Jordan's Mission Apartments

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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Take Luck!

dear family,

the emails were really good this week, thank you. michaels was so funny. oh man, it's true, it is almost time that i need to be thinking about applications and things! i actually have thought a little bit about what i want to do with the rest of my life, but i'm not really sure. and i was thinking of going somewhere else other than BYU, but with 50% off tuition, i think that makes the decision for me. i really have no idea what i want to do anymore, but when i get to only 6 months left, i'll start making it more of a matter of prayer.

so i think i'm almost over whatever bug i had. it didn't keep me in at all, but it wasn't very much fun. i still wake up not feeling so well, but my cough is gone and i feel a lot better... except for the fact that i didn't do any exercise (running, push ups, sit-ups, you know) in the mornings or evenings for an entire week, so i am feeling pretty chubby. i'm back up to almost 190, and it's not muscle. that's a bummer that TJ's sick too. tell him to stop it.

so what're all of your plans for the 4th? i guess by the time you write back, it will have already happened... so what did you do for the 4th? we're planning another barbeque. it should be really good because we've got 2 elders in our zone who are pandai masak (rough translation: really good at cooking); one is from alabama, so he makes good pies and southern food and stuff, and the other is a sri lankan (from australia) and i've never had better indian food than his. so we'll have a malaysian 4th of july with a little bit of an indian twist. i freaking love curry.

so president skelton is officially released from his calling today, and president clark is the new mission president. today also marks 2009 being half way over! lots of crazy things are happening. there's been a lot of rumors flying around about what is going to happen in august when a huge group of elders goes home, including 4 zone leaders and an assistant, but we'll just have to wait and see. i'm sure president clark will change a lot of things.

this last week was pretty good. we had a baptism for a really awesome couple whose names are Anthoney and Emalice. they are so good. they LOVE to feed us. but their baptism was great and Emalice bore a really sincere testimony. things like that make all the getting drenched in the rain, sweat, dogs, and having to deal with drunk ibans, and ridiculous missionaries, all worth it.

we're having our fifth straight week with a baptism this week. it would be cool if we could keep it going the whole time i'm here, but that is very unimportant. the important thing is that each one of these numbers is actually a life that is changed. it would kill me to find out that any of these people some day down the road goes inactive. we just have to prepare them well for the promise they make. our teaching pool took a bit of a punch in the face last week, but i'm sure that the Lord will place more people in our path who are ready. He always does.

so any news on the shoes yet? i can probably go a couple more months on these ones, but not much longer than that.

tell chelsie not to worry, i wasn't worried... just a bit concerned ;) main-main sahaja (just kidding). but thanks for passing on that message mom.

i'm still plugging along, slowly but surely. take care ya'll.

elder troxel

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Jadilah Babi Yang Bijak

Note from Dad: I was able to translate the word for the title but it must be a common phrase or expression, because the translated word don't make sense in English as far as I can tell it means "the pig who was made smart/intelligent". Not all things translate well.

dear keluarga,

whoa, disneyland sounds like it was a blast! next to the temple, it really is the happiest place on earth i think. i hope there is disneyland in the celestial kingdom... but i'm glad you all enjoyed yourselves. we'll have to go again when i get home.

this week in malaysia has been a sick one... literally, i've been sick all week. not enough to keep me in, but it's just really annoying because i have a really persistent cough. we had some plans to go see some of elder ogden's recent converts today that live pretty far away, but i really just need to rest and get over this whateveritis so i can be 100 percent again. but despite being sick, we still had a good week. we had the most investigators at sacrament meeting this last week since i've been here, and there was a ton more who promised to come, but for whatever reason couldn't make it. so we should have more this week. my goal before i leave this area is to have an average of 20 investigators attending sacrament meeting every week. it's very possible, and we're getting there, but it'll take a lot of work. i'm really pumped to have elder ogden here. we're a lot more on the same page than other companions i've had. but we had a chance to talk about our goals for the area and what we wanted to see happen.

we decided that we needed to meet with our branch president and get him really excited about the vision that we have. it worked and he held another meeting last night with other leaders in the branch to get things moving. i won't tell you all of what we're planning on doing, because it's quite extensive, but if it works it will be so good for the work here in kuching. we'll be doing a lot of things to promote missionary work in the branch, but the end goal of all the things we'll be doing is to have 220 people attending sacrament meeting before the end of the year, and to have 90 convert baptisms (elder ogden and i originally set the goal at 60 convert baptisms, but our branch president didn't think that was very optimistic, so he changed it to 90. i love that man).

anywho, i hope jackson is ok. did aubrey and seth have the swine flu? what is the deal with this thing? i thought it wasn't a very big deal, but everyone here is under the impression that it's worse than the black plague. i hope everybody recovers though. i'm sure everybody will be fine.

well, i'm sorry this email is really lame sauce, but i can't really think of anything else important to say. i do want to thank everyone for all of their support and prayers. i can't express how much i appreciate and need them. you all are also in my prayers also. keep on truckin' yal.

elder troxel

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Happy Birthday!!

dear family,

so this week has been pretty intense, but i think things will start to get back to normal this week, now that the transfer is almost over. i'm sitting here with my new companion... and my old companion. elder tuckfield will be leaving for singapore this afternoon, and then it will just be me and... elder Ogden! I got news that elder ogden was coming here last thursday, and he got here on monday. just in case you don't remember me ever talking about elder Ogden, he is Beau's cousin who i roomed with in the MTC. we were good friends in the MTC and i'm way excited to be companions with him. the two pictures i attached are him and me in the internet cafe. I hadn't seen him for almost 16 months before he got here on monday. it's interesting to see how people change. he's still the same, but he's a lot more mature now. i hope i've gotten more mature... but i doubt it :)

anywho, there was a big hubbub this week with the chinese elders in our zone (who we happened to live with). the church owns 3 apartments in the condo where we live; one was an old couple's apartment, one is really big and nice and had four elders in it, and the one in which i live is really small and nasty and also had four elders in it (us and the chinese elders). anywho, a couple weeks ago, they took one of the companionship's out of the zone and closed their area, which meant that there were only two companionship's living in that really big luxurious apartment, and there was four in ours. now, obviously the smartest thing to do is to move one of the companionship's from ours to the other one. anywho, i wanted to move to the other apartment, but the assistants insisted that the chinese elders move. we told them they had to move to the other one, but they were not happy and wanted to talk to president themselves about it. anywho, they stalled and stalled for almost two weeks without doing anything, until elder tuckfield and i just had to tell that they had to move the next day because elder ogden was coming and there was going to be 5 people in this tiny apartment with only two in the huge one. anywho, to make and even longer story short, they threw a huge fit and they still aren't very happy with us. apa boleh buat? (what can you do?) sometimes missionaries can be extremely ridiculous.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY WHITNEY! whoa, you are 18 years old! how does it feel? you can buy dry ice now! yippee! i'm happy to hear that your recital went well. i wish i could've been there. so what did you do for your birthday? was the alfredo delicious? what did you get?

we also went on exchanges twice this last week. i got to go with my grandson! his name is elder johnson. he is my grandson because he was trained by my trainee (elder Kartchner). i took him to the house of these investigators who were supposed to be getting baptized this week and they fed us a ton of curry and rice. i guess it didn't really agree with his stomach, because the whole next day he stayed in sick. we started the exchange at 4:30 on thursday and finished at about 4:30 on friday, but i had to stay in with him until we switched back on friday. oh man, i was going crazy. that was the longest i've ever had to stay in my house on my mission. i was SO antsy! i hope i never get sick, because i wouldn't be able to stand it. i did manage to sew some things though.

anywho, i love you all. i hope everything is still going well. stay safe and don't get swine flu.

love,elder troxel

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Winds of Change!

dear family,

thank you for the emails this week. sorry that i don't put in any translations when i write in a different language. half of the time i don't even know what language i'm speaking anyway. it's exciting that whitney will be doing her recital soon! how does she feel about this being her last one? is she glad, or sad, or mad, or wearing plaid...? or is it just kind of a mix of everything together?

oh man, that was awesome to hear from beau. i got both of the letters. i don't know why he doesn't just send them to me here. i know i've given him my address at least twice. but it was good to hear from him. sounds like he's also speaking a language that they also didn't teach him in the MTC. I don't know if he actually speaks Twi, but he at least knows a few phrases. it's always good to hear from those guys. i got an email from rittmanic today too! he sounds like he's doing well. the only one that i haven't heard from in a long time is andrew. but he's practically dead, so he can just email me when he gets home! man, i'm too young to have my friends coming home from missions.

this week was good, as always. we got news that they're having to close one of the areas in our zone because of a lack of missionaries (and the fact that they weren't doing very much). we have a goal to get 30 baptisms in July, so that's going to make it a little bit more difficult, but from the way things are shaping up right now, we should have about half of that just with our area. things are really going well here. we also got the news that elder tuckfield flies out sunday morning for singapore. i still haven't heard who my new companion will be, but there is a lot of speculation going on. i think it will probably be elder Ogden (beau's cousin who i roomed with in the MTC), but i'm fine with anybody really. but next week i'll have a new companion. i also heard rumors that i might be leaving around the middle of august, but that's a long way away we'll have a new mission president by then, so it's really impossible to say how much longer i'll be here. i'd like to finish my mission in either KL or KK though. i told elder tuckfield to use all of the influence he has to try and make it happen. we'll see.

that's sad to hear about Mike Wear. i've been really fortunate with my health since i've been out. i'm hoping that my luck will last and that i'll never have to see a malaysian doctor. however, there have been a few missionaries lately that have gotten pretty sick (not with the same things though) who will probably have to go home early. i would die.

if you do get a chance to go to Miss Provo, make sure you send me some pictures.

there will be a lot of changes in this zone pretty soon. elder tuckfield leaves sunday, then two weeks later the elder that has been the thorn in my side my entire mission goes home, then a big group of missionaries (including elder palfreyman, but he's not in my zone) goes home july 15. in between all that, president skelton goes home, and president clark will come. by the time that all happens, i'll be dangerously close to the home stretch.

well everybody, i don't think i have much more to say. i love you all. be smart and all that jazz. good luck with the recital whitney!

Elder Troxel

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

...gayu guru geria nyamai! (No idea what it means-Dad)

dear family,

selamat hari Gawai! gawai is the biggest Dayak holiday of the year, and it started on monday (Dayak is what they call all of the indigenous tribes in malaysian borneo). i'm not exactly sure when it ends... probably just when people get really sick of being drunk 24/7. it's crazy though! dad mentioned in his email about how he ate too much. you have no idea what i've been through the last two days dad. in order to understand what we've been doing the last two days, you have to understand a bit about what gawai is. from the time i first got to east malaysia (sibu), i was hearing about how big gawai was. that was in october last year, and it has just been building up to this week. during gawai, everything shuts down, and everyone goes back to their villages. the only people left in kuching pretty much are the chinese (and even some of them choose to go on vacation). gawai is the celebration of the rice harvest i think, or at least some kind of harvest. anywho, everybody gets drunk. unfortunately, even some of the members get hammered. but since everyone is in their kampungs (villages), there really is no work for us to do. so what the missionaries have done in the past, and what we chose to do, is to go around and visit members all day. it's good, because you can meet a lot of non-members in their families, and you can help strengthen them so that they won't drink or do something stupid. it started on sunday, which is gawai eve. for about a month now, the branch leadership in all the branches here have been announcing during sacrament meeting that there would still be church on gawai eve, and that it was still a commandment to come. elder tuckfield and i usually go to at least two of the branches (because we have some investigators that can only come in the morning, and some that can only come in the afternoon), so we got to see what the damage was. the third branch, which usually has 100-130 people every week, had maybe 30 people at the most... and six of those were missionaries! our branch did a bit better, but still much less than normal. on monday, we rented a taxi van and went to one of the bigger tourist kampungs called annahries and brought all of the missionaries down there. that's when the torture all started. we met up with our branch president down there, and he took us to his grandparent's house. they brought out a ton of cookies and cakes and things. i had a lot. then he took us on a tour of the long house in the village. i got some good videos, so you'll be able to see what it was like, but as we were touring this long house, we got invited to eat twice! by the time we finished the second time, i was pretty darn full... and then president Teo (the branch president) informed us that we were going back to his grandparents for lunch. oh man, i didn't think i was going to be able to handle it... and it was only 12:00! then all of the other elders took the van back while we went with president teo to go and visit all the rest of the members. we did that ALL DAY! and every house we went to had a meal prepared for us. now, don't get me wrong, i love curry and rice, but when you have eight meals of curry and rice in one day, it gets a little bit gross. fortunately though, they mixed up the meat. on monday alone, i ate chicken, beef, flying squirrel, cat, fish, wild boar, and goat. i weighed myself the on sunday morning, at i weighed in at 179. when i weighed myself on monday night after returning home, i weighed 190! oh my heavens! it was unbelievable how much i packed down. and i didn't even throw up! tuesday was pretty much the same as monday, but we got a few lessons in, and i only ate 4 or 5 times.

apart from the gawai madness, we also had a baptism! her name is catherine and she is awesome. she lives with her husband's family, who are really strong members too, so she's got a really strong support system. her husband is a bit of a bum though, even though he's got a baptism date. on the way home from the baptism, i was riding elder romney's bike, because mine is a heck of a lot better than his, and he had to ride a lot farther than me that day, so i swapped him. anywho, on the ride home (it was about 9:25), the bike all but fell apart. it was kind of ridable though, so i was just taking it easy, trying to get home before 9:30, when all of a sudden, i heard a bunch of barking and dog paws moving quickly on asphalt. i looked behind me, and in the darkness saw a black dog dart behind my back tire. i turned and looked down just as the little bugger took a bite for my foot. i managed to dodge him the first time, but then he came in again. i tried to go faster, but my bike just wouldn't let me. as he opened his mouth and went for my leg again, i gave him what i thought would be a well place kick in the jaws. i don't know how he did it, because i was sure that i was going to get him, but he somehow did this crazy jump dodge, whipped his head around, and clamped down on my leg. don't worry though, he only tore my pants pretty bad, but i wasn't injured. talk about tender mercies! after that, he gave up on me and went for elder tuckfield. i think he was tired though, so he didn't put up much of a fight with him. but now i've got a huge hole in my best pair of slacks! poop.

we've got two baptisms this week, both of which will be great leaders in the church in a few years, im sure. and we're having the baptism on the beach! i love malaysia.

it's good to hear that everything went well with whitney's graduation. i hope she enjoyed it. i can't really remember mine, but i remember the all night party was a blast. how was yours, whitney? email me and tell me about everything.

well, i think that's pretty much it. thanks for checking up on the shoes for me. i really appreciate it. stay safe now, ya hear? i love you all.

elder troxel

ps- i got an email from Kelvin today (the one who i'm giving the scriptures to) and he's sending in his papers next week! that's so awesome!

Mission Field Pictures