Jordan's Mission Apartments


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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Visa Run III

dear family,

wowee, that was unexpected. thanks for the words of advice dad. i really do appreciate it. if i said i didn't feel horrible, i'd be lying. but i'll pull through. i can confidently say that i know why i am here.

so this week was really good. we had 6 baptisms! holy smokes! and we're having five more this saturday. most of them are all from one huge family. they are amazing. i wish you could meet them. they're so happy to have the gospel. they're going to be referral machines.

i've learned a lot about how to do effective missionary work since i've been here. when i first got into the mission, i was all about just hard work. the more you sweat, the more success. that just isn't true. hard work is extremely important, but it's even more important to work smart. how do you work smart? through the members. it's really hard for missionaries to understand that they don't need to go out and knock doors 24-7. as you take your focus off of your hard work, and put that work into the members, not only do you create an army of missionaries, but you really strengthen the members at the same time. michael made a comment that he couldn't imagine trying to handle as many people as were coming into the church, but as they start doing missionary work and finding people, they take care of themselves. i wish i'd of learned this earlier in my mission!

sibu is completely flooded! elder watkins and i rode through about a two mile flood that was up to the top of our bike tires! it was so crazy! i got a really good video of it too, so you'll be able to see it soon. the bad thing about the floods though, is you can't see where the street ends and the monstrous open gutters begin... fortunately though, it wasn't me that fell in. it was elder semana :)

i forgot my debit card! dang it. that was the most important thing to bring (besides my passport) on this visa run! but i guess i'll just have to wait 3 months until my next one.

i want you all to know how much i love you and how much i love this work. in a time like this, it would be really easy to despair and lose sight of what's important, but i want everyone to know (especially mom) that absolutely know that this work is the Lord's work. i wouldn't dare lose focus. i know that it's true. I KNOW, and nothing could nor will it ever change that. is it poopy to get a dear john? 100% yes, but i'm not going to let it effect His work. i'll worry about things like that on my own time... in 14 months. so don't worry. i'm great. try not to say anything about it in the next email though, ok? thanks.

take care everybody! until next week.

love,
Elder Troxel

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Ni wei jung wai yu ma (I have no idea what it means, I think it is Chinese, maybe Ibon?)

dear family,

it's crazy to think that i get to talk to you in just 8 more days! is chelsie planning on coming over? i guess i won't get a response to this email until after i talk to you anyway, but i definitely wouldn't mind if she came... the reason i won't be able to get a response until after i talk to you is because we're moving p-day next week to thursday so we can have it on christmas. it should be pretty cool. we're having a big meal with the couple and we'll just play games and stuff. i'm pretty excited.

i pray that everything goes well with mom's surgery. it should be fine though, it'll just hurt like the dickens. but just remember mom, "thine afflictions shall be but a small moment, but if thou endure it well, thou shalt run and not be wincing, and walk and not limp." you'll do great!

football last week was phenomenal! it was so fun. i'm way fat and i've gotten really slow, but i can still catch anything baby! in speaking of that, did tj and michael get a chance to use those gloves i got them before i left? those things are money.

ok, so you requested i tell you a funny story... they happen all the time, but it's hard to remember them. maybe as i write more i'll think of a good one.

so on to the questions:

1. (Does your telephone have an answering machine?) i'm 80% sure we don't have an answering machine. that sounds really good though, i'll be waiting at 10:00 sharp for your call.

2. (If your telephone has an answering machine, will the message be something that I can understand?) since our phone doesn't have an answering machine, we don't have to worry about that... but if it did, you probably wouldn't be able to understand it. something really interesting here is that you don't set your own answering machine message, they're all the same. crazy malaysia.

3. (Is the weather in Sibu substantially different from KL?) i think it's pretty much the same, except i feel like it rains a lot more here than it did there. we get soaked almost every day here. i've grown to be quite fond of it actually.

4. (Any more packages yet?) i've gotten two packages so far. i got another one yesterday, and i should be getting one more today. i got a notice that it was at the post office, so the couple will give it to me whenever they get around to it. word on the street is that i've got a few waiting for me in singapore, so i'll grab them when i go there on dec 30.

5. (Humorous stories?) ok, so i'm still thinking. this morning was pretty humorous. we played basketball with some of the chinese elder's investigators... if you recall, basketball isn't my forte... it isn't even my piano (oh baby, he's still got the wit)... but it was pretty humorous. i didn't bloody anyone, and i even made a few shots. i shouldn't say a few, because it was only two, but hey, that's four points! i also realized what little vertical i had is now completely gone and i'm lucky if i can heave this monstrous body a few inches off the ground. oh, but i remembered an even better story! so we've got this huge family of investigators that are so golden i can't even comprehend it. anywho, one of the ladies just had a beautiful baby girl, and happened to go visit her husband at their house while she was at the hospital. needless to say, we were all really pumped. we asked him what he was going to name her and he didn't know, so i threw out "Chelsie Rose" as an idea. anywho, we came back a few days later when the wife and the baby were home. apparently they really like us, or maybe the name, or maybe chelsie's picture that all of them have seen, but there is now a 10 day old baby in sibu, sarawak, east malaysia, named Chelsie Rose Anak Janggu! merry christmas chels =)

6. (Is the clock right on your blog, eldertroxel.blogspot.com?) i checked the blog, and the clock there is correct. so we're all go for christmas!

i haven't heard for a long time what's going on with beau. i haven't heard from him since that one letter he sent you. if you hear anything, let me know. i wrote him a letter, but he didn't ever write back that punk.

i think that's everything... the work is going really well here. we're getting ready to split the branch which is really exciting. we're having our first baptism this week, and we'll have between 10 and 15 next week!

i love you all. keep on truckin'
elder troxel

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I miss football!

dear family,

selamat hari khamis! that means safe thursday. its good to hear that all is well at home. im at zone conference right now in kuching. its pretty fun, but zone conference really throws off the rhythm. i'm all about getting into rhythm and just letting things flow. then you leave for two days and have to put everything on hold. apuh! no, but its good to be able to see everybody again.

yeah, i heard a couple weeks that andrew is an assistant. thats awesome. it's strange though because in this mission, if you are called to be an assistant, you are there until the end. we got a new one recently and he'll be assistant for more that seven months before he dies. so being transferred from being assistant is very foreign to me.

it's really good to get a bit more football news. no surprise about craig. he's been the best player in the state since he was a sophomore, so he deserves it. i'm surprised about x though. a lineman getting MVP? what is going on there? good for him.

so in answer to your questions:

1. (Have you had any trouble with migraine headaches?) no, i haven't had any headaches since i've been out (thank heavens). but what elder watkins and i were thinking of doing was buying a phone card together and then i could just call you first like last time... or you could just call me and i could just use the card in case for some reason your call doesn't come through. he's going to call first at around eight in the morning i think, so if you call at about ten in the morning (my time) that would be perfect. apa-apa kamu mahu (whatever you want).

2. (How did Elder Watkins get bit?) it was somebody's pet monkey. i didn't get an opportunity to hold it, because when he got bit, we were on exchanges and we already dropped that family. poop.

3. (Did you get to read the news about Elder Cusick being made an AP?) yes, as previously stated, i did.

4. (Besides being able to talk to us, is your Christmas Day spent with other elders or after the phone call is it back to teaching and appointments?) christmas day is just a normal day. we'll be visiting some members and investigators, but just another day. that's how i want it to be. rhythm baby. that's why i already opened the christmas packages... oh by the way, they were beautifully wrapped mom! i really appreciate the cds and especially the doughnuts. i got the package yesterday and ate five in almost one sitting. i held back though and left one for when i get back from zone conference. yeah, so i got one box so far. i'll be in singapore december 30th through january 1st and ill get the other packages then.

5. (Jordan had problems with his feet early on so we asked how they were doing since sending him gellin insoles) my feet are great now that we don't have to walk everywhere. bikes are so nice! and my legs are freaking kuat (strong) now.

thank you so much for the package and for everything. i do have a couple things a would like to request for the next package though... i NEED a football. if you could deflate one and send it here, that would probably be best, but i've been going through withdrawals. i sometimes go into epileptic shock and elder watkins has to sing the cougar fight song to bring me back. i won't be able to play very often, but if you could send me one, at least i could sleep with it...

funny story about that. we were contacting in a long house this last week when we contacted a man named khan. when khan opened the door, i noticed his tv was on. usually if someone is watching sports it's almost always futbol (soccer). but no, lo and behold, there was missouri playing kansas in real, beautiful, american football. i pooped myself. we made him turn it off though.

anywho, i love you all. take care and choose wisely :)

love,
elder troxel

ps, i've got like five letters from you this week chels! finally someone unclogged the mail!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Saya rasa bahasa kamu tidak bagus (In my opinion your Malay is not that good)

keluarga saya (My Family),

apa khabar (What new)? it was good to hear from everybody. especially michael. i haven't heard from tj or scott forever... i don't think i've gotten anything from tj since the mtc actually. but just so you know michael, i have been praying hard for you to find an eternal companion... so get out there and make things happen! i've heard that prayers of missionaries are powerful, so get crackin!

this last week was a bit humbling. after having an incredible week the week before, i think we got a little prideful and paid for it. we only had 5 investigators come to church. we were expecting around 30 to be there. but i think we (after having to be compelled to be humble) have bounced back and we've had some extremely powerful lessons with those who didn't come last week. all of them have committed to coming seratus peratus (100%). i'm absolutely positive that the lord has put us here to burn this place to the ground! (in a spiritual sense) and if we can stay humble and just do his work, we will.

so in answer to your questions:

1. (Berapa saya behasa melayu?) yeah, you're malay, i would say, has some room for improvement. the correct phrasing of that sentence would be "macam mana bahasa melayu saya?" (Do you like my Malay language?) berapa means 'how much' and you most of the rules in malay are backwards of what they are in english. for instance, in english, you would say,"how is MY bahasa?" but in malay, 'MY' (saya) always goes after the word if you want to make it possessive- "ini komputer saya" (this is my computer)

2. (Just checking on my understanding of a phrase: apa freak ini, what the freak? Do they actually say this in Malaysia or is this a Malay/English missionary thing?) if you were to say "apa freak ini?!" to a native, they wouldn't understand. it's just a missionary thing. i think elder semana made it up.

3. (Let us know when packages arrive.) elder watkins brought me home a package from the mission office not to long ago, so i got that one. i will let you know when i get the other ones.

4. (How is the language coming?) saya boleh tahan, tapi saya belum pandai (I am able to endure, tapi(?) I am not yet intelligent). that means, it's coming along. i can teach just fine, because once you get into a teaching situation you're blessed with the gift of tongues. i can teach really pretty much anything without much difficulty, but i still have a bit of trouble understanding what people say... mostly because i still don't understand iban. i can only say a couple of phrases in iban- "aku enda namu jako iban" that means "i don't know iban." it's alright though, because everybody understands malay. i haven't dreamt at all in malay yet, i don't think, but i sometimes think in malay, which is a good sign.

5. (Any funny language stories?) too many to count. i usually slaughter at least one word a day.

6. (Do you know where you will be calling from for Christmas?) i'll most likely just call from our house. the number is (084)310-294. no, it's not missing a number, that's all of them. yeah, i didn't understand your instructions and i don't want to read them again for fear of getting a migraine, so if you can diagram it out in an easier manner, that would be great ;)

7. (Have you heard about the terrorist attacks in India?) i haven't heard anything about any terrorist attacks, but i did meet a couple pakistani guys (its crazy to find them in east malaysia) who professed to be part of alquida (i don't know how to spell it). that's no good, because the hindu's in west malaysia already hate the muslims. about 20 or so years ago there was a lot of fighting between the two and quite a few people ended up dying. there aren't any indians here though, so i don't know.

that's just about it. i don't know if i already told you this, but elder watkins got bit by a monkey the other day and had to go get checked out for rabies! hahaha! i freaking love malaysia!

love,elder troxel

ps, zone conference is next week, but it's on thursday so don't be surprised when you don't have and email from me on wednesday. just be patient :)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

dear family,

mana kamu belajar bahasa? (where did you learn the language?) that was really weird seeing the title of that email and realizing it wasn't in english. it's good to hear about the games. Stupid BYU. i guess there's always next year. hopefully both byu and tcu get into bowl games. turns out the mountain west is a decent little conference... now we just need to get rid of the scrubbies like san diego state and wyoming. apa freak ini? (what the freak?) i went on exchanges yesterday with our district leader elder barlow. he went to utah. he's going home in three weeks so he was registering for classes and came across the score. at least timpview pulled one out. yeah baby. the only thing i get homesick about is football. if malaysia had real football, it would be amazing. but alas, i'm separated from my love.

so this week has been incredible here. we now have 29 people on date for baptism, we had 37 new investigators last week and twenty investigators came to sacrament meeting. that was the second highest investigators at sacrament meeting in the entire mission. who was first? elder gulbrandsen and elder semana... in the same branch. they had 22. we had a competition to see who could get the most and they just barely beat us. the chinese elders also brought 8 investigators so we had a total of 50 investigators at church this week. it was a mad house. our goal (for elder watkins and i) is to get 30 there this week and beat elder gulbrandsen and elder semana. it's fun to have little competitions like that, but the most important thing is that that is 20 people who are now progressing in the gospel. they're keeping commitments and preparing for baptism. that is amazing. there is nothing better than that.

so in answer to the questions:

1. (Mom wants to know if you were joking about the cobra? Keep us up to date on the other wildlife) yes, i was being serious about the baby cobra.

2. (Is there something that you need besides clothing?) hmmm... i need some delicious american treats. more specifically, at least a few cans of cheddar and bacon easy cheese and some club crackers. i wouldn't mind some more ties, i'm pretty sick of mine already. i don't really need anything though, just send me stuff that is delicious.

3. (We were wondering how soon before we see the next pictures from your camera?) well, i suppose i could try and mail some pictures today. i'm going to try and put them all on a cd, but i might just mail home my sd card again.

ps, did you get the calling cards i sent home? i found the ones you send me in the MTC, but they're only international calling from the US.

4. (One of the boxes that we are considering using for mail is 13x13x6. Will there be any issues with that being too large for the mail there?) that should be just fine.

5. (Who is it this pen pal that you have set your sister up with?) his name is elder semana.

so i think that's it. i'm still alive. i've also been battling a cold this last week mom, so i'm right there with you. everything is going really well, and hopefully i'll have good news that we beat the other elders in investigators at church next week. tell everybody i love them.

love,
elder troxel

ps, i'll probably make my christmas call home christmas morning here (christmas eve there) so hopefully everyone will be there. if there will be a better time, let me know.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Saya Suka Nanas (I like pineapples)

dear family,

apa khabar(what's news)? wow, i can't believe the Holy War is already here again. i remember last year's game. we stood up to leave on that 4th and 25 or whatever it was, when out of no where collie catches the wide open pass for a first down and harvey runs some people over into the end zone. i'll pray for a game like that again this year. so how many wins is that in a row for the t-birds now? who started that streak? they must've been good.

ok, now on to the answers to the questions. i got a postcard from chelsie at the new address, so you can send all the letters and packages straight there. i don't think i'll be leaving in the next few months, so you can send everything there. all the missionaries in the district have their things sent to the couples house and so far there hasn't been any problems.

1. i don't know what else you want to know about elder watkins... but his name is elder watkins, his parent's email is jodywatkins@aol.com and their names are Drew and Jody. he's a really cool guy and we get along really well.

2. the food is definitely NOT as good here as it is in west malaysia. we mostly eat in though, so it's not too bad. there aren't very many restaurants (i don't know if that's how you spell that... malay destroys your english) around, so we usually skip dinner and just have a little something after we plan at night. in the mall near to our house they just opened up a new grocery store that sells pop tarts! oh my heavens, they are fantastic. they're pretty expensive, but i don't care. they're too amazing to pass up. but when we do eat out or at people's houses its usually rice and curry (but not the delicious idian kind, nappy malaysian style).

3. i'm very particular about my water. the mission provides every house with a really nice filter, and then we have this huge pot thing that boils water for you, so i filter it and then boil it. but i have just drank straight from the tap before and nothing happened. what are immune systems for, right?

4. i've only flown on jets here, but elder watkins flew in on a prop plane when he came.

5. in order to get to singapore from here, you have to fly through kucing, which is about 40 minutes, and then from kucing to singapore which is about 90 minutes. my next visa run will be close to the end of the year, but maybe even before christmas. i just got an extension on my visa yesterday and i'm good until the 5th of january. in speaking of that, do you think you could put some more money on my card so i can draw more out when i go there? i've only got 70RM in personal funds right now, and i'm wanting to get some stuff for people's birthdays and christmas and stuff.

6. it's funny that you should mention wildlife. we stayed at the other elders' house last night because they're re-doing our driveway right now and we can't enter or leave. but they were cleaning last night and found a brand new baby cobra! yippee! thanks to my hours of watching the "croc hunter", i knew exactly what to do; i grabbed some chop sticks and picked him up to examine him closer. i didn't know this, but everybody told me that baby snakes are more poisonous than the adults. i was careful though. we don't know where the mother is though. it wasn't best that we found it right before bed last night because i was sleeping on the ground and had the thought in the back of my mind all night that there could be a cobra around somewhere. i love malaysia. other than that though, i haven't seen to much. a couple monkeys, and a baby monitor lizard is pretty much it. we do get chased by nappy dogs all the time though. we usually try and carry a rock or something to throw at them.

7. did they even give me a certificate? (Note from Dad: Jordan needs a copy of his Seminary Graduation certificate)

we've been working in an area that's way out in the middle of nowhere with a bunch of iban people. the traditional iban housing is what's called a ruma panjang or a long house. they're just these really long houses (upwards of 100 yards) and tons of people live in them. the ibans used to be head hunters back in the day, and in the longhouse we've been working in they've got real human skulls! it's one of the coolest things i've ever seen. they're just hanging from the roof. i'll try and take some pictures one of these days.

anywho, i'm staying healthy and everything is going really well. make sure and update me next week on the Holy War. i'll be on pins and needles all week.

saya sayang kamu semua. (I love you all)
elder troxel

ps, chels- i just sent you the sweetest tape ever. hopefully it will be there when you get back.

Note from Dad: all translation were via http://dictionary.bhanot.net/ . You can't look up phrases but it will allow you to look up words. I haven't checked but you may be able to convert from english to malay. Impress your friends or favorite missionary with your knowledge!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Baptisms?

dear family,

before i forget to tell you again, i don't know if you realize that you can send packages in boxes... you don't have to just use envelopes. everything gets squished in those.

anywho, the last time i wrote to you, we'd set three baptism dates with investigators. well one week later we have 14 on date for baptism, the first on the 29th of this month. my malay is getting a lot better and things are really starting to roll. i'm super excited.

ok, let me try to answer your questions:

1. i have no idea what the time difference is from here to singapore. but right now it is 1:06pm if that helps at all...

2. sibu happens to have an airport, so i just flew from KL to sibu straight. the airport is barely bigger than a large house, but planes do land there. i was pretty bummed though, i really wanted to go in some kind of crazy boat.

3. my new area is actually quite large, but it's very spread out. we don't really have any dividing lines yet, but come january we will. the one branch we have will be splitting into three, so we will be assigned to the second malay branch. i don't know what the exact boundaries will be, but if you slice sibu in half, i think we pretty much just have the northern half.

4. the food here is horrible. just kidding, it's not bad. but there isn't any real restaurants here like there is in west malaysia. that's a good thing though. with the decrease in food intake and the crazy strenuous biking we do everyday, i'll hopefully lose some fat.

5. it's a lot hotter and a lot more humid here.

6. i'll still have to go back to singapore for visa runs, but i won't go again until the end of january i think. i can get an extension here for two months and my visa doesn't expire until the 25th of this month.

i think i answered everything, but if i didn't, just do another question list like that in the next email. i like that because if you just spread your questions out throughout the email i'll just forget them :). we've been working in an area called Bahagia (which translated means "happiness"). if you look on google earth you should be able to find the road called "Jalan Bahagia." it's pretty far north of where i live. oh yeah, the mall where we go isn't really much of a mall. but it's just west of our house. it takes about two minutes to get there. if you look on the map, just go west on jalan sena and it's right across the street on jalan pedada. that's really cool that you can see where i live. technology these days. oh, but i just looked on the map and the mall wasn't built yet, but it's in that open space right across the street. i'm there right now. and as far as apartment buildings near my house go... nope, there aren't any in sibu. everything is just terrace houses and kompongs.

the work is going very well here. i'm still alive and kicking. tell everybody hello for me. i love you all.

love,
elder troxel
(or as the ibans call me "eller rox" because they can't pronounce multi syllabic names)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Corn Juice?

dear family,

i can't believe that BYU is crapping it up so bad! come on cougs! that's ridiculous. but it's good to hear the the tbirds are still tearing it up. i'm sorry again that i didn't say much last week, but i really didn't have hardly any time.

so about my new area. if you can find on the map Delta Mall on Jalan Pedada, i live really close to that. i live on a street called Jalan Sena 5... but i can't remember the house number... it's a huge house and it's only elder watkins and i living there.

elder watkins is a stud. he reminds me a lot of michael. he's really chill and really good to work with. plus his malay is really good and he can speak iban. i'm sure it would be fine if you got in touch with his parents, but he's on a visa run right now so i can't ask him. right now i'm companions with Elder Semana. he was just made a zone leader in the new Sibu Zone. he's a stud. he's a philipino, but he was born and raised in malaysia. he really wants whitney to write him a letter... so get on it sis =) he came into the field about one week before me.

our area is really crazy. they brought us in because they had this huge area that elders had never worked in. but turns out that this "huge area" isn't really all that huge... in fact, it's tiny. we've already contacted the whole thing. we've found a lot of people and we set two baptism dates though. it's very jungley. i love it.

i've had a lot of very disgusting drinks this week. in malaysia, they have some really weird syrups that they mix with water and make drinks out of it. for instance, corn. it's vile. and rose syrup. gag a maggot! they give you a drink at almost every house. i don't know how much more of it i can take. i'm just going to have to start dumping them out when people aren't looking. the trick is to just down it right at the very end of the appointment, because if you drink any out of the glass, they'll fill it right back up. oh man, it's the worst.

the teaching here is very different. in west malaysia i got really good at the skills in preach my gospel, like asking questions, using scriptures, bible bashing (that's not in preach my gospel, but i must say, i'm quite good)... but most of the people here either can't read indone or just can't read at all, so we can't really use scriptures with them. you just tell them and commit them to pray. it's been an interesting change. i tried to use bible scriptures with this one roman catholic guy a couple days ago because he brought out his bible... it was way to far over his head.

anywho, i'm adjusting just fine here. my malay is improving, but i still have a very long way to go. as far as the packages go, send them to the mission office. i'd feel a lot better about that. and the address i sent was incorrect; it's Jalan Rose, not Jalan Road, and Sibu is on the line with Sarawak. and yes, you should probably put east malaysia on it.

i think that's it... if i forgot anything, let me know and i'll tell you next week.

love,
Elder Troxel

Dear friends and family,

It appears that the correct address for the missionary couple in the area is:

Jordan Troxel (No Elder, just a reminder)
No. 1B lot 1602, Block 4,
Lorong Bunga Rose 3, Jalan Rose
Sibu, Sarawak 96000
East Malaysia

Scott has adjusted the marker to the street that Jordan said his house was on, there are not too many houses on the road so take your pick. I will try to get Jordan to narrow it down by describing it. I would probably still send packages to the mission home until we get a comfirmation from Chelsie that the above address is good. Let us know Chelsie? On Google Earth I used the search string jalan sena 5, sibu sarawak, east malaysia. Thanks for looking.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Jungle to Jungle

dear family,

i don't have much time today, but i'll type fast. it's my second zone conference in a week and a half today (because of the transfer) and we're going to go play football. i'm pumped.

sibu is 180 degrees opposite from KL. KL is nasty smoggy and super busy. sibu is really pretty small and everybody just lives in crazy wooden houses on sticks in the middle of the jungle. i haven't seen any amazing wildlife. but the people are amazing. i never really got to test how good my malay is while i was in my last area, so i didn't really know how much i knew. turns out i know quite a bit... i can teach enough to get my point across. fortunately elder watkins is really good in both ibon and malay, so whenever i get stuck i just throw it back to him. he lets me teach a lot, so it's been really good. i'll tell you all the little details about the area next week, but just know that i have never been in a place like this in my entire life. it is nuts!

this is the address to which you should send packages: (Note from Dad, use the address in the post "Corn Juice")

No. 1B lot 1602, block 4,
lorong bunga rose 3,
jalan road
sibu, sarawak 96000

that is actually the address of the couple, but that's where you should send everything for now. we're in a brand new house so i'm not quite sure of the address. it is huge! and entire house for just elder watkins and i.

anywho, tell everybody hello for me. good to hear that chelsie is still doing well. i haven't gotten a letter for quite a while, but it's ok, i'm working really hard =) if liz reads this, you need to write to me too. sorry it's so short today, but the computer is timed and i'm almost out.

i love you all. i'm still alive

elder troxel

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Sibu

Dear family,

well, i forgot to inform you last week that this week is zone conference. so no emails this week... my bad. but it's ok because i have good news! i bet you're wondering what "Sibu" means. well, i haven't the foggiest, but it's my new area! my first transfer! crazy! so i'll tell you all that i know about the situation:

i leave for Sibu on saturday. sibu is in east malaysia where they speak kosong bahasa ingeris (zero english). i'm super pumped about it because my malay is going to get really good and i'm going to learn to speak ibon (EE-bon), which is the native language there. what happened to being called english speaking??? my new companion will be elder Watkins (who i have never met, nor heard anything about. but apparently his ibon is pretty good already), and we'll be opening a new area. right now in sibu there are four elders- two mandarin speaking and two malay speaking. the malay speaking elders have been bringing upwards of thirty investigators to church every week for the past TWO MONTHS! that is nuts. their baptisms are through the roof with an average of around 6 every week! it's grown so much that they're making it it's own zone and we are going to open a new area there. i'm stoked out of my mind!

elder kartchner will be staying here and training a new elder. i'm going to be a grandfather. that's pretty cool. other than that, i have no idea what's in store for me. i hear it's a hard core biking area, which will be good because i'll hopefully lose some of my huge doughnut of fat that i've developed over the past 7 months in klang. i can't even beleive it. it's going to be super hard because it'll be like going through training again having to learn the language, but whom the lord calls, he qualifies. and apparently i've done all the work i was sent to do in klang... FINALLY! time to move on.

so we were supposed to have a baptism for william (the american guy from montana) and this guy named innocent from nigeria on saturday. to make a long story short, we weren't able to contact william all week and he didn't show up for the baptism =( but innocent did! we've worked with him for a long time. we've had to use multiple teaching records for him because we've been to see him so many times. he requested that i perform the baptism, and i stayed up this time! i was so worried. he was confirmed yesterday AND he got the priesthood. i love it.

well i hope everything is going well at home. i don't know the address that i'll have in sibu yet, but i'll have that for you next week... maybe. we've gotta get moving though because we still need to have our interviews with president. i hope everything went well with Pat's funeral. i'm looking forward to hearing about it. i trust everybody is doing well. you're always in my prayers. assalamalayacom!

love,
elder troxel

PS- in answer to grandma and grandpa's questions, elder kartchner is from St. David, Arizona, and it's president skelton, not "skeleton" =)

PSS- i would like some pictures for christmas i think... not emailed though. like real ones

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

What a Plan!

Note from Dad: This week in our letter to Jordan we had to tell him that a lady that we were home teachers for passed away suddenly from cancer. Pat Harward took a real interest in Jordan and always wanted to hear how he was doing. I was able to visit her in the hospital a few hours before her passing and she asked me to relay to Jordan that she loved him very much. I have been asked to speak at her memorial service and so Jordan was responding to a request for some word to pass on. Even though Jordan had not met many of Pat's friends, all of Pat's friends know Jordan as she would tell them about Jordan and she kept a picture of him on her TV. We will miss Pat.

Dear Family,

i've been thinking about what i should write about Pat. i don't really know. but i've been studying a lot about the plan of salvation lately, and all i can say is that i know it's true. i'm grateful to have been able to know her while she was here, and i'm looking forward to when we will get to meet again. a good thing to read at her funeral would be the "death, physical" section in true to the faith. i really like the quote in there that says "the only way to take pain out of [someone dying], is to take love out of life." it'll always be hard when people die, because we won't get to see them for the rest of our time here, so there's nothing wrong with mourning, but we can take comfort in the fact that we will meet again. what an amazing plan.

anywho, i'm also glad to hear that mike is tearing it up. hopefully i'll get to play with him again in a couple years. that's really good for the mountain west though, to have 3 teams in the top 25. i can't believe it! why couldn't this happen in 2010?! GOO!

so i had an interesting experience yesterday. well, not so much interesting, more just poopy. i spent 9 hours on a bus! turns out that we can get our visas extended in butterworth, which is about 4 1/2 hours away. so we took the trip up there at 8:00 yesterday morning and got our visas extended! then we proceeded to hop on a bus and take the trip all the way back. it's was ridiculous. i hate days when i can't teach. but now i can stay here until january 5th.

so we're having two baptisms this weekend, and one is for an american! his name is william and he's from montana. we've been teaching him for probably 6 months now, so it's good to finally see him baptized. the other guy's name is innocent from nigeria. i'm really excited.

i got a really awesome letter from chelsie this week. it was from egypt and written on papyrus! how crazy is that? thanks chels.

being a missionary is so awesome. whitney- you should go on a mission! get ready. but don't turn into a weird sister missionary, because most of them are really weird. don't be weird. just be strong and be good. i highly recommend it. maybe you'll get to go to malaysia and see all the wonders it holds! like all the fantastic rats and cockroaches! oh, quick story. so i went into my bathroom this week to take a shower. it was after i'd woken up and gone running, so i was still really sleepy and really tired from the run. anywho, i pull the shower curtain, and low and behold, there is a giant cockroach on the curtain! i flipped. i hate those things, so i just tortured it for about ten minutes with water before i just caught it and flushed it down the toilet. they call me the roach slayer around these parts.

i think that's just about everything. if you could mail me some pictures of stuff, that would be great. i'd really like that. and i'm nearly due for another shipment of deodorant =) thanks. there was something i really needed, but i can't remember what it was. i'll just have to ask next week. i love you all.

elder troxel

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Fonts are Slippery...

dear family,

this week was excellent. it's good to hear that everybody is continuing to have success. 29 wins in a row is a lot. that's poop that craig went down. tell him to suck it up. just kidding, those are nasty.

so in the last 30 days we've had 8 baptisms! crazy! heavenly father is really blessing this area. there are so many people who want to learn, and the people who are getting baptized are on fire with referring their friends and helping us out with the work. i love it. elder foster told me on monday that it was pretty likely that i was getting transferred, but i'm not. we had two baptisms on saturday. one for a man named qamaruzzaman from pakistan and one for a man named senthuran from sri lanka. those two are amazing, but the baptism was quite the experience, which brings me to this week's...

WEEKLY REVELATION: the baptismal service really was incredible. zaman asked me if i would baptize him, so i was really excited. the spirit was really strong as we stood in the font and i said the prayer. then i dunked him, and i don't really know what happened next, but i must have just slipped because the next thing i knew i was in the water too. don't worry though, he got all the way under, which is what really matters. after quite a bit of flailing around and splashing, we both made it up too. it was really funny. i think that was the fourth or fifth baptism i've performed, but it was definitely the first time that i've gotten to get baptized along with them. it was funny.

so i attached a voice clip that elder frost sent to me. i hope i did it right because it is hilarious. sounds like he is having a lot of the same experiences that i am having here... except i don't run into too many drunks. here it's more just nappy cross-dressers. SICK!

we had a pretty neat experience the other day. we live right next to this enormous flat called Mentari Court. probably half of our investigators live there. but anywho, it's not very successful to contact there in the afternoon, because everyone is at school or at work. but we had about 90 minutes of free time without any appointments the other day in the afternoon, and i really felt like we needed to go contact there. we ended up on the 12th floor of block C, and in 90 minutes we had 6 new investigators, all on the one floor. it was really cool. there's so many experiences like that as a missionary. it happens every day. if you listen to the spirit, he tells you exactly where to go. it's too bad i'm not a very eloquent writer, or i could tell you some amazing things that have happened, but i know i couldn't do them justice. but i am uberthankful that i was put into such a wonderful family with parents that taught me the gospel so that i could be here. i know i don't really ever share spiritual experiences in my emails, but it's like i said, i know i couldn't do them justice. the mission is amazing. it's the hardest thing i've ever done, but out of those hard times come amazing experiences. like it says in How Firm a Foundation, my dross is being consumed and my gold is being refined.

tell TJ not to worry, i still make noises when i eat. oh, and tell him that i didn't forget his birthday, i just haven't had time to write him a birthday letter yet. speaking of which...HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD! in two days that is.

anywho, i think that's everything. i got one of the packages the other day. everything got thrown off because there wasn't any post last week because of hari raya. but i got one and it was fantastic. unfortunately, there aren't any starbursts or kitkats left =( i couldn't help myself! and thanks for the calendar, if you could get me one for 2009 also, i would much appreciate it.

i love you all.
elder troxel

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Emergency Transfer

dear family,

i didn't think that we were going to be able to email today because it is Hari Raya here. what exactly are they celebrating, you ask? who knows. when you translate "hari raya" into english, the direct translation is something like "the day of special day." i think it probably has a lot to do with the end of rhamadan, which is the muslim month of fasting. but there hasn't been mail at all this week, and there won't be for the rest of the week, which is really poopy because our quarterly supplies from church headquarters are supposed to be coming in this week, and we have almost nothing to give out. fortunately Elder Kartchner was able to grab some supplies in singapore this last week.

it's good to hear that the t-birds put a whoopin on mountainview. i remember those days... if you get to see kevin again soon, get his address. i'd like to write him and see how he's doing.

there's a recent convert of ours who's name is Thenmoli. she's sixteen and she's amazing! she'll be and incredible missionary. anywho, she told me i looked like i was five months pregnant last night... time to diet. i've been working out really hard twice a day, but i continue to get fatter. oh well, you can still be fast and be fat... just look at dad. haha, i'm sorry dad, i'm just lashing out irrationally now.

we had two baptisms last week, and this week we've got two more... well i hope two more anyway. we heard a rumor that one of the guys who is supposed to be getting baptized on saturday is still smoking, even though he told us he's stopped. we'll see. but just so you can get an idea of how broad of a scope of people we teach here, our two baptisms last week were for a nigerian and a nepali, and the two this week are for a sri lankan and a pakistani. what the hey? where are the malaysians? oh yeah, they're all muslim. in all seriousness, i think i've probably met someone from almost every country in the world here. it's crazy. we teach so many different kinds of people here. i love it.

oh, about the title. i'm just kidding. i'm not getting transferred! but i am going up to penang next week to get my visa extended. that should be fun.

well, the work here continues to go swimmingly. Heavenly Father is preparing so many people to learn here! we've got 13 people on date for baptism right now, and we're setting three or four more every week. and word on the street is that we'll be here for awhile (knock on wood).

i love you all. take care. be good.

Elder troxel

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Why do Malaysian names all sound the same?!

dear family,

so i hit eight months in a couple weeks. is that not crazy to you? wow, time flies. nick morley is over the hump now, as is andrew, and jacob frost is past 18 months. i wish i could make it go slower.

i can't believe the cougs! that's so crazy. 14th! why couldn't they do that last year?!! if they win a national championship while i'm gone, i think i'll kill someone. good to hear also that craig is still tearing it up. that kid is a monster. keep me updated on kevin's mission call. my guess is Singapore.

so we had an interesting experience this week that definitely would qualify for a:

WEEKLY REVELATION: so, elder kartchner is on his first visa run right now, but he had to bus there so we needed to go buy bus tickets on monday. since i've never had to bus, i have no idea where to buy them, so he called the zone leaders to find out where we needed to go. he's still not familiar with all of the names of places here, so when Elder Richards told him he needed to go to "Puduraya," what he heard was "Putra Raya." there is no place called "Putra Raya", but there is a place that is on the outskirts of Selangor (the state in which we reside) called "Putra Jaya." so, we took the three hour trip to Putra Jaya only to find once we got there that we were in completely the wrong place. what a fiasco. however, i did meet a really cool kid who lived most of his life in baltimore, and was able to teach him and get his number. it's interesting how people just happen to fall into your path... if there's one thing i've learned on my mission, it's that there are no coincidences in missionary work.

well, we got some poopy news this week. the father of the family we baptized a few weeks back lost his job and started drinking and smoking again. ARGH! this experiece has been the biggest roller coaster ever. his family went from being completely dysfunctional, to being amazing, and now it's back to the former. the branch has really stepped in though. we only have time to go there maybe once a week, but there has been somebody from the branch there everyday to help out.

we've got another baptism coming up this saturday, and then it'll be two weeks before we have another one because we'll be watching conference on the 11th and 12th (that's assuming the DVD's get here by then, but that's what the branch is planning on). i'm so excited for general conference! it's going to be amazing.

i'm so glad we have time to study in the mornings. i only wish we had more time. i had no idea how little i knew until i came on my mission. there is so much to know. i've been studying about the second coming a lot lately. EPIC! as is the book of mormon. there is so much in there, i don't know how it all fits on those pages. i love it.

anywho, the work here continues. we're teaching some amazing people.well, i love you all. tell TJ to stop being a sissy. only 17?(stitches) pish posh. just kidding, that's pretty nappy.

elder troxel

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Pulled Pork ;(

dear family,

first of all dad, when you update me on how teams perform, you should tell me who it is that is getting their butts handed to them. i thought it was the cougs that got beat 59-0. i almost soiled myself. and then i read on and found out that they won! then i did soil myself. that's so sweet to hear that mike is getting playing time. i'm happy for him. he's a stud. if you see him tell him congrats from me.

it's also good to hear that mom's knee infection dealio wasn't a big deal. i'm always on the edge of my seat when i read stuff like that. but just hang in there mum, you'll be good to go in a couple months... until the next one happens. my knees are bad news too. we do a lot of sitting on the ground cross-legged here, and i can't go more than about five minutes before i have to extend my legs. stupid football. just kidding. i love it.

this week has been, as always, complete chaos. what mom used to say is completely correct, "if the church wasn't true, the missionaries would have screwed it up a long time ago." it's always amazing to see how when things fall through, heavenly father will always put you where you need to be to meet who you need to meet (if you're obedient).

we also got transfer news!!!!!!! i'm still not being effected =( just kidding, i love this area and we're doing excellent work here. i would be very unhappy if i had to leave now. since my last email, we've set at least 4 baptism dates. it's hard to remember them all, but i think that's it. our next one is a week from saturday, then we've got 4 or 5 set for the 4th, one for the 11th, 4 for the 18th, and 1 on the 25th. it'll be an interesting month.

the food here is so delicious! i don't know what i'm gunna do when i have to leave (just kidding, i do. i'll lose weight). i'll make you some indian food when i get back. is there any indian food places in provo?so update me on what's going on with The Office. oh, and in your next package could you send me a calendar? i really need one.

i'm not surprised to hear that Dan blew out his knee. the mtc is much more dangerous than people think. i saw a few people break bones and blow out knees while i was there.anywho, we're off to a lunch appointment. i love you all.

elder troxel

Monday, September 8, 2008

You Shot the Invisible Swordsman!

dear family,

everything is going great here. it was good to hear that the cougs stole a victory. that defense needs to shape up though. defense wins championships. but don't worry cougs, i get back in 17 months...

so you asked for more details about why elder taiamony got stopped and put in the slammer. well, mostly just because he's from new zealand. malaysians are extremely racist against really anyone who isn't malaysian or white. if your skin is darker, it's really hard for people here. that, and he had about a billion stamps in his passport from all the visa runs he's been on. the malaysian government is absolutely ridiculous.

but we had an amazing week! it was actually a really hard and frustrating week, but any week that ends with four baptisms is a good one. we spent most of the latter end of the week trying to put things together for their interviews and baptisms. it was crazy. but they made it, and it was nothing short of phenomenal. we had the service right after church on sunday, so almost the entire branch stayed to see it. i baptized the father (Silvan), and then his wife (Kamala), son and daughter (Deva and Thenmoli) were baptized by Elder Hector, Elder Kartchner, and this guy in the branch named KC who helped us teach them a lot. it was so amazing.

zone conference so far has been fun. we're going to carl's JR after this. we've moved from Chili's to Carl's now. both are sangat sedap (very delicious). so we'll be doing that after this, and then we'll go to the other elder's apartment and watch the best two years. it's an all day p-day, but we scheduled an appointment tonight so we can feel like we're being productive. should be fun. my interview with president skelton was good. he basically just told me to be ready for more leadership positions in the future. we'll see.

i don't know what that wonderful looking something was in the picture of Elder Cusick and the other missionary, but i want one. that seems to be my problem these days, i have an unquenchable sweet tooth. i've been running a lot lately, trying to burn off my ginormous love handles. slowly but surely... at least that's what i keep telling myself. it will be nice to get back into a gym.

so chels is in jerusalem now. wow. that would be amazing, but i can see how being there would be a bit distracting from the studies. just stay focused girl. and don't worry about shortening your letters; whatever you have to do to stay on top of your studies.

so elder kartchner finished his training. yippee. all that that means is that we only get an hour of personal study instead of 90 minutes.

things are really cookin here though. hopefully we can keep it up. hopefully i can stay here for longer. i'd love to stay here my whole mission, but it's not likely.

tell everybody i love them and i pray for you all setiap hari (daily).

love,

elder troxel

NOTE FROM DAD: The "wonderful looking something" was a picture of a some kind of french pastry that Elder Cusick sent home. I forwarded several pictures onto Jordan because I knew he would appreciate them. Here is the picture he was talking about!!


NOTE FROM SCOTT:
I had three heart attacks just looking at this picture...Thanks!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

I Hate Technology

dear family,

well, once again my attempts to conquer technology have been thwarted. i had all but finished my email, and was trying to use this new device that elder kartchner bought to attach some pictures, when this message popped up and said that the internet explorer had experience some sort of error, and all of my unsaved work was lost =(

so, here we go for round two. thanks a bunch for the pictures of jackson. i think he looks more like Kimberly than Tj though.

good to hear that Timp is carrying on the tradition. hearing about the BYU games is trunking me out of my mind! but keep updating me. i want to hear how they are doing.

this week has been good. we had a crazy bad rainstorm this week, the first really bad one of the season. i don't exactly know what a monsoon is, but i think it might have been one. we could only see a few feet in front of us because it was raining so hard. and cars here love to splash you when you walk on the side of the street... especially the buses.

i'm still alive, so no worries there. we had a baptism last week and we should have 4 more on sunday. things are going really well. there's been some crazy changes in our district and zone. elder Taiamoni, one of the zone leaders (from new zealand) went on a visa run and couldn't get back into malaysia. when he got to the airport, they put him in jail for a day or two, and then sent him back to singapore and singapore only gave him 14 days. so their trying to get him a workers permit, otherwise he'll have to transfer missions. this is a crazy mission! so that means that we only have one zone leader. elder maynes from my district got transferred so now elder richards (the lone zone leader) is with elder pace, who has only been in his area for about a week. crazy stuff. but no changes for us luckily.

zone conference is monday and tuesday, so you'll need to get your emails off early. anywho, carl's JR is calling my name, and i hate this stupid computer... so everybody take care and be safe. '

elder troxel

ps, PLEASE send me a list of everyone's birthdays!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

It's Baptism Season

dear family,

wow, tomorrow i will be an uncle again! i'm pumped for that. i'll be praying especially hard for kimberly the next couple days. child birth must really schmell.

good to hear that mom is such a trooper. i guess it's just in the blood. hang in there mom. know that you're also in my prayers and i would give you my knees if i could.

i can't believe it's football season without me! what is going on in this world?! but round these parts it's baptism season! in the next two weeks we should have 6 baptisms, and in the next month we should have about 10. i'm so excited. we're having a baptism on saturday for this awesome nigerian guy named bright. he's so solid. the way we met him was really cool too. we had just gotten out of an appointment late and needed to grab a taxi because we were supposed to meet a member. we spent probably ten minutes trying to grab a taxi, but traffic was all but completely stopped, so we decided to hoof it. needless to say, i wasn't the happiest of campers, first of all because we were late, second of all it was blisteringly hot, and third of all the walk is about 30 minutes to get where we needed to go. but as we started to walk down this long road, i saw a guy off in the distance walking towards us and i had a strong impression that this is why we hadn't been able to grab a taxi. we stopped him and got his number and the rest is history. he lives with no one, but TWO pastors... and they are the most ridiculous pastors i've ever met. but bright knows it's true, and he's so solid that the two pastors have since moved out of his apartment because they couldn't convince him that the book of mormon wasn't true. what a stud. he's only 21, so we're going to see what we can do to get him on a mission.

next sunday we'll have a baptism for a man named silvan, his wife kamala, and they're son and daughter, deva and thamoli. we met this family my first week in this area, and after dropping us twice, they are finally ready to get baptized. i can't even describe how flabbergasted i am at the change in this family. when we met them it was a completely disfunctional family. now they're so happy! i now know what it means in the book of mormon when it talks about people like Ammon being overcome with joy, even to exhausting their strength. that's how i feel when i see this family. the gospel changes people.

well, we're getting back into the rainy season here. it's rained every day this week... which means we've gotton soaked at least once every day. most days two or three times. umbrellas do absolutely no good, so i don't even carry one anymore.so i had been really wanting to buy a portable DVD player. a lot of missionaries have them and they are really nice because some people here don't have DVD players or TV's, so we can't watch any of the church videos. those are really nice because they have them in their native languages. so i bought i really nice one. i took out some money while i was in singapore for it, so that's where that money went. i'll take some pictures of it and send them to you. don't worry, i am EXTREMELY careful with it. after all, i cost me a bloody arm and a leg =).

i continue to pray for you all everyday. be safe, aight?

love,
elder troxel

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Stupid Malaysian Taxi Drivers

dear family,

i'm glad to hear that mom is slowly but surely improving. don't worry mom, surgery is really fun. i loved it when they put me under. it really was quite refreshing when i woke up. i'm UBER-excited for tj and kimberly's baby. he's going to be such a stud. too bad i won't get to see him until he's almost two.

so i weighed myself again on sunday... and i am FAT! 194! goodness gracious! it's really out of hand. so i've started running every morning instead of just three days a week. it's a little bit harder being the senior companion because i never have time to work out at night like before, i only get the mornings. but the food here is fantastic... and packed with MSG. there's a lot of things that malaysia chooses not to follow; for instance, copyright laws. you can copy anything you want here, no questions asked. i made a sweet mini version of preach my gospel. i don't know why, but we're allowed to copy any church materials we want. cool beans. also, they choose not to follow the food guidelines put out by the FDA. everything here is filled to the brim with MSG. it's delicious, but not healthy in the least. and it's not like you can get away from it either. EVERYTHING you buy here has it. they use it as a substitute to salt or something.

WEEKLY REVELATION: taxi drivers are not very smart. it is against the law here for taxi drivers not to use the meter, but hardly any of them use it. they sit outside all of the big flats and they charge you up the wazoo to go anywhere. i finally got fed up yesterday and decided to test one of them =) i told him where i needed to go, and he wanted 12RM to go there (bologna! it wouldn't have been more than 5 if he used the meter). i asked him why he didn't just use the meter, and he made up some bull-poop story about how the government came and took the meters out of all the taxi's that were there. so i said, "ok kawan (friend), i'll write down the numbers of all of these taxis (there was probably 5 there and all the drivers were sitting together), and i will call and ask if they really did take out the meters. all the other drivers looked at him like, "great job, ya moron." he just went quite for a few seconds, and when i pulled out my planner and pretended to write down all of their numbers, he flipped. it was really funny and he looked like a complete idiot. he tried to threaten me, but he just made himself look like even more stupid. we still had to get a different taxi though, so it didn't really do any good, but i was satisfied.

the work here is still amazing. we had 30 new investigators last week! and we had 21 member present lessons! it was amazing. we've got two baptisms a week from saturday, and then the week after that we've got 4. heavenly father is really blessing this area. i'm just glad i get to be a part of it.

elder kartchner is doing really well. he's growing as a missionary (and in girth, but that's what he gets for being my companion). we're so busy right now and i love it! so many people are making drastic changes in their lives and following the gospel. it's incredible. i read an article the other day in one of the ensigns by neil something anderson. you should look it up, it's called "it's true isn't it? then what else matters?" i gave a talk about it in church on sunday.

anywho, everything here is just peachy. time is flying by! i can't believe it's already p-day again. but i love you all and pray for you every day. stay safe. tell kimberly good luck with the baby!

love,
elder troxel

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Phone Tag

dear family,

thanks for the wonderful emails. beau's letter was bust-a-gut funny. he's awesome. if you could email me his address, that would be fantastic.

so this week sounds like it was a fun one. too bad the plays weren't up to snuff. don't worry though, i've been shooting some sweet videos on my camera that will make up for the lack of acting in cedar city. how are kirt and michelle doing? what's drew up to? if you would be kind enough to pass me his address, i would like to write to him. dad said something interesting in his part of the email. he said something about provo not being in the same region next year... what's up with that? are they finally demolishing that heck hole of a school? it's about time.

sorry i didn't have very much time to email last week. the other elders were rushing me... and i guess i kinda really wanted to go play too =) it was a blast. we went to this beach and rented tandem bikes to ride over to carls JR which was about a mile away.

WEEKLY REVELATION: don't rent tandem bikes. i was with elder griffin. he weighs about 210 and i'm above 190 now =( anywho, the bike wasn't made for that much mass. it was pretty bad. the back handle bars broke clean off! they weren't very high quality to begin with though, so it wasn't really our fault.

there was two packages waiting for me in singapore. i was very excited to get the two SD cards back, but even more so for all that jerky and candy! is there any left? nope. none. i am fat.

anywho, when i got back to subang, i found that our phone bill hadn't been paid, so our phones were turned off... and they were like that for the whole week! the guy who takes care of the bills sure took his dear sweet time. it makes it very difficult to do effective missionary work without phones, but we managed. we spent about a total of 20RM on the payphone for the week though. fortunately, they were turned back on this morning, so things are back to normal.

things are still rolling here. we had a baptism for another nepali brother named Deshbandhu. he's such a stud. elder kartchner got to perform the baptism. it was awesome. it was really good for me to be able to perform a baptism during my training, so i wanted him to be able to have that chance also. we've got A LOT coming up in the next month, including a family that we've been working with since my first week in this area. i'm excited.

don't worry dad, i'll still be at the BYU games with you in spirit. keep me updated on how they do, along with how timpview does. it's crazy that school is already starting. summer is almost over already! oh wait, it's always summer here =( i can't tell you how much i miss snow. anywho, i think that's everything. if i forgot to answer any important questions, as them again next week.

i love you all,
elder troxel

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Singapore

hello family,

singapore is a lot hotter than i remember it being. but it's awesome. i got here yesterday at about 1:00. the situation in this mission is really weird with the visa runs and things because they will often times send you alone, which is what happened to me. it was really strange being by myself. i haven't been alone in 6 months! i felt like i was breaking the rules. but i got to teach some good lesson while traveling and get some referrals for the singapore elders.

i'm glad to hear that mom is progressing. slowly but surely. there's a saying in malay: sikit sikit, lama lama, jadi bukit... which means little little, long long, big hill. i don't know, it doesn't really make very much sense, but neither does anything in malaysia.

it was also good to hear from TJ. i'm really pumped to have another nephew. that kid is going to be so funny.so michael and emily are serious? that's pretty sweet. emily is awesome. i give them my blessing.

so guess what we're going to go do after emailing?! we're going to go play football! and not this malaysian football nonsense, but real american football! when i say that elder griffin had one last night i wanted to cry. it's so beautiful. i can't wait. we're going to the beach to play on the sand, and then we're going to carl's JR. i love singapore!

the work in our area is going really well. mom asked about how things are in our companionship, and things are ok. we're having a lot of success together, and that's really all that i care about. i like to get things moving, but some people aren't quite as motivated.

anywho, i've gotta run. we're leaving to play right now. i love you all. i'm still alive. the mission is awesome.

elder troxel

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Two New Videos!!

The package that Jordan sent to Whitney finally arrived. Jordan sent home his second photo card, which included several videos. For those who like to hear Jordan talk and laugh, this is for you!

video

video

I know all about the letters. How do you think I know? She told me, that's how I found out!

dear family,

i was so pumped to find out that whitney's package got there! that thing cost me a bloody arm and a leg to send. just kidding, but the mini patrick thing was way sweet. i'm so glad it got there. those pictures are amazing. i was really bummed when i heard that you hadn't gotten them. there are a lot of good memories there.

it's also good to hear that mom is doing better. just take it easy, injuries take a while to recover from. i would know =). but hang in there mom, you'll be doing hand springs again before you know it.

i got a package from ya'll this week. the doctor scholls are HEAVENLY. i wept when i opened the package and saw them in there... and then i took them out and saw the jerky and started to ball. good work, it was an excellent package.

so this week has been really good. we had nine investigators at church... but we should've had at least fifteen. my goal before i leave this branch is to have at least twenty. there is a companionship in east malaysia that had 34 investigators at church last week. i can't even imagine that! that's nuts. but twenty is definitely a possibility. so elder daines went home this week =( it's a shame that missionaries have to die. he's such a stud. but elder houston became the new assistant, so KL is getting a new zone leader. his name is elder richards, but i don't know him. all i know is that he's in elder palfreyman's group. that should be exciting.

there is some more transfers coming up soon. fortunately for me though, they are chinese transfers. the chinese elders are on a different transfer cycle. elder foster (our district leader) seems to think he's getting transferred. if that happens, there will be some more changes to our district. we'll just have to wait and see.

as far as the work goes, we've been focusing a lot on getting referrals from people. there are many ways to go about doing this, but the easiest is just to ask. so for the last couple of days we've been asking everyone we talk to for friends that might be interested (something that we should've been doing all along) and the result has been amazing. in the last two days we've already received more referrals than all of last week combined! so awesome! so now what we need to do is put that into practice with our members. we've coordinated with our branch mission leader to go visit a member family every week, starting with his this week. we'll go over there and teach them how to teach the restoration. imagine how effective we could be if we had an entire branch full of missionaries. that's our goal. we'll be challenging every person in the branch (probably only excluding the primary and nursery) to find a friend or someone to give a book of mormon to and refer to us. that way those people already have fellowshippers and a reason to come to church. all of these things are really obvious and are being practiced most places by members of the church... except for here. it's really weird how much culture interferes. people have a lot of trouble giving up the traditions of their fathers and come into god's culture, but that's what has to be done here. the church has been here for 20+ years, but it acts like it's only been here for 2 or 3. the youth of the church is amazing though. once they grow up and become the leaders of the church, that's when things will really start to catch fire.

we've been teaching a ton of nigerians lately. they are so hilarious. they hate it here though. i haven't met a single nigerian that likes malaysia. we're teaching three of them tonight. one is already on date and we will hopefully be setting a baptism date for another one tonight.

the work is so amazing here. i love it so much. i had an interesting bit of revelation last night. i felt like i needed to tell you all to pray for missionary experiences. maybe you could make that your purpose of your fast this upcoming fast sunday. everyone needs to do it, and when the opportunity comes, have the courage to open your mouths. remember elder bednar's talk last conference (or maybe the one before, i can't remember) when he said that members are full-time finders, missionaries are full time teachers. that applies to all of us and we need to do more of it. look for those opportunities, and they'll come.

anywho, i'm starving and pizza hut is calling my name, so until next week, adieu.

love,
elder troxel

Monday, July 21, 2008

Isn't that a smelly kind of cheese?

dear family,

how is everybody? i'm sorry to know that mom's knees aren't doing to hot. that schmells. i'd give you both of mine in a heartbeat if i could, mom. today and tomorrow is zone conference. we had an excellent role play with the assistants this morning and i had a good interview with president skelton early this afternoon. he just asked me how training was going and we chit-chatted a little bit. he said that we were going to have an intense training tomorrow. he's really been pushing us to have more baptisms because they have been extremely low throughout the mission lately. we have to set for august 9th, but after that we don't really have anybody who is really going to make their date =(

this week was amazing! it was the by far the best week (as far as numbers go) of my mission. we have things called "key indicators" that we tally up at the end of the week and report to the district leader at the end of every week. these things include lessons taught to investigators with a member present (president skelton set the zone standard at 8 weekly), other lessons (i think 25 is the zone standard), referrals received and contacted (zero received and 10 contacted ZS), new investigators (10 ZS), and lessons taught to/with recent converts/less active members (7 or 8 is the ZS). we also set our own goals for every week in addition to the zone standards and we always set our goals fairly high so that they will push us. i've never had a week when we've met all of our goals... until this one. we didn't just meet them, we absolutely blew them out of the water! we had 16 member present lessons, 39 other lessons, 10 contacted referrals, 20 new investigators, and 12 recent convert/less active lessons. to add to that, we had 10 investigators come to sacrament meeting! how did we do it? MEMBERS. we had a member at almost every appointment this week. i don't really know how the others got so high, but when you get a lot of member present lessons, everything improves. it's amazing. it took a lot of prayer and work, but we finally are seeing a fire for the missionary work with our members.

so how's everybody else doing? how's tj and kimberly's little one coming along? is kimberly big? send me some pictures of her. i bet my belly is bigger than hers. i really am getting so fat! i wasn't able to do morning exercises friday, saturday, or sunday! so i did some hard core running and 6:15 this morning to make up for it. i really am thinking that i wanna try and play ball somewhere when i get back.

the language is slowly coming along. i don't get to speak it very often, because whenever you speak malay to anyone hear, they always answer you in english. my speaking is getting pretty decent, but on the rare occasion that somebody does respond in malay, i can't understand hardly anything. i love west malaysia though and i wouldn't mind at all if i spent my whole mission here. (knock on wood).

so i saw a preview for batman... awesome! as elder vanpelt from 'the best two years' said, "this is trunking me out of my mind!" i can't wait to see that movie. i also saw a preview for hellboy 2 (which also looks sweet) and some movie called hancock with will smith. let me know how those are. i can get them here on dvd for like two ringgit if you want them. they've been selling them here in the street markets for weeks now. there's a lot of bootleggers here.

tell whitney i am so sorry her package didn't get there. tell her not to worry though; i punched one of the mail men in the face for her. well, physically i didn't, but it's the thought that counts right?anywho, hang in there mom. i'll be praying especially for you in the upcoming weeks. tell everyone i say hello.

love,Elder troxel

ps. my visa run is on the 5th of august, so if you have anything else you want to send to me, that needs to be done ASAP. (beef jerky)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

"He tried to flush her, but she floated back up!"

Dear family,

this week's emails were epic. i haven't heard from beau in about a month and a half, so i had no idea that there is a little mini me running around ghana!!! that is so funny. chelsie's email was really funny too. i knew that it would be an amazing experience for her, but it would also be extremely difficult. she's doing well though.

as far as the work goes this week, it's been a little bit rough. we had a huge teaching pool, but no body was progressing and so Elder Kartchner and i did some serious weeding and ended up dropping 12 people. it's really hard when you do all that you possibly can to help people receive a witness, but they use their agency not to. someday, hopefully, they will. Since we had to drop so many people, we've been doing a lot of finding... with little success. on monday we spent almost the whole day out gate knocking in the million+ degree weather. we taught a ton of people, but how many of them turned out to be new investigators?? KOSONG (zero)! it was a rough day. but we had an amazing training by the zone leaders yesterday about how we need to work smarter, and i realized that's what i've been lacking as a missionary. i work my buns off, but it's a lot more important to work smart. we need to use a lot more members in the work! so we've started doing something new. we are calling members every night and challenging them to give a one referral in the next two weeks. we'll also be setting up one night a week to go over to member's houses (we NEVER get invited over to members houses here) and teach them how to teach. i don't care if we have to bring a bloody battering ram, but we are going to get into these members' houses and get the work going here.

training is a bit more difficult than i thought. elder kartchner is definitely not elder palfreyman; we don't have all that much in common. but everything is going well and he is progressing a lot. it's really cool to see his my style of teaching reflected in his teaching. he's going to be really good.

so, if you could possibly send some insoles in your next package, that would be fantastic. my feet haven't stopped killing me since day one. that can't be good. you'd think that they would just buck-up and get used to the beating, but they haven't. i wake up every morning and get white flashes of pain when i stand up. i can deal with it fine, but some Dr. Scholls would be heaven.

that's crazy about the whole russia thing. it sounds a lot like what's going on here. hopefully they don't start making us go back to the states to renew our visas...tell whitney i'm really sorry she didn't get her package. that thing was so sweet =( and it cost me a bloody arm and a leg to send it too. the malaysian post is the bane of my existance! i've only gotten about half of the stuff that's been sent to me. i did get both packages that you sent though. i'm much enjoying the beef jerky and i think i'll have enough deodorant to last through the millennium. thank you muchly.

Emily smith is getting married. i'm sure all the men in provo will be wearing black for weeks. but it's to kelly bills, so no complaint there. he's a stud.

i can't really think of anything else. oh yeah, zone conference is next week so pday will be on monday (that's sunday there) so if you could get the emails off on saturday, that would probably be best.

i love you all. tell everyone hello for me. stay safe.

Elder Troxel

Monday, July 14, 2008

Jordan Trox Niiana

Well we don't normally post emails from Jordan's friends, but this story was interesting enough to list. Jordan's good friend Beau Healey is serving in Ghana, off the West coast of Africa. Beau sent this story home to his parents and they forwarded it to us.


The following are Beau's words:


"I don't know if I have told this story yet, so here goes. As you can see in this picture there is a tiny tiny little guy. This is Abigail Shamo, from Teshie, she is the one that I have known for a long time. I couldn't even tell that she was pregnant at first, and then a few weeks before I left she had this cute little baby boy. They wait a little while to have a naming party and it just so happened the party was the Monday after I left, so she asked what the name should be and I said Jordan, to honor my great friend, then I said his last name and we call him Trox, later when I came back, I realized that they actually decided to use not only Jordan but Trox. So this tiny little baby, who I was almost like a father to, but of course not really, because the father didn't even see her very much at all, his name is Jordan Trox Niiana, actually I will need to find out the rest of the name but there is now another Jordan Trox and he is here in Ghana. Trox if you are seeing this I hope you don't mind. "


Attached are a couple of pictures of Jordan's name sake.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The Hutu Uprising is Over, Over!

Dear family,

this week was nuts! elder palfreyman left on thursday morning for Bintulu (yes mom, that is in east malaysia and they only speak malay and ibon there. EP doesn't speak either! just kidding, he speaks a little malay). it was bitter sweet to see him go. bitter because we worked so well together and got to be really good friends, but sweet because i'm training! i spent the rest of the day with elder plant from ipoh. he was here waiting for his greenie to fly in also, so he came with me thursday and we went to the airport together on friday morning. the new elders were supposed to fly into KL at 10:30 and take the KLIA express train to KL sentral where we would meet them at about 11:30. so there we waited at KL sentral...12:30...1:30... no elders. so i called the assistants in singapore and asked if there was some mix up or something. nope, they'd flown out of singapore at 9:30 as planned, so they were either lost or dead. poop. they told us to wait for another hour and then call them back...3:00... no elders. i called elder daines back and he told me that they were still at the airport and that the zone leaders would go pick them up and bring them to KL sentral. i don't know why they didn't just tell the new elders how to take the express train, because the zone leaders didn't even get to KL sentral until about 4:30 and then they had to take the train to KLIA (30 minute ride), find them, and then bring them back to KLS. crazy! we didn't get out of there until almost 7:00! i ate A LOT of mcdonalds and dunkin doughnuts that day. but they finally made it and everything was ok. my companion's name is elder Kartchner from St. David, Arizona. if you've never heard of St. David, don't feel bad. he only had 480 people in his school (K-12). he's a cowboy and is pretty big into country music... and can you say CULTURE SHOCK? he didn't hardly say a single word the first two days we were together. he's a very quiet guy... and i am not. he's started to be more social the last couple of days though. he's a good teacher. i made him teach me all of lesson one by himself during companion study today and he did really well. training is awesome.

other than training, not very much has happened. we're still teaching a ton of people and i love it! second day elder K and i were together (his first full day) we taught 13 lessons and got 7 new investigators. that's not too shabby. the work is going well here and i am very fortunate to be a part of something this amazing.

i got a hilarious email from chelsie today. she's in Nepal now and emailed me about how strange nepal is. she said it's really dirty and cars don't stop for people, the buildings and old and nasty and it wreaks. HAHAHA! welcome to malaysia chels! oh man, it made me so happy to hear that. you honestly can't know what it's like until you've experienced it. i love malaysia. at first i thought it was absolutely vile, bit it's really grown on me the five months (almost) that i've been here. i hope i get the chance to go to east malaysia eventually. i hear it's very different from here.

i'm doing extremely well and am well provided for. thanks everyone for the prayers. pray for all the missionaries everywhere to be able to find people. there's so many people that need to hear the gospel. it's a never-ending task! there are so many people! no matter how many people you talk to, you never run out! and everyone needs to hear it! it can get pretty daunting sometimes, but continue to pray for people everywhere to be able to find the missionaries... and don't be afraid to open YOUR mouths either. it's amazing.

send my love to everyone. be safe. tell TJ seven stitches in a chin is sissy compared to a shattered and profusely bleeding nose. just look at the picture in the album.

Love,Elder Troxel

PS: i forgot to ask if whitney got the package i sent her. i sure hope so, because it was awesome... and it has my SD card in it. have you sent me my first one back yet? because i haven't gotten it... and i've received both packages you sent

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Every new beginning comes from some other beginnings end!

dear family,

this week has been so helter skelter. EP can't believe he's leaving tomorrow. that is pretty weird. four months has gone by so fast. what's even crazier is that i'll have been on my mission for six months come august 6th!!! whoa. turns out that you are supposed to burn a tie at your six month mark, a shirt at your year mark, slacks at your 18 month mark, and your whole suit at two years... i've already got my tie picked out =)

so i didn't get any email from you this week, but no worries. you went a long time without missing a week. elder pace has only gotten a couple emails from home the whole time he's been out, so i'm really lucky. hopefully i'll get an uber-email next week to make up for it. i got one from scott and he gave me some good advice about training. in speaking of training, my new companion gets in on friday! i've done a bit of digging to find out a little bit about who he is and some things about him and this is what i've found: his name might be elder Kartchner and he should be arriving in KL sometime on friday. yeah, they don't really tell us much here... so the plan for the rest of the week is that EP will pack today, elder Plant (from Ipoh) will come stay with us tonight while he waits for his greenie to fly in, and we all will go to KL sentral tomorrow to drop off EP. Elder Plant will then be my companion for the rest of the day and we will head back to KL Sentral (yes, central is spelled with an "S" here, it's not a typo) friday to pick up our companions! then we get back to work.

We're having a baptism interview tonight for a guy from nepal named Dev. he's been on date before, but didn't show up for his baptism... we've resolved his concerns now and hopefully this time will be a little bit better. we set four more baptism dates last night and that brings the grand total to 15 people on date. of those 15 people, 9 of those are for july. of those nine though, probably only 5 will actually make it. it should be a really busy month.

WEEKLY REVELATION: this one has 2 parts: 1-even though roasted marshmallows are delicious, roasting them on a butter knife over the stove probably isn't the best idea. 2-no matter how delicious the mallow remnants look on the knife after you eat the roasted marshmallow, you must remember that the knife is still scolding hot. it really put a damper on the rest of my day, i'll tell you that much. it's not very fun to eat anything when you've got the shape of a knife burned into your tongue. not even Mcdonalds sunday cones taste good!

so missions really do funny things to your mind. i can't even believe how much i've learned, but i've also forgotten a lot. if you could send me a list of everyone's birthdays and how old everybody is, that would be great. little things like that seem to have slipped my memory and been replaced with other things... but seriously, a birthday list is a necessity.

also, i think i'm losing the arch in my feet. they kinda hurt...the work continues here in Malaysia. everything is wonderful. i'm in good hands and working my buns off. and despite my best efforts and working out twice daily, i'm still fat =(

i love you all. be safe.
elder troxel

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Big News!

dear family,

so i'm not going to tell you my big news for a few paragraphs, just so i can let the suspense build! i'm so excited though. way to step up on the emails this week fam! definitely the best week of emails i've had. chelsie's was especially good. tell her thanks and everything is fantastic! to be honest, i was really disappointed to have missed whitney's recital. that was the last thing i thought i would miss. don't tell anyone this, but mom's description of whitney's solo brought some tears to my eyes... don't think to much of it though. i probably just had something in my eye. she is amazing though. i think josh groban described it best, "even her shadow has grace."

so i gave my first training in district development meeting yesterday. it was a bit helter skelter, but i put a lot of effort into the preparation and i think everybody got something good out of it. this week has been really busy. we've been teaching so many people, we haven't had hardly any time for tracting. we've met a few potentials while traveling to appointments, but this week was pretty full of appointments with our investigators with dates. we have A LOT. it's so awesome. it's too bad things will be changing... wait, what? that's right, Elder Palfreyman is getting transferred to Bintulu! that's pretty poopy because he's such a stud and i love working with him, but i am excited for my new companion. i know what you're thinking, "who could he possibly be?" I have no idea because I'M TRAINING! i'm so pumped! i'm going to be a senior companion! that's so crazy! he'll get to singapore a week from today and i'll pick him up from the airport on friday. looks like i'll be in klang for a little bit longer. that's my big news.

WEEKLY REVELATION: don't ever try to out-monkey a monkey. it's a bit of a long story, but on the way to the bus stop there is sometimes a monkey chained to a tree. it's always a highlight of my day when i get to see him. this last week i was feeling cocky so i decided to taunt him as we passed. i said something that i thought was pretty clever and he responded like a champ. he put his foot under his chin and spanked himself at me! as if this wasn't humiliating enough, as i turned to walk away he jumped on the branch that was above me and shook it so all of the water (it had just rained) fell off the leaves onto my head. i was soaked. elder palfreyman thought it was pretty funny. stupid monkey.

it's good to hear that scott is getting well. by the time i get home that puppy won't be a puppy anymore ( i love puppies. how's kimberly doing with the baby? when is she due again? have they decided on a name yet? i vote for jackson. congrats to michael and his new job. that awesome. he wrote me a pretty funny letter about some of the people that he worked with at the other branch. it was pretty funny. whitney rae! why did you not tell me you had a boyfriend?! you crazy girl.

please continue to pray for me and for the work. i'll need it in the coming months i have a feeling. i really am so excited to train, but it's going to be hard. all of a sudden i'm responsible! i'll whip that greenie into shape. wait, i'm still a greenie! dang it. can you believe i've been out for almost five months?! where does the time go?

anywho, i love you all and pray for you every day. stay safe and all that jazz. pray for missionary experiences. there's nothing better in the world.

elder troxel

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I Bloody Hate Computers!

dear family,

this is my third time writing this email. the stupid computer has kicked me out twice now, both times after having writen for almost a half hour. i hate technology! i haven't been this angry in a long time.but it's all good. it's going to be an extremely short email though. sorry

everything is excellent here. good week. elder palfreyman got dear johned though. i won't name names, but his girlfriend (alyssa marie caserio) has been dating another guy since december and hasn't told him. what did he expect though? everybody get's dear johned. it's only a matter of where and when. i love missions! he's been dragging a bit, but the best way to keep your mind off of things is hard work, which i love, so it's been a good week so far.

whitney, i know there is something you're not telling me! i got a very interesting letter from chelsie in which she told me that you had something important to tell me... I FEEL LIKE I'M TAKING CRAZY PILLS! what is it?! i had better have an email next week telling me what happened!

it's good to hear that everyone is good. tell scott that i was going to email him back today, but i've spent the whole time wrestling with this stupid bad word of a computer the whole time, so i'll write him a letter instead. it'll be there in a couple of weeks.

i really am sorry that this email is so short, but you just gotta role with the punches. in speaking of punches, i have a confession to make. remember last thanksgiving when i came back from the turkey bowl with my face pretty much smashed in? well, the truth is, it wasn't from football. it was from rittmanic and i boxing the night before. you should've seen it though! what a fight! he head butted me in the face and crushed my skull at the end of the third round to end the fight. what a dirty move! cheater. but there you go. i waited until now to tell you so that mom wouldn't get all mad and take my boxing gloves away =) don't worry, the crack in my skull is pretty much fully healed.

the work here is so awesome! it's the craziest mission ever! i feel like i'm a spy. we've got 13 people on date for baptism and we set an average of two dates a week. july is going to be crazy if i don't get transferred. transfers will be at the beginning of july and will effect 30 companionship's! that's more than half the missionaries in this mission! dang it's a good thing i can type so darn fast. that's crazy! pray that i get to train. i really want to.

i'm doing great. i love you all. the work goes on.
elder troxel

ps-if ariel refuses to write to elder palfreyman, then tell her to at least write to me.

Mission Field Pictures