Saturday, September 20, 2014

Finally, a Day to Catch up!

And the energizer bunnies keep going and going and going, but today we can catch up a little. As you read from the previous blog, Sunday was a whirlwind of meetings. I apologize that this is such a long blog. Here is a glance at the rest of the week's activities. If you don't want to read to the end, that's okay. However, there are some pictures at the end.

Monday: Rode with Elder and Sister Beus paying bills, running errands, getting our phones activated with new numbers, shopping, repack for trip to Singapore for Missionary Conference.

Tuesday: Up at 4:00 AM so we would be ready to go NLT 5:30 AM to be picked up to go to the airport for the Missionary Conference. President Gara and his family picked up Elder and Sister Beus from their hotel and then came and got us. Sister Bodell rode with the Garas and Sister Beus to the airport. Elder Beus drove the car and me to the airport. 

The flight to Singapore includes a flight from Sibu to Kuching and then from Kuching to Singapore. We're becoming really good at this flying business. We have one more flight this week when we return to Sibu.

After checking in at the hotel, Sister Bodell and I took the MRT (subway) to the stake center for choir practice. There were about 10 senior couples that sang in this choir. The choir was practicing for the Seniors Conference the next day. The song we sang was Though Deepening Trials.  I wish I could sing better, but I was okay.

After choir practice, the senior couples went out to dinner at a great restaurant somewhere in Singapore called Aston's. It's located in one of the many, many, many shopping malls in Singapore. We enjoyed our time getting acquainted with the other senior couples. After dinner we returned to hotel rooms to retire for the evening.

Wednesday: Today was Seniors Conference for all the senior couples in the mission. We started with breakfast at McDonald's, which was just around the corner from our hotel, with several other senior couples. Then it back on the MRT for choir practice to warm up at 9:30 AM. The meetings started at 10:00 AM. There were presentations from new couples (our turn next month) and departing couples (Elder and Sister Beus for one). Talks by President and Sister Mains and presentations to show us what some of the other missionaries are doing. I think we were done by about 5:00 PM. Lunch today was a delicious Mexican meal. The theme for this missionary conferences was Promises. 

Thursday: We didn't have to get moving quite so fast this morning, but we did have breakfast at McDonald's again. I should note here that you don't bus your own garbage. Someone is employed to do that. Bussing your garbage takes away from that person's responsibility. 

Today's conference sessions were specifically for our zone so only the missionaries from our zone were in attendance. The APs conducted and spoke. Elder Plazier, the senior AP conducted and spoke. It was like listening to a General Authority speak. We were greatly impressed by his spirit, his humility, and his ability to communicate his message. The talk was excellent. He could have spoken longer. It would not surprise us if ended up as a General Authority someday.

Pizza was served for lunch today. There were 50 boxes of pizza, one box per set of elders. Fruit and brownies were also served. There were no left-overs! Young male missionaries can really pack it away! 

President and Sister Mains took Elder and Sister Beus and us to a little place called Spizza for dinner. It was a welcome dinner for us and a farewell dinner for the Beus's. After dinner, the Beus's went back to the hotel, and we went with President and Sister Mains to spend the night in their beautiful home. 

Friday: President Mains fixed a wonderful breakfast of blueberry pancakes, scrambled eggs, sausage, fresh strawberries, and orange juice. Delicious!

L to R: Sister Beus, Elder Beus, President Mains, Sister Mains, Sister Bodell, Elder Bodell

After breakfast we had a devotional then an orientation to the mission. After the orientation, President and Sister Mains drove us to the airport for our flight back to Sibu.

It's been a great, spiritual week.  President and Sister Mains are wonderful people. They are not hard to love and follow. We've been blessed by their teaching and their example this week.

We flew back to Sibu with several Elders and Sisters on the plane. It was great to see them interact, not only with each other, but also with those they sat next to on the plane. It seemed that none of the missionaries sat by each other and each was engrossed in a conversation with the nonmember seat mate. Totally awesome to see them at work!

White-Knuckle Driving: We arrived at the airport later than anticipated. It was dark and rainy. I had the dubious pleasure of driving us back to our apartment. Fortunately, we had a couple of GPS units, commonly referred to as missionaries, with us. They're apartment is close to our home so we gave them a lift, and they guided us home. I probably need to remind you that they drive on the other side of the street here. It was a little hairy and confusing. I was very grateful for the Elders and their guidance.

Saturday: The plan today was to catch up and rest up. Okay, we got some laundry done and a little shopping done this morning. We received a call this morning from one of the missionaries asking if we knew about the piano lesson at 3:00 this afternoon, or the language training at the same time, or the baptism at 7:00 this evening. No was the answer to all three questions. So we had to scale back what we were planning on doing for the remainder of the day. Sister Bodell picked up two new piano students. We attended the language training taught by one of the Malay members. This will greatly help our pronunciation, helped the Elders prepare and print the baptism program back at our place, attended the baptism, and then shopped some more afterward. I am beat! Driving at night is not my favorite thing to do, especially on the other side of the street. I am off to bed before we attend two different sets of Branch meetings tomorrow.

Our Arrival Day

Our Arrival Day
L to R: Sister Boyter, Elder Boyter, Elder Bodell, Sister Bodell, Brother Tandiman, President Lai
(Brother Tandiman is the Asia S&I director; President Lai is the Singapore Stake President
and our local go-to man for S&I)

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