Monday, May 27, 2013

Rahni Burger

Since we have been here in Kuching the missionaries have told us about the "Rahni Burgers".  Street venders make them.  We usually stay away from street venders because of sanitary reasons.  But the elders and sisters  rave about them.  They only cost about 2.5 to 3 ringett (under a dollar).  So the other night the Sentosa Elders were out at 13 mile giving discussions to 4 different non member families.  This was way out.  They called and asked if we pick them up, they would take us to the best Rahni Burger Street Vendor.  We said you got a deal!

So this family is Muslim but the missionaries have befriended them and they enjoy each other.  They open their stand about 9 o'clock at night.  He goes to his other job during the day and then works at his stand until about 11:30 at night.  He makes 60 Rahni burgers a night.  He actually calls his Azfan Burgers.  The name is a combination of his two sons names.

He fries the burger then puts it off to the side.  He cracks an egg and spreads it on the grill with a putty knife until the egg is very thin.  Once the egg is cooked, he puts the burger on top and then wraps the egg over the hamburger.
The women slice cabbage very thin.  They toast the bun, puts mayonnaise, sliced cabbage,chili sauce, and pepper sauce on the bun.  Then the egg wrapped burger goes on.  You can have beef or chicken burger.  Elder Boyter had a double "Azfan" burger,  I had a single.

Win, win situation.  The elders got a ride home and we had yummy Rahni Burgers.  The Iban word for delicious is "Yami",  not sure how to spell it but pronounced with a long i sound.

I am excited to treat my family to "Rahni" or "Azfan" burgers when I get home.  Yami!!!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Wedding Event of the Year 2013

Brother Lebanon and Sister Molly's daughter, Lucia Molyna. and her husband, Victor Lim, had their wedding reception last night at the Borneo Convention Centre in Kuching.  Brother Lebanon and Sister Molly are strong members of the church in Kuching and also influential members of society.  He is a successful business man.  We enjoy them a great deal.

In Malaysia a couple goes to the government and is registered and then they are considered married.  They can then do their tribal traditions, wedding receptions or marriages after that.  Muslims by law can have more than one wife but Christians or other faiths cannot.

Lucia's wedding reception was probably the social event of the year.  There were over 600 people at the wedding reception.  Below is the menu for the 8 course dinner.  The fish lips soup was very good.  We found it taste a lot like onion soup.  We were told by our fellow table companions that the lips are taken from a fish that has big lips.  We were taught to add a little vinegar to the soup to soften the taste of the fish flavor.  It tasted good with or without the vinegar.  Brent even ate two little marinated Japanese octopuses

 Elder Boyter took pictures of their wedding album.  They are both students majoring in law.

 I had great time meeting women from all nationalities.  The three women on the left are from Kuala Lanpur and had on beautiful sarees.  They take 6 yards of fabric and do pleats here and there, tuck it in here and there and end up with beautiful dresses.  We took an instant liking to each other.

This is one of the sisters from the Kuching District.  Her dress was beautiful.  The picture does not do it justice.

 Here are three girls from the church.  Allana is on the left.  She is preparing for a mission.  Her sister, Natasha is in the middle and her friend Fornia is on the right.  They are all piano students at church and are involved in Seminary and Institute.

 Brother Lebanon and Sister Molly are from the Bidayuh Tribe.  These women are wearing the traditional costume and performed the traditional dance of the Bidayuh Tribe.

Here is the stage for the reception.  There was a live band to the right of the stage.  We were sitting right next to the band.  Brother Lebanon situated 9 sets of missionaries throughout the crowd at different tables.  The Muslims were put at different tables than the missionaries.  It is against the law to teach the Muslims about the Gospel.  We were told "I'm feeding them, you teach them", to the rest of the crowd.  So we came prepared to give out "pass along cards".  We brought the cards of the temple and shared with our table about Lucia and Victor's plans to go to the temple in a year and about being sealed together as families for time and all eternity.

 Lucia and Victor in the native Bidayuh costumes.  Lucia is Bidayuh like her parents but Victor is Chinese.  He looks like he could be part of the tribe.

 These pictures were taken earlier and are in front of the Kuching District Center

Here we are with our table companions.  Brother Lebanon and Sister Molly (parents of the bride) are beside us.  The two men sitting are dear friends and former business partners in pharmaceuticals with Brother Lebanon.

Here we are with Victor and Lucia as we were leaving.  They asked Elder Boyter to give the opening prayer with a blessing on the food and a blessing for them.  It was a beautiful prayer.  They are planning to go to the temple in a year.  The nearest temple is in Manila, Philippines.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


Fairy Cave

Today on Preparation Day we went to the Fairy Caves.  We all look very clean and ready to go in this picture.  From top left to right: Elder Trotter, Elder Petersen, Elder Berger, Sister Bishop, Sister Ballatyne, Sister Neilson, Sister Noorda, Elder Tice, Elder Pushnam.  Bottom left to right: Sister from one of the branches, Elder Ung, Elder Crosland, Elder Giblette, Elder Hirschi, Elder Dailey

We walked up this exterior structure then explored the caves.  There were no maps of the caves available so the sisters and elders had great fun exploring.  Some of them got in some tight spaces and came out muddy from head to toe.

Iban Weaver

We were in a shop and wandered into the back where this woman was weaving this beautiful fabric.  The owner tells us that this is becoming a lost art.  Most of the weavers are in their 70s and 80s.  He is trying to encourage the government to put a program together to train the younger generation how to do this type of weaving before the older generation dies.

The weaver is held on the same level of prestige as a great warrior in the tribe.  As she weaves she instills powers that protect the village and the home.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Embarrassing Learning Experience about Culture

Embarrassing Learning Experience about Culture

We had the privilege of having our mission president in Kuching last Saturday.  His geographical area is West Malaysia, Singapore, and East Malaysia.  We will share more about that later in another post.  

For lunch break we decided to take him and his wife to a mall.  This mall is very up-to-date and is very similar to the United States Malls.  Prior to going to the “Food Bazaar” (Food Court).  We stopped by the restrooms.  While in the restrooms the cleaning crew arrived to clean the restroom.  I was not aware that in this culture they do not close the restrooms to clean them.  Nor was I aware that the cleaning crew were made up of women.  Now mind you we were not in stalls with door closed but were using the other facilities.  They came in and started cleaning, mopping floors right around us.  I was a bit taken back when I heard the words “Elder Boyter, Elder Boyter”.  Appears that 2 of the cleaning ladies where members of the church and recognized me.  Struggling with words of what to say I blurted out “The mission president is here with us today, would you like to meet him?”  Thinking back on this, perhaps this was not the right time or place to be introducing him to members of the church.  However he smiled and shook their hands and greeted them kindly. (Shook their hands even with their pink rubber gloves on) I did not dare look in his eyes at this point.  These women were so excited he was there that they followed us out of the mens restroom so that they could meet our wives who were waiting for us.  Now the expression on Marie’s and the mission president’s wife’s face as we came out of the mens restroom with women in tow was classic.  I would love to have had a picture of that.  

However, I do not have pictures of this experience to share:)

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Brother Lee and Sister Donny's Family

We went with Elder Peterson and Elder Crossland to a family in the Sentosa Branch.  It was the night of celebration of James 7th birthday.  Brother Lee and Sister Donny have four children.  Christina, Tini, Allan and James.  They live in a "wooden house".  I believe we would call them squatters in America.  They have come to  the city for work leaving the Kompon ( their native village).  They find a bare piece of land and build a structure for the family to live in.  Brother Lee works with cement for a living.  He has made his home nicer by adding a cement floor and a wall about 3 feet up to construct his home on.

When they went home to the Kampon for a holiday, someone broke into their home and stoled their generator and lights.

Their home has a small room for a kitchen, combination room for eating, gathering and sleeping and an outside room where we left our shoes.

Brother Lee's family have not been out to church for a while so the elders invited us to come visit with them.  They prepared a large meal for us.  Gave us their best dishes.  Dressed in their nicest clothes.  The elder thought they may have bought new clothes for our visit.

When we ate dinner we had James' birthday cake first.  Great way to start any meal.  The food was very good.  They served us warm milo (Chocolate drink).  They gave us their best.  They were very eager for us to eat and have seconds.  We sat on the floor, eating by a candle and a small battery lantern.  They spoke Malay to the elders and they translated for us.  They seemed to very honored to have us in their home.  They welcomed us with open arms.  I felt humbled and honored to be in their home.

We prepared little bags of candy for each child and gave the daughters, who were seminary age, a card with a quote from President Monsons talking about the blessings of attending Seminary.  We invited them to come to Seminary and asked the whole family to come to church on Sunday.

It was a special experience for Elder Boyter and myself.  We are eager to get out with more of the members in the area.

After we left we found out that the branch seminary class would not be held that week because of a death in the branch that the branch members were going to the home to show respect to the family.  So Elder Boyter and I went back out to Bro. Lee and Sister Donny's home to let the girls know that seminary would not be held.  We took a thank you card and a watermelon with us.  It was a great way to let them know about seminary and re-invite them to church.

We went to church in the Sentosa branch today for Mother's Day and Bro. Lee and Sister Donny were there with their children.  In fact the elders had visited and invited 3 other less active families to church this Sunday and they were all there.

As we sang the songs in Malay there was such a feeling of warmth in the branch.  It felt like a celebration of joy.  The girls told me they will be at seminary on Friday.  We introduced them to their seminary teacher and they know many of the other girls in seminary.

We will attend Seminary on Friday to welcome them.

Brother Dick and Sister Marta

We met Brother Dick and Sister Marta shortly after we arrived in Kuching, Malaysia.  They have beautiful smiles and they have a special spirit about them that caught our attention.  They treated us very kindly.

Last week we learned more of their story.

They have been married about one year and were baptized about a month after they were married.  Brother Dick was working for his auntie's husband who had taken Brother Dick under his wing and gave him a job, a place to live, an automobile and the comforts of life to help get them started.

Brother Dick and Sister Marta started to take the missionary lessons.  When his auntie's husband found out he was very upset and warned them he would not tolerate them learning about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  They felt a peace and calmness as they learned about the fullness of the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ and determined to be baptized.

When the auntie's husband learned about the baptism, he fired Brother Dick, took away their housing, automobile and everything they had and disowned them.

Brother Dick and Sister Marta found themselves living on the street with a new baby.  When they were asked how they could make that decision this was their response, "It is true.  The fullness of Gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored.  This is his kingdom, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints."

Brother Dick went on to say as they found themselves living on the streets late at night and holding his sweet wife and baby under a bridge or door frame for shelter and hungry, they would cry together about the things they had lost and concern for their baby.  They had read the Book of Mormon and followed Moroni's promise on page 529, Moroni 10: 3-5, and found out for themselves that it was true and that the Book of Mormon was a second witness of Jesus Christ with the Bible, that God lived and knew them personally and would watch over them and that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that President Thomas S. Monson is a prophet today.

Today Brother Dick has a part time job as a butcher.  They have a very small apartment and has made enough money to buy a little motorcycle for transportation.  Sister Marta's mother is watching the baby so Sister Marta can work.  They are working to save enough money to go to the Philippine Manila Temple to be sealed for time and all eternity as an eternal family.

They are Radiant with joy, happiness and faith.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

"Given All" by Elder Christian

Four elders and one sister from our zone went home yesterday. We are excited for them to go home to see family. They will be home in time for Mother's Day. But we will miss them and the people of Kuching will miss them.

Elder Christian was one of those elders. He is the elder that we had the picture of the worn out shoes. In a District Meeting a week ago he shared that he used to enjoy writing poetry in middle school. He is the trumpet player. He is going home to a 4 month old baby sister, that he is excited to spend time with. This week he came to District Meeting with a poem to share about going home, "Given All".

Given All

Am I really
Almost 21 years old?
A soon to be RM
With a new future to unfold?

We were in the MTC
Just a month ago it seems
Using Badly pronounced Malay
And singing "O How Brightly Beams"

But days have come and gone,
Months and years have passed.
And just now I get the feeling
I've arrived at last!

First to Johor I went
Where nasi lemak's the best.
And then on to Miri
Where my body was put to the test.

I found myself in Sibu
And became the man I wanted
And finally to Kuching
My flight home had me haunted.

I've biked for miles and miles
Over my fair share of hills.
But e'en the food and dancing
Hasn't been my greatest thrill.

I love to learn and learned to love
And yet this has been my joy
Teaching is the Master's work,
Numbers were but the decoy.

I've learned to love my neighbor
And to make God's will mine own.
I've reaped many a blessing
From the hard work that I've sown.

My mission has been difficult
I've done much in prayer and fasting
My belief in God has grown
I love The Lord Everlasting

To the country of Malaysia
I give my one last " Hurrah"
I can't forget the people here
Nor doubt the miracles I saw

And now I take my knightly bow,
Wave my hand for the world to see.
No longer at the battle's front
That my Lord has need of me.

But I will be His servant
And continue in His will.
This is my work and glory
And the rest of my life's story!

The Cultural Show

The finale of our visit to the Cultural Center was the Show.  There were dances from each of the tribes and music was very interesting.

The highlight for me was the blowpipe dance.  The warrior in the Iban house was the dancer.  He did his dance then shot balloons from the stage that were tacked high up on a wall.  Then he came down into the audience.  I soon realized that he was searching and finally found his target, Elder Boyter.  He took Elder Boyter up on stage and taught him the dance, which Elder Boyter did very good.  Elder Boyter hammed it up, it was very funny.

Then the warrior handed Elder Boyter the blowpipe and had him shoot at the balloon.  Elder Boyter got very close, within inches.  I think it really surprised the warrior.  So the warrior took Elder Boyter closer to about 30 feet and Elder Boyter popped the balloon with the blow pipe.

It was great fun.  I went up on stage with other audience members and did a dance.  It was a great afternoon.