Jordan's Mission Apartments

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

This is Trunking Me Out of My Mind!

dear family,

oh my heavens! i'm so pumped for football i can't stand it! that's so awesome to hear about Craig and how well he is doing. starting against Oklahoma?! geez louise! i played with that guy! i'm sure the fire will die down, but right now i want to go back and play so bad. we'll just give it a week or so, and see how getting up and running every morning feels. i've been trying to get back into some sort of shape, and i've formulated an awesome workout plan, including diet, which (in theory) if done the right way, would help me to at least get a head start for when i get back. but it's nearly impossible to diet here, and it's just as difficult to stay motivated every day to get up early and do an intense enough work-out to actually help get in shape, rather than just keep the fat from overtaking me. we'll see though. that email gave me a good vision. i want to play.

so back to the missionary work. this last week, to be completely honest, was horrific. i won't go into details why, but it will suffice to say that this is the hardest area i've been in yet. fortunately, i've got elder watkins as my companion, and for whatever reason, we work fantastically together. we were able to see amazing things happen while we were together in sibu (which, for your information, has gone from being one branch when i first got there to just becoming it's own district. incredible), and we're starting to see some good things happen here.

it makes it even more difficult that we've got all of our zone leader duties that we have to take care of on top of having a hard area. for instance, we're going to singapore again tomorrow for a zone leader conference and will be out of our area for 3 days. aduh, that is the last thing we need right now. but i have high hopes, and i know that this area has the same amount of potential that sibu had. the people of bintulu just really need a lot of prayers. PLEASE pray for them.

we did have a few baptisms this last week though. Tony, Ledis Stella, and Wiwik all got baptized on saturday. i love them. all three of them are top notch. our next baptism won't be until next week, but we should have at least a few more.

as far as my health goes, i'm holding up pretty well (which is more than i can say for any of my clothes). bintulu is NOT a sanitary place, and a lot of missionaries get really sick here. i'm just a little sick right now, but i still have yet to be sick enough to stay inside. we try our best to take care of ourselves, so don't worry. malaysia does begin to wear on ones body after two years though.

jackson is already one?! oh man, i don't even know him! how are my other anakbuah-anakbuah (nephews and nieces)? has michael had any kids yet? so about this extension, i'm still not sure if i'm going to do it. if you could try and find out for me when walk-ons are, that would be easier to make a decision. maybe you could get me coach wong's email and i could email him about it. if i decide that i am going to play football, i'll be coming home in february, but if i decide to pass it up, then i'll extend. i'll pray about it, and i'll talk to president clark while i'm in singapore this week.

oh yeah, is it pretty sure that dad is coming? because i've already told most of my recent converts that i'll be coming to visit them with my dad in february or march...when do you want me to write the essay for my BYU application?

anywho, i think that's it. thank you for all of your support and all the prayers... and keep them coming!

elder troxel

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Back in Nam...


whoa, this is the first week i can remember that I've only gotten one email! that just means that there is no more missionary forwards to send because they are all home! apuh! that makes me feel really weird. is Andrew any fatter? i hope so... i don't want to be the only obese one when i get home. just kidding, i can't imagine Andrew being fat.

so Whitney finally got a job! that is fantastic! when does BYU start? is Whitney just going to live at home for the first while? what is she studying? oh man, she'll have to help me out a lot with school and stuff. just tell her to stay away from returned missionaries... they are bahaya (dangerous). in speaking of schools, I'd also like to apply to UVU probably, just in case i can't get into BYU, and i still have a lot of interest in going to a military academy. I'll hold off on trying to do that until after i get home though. i don't know what other schools to apply to... i don't think i could get in really anywhere but BYU or UVU. if i want to play football (which i really want to do right now, but it might be too time consuming), i will try and walk on at the Y. I've thought about Snow or SUU, but I'm not going to do that. maybe U of U...

anywho, this week has been really busy as always. we got back from Singapore on Thursday night. we got a couple of good days of work in and managed to bring a decent amount of investigators to church. my goal before the time i leave here is to consistently have 20 investigators at church. anyway, we had to get our zone training done by Monday, because we went down to Miri to do it there yesterday. it went really well, so hopefully we'll be able to see some improvements in how things are going there.

i got to go on exchanges with elder lam and my son elder kartchner yesterday. it was a really fun exchange for a few reasons:

1. i got to see my son who i haven't seen in almost a year.

2. i got to ride this awesome girls bike the whole day. it was super small and my knees pretty much hit my chest every time i pedaled.

3. i got to eat a ton of super delicious Vietnamese food!

that's actually a really cool story. elder lam is an American born Vietnamese elder. he speaks Vietnamese fluently, so he was really surprised when he got called to this mission Chinese speaking. of course, he accepted the call gladly, but he always felt a strong desire to teach vietnamese people. anywho, he's in Miri Sarawak (which is just about the last place in the world you would ever think to find anyone from really anywhere) when one day they get a flat tire at night. they didn't want to just go home, so they decided to knock on some doors near their apartment. they knocked on a wealthier house and started to have a nice little chat with this man. he wasn't really interested at all... until elder lam asked where he was from. I'm sure that elder lam wet himself when the guy said he was from Vietnam. they invited him back another day for a traditional Vietnamese meal, and i got to go! i didn't understand anything that was going on, but i ate a TON.

during the appointment (i didn't understand what was being said) but elder lam asked some question, and when the guy answered, elder lam got super excited. it was pretty funny, so i asked him what had been said. i guess the guy had just told elder lam that there was 5 other Vietnamese families in the area that would be interested in meeting him and learning. it was really fun to see.

well, i had a lot of things that i wanted to tell you, but i can't remember all of them. i hate it when that happens. i hope everybody is still healthy and happy. keep on keepin' on.

elder troxel

Note from Dad: Jordan sent the following images home. I believe them to be from his last visa run to Singapore, but there was no explanation attached to the email. We always like pictures, they are a real treat no matter when they were taken.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Double Western Bacon Burger

Dear family,

prayers answered! whitney got some interviews! hopefully she gets one of the jobs... and i cannot believe that progress has been made in the back yard! all i imagine when i think about our backyard is dirt and weeds. i didn't think anything would actually come of it. it'll be fun to come back and see.

so right now i am on a visa run in singapore. it's been fun so far for a few reasons. i'm here with some really awesome missionaries. elder watkins is with me, along with elder pace (who was with me in the MTC and in sibu), elder campbell (who i always have a lot to talk about with because he replaced me in sibu), elder bickmore (who i'm just good friends with) and elder Parker (who is a stud and was with me in sibu). i've gotten to meet a couple new missionaries that i haven't met before. it's funny, because more and more new missionaries, when they meet me ask, "hey, are you the one with the blog?" that was a pretty good idea.

anywho, the way visa runs usually work is that you will go and do splits with one of the other missionaries serving there, but there have been some pretty big changes lately. they've taken almost all of the missionaries out of singapore, so when you get a big group of visa runners that come in now, there aren't enough missionaries serving there to split with. so the new policy is that we just get an all day p-day. so the day is ours to do whatever we want in singapore, and you know what the first thing i'm going to do is??? get myself a Double Western Bacon burger at Carl's Jr! oh baby, it has been 5 long months since i've had one of those!

i'm really excited about our area though, so this visa run is really more of just an unneeded disruption (except it is kinda needed, otherwise my visa would have expired). it's been a little bit rough the last few weeks. when i got there, the area had just had a lot of baptisms, and was on the end of the wave, with not really very many others to work with. so elder Gulbrandsen and i worked extremely hard with the members to get them giving us more referrals, but while i was with him, we didn't get to see many results from it. however, we are seeing them now. we have gotten some really excellent referrals in the last week, including a couple absolutely golden families (knock on wood). the i'm a tad bit concerned about us being gone out of our area for these three days, because there is a huge problem in bintulu with people getting anti-ed. we've had so many golden referrals go down the drain because their poopy anti neighbors got to them before we could sit down and help them build their testimonies. it's hard to help someone get answers to prayers when they won't let you in. the reason everybody is anti is that they've heard about the word of wisdom, and drinking is a HUGE part of Iban culture...but i really hope these "golden investigators" won't have lost any luster by the time we see them again.

so andrew should be home now... wow. i cannot believe it. i don't believe it actually. i'm still only 3 months out! nick morely will be home soon also! then beau, then rittmanic! then everybody will be married. oh no! why do we have to get old?

you mentioned about applying to BYU. yeah, i guess we could start doing that sometime soon. if you could get most of the stuff ready, that would be great... and i wouldn't complain if mom wrote the little essay thing at the end either... i'm not exactly 100% sure about what's going to happen when i get back (i'm actually not even probably 10% sure), but when i get to the point of being only about 4 months left, i will start to think and pray about it. but like dad said, i still have a LOT of time left, so no worries.

i will definitely remember Lincoln in my fast. as far a mission fast goes, we really aren't supposed to involve a lot of other missionaries in fasts for things back home, just like we're not supposed to involve you in our fasts for people here, but i will talk with the people in my district and we might be able to do something like that. i'm sure they would be happy to do anything to help. in the mean time, tell him hello for me. tell him not to worry and that he's not doing this alone. there are a lot of people praying for him, and as much pain and sorrow he might go through, he's not doing it alone. if i recall, someone has already "born our griefs, carried our sorrows, and with HIS stripes, we are healed." just tell him to hang in there.

i'm still toying with the idea of extending. i can't really see any reason not to. i won't make a definite decision until probably octoberish, but if there's any big reasons not to, let me know. i don't think it's a big deal though, it's only a month after all.

anywho, say hello to everybody for me. i hope everybody is healthy and happy. keep the commandments and have a wonderful week!

elder troxel

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

I'm All Out of Snazzy Subject Lines!

dear family,

whoa, dad is retired! that is crazy. but, at the same time, really awesome. now you can go after all those other dreams like getting your pilots licence or the new corvette... good work though dad, i'm proud of you. you've always been such a good example for me.

so this week was pretty exciting. i'm companions with elder watkins again! it's pretty fun. usually when you get a new companion it's kinda awkward for awhile before you get used to each other, but when elder watkins got in on monday, we just picked right up where we left off without a hitch. i love elder watkins, he's a stud. anywho, we had zone conference this last week. it was president clark's first, so nobody really knew what to expect. it was phenomenal! his training was amazing and it was exactly what everybody needed to hear. the mission has been doing really well lately, but after president's training, things will explode for sure.

one of the fun things about being out for this long is you get to know a lot of people really well. i've now been companions with both of the current assistants, so i get to talk to them a lot about all kinds of things. one of the coolest things that i learned from talking with them over this last zone conference is that there are going to be two new cities opened up to missionaries here in east malaysia! there has been whispers of a place called Sri Aman opening up since i've been in the mission, and it's finally happening! that's so exciting! i would kill someone for the chance to open up an area like that. there is also another city called Muka that will be opening very soon. wonderful things are happening.

so i'm not sure, but there is a slight possibility that i might be extending a month. nothing is for sure yet, and i probably won't find out for a few more months, but just so you are aware. hopefully that won't mess up any travel plans or anything.

well lets see... mom asked me for some specifics on how the work is going here. when i was getting ready to leave, i had the impression in my mind that my mission would be more of a service mission and not very much teaching. that's what i had heard, and what with malaysia being a muslim country, it made sense. but my mission has turned out to be completely different from what i thought it would be. our mission right now only has about 80 missionaries, but we had more than 1000 baptisms last year as a mission. the work is EXPLODING here! it's such an adventure, because we're on the last frontier of the church.

there are tons of people being baptized, but the big problem we run into here is leadership- there just isn't enough experienced melchezedek priesthood holders to fill all of the leadership positions. anywho, i don't really think that was what mom was looking for, but i've grown a lot too. i don't think i've changed at all, just grown a lot (unfortunately, mostly my girth). i don't really know what you want me to say though... probably the biggest difference is that i used to just think that i knew, but now i know that i know.

the shoes fit great! they gave me some wicked blisters the first couple times that i wore them, but now they're really nice. i've still got some twinkies left, but all of the ding dongs are gone. i'm not going to lie, i finished most of the stuff pretty fast.

so do you know when andrew gets home? he's been on his mission for more that two years! oh man, what happened?anywho, i think that's it. i hope you all have a wonderful week!

elder troxel

Mission Field Pictures