Friday, September 20, 2013

Moon Cake Festival

We stopped by to pick up the sisters to take them to Cats Pyjama.  Sister Lai will be leaving next week to go to Australia for her mission.  She served here until her visa came through.  Sister Lai went to school for two years at BYU Provo.  She is from Singapore.

As we waited for the sisters to come down, we noticed all these sparkling lights in the sky.  They were sparkling red and yellow and were floating and moving with the air current.  Then we noticed that they were flickering out and floating down.  A woman that was watching them explained to us that this was the Moon Cake Festival.  A Chinese holiday.  You write your thoughts on the outside and light the candle.  It floats up to heaven.  It was like the movie "Tangle".  It was a fun surprise to see them.

Found this picture on Facebook of one of our Young Single Adults, Devanlee, lighting a lantern.

Cats Pyjama Hamburgers

Lim came to Malaysia from New Zealand about 4 months ago and started a business of making hamburgers.  The missionaries discovered his outdoor stand and have been his biggest and most stable clientele.  Elder Boyter had the Giant Burger.  I had the shredded chicken.  Sister Lai, is serving here in Malaysia until her visa comes through and then she is going to Australia to serve her mission.  Sister Crichton has 6 weeks left on her mission.  She is from Tacoma, Washington state and her brother is Scott Crichton, number 95, playing on the OSU football team as defensive end.  She is Samoan and has often been mistaken as a native here.

Sangga Baptism

Sangga was baptized last night.  This is the family that helped teach him the gospel with the sister missionaries.  Sister Angelina, Sister Black (missionary), Sister Hellen, Sangga, Brother Kristopher, Sister Simon (missionary) and Sister Maureen.  And the grandchildren.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Young Single Adult Party

A great turn out for the Young Single Adult party.  There were about 30 that came. It was held at the De Summit Condos, where the sister missionaries live.  There was swimming, basketball, tennis, badminton, ping pong and games.  Kanzie barbecued.  It was very good.  And lots of fun. Elder Boyter brought high power water gun and toys.  Soon he and many of the YSAs were soaked.  What fun!

Angela, Stephanie, Devanlee, and friend.
Belinda, Alana, Chim Poh, Lyana, Hellen.
Mandy, Jesper, Florina.  Below is Sangga and Nijey

Sarawak Independence Day

Last weekend was Sarawak Independence Day, 50 years since Sarawak joined Malaysia.  To celebrate there were 50 boats decorated for each year.  These were large boats.  

District Young Women Presidency

The District Young Women Presidency came over for dinner and training.  Sister Caroline, Sister Francisca and Sister Hellen.  Elder Boyter likes the A/C colder than they like so they cuddled under a blanket together until the room warmed up.  It was a great night.  Each of them taught a section out of the handbook.  We talked about goals they wanted to achieve.  Watched church videos about the Young Women program and then played 3 hands of Skipbo.  What strength these women have for building the kingdom in Malaysia.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Elder Wiberg

Two weeks ago a tragedy hit our mission.  While traveling home on his bike after teaching a discussion to Kelvin and Karen, Elder Wiberg was hit broadside by a car driven by a 19 year old young man.  We received a call from his companion, Elder Herschi.  The accident just happened and they were waiting for the ambulance.

We rushed to the emergency room to meet them.  He was first taken to the nearest hospital ( which was a cancer and heart specialist hospital) to be stabilized and then later was taken to Kuching Specialist where there were specialist to help.  The emergency room was filled with Young Single Adults and members of Samarahan Branch where Elder Wiberg served.

Elder and Sister Moulder took the first shift after we determine that this was going to be a long ordeal.  At the first hospital the brain scan looked clear but the breaks in the bones were very serious.

When we awoke 5 hours later, Elder Wiberg was transferred to Kuching Specialist Hospital.  We relieved the Moulders.  Shortly after we took over another set of scans were done and we realized the seriousness of Elder Wiberg injuries.  Even though Elder Wiberg was wearing a helmet, he had significant brain injury.  Because of Elder Wiberg's age and his strong physical body, it was determine to go ahead and have surgery to relieve the pressure in the brain.  Elder Bertin, the church medical advisor for Southeast Asia in Hong Kong, was on the phone with the doctors constantly for the next 24 hours.  President and Sister Mains were booked on the next available fight into Kuching.

The surgery began about 8:30 the next morning, Saturday.  The orthepedic surgeon came out and gave us periodic reports about the progress of the surgery, he was going to do surgery on the bone breaks as soon as the nerosurgeon had completed his surgery.  They were doing the surgeries in order of seriosness.  The nerosurgeon came out and gave us a report and had a consultation with Elder Bertin.  Elder Wiberg had survived the first surgery.  

Elder Boyter first noticed and then I observed that during the first surgery the nurses came out of the operating room with tears in their eyes.  When the nerosurgeon first told us the seriousness of the injury, I starting praying for a miracle.  I prayed with all my heart.  Over time a very peaceful feeling came over me.  I knew the Lord's hand was in this from the beginning.  

In the waiting room there was another family waiting.  There was a woman my age, Kinvan (Kee-vaan) Her husband just had a heart attack and was not expected to live.  She sought me out.  I held her during the long night hours and prayed with her and for her.  She told me about how she and her husband were from the same tribe (Iban) but different villages.  Their parents arranged their marriage.  She was 16 years old when they got married.  They had six children and grew to be very much in love. Over the next few hours her children with grandchildren flew in from all over Malaysia.  When I returned from my next shift, she was gone.

Elder Wiberg had multiple bone breaks and fractures.  Dr.Lee, the orthepedic surgeon, explained that he would first start with the leg break.  It was the most serious.  Elder Wiberg survived that surgery and so the surgery on the breaks on the arms were next.  After the surgeries we then waited. Elder Wiberg was in surgery about 8 hours. 

President and Sister Mains arrived during the surgeries.  What strength they brought.  We admire them so much.  They relieved us and we went home to rest to prepare to come back for the night shift.

Brother Jeffrey stayed most of the time in the ICU waiting room with us.  Other YSAs took shifts, Brother Paul, Brother Kanzie, Brother Jesper.  Other members came and went offering support and food.  

After we relieved the Moulders, Saturday night, Elder Wiberg brain pressure started to rise.  The nerosurgeon came often giving us reports.  I really appreciate how the doctors cared so much and spent time with us explaining what was going on.  They were kind but candid. 

As I prayed during the night, there was such peace that came.  I stood by Elder Wiberg's bed and felt love.  Elder Wiberg was where he needed to be.  He was continuing his mission on the other side.  

President and Sister Mains were up most of the night in their hotel room visiting with Dr. Bertin and the family in Utah.  Early the next morning they were back at the hospital.  The family wanted to say good-bye to their son and brother.  President Mains held the phone up to Elder Wiberg's ear while each family member said good-bye.  Their parents are strong.  They talked to their son about his mission continuing on the other side of the veil to the Malaysian people.

The Wiberg family wanted his organs donated to help the people of Malaysia.  This had not been done in East Malaysia in 13 years so we started working through the process of red tape and getting the organ donor team from West Malaysia involved.  There were multiple tests that had to be performed. The passing of Elder Wiberg was not announced until the last test was completed.

President Mains sent us off to our branches to attend church.  We went to Elder Wiberg's branch where Elder Boyter gave a beautiful talk.  

Late Sunday night, the last test was completed and Elder Wiberg was pronounced dead.  Early Monday morning, President Mains sent out a broadcast email to missionaries and branch leadership of Elder Wibergs passing.

Karen and Kelvin

Elder Wiberg was killed in a traffic accident about two weeks ago. Will share more of his story in another post.  He and Elder  Herschi had a discussion with this family just before the accident. Kelvin, Karen, their daughter Ashley, and son Adam.  They are one of the families that Elder Peterson calls "Kingdom Builders".  They understand the gospel, have a testimony that is deep and are committed to live it.  They lost an infant.  When they were taught that children who die before the age of 8 return back to their Father in Heaven, they were so excited.  They are now committed to go to the temple as soon as possible so that they can be sealed with their living child and the infant that passed away for time and all eternity as a family.  They were baptized yesterday.  Their daughter is seven and will be baptized when she turns 8, at age of accountability. Here we are at dinner with Elder Crosland, Elder Herschi, Elder Peterson, us, Elder Kalvapola, Elder Madsen.

Decorating the car for a wedding

This is how the Malaysians decorate their cars for a wedding. I love it!  Often they will use silk flowers in the arrangements. Will add more pictures later.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Yummy Greens

This is my favorite green vegetable in Malaysia. Tried to cook it in butter, onions and garlic. It was good but I've tasted it prepared better.  Will need to find out what their secret is.  I'm told you can only find it here.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Beaded Baby Carrier

This is a close up of the baby carrier that Elder Boyter got.  You can see the two hornbill birds facing each other with the shield between them.  We have seen these made out of beads and carved in wood.  This is one of the more elaborate ones we have seen.  Sarawak's colors are red, yellow and black.

They are the best YSAs

Durian- The Love - Hate Relationship

We are told you either love or hate durian.  You have to try it at least three times to make a decision.  The meat of the fruit is any where from yellow to red.  Elder Berger bought some and shared it with us when we gave him a ride.  It has the consistency of peanut butter.  We scooped it up with our fingers.  It was ok, I didn't love or hate it.  So maybe that means I would grow to love it.  But it has a very strong smell.  The smell lingered for about a week in the vehicle even though Elder Berger was in the car only for about 20 minutes.  I decided for that reason I would not have it in my home or car again.  The sign is from a hotel elevator.  It is banned from most buildings.  There are lots of jokes about it but the natives love it.  Even M & M gets involved in the fun about the Durian.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Water Front on Independence Day

Last Saturday night we went down to try some buttered prawns that a long time resident, Brother Wilkinson, recommended.  We did not know it was Malaysia's Independence Day from England.  It was a delightful evening.  We ate dinner with the buttered prawns, fried rice and my favorite vegetable that looks like some type of fern.  I'm told it only grows in Malaysia so ill miss it when I leave.  A family sat next to us with twin toddlers.  One was asleep in her grandmothers arms but we did get a cute picture of the other little girl.  We love the children here.

We wandered down to the River Front where the river taxis were decorated, long boats with their crews were practicing for the big races next weekend and the beautiful lights.  What an enjoyable evening.

Home Evening with Family Search

Tonight at YSA Home Evening we invited the Family History Senior Missionaries, Elder and Sister Moulder, to our home to teach the YSA about how to register on Family Search and start entering their names of their family.  The Family Search Consultants from some of the branches were there to help who were many of our YSAs.  Belinda from Sentosa branch. Angela from Matang branch, Sheryl from Batu Kawa branch and Maureen the District Family Search.  You can see after a short introduction and video clip they divided up into groups with the consultants and went to work.  These kids are all converts so most everything that was entered was very basic but there were a few surprises.  One youth found the information he brought was already entered to his surprise.  His mother had entered it shortly after she was baptized.  Because of very little written information and records kept these YSA will only be able to go back a few generations but how exciting to get it started.