Friday, December 16, 2016

Week 1!

My trainer, Sister Roylance

The view from our apartment

So this week has been a great week! I'm in KL in the PJ branch, and my companion is Sister Roylance from Midland, Utah! I'm the first person she's trained, and she is English speaking! I'm actually the only Malay speaking missionary in KL right now. They straight up didn't have enough Malay sisters to train everyone in our group! As it is two sisters are getting trained by one sister! It's a training trio! That would be hard. I'm the only one of my group to go to west Malaysia. There are a few elders serving here that I knew from BYU so that's fun! Also due to the whole caucasian cutie thing our English classes are blowing up. The food here is super good, and I love our branch. Everyone in it is so wonderful! I'm stressed about the language because we have two Malay investigators, and when we teach I translate for them and Sister Roylance. I also do any Malay contacting. I love contacting. We talk to people on trains while we go between lessons. This week we had two contacting miracles. One, we stopped and talked to a girl on a bench. She said she was having a bad day. Turns our her grandma had died that morning. We told her about the Plan of Salvation. She's coming to our Christmas party bringing a friend and she wants to meet with us. She's super awesome. She's a pastry chef and has traveled all over the world!!! Another of our investigators, Ryan, is also a baker. He brings us cake every time we meet. It's awesome. Our lessons with him are some of the most spiritual. We also made two Malay contacts that came to church this Sunday. One was Riska, an Indonesian helper who wants to be baptized on January 21st. She's been looking for this her whole life. She believes in the Restoration. She's always wondered about baptism and Moroni 8 answered so many of her questions. The other is Diah. She just moved here from Sarawak to study and feels super lonely. She loves what the church teaches about families and feels like the missionaries were sent to answer her prayers. She makes my heart melt. All of them are perfect. This week a firetruck stopped to say "hi" to us and we got 12 PIs from it. I think we are dropping 11 of them though. I love this place. I even love the humidity. It makes the heat like a blanket not fire. I kicked a dog yesterday because it kept chasing us. Also I cut open my foot and it got infected and I got blood poisoning. We went to the hospital last night and now I'm fine. We found a family at the hospital. They agreed to meet with us too. I'm hoping it goes somewhere. They are awesome. Anyway this morning sister Tu, who we live with, dislocated her shoulder so she and Sister Kunie also had to go to the hospital. We are hoping no one else gets hurt. Malaysia is beautiful. The food is delicious. The people are wonderful. I love being a missionary!

Friday, December 9, 2016

I'm in Singapore. I'm safe. It's awesome.

Thank kids, kick dogs, refuse berries

So the heading of the post is some advice given by my teacher this week. I've taken it to heart. Our quote this week was “I think Google's budget ran low and instead of cameras they had to use potatoes"- Elder Hapairai. In other news, for some reason all our language materials had an Arabic law of chastity pamphlet in it. No other Arabic materials just that, but I can now teach the law of chastity in Arabic. Gift of tongues is real. I'm pretty sure my pronunciation is way off though. In other news it's been snowing hard and Sister L is in heaven she loves the snow. Contrary to some rumors that have gone around I have not been transferred to Hong Kong, but I was called as a travel leader and our layover is in Hong Kong. We leave Monday and we are all super excited! We all have to leave a bag so that's stressful, but it's ok. We don't need that much anyway. So Thanksgiving in the MTC was one of my favorite. Elder Howell's mother sent us a turkey craft. I've never met her but I love her for that turkey. Even our teachers love the turkey. We heard from Neil L. Anderson on Thanksgiving. Shockingly he talked about gratitude. We were all surprised. What he said was wonderful though. This very life here is a gift. Every breath we take is a blessing. Even when we are sick, or sad, or suffering our existence is a gift. I've seen more blessings here in the MTC than ever in my life. It is hard, but the trials are a real blessing. The fact that we can exist to experience trials is a blessing. There's a scripture about keeping your eye single to the glory of God and when we do that we realize how blessed we are. Man is dust, but Heavenly Father gave us this beautiful earth anyway. He gave us families, and friends, and chocolate, and all other things that make us happy. We also got to see the Christmas initiative a day early. Everyone should participate it's so good! Also the videos are great! Here's the link:

An elder in our branch is in the first big one. He's the Japanese guy who helps the other guy. Sorry that's not very specific, but I don't really know how else to distinguish the roles. Sister L and I sang in the choir. We sang Come Thou Fount. It was beautiful. If you go to the MTC just sing in the choir. It's my favorite part of the week. My favorite devotional this week wasn't the Thanksgiving one, but the Tuesday night done by Stephen B Allen in the missionary department. He reminded us why we were here and told us to serve worthily. He told the story of getting dear-Johned by a wedding invitation and reminded us that our afflictions are consecrated for our gain. He also told us a story about messing with the water pressure on a double water fountain when he was in a Stake Presidency. He kept pressing the button on his end so the sunbeam got hit in the face. The moral was don't let satan press you buttons and don't let your stake president catch you messing with sunbeams. I plan to follow both pieces of advice. My favorite part of Thanksgiving was being with my district. We all shared goldfish, chocolate, and jelly beans. This thanksgiving I'm thankful for them because they are the BEST! I probably won't email for a while because we are skipping pday while we travel. Literally due to time zones I will never experience the 6th of December! I love you all! Happy Thanksgiving! Do the Christmas Initiative. Also I managed to take a picture right as Elder Howell was falling. Please enjoy.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Hari-ini hari baik

Apa khabar everyone! This week I saw two apostles - Elder Holland as a Sunday movie and Elder Stevenson for devotional. They both said such amazing things and talked about missions and gratitude. Our two best quotes this week were "I'm just trying to find out who I am! I could be Gangster!" my beautiful companion Sister L, and "You could wear hide of Elmo! You'd look like a low budget batman"- Elder Hapairai. My companion is the best person ever. Yesterday she went to temple square with the rest of the internationals. Sister Thomas and I got to be a companionship for the day, but I missed her dearly. She had a great time. One of the fun things about Sister L is that everytime we meet another Samoan it's like they've never met another Samoan before and they get so happy and make sure the other one has food, money, and clothes. It's so much fun. This week one of our TRC investigators was Samoan so we taught half in malay and half in Samoan Then he called his mom and she sent Sister L a package. Other highlights of this week included hearing about Christmas in Malaysia. Apparently it's quite the party. Sister Wynn only had 1 Christmas there, but she ate at 16 houses that day. Our teachers have also been showing us lots of pictures. Kucing is full of the awesome cat statues everywhere and it all looks so beautiful. I love the language. It's hard, but it's so fun. Last week I could learn 15-20 words a day, but I've really been hastened. I can now learn 35 or 40. Sister L and I are super diligent (Rajin) about it though. We legit put our pamphlets in ziplock bags so we can study them in the shower. There is no rest. I love my district so much. They are all so fun. It's going to be so hard leaving them in 2 weeks:( In elder Hollands talk he said a lot of things that really impacted me, but one that stuck out most was his sharing an English translation of a French poem. It went like "come to the edge, he said, no we'll fall, come to the edge he said, no we'll fall, come to the edge he said, we came, he pushed us, we flew" Sometimes for God to bless us we have to leave our comfort zone. We have to let him push us off the edge. We have to do hard things and be afraid, but when we do he can teach us to fly. He knows what we can be. He knows how to make us better. When we jump we will fly. Being in the MTC is different. It's out of my comfort zone, but since I've got here I've been flying. That's through the spirit. When we lean on God we really can do all things.  I love all you! I love this Place! 1 More P-day till Singapore! 

Sister Bithell 

Tender Mercies

This has been a really wonderful week with lot's of tender mercies. Let me tell you about a few. First off Ev's letter came at a wonderful time and made my day. Sister L finally got her first letter from Australia! We've been called as host missionaries on Wednesdays! So now we get to welcome new people to the MTC! The store stocked Singapore mission shirts that have both the Singapore and Malaysian flag. We had a really amazing devotional from the MTC administrative director with the best musical number I've heard since I got here. Sister Thomas was called to give a musical number next week so now during personal study we all go read in the empty chapel while she plays the piano and she is wonderful! All week Elder Howell has been requesting pickles. Also all week we've been telling each other to mengingat alamo lah! (remember the Alamo) because we had to explain the Alamo to the Australians. Then your package contained pickle ball alamo candy and we literally laughed so hard I thought I was gonna die. Sister Laupepe and I had amazing lessons with both TRC volunteers and Wynndy. Probably the best we've taught so far. I kind of have the flu right now so I'm leaving class frequently, but sister Laupepe has been so patient and kind. In addition your package came on the day I had the worst of it (vertigo, nausea, fever, ect.) and I got it right before class which really cheered me up. I'll send the sweaters home but right now I'm so grateful for those and the socks. Outside of all these amazing blessing though the greatest blessing is the spirit. Since I got her the Lord has really blessed me with peace. I miss you but I'm not homesick. I'm doing hard things, but I'm not stressed. I'm never anxious. I learn quickly. I love people I'd usually have a hard time loving. This stuff isn't me it's the spirit and I know that. SO far I'm the only one not to cry in class due to language stress/other stress. It's because for some reason God has just really taken care of me.  It is hard, but I'm really happy. I'm so excited to go to Singapore, but I am nervous. I know it will be hot, and I know I won't understand anything, but that's ok. Anyway I love you all.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Friendly Chickens

Hey Everybody! It's been a great week in the MTC! All is going well, and we got chick-fil-a last night! Our district has started keeping a quote of the day list. Here's a few of my favorites! "Elder Howell do you have a friendly chicken?" -Sister Cardon, "I can do the just girly things"- Elder Haipairai, "Tahiti isn't a real Place!"- Elder Howell, "Can we just talk about how hot the prime minister of Canada is???"- Elder Read, "I know that Bob Marley is one of the three Nephites"- Me, and finally "Oh nevermind. Those are Call of Duty words. I thought they were Malay"- Elder Haipairai. I promise that behind all the quotes we're being reverent and studying seriously, but mealtimes are crazy. This week we got a devotional by Russel M Nelson. It was super good. We also got a suprise concert by Jenny Oaks Baker. If haven't heard the song "The Prayer" look it up. It's amazing! Also turns out our first investigator is actually our third teacher! It was crazy! The elders feel betrayed, but sister L and I had our suspicions. A few other fun things this week, Sunday night our branch president let us watch Johnny Lingo. That was super fun. The departing Russians in our hall gave me a 50oz bag of peanut M&Ms, and I've made a couple of friends headed for the Colorado Colorado Springs mission. Look out for a Sister Anderson, Elder Knudson, and Elder Wallace. They are great. This Sunday was fast Sunday and we had mission conference. The MTC presidency spoke. The talks were great and something that stuck out to me was a hastening. We were told that the Lord hastens his work for his own purpose in his own time. That's definitely true. Sometimes I'm frustrated with my progress all day, but then 5 minutes before we're teaching I'll learn all 20 words I didn't know. The Lord gives us what we need. In addition Sister Burgess told us that it's through gratitude we find humility. That stuck out to me because I've been trying to work on humility. When I came into the MTC I was doing really well with the language and with teaching and it was making me kind of proud. I was struggling to be humble, but then I started being grateful and it's helped. When I realize how much the Lord has blessed me to get me here it makes a big difference! Anyway I love you all! I love the MTC! I'm excited about going to Singapore even with the heat cause it's freezing here!

Saya Sayang Kamu!

Sister Bithell

Friday, November 4, 2016

The six sisters in my district

First Week!

So it's finally P-day and I'll have been here 1 week tomorrow! I LOVE the MTC. Our district found out when we got here that we are all learning Indonesian too (the bible, hymnbook, and pamphlets are all in Indonesian)! So that was fun, but thankfully they are super similar. We are advancing quickly though. I can teach a lesson, pray, and bear my testimony in Malay, and I can do almost as much in Indonesian. Our district is 6 sisters and 3 elders plus kind of one solo elder going to Indonesia whose companion is in our district. It's the biggest Malay district they've ever had and the most Malay sisters. Our branch consists of the Mongolians, the Cambodians the Laotians, the Vietnamese, the Thais, and of course the Indonesians. The Cambodians leave today and almost everyone else is Thai. There haven't been Malays here in over 4 months. Piece of advice, every mission call is the best except Cambodia because the alphabet is 129 characters and the elders are always falling over. They wrote a Cambodian goodbye rap though and that was pretty good! We have 3 Australians and one british elder in the branch and everyone else is American. I love being here. There's so much I want to learn and so little time to learn it. We go to 11 hours of classes/study a day and even after that we're drilling flash cards and practicing Lessons during meals and exercise time. Even in the shower we're quizzing each other on Malay. I've seen a ton of people I know here (shoutout to Elder Wiest who was hosting when I arrived, Elder Condie from Friday first shift, all seven of you from the 42nd ward, and Ben working in the Cafeteria). Our classroom is freezing, and the chairs are awful, but so far those are my only complaints. We've been teaching our investigator named Ripkah and our first lesson was awful, but our second two were great. We've made a few bad language mistakes though. Berdoa means pray while Berdosa means sin so I asked Ripkah to sin with us (oops) and another elder tried to ask her if she was a student, but acciedently asked if she was a muderer. No pictures this week because I'm having some Camera Problems,but they will come later!