Jordan's Mission Apartments

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

All the Small Things

Dear family,

Yeah, this week was pretty normal. Not much really happened. I did some missionary stuff, rode on some airplanes, hung out with an Apostle, ya know, the usual. WOW. Words really cannot express how amazing this week has been. I'll try to recreate it, but I definitely will not be able to do justice to the experience.

President and Sister Clark, Elder Stone and I flew to Miri on Thursday afternoon to make sure everything was in for Elder Nelson's visit. Elder and Sister Nelson along with Elder and Sister Watson were going to arrive on Friday afternoon, but we weren't going to get to see them until Saturday. Anywho, President Clark (bless him) invited us to the airport on Friday to meet them and there wasn't any way on this earth that I was going to pass up an invitation like that, so we went.

There to greet him was the Miri District President and his first counselor and their wives, Elder McKellar (the senior couple in Miri), President and Sister Clark, and the two of us. We were there pretty early, so we waited for what seemed like ages for the plane to arrive and the passengers to come out. We stood in the arrival hall, looking through the glass doors down the hallway where all the passengers were coming from. All of the passengers came out and left the hall all but empty.

Then, all of a sudden something hit me (I came to find out late that it wasn't only me that felt it) that felt almost like a wave. The inside of me burned, and I knew that something of great significance was about to happen. That was when they came around the corner and we saw the first Apostle to ever set foot on the island of Borneo (at least in this dispensation). That feeling hasn't left me for the last 6 days. I got to briefly meet and shake hands with Elder and Sister Nelson, and then they went to their hotel for some rest.

The next day started the Miri District conference. President Clark (bless him) asked if we could sit in on the meetings with the District Presidency and Elder Nelson allowed us to do so. I have never felt so small in my life. There I sat, in a room no bigger than our living room, with an Apostle, a 70, a mission president, the second counselor in the mission presidency, and the district presidency... and then there was Elder Stone and me. What and incredible opportunity.

Later that evening was the Priesthood leadership session (which was excellent) and then the Saturday night adult session. It was cool because I got to see quite a few members from Bintulu there, and it was equally as cool that we got to sit right behind Elder and Sister Nelson on the stand. I could go on and on about what happened in Miri because it was so amazing, but the highlight of the experience happened in the Missionary meeting on Monday.

Elder Nelson, near the end of his address to us, told us all that he wanted us to write down the numbers of the District as they are right now (total membership, Melchizedek PH, etc.) so that we could show them to our children and grandchildren and they would laugh to think that the church in Miri was ever that small. He then went on to say that there will be Stakes (in the plural) in Miri, and that we should "take it as prophecy."

AH! I heard a prophet prophesy! He has also left an Apostolic blessing on the people and the missionaries in every place that we have travelled and visited. I won't go into any more of the specific things that he said, but I have heard things in the last week that I will never forget. It's been a life changing experience.

We went from Miri to KL, and left KL this morning for Singapore. We just barely finished our missionary meeting here in Singapore, and we're getting ready to go to the member meeting tonight. Elder and Sister Nelson will leave tomorrow for Indonesia.

Sister Nelson is such a sweetheart. She is also pretty mind blowing. She pulled me off to the side in KL with Elder Nelson and asked me if my Mom's name was LuAnn. I said yes, and then she got excited and asked if they could get a picture with me so she could send it to her sister that works with Mom. That was pretty cool. Thanks Mom, you're famous! She said that she emailed you and that you responded. Wow! How cool is that?!

I did get to make a make an official two year extension request to the Asia area President (Elder Perkins) and Elder Nelson today if they would send me to Kalimantan, which is the Indonesian part of Borneo that isn't opened yet. They rejected it, but Elder Nelson did imply that I would get another chance to serve in this part of the world at a different time. I don't know when that will be, but I hope it's before I'm too old to do anything.

So when I got back to Singapore, the first thing that was said to me was, "I can't believe you only have 12 days left Elder Troxel." Join the club, I didn't know it was that short. I'll only be in Singapore for 3 of those days, because I'm going back to Malaysia on Saturday for my last week of Zone Leader exchanges. It'll keep me busy for the last little bit.

So Dad, did the hotel info help at all? Do you want me to book them, or did you already do that? If you could let me know before Saturday, then I can do whatever I need to do. I'm way excited. Malaysia is the greatest place in the world, and I'm pumped for you to get to experience it.

I love you all! Only one more email!

Elder Troxel

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Weeks at the Mission Office are Tough

Dear Family,

Don't feel bad about the email being short Mom (even though it wasn't), because mine is also going to be short. Not so much because of lack of time, but mostly because not much happened this week. We had an entire week in Singapore! Those are always horrible. From the first few days that I had in the office, I knew that by the time I finished my time I would be ready to leave it. I love the mission and what I'm doing so much, but the office kills me sometimes.

Most of what I've been doing for the last week or so has been preparations for the mission tour and taking care of a lot of other small things that we haven't had time to deal with for the last 3 months. I'm super pumped about Elder Nelson. We leave for Miri tomorrow and we'll meet him on Friday! It'll be awesome. Anywho, since I don't really have that much to share about this last week, I'll fill some space with some awesome pictures.

Dang, I've already forgotten the order that I attached them, but I'm pretty sure the first one is of me, Elder Pace, and Elder Stone right before Elder Pace died last month. May he rest in peace. (He's really not dead, he's just Bro. Pace somewhere else).

I think the second one was a picture of me with Elder and Sister Watson when they came on their mission tour last month. They are so awesome.

The third one is how they serve chicken in this part of the world. Mmmm... get ready Dad. That is actually a really nice place, so it's not even bad looking. But don't you worry, we'll be eating A LOT of crazy stuff in a few weeks.

The fourth one is a picture of me with a chicken. I couldn't believe this. The chickens were on sale for only 8 Ringgit! That's a little over 2 dollars! If it weren't a mission rule that we can't have pets, I totally would have bought one.

That's just a few pictures. I've got some way awesome ones, and Dad and I will get some pretty stellar ones too, I'm sure. Anywho, I'm alive and still kickin'. Elder Stone even said to me last night that he hasn't sensed any "negative trunkiness" in me. Awww, thanks Stoney!

I took a look at some hotels and stuff Dad. The ones in Kuching that are looking the best are the Harbour View Hotel or the Four Points Hotel. In Sibu it's either the RH Hotel or the Premier Hotel. Park City Hotel in Bintulu is pretty nice, but I didn't really look into Bintulu at all yet. In KL we can stay pretty much anywhere because there are tons of hotels. Just book something that's not too expensive.

I love you all! Have a wonderful week! See you soon.

Elder Troxel

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

"Nice to stop saying goodbyes and saying hellos"

Dear Family,

So there I was, sitting in a sacrament meeting hall as a bunch of frazzled looking missionaries filed in and sat down. The last few moments with my family and my girlfriend ran through my mind as I thought to myself, "Wow, two years is going to be a long time." Now here I am, officially more than two years later thinking to myself, "wow, where did the time go?" and also "how did I get so fat?"

Anywho, this last week was pretty cool. We got back from our tour on Saturday afternoon and we've spent the last few days getting together our training for the Zone Leader Council that will go down tomorrow. We just barely put the finishing touches on our powerpoint this morning. That means that I don't have to prepare any more on my mission! YES! We'll give the training tomorrow, and that will what be last training I'll give. I feel like I did the month before I came on my mission. I'm starting to get into the "lasts". The last time I'll give a training, the last time I'll go to Miri, the last time I'll be sick on my mission (which I am right now).

Six of the Elders in my group came into Singapore yesterday. Elders Shipp, Muffler, Hall, Semana, Etable, and Limpahan. They all had their exit interviews today and we'll have the going out dinner tonight with all of them at President's house. It's pretty dang weird, I'm not gunna lie. It hasn't really hit me yet. The strangest part of the whole deal is Elder Semana dying (leaving the mission). I can't believe that. It's going to be pretty tough for me I think. Who knows when I'll be able to see the native missionaries again? But I'm hangin in there.

One of the strangest moments of my mission happened on Sunday. Elder Stone and I were in our office working on our training, when Elder Chua knocks on the door and tells me that I've got a visitor. I opened it and saw a bald guy with a goatee standing in the office lobby. I knew that I knew him from somewhere, but I could not for the life of me remember who he was.

As he walked closer, I remembered that I was somehow related to him, and when we shook hands, it all came back to me. "UNCLE WAYNE!" I was so surprised. Biggest shock I've had in a long time. I couldn't believe it. We talked for 15 or so minutes, and made a breakfast appointment for the next morning because he didn't have any other time when we could meet up. So I got to have breakfast with Uncle Wayne yesterday! And I've got the picture to prove it :)

Well, I've gotta run. I love you all! See you soon!

-Elder Troxel

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

728 Days

Dear Family,

I'm now sitting in a familiar internet cafe in KL! We're now on the second half of our training tour around the mission, and we've only have 3 more stops until we finish! That will be a relief. It's been really fun so far and we've had a really good response from the training, but I have never been so exhausted in my entire life. I know how you feel, Mom.

We got back from East Malaysia last week on Wednesday night and spent the rest of the week preparing our training for the upcoming zone leader council. We spent ALL DAY on Friday in our little 8x12 office trying to get it finished. I wanted to kill myself by the end of the day. I could never have a career working all day in an office like that. It destroys my soul. But the good news is that we almost got it finished and what we didn't finish we'll have some time on Sunday and Monday to get it done.

On Monday we got to sit in on the Mission Presidency meeting. It was really cool to see. Being an Assistant has a lot of Pros and Cons, but one of the big pros is the awesome training that we get from being able to be around President all the time. I do like that part of it.

We had to leave the meeting early though because we took off to Johor Bahru for exchanges and to give our training. It's just across the border from Singapore, so we just taxied there, but when we were nearly to the border, Elder Stone realized that he had forgotten his passport, so we had to go back, then we had to taxi out again, go through the immigration checkpoints, and do all that nonsense. By the time we met up with the JB Elders, it was 7:30... yeah, we were supposed to be there at 4:00. Ouch.

But the exchange went well, as did the training and then we flew out to KL yesterday. We taxied to the PJ Elders' house from the airport, and when we got up to their apartment, I realized that I didn't have my wallet! I hate that panicky feeling when you know you've lost something important. But I fortunately had the taxi driver's phone number and he was able to return it to me. Talk about TENDER MERCIES! Oh man, that was scary.

We just finished giving our training to the Elders and Sisters serving in the KL/PJ area, and from here we'll jump on a bus that will take us to Melaka. Tomorrow we'll bus to Ipoh, then to Butterworth, and we'll fly back to Singapore on Saturday.

It's strange to me that my two year mark is on Friday... it's pretty funny though that my two year mark will come and go, and yet I still remain. Everyone else in my group (except for Elder Ogden who also extended) are in their last week. Were I just sitting around in the office all day, it would be a little bit tough, but I don't really have time to think about it while I'm out and about. I'm very glad that I extended though. When else will I get a chance in my life to do this? Maybe never again. Definitely not in the same capacity, so it is worth it.

Anywho, I'm still alive and kickin'. The mission is doing awesome right now! I'm way excited about it. I love you all!

Elder Troxel

Mission Field Pictures