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!

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