Jordan's Mission Apartments

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Presidents and Passports

Dear family,

this week has been phenomenal. i freaking love KK! everything about it. there's been some pretty crazy things that have happened though. Sunday was district conference. the branches from sandakan and Tawau came to KK, along with the senior couples from both of those areas, president skelton, and Elder and Sister Jones from Sibu (they came because Elder Jones is the first counselor in the mission presidency. it was good to see them, seeing as i've been away from sibu for so long ;). anywho, the couple from sandakan's name is the Morreys. apparently on their way back to sandakan, somewhere between the hotel and the airport, sister morrey's purse was stolen. what makes things really poopy is that both of the morrey's passports were in there :( bad news. so they were going to try and go to KL to the embassy there and get things worked out. one of the elders from sandakan, elder stone, was going to go on a visa run with elder kunioka this week and his companion was going to stay with the morreys, but because all of this happened, elder stone's companion, elder Barlow, is with me now. i'll probably be flying to sandakan on friday to do a baptism interview there. we don't usually go there, because elder morrey will usually do the interviews. it's too much of a bother to fly there whenever we need to do an interview, but i guess we'll just have to do it until the morreys can get back, which who knows how long that will be.

we got some exciting news though. a new mission president has been called! he will report in singapore July 1, 2009. his name is President Clark. he's a dentist from TACOMA, WASHINGTON! i bet grandma and grandpa probably know him, or at least know of him. i thought that was pretty cool. it's going to be really sad losing president skelton though. i really like the way he runs things.

anywho, on to the questions:

1. (Are the attached photos your building?) yep, that's marina court and that sunset is what i get to see every day. not from the apartment though, because by the time we get home at night, it's already dark. but the pool is a little bit different now. i don't know when that picture was taken, but they've changed it a little bit. not that it matters, we can't swim in it anyway ;(

2. (Can you confirm your address?) the address that you wrote down is right. you don't need to put "api api center", but it doesn't matter, you can. you just add on "block D, room 701" you can send things straight here.

3. (Michael would like pictures of the mongs?) that question was a declaratory statement. i don't know how to answer that.

4. (Have you regained your composure from eating 4 meals in one evening?) i don't think i'll ever recover from that. i have been making good use of the gym though. i'm still gemuk, but hopefully soon we'll start to see it hilang...

5. (Mom's questions: So how is your new area? Are you able to do much teaching now with all your new responsibilities, or do you just go on splits and help teach the other elders' investigators?) my area is so awesome. we've got a ton of referrals we need to contact, and we have at least 2 members follow us everywhere all day every day. and we do just as much teaching as i've done in my other areas. we only have to do exchanges once every six weeks with each district leader, so it's not too bad. i'm assuming we'll be pretty busy around zone conference time, but we still do get a lot of teaching in. our first baptism will be the seventh of march.

michael buble is playing in the email place right now. i haven't heard him in more that a year... weird.

so i haven't heard anything from TJ, Michael, or Scott since Christmas... tell them that i'm not going to bring them home any sweet treasures from the island of Borneo if i don't start getting some dang emails.

um, i think that's everything. i love you all.

elder troxel

PS. Jordan's address will be as follows:

Jordan Troxel (no title of Elder please)
Block D, Room 701
Marina Court Resort Condominium,
Api-Api Centre, 88000 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
East Malaysia, Malaysia

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

What Accomodations!!

After looking at these picture, my other sons will weep. They were struggling with how nice some of the places that Jordan has stayed, but this takes the cake.
If you would like more info on this luxury condo complex click on this link... prices and availability vary depending on the owner.

Kota Kinabalu (KK)

Dear Family,

so, this week was pretty crazy. my last few days in sibu were filled with visiting recent converts, dinner appointments, and getting things ready for this transfer. sunday was really good. when i arrived at church, i had no intention (nor did i have any desire) to speak in sacrament meeting. but thanks to elder paul, i got dragged into it. if it were in english, i'd have no problem, but i was really nervous to do it in malay. my malay is decent, i can teach and talk to people, but in a more formal setting i wasn't sure how i would do. thank heavens for the gift of tongues. it turned out alright and i survived. sunday night was out of control though. we had not one, not two, not even three, but FOUR dinner appointments in a row. GOO! by the time we finished, i just wanted to curl up and cry. unfortunately though, i couldn't curl up... i couldn't even bend down. i just had to lay there and weep. i got some cool gifts and stuff. i'll send some of them home for you.

so, i'd heard that KK was a beautiful place. i had no idea. it was like entering the celestial kingdom! we stay in a place called Marina Court. they are right on the ocean and our balcony view is gorgeous. i love our study room. words can't even describe our apartment. i'll just have to sent you pictures so you can see for yourself. the gym isn't the most amazing, but heck, it's a gym! my pecks are so sore that it's even hard to type... and i am loving it.

anywho, i could go on for hours, but i'll just answer your questions i guess.

1. (Are you a zone leader?) yes

2. (Is the picture of a beautiful chapel on your blog the real deal?) yes

well, that was easy this week :) no, but i didn't even know what chapel that was because i haven't been to ours yet, but elder Kunioka has confirmed it, that really is our chapel. the first chapel in malaysia was built here. i'm really excited. i've heard that the branch is way good. i'm met five or six members, and they are fantastic. i think the problem in this area in the past is just that missionaries haven't been using them. but we've got some really good investigators right now and we'll have some baptisms coming up next week, so i'm pretty excited.

so funny story: we were teaching an older chinese lady (by older i mean older than me. she's like 35 i think), but she had some pretty big issues and couldn't be baptized until some things changed, so we pretty much dropped her temporarily until she worked some things out. but she got word that was my last sunday, so she came to church. not only did she come, but she brought me a present. i was really surprised, but after saying my goodbyes to her, i opened it. i thought for sure it was going to be some kind of sweet iban stuff, because it was wrapped in iban paper and all of her friends are way good at making iban things. it wasn't cool iban stuff. i tore off the paper, and found 3 pairs of bikini style underwear staring me in the face. not just whitie tighties, but the real deal Mongs. thank you sister Nancy (not really her name).

i've seen like 5 white people since i've been here and it's really freaking me out.

um, i think that's pretty much it... i can't really think of anything else. sorry if i missed something. just continue to ask me and eventually i'll remember. i love you all.

Elder Troxel

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

It's a Bugs Life!

In addition to receiving Jordan's email, this week we also received his memory card from his camera. There were many videos on the card, but this had to be one of the more interesting. This one is for all of you entomologists out there! What the heck is it?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Island of Borneo: Land of the Head Hunters

dear family,

i can't believe whitney's senior piece is over! the event that she has talked about for as long as i can remember has come and gone. it sounds like it almost didn't take off, but she turned it into something amazing. that, i've found, is a huge test of character, to take a situation that seems to be the pits, not at all the way you want it to be, and turn it into something to be proud of. it's a difficult thing to do, but i am extremely proud of her. i find myself in the same situation at the moment actually. i'll explain...when i left Klang, i was ready to leave. i felt like i had done what i had been sent there to do and it was time to move on. then they whitewashed us into Sibu (that means that both you and your companion come in at the same time and start with nothing), and we have had a lot of success. now just at the time when things are up and rolling, they take me out of beautiful Sibu and put me into Kota Kinabalu! yes, yes, it's true. transferred again! not only will i be going into my third area, but i will be whitewashing my third area. heavens to betsy! is there no end to the madness! oh man, i love being on a mission. but leaving Sibu is really hard. i've met some amazing people and made a lot of really close friends.

i found out about this whole thing on monday afternoon. i will be leaving next monday, and my new companion will be Elder Kunioka from Hawaii. it's funny, but i actually got to go on exchanges with him this week. now i'm going to be his companion. he's way cool, but i'll only be with him for a maximum of 2 months, which is when he goes home. Elder Watkins will be staying here and training a new elder from Australia. there are a lot of cool things about going to KK though. for instance, apparently the zone leader apartment is really nice. it is right on the beach and it has a gym! oh, i cannot even tell you how much i need a gym. Elder Semana's family is in KK and another family that was in Klang Branch while i was there, so i already know some people. I'll get to go on exchanges all over sabah, including Sandakan which is where the Orangutans are. hopefully i'll get to see some. everyone's malay is supposed to be really good in Sabah, so i'll be able to improve my malay a lot there. but the down sides are that i'll be leaving the most amazing place in the world, the most amazing branch in the world, and the most amazing people in the world. there aren't any Ibans in Sabah :( i'll be whitewashing for the third time, but i've got a lot of experience now doing it, and this is elder Kunioka's 2nd time in KK, so at least he knows the members.

(note from Scott: I found this picture of the Chapel in KK on Google Earth. Some diligent missionary apparently has documented his mission. If you're curious it's located just off the lower right corner of the above map.)

all in all, it's a very bitter sweet move. i'll be leaving the most successful area in the mission going to one that hasn't had very much lately. i'll have a lot more responsibility, but with the Lord's help i'll be able to bear the burden well. anywho, that's enough about the silly transfer.

I got a beautiful package this last week. and when i opened it, my heart almost burst when i saw the contents. that football hasn't left my side since i opened the package (except when i'm out teaching). there are only a couple crunch bars left, and the doughnuts were all moldy, but i tried them anyway. they weren't very good. thank you so much.

in speaking of football, i'm afraid my football dreams are slowly fading away. i would LOVE to play when i get back, but i won't be back in time to start the winter semester, which means i will have to wait an entire year until i can even try out, which means i will be 22! that is old. almost too old be a walk-on. we'll just have to see how things go i guess.

when i came to sibu, i thought, "yes, i'll finally lose this belly i've gained." nope, it's doubled at least. it's because we never have time to eat dinner while we're out because we're always teaching, so we'll eat when we get home, right before bed. BAD IDEA. i'm a chub duck. no worries though, it's just more of me to love, right?

i'm glad mom got the package. sister helen was so excited to make the necklace. i've got some more cool stuff, but i can't send it home, so you'll just have to wait until i bring it myself.

the year mark was good. both elder pace and i burned a shirt. it almost ended up disastrous, but that is a story for a different time ;)

TJ promised me a letter when i talked to him, but it must've gotten lost in the mail...i hope everyone is well. this is the first week that i haven't been updated on mom's knee, so i'm assuming that is a good sign. anywho, keep on truckin' everybody.

Elder Troxel

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The View from the Top

dear family,

wow. i cannot believe it's been one year. aww!! i'm coming to the top of the hill and looking back, the climb to this point went way too fast and now it's just downhill. it's sad to think that i'm half way done. i've accomplished so little. but there is another year in front of me and i want to see malaysia go up in flames in these next 12 months! (not literally, but more like spiritual flames). i've got a lot of goals that i'm less than half way to accomplishing, so i'll have to pick it up. in speaking of flames, i'll be burning a shirt sometime this next week. i've got plenty that i wouldn't mind burning because they're so nasty, but i'll just pick the worst one.

this week has been a good one. on saturday we had 5 more baptisms. it was awesome because 3 of them were kids of this epic recent convert family and 2 others were some of the first investigators we had in this area. so with those baptisms that brings our January total to 16. that's the same amount as i had the entire time i was in klang. The Lord is preparing so many people here we almost can't keep up with all of the people that want to learn. we've been extremely blessed to be put here.

Elder Watkins and i got word the other day that we are companionship of the month. we don't get anything except our name in the mission newsletter and a bunch of phone calls from other missionaries, but it's gratifying none the less. i've got a little bit of a feeling that i'm not going to be here all that much longer though. there will be transfers next week i think and i'm hoping my name won't be on the list. but i'll keep you updated.

i got to give the training at DDM yesterday. The title of the training was "The Faith to See." most of it was based off of D&C 42:48-52, but there was a lot more also. i learned so much preparing it. faith is probably the deepest doctrine there is, so it was really fun studying it all last week.
i'd heard that after chinese new year, the rain always stopped and there weren't any more floods... everyone was wrong. it was amazing that we had anybody at church this week, because all of town was under about 4 feet of water. the only day that elder watkins and i came home at night dry in the last week was yesterday. i got some good pictures of the flood. it's horrible for these people though. everyone had about 2 feet of water in their house. most people only live in one room, so it's not like they can move their things upstairs or anything, so everything just gets ruined. we got a call saturday morning at about 7:30 from a way awesome sister named Helen requesting that we bring her some garbage bags. i was really confused why, until she told me that they had 2 feet of water in their house and that they needed some way to keep things dry. it hadn't rained hard for a few days, so i was flabbergasted when i saw how high the flood was in town. i guess it just came from the river, because it wasn't from rain. we started to ride our bikes through it, but realized that it wasn't a very good idea when the water reached our handle bars. (ps-floods aren't good for bikes). we got to her house and she requested that we help her husband, Lajang, lift his motorcycle to higher ground... uh... ok. we did it, but it wasn't the easiest task i've ever had to accomplish, that's for sure. we carried his motorcycle about 200 yards to a parking lot that was on a lot higher ground. apuh! but we saved it and it started, so job well done.
(Note from Dad: Click on the pictures for the full size view!)

spring cleaning was this morning. we do a really thorough cleaning of our houses quarterly on a p-day. it's amazing how dirty a house can get after only 3 months of living in it. but no worries, it's dazzlingly clean now.
i'm gunna try to attach some pictures and maybe a video onto this email from elder watkin's camera. but if it doesn't work, no worries, because you'll see it anyway when i send my card home again.
anywho, i think that's just about it. i love it here. sibu was made for me. elder pace and i have decided that when they want us to leave here, we're just going to hide in the jungle and become rogue missionaries, going from village to village crying repentance to the people. and grow beards.
i love you all. keep on truckin'.

elder troxel

PS-the baptisms picture is the one from this last week

Mission Field Pictures