Jordan's Mission Apartments

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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Walk the Line

dear family,

thank you for the email. that is pretty ridiculous to hear about dad's job. but dad is right not to worry, you have always strived to follow the commandments, so the Lord will provide. hakuna matata.

right now I'm sitting here in the internet cafe, sippin' some "air sejuk" in my brand new eccos! yay! i got three packages today! today and tomorrow is zone conference, so that's why you are getting this email a day late (sorry about that). when the assistants came from Singapore, they brought both shoe packages AND my Easter package! it's been a solid year at least since i have seen a twinkie, so those were a blessed sight. the shoes are really nice. not quite as nice as the other ones were when i bought them, but it's ok. you should see those shoes now. I've continued to wear them, and they are completely thrashed now! I'm excited for you to get to see them in February. thank you very much for getting that together for me, they were desperately needed.

wow Whitney... reno? that's crazy. ya know, i once shot a man in reno, just to watch him die...

so Liz is married, huh? that's pretty wild. if you see her, wish her the best from me... and tell her to tell her husband that if he doesn't take her to the temple, he had better jaga diri. I'm happy for her though. i remember back in the day when we used to always tell everybody that we were brother and sister. good times, good times.

there are some pretty wild things going on here. we found out for sure this last week that elder gulbrandsen is going to the office as assistant on Sunday... and elder Watkins is going to be my companion again! that'll be so fun. i love elder watkins. it's going to be nuts, because i've actually only had about seven days to work in my area, because we've been so busy with exchanges and zone conference and stuff. but it'll be really good. elder watkins and i had a ton of success together, so i have no doubt that we will be able to turn it on again in this area.

i got to burn a pair of pants last night for my 18 month mark. i actually haven't quite gotten there yet, but elder sederholm and elder hart just hit one year, and since they were here for zone conference, we just did our burning together last night. we're into the home stretch! 4th quarter! bahagian keempat!

i got a really nice letter from Chelsie yesterday. have you heard anything from her? is she back from her trip in Europe yet? if you do get to see her, tell her i'm uber sorry that i haven't written in such a long time, but i will without a doubt write her next week. we've just been so crazy busy lately that i never even have a chance to sit-down. it's just huru-hara here.

anywho, since it's zone conference, football is calling my name... and i must obey.

i love you all.
elder troxel

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Tears in Heaven

dear family,

this week has been so crazy! i can't believe it's already wednesday. with trying to get to know our investigators, members, area, and going on exchanges, my brain is pretty fried... but it's a blast and i love it. we just barely got back from doing exchanges in Miri, which is a 3 and a half hour bus ride from here. we've gotten up at 5:15 for the last two days! i'm grateful that i was able to sleep on the bus.

first of all though, it's good to hear that everything is good to go with dad's new job at the county. what will you be doing exactly? what does a deputy sheriff do? and i like the car, but it's kinda soccer-mom-ish don't you think? i thought you were going to get a corvette after you retired... what happened to that plan?

tell whitney not to worry, things will work out. cobaan saja. search like it all depends on you, and pray like it all depends on the Lord. it'll happen.

so mahonri isn't Elder Stewart's brother, he's actually his uncle. he told me that mayor stewart was his dad, but he's actually his grandpa. my bad, still the same family though.

anywho, you asked about my area. it's not the biggest area i've had, but it's pretty big. we have a place called RPR, which is just a ton of what they call rumah batu's. they are the more upper scale housing for poor people. then there is a giant kampung called sebatang. it is awesome. it's just hundreds and hundreds of little wooden shacks in the jungle. that is my favorite part about our area. there isn't electricity there, so they either have to use generators, or when it gets dark just candles. it's pretty awesome to teach someone at night by candle light in the middle of the jungle. we've been working with some really good members to give us referrals, and it's been paying off. we contacted six member referrals last week, and we received a lot more.

things are looking promising here. it's awesome to be with elder gulbrandsen. i've learned a lot from him. he and i are a lot alike. he's been blessed with the gift of gab in abundance. me, not so much, but i can keep up.

like i said, we just got back from exchanges in miri. i got to go with elder watkins! oh man, he is so funny. it was a good exchange. plus, i got to see what's going on with the work there and what can and needs to be done. this zone consists of two cities- bintulu and miri. bintulu has been doing really well lately, but miri is still lagging a bit. they've got 633 members in that city, but the activity is less than 25% there. we gave them some pointers on how they can improve, and we left there feeling confident that things are going to start to change there.

in speaking of changes, i probably won't be with elder gulbrandsen for too much longer. he'll for sure be the next assistant, and he should be leaving in just a couple of weeks. i think they'll actually move elder watkins here to replace him, but none of that is for sure yet... just 98% right now :)

i got an email from elder kunioka today saying that he was going back to SUU for school. he'll be playing baseball there. but he has a lot of family in the provo-orem area, so he will occasionally go up there. you should write him an email and see when he'll get a chance to come up so you can invite him over for dinner or something. he's a stud.

i've discovered that i'm an old missionary. when we went to get on the bus to go to miri, i set my bag down on the seat, and as i did that, i heard a tear. all the seams on the left shoulder of my shirt just decided to explode. i guess they'd had enough. as if i didn't already look raggedy enough, as i stood up, my pants hooked on something and once again, burst about 4 inches of seam. it was a rough bus ride. every time i get a hole, i sew it up, and then another one pops up. i can't wait for you to see how awesome my sewing jobs are.

welp, i think that's pretty much it. this is my address here:

no. 44 taman bamboo
Bintulu 97000
sarawak, east malaysia

think i'll probably be here until november or so... but it's never sure. i hopefully will get some packages brought to me at zone conference next week. i'm crossing my fingers that there will be some shoes in there :)

anywho, i love you all.
love, elder troxel

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I Love MyLDSMail!

dear family,

myldsmail leaves me speechless. anywho, i did get to read your email before it kicked me out, so i was lucky today. oh man, i have a lot to tell you. you asked a lot about president clark. well, apparently some time ago he decided that he wanted to go around and meet all the elders in his first week, but because it's nearly impossible to get to every place in the mission, the assistants planned for him just to go to the big cities, and to bring all the elders to him. i guess he didn't like that idea at all, and so he for all of week travelled to every single missionary house in the mission! i don't think president skelton ever saw most of the missionary apartments the whole time he was here.

he also met with the leadership of every single branch and district in the mission. he got to Kuching on thursday night, and met with all of the leadership in the district here. that won him some HUGE brownie points. then he came and met with each missionary in their apartment on friday morning. he is really cool and a lot more up beat than president skelton was. we didn't get much time to talk with him because he had to catch a flight to sibu, but i quite enjoyed the visit with him. i think dad was right though, there will probably be some pretty big changes.

in speaking of changes, we found out some crazy news. elder palfreyman's group goes home today, and there was an elder named elder Romney who was serving here in kuching that is going home as well. we were excited to hear who would be replacing him. we always find out about transfers on thursdays, so when the assistants called on thursday morning, i knew what it was about. we did our mid-week reporting with them, and then they told us that they had some news. this is how the conversation went:

elder richards: "...we've got some transfer news for your zone. elder Wall will be coming to replace elder romney."

i was really excited to hear that, because i'm pretty tight with elder Wall and i haven't seen him forever...

but then he continued, "elder griffin will also be leaving kuching 3rd branch."

"oh really?" i said. "where to?"

"He'll be replacing you, because you are going to Bintulu on monday."

ADUH! transferred again. i now sit in an Internet cafe in Bintulu, Sarawak. i guess they really like me here in east malaysia. honestly though, after the shock of hearing that i was leaving again after not even 3 months, i was really excited to come to bintulu for many reasons. first, i'm companions with elder Gulbrandsen. i don't know if you remember me ever mentioning him, but he's probably the most successful (numbers wise) missionary in the mission. he really knows how to get things done. plus, we're good friends, which makes things even more fun. second, bintulu is famous for being the craziest jungley place in the mission. and it's true! i fell like i'm in the jungle book right now. it's so awesome! third, i freaking love ibans! fourth, i'm back in the same house with elder semana! i love that guy!

oh yeah, that reminds me... apa hal lah?! how come he got whitney's senior picture before me? no, but it's super fun being back together with all of these elders. elder semana is now training an elder named elder Stewart. apparently his dad used to be mayor of provo or something... i dont' know, that's what he said. he's really green (really green), but he's also pretty cool. the only bad news about all of these changes is that elder gulbrandsen is going to be leaving in august to be assistant (SHHH, don't tell him. he doesn't know), so i'll have to learn the ins and outs of the area pretty fast.

it's good to hear that everybody is doing well. i got to read beau's email to his family. he sounds like he's doing really well. do you know when andrew gets home?

so, i haven't gotten any packages since christmas i think. oh, just kidding, i did get the deodorant one in kuching (thank heavens). i think it's only because i've gotten moved around so much. i hear that a couple of them have arrived in singapore from other areas though, so i think that one day i might get them. it may be when i go home, but i guess that's better than nothing...
i cant' really think of much else. i'm doing well here in my new area, i'm still fat (but i did go running yesterday), and i still love borneo. i think that's it. i love you all!

elder troxel

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Good News, I Saw a Dog Today

dear family,

it was great to hear from you once again. your emails are great. it's good to hear that the backyard might actually have grass when i get home. actually, i'm hoping that there will be a lot of snow on top of that grass in february. but your right mom, that will be really beautiful when it's done, i'm sure. it's a bummer that whitney doesn't have a job yet, but i told her not to give up hope, because something will come along soon, i can feel it.

i'm happy/surprised to hear that i got that announcement from Robert (fromerly Elder) Houston. i love that guy! i remember telling you a little bit about him. i lived with him the first week of my mission in KL. he was my zone leader when i got there. he was later the assistant. i'd heard that he was getting married, but he's only been home from his mission since december. to be honest though, i'm surprised it took him so long. what a stud.

oh man, i'm so excited to hear about the new shoes! i'm definitely going to keep these ones though, just so that i can remember.

this week in Kuching has been really good. we had a baptism on saturday for a sister named Lussy. she's 22, and she's the wife of one of our other recent converts (of only 3 weeks) Meringai. the baptism was amazing. Lussy was the 10th member baptized in her immediate family alone! it was really special, because you could just feel that those two are going to make it to the temple. it's been incredible to see the change in them both. when i first met Meringai, he was the biggest bum. he was a good guy, and i saw a lot of potential in him, but he was from a Bahai religious background, and i've never had much success with them. Bahai's believe everything is true, and therefore really don't believe in anything. but he was always just a disruption in our lessons (and lussy wasn't any better)... until one day, elder tuckfield and i felt prompted to teach a lesson about eternal families to that family.

we got there, and Meringai came and sat down along with everybody else (lussy wasn't there at this time). as we started to teach, we were prompted to turn the lesson towards Meringai. we had just taught about the sealing power, and so i asked him if he loved his wife. he answered very sincerely, "more than anything" (roughly translated). i then asked him if he wanted to live with her forever. you could see the spirit work as he sat there silent for a moment. he looked up and answered, "Mahu" (which means 'want'). anywho, the rest was history, and he got baptized three weeks ago. Lussy saw the changes in him, and decided that she wanted to get serious too, and finally entered the waters on saturday. meringai, after his baptism was told to cut his hair by the branch president so that he could receive a calling. meringai had hair down past his shoulders and he loved it. it was really hard for him, and he kept putting it off. i didn't think he was going to do it, but he showed up to Lussy's baptism clean cut. it was great. Oh man, i love it here so much. there are literally hundreds of stories i could tell you just like that, but that will have to wait for another time.

so, elder ogden and i hit our 17 month mark a couple of days ago... what? how on earth? i don't know, but less than one month from now we're into the forth quarter. it's a good thing that i've been so well conditioned by coach clark, because i feel like i'm still just in the first. i'm good to go for another four if they would let me.

it's so good to hear that greg is turning in his papers. if you see him, tell him i'm proud of him. when you think about football compared to the salvation that could come to somebody because of his sacrifice, it's worth it. anywho, i'm pretty healthy now, and things are going great. tell everybody hello for me. stay safe ya'll.

elder troxel

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