Wednesday, August 31, 2011


hello one and all
     wow it sounds like abbie was down and out.  i hope everything is ok now.  you sold my bike?! and didn't tell me?!  and you want to get a car instead?!  tsk tsk i still want a bike but mom is right it does have it's disadvantages.  i got my phone right after bartlett, i was a junior.  mollie there really is no need for one.  you'll just have to start paying money to "the man" earlier than needed.  waste.  sounds cool about joe.  he is dang lucky to serve a day and a half from the temple.  don't worry i will not be a hugger.  well maybe ha ha.  i don't see how a mission can change that.  you are kind of limited to who you can hug.  darren is good.  it was hard to explain the situation.  it is weird mom, but he introduced us to his family.  he's got some real potential.  don't worry though we're not stupid.  i wish i was learning how to cook.  i don't even know how to cook rice.  everyone uses a rice cooker.  how do you cook it in a pot anyways?  i make pretty good instant noodles though i must say.
     this week was pretty good.  it didn't look too good on paper but in the end everything turned out alright.  i ate way too much this week.  the johnson's took us out to dinner at this delicious seafood restaraunt.  i'll send you a picture of the beautiful sunset there.  they also feed us at their house two times a week guaranteed but usually more.  it's killing me.  on monday we ate at a super member's house named bro ananda.  his mom was in town and she helped make her special mutton.  his wife is an amazing cook.  she stuffed us with tons of rice and chicken curry and fried chicken and curry puffs and fruit and veggies.  i couldn't move after i was done eating.  it's pretty sweet.  we have to be diligent in our exercises though that's for sure. 
     on friday the assistants came up.  elder evanson went to penang and parrish came and stayed with us.  he was with us all friday and saturday and left after church sunday.  it was fun.  he is a really cool guy and a really good missionary.  unfortunately we didn't have many appointments for him but he is a pro contacter.  we took some pointers.  
BB with the locals
after tracting all day saturday we saw a bunch of chinese kids playing basketball.  parrish really wanted to play so we ended up challenging them to a game.  they were pretty apprehensive mostly because we were tall but we finally talked them into it.  we played three on three.  we dominated them.  ha ha if i held it above my head there was no way they could reach it.  but they were good shooters.  we won the first game easily.  so we said they could play four on three.  so they changed out players and got the four best.  we had a good lead but they closed the lead.  don't worry though we still dominated.  it was a lot of fun.  elder kelley almost blew it.  he's not the best at basketball but he did rattle in two good shots.  it was mostly parrish.  he's good. 
     it rained all week.  wow we got soaked.  three nights out of a four day period we came home soaked to the bone.  it was seriously as if we jumped in a pool.  just imagine biking in a huge rain storm.  crazy.  everyone thought we were going to get sick.  ha ha we're not malaysian.  they are so scared of the rain.  it is still hot here and during the day we do dry off pretty well.  it must officially be the rainy season now. 
     ever since day one here we've been receiving praise.  the johnson's have just been saying to everyone how good we are.  they say, "now these are hard working elders" we're no different then your average elder.  but on sunday our branch president called us in to his office and said "i want to thank you guys for working so hard." he said "you guys are out working hard every day despite the weather and everyone likes you"  ha ha so maybe we do appear to be diligent.  also can.  i think just their praise alone makes me be more diligent because i want to prove them right.  i'd say we do work a lot.  this area is definitely struggling but we are trying our best to turn it around and we have big hopes for it.
     monday was a landmark day.  in sandakan the weilands organized a temple trip. about 10 young women went and it was all their first time ever.  they've been trying to raise money for a while and i guess they got their goal.  included was rayne, rainah, rinijah, and their mom from the ning family.  that is so awesome.  it is bittersweet though because i wish it was their whole family.  they were baptized just over one year ago and they should be getting sealed.  the dad is inactive now.  i called up president weiland and we had a good chat.  he said that the family is as solid as ever.  that makes me so happy.  the little boy jasli is almost 12 and will recieve the priesthood soon.  pres said that now he can read malay.  last year he did not know how to read.  he is reading the book of mormon to learn.  awesome!
     zone conference is tomorrow.  on monday night i got in a bus and rode down to singapore for a visa run.  wow that was one of the worst experiences of my mission.  ha ha it was awful.  the bus was really crappy and cold and it took 14 hours to get there.  5 more than i expected.  i'll have to tell you about it later.  in singapore i went to the airport with everyone to greet elder schone.  if you remember he was critically injured last november and went home.  well he's back now.  he's had a bunch of surgeries and is still on meds i think.  but he's doing good.  president had kidney stones last weekend and had the possibility of surgery but luckily he didn't need.  singapore just felt like home.  seriously it felt good.  so clean, efficient buses, lots of cool elders, and good food.  it just seemed so familiar.  i didn't really get to do much though.  i got your package!!  thanks for the food.  thanks for the letter jaynanne.  the journals are awesome.  they are really nice.  thanks a lot.  i don't know if i can fill two more though.  i'll have to continue after my mission. 

Elder Rathnayake
i saw elder rathnayake for probably the last time.  he is a really nice elder from sri lanka.  i replaced him when i went to sandakan.  he can't stay in malaysia for very long so he's been in singapore for the last 15 months.  he was there all six months i was there.  i really like him.  he is like 27 i think.  he is the only member of the church in his family.  actually his family doesn't know he's on a mission.  actually his family doesn't know he is a christian.  ha ha.  he is an inspiration.  he is really nice and a really hard worker.  i hope one day i can meet him again.  

now i am in KL.  like i said tomorrow is zone conference.  elder gong from the 70 and someone from the young men general presidency is coming.   it should be pretty good. 
     well sorry this letter is so long and random.  i feel like i rambled a lot.  hope you followed it.  i checked out the old blog.  it looks awesome!  good work mom.  can you email me the password so i can add some stuff?  i love you all.  thanks for your support and prayers.  say hi to everyone.  i'll report on what profound things president tells us at zone conference.  until next week!
     elder petersen

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Round-a-bout's and crazy traffic...

greetings from butterworth!
     well this week was packed with stuff.  your emails were great.  i'll give you the b-town rundown in a minute.  it's a bummer i'm missing out on all the back to school excitement.  it sounds like the world is still in chaos.  cool.  you never told me about adam but steffanie did in a letter.  that is a strange situation.  tell him good luck.  i hope it is all good in the end.  yeah find me a car that'd be awesome.  i'll take the cheapest oldest thing you can find.  preferrably stick shift.  whatever happened to my motorcycle.  OF COURSE I WANT TO RUN THE HALF MARATHON WITH YOU!! i didn't know it was so hard to get into.  get me there.  that race sounded way fun.  say hi to the stowers for me.  i don't know how you can share the gospel with that lady.  you can just ask her what the best part about temple square was.  tell her you thought she might like a certain article and then email her a link to some talk or story.  or mention that you just finished emailing me and then say what i'm doing and where i'm at.  anything can.  i think it would be perfect for jaynanne to be a dental assistant. 
     alright first of all happy birthday to mom in advance in case i forget next week.  you're awesome.  my new companion is elder kelley.  he went to freemont.  actually he was in mine and thomas's racketball class at wsu.  cool huh?  we didn't really talk back then but i did find out he was going to this mission and then when he was in the mtc i emailed his mom and she told me a lot of info that i never recieved in the mail.  he was also my district leader in singapore.  he is in the group right ahead of me so he goes home in january.  we are the only two missionaries here.  there are two on penang island that are included in our district. 

ruby and sivam right after ruby's baptism
also the johnson's live over here really close to us.  they are an awesome senior couple.  they are so nice and she is a great cook.  they are perfect for this branch.  they're the perfect mom and dad type for the branch.  after every meal they have root beer floats.  she was a principle in a park city elementary school and he was in real estate.  we don't have so many investigators but we did have a baptism on sunday before church.  it was a one legged lady named ruby.  we had three people in the font to help baptize her.  pretty epic.   
this area is pretty similiar to sandakan but on the other hand it is way different.  the people here are equally as poor.  but it is a different people.  most people know english here.  everyone here is indian or chinese.  our branch is mostly indian.  they all speak tamil and i don't know what's going on.  or the chinese speak their dialects and i don't know what's going on.  ha ha so still a huge language barrier like in KL.  but with the different races there comes a lot of good food.  wow i've eaten so much this past week.  ha ha i'm definitely going to put on weight.  every elder that comes here does.  oh well i need it i guess.  also every elder that i know that has served here has absolutely loved it.  to some it was their favorite area.  the elders you might know from the list include elder thomas, hawkins, hunt, and christensen about a year ago there was a cool elder here named elder peterson.  ha ha so everybody tells me about him after i tell them my name is petersen.  i might have to think of a nick name for me.  this is a biking area so now for the first time i am on a bike.  ha ha no good.  i was so sore last week.  it's getting better but we go pretty far and i'm not in biking shape.  also i have a terrible bike.  i'm thinking about buying one but right now i'm using an old elder's for free.  it is really tall.  but the brakes stick and the chain skips a lot.  oh well.  you get a lot more rest on the bus.  i was wiped out the first few days.  also the traffic is crazy!  i won't tell you everything mom but i almost got taken out by a big truck on the freeway yesterday ha ha.  the round-a-bouts are pretty fun.  we made our way through a big three laned one yesterday.  it's a mad dash. 
for as much as people really like this area it is struggling.  the average attendence on sunday is around 40 and the baptisms are few and far inbetween.  we hope to change that.  i think that's about it.  do you have any specific questions?  it looks like i'll probably die here.  i think it will be good. 
     i just wanted to mention a cool kid we met last week.  his name was darren.  he is pretty funny.  last wednesday we walked out of the internet kedai and were unlocking our bikes when these two kids came up to us.  they just asked us where we were from.  both were indian, about 12, and didn't know that much english.  but they knew enough.  darren said that he has seen us before.  we weren't sure but we humored him.  we gave them our card and stuff.  they both got on their bikes and followed us a little bit.  we seperated and went and ate and got a hair cut.  then he called us and told us to meet him at our church.  so we biked down there and met him.  ha ha he didn't really have anything to say, he just wanted to follow us.  so they went shopping with us.  darren kept saying that he wanted us to go to a studio and get a picture with him.  that's what a lot of people do here.  we told him we'd go with him but he had to come to church first.  he said he was busy and wouldn't be able to come for a few weeks.  so anyways he called us like every 20 min that day.  we weren't expecting it but on sunday he showed up to sacrament meeting.  ha ha wow.  he came in late and sat by elder kelley.  the first thing he said to me is when are we going to the studio?  ha ha.  he was really nice and talked to all of the members even though he is so young.  hopefully good things will come.  we took a picture on my camera so i think that will suffice for the studio thing.  i think he just wants a white friend.  also can.
Elder Christensen's Brother, Me, Darren, Elder Kelley
      elder thomas finished his mission here with elder christensen.  i replaced elder christensen.  from friday night to monday morning christensen was here with his mom and younger brother and sister.  they went around visiting a lot of members and what not.  we went with them to a few houses.  his family was really nice.  they brought american candy and stuff for all of the kids.  on sunday elder christensen got to help with the baptism.  as he was here i thought of how fun it would be to bring you guys around here and to my old areas.  man that would be so fun.  think about it.  it might be better than a big vacation that summer.  i know it is way expensive.  even if dad came alone or with just jaynanne or spencer it would be fun.  keep that in mind next spring.  if not then we'll have to come back in a few years.
     i think it is really exciting that abbie got that job.  but it sounds difficult.  i can't believe you're teaching ap us gov.  i think that is pretty hard class.  good luck.  take it seriously.  a lot of kids really want to pass that test to get college credit so make sure you teach them everything.  ha ha no pressure though.  as a senior i had a pretty easy schedule.  i took just regular basic us gov.  ha ha easiest class ever.  the teacher was not that good.  and i already knew everything he taught us.  we just read from the constitution and filled out worksheets and just learned the duties of the branches of government.  we looked at some supreme court cases and made our own constitutional rulings.  anyways so easy.  good luck.
     well that's about it today.  we saw a mcdonalds a few days ago so we're going to go try and find it.  hopefully we don't get lost again.  i've been here a week and kelley's been here three weeks.  it's the blind leading the blind.  i missed out on the annual start of school blessings.  that's sad.  your letters were great.  i'm glad they brought mom the sacrament.  i remember doing that each week.  it was pretty fun.  everyone we went to was really grateful but it's good to hear it first hand from mom.  i love you.  have a good week.
here's my address.  send me some small mail here as a test run. 
     26-08 Jalan Harbour Place
     Pangsapuri Parkview
     Bagam Dalam
     Butterworth Penang 12100
     West Malaysia
     elder petersen
ps do you have any pictures from camp loll?  send me some!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Testimonies of Three

hello family,
     thank you for your email.  spencer is..the man!! ha ha it sounds like he had some good times up at loll.  just you talking about it made me want to be there.  delose is so awesome.  i remember him using that line about deferring the decisions but i don't remember what he says.  i just remember jody talks about being bald and they all comment.  ha ha they're quick.  tell spencer to write down a few cool things that happened so that he can remember to tell me next year.  the story about mom trying to sleep was so funny.  ha ha i can totally imagine her being so jumpy.  thanks for sending the talk.  it was really good.  seriously it almost brought me to tears.  as you talked about your experience on the plane i thought of all the times i really felt the spirit while bearing my testimony.  it just feels so good.  it's hard to describe but it's the kind of feeling you want over and over. 

     well this week was so awesome!  i can't even tell you everything that happened.  there was so much.  we had a baptism!!  we baptized a man named Raju and two of his children named Christina 13 and Ruben 11.  they are a referral family from an awesome member.  that alone is a good story.  basically she knocked on their door, not knowing them, and asked them if they wanted to learn about the church.  anyways at the beginning of the week we weren't exactly sure if the baptism would go through or not.  they have a lot of challenges including money, work and transportation.  we were really praying for them.  we met them more than usual so that we could keep them on track.  well saturday they had their interviews and were all set for baptism on sunday.  the mom and the oldest son weren't ready to get baptized yet.  they haven't learned enough and they are not quite as eager.  well the mom and son both made arrangements so that they could make it to the baptism before church and stay for one hour of church.  we were pumped.  

saturday night we put a little bit of water in the font and were planning to put more in on sunday morning.  the font is really small.  the engineers of the building say that the font will be too heavy and will break through the floor of the 2nd story that we're on.  they tell us not to have it filled for very long.  so sunday morning we woke up extra early and went down to the church by 7:30.  we filled the rest of our tiny font up.  members started to trickle in and then the family came.  the mom and son actually came!  it was so cool.  surprisingly too a lot of members came.  i was so proud of our branch and of how many people turned out to support this struggling family.  at the same time that elder maughan was reaching over to turn off the font that was filling up, the bottom ring of the portable font broke.  the pressure was too great.  it was bad.  it put a lot of pressure on the remaining top ring.  if that broke too then the water would flood the church and the floors below.  we'd be done.  so the branch president and maughan and i used some ribbon from a flower arrangement and tied together as best we could.  it was sketchy but it would have to do. 

we had a good baptism program.  the talks were good and short and everyone was quiet.  the baptisms didn't go as well.  ha ha oh boy.  the dad was first.  he is a big indian man.  elder reeves was the guy for the job.  like i said the font was pretty small so the water only came up to about my mid thigh, and this man was scared of water.  every time he went down his feet would come up or he would fight it and keep his head up.  by the fifth time reeves kept him down.  we're pretty sure this is the first time in this man's life that he has been fully submerged in water.  ha ha later the dad said, "the!"  ha ha yeah that's why we told you to plug your nose.  the kids went fine.  so since the baptism was before church we were able to do the confirmations in sacrament meeting.  it went great.  the mom had to leave early but she told us that she really enjoyed it and liked church, it was the first time she came.  so that is really good.  church was great.  we had so much food after.  there was a feast because of the baptism and because i'm getting transferred.  oh yeah i got transferred.  i had to bear my testimony in church.  i'm really going to miss this branch.  they are so diligent in their callings and in missionary work.
     sunday afternoon we went to say goodbye to one of our favorite families, sister amy and brother lim.  amy and her son were baptized in may and brother lim and the two daughters have not yet been baptized but they really enjoy the church.  we go to their house every friday for good food and a lesson.  bro lim has been going to church as long as amy has but he's had some big challenges to overcome.  first he was the top dog in a big tea company so that conflicted with the word of wisdom.  miraculously about a month ago he quit that job so that he could keep that commandment even though he's not a member.  wow amazing!  the second challenge is his mom and his buddhist traditions.  he has a lot of duties as oldest son and he doesn't want to offend his mother in the sunset of her life.  after eating, we had a great lesson with them.  last time we talked all about the atonement and so we were planning on finishing the 2nd half of the plan of salvation.  it went really well as we went through and explained everything.  we helped him resolve some concerns.  right at the end elder maughan just started to bear his testimony about the importance of getting baptized and going to the temple.  he said "brother lim we love you and your family so much and we want to see you at the temple."  he couldn't say that without choking up and crying.  in turn brother lim got teary.  i also got teary.  i bore my testimony in the importance of doing what we need to here on earth so that in the next life we can have eternal happiness.  even the greeney gave an awesome testimony about the book of mormon.  everyone was really quiet and just really listening.  it was an awesome moment.  i could feel the spirit so strong.  we didn't harp on him and ask for the umpteenth time for him to get baptized.  we just asked him to read a chapter the book of mormon and pray about it.  i gave them a picture that we took a few weeks earlier of their whole family and i gave bro lim a tie.  he was pretty thankful.  well we took another picture and said bye.  i will really miss them.  

after that we walked over to raju's house to say bye to him and his children.  the mom was at work but they were all very happy to see us.  they miss me already.  i gave ruben and raju a tie and we took a picture.  they just seemed so happy.  they have changed in the short time that i've known them.  they were so quiet and sad the first time we met them but now they were all smiles and telling us how good they feel.  i hope they stay strong in the church.  it'll be the only thing that will keep them happy.

 monday morning i transferred up north to a small town called Butterworth.  google map it.  it was a long lonely bus ride.  there is a famous island off the west coast of malaysia called penang island.  butterworth is right across from it on the main land.  so far so good.  everybody that has served here has loved it.  thomas and hawkins both served here for long amounts of time and loved it so i think it'll be ok.  well tuesday morning i got a call from elder maughan back in KL.  he had some good news for me.  he said that a few minutes earlier that sister amy called him.  he asked if he could call her back because he was in a meeting but she insisted.  she told him that brother lim really thought about the things we shared and he wants to get baptized and his daughters tooi am so excited to hear that!  maughan is going to meet them tonight to talk about it. he told me that they want it as early as this sunday.  it will probably have to wait until next sunday because they have to be taught a few more things.  that is so awesome.  like i said i'll really miss that area. 
     well there's tons more that i could write but my letter is already too huge.  i'll have to report on butterworth next week.  supposedly there is a lot of good food here so i might put on some weight.  thanks for elder kersey's letter.  dang he has a way with words.  i'm not as good of a writer as him but i promise you i have had unforgettable experiences on my mission.  i love being out here.  i love sharing about the gospel with families who need and are seeking this knowledge.  nothing is better than to see a family learn about the gospel and then to see changes in their lives as they follow it.  it makes it all worth it.  i hope you have a good week.  i look forward to hearing from you again next week.  tell mom i love her too even if she is on drugs.  ha ha say hi to everyone.
elder petersen

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Eternity is for Families

dearest family,

     this week was great!  sounds like your week was good too.  i remember when dad and mollie flipped over on the alpine slide.  that is rough.  i would be scarred too.  jaynanne you have a mission.  take a picture of that plaque and send it to me so i can just see it for myself.  i can't believe anybody reads the blog.  that is awesome but i just don't want people to see anything embarassing or offensive on there.  you never said how oskar did on the soccer games.  i take it he lost then?  ha ha oh yeah i was reading back through my journal and i can't believe carter. looking back he was dang obedient.  i would hate to be companions right now with my old self.  i would drive me nuts.  ha ha let's just say i'm more relaxed now.  so are all of those greenies from last week.  they are all pretty cool.  i testify dad you are an aggresive tourist when it comes to guided tours.  ha ha you are the big group commentor.  ha ha somebody has to be.  i bet your reunion was fun.  i don't think i told you but elder parrish is the ap right now.  you know his dad right?  he is way cool.  best ap in a long time.  ah yeah i remember kez.  she is pretty cute.  is she single?  ha ha remember i'm going to need referrals when i get home.  i've heard about some of this crazy world news.  it's a mess.  oh well i don't have to worry about it right now.
     alright so right now is ramadan.  it is not as cool as last year in sandakan.  the muslim percentage here isn't as high.  but there are still a ton of them.  they fast every day from 5:30 am to 7:30 pm for 1 month.  dang that would be hard.  so throughout the afternoon they sell food really cheap so that they can buy it to eat as soon as they break the fast.  i've reaped the benifits of this.  the food is good.  mcdonalds also has a buka puasa special.  so we're eating well right now.  i wanted to tell you a funny story.  we went tracting with a member.  he's a young man about 18.  he's kind of inactive but lately he's given us a lot of referrals.  he is really cool.  so maughan and reeves split from me and him for about 45 min.  we were at opposite ends of the same neighborhood.  well i wasn't planning on him really saying anything but he said to me "ok you talk first a few times so that i can see how it's done."  ok.  so i did the first few.  we were knocking on gates about 20 feet away from the front doors.  i said the next one's yours.  he was ready.  so the lady came to the door and i said hello and then turned to him.  she was indian and he didn't know if he should try english or malay.  so he was stuttering.  ha ha then he said in malay " of mormon!.."  ha ha that's all.  so then i took back over.  it was so funny but i didn't laugh in front of him.  it was later when i told the other elders that we had a good chuckle. 
     mollie i got a letter from you!!  it was big.  it was also old.  there was like 3 letters and 2 awesome pictures.  actually your pictures made me miss you guys pretty bad.  they brought back such good memories.  the first was us playing cards at mt rushmore.  ha ha i was pulling a funny face.  that was so fun there.  that was a cool trip.  the 2nd picture was all of us at paradise bakery before going to the Utah football game.  we were all decked out in red and everyone was making a funny face.  ha ha that was also so fun!  i got that on saturday.  so saturday and sunday i kept thinking about that.  president clark has asked us to bear our testimonies on every fast and testimony meeting.  i decided to talk about you guys.  so i just said how i got these awesome pictures.  i said how much i missed you guys.  but i don't miss you that bad because i'll see you again soon.  throughout this last week we've taught the plan of salvation many times.  i said that i've only been gone from you guys for a few months and i miss you, i can't imagine being alone for eternity.  that would be so sad.  i'm grateful for the plan of salvation because i know that i can be with you again.  i almost got teary eyed.  i controlled myself.  but i do miss you guys.  i'm glad we've had so many fun times together.  i can't wait to see you guys again.
     sunday was also a big day for another reason.  one year ago on sunday was my first baptism.  it was Ning's family.  oh man the memories came flooding back.  i miss those guys so much.  they are awesome.  i called them up on sunday night.  the fruit remains!  they are still going to church.  ronny, rayne, rainah, and rinijah all bore their testimonies at church.  that is so awesome.  the youngest guy jasli turns 12 soon and will become a deacon.  they've brought so many relatives to church.  they've found a lot of friends there too.  it is pretty sad though that the father doesn't go to church. i don't think he's been there since i've been there.  that disappoints me.  i hope he goes back soon.  i think he will.  he's a great dad though and a good leader to his children.  they also all miss me.  whenever i talk to them they tell me to come back.  ha ha i wish i had a say in where i was going,  i'd go back in a heart beat.  i miss sandakan so bad.  it's been such a big year.  also this past saturday a guy named benjamin in singapore was baptized.  he is someone me and thomas started teaching back in april.  he came to church every week.  he's from main land china.  that is sweet that he got baptized.  i'm proud.  i hope he can help the church grow in china. 
     it was a fun week.  we worked hard.  our numbers and results were lower than the week before but i feel like we had a way better week.  we saw a lot of people and helped people get closer to baptism.  i hope this next week ends well too.  elder reeves says some funny things.  i noted a few.  he says 'hey' a lot.  almost at the end of every sentence.  like "he is cool hey"  ha ha.  he said "play sport"  like they played sport.  he said i was "very crack up" to mean very funny.  and he says "guttered" if something went bad like "oh that guttered."  ha ha these are a few.  he's cool.
     well i hope you all have a good week.  let me know how the registration goes and how loll is.  ask spencer if he got my letter.  go to church. pray.  you know the drill.  i love you all.  don't forget it.  did you send a package?  if you did not yet, send some printed pictures so that i can show people here pictures of you.  get a good one of ben lomond.  alright talk to you next week.
elder petersen

Thursday, August 4, 2011

A Peck of Pickled Peppers...

hey guys you are awesome!!
     this week was a rush.  oh man i can't even remember what happened.  well your letters were great.  dad's was huge but it was great.  it cracked me up.  yeah send a package to the mission office.  if you send it soon i'll get it at the end of august.  i have a visa run then.  don't delay!  that is so cool that you went to elder thomas' homecoming.  how did you find out about it.  oh man i love that guy.  he is such a character.  he does have a huge constant smile.  did the wards go or something?  well that's sweet.  i wish i had his email. i'll get it.  i can't really reply to dad's whole letter.  hiking ben lomond reminded me of the time me and john and greg tackled big ben.  oh man that was so cool.  i can't believe we did it.  there was a lot of snow on the backside.  i think it was june.  i can relate.  that's cool that there was a stake fair.  that seems rare.  the story about the mile guy was awesome.  i got the chills just reading your description.  ha ha last year chariots of fire was approved and i watched it.  dang it was good too.  some elders here don't catch the excitement of running.  people here said transformers 3 was better than 1 or 2.  how was harry potter.  it seems like it would be cool.  although i do hate all of those movies.  they are terrible compared to the books.  but the last one could be good. 
     alright well i'll try to remember what happened this week.  thursday i met up with maughan and reeves friday we just tried to get everything situated.  we crammed three beds into one small room and three desks into another so that we'll all be in the same rooms.  that took some effort.  but it's worth it i'd say.  well here in our four companionships in KL we got four greenies.  they're all pretty alright.  we could have done a lot worse.  they are all pretty obedient.  that's a good thing i guess.  it's just that they automatically judge us all.  elder Land is dying in three weeks and he totally doesn't care about anything.  ha ha he is the most relaxed elder ever.  one of the greenies pulled out the white handbook on him and he ripped him apart.  don't worry we're not all apostate here.  it's just little things like saying people's last name only or where you sleep or things to do in public or if you leave the house late.  president clark said once, that in the mtc, they drill everybody so hard with the rules that almost every new elder thinks his first comp is apostate because he's not like the mtc's expectation.  he's trying to bridge that gap though.  he's been hitting the rules hard.  it's good.  this week we've been pretty obedient and it's been a really good week.  so can't complain.  but yeah reeves is really cool.  he's really quiet which is weird for a polynesian.  we get him talking though.  he is big into water polo so he is also ripped.  ha ha now people refer to him as the strong one. ha ha. a member was telling us how to say things in chinese and she said reeves you can say "i am strong" petersen you can say "i am tall" and then she stopped to think and said maughan you can say "i am..short"  and then she just started laughing really hard.  ha ha it was funny. 
he talks really soft.  and he has a cool accent.  so we don't know what he's saying most times.  ha  and he uses weird new zealand slang words.  he's taught us a few.  he's pretty good at teaching.  he is an eager learner and really wants to tract so we let him at it.

     on friday president clark was in town and he wanted to go on splits with us.  he didn't realize how far away we lived so he convinced us to bring him along.  of course they were late to the appointment.  every time president and the ap's come to a lesson it ends up going bad.  we were nervous that they would probably botch it but it went alright.  because it would take them so long to get back to where they were staying they left early too.  so actually they just had the pre-lesson dinner.  it was at our recent convert amy's.  she cooked awesome chinese vegetarian food everyone loved it.  so all in all it went good.  it was good to see president.  on sunday night we went back to that family's house.  it was the daughter's birthday and they were having a big dinner.  they invited us over.  it was a feast!  oh man so good.  it was lots of chicken curry,  sweet and sour prawn, and some random veggies.  and lots of watermelon.  oh man it was so good.  wow dang.  the shrimp was amazing.  seriously it would have been a fifty ringget plate for the amount she made.  it was incredible.  oh i'll tell you background on this family.  the mom and son were baptized in may.  the father and two daughters not yet baptized.  the father has been to the church regularly since march.  the daughters came to church both for the first time last sunday.  so good.  i think they'll all make it soon.  our branch president is a really great guy and he had a good chat with the mom and dad about joining the church and dealing with the relatives.  so yeah they're great.
     well that's really all i've got.  we've been teaching english class and at the end of last one we had everyone recite the peter piper tongue twister.  ha ha it was funny.  a few of them were pretty good.  we timed everyone.  at the end i destroyed the competition with a six second time.  that was cool.  with all of the new elders here it takes me back to when i first came out.  ah good times.  my perspective has really changed since then.  i don't think that right now i could be companions with my old self.  ha ha i'd drive me crazy.  hey just out of curiosity is there a missionary plaque up at the church for me.  if so is there a map of malaysia?  just thinking about that recently.  also what happened to the rest of the santasquoy talk?  sorry to confuse you with the transfer thing.  i'm in a threesome but technically maughan is the trainer.  this pretty much guarantees that in two weeks i'm gone.  there's three other threesomes.  6 elders going home with nobody replacing them.  i'll keep you posted.  right now i'm just kind of floating around.  alright well have a good week.  it's already august.  school's going to start soon.  ha ha good luck.  ok bye!

elder petersen