Saturday, June 3, 2017

Gawai 5/28/17

So this week was awesome. Sister Thomas from the MTC moved into our apartment so almost our whole MTC group is together again (Sister Leaupepe and Sister Egan y'all need to come to Kuching- it's a party here). We make a lot of community curry at lunch. We all hit our seven month mark together. Also it's Gawai, the Dayak harvest festival and that is basically all that's gonna happen this week. I feel like the following pictures accurately explain Gawai. Last week our branch had it's preparing for Gawai party; this week we are having the Gawai party; next week we are having our end of Gawai party. In the middle of these parties nobody wants to meet and learn so Sister Cranston and I are just going to a bunch of members' and investigators' Gawai parties to see if the other people at their parties want to learn about how the restored gospel of Jesus Christ can bless their families. It's gonna be way fun, but I'm a little afraid because I'm scheduled to eat 8-10 dinners every day. Quote of the week "It's an FFA power grab!"- Sister Thomas. Love you all! Selamat hari gawai!!!

Sister Bithell

Inline image 1Sister Thomas in a pujabiInline image 2


                                               Party apartment
​                                               English class
                                               ​Gawai
                                ​Gawai, except Sister Chan because she is Chinese and dressed accordingly

Miracle of the Week 5/21/17

Miracles of this week is that Sister Cranston and I were biking wayyyyyy fast to make it to an appiontment on time and we were on a highway. I hit a patch of sand and my bike went down to my left which means straight into traffic. I felt my elbow scrape the street and then I was straight back up on my bike again just in time for a car to speed by. I have a nice gash on my elbow to prove it. So now I know it's true the Lord protects his missionaries. I'm waiting on transfer news right now and I'm mildly terrified. I think Sister Cranston is probably going which means I'm getting someone new, but I'll be happy regardless, because I didn't know true joy until I served a mission and I can feel true joy no matter who my companion is or how many investigators I have. 

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Selemat Hari Ibu 5/14/17

This week was a great week. Sister Cranston and I experienced a lot of cool miracles. Adelynn, in the top pictures, decided she wants to be baptized next transfer! Justina and fam, one below, picked a date too! We went into the lesson to drop her and instead she put herself on date without us challenging her! She is so special! Gawai preperations are starting. It's the harvest festival and we are way excited. We have several weeks and we have all ready been invited to 4 different houses. We are practicing the ngajat and stretching our stomachs. Last p-day we hiked this way cool waterfall and it was pouring rain the whole way up. This pday we are taking a nap and eating food. Funny story a few of our investigators have shortened my very hard name to "Sister Hell" I'm getting my new name badges next week and I'm way stoked to be "Sister Bell". The sister hell thing is even more ironic because right now I'm serving in the same zone as Elder Loosefer. It's very hot, and very rainy, and life is all good. We are seeing a lot of cool miracles. Also this week I had to eat pigs feet. They were better than chicken feet, but worse than snake. Love you all,
Sister Bithell
p.s. Quote of the week: Malaysia is basically Florida, we both have gators. At least we aren't France. All they have is frogs. - Sister Cardon






I Can Ride My Bike With No Handlebars 5/7/17

So this week was crazy! I love biking and we have been in some beautiful areas. Sister Cranston and I like to sing hymns while we bike and it is way fun! Also we went to Singapore for zone conference. It was cool, but I wanted to be back in Kuching. I learned a lot though! So funny story of the week we were at the church and I went to open the fridge and suddenly a live fish flips off the shelf and hits me in the face. I'm terrified because I have no idea what just hit me in the face and I'd already killed one snake that day so I scream and kick the fish as hard as I can. Sister Cranston has no clue what's happening and chucks her Bible towards the direction of the mayhem as hard as she can. The Bible finds my face and everyone in the church comes running. Sister Anita (who loves me because I look just like the Malaysian depiction of Mary, mother of Christ) leaps forward and grabs what is apparently her fish and starts shouting "nakal nakal jangan keluar!" and wrangling this giant fish which she was planning to cook. Later that night I ate that fish. Basically that moment summarizes what serving is Kuching is like. As we were leaving the church half an house later we discovered that Sister Itong was selling live fish from a bucket just outside the church door. It was amusing. Spiritual thought this week comes from  a conference talk I forget which one "sometimes the greatest form of charity is to withhold judgment". It's true. The more we understand people the more we love them. The more we love the happier we will be. Never hesitate to love someone. I love you all! 
​Love My comp and Singapore! (Sorry we look so haggard-that was our third country of the day)

​Chinatown

​Why is my companion so darn beautiful???

I Sangat Letih 5/1/17

So this has been a great week! We are working with three new investigators named Justina, Adalynn and Wei Wei! We discovered half our branch was baptized when they were still seven. Also I'm in Singapore now. Sister Cranston and I will return in four days after zone conference. It keeps raining but it's also to hot and I love biking. Funny story of the week. I had to eat snake. It's ok though because they gave us delicious kuey afterwards. 


 Me pulling the boa to get to Jestina's house the boat is to the middle of the left.


​Six month celebration cake with sister cranston and sister cardon!​ Yay batchmates!


​Dumplings

Kuching 4/16/17

So I'm in Kuching now and I am head over heels in love with this area! I'm with Sister Cranston from the MTC and she is wonderful! Her Malay is awesome and her Iban is not too shabby also. I'm on a bike now which I also love. Biking is basically the best thing to ever happen to missionaries. Also Kuching is way less hot than KL and way more pretty. The members here are great too! Story of the week! We were less active hunting this woman named Yinnie so we knocked the door that was supposed to be hers only to find a salty Anglican man who told us that a Mormon named Millie worked at the fish market. Sure enough we jalaned to the fish market and we found a woman named Millie who has not been to church is five years because she goes back to her kampong (hometown) every weekend. Anyway wasn't a lot we could do there so we pulled out the branch list and she was able to give us the new updated addresses of over 20 of our less actives that she is still close too. About ten of them are back deep in the jungle so we can't really do anything there, but we went to visit another one in foochow right nearby. Anyway we got to the house and they were not home but their 15 year old neighbor was out riding his bike. Anyway we told him what we were doing and he said he was Christian too and went in and asked his parents if they wanted to learn. They did not. So after that he spent the next two hours biking us to the houses of all his Christian friends to see if they wanted to learn. We found the Chinese sisters three new investigators. It was quite the miracle! Anyway I love this area and love all you! Don't forget to pray! 
Sister Bithell  

Close to where we found millie



View from the apartment



We tried taking a cute comp picture

Sangat Comel 4/2/17

This week was a great week! We started teaching a woman from the Czech Republic named Marcela. She is one of our LA's sister in laws. We also did a ward activity called "Walk With Christ". Missionaries were the primary cast. The Subang elders gave Nephi a traditional Iban twist with a conch shell and a bommerang. Elder Bonrostro was portraying some prophet, but he looked like hairy potter. Sister Tony Was Pilate's wife with a Muslim twist and Brandon Van Cott wore the family rug. We also had a problem with the Apostle John (bottom left) doing magic tricks, but the kids loved it. Basically PJ branch is just super cool!!! Shirley is still making fun of our costumes though. Working hard, teaching lots, eating great food. Love you all!
Sister Bithell
PS. I befriended a monkey





Five Months Out! Lima Bulan! 3/26/17

So this week was great! Shirley got baptized. Elliot, an RC of 1 month baptized her. It was an awesome experience for both of them. Except when Elliot tried to dunk her she forgot to hold his arm so he dropped her and she punched him going down. They are laughing about it now though. Also we went to Batu caves, saw the monkey king and befriended monkeys. We also took all the RC's and investigators to Sister Moniques to eat roast duck and play charades. Life is great and I love PJ!
Love you all!
Sister Bithell






I Rode an Ostrich 3/13/17

So basically I hit the highest point of my entire life this week. Riding an ostrich is a little like riding a giant scary potato. I'm not sure how to describe it better. In other news we are still trio training, and Jifu got the priesthood. He is a saint. He keeps asking for a calling and he is mad he has to wait a year to go to the temple. 
Sayang semua kamu!
Sister Bithell





Training Trio and a Baptism 3/5/17

So those are the highlights of this week! Sister Cloud and I are staying in Petaling Jaya another transfer and surprise! We are training a native greenie who never went to the MTC. We are training her in a trio. I finished my training Wednesday and then started training her on Thursday. Her name is Sister Tony. She is 4 feet 11 inches tall and 80 pounds. She is awesome and with her my Malay is progressing so fast! It's increased like 50% of what it was in the MTC in the past week! Thank goodness! Also Ji Fu was baptized this week! It almost didn't happen! the day before he texted us and said he needed to talk. He was in danger of being fired if he was baptized. We challenged him to go home and pray. He did. He felt he needed to be baptized. He was baptized and due to some miracles everything worked out with his job:) Funny story of the week. Earlier we tried to find a less active and we ended up attending a random Filipino, Indian, Czechoslovakian, and Bengali birthday party. It was the most unique finding opportunity of my life. Love you all!
Sister Bithell


Also Sister Tan visited for four days to interview for her visa and she baked a cake

Playing Dress-up 2/27/17

This week was crazy. Just look at the pictures and draw your own conclusion. Transfer news. We are staying here but in a trio again. This is my fourth trio.





2 Countries in 3 Days 2/19/17

So this week was awesome! Last pday we saw Sister Burton the general relief society president spea. She was amazing! On Thursday we had to fly to Singapore for zone conference. It was awesome. Sister Cloud and I had a flight that arrived at 9am but zone conference didn't start until 6pm so we did a contacting, sight-seeing blitz and worked our way across Singapore. We went to little India, Arab street, the murrels, the merlion, Chinatown, a museum, and the big boat on the buildings that is a garden. It was awesome. We also taught someone a first lesson and then passed them to the Filipino sisters. It was fun, but we really just wanted to be back in our area. There is a lot of good stuff going on with PJ and we missed out investigators. Cute story- our investigator Ji Fu met one of the KL elders' investigators who got baptized Saturday at a ysa activity and now they are dating! This is possibly one of the best things to ever happen. Anyway when we got back on Saturday we made it home by 4, but the elders had to reenter the country through Kuching and their investigator Elliot was getting baptized at 7. They kind of forgot to plan the baptism though (they are awesome, just flaky) so Sister Cloud and I managed to plan a baptism in 3 hours. They made it back just in time to preform the baptism and it was actually really good. We even had a musical number. It was even better because We got to teach Elliot a couple lessons after the elders got chopped on their last visa run. Elliot is really awesome. He has a powerful testimony and on Sunday he gave one of the best testimonies I have ever heard. He is going to Kentucky for school in march. If anyone is in Kentucky let me know! Love you all!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Chinese New Year

This week was awesome! It was the end of Chinese New Year so there were a lot of lion dances and dragon dances! The funniest one was a dragon dance that happened right outside our apartment in the parking lot of a driving school. We watched from the balcony and all these poor little nervous drivers were trying to navigate their way around a dragon and some drummers. 

Ji Fu is getting antied at work and that is really hard for him. It's worse because he lives with 17 of his coworkers. So my favorite people in PJ are Indians. I think I told mom once that I thought a mission in India would be super cool, but they don't send sisters there. Our mission actually still included all of India back in 2012. Anyway most missionaries like to work with the Chinese but I was totally sent here for the Indians. The Ravis are one of my favorite Indian families have invited us over to dress up in saris later. Brother Ravi keeps making me profiles on Indian dating websites. He is trying to arrange a marriage for me because "those white boys are no good! You need a nice Indian man!" It's an adventure, but if I don't get him under control I may find myself transferred:/ I don't want to be transferred because I love PJ and I love sister cloud we are legit best friends and we work so hard. Saturday we managed to contact 56 people and teach 4 lessons. We are a very productive companionship. We are flying to Singapore this week for zone conference. We may end up having to make a chop to Indonesia while we are there, but we are trying to avoid it. I'd love to go to Indonesia, but it's hard to take 3 days away from your area. We have a lot of lessons to teach. We got special permission to do half studies on Tuesday and Wednesday so that we can do more meetings, and today we are only taking a 6 hour pday! Sister Burton the general relief society president is coming to Malaysia for 2 days and we are going see her teach! I love you I love missionary work! Also my Tamil is getting pretty good. My Malay still sucks though.



Makanan

So this week we ate a lot of food! Yesterday we had three dinner appointments with members in the branch to bring investigators to so we ate three dinners. It was so good, but also I almost puked it was so much food! I ate fish heads and they were super good! We also had a branch hike that Ryan and Ji Fu came to! Ji Fu loves our branch and our branch loves him. Everyone is excited for his baptism. Ji Fu is so humble. When we first taught law of chastity and word of wisdom he said "No! thats not true!". Then we told him to pray, and he said he knew they were right and started to live them. Yesterday we asked him how Law of chastity was, and he said "I am living it. It is Awesome!!!!;D" this was via text. He makes me laugh. We got lost in a Hindu cemetery. We took the picture then got chased out by 3 super mangy dogs. We also found a four ringet banana leaf place by the church, and I'm never eating anything else again. I love being a missionary. I love our trio! I love my investigators. I know that there are a lot of good strong solid missionaries out there who are much better than I and it means the world that God has let me meet mine here. It means so much that he has trusted me with these people. I love the gospel. I know it's true. I know that no matter what out trials our Heavenly Father will put us on his shoulders and carry us home. I know this because every day here He carries me, He carries my companions, and He carries my investigators. I love Malaysia. I love Petaling Jaya. Miss and love you all. Sayang Kamu,



Sister Bithell

Apa Khabar Everyone!

Shiromi and Niranj

This week was a good week. It was Chinese new year which made it hard to proselyte because no one can meet till Chinese new year is over and all the Chinese people (not muslim) are in their kapongs. It was still a lot of fun though. We were gonna go to brother Ravi's nieces coming of age party but there was a small monsoon so we couldn't make it. We are working with Ryan a lot. He wants to be baptized because he believes in Christ and he knows he needs baptism. The problem is that he doesn't have a testimony of Joseph Smith or the Book of Mormon or this church. We are just the first to offer to dunk him. It's frustrating because I love him and really want him to let this change his life but he is passive. Sister Roylance, Sister Cloud, and I are still working as a trio because she is still waiting on her workers permit to go to Singapore. Trios are interesting, but hopefully she can go soon. Sister Tu finally made it home to Australia for her surgery. Sister Kunie emails me every week from KK and I miss her dearly. Ji Fu is my miracle of the week. Ji Fu makes everything worth it. Sometimes I struggle to understand him because of the language barrier so I've been praying to understand him. This week the Lord answered that prayer. While teaching a lesson as I was trying to understand Ji Fu I did understand him. I understood other stuff too. For a minute the Lord gave me a flash of what it's like to be Ji Fu. For just a minute I understood what it's like to be 26, and Chinese, raised by cotton farmers. I felt what it's like to miss his two brothers, to worry about his parents, and to bike to Tibet. Ji Fu is kind of a free spirit. He does stuff like that. He biked to Tibet, visited India, and last year spontaneously moved to Malaysia. I'm almost completely sure he moved here to find us. Since then Ji Fu and I have understood each other perfectly. The spirit makes languages a lot easier. Anyway Ji Fu reads every day and prays every day so Sister Cloud asked if he had prayed for an answer. He said no. She started going off on him but I asked why not. He said the sweetest words I've ever heard. "I already know it's true." Those words are the best thing I ever could have heard. We still have a little bit to teach him, but he is prepared and ready. He also gave us red envelopes for Chinese new year. We visited Niranji and Shiromi and after their grieving period is over Shiromi will be baptized as well. Sister Cloud is a military child her family is currently in Germany. She is a little boy crazy, but a really good missionary. I really like her as a person too. She is easy to get along with and not super high strung. That was a relief. My favorite food of the week is kuey and nasi lemak. They are delicious.  I'm trying my best every day. I love you and miss you all. Hati hati jangan mati.

Me with Ji Fu

Monday, January 16, 2017

First Transfer

This week was great! So Sister Roylance is getting transferred to Singapore. I think I'm staying here. We have been in a trio for the last few days because Sister Tu hurt her arm again and had to go to Singapore. Good story- I got my feet eaten by fish! Another good story- I met Elder Wong and area Seventy. He showed up at sacrament meeting. It was super awesome. We had to drop Ryan this week because he wasn't in it. It was hard. I cried because I really love Ryan, but then there was a miracle! After saying he wouldn't go to church and getting dropped he showed up because that's what got him serious about this!!! YAYAYAY!! It was the perfect time because Elder Wong was there and said exactly what Ryan needed to here. A funny story- we texted one of our PIs to set up an appointment and he agreed to show up. We went to KL central to meet him and it was the wrong person! A person we contacted on the lrt texted us back at the same time we texted the PI, and we hadn't saved the number so we thought it was him. We were so confused. It was super funny. Instead of a nice Chinese kid we got an Indian Sikh in his 40s who was very opinionated. We laughed so hard after. Happy Birthday Mom and David. I support not having a party of two year olds. That seems like a bad idea. This week we had dinner with a part member family from Sri Lanka. We are super close with them, but have never eaten at their house before. Niranji, Shiromi, and Brother Shiloh informed us that it is Sri Lankan custom to stand around your guests and watch them eat. They then proceeded to do just that. It was awkward but the daal curry was great! Niranji showed us her and Brother Shiloh's wedding photos and they were so beautiful. I want a traditional Sri Lankan wedding now.  This week I got proposed to by a 14 year old that sang me a song about the kota kimbalu mountains and his love. He was very sincere, but I declined. Love you all have a great week!
p.s. I named an abandoned baby because the hospital wanted a white name, and her name is Rachel.

Mukjizat

So this week was awesome! We got 9 investigators to church! It was super hard balancing everyone, but we did it! Also this week we ate some good food! Cendol is my new favorite! Roti, kurry mee, Jaya balls, and schwarma are all super good too! We were basically just going between teaching appointments this week, but we were blessed with finding. We actually had a woman chase us down because she heard us talking and liked what we said. She came to sacrament. It was a miracle. Funny story- sister R and I ran into our fourth favorite homeless man. He is this old Indian guy who praises Jesus every other sentence. Legit he crosses himself and prays at every thing you say. He calls us holy people. We took a bus with him. We started teaching this super awesome guy named Ji Fu! He is from China and doesn't speak English very well, but he has the best sense of humor. We introduced him to the elders in our branch and they got so jealous they tried to steal him. Not a chance. He is ours. He learns super well and is progressing. In English class he got up and took my marker away to show me how to draw butterflies right. His were much better than mine. Our least favorite bus driver kind of kidnapped us a little bit this week. He wouldn't let us off the bus. I was super mad and chewed him out in bahasa. After that though our favorite bus driver picked us up and shared his sunflower seeds. Like the next day.  Sister Roylance and I got dumped on and almost drowned this week. After five minutes it was like we'd been standing in the shower. 
Sayang semua kamu!
Sister Bithell

Happy New Year!

A city in a jungle
So far 2016 has been the best of my life! I just want to share a quick story from this week. Here in KL there is a man that is very special to me. His name is Wilfred. He is a 6'2", Indian homeless man. He has a remarkable gift where he can sit down and play any song he's ever heard on basically any instrument. He is very special. Sister R and I met him on the bus a few weeks ago, and we run into him every few days. The first time we met him we both had an incredible feeling around him. When you see him you automatically feel that he's a son of God and see his divine potential. Tuesday night we ran into him contacting and both felt it was right to stay. We sat with him on the street. He told us about his dead mother, and his life, and talked about music then we taught him a lesson and sang primary songs to him. If you told me this time a year ago I would spend my night in Malaysia singing primary songs with a homeless man. I would have said you were crazy, but here I am. He came to all three hours of church on Sunday. He learned more humbly and asked more sincere questions than anyone I've ever met. I never imagined that I would be friends and care deeply about a homeless man in Malaysia. I never imagined this would be where my life went, but I'm so glad God sent me here. He knows more than we do and I trust in Him. His plan was so much greater than mine. Love you all. Happy New Year!!! Also sorry didn't do great with pictures this week so I took this walking to the internet cafe.

Merry Christmas!

Sorry no letter last week - no time! Some highlights since then were getting lost in a Chinese graveyard, going to a big Indian party (It's legit just like bollywood), eating a whole frog with chopsticks and a spoon, caroling to old people, and hitting a monkey over the head with a Book of Mormon. This mission is unique. I love it. We took our investigator to the baptism of one of our good friends Sister Ima on Christmas Eve she bore a beautiful testimony. There was not a dry eye in the chapel. She is very short. Asia is very short. I hit my head a lot. ​We were in a slump for lessons this week, but we had great finding. We are teaching the Restoration at least 7 times this week. Honestly I love finding because that's where I feel the most guided and see the most miracles. I do awkward things for finding. I jumped off a train yesterday. It was moving. My companion wasn't thrilled about that one, but once we talked to the guy she forgave me. He was sitting there smoking, praying that God would send someone because he felt alone. He has gone to many churches and wants a relationship with God. He desperately wants to stop smoking. I feel so blessed to meet him. We meet a lot of people with those needs. We meet young mothers that feel desperate. teenagers contemplating life, and many who have just suffered a death. We don't end up teaching a lot of them past the restoration, but that is ok. Someday they will accept and at the time we were where God needed us. I love being a missionary. The food is very good. A nice family named the Whitakers had all the KL missionaries over for Christmas. They fed us food and bore their testimonies. Christmas in Malaysia is different. It's not white and a lot of people don't celebrate, but it has been one of my favorite Christmases ever. I will hold this one close to my heart. Remember Christ, Remember His Condescension. He suffered for all you. He knows you all. Through faith in Him we will all see miracles. Sayang Semua Kamu.
Sister Bithell

Sister Ima's baptism

A Hard Week

This week has been difficult. There were good things, but almost all our investigators dropped us. Literally all but 2 appointments fell through. It was very hot. We ate some really good food. We had dragon fruit. We had some Indian stuff. We had nasi chompor and satay. The satay was the best thing I've ever put in my mouth.  You asked about my mission president. I've met the Simmons only twice. Because the mission is like three in one, interaction is pretty rare but they are very nice. We rely a more on the senior couples. The Colemans, and the Pattersons live in our building. We are very close to them. They are like sweet mission grandparents. Our branch is small. We own a part of a strip mall. Our directory is five printed out pages and only about 30 active members. Our entire branch has 7 priesthood holders and we lost two this week because they moved. So now we only have 5 priesthood holders. I really love sister Kim who is about to have a baby, Sister Poh Pong who was called as a Relief Society president this week when our last one, Sister Larsen moved back to Utah, and Sister Monique. She is a super sassy Chinese woman and she gave the missionaries lots of soap for Christmas. Christmas may end up being a long day of contacting which I'm kind of sad about. However, it will be good. My foot and Sister Tu's shoulder are much better. 
We teach in four languages so there's a lot of struggling with that, but honestly it's really fun. I no longer have any patience for people who say it was hard to learn Spanish though. In our mission it never stops. As soon as you get good with one language you have to learn another. Basically you will never run out of new languages you need and half of your investigators won't have a language in common. In someways it actually makes it easier. We have to focus more on teaching with the spirit than the language. Funny story this week. We live next to a driving school and they have a giant drive safe sign. This week a car hit the drive safe sign head on. It was pretty ironic. Right now our remaining investigators are Ryan (Chinese), Shiromi (Sri Lankan), Riska (Indonesian), and Carmen (Phillipino). Riska is a domestic helper which is someone who comes over and works as a domestic maid. It is a very hard life and most of them leave family behind. On new years we are meeting with one I found at a bus stop named Lita. Her two kids are in the Phillipines and her husband is here, but due to their work she only sees him twice a month. There is so much work to be done here. There are so many people that need the gospel. Our branch has so many needs. Everyone we talk with deals with addiction. There is lots of abuse. Lots of poverty. Also a lot of people who are witches and stuff so thats fun to deal with. It's overwhelming and very humbling. I feel like these people need a missionary who is a lot better than me. They need someone that can really help with the miracles they need. That's ok though because it's not me it's Christ. I can't do literally anything so I'm going to have a lot of faith.