Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Pictures from Kuching, Malaysia 2014!!!

Week #29.. The Missing Letter...

-Apparently another plane is lost here in Malaysia from Singapore.. pretty scary because we fly all the time here whenever we need to move areas. It has to be one of the most expensive missions in the world because of all the flights..

-Last p-day we did an escape room which is a room that has clue's and you have to try and get out. They are popular here and apparently starting to get popular in the states. 

-Christmas here is wild. Everyone forces you to eat at their houses and they just continue to stuff you with food all day long. I felt so fat that the day after christmas that night at 10 pm I went outside and did some of the stations conditioning that we do for pre-season basketball at MIT in the pouring rain because I ate a lot of food and not healthy food. Felt much better after that. Never thought I would do those on my own.

-Shout out to MIT bball brothers who are doing winter break stations now. I am with you guys. Doing a little in East Malaysia as well. 

-Skype was super awesome this week! So happy to see you all! Huge boost for the week! 

-Christmas day we biked so far and visited so many people and sang so many songs and had about 10 lessons and I was so full of food and so tired from biking. The next morning was so hard to get up. But definitely the most fulfilling Christmas yet; just reminding people the true meaning of Christmas.

-My companion is super super clean and hates anything dirty at all and so we have been learning how to clean better. Say thanks to my companion Mom. 

-Funny story. We found these huge leaves in the jungle and started play sword fighting with them and then started biking home. Mid-way home our hands started to itch and sting like crazy and we realized that the leaves we had been playing with had some sort of self-defense thing and so we suffered for an hour or so but then it went away. Scared us though because we didn't know how long the itching and stinging torture would last. Don't play with big leaves. 

-This week is the New Year! So I want to invite everyone to read this inspiring talk about regrets and resolutions and make some specific new years resolutions! 

The biggest three regrets of people: 
1. I wish I had spent more time with the people I love.
2. I wish I had lived up to my potential (not career/job)
3. I wish I let myself be happier

Love you all,

Happy New Year!

Elder Pierce 

This is the Missing Letter Below from the week before Christmas:

-Ate bat and flying squirrel this week. Not bad. Kind of like weird chicken/beef. Don't really know how to explain it. 

-This week got 100 pullups, 100 situps and 100 pushups in 15 min! Got my goal. Pretty happy with it. Calling out Dad, Sawyer & Jackson to try it..no chance..

-For Chinese I am currently memorizing the missionary dictionary..it's just like a shortened version of the real dictionary..all the actually useful words. But then I ask Penny usually on the words to see if they use them in Malaysia. Malaysia chinese is really lazy chinese and ask her how to use them. Memorizing a dictionary without knowing how to use the words is pointless..I am on letter "L"

-We teach about two thirds of our lessons in chinese..the rest in English...my Malay is not quite there yet..but can bear testimony and pray.

-Ah Boon one of our investigators got an answer this week praying to know if the book of mormon is true! Such a sweet experience for him..it was a treasured lesson for sure..

-This week we have been doing a lot of home teaching actually helping to jumpstart it in our branch..We started a program called Love "One" Other...giving them only one person/family to home teach at first until they manage that and then giving them more..it went pretty well this week.

-A huge problem we face with investigators out here is that a lot of people think all churches are true..it's probably a problem everywhere but I guess I just realized it more on the mission..
It makes it easy for them to not have a desire to know if our church is true because they already believe it is true but there are lots of different ways to get to heaven..we end up really focusing on the first vision a lot..

-Right now I am reading "Jesus the Christ" by James E. Talmage with "the harmony of the 4 gospels" which is in the back of the bible and just gives a chronological reading of the 4 gospels. They go along perfectly together and I am learning a ton about Jesus Christ's life right now.

-This week being Christmas, I will not be doing much celebrating but actually a lot more working than usual. This is the best time to get into people's houses and share messages uplifting them about the real gift of Christmas. It is going to be a hard but joyful week. 

This is a video I shared a couple weeks ago but it is worth a second watch. Don't forget the real meaning of Christmas. It isn't in wrapping paper. He is the Gift.

(Side Note: 1:34 in the video has a cool shot of the Mooncake Festival which is a chinese holiday I was able to celebrate earlier this year. I got to let one of those balloons go and it really does look like that. The sky is literally dotted with balloons.)

Merry Christmas! 

Love you all,

Elder Pierce 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Auntie Mui's Baptism!!

Week #27... Christmas in Kuching!!

-transfers are today and I am staying in Kuching East Malaysia for another 6 weeks finishing elder Eggertsen's training. Christmas in Kuching!

-This week went to singapore and saw the first presidency Christmas devotional. if you haven't seen it you should..

-Met another relative at zone conference Sister Tui'One somehow through our great great grandpa we are related. The romney side of the family I guess is just drawn to Malaysia..

-This week we went caroling like crazy. I love caroling..

-We taught one of our recent converts how to make rice (didn't even know I could make rice haha)

-This week has been really tiring because we have been out caroling late and far away and so there were a couple nights this week I came home and just jumped on my bed and fell asleep tie still on and everything. Those are some of the best nights sleep. 

-Auntie Mui who read the whole Book of Mormon in a week and a half got baptized on Friday. I was able to baptize her and it was wonderful! Super funny though because 4 other little kids under 12 were baptized and so the age difference between the people getting baptized was humongous..see the picture attatched

-Our recent converts Penny and Audrey gave talks at the baptism which was cool to see them progress in the gospel so fast. 

I'll end with a spiritual thought. You can't please everyone all the time. There are times that it just can't happen. But we must not forget who we always need to please and that is God. So which way do you face? Are you more scared of men or God? Do you face men or God? The only one in the world who never forgot which way he faced was Jesus Christ. 

Luke 4:42-44 gives an example where people want him to stay longer in their city but he tells them he must help other people as well and leaves them making the people sad and a little angry at him. Even Jesus Christ didn't try to please everyone but did what his father wanted him to do. 

Love you all,

Elder Pierce 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Future Missionaries and Stir Fry!

Week #26... Singapore!!

-This week on p-dayt took on Gabe's challenge to get 60 3 pointers in 5 minutes at each spot on the three point line without a rebounder. Without a rebounder made it a lot tougher but still got 65. Waiting for the next challenge Gabe. 

-Anyways, I am emailing from Singapore right now. As much as I love Kuching it is great to be back in Singapore. There is just something magical about this place. It's like a nice chinese New York City.

-We had district conference this week. Elder Wong from the Asia Presidency came and spoke and presided and it was really really good. He is an inspiring man. He was the man who talked in conference in Cantonese. Found out he spoke Mandarin as well because he understood what I said to him..

-I told you that sometimes when we are biking out here I will hum hymns to myself to keep my spirits up. Nowadays sometimes I will just pray as I bike. It might sound crazy but when you bike around all day in the heat and humidity and as far as we do to help these people sometimes you just need some help from the other-side of the veil.

-Sister Auntie Mui is getting baptized this coming Friday and we are really excited. She is the old lady that read the entire book of mormon in about a week and a half. 

Was thinking a little bit about how often times we or I get fed up in the little decisions in life. Where we go to dinner or who we go visit or who we say hi to first. But I realized it matters but not that much. What really matters is how you do it. If you do it like the Savior with sincerity and love and happiness then it doesn't matter too much the little decisions that you make. 

"The greatest of all intentions is still so much less than the smallest of work done."

Love you all,

Elder Pierce 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Elders Pierce and Eggertsen doin Work!

Week #25... Where is my turkey and mashed potatoes?! Ohhh I am in East Malaysia.

-Can't remember if I have mentioned this but here there is not usually toilets or toilet paper. You use hoses and squatters instead. A squatter is basically a toilet pushed into the ground so just like a hole in the ground. A hose is what you wipe with. It was gross at first but by now I am used to it. Actually kind of nice. 

-Sorry didn't mean to start with such a blunt gross point but that is kind of the way it is here in East Malaysia.

-This week finally got 100 pushups 100 pullups and 100 situps. Did it in 20 min but trying for 16 min this week. The pullups is the only hard part. You basically rest during the other two and then just die on the pullups. 

-Shoutout to Sawyer on the big 16 this week! Personally, I will be celebrating in Singapore for your birthday for zone conference. Pretty pumped. We leave this upcoming Monday and are there for a couple of days before back to Kuching!

-This week got to go to a farewell party for a missionary in our branch who is serving in this mission. Most people who are from here serve here just not in their own town. Other places in Malaysia and Singapore. It was supposed to be in a super nice hotel with bbq and swim resort and stuff but last second they switched it to the kampong where there family is from. That is like the opposite. Super dirt poor. Amazing how wide of a range you can get here. Never ceases to amaze me. 

-Anyways it was still super fun just not the environment we had been expecting. 

-Also celebrated Thanksgiving this week with the missionaries! Obviously not something that is celebrated here. They don't have turkey. So we ate chicken instead. Also no mashed potatoes or anything like that. A little different than most years but still the best! Happy Thanksgiving! 

-Been reading a lot of the 4 gospels in the New Testament lately. Trying to finish for Christmas. One thing Jesus talks about is casting your pearls before swine. Thought about it in terms of missionary work and realized that maybe that means teaching people and not lessons. Something we really try and work on out here. Making sure the lessons we teach are what the people need and not just random pearls that we are casting trying to see if the swine might happen upon liking it. 

-We also had a really good lesson with a new investigator this week. Talked about how we have to be willing to accept any answer that God will give us when we ask him a question. And not only listen to his answer but act. If we aren't willing to act then why would he bother giving us an answer? 

One of the greatest examples of this I have found is Joseph Smith. He was willing to act. Read what he says in Joseph Smith - History. He was ready to act on whatever God told him was true when he asked which church was His..perfectly willing. And we wonder why he got such a profound answer..

Sending my love from Kuching, East Malaysia

Changing lives ain't easy but it's all I can do to give it all I have got.

Elder Pierce