Friday, July 29, 2011

New Zealand Comp

alright so the new guy's in,
yesterday i met up with them.  they got in late so we basically just dragged his bed into our room and went to sleep.  they had no chance to email home in singapore so here we are today.  he seems pretty nice.  he's from new zealand.  his name is elder reeves.  he's half mauri.  he's pretty freaking ripped, i think he did water polo. he's soft spoken but seems wise.  so far so good.  it sounds like singapore was a lot of fun.  i missed out.  oh well me and elder lang had some good times up here.  i found a t shirt at a thrift store of this old chinese guy doing karate.  nice.  i feel like this greenie is a lot like i was back in the day.  he seems pretty obedient.  too obedient.  i feel like the mission field is not exactly like what they tell you in the mtc so almost every greenie thinks his trainer is apostate.  i see that judgement coming.  ha ha but like i said so far so good.  oh well i'll probably be out of here in three weeks.  hey maughan brought back mail for me from singapore.  i had three letters from jaynanne and one from jessica.  cool.  jaynanne's were dated in december january february march and i think june ha ha oh well better late than never.  they were entertaining.  alright well have a good week. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


hey guys
     dang i am so jealous of your trip to boston.  that is so sweet.  it sounds way fun and very memorable.  i hope you had fun.  dad i'm sure those amish people thought you were pretty weird.  i loved washington dc because of all the historical significance and it sounds like boston was even better.  the food also sounded awesome.  i remember when we went to dc we ate a lot of good food.  every night we tried to find something cool.  i think we had pretty good chinese once and one night we went to an irish pub and one night we almost got caught in a police bust at ruby tuesdays. ha ha good times.  our trips are always so memorable.  thanks for taking us out.  i've met a lot of people out here and back home and their parents weren't travelers.  it sounds so boring to stay home.  that's one of my goals.  i want to go on family vacations.  ha ha yeah you have no idea how much i stick out here.  i don't realize it either.  i've gotten so used to it now i feel shorter than i am.  then i see myself in a mirror next to a bunch of asians or in a photo and i laugh because i'm huge ha ha ha it is pretty cool.  alright send me some pictures.  i'm sure jaynanne took quite a bunch.  i'm glad grandma read my letter.  tell her she doesn't have to worry about responding.  maybe you can help her email or something but writing is painful for her i know.  jaynanne sent letters?!  alright.  i also sent spencer a letter.  whenever you see him ask him if he got it.  yeah i don't feel too bad about buying dvd's.  ha ha that might be bad but oh well.  i have quite a few.  they are only five ringget for one.  that's less than 2 US dollars.  so if i do only watch it once when i get home oh well. like i said president has an approved movie list so most of the ones i got used to be approved.  i probably won't buy too many more.  hey did you guys see transformers or harry potter?
     this week was pretty alright.  that david guy proved difficult.  he's not in our area so we passed him.  we went to his house the next day and it was so far away.  ha ha we didn't realize it was so far.  oh man it was a journey.  on the way back we were at the start of a bus line so when we got on we were one of the only ones on the bus.  the seat next to me is always almost the last one filled.  nobody ever wants to sit by me.  eventually though i guess someone figures that sitting next to the tall white guy isn't as bad as standing.  so that day this odd looking chinese man sat by me.  actually i thought he was drunk.  i thought i could get a funny conversation going so i said hello.  he either didn't understand or he didn't want to talk.  so i ignored him and looked out the window.  about 2 minutes later he started muttering under his breath.  he would just kind of make groaning noises.  then all of a sudden he'd throw his head back and let out a big ARRRRGGGHH!!!  ha ha ha i was like what the freak.  it caught me so off guard.  then for the next thirty minutes, no joke, he did this.  he would say about three words under his breath then through his head back and make a pirate noise.  like "sarga arrgh varga HARRRGGGAA!!"  ha ha it was comical but it got on my nerves.  maughan was across the aisel on the other seat and he was cracking up.  after a while i decided to take a video.  the guy's eyes were closed so i didn't feel bad.  we were getting close to our stop so i thought i could just endure it but then the unthinkable happened...  he reach over while muttering and he put his hand on my thigh!  ha ha whoa.  so i casually pushed it off.  a few seconds later he did it again.  i slapped that sucker off.  then i left my hand at my side to protect my thigh and he put his hand on my hand.  after he did that twice i pushed it off and stood up and moved.  elder maughan didn't really see any of that but he came and stood by me.  i told him and he was laughing so hard.  oh the crazy people you meet on the buses of asia.
     well i wasn't really planning on telling you that but it just came to me.  i feel like there are a bunch of people here trying to micromanage my life.  our landlord is one example.  every now and then she comes over to our place.  she is a really nice cancer survivor old aunty.  but she makes sure seat covers are lined certain ways and that switches are switched right and that everything is perfect.  she tells me how to clean.  she told me that my bathroom is too dirty.  it is the cleanest one i've seen in the mission.  she told me what soap to buy and then how to clean the shower tiles.  then she still didn't trust me to buy it so she went and bought soap and scrub sponges and toothbrushes to use for the fine detail.  ha ha step down lady.  our branch mission leader is also trying to tell us everything to do.  he tells us who to visit and what to teach and how to schedule and where to go.  i mean it's good that he cares but we are capable.  and he never offers help.  he tells us what to do and then tells us he is too busy to help and runs away.   ha ha impossible.
     i don't know if you can ever keep my investigators straight but we have been teaching this one indian familythey are pretty good but pretty poor.  they work a lot and barely scrape by.  they just recently opened a food stall that the mom and dad run all day.  they go home and prepare food for the next day sleep and repeat.  luckily, they don't open shop on sundays.  the dad is a nut but believes one must have a day of rest.  the mom works at kenny rogers on saturday and sunday.  if she didn't then their small stall would not be enough income for the five of them.  the father has come to church about 5 or 6 times.  he is great.  he is definitely crazy.  but he enjoys church.  whenever we see him for the first time he shakes our hands and says "praise the lord".  ha ha maughan started doing it back.  this last week we put him on baptism date.  a few days later we put his three children, 11 13 17, on date.  the mom is still a tough cookie.  she won't come to church even though work starts after church.  i sympathize for her.  she works her butt off.  she looks way tired.  i just hope she gets to a point where she can see that her children are getting happier and that she might benifit from coming.  so that is our top investigator right now.  they're looking to get baptized next month.
     well transfers are in.  the group of 16 is officially gone.  they should be back in america soon.  i'll miss a lot of those guys.  like thomas.  he is pretty dang cool.  also carter my trainer.  he's crazy but a good guy.  today the group of 19 comes in.  basically everyone left in the mission is training or is zone leader.  except me ha ha.  i'm staying here in pj2.  so is maughan.  maughan is training a greenie.  the three of us will be a companionship.  in only three weeks another group of 6 goes home and nobody is replacing them.  5 of them are zone leaders.  i'm pretty sure in three weeks i'll be transferred, along with the few other threesome elders, to zone leader.  i don't know what to think.  i'm fine with it i guess but i see myself most likely getting transferred somewhere i don't want to go.  oh well.  maughan and every single other elder in our zone is in singapore right now to pick up the new guys.  they'll be in on friday.  elder Lang is a zone leader.  he is one dying in three weeks.  his companion is training so he's in a threesome too.  so he's still here in singapore.  it's just the two of us.   it'll be a good three weeks.  he's really cool.  hopefully we'll go on splits a few times.  so that's the scoop.  i'll let you know what happens with a greenie here.  i'll also let you know what happens in august.
Elder Petersen

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

15 Minutes of Fame!

hi fam
     your emails were great.  ha ha you crack me up dad.  that is so cool that oskar is going to sing at general conf.  in the mtc choir we were hoping so bad that we'd get that chance.  don't forget about it.  and don't fall asleep.  ha ha this is your last general conf as a primary kid.  next one we'll all go to priesthood session together.  whoa weird.  i heard about usa losing.  oh well.  it's just women's soccer.  mom it sounds like you'll do good at that calling.  it is actually quite a lot of people.  that is a big responsibility.  good luck.  yeah i hope grandma reads my letter.  you better make sure tomorrow.  tell her hi again.  i am so jealous you are going to boston.  that sounds fun.  don't go to loll on the last week.  spencer will be busy.  go like the start of august.  ha ha when i left, no offense, jaynanne just wasn't that great of a driver yet.  i can just imagine the scene of her turning around that big car in front of everyone.  ha ha so funny.  she'll have to take me for a car ride when i get home. 

     so first of all we made it big!!  ha ha we ended up going to that soccer game.  it was really sweet.  i could tell you so much about it.  you'll just have to wait until i get home.  but it was me hawkins maughan stratton hunt and lang.  the fearless six.  we went to a street market called pasar seni and bought knock of malaysia jerseys for 20 ringget.  we were all wearing yellow ones but hawkins wore a blue one.  we went early to the game and there was a lot to do out in front of the stadium.  pretty much everyone was in arsenal jerseys.  nobody had malaysia pride except the six big white guys.  ha ha instantly people started wanting pictures with us.  it was really fun at first but after a while it got old.  i'm not joking we took at least 100.  i know i'm all over malaysia's facebook.  i wish i could search it somehow.  there were these one guys with really big cameras that wanted our picture.  so we took a bunch with them.  they said they were from the bernama news agency.  ha ha we were hoping to make it in the print.  so i bought a bunch of stuff like a malaysia scarf and headband.  the game was pretty boring.  soccer is just not appealing.  there is no action and no funny time out or half time entertainment.  just ninety min of kicking a ball.  malaysia got beat 4-0.  ha ha predictable.  but it was a blast.  also it was elder lang's birthday.  he is the zl.  we've become pretty good friends.  he is really cool.  it was an epic p-day.  the next day me and maughan were the first ones to find it.  we went to the news stand to see if our picture made the papers.  as we walked up i looked over one guy's shoulder who was open to the sports page.  there it was.  there was a big picture of us right there.  atleast 1/4 of the news page.  it said "imported fans"  later it talked about how nobody wore the national colors or cheered for the national team.  ha ha so funny.  i bought a copy to save. we got a bunch of texts during the day from people in maughan's last branch.  they said that our picture was on the internet and there was tons of comments about it.  i got my 15 min of fame.  it was so cool.
     on thursday we got stopped by some cops.  we were walking to our last appoinment of the day.  it was dark already and we were just walking through a neighborhood.  a cop car drove past us slowly and then stopped ahead of us.  on the passenger side the window rolled down and he signaled for us to walk up.  there are always two cops in the car.  they just fed us some crap.  they wanted trouble i think.  they asked us why we were here and we said we were from an international christian church like we've been told to say.  they asked for our passports and we gave them the photocopies we carry around.  we don't carry around the real deal so that they don't get ruined in the rain and so that some power hungry cop can't just hold on to it to make us comply to something.  he said where's the real one and we said it was back in our apartment.  he said where is your visa and we said the same thing.  i handed him the small certificate president told us to carry around that says we don't get paid and we'll leave after two years.  they looked at it for a while, told us to carry the real passport around, and then just drove off.  ha ha they had nothing.
     the work is going really well here.  we have a lot of investigators.  we hit a record attendance at church this week.  there was 87 people.  that is the most i've hit in malaysia.  sweet.  we put the father of a family on baptismal date and hopefully his family will soon follow.  today we were deciding whether or not to wear our shirts and ties because we were going to do something for p-day.  we chose to wear them.  it was a good thing.  we were walking back to our house earlier and this guy came power walking up to us from behind.  he stopped us and talked to us.  he said he was christian.  he is from nepal.  he told us he knew we were mormon.  he said he would like to meet us at his house and introduce us to his 15 nepal christian friends and that we could share about our church.  we were like ha ha great!  he said how about i give you my number and address and you can call me to set up an appoinment.  ha ha wow he just said everything we wanted to say.  then we set up an appointment for tomorrow.  he seems really nice but maybe too talkative.  oh well you can't beat that.  i wish more people ran up to us and set up appointments.  the zone is really awesome here.  we're still doing monday makan.  makan means eat.  that is a blast.  i will miss this district.  atleast half of us will leave from transfers this weekend.  it was really fun while it lasted.  oh yeah there was a wedding reception here.  a girl from this branch has been going to byu hawaii.  she met and married a guy from harrisville utah.  he went to freemont.  the two of them came here to visit the family.  the branch had a big party.  it is the first wedding here ever i think.  it was a big deal.  it was fun.  a lot of people sand and preformed.  the primary kids did this little breakdance number.  ha ha it was so comical.  primary must have changed a lot since i was in it.  the white guy was pretty nice too.
     alright well that's all this week.  it was a good week.  this area is really cool.  hey i want to know your thoughts on this.  here in malaysia they sell a lot of pirated dvds.  i mean everywhere.  i don't even know anybody that buys regular ones.  most missionaries buy a bunch to watch back when they get home.  they are way cheap.  is that bad to buy?  just out of curiosity. 
    ok all y'all.  have a good week.  don't forget about me.  i'll let you know if anything happens with transfers.  let me know how the last harry potter movie is.  let me know if you hear from spencer.  go to church read your scriptures say family prayers.  seeyaloveyabye
elder petersen

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Politics & Stomach Growls

hey guys!
     great emails.  mom i loved the pictures.  the chickens look good.  there's a lot of chickens running around here but they're all undernourished ha ha.  the picture of dad and brett cracked me up.  those two old men think they're so hip.  ha ha.  jaynanne looked too excited for her vacation.  and you guys all looked pretty dead after the run.  but i do have to say mom and abbie looked good.  keep it up.  thanks for the advice with the "drama".  here they write the date different so it was 11/7.  ha ha besides that i don't think malaysia would ever give anything out for free.  but that's sweet that oskar worked the system and got three free slurpees.  ah i do remember that scene from the great escape.  a lot of elders have never seen that classic movie.  what an awesome movie.
     alright i've got a few things to report about.  first is that rally you heard about.  it was pretty big.  i'm actually not in KL.  i'm in a suburb about 30 min away called Puchong.  the rally was in KL.  it was for electoral reform.  apparently the same party has been in power for 50+ years and it is because they are unfair.  they throw in a ton of marked ballots and they don't give the minority parties any tv time and they don't announce when the election is until last minute.  ha ha that sucks.  so this group called bersih 2.0 (bersih means clean and 2.0 because this is the second rally) planned to have a huge peaceful march to the government buildings or something.  well the gov told them to not do it in the streets but to do it in the national stadium.  then last minute they said they were illegal so they couldn't have the stadium.  this made everyone mad.  we met with one of our investigators, who is a huge advocate of this, a few days before the rally.  he said it was going to be huge.  he predicted atleast 100,000 people.  d-day was on saturday.  so thursday friday and saturday they didn't let any commercial busses into KL from other parts of malaysia.  on saturday they had huge road blocks everywhere.  nobody was let into the city.  there was barbed wire and police lines across the roads.  there were protesters that got in a few days in advance.  there was estimated to be about 50,000.  they marched around i guess.  they got hit with tear gas and water cannons.  ha ha but they made a point.  the last rally was in 2007 and it made a big difference in the 2008 election so we'll see what happens.  a funny thing is that on sunday during priesthood a member came into the church late.  ha his eye was all swollen and he told us that they hit him and he got tear gassed.  ha ha you should have seen him.  he was like a wounded soldier wandering into church.  but pretty much everyone we talked to is in support of the rally.  every race is kind of stepped on except for the malays (muslim).  the government preaches 1 malaysia but they have completely unfair treatment.  crazy.  but i'm safe.  the worst that happened to us is that we got caught in a huge traffic jam.
     every friday we go and visit our recent convert amy.  she teaches a bunch of kids "tuition" which is extra classes.  it is the same kids every friday evening so we know a bunch of them pretty well.  they beg me for magic tricks now everytime we go there.  last friday there were two girls one 8 and one 10 waiting for their ride.  i thought i would be good and teach them how to play go fish.  it turns out they already knew how to play.  so we played a little but then amy fed us.  the little girls borrowed the cards and then started playing with another kid.  i looked over from the dinner table and the little girls were playing a game called tee.  it is like scum but you lay down poker hands.  ha ha so i was trying to be nice and teach these kids go fish and it turns out the little girls could whip me in poker.  the chinese are so smart.
     on sunday we had quite a few investigators at church.  but we were expecting more.  some had to go to work because they couldn't work on saturday because of the rally.  so that's a legit excuse i guess.  we have a couple investigators that are really nice and really enjoy church but are just kind of "off".  the branch is really nice to them though and listens to their crazy comments in class.  sunday after church we had branch council meeting.  the first and most heated point they talked about was food.  after church it seems like everyone is eating.  since church is so far away a lot of times members bring food to eat after church.  i don't really know the procedures.  apparently our investigators don't either.  the members were complaining that our 'gators' were eating all of their food.  ha ha i know exactly who it was.  they said that they actually took food out of the members' bags.  ha ha again i can imagine exactly who it was.  anyways the members were ticked.  i thought, freak, maybe the members can be nice and share their food.  they said that is not how it works.  ha ha i had to defend our investigators.  i mean after church everyone is just eating.  of course they'll think the food is free for all.  i did.  someone just has to explain it to them.  food is a touchy subject here. 
     alright that is all for now.  the work is going good here.  we have a lot of investigators but none are really progressing so well.  but there a few.  transfers are coming up and i'll definitely be affected.  there are so many.  it seems like president is talking a lot about obedience lately.  i think he wants to root out all apostasy when this new group comes in.  he will maybe do away with the approved movie list.  oh well.  it was nice while it lasted.  sorry this letter wasn't all too spiritual this week.  maybe next week it will be....maybe.  ha ha i love you guys.  if you ever hear from spencer let me know.  i think i'll send him a letter.  hey if you are thinking about ever sending me a package i need a new journal soon.  i would like one like the last one but i don't think i'll fill it all.  maybe you can send me the next size smaller.  i'll send you a picture next week so you can see what it looks like.  alright sweet have a good week. 

oh yeah later today we're going to an arsenal vs malaysia soccer game.  i'll report next week

elder petersen

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Grandma's RULE

oh man!
     oh you guys!  great emails this week.  it's these big holiday kind of weeks that make me trunky.  ha ha you guys sound like you're doing great.  it sounds like your numbers keep dropping.  only 5 at dinner?!  ha ha the table is going to be too big for the family to eat around.  don't worry i'll be home soon enough.  i really hope spencer likes Loll.  he might not.  i mean we're not the same right.  and it will be different starting a few weeks later.  he missed out on some stuff.  but i think he'll love it.  his email to me was great.  it was cool.  i can't believe the national guard actually came to utah to help with the floods.  wow.  dad every week is uneventful.  every week i don't know what to write when i sit down to the computer. i just start typing and see what comes out.  ha that is why i feel it sometimes doesn't flow. oh well as long as you like it.  i can just imagine dad eating it up when all of the sisters enjoyed him teaching them how to cook.  don't let your head get too big.  that is pretty funny about what happened to doug and the dog lady.  ha ha i can just picture it all.  ha ha.  tell tara i never got a letter from her... no just kidding.  it's on the way.. just kidding. but soon.
     alright well this week was pretty boring..  ha ha so you'll probably like it.  actually things are still going great here.  i'm having a lot of fun.  this city is kind of frustrating though.  the transportation is just garbage.  we wait forever at hot bus stops for the right bus.  besides the fact that our area is so spread out it is really nice here.  the elders are really cool.  nobody is that old and nobody is that young.  we have one elder that dies at the end of the month with the big group.  the rest of us are all middle aged.  even our zl is younger than me.  our zone leaders are really cool.  elder lang and elder hunt.  lang was pretty good buds with garrett.  he is a really chill zl.  he's getting us all shirts and stuff and he doesn't breathe down our necks about every little thing.  i guess he knows what it is like to have a gay zone leader.  lately on p day and for a few minutes after district meeting we've been playing some good cards.  elder stratton used to be with elder thomas and they played a lot of cards back then.  so he's teaching us a bunch of games like mormon bridge, hearts, ucher, greed, tiga belas, tee, and spades.  it is a lot of fun.  we get pretty competitive.  ha ha some elders are just no good at cards.  i'm glad we used to play back home.  i'll have to teach you guys these games.  tiga belas and tee are local games that people in east malaysia just play for hours.  they sit around all day with nothing to do and they waste the day away playing it.  ha ha it is pretty entertaining.  so yeah our zone is great right now.  we meet together for makan mondays and grab a burger.  next p day we have big plans.  i'll let you know next week if it works out.  in a few weeks it will all change.  at the end of july, 16 elders are going home and 19 are coming in.  so i might even get transferred, cause maughan hasn't been here that long either.  it could be either of us.  so i have to enjoy this all while i can. 
     so me and maughan have been trying to teach english class.  we've had two lessons now.  we have it tuesday nights.  our hope is that members will come and bring their friends.  it is going pretty well.  the first week was good.  we had all adults almost, and they were all members.  also, there was a 14 year old non member that came.  well that kid brought his sister and came to church last week so that is pretty immediate results.  but yesterday wasn't as good.  it was all kids and no members.  we don't want it to be a bunch of kids only.  we don't know what to teach really either.  ha ha we're both novices at teaching a new language.  i mean we learned malay but it was all gospel oriented.  we don't really want to teach the gospel...yet.  we just want them to enjoy it and come back to the church.  we got some workbooks now so hopefully we can figure something out. 
     on the 4th of july we met up for makan mondays at carl's jr.  that is about as american as we could get.  it was expensive but oh so good.  that's all we did on the 4th.  the 5th was district meeting so we had district meeting at the brown's.  they cooked sloppy joes and bought root beer and potato chips and water melon so that was pretty American.  and we sang the national anthem for an opening song.  so Go America!
     we have a few investigators that are buddhist.  i might have already told you about them.  i forget to tell you something that they all have in common.  most of their parents say no way to baptism.  they don't want to ruin their family traditions or something.  some of the parents say ok sure but the grandma says no way.  it is always the crazy grandma.  ha ha well this is pretty much an unavoidable obstacle.  we cannot change the mind of an old chinese auntie.  we figure our only hope is to pray that they, ya know, die or something.  ha ha that sounds terrible.  we have a recent convert named amy.  her husband wants to get baptized but doesn't want to offend his mother.  amy actually told us to pray and fast so that her mother in law croaks.  ha ha that is terrible.  so we were scheming with the other elder on how we could take out these obtacles.  it was pretty funny.  in the end we decided we probably should just let them be.  oh well.  i'm pretty sure amy is still praying for it though.   
     alright that's all i got for you.  have a great week.  i love you all.  tell the ward i love them.  oh yeah i was going to say happy 10 year north ogden anniversary.  we've been in north ogden for 10 years right? july 3rd?  wow so much has happened in that house.  i'm glad we got out of beaver ha ha.  mom thanks for the great email.  i really enjoyed it.  don't worry you raised me right.  you raised us all right.  the test is just if we follow what you taught or if we drift.  it's up to us really.  alright see ya'll later.
elder petersen