Jordan's Mission Apartments

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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Kong Si Fat Chye!!

Note from Dad: Sorry I can't translate the title, I tried Chinese, Malay, and Indonesian

dear family,

this week was nuts! in case you weren't aware, this last week (monday) was chinese new year. it was HUGE! i've never seen anything like it. i thought that the stadium of fire was a good firework show, but chinese new year puts the fourth of july to shame. it was incredible. the fireworks started about 6:00 on sunday night. there was just a few here and there until about 9:00, when they really got going. when we went to sleep at 11:00, it was like a war zone! i didn't think i was going to be able to sleep... but i eventually dozed off for a few minutes, only to be woken up at about ten to midnight. i wish you could have seen it. our house was shaking from all of the booms. the sky was on fire, or at least it looked like it because you couldn't even see the fireworks through all the smoke. i'm glad that i'll have one more while i'm on my mission. i loved it.

in speaking of that, i found out my death date! February 10, 2010! wow, that is not very far off at all. in just over a week i'll reach the crest, and it'll all be downhill from there. it goes too fast! everybody says the second year goes a lot faster than the first, but i don't know if that's possible. it has flown by.

anywho, we had a baptism last saturday for the husband of a lady who got baptized about three months ago. it was really cool... until we went by another investigator's house later sunday night and found him and the brand new recent convert with big old bottles of beer in front of them. wow. that was the worst. if i thought getting dear johned was bad, i had no idea what disappointment really was. he had just been confirmed about six hours before, and there he was. poopy. it's almost as bad that the investigator he was with was supposed to be baptized with his family next week, but now has to wait. we also walked in on two more investigators with baptism dates breaking the word of wisdom that day and the next, bringing the total to four! guess what we'll be teaching a lot of this week... word of wisdom baby!

elder watkins and i had the first bike wreck of our companionship this week. we were riding through town, and went to go into this little apartment building. to go in, you have to go over a little bit of a bridge that, if it rains at all, is always flooded. that day it happened to be under about a foot of water. i remembered that there was a hole in the bridge, and was able to avoid it. thinking that elder watkins would follow without a problem, i just continued on... i didn't even hear the splash. i stopped to talk to some people who were just inside, when i heard a cry from behind me. i looked back, and elder watkins was lying spread eagle in the water and his bike was completely under. it was really funny. needless to say, he didn't remember the hole and went straight into it. his front tire sunk down in and flipped him right into the flood. good times.

good to hear that whitney's dance is going to be good. make sure dad films it with his new camera. i'll really like to see it in just over a year 3D)

i haven't received any birthday package yet, but i hope it gets here soon. oh, and mom's birthday package is finally ready! i'll either send it today or tomorrow, so you can expect it in a couple of weeks. i sent my sd card home last week, so you should get that pretty soon. there are some really good pictures and videos on there.

i'm doing well here. i don't exactly know how, but i continue to just get fatter and fatter. but the work is going well. elder watkins have a goal to have at least one baptism every week until one of us gets transferred. that shouldn't be for a while, so it will be quite and accomplishment if we can do it. we have dates for every week until the end of february right now, but none for march. we might have 5 this week, but probably only three.

i hope everyone is healthy and happy.

i love you all,
elder troxel

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Golden Birthday

dear family,

well i'm officially 20 years old now. i had an epic birthday, too. elder pace and i went out in my area yesterday and we taught a ton of new referrals from our recent converts. we set two baptism dates, and there will be a lot more to come. this week (monday through today) has been amazing. we only had 5 new investigators last week, so the zone leaders commitment to us this week was to double it. well, on monday we ended up with 18 new investigators, and yesterday we had five more. i was starting to get worried because we've been running out of people to teach, but the Lord has again blessed us in abundance. i never want to leave sibu.

we got a new couple this week. we really needed a new one, because with the branch splitting there are going to be a lot of people who need to be trained in leadership. they are from Missouri and their names are Elder and Sister Paul. they are completely shell shocked. Americans are so funny. i hope i wasn't like that when i came into the field. it would probably be a lot harder as a senior couple though. all of us are going over there after this to play "mafia." if you don't know what that game is, you are really missing out. we'll play it when i get back. but the Pauls are really nice and they live really close to elder Watkins and i. hopefully they'll adjust on to the questions:

1. i haven't gotten any birthday package yet, but i'll be sure and tell you as soon as i get it.

2. yeah, about the wiring of money... probably what i will do is i'll just have elder Pace draw out my money when he goes to singapore next week. i have no idea how i would go about wiring money, but it sounds like a long and grueling process that i don't especially want to bother with, so if elder pace can't do it, i'll just wait. it's not too urgent.

3. no, i just wore the long sleeved shirt that i have. it's not in great condition, but it worked. as far as my pants go, they weren't doing to hot... until this last week. elder watkins was spending quite a bit of time in the bathroom because of some personal issues, so i had some time to do some sewing. i'm not very good, but i was able to fix all the holes. they aren't very pretty (it probably would have helped if i would've used the same colored thread), but they'll do.

4. unfortunately, i think the floods are over. pitty, because they really were pretty fun. i'm used to being soaked all the time. starting from the time when we left our house yesterday to the time when we got home, i was soaked. no biggy. there are a few dangers about being wet all the time though, most of which i won't discuss, but i have been lucky not to have any problems. one of the down sides of the rainy season though is that i haven't seen the sky in more than a week.

that's pretty much it... we're still working hard, and everything is still moving. i can't believe we're approaching the end of january already. i'm almost on the down-hill side :( it's going way too fast, and i don't think it's going to slow down at all. but, "come what may, and love it." stay safe and be good... yeah.

elder troxel
(who is no longer a teenager)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Sorry for the short email!

dear family,

finally! i've been spending forever trying to get this dang computer to let me respond, and at last it is working. unfortunately though, it doesn't leave me with much time, so i'll get right into answering the questions:

1. (What was the correct translation for your message to your mother?) haha, you got quite a few of the words right dad, but most of the meaning was wrong... i'm surprised by your effort though. i can't tell you the exact meaning (mostly because i don't remember exactly what i said), but mom's birthday package will be there hopefully before the end of february. the rest of it was mixed with iban, so that's why you couldn't find the meaning. i love iban, but it's pretty hard to speak.

2. (Any luck on finding a way to wire you money?) oh yeah... i was supposed to do that, huh?

3. (How is the language coming?) the language is coming really well. the hardest things to get is tenses of verbs and things. you add on prefixes and suffixes to change tenses of verbs, and i'm not very good at that, but it's coming along slowly. the most important language is the language of the spirit though, and everyone can understand that :)

4. (How long has Elder Watkins been out in the mission field?) elder watkins is only a couple months older than me in the field. i think he went into the MTC december 19th. he's the oldest one in our zone though, so we've got a way young zone.

5. (Any word on transfers and when would the next ones most likely be?) we have no idea when or where transfers will come, but elder sederholm thinks that i'm the next one to leave. i wouldn't expect any changes until the end of february at the very earliest. president skelton isn't one to make changes when areas are doing well. the longest he's kept someone in one area was 14 months, so i'm hoping to break the record.

6. (How much longer does Pres. Skelton have to serve?) president skelton leaves in july, so i'll have 6 months with a new president. it's going to be really sad to see him go, he is the best.

this last week was so good! we had a couple baptisms, we set some more dates, and we went down to kuching for mission tour because elder Hollstrom of the 70 came and spoke to us. it was really good.sibu was all but completely under water this week. even our street had about six inches of water on it. i'm sending home my sd card tomorrow, so you'll be able to see the pictures of how high it was. epic.s

ibu is fantastic. everything is going really well. i'm sorry this one is so short, but i've gotta get going. i love you all. stay safe and sound.

elder troxel

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Every New Beginning

dear family,

this week has been a very interesting one. the Lord continues to bless us with many people to teach. in the little over two months that i've been here, the number of people that i have taught who have been baptized has nearly doubled. we continue to work hard and pray hard that this won't just be a tidal wave with a lot of nothing behind it. right now we still are finding people and hopefully the success will continue in the months ahead.

i really liked the emails today. it's crazy that mom is already back at work! it seemed like forever last time before she was able to go back and work again. hang in there mom. it's funny, the things that you described in your email are the same things that i have been learning in the year that i've been out:

first of all, that my parents (and whole family for that matter) are proof that heavenly father knows and loves me. you always been there for me in everything i've ever done. i can only remember one time when mom missed any one of my sporting events, and that was only because she had just had her gallbladder removed. not very many people can say that about their parents. you've stood by me in everything i've every done and i am completely a product of your dedication. without you two i wouldn't be here. because of your example, look at what has happened; you've had four sons go on missions and i'm convinced that thousands of people and families will benefit from your faithfulness and your example. you can't even imagine the how far the ripples are going and will continue to go. i'm so grateful for that.

second, like you said mom, satan does take every possible chance to make you feel inadequate and worthless. he'll hit any hole he can get and run as far as he can with it. i've especially felt that in the last week. sometimes things just get messed up and hard to deal with it. i teach everyday that Christ has felt all the pains and trials we've gone through so that he can "know how to succor his people", but until i had a really tough trial i didn't know to what extent. i can't really put into words how this last week has been, but i am very grateful for the Atonement and how personal it is.

Third, there are so many good people who live their lives the best they possibly can and are "kept from the truth only because they know not where to find it." i really wish i could just stay here forever. i know how alma felt when he talked about how he wished that he was angel so that he could declare the word to the whole world. there's so many people that need to hear. no matter how hard i try to talk to every person i see (even those i have to run down on bikes), i'll never get to everyone. but i am grateful to play the small part that i play in this work.

Fourth, that trials never get any easier, no matter how many times you experience them. in fact, i'm coming to realize that the more you grow and progress, the harder and harder they get. but as long as we keep on truckin' and put our trust in the Savior, he'll make of us what he wants us to was a really good email mom. thanks :)

on to the question's from dad's email:

1. (Do you have a refrigerator? If not I guess you don’t store any fresh fruit of veggies? What about milk?) yeah, we've got a fridge... it's more like a freezer. no matter how low i turn the temperature down, everything continues to freeze. and i miss real milk so much! the milk here is just this uber-pasteurized nast. but it does slightly resemble milk, so i still use it with my cereal. but i miss the creamery.

2. (Have you heard anything about parents being instructed not to pick up their missionaries?) i haven't heard anything, but i'm pretty sure it's still optional. as long as it doesn't turn into a huge deal, i see nothing wrong with it. but if it comes from the first presidency, that's different. keep looking and let me know what you find.

3. (Do you spray paint your bikes to make them less of a target?) yeah, i put a sweet paint job on my bike just the other day actually. i don't know why or how it happened, but i've become more of a perfectionist on my mission. things have to be nice and straight, well planned, clean, and organized. what the? who am i?! but i spent forever taping up my bike to the paint job would be really nice, and then after i did it, i realized that it looked even better that it did before and had to paint over it.

4. (Is there a bank in your area that we could wire you some money?) i'll check on it.

5. (Is your house on stilts?) no, here there are two different kinds of houses. rumah batu and rumah kayu (cement houses and wood houses). the cement houses are all built on nicer higher ground, while the wood ones are built on stilts usually where it floods.

6. (I hear that snakes can be a problem in flood waters, have you seen any snakes swimming in the flood waters?) unfortunately, i haven't seen any snakes :( only monitor lizards.

welp, i think that's just about everything. thanks again for the emails. i hope everyone is masih sihat dan sangat gembira (still healthy and very happy). jika saya boleh hantar kamu sesuatu, beritahu saya dan saya akan cuba (If I send you a note, to let you know and you will try). saya ada sesuatu yang sangat istimewa untuk hari jadi Ibu! (You have a note for that special day for your birth) tapi dia mesti tunggu sedikit, sebab itu akan dantang lewat sikit (But she must wait a little bit because it is late). dan jika sulu saya mahu tahu, aku masih mencinai di (and if you want to know, I still ____ at). saya harap kamu tidak ada kamus untuk baca ini (hope your not having to use a dictionary to read this).

Note from Dad: In the end I think he is trying to say he is sending LuAnn her birthday card and it might be a bit late, and in his way wish her a happy birthday by making me translate all of this, as much as I can tell...ask someone from Malaysia to translate it for a better reading.

elder troxel

Monday, January 5, 2009

New Bikes

Jordan was pleased with the new bikes they just received

Tour of the Sibu House

Join Jordan on a tour of the house/apartment in Sibu

Mission Field Pictures