweet that the santoscoys went.  i forgot to tell you that last sunday i had to give a talk.  i talked a little bit about us having a lesson with them in our home.  thanks for all the details dad.  it wasn't too long to read.  the more details the better.  i just got mom's email.  one more thing for spencer, at bartlett we wore t-shirts most days of the week.  at loll they wear the green button shirts every day.  buy a few more.  i only had one.  so i borrowed one from the camp.  it doesn't have to have all the patches on it and stuff but you do need more than one shirt.  this is key.  that's sweet that you'll still be going to boston.  take a lot of pictures.  john says he will most likely spend next summer down here sleeping at chase's.  then he's still planning on going to the U but plans change. 
     well well i've got news.  i am no longer in singapore.  i got transferred to the capital of malaysia, Kuala Lumpur (KL)!!  so right now i am here in the big city.  the big dirty city.  well actually i'm not in the actual city.  i'm in a suburb called petaling jaya (PJ).  i serve in the petaling jaya 2nd branch.  i am so excited.  it is supposedly doing the best out of the five KL areas.  we found out about transfers saturday night.  there were three elders going home this week and no one replacing them.  so my area in singapore got absorbed into another area by the sisters.  so hawkins also got transferred.  actually he got transferred to an area in KL called klang.  so we were seperated but not too far.  my new companion is elder maughn from california.  he is pretty sweet.  i think we're going to get along great.  he's been out for like 9 months maybe.  he loves rock climbing.  it is his passion.  we've had a bunch of conversations about that already.  he has some pretty treacherous stories.  i told him about loll.  he worked at a huge famous high adventure camp in new mexico called philmont.  we got into malaysia yesterday aroung 2.  so we've just been settling in.  maughn was just companions with a native that ended his mission.  he says that we have a few investigators that know no english.  maughn has been in english speaking areas his whole mission so he said he would just let the native do all the teaching.  ha ha hopefully i can remember my malay from 6 months ago.  i'm excited to try.  by and large KL is all english speaking.  i mean everybody know malay from school but they all speak english.  there are tons of different races here though.  the church services are entirely in english.
     so i don't have a whole lot to tell you about KL.  and i didn't do that much in singapore last week.  we went to the webb's for the last time.  oh man so good.  they gave us cafe rio style salads.  they weren't as good as the original but pretty darn good.  mexican food in asia? can.  a few weeks ago me and hawkins didn't know any members so instead of knocking all day we tried to visit as many members as we could find.  all we had was addresses.  we went to this one single sister.  we knocked on the door and the lady told us that she must have moved away.  so we shared a little bit with that lady.  she's like 27.  from malaysia.  she had just moved in that week and she said she was christian but didn't really know what church to go to.  perfect.  as we were talking, her husband walked up just home from work.  he was really nice too.  he wasn't christian, free thinker.  we had ran out of materials from tracting all day but i did have a pass along card so i wrote our number on that and gave it too them and told them to go to mormon.org.  a few days later she texted us and wanted to know where our church was located.  we met up at a food court and had a great lesson.  they are really awesome.  sunday morning we met them at an MRT station and took the bus with them to church.  they seemed to really enjoy church.  they are really nice and were sad to hear that we were both already leaving.  i think they'll be good investigators.  a young married couple with no kids is exactly what that ward needs.  it was a cool experience. 
     dad you asked for some details about singapore.  let's see.  i don't really know how the police were dressed, i didn't really see any.  it is compulsory for every single young man at the age of 19 to do the two year national service.  they have a wide range of tasks from overseas army to defensive stuff to local stuff.  so there are random people walking around in camoflauge just patroling i guess.  the mailman, i don't really see either.  from what i've seen, the mail men use scooters with big metal boxes on the back.  so you see them cruising around sometime.  i guess they just wear their little windbreakers.  fire fighters, i never see.  the sirens that i've heard sound like america.  in the main city the streets are pretty crowded.  it is atleast 50 percent white people.  there are tourists everywhere.  but there's also tons of other foriegners.  like filipino, indian, african, malaysian, you name it.  americans don't really stand out no except that they are taller.  well actually they do. i always notice if there is a group of white people.  it is weird.  i quickly pass judgement.  i really liked singapore.  i can't wait to go back one day.  it was an absolute blast.  the members are awesome, local and expat.  the people as a whole aren't really that open, but we had some good investigators.  i'll miss that area.  it was a grand 6 months.  i learned a lot and had the chance to do a lot.  it's one of the only areas with so many missionaries in such close proximity.  that is also an added bonus. 
     well i forgot to bring my camera cord to the internet kedai so i can't send you any pictures.  sorry.  next week i guess.  hopefully by then i'll have some KL stories for you.  this weekend is district conference.  i love you all.  have fun back home.  write me some letters.  hmmm i don't know our address.  i'll let you know that too next week.  if you have any questions then ask me so i have something to email you.  well, bye.
elder petersen

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Baptisms are Hard to come By

what's up!!
     alright your emails were awesome!!  man they were packed with detail, just how i like it.  i'll try to respond to it all.  wow i am really trunky right now.  ha ha mom's description of dad getting ready for a trip sounds accurate.  i loved scout camps.  i wish i was there.  yes i saw the snow picture.  crazy.  that's great that the year ended successfully.  nice jaynanne and mollie and spencer for good grades. yeah i heard from john.  bad news.  his dad got an institute assignment up in seattle washington.  so john will return from his mission to washington.  he doesn't know about going to the university of utah now.  this could screw up all of my plans!!  but he's still doing awesome.  yeah we heard all about that may 21st end of the world thing.  a lot of random people asked us about it.  we braced ourselves but nothing happened.  so we braced ourselves for 12:00 in america and again nothing happened. i heard he switched it to october so we'll brace ourselves again.  ha ha crackhead.  oh yeah i wrote about elder bednar in my journal.  just that three hour meeting took about 8 times more journal space than a typical journal entry.  ha ha i tried to write it all.  yep dad i'm still quite skinny.  it's a gift.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY SPENCER!!!!!!  good job. you made it to 16.  oh man!  ha ha i love coach mac.  i totally remember that night.  it was a blast.  me and john got totally lost up a random canyon in the dark in ogden.  ha ha we ended up by her house so we swung by.  yeah i know mrs iverson.  she's way cool.  she had cancer?  dang.  her daughter just wrote me a letter.  i'll mention it.  i'm so jealous of escalante.  sounds fun.  oskar made it!  ha ha cool.  oskar don't slow them up.  trying to cram scout stuff in.  nobody will want to do it all.  maybe we could try that article of faith thing with our investigators.  i don't think it would be as good of a reaction though.  i hope dallas wins.  i love sacrament meeting.  you enjoy it if you are in the right mind set.  if you don't enjoy it then you don't have the spirit with you.  sorry thats your fault.  whew.  that was a lot to write.
     ok this week went so good. first of all i don't have a lot of time.  sorry this is late.  we spent all day at an island off of the top of singapore called Pulau Ubin.  you take a $2.50 boat over and then rent bikes and ride the mountain bike trails.  it is way sweet.  i think we are the first missionaries to ever do it.  we had to ask president a bunch of times before he agreed as long as we had life jackets.  it was a blast.  i am quite sore and scratched up.  i'll send you some pictures another time.  ha ha the other day in a lesson, we were talking to our investigator about his schooling and i was talking about later this year and i referred to the fall as in the season.  ha ha he was so confused.  here they don't have fall.  they don't have seasons.  i had to just say october.  it made me laugh pretty hard.  another thing i was thinking the other day was about you daddio.  we talk all the time about setting goals here.  i'm a terrible goal setter but i just want to resurrect an old goal of ours.  i really want to hit the highest peak of every county.  you should set up a game plan and a time limit.  i think it would be really fun to do.  we've already done a handful.  there's got to be some easy ones out there.  think about it old man. 
     at long last!!  we had a baptism!  well kind of.  ok it wasn't mine and elder hawins' baptism but i'm counting it.  two of my former investigators were baptized.  jenny and michelle.  jenny if you recall is filipino.  on sunday she was baptized.  her boss wouldn't even let her miss "work" on saturday so that she could be baptized then and confirmed at sacrament meeting.  so she will be confirmed next week.  it was a great service.  she is awesome.  i'm really glad she finally made it.  second was michelle.  if you recall we have been teaching her forever.  me and elder dass met her way back in the middle of january.  i don't want to tell you the whole story but i taught her with dass, thomas, sugi and hawkins.  then the ap's stole the expat ward from me and so the sisters ended up baptizing her.  curses.  oh well.  it was probably better that way.  she really liked them.  but i have known her for a while and she really liked me.  i saw her progress so much and i saw her through some really hard times.  the webbs and the hancocks were pivitol in the teaching.  all of them were at the baptism.  most of the missionaries were there.  a lot of ward members were there.  it was a lot of fun.  michelle was really happy.  at the end of each baptism the bishop of branch president has a moment to welcome the convert in.  bishop neff is so awesome.  he served his mission is taiwan.  he is legit.  he knows what he's doing.  i think he's been the bishop for like 14 years.  he is one of the only long term expats.  anyways he was talking and then he got really emotional and said "I don't usually do this but i want to talk to michelle, the rest of you can listen in if you want"  then he just started speaking in mandarin.  he spoke directly to her for like 3 or 4 solid minutes.  that evening i asked one of the chinese elders what he said.  he just told her a story about chinese people and told her that she had a big responsibility to share the gospel with her family especially because we are not allowed to have missionaries there.  he gave her a bunch of advice and stuff.  well michelle is awesome.  i think she'll be a great example to her family.  the baptism was so fun.  i got to see all of my expat friends ha ha.  tomorrow we are going over to the webb's.  i love them.  seriously they feel like my family here in singapore.  sister webb is so good to me.  we're having cafe rio style salads.  i will look them up back in america later. 
     well like i said neither of those baptism counted for our area.  nevertheless we are still doing good.  we don't have any baptisms on the horizon but we have been working really hard and it's been paying off.  we're picking up new investigators.  this weekend is transferrs.  elder garrett is going home and two other elders.  man i loved elder garrett.  i had a blast with him up in sandakan.  oh i talked with president weiland last week in KL.  he gave me an update of sandakan.  the work that we had going there is still rolling forward.  sandakan is still cranking out baptisms even though it went for a year before me and elder carter without one.  the weilands are doing really well.  they are doing a great job.  it's tough to do what they are doing.  they're doing better than i would.  i'll let you know what happens about tansfers.  if i don't get transferred this week then i for sure will at the end of july.  ha ha so long.  we'll see.  i'm really loving singapore though.  i'd be torn if i left.  it would depend where i go. 
     i love you all.  i want a very detailed description of your trip.  i wish i could do it with you.  we'll have to do another family backpack trip eh?  don't have too much fun this summer without me.  while you enjoy the summer snow i'll be enjoying the heat and the perpetual sweat.  don't forget the church is true and kebenaran akan mengatasi!
elder petersen