Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Weird, interesting week with a dead next door neighbor

Hey everyone! Happy late Thanksgiving!

So this week has been very interesting & different! 

I never told you about my companion - it's Elder Earl! The cool thing is that I met his parents when I was at the Hill Cumorah Pageant this summer! 
I got my first package from you & loved the Chopsticks! and the kids will love the Pez dispensers!  (this was his christmas package! not a Welcome to Sibu package!- good thing a 2nd package was sent  later or the kid would have nothing to open on Christmas!) 

So first, the random guy who came to church last week has become an investigator & looks pretty promising right now. We are hoping to teach him & prepare him for a "white" christmas baptism! Our Zone has 21 people on track to be baptized by the 21 of December so we are hoping we can do something with our investigator this month too!

Thanksgiving was great! We biked to a senior couples apartment for turkey & such! It was so good & reminded me of home. On the way there it was POURING rain & the side walks are made with tile! (not a great idea in the first place) On on the way there, 2 elders that we were riding with slid & burned! They were ok but it was crazy funny to watch it happen, like in slow motion funny! This is the kind of mission experience I thought I would have! Biking in monsoon season! 

Since being here, I have tried a bunch of food & am getting used to talking to a bunch of random people and I am loving things here in Sibu! We are starting to have more & more people become more interested in the church. A lot of people here actually know who we are. We often ask people, "Have you ever seen people like us before?" & they go "Yeah, riding the bikes around!" Yep! that's who we are - the guys that just constantly ride our bikes around!  

A cool thing about Sibu, is the night market downtown! There is this parking lot that they use during the day for businesses & stuff and then every night, all these Chinese & Malay people come out of nowhere & set up these shops and sell anything! T-shirts, food - pig snout!,  purses, souvenirs, .. We had a member with us & bought some kind of gummy food thing. It looked pretty good so I tried it. I don't know what it was or what it was filled with but this weird bitter-sour soy sauce stuff goes all over my hand & it was terrible!  

We have been serving a member of our branch by pulling the weeds in her yard. During our weed pulling, her brother, who isn't a member pulls up & starts talking to us. We were really excited to talk to him ! After a while he looked  at me & said" You know, you look like Eminem." I was like "What?!" He said,  "Yeah, yo do, just more clean cut & good looking." Haha! I have never been called that - but ok!  Then later, when I turned to look at him again, he said, "whoa, from the side you look like that American Pie Guy." ( I don't even know who that is, so if you do, let me know !)  We were able to talk to him later about the church & we got him to let us call him & set up a time to come & teach him! Except, I'm not quite sure if he was drunk or not! haha! oh well! 

So the weird & sad thing about this week! We come home from church Sunday & find this guy outside our house & another guy with him.  (So our house is like one house split into 2 different living spaces)  So one of the guys starts to ask us about our building neighbor & when was the last time we saw him. We have never met him or even seen him, so we don't know who or what they are talking about. One of the guys is his friend & our building neighbors wife had called him to go check on his friend, our neighbor. So the friend eventually goes into the house & finds that the guy had taken his own life by breathing the fumes from some coals he had lit. So we are there & the friends call the police & for 2 hours we watched the police do their thing, they asked us a few questions, cleared out the "apartment" & it was just so weird. Here we are missionaries with a message of joy & we lived right next door to someone who probably needed it! Crazy. So later we took a picture of Christ over to his family, who were all gathering at his apartment. Crazy. 

So we are trying to get the members wanting to come to FHE more. So since it's Christmas time we think we are going to teach about service & the value it has. So we are thinking of making a small christmas tree & over the next few weeks, for every act of service the members do for someone else, they get to add a decoration to it. Then we will present our service tree at the Christmas party we are having in a few weeks to show how much service they have done. What do you think? We were trying to make FHE fun so if you have any ideas for a powerful, spiritual lesson, let me know! 

Anyway, hoping & praying for my first baptism! 
It's still hot over here & I hope you guys are enjoying the snow if you have it yet- because I won't for 2 years!
Love you all & miss you too! 
Elder Hanks

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