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.

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, 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 :)

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 :)

Mission Field Pictures