Jordan's Mission Apartments

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Dust in the Wind

dear family,

thank you for the emails, i enjoyed them a lot. it's bad news that whitney is sick though. we've been hearing a ton about something called "swine flu" or "slime flu" or something like that. everyone keeps saying that it's a huge deal in the states, so i hope it's nothing to do with that. that wouldn't be any fun, especially if the name really is "slime flu." i can only imagine what that would entail. i sincerely hope it isn't mono, but if it is... GOOD WORK WHITNEY! just kidding, it had better not be. you just tell those creeps to keep their bibir jauh dari kamu!

work this week has been good, as always. Elder Tuckfield had been working on a training for awhile, and finally got to give it yesterday. it was about faith. i pretty much gave the same training when i was in sibu, but this one was tailored to fit the concerns here in kuching. mostly, the moral of the training was that we need to have more faith in what is possible in our areas. i thought it went extremely well, and i'm hoping we'll start to see some things change.

the crazy part of the week happened on monday. i live in an apartment with 3 other missionaries: my companion and the chinese elders- Elder Roberts and Elder Bickmore. Elder Bickmore has been having some health problems that probably shouldn't be mentioned in this email, seeing as there has always been a lack of editing before my emails are pasted on the blog... but needless to say, i do not envy him. he'd been to the doctor, and they'd given him some medicine that was supposed to take care of the problem. doctors in malaysia are just about as good as the mail service in malaysia, so it's no surprise that the medicine didn't have any effect. anywho, he called president on monday to talk with him about it. president told him not to worry about it, that he'd think it over and give him a call back later that night. well, i got a call from the assistants about 15 minutes later and they told me that they would be shipping him to singapore the next morning! he gave us a call last night and told us that he's 98% sure that he's going home for surgery! poor guy. you could tell that he was nervous to be getting the surgery, but he's excited to get to see his family and stuff. there's actually been 3 or four missionaries that have had to go home for similar reasons, but they always come back out after they recover, so i'm sure we'll see him again in a couple months. it was pretty wild though, in less than 24 hours, he went from being in kuching to having to go home! i don't know if i would be able to handle that. it would be extremely difficult. let's just hope i stay healthy! however, for about a week or more now, i've been having some pain in my shoulder, and it's slowly getting worse. it feels like it may be an issue with my rotator cuff, but i don't know. maybe i've just slept on it wrong every night for the last week. if it continues to get worse though, i may have to see somebody about it. i hope it isn't the slime flu. i don't know what the symptoms are.

mike christensen is getting married?! that is crazy lah! why do people do such things?

thank you Dad, Whitney, and Scott for devouring some spaghetti with clam sauce in my behalf. i won't soon forget it.

so sarah christensen's brother mike is coming here, is he? i actually used to be pretty good friends with him back in the day. that will be fun. September seems so far away, but what the freak, it's going to be May in two days! i don't even know what to think anymore. that is probably the most discouraging thing for me. it just goes too fast. Frost is home, and andrew will be going home in like 3 months! Jackson is already home, and Houston should be home soon if he isn't already. in speaking of Jackson, have you heard anything about him? he should have gotten home in january.

about SKYPE... we asked the assistants about it, and they asked president. SKYPE by itself is ok, but no webcams. that's a bummer, but if you can do it for free, i say we do it! i wouldn't do it in an internet cafe, because all you would hear would be crazy chinese kids playing warcraft shouting profanity in the background. the couples have it though, and they offered to let us use it. i'll tell Elder Young to do a search for you, and then you can just try and do a test call straight to them. that would be way cool, because then i could talk with everybody! (ps, have you asked chelsie if she wants to come?) i had an interesting bit of revelation as to what i may go into as a career. i won't tell you though, because i know mom probably wouldn't like it, but we'll just have to see how things work out if that's really what the Lord wants me to do. but it would be AWESOME!

yeah mom, you were right. there are a lot of things i don't tell you. A LOT. but man do i have some sweet stories to tell you when i get home! yippee!

i'm not surprised that the address i gave you didn't bring anything up on the map, but it will most definitely get the package here. we modified it a bit to make it more specific. i know it'll work because the other elders use the one that i gave you and they get packages all the time. if you look on the map for "Four Points Hotel" in kuching, it's near to there. or maybe you can just try "Village Grove Apartments" or perhaps "BDC" and look for some apartment buildings close to there.

um... i think that's it. i don't really have much more to say. but i love you all. tell everyone that i say hello.

love,elder troxel

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Abs and Orangutans

Dear family,

first off, i would like to extend my sincerest of apologies for the lack email last week. i knew that mom would be freaking out, but the Lord always finds ways to test us and help us to grow mom; just think of it as an opportunity to improve the Christ-like attribute of patience :)

ok, so i'll start from wednesday two weeks ago. elder kunioka and i were really starting to light things on fire in KK. the very next day after my last email to you, we went out and set 11 baptism dates! it was crazy! needless to say, we were really excited; elder kunioka was finishing his mission with a bang, we were getting along great, and everything was just peachy... until friday rolled around (two fridays ago). we had a tele-conference scheduled with all the zone leaders, president skelton, and the assistants. it was pretty boring, but at the very end the assistants announced that they were going to tell us some transfer news. now, i don't know how it is in other missions, but transfers are the most talked about thing here, so everyone was really excited to hear about it. this is how the conversation went:

"ok, the first transfer is Elder Wright is going to KL to be zone leader with Elder Ogden. that means that Elder Grant will be leaving KL and going to KK to be with Elder Kunioka (i thought for sure they just made a mistake, and that they meant to say my name. i mean honestly, he only had one week left). Elder Neil will also be going to KK to be in a three some with Elders Kunioka and Grant (this is when i pooped a bit i think). Elder Troxel will be going to Kuching to be with Elder Tuckfield."

both elder kunioka and i flipped out. the only person who was angrier than i was about this was elder Kunioka. but, after we hung up and got to shout about it for awhile, we cooled off and had a good last couple of days together. it was extremely difficult to leave KK though. even though it's been my shortest area, i got closer to the people there than in any other place where i've served. it was like when i left on my mission, but worse in a lot of ways. i knew when i left home that i would be coming back one day, but it wasn't the same this time. i don't know if i'll ever get to see those people again in this life. it was sad, but the Lord needs me in Kuching... which brings us to this week.

kuching is a cool place, and my new companion, Elder Tuckfield, is equally as good. he's uber-smart. he's only like six months older than me, but he has already finished 2 years at BYU because he graduated from high school when he was 16! yeah, his ACT score was 35... i feel like a moron. but it's good and i'll learn a lot from him. i was a bit surprised when i got here though. historically, Sarawak has been a missionaries dream. the work flies here, and just like in Sibu, people just practically beg to be baptized. Kuching used to be the same way, but much to my surprise, it's not the same way now. having been here for a little over a week now and having talked with the other missionaries, i think i've diagnosed the issue; the missionaries in this zone just have lost their vision of what is possible. i mean that for whatever reason, this whole zone has just become perfectly satisfied with mediocrity. i'll give you an example:

i was reporting with some of the leaders in the districts here, discussing the weekly numbers of the companionship's in this zone. i expressed my concerns and offered one possible way to help motivate the elders for work smarter. i said that i would be willing to take any companionship out to dinner at the restaurant of their choosing if they managed to get 20 member present lessons in one week. when i said this, the other two elders just stared blankly at me for a few moments, and then after some throat clearing said, "wow, that's a bit lofty, don't you think?" i totally felt like that coach in the movie "miracle". but i'm praying that elder tuckfield and i will be able to help turn things around over the next couple months and help Kuching become even more successful than it used to be. just pray for us :)

anywho, you had some questions last week:

1. easter isn't really celebrated in malaysia, not because it's a muslim country, but because the christian population decided that they would rather have a 3 day weekend and chose to make good friday the celebrated holiday. good friday was huge here, but i didn't hear a single mention of easter from anybody. malaysia is such a funny place.

2. well, the hot weather starts around january and lasts until the end of december... with occasional rain.

3. i'm so happy you got the quad for kelvin. he won't even know how to react. sending it to the mission office in singapore would be the best thing, i think. you can get really anything there. but if you could send the package of deodorant to me in kuching ASAP, i would be very grateful. this is my new address:

6E6 Villiage Grove Condominiums
Lorong F BDC Stampin
93200 Kuching, Sarawak

4. no, i haven't gotten it ;( but i'll give the KK elders a call and see if it's gotten there yet.

that's crazy that you had to do a rescue on andrew. i love that kid so much. but what was he thinking? i don't know if you ever met his older brother Ben Martin, but i was pretty good friends with him. he was the seminary president my senior year and is currently serving in London. if you get a chance to see andrew again though, tell him high for me.

oh yeah, do you know what SKYPE is? apparently it's a webcam thing that is pretty cool. i ask because it may be a possibility here... only a possibility though, because we haven't asked president skelton yet. i wouldn't count on anything, but it would be awesome if we could do that. i'm not exactly sure when i'll get to call, but it will probably have to be the same kind of situation as Christmas. i'll most likely call the morning after mothers day here, and mothers day evening there. we'll see though. i'll let you know for sure next week.

that is crazy that you got 8 inches of snow there! apa freak ini, it's april! whoa, it's april! time is flying. i don't know where either february or march went. now april is almost done, and i'm feeling like it's still january. why couldn't time go this fast in high school?!

so i live in a house with two companionships. the other two elders names are Elder Bickmore and Elder Roberts. we were all just chatting last night about how fat we've gotten, and decided that we would have a contest over the next month to see who can get the best abs. no doubt i will win! by the time May 22nd comes around, i'll be sittin' pretty with a six pack.

this morning was way cool. everyone in the zone went to this way cool Orangutan reserve. we went in the morning so that we'd be sure to see some because that's when they feed them. it was so cool! i was like 6 feet from this huge mother Orangutan! but my dang camera ran out of batteries! no worries, i'll just have one of the other elders print me off some pictures.

i think that's just about it... i hope all is well in provo. i hope you payed attention in conference, because it was phenomenal! be sure and read all of the talks again when the ensign comes out. don't just be a hearer of the word, but a doer. i love you all.

elder troxel

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Cat Calls

dear family,

well, i've spent the last 45 minutes trying to save the best email i've written yet from being deleted on a frozen computer, but alas, i've failed. i'll try and sum it all up:

i got transferred. i'm now in kuching with elder tuckfield. the computers in malaysia are the worst, and the guy who works at this internet cafe is probably about as computer savvy as great grandma dorcheus. i'm still pluggin along. go ahead and send the quad to the mission home. i haven't gotten any packages since before christmas, and if you sent the easter one to KK, i'll be lucky to get it by next christmas.

i love you all, and i'm sorry for the computer being dumb. blame malaysia, and the ridiculous clerk.

elder troxel

Note from Dad: We were sorry that Jordan's letter was not able to make it through. There is some very interesting information about Kuching available on Wikipedia. The following link will take you to the sight were you can get more details on Jordan's new location. Kuching is the largest city in Eastern Malaysia and the fourth largest in Malaysia overall with a population of nearly 600,000. The link to the Wikipedia sight is:

Kuching City Skyline from Across the Sarawak River

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Crushed Dreams and Ruined Surprises


when i read the title of your email "3 down 1 to go," many things ran through my mind as i waited for what seemed like an eternity for the uber-slow internet to open the page... some of the things that ran through my head were, "oh man, michael's gotta be engaged!" (that would mean that 3 of the boys were married, and only 1 to go) or "what does '3 1 down to go' mean?" (dyslexia strikes again)... but alas, neither were true. but don't worry michael, keep hanging in there. it's coming soon, i can feel it.

i'm glad you all enjoyed conference... we don't get to see it for another two weeks, because it's not even broadcast here. they send the dvd's and it takes a couple of weeks. but thanks for ruining the surprise! just kidding, i already knew. i totally predicted that. another fun fact is that elder halstrom just got called to the presidency of the 70! he used to be in the asia area presidency. he's the one that came and did our mission tour in january. yeah, i've met him.

this week has been another fantastic one in the lords service. we've had some excellent appointments, one baptism last week, and we'll have two this saturday. PLUS, i just had some delicious indian food and it's sitting pretty in my huge gut right now :)

so i was sitting on the bus the other day. i'd been chatting with the person next to me (turns out he was muslim, so i couldn't even teach him anything), when i heard a strange sort of clucking noise. i thought it might have just been my imagination, or some sort of mechanical problem with the bus, so i just disregarded it. but then i heard it again, and even louder, so i decided i would try and figure out what it was. i turned around in my seat, and saw a man holding what looked like just an ordinary bag of rice sitting in one of the seats behind me. i looked at him, then back at the bag. then i saw something move in the bag, and looked back at the man to ask him what was in there. as we made eye contact, he smiled a mischievous smile and mouthed the word "ayam" (chicken) to me. i lost it. i thought it was so funny.

then last night we were on splits with two guys in our branch. when we were walking back to marina court to meet elder kunioka and the other member, kelvin and came to a place in the road where there was a ton of debris strewn across the road. we were both wondering what could have happened, when we looked up and saw a completely destroyed suv about 20 yards in front of us. we stood there for a few moments in shock, until we saw some people moving inside of it. we went over to see if everything was ok. the front end of the car was smashed in, and the passenger side was pretty hammered too. the driver's door was open, and he was standing outside and apparently uninjured. the guy in the passenger seat wasn't quite as lucky. his head was all bloody, and he had cuts all down his arm and hand. as we were trying to help him open his door, one of the three guys sitting in the back seat leaned forward and said in a slurred drunken voice, "ada alcohol sikit" which roughly translated means that they were drunk out of their minds. the driver, who seemed to be the least drunk said that they'd already called an ambulance and that they didn't need any help. we asked again, and it was evident that they really didn't want us to help, so we just kept on our way. they're just lucky that they only smashed a cement wall instead of someone else's car. morons.

anywho, you had some questions:

1. (I know the time is pretty much off, but do you get to see any of the conference sessions live? The priesthood session would be from 8-10AM Sunday morning your time.) no, i haven't gotten to see any of the sessions yet.

2. (Did you get a chance to watch the green bean video?) i just barely watched it. it didn't have any sound, but it was still hilarious.

3. (What does selama-lamanya mean?) selama-lamanya means forever

4. (Have you looked at your blog lately?) yeah, i'll usually take a look at it every week. it's so sweet. when you do a search for singapore mission, it must bring up the blog site, because there's been quite a few elders who have told me that their friends or family have seen the blog. but thank you scott for keeping it going.

i think that's everything... except for one more request. if at all possible, could you buy a new quad and have the name "Kelvin Alexsius" put in gold on the front. you can just take some money out of my account to buy it and ship it. the reason i want it is because this guy kelvin (who is amazing. i'll tell you his conversion story another time) helps us almost every day and is getting ready to go on a mission. he wants an english quad, but to order them from here they are about 200 ringgit. it would rock his world to get one, especially with his name on it. if you could do that for me, i would be eternally grateful, and i'm sure he would be also.

i love you all,
elder troxel

Mission Field Pictures