Wednesday, July 24, 2013
We flew out of Kuching on a very small plane to Mukah. The Brady picked us up at the airport and showed us around town. It is a town of about 20,000. We nicked named Elder Brady "Mr. Mayor". He and his wife were friends to everyone, no matter what religion or walk of life, they were friends to all. Here is a family that are wonderful from the branch. Elder Boyter picked a flower (with permission) and put in my hair. He such a romantic! We ate at a restaurant on the riverfront that had all sorts of shells and coral.
We went to Mukah last week to visit the seminaries. This beautiful creature was hanging on the gate to the church in Mukah. It makes me wonder what it would look like if it's wings were spread out. From head to bottom I'm thinking it was about 3- 4 inches.
The Stampin Branch President, President Ramba, wraps his arm around Kuching District new full time missionary, Elder Goria. Elder Goria left last week to Singapore on his way to the mission home for training. Elder Stevens from West Malaysia is in the background. He is one of our full time missionaries. What great men these are. There was a testimony meeting and program then we had a potluck to celebrate the end of the Gawai and Elder Gorias farewell. The activity ended the program with the MC dancing us around the gift tree for the children. He showed us how first then we joined the fun.
With between 16 and 18 sister and elder missionaries on bicycles, we are called many times for rescue missions for bike repairs and stranded missionaries. Elder Boyter inherited the gloves and bike rack from the previous senior couple and I gave him the apron to protect his clothes. Elder Wiberg and Elder Hirschi are serving in the Samarahan Branch.
Sister Simon is a new sister missionary. She is from Indonesia and is serving in the Singapore Mission which we are part of. Her trainer is Sister Nielson. The Elders and Sisters were having a farewell get together at McDonalds to say goodbye to Elder Pushnam. Sister Simon was not feeling well so they left to go back to the apartment but were called back to take some pictures with Elder Pushnam. As they were leaving she shook Elder Trotters hand and passed out as their hands touched. She was out totally. Elder Trotter carried her down the stairs and into Elder and Sister Moulders truck. Sister Nielson jumped in the front seat and Elder Trotter with his companion, hopped in the back seat with Sister Simon where a blessing was given on the way to the hospital. Because of construction it took 40 minutes to get her to the hospital. She was out for the full time. We picked up Sister Moulder and met them at the hospital. We take our missionaries to a private hospital that standards and cleanliness are far better than the state run hospital. Sister Simon woke up after we got her in the emergency room. At first it was thought she had tonselitis and was dehydrated. She was given an IV and then sent home. But she could not hold anything down. We returned for further tests and found she had mono. She is doing great and taught one of the night nurses the plan of salvation. Sister Nielson stayed with her and slept on a lounge chair (like a camping lounge) while Sister Simon was in the hospital. Sister Simon has one of those million dollar smiles. It lights up the room.
Elder Pushnam is a great young man. He is from West Malaysia and served part of his mission here in Kuching. He will be finishing his mission as a service missionary. Elder Boyter and I have been taking the Elders who are going home to dinner with their companion. At first we were taking them out for Ramni Burgers (Ground beef or chicken wrapped in egg) but the elders found this place called the
"Cats Pajama". The hamburgers were bagus (wonderful). Elder Boyter ordered the "king burger" with beef pattie, shredded chicken, egg, pineapple and the works. I like the pepper sauce and chili sauce but Elder Boyter declined. This darling girl has adopted the owner of the stand. She actually is the daughter of a woman that has another stand. The little girl always finds her way to him. The children are beautiful. Elder Pushnam got teased that he looked like a young Obama when he got his hair cut,which he liked being compared to. Elder Pushnam is seated with his companion Elder Tice (who we are taking out tomorrow night for his farewell dinner) and Sister Boyter.
We went to visit and see how things were going two weeks later. The handle and the shield is all one piece. These pictures show him working on the shields, the logs rough cut, and the tools of the his trade. Elder Trotter was trying his new sword out swiping it through the air and sliced the cord that holds it around the waist. Here the cord is being replaced. When Elder Trotter explained how it got cut the man just smiled, like boys will be boys and replaced the cord.
Elder Trotter will be going home next week. He will going to medical school although I think his true calling is a negotiator. Here he is with the village medicine man who carves beautiful shields, swords and knives in tradition Iban. The village is outside of Matang. The night we met him at his home the lights were out all over Sarawak. So we saw his work by candlelight with the help of flashlights and watch as Elder Trotter negotiated what we wanted. The shields are carved on both sides. Elder Boyter was thrilled to watch the master. He made is own tools. Wonderful
Thursday, July 4, 2013
Have had request from grandchildren parents for words to learn in Malaysian for summer school. Here are a few to start with:
First the sounds of the vowels that are different than how we pronounce them.
A= aa or ar as in tar or bar
E= ere or are as in mare or hare
I= ee as in feed or deed
O= says its hard sound
Ai= igh as in sigh or tie
Au= ow as in now, how,cow
Oi= oy as in boy, toy,joy
G= garden, gun
Ng= as in sing
Ngg= sing sound ending with g ((garden) sound
Bread = roti
I = saya
Eyes = mata
Fish = Kaloi
Yellow = kuning
White = Putih
Purple = ungu
Brown = warna cokeiat
Wonderful = bagus
Good = baik
Can = boleh
Love all our grandchildren
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
Both of President Mains counselors in his mission presidency were called to be members of the Seventies at the last General Conference in April. With the load that President Mains is carrying I can not imagine how he felt. He laughed and told us that both of his counselors called and told him that they would not be able to make it to a presidency meeting just before Conference. President Mains got up early and listened to conference and heard the news from the pulpit that he was losing both of his counselors.
But we are excited here in East Malaysia. Last week in District Conference, Brother Lebanon was sustained as the second counselor in the mission presidency. Here in Malaysia everyone uses their given (first) name with brother or sister at church, Brother Lebanon. But when the men are called to a position of authority, they use their sir name (which is their father's name), President Ero. This can be very confusing to me. Husbands and wives do not have the same name so it takes awhile to figure out who is married to whom.
President Ero will be the first East Malaysian to serve in the Mission Presidency. He will preside at all district and branch meetings he attends. He was a beloved branch president a few years ago. He is a very humble righteous man. He is a successful businessman that has helped many people. We feel he will be able to reach and heal many tender hearts and will build the strength of God's Kingdom here in Malatsia.
This is President Ero's family. Son-in-law, Victor, Lucia, Lezz, Laura, Liahona (youngest), President Ero and Sister Molly. Sister Molly is famous for her cooking. This is a shepherd pie, the best I have ever eaten. The meal was bagus (wonderful)! After we were almost done they brought out a leg of lamb. Wow!
Tuesday, July 2, 2013
The fountain that I'm standing in front of is at the center of a round about at the entrance of the museum. Elder Boyter had just cut my hair this morning. One of my granddaughter wondered if I was now dyeing my hair blond, no, it is my natural "Celestial" color coming out. It will be fun to see how "Celestial" the color will be by the end of our mission.
President Mains and his wife, Sister Mains are amazing. They live out of their suitcases. President Mains has over 120 missionaries with more coming this fall. Besides his work over the missionary work he has 7-8 Districts that he oversees. Districts are different than stakes in that the Mission President plays a significant role in the running of the District. I admire them so much. They exemplify grace under fire. They are kind and cheerful at all times but firm in how the work should go forth. President Mains has phone calls coming in at all hours of the day. We caught this picture of President Mains in our back seat. His wife says this is typical of their life and wanted a picture of the president with the phone in his ear. They may be busy but they made each of us feel important to the work. Sister Mains brings treats to encourage the young missionaries as she reviews their area books. Corrections may be needed but always with a knowing smile that they can be better.
Sister Mains is a Corvallis girl. She is the daughter of John and Myrna Bell. She is the older sister of Marilyn Bell, one of the girls I grew up with. I always looked up to her as a girl, she was one of my role models. It was wonderful to discover that she is again my role model in the mission field.
Kuching has beautiful gardens everywhere and an army of men and women take care of them. The one way roads are separated by gardens. The bushes are sculptured by hand tools and weed eaters are the tool of choice for mowing down the grass. The grass is different than what we are use to. Have not seen a lawn mower any where. There is a reason and I assume that they have found the weed eater to be more efficient and cheaper (the machine and labor).
Monday, July 1, 2013
Elder Boyter and I have found our exercise program. We enjoy walking but it is too hot and humid for us. So we remembered that many Americans go "Mall Walking". So that is what we are doing. The malls do not open until 10 so we stop for lunch and then start on the top floor and work our way down. It feels great and much more comfortable. We will sometimes stop at the ground floor for a shared chocolate waffle, which may not be as good:).
On one of our walks in a brand new mall, we ran into this fun wheel barrow. The walls here are solid. They were putting up a wall in a new shop. They put a brick wall up then put a thin coat of cement on the sides of the brick wall. It seems like a lot more work than Sheetrock but it is sound proof. Elder Boyter and I can not hear each other if we are in different rooms in our apartment. We have a small 2 bedroom apartment but we have to be in the same room to talk to each other. The walls make for good neighbors. We can not hear our neighbors.
We were out at the water front getting keys made for the new missionaries and came across a shop that had lots (30 or more) of these manual sewing machines. Brand new. There are still areas where there is no electricity and these sewing machine are needed. We were so surprised to see a sewing machine, brand new similar to Brent's grandmothers machine that we treasure, being produced and needed. They are beautiful and some woman will treasure this one.
This is the Durian fruit. You either love it or hate it. The missionaries told us it takes trying it three times to decide which way. It is about the consistency of peanut butter. We just scooped it out with our fingers and sampled. The members tell us there are cooling fruits and warming fruits. The durian is a warming fruit. One of the elders bought one and brought it with him in the truck when we picked him up. Some of the hotels have banned the fruit because of its penetrating and long lasting aroma. Depending on the variety the interior of the fruit can be a light yellow to a red color. One time taste is enough for me. The flavor was fine. I could probably come to like the flavor but the smell does not go away. The elder with the durian was in the truck for just a short ride but the smell was in the truck for days. Reminded us of sour milk. The truck actually is another senior couple that we were using for a few days. They haven't complained so I hope the smell is gone now.
Elder Boyter has always brought a little bit of Southern Utah with him. When we moved to Oregon, he hauled large red rocks for our yard. The first did not survive. The soft stone would become soaked with rain water then when it froze, the rocks would break. So he hauled more then painted them with clear coating used for bricks. They did not break but they would get covered with green from our rainy cold winters and he would then power wash them every year.