Sunday, February 8, 2015

The Road to Mukah and More

We left home at about 7:00 AM, bound for Mukah. We had another Seminary teacher training there. We arrived with about 25 minutes to spare before out training at 10:00 AM. The weather wasn't bad, and I am getting pretty good at navigating the potholes on the road between Sibu and Mukah. I only hit one up and one on the way back. You can't always tell whether they are puddles or chasms!

I still have white knuckles, though. It's only a two-lane road with trucks going both directions. Passing is like a game of leap frog when cars get backed up behind a truck or two or three. Many drivers here are always in such a hurry. They don't always wait until the solid line changes to a passing line. Scary! 

After our training we had lunch at a little place in Mukah called Mr. Bean's. It's a quaint place, but the food was good. There was an old Mr. Bean movie playing. There was no sound, but there were subtitles . . . in Malay or Indo. Lunch was good with Elders G and T, Elder and Sister Tedrow, President Lai, President Boney, and Brother Sylvester.



We drove back Tuesday afternoon, got some laundry done, and a good night's sleep. Tuesday we ran some errands in the morning before getting on a plane for Kuching. Normally the flight takes about 35 minutes in an old prop cargo type plane, and you have to walk out on the tarmac to board the plane by way of the rear door. This time we flew in a 737, boarded in the front via a covered ramp, and made it to Kuching in 20 minutes from wheels off the ground in Sibu to wheels on the ground in Kuching. The return trip was 25 minutes.

While in Kuching we participated in the Seminary teacher training Tuesday evening. I've taught at all the trainings. President Lai asked Sister Bodell to teach at this one. The trainings have all been about asking questions, specifically search and analyzing questions. President Lai did the search questions, and I taught about analyzing questions. This last last training Sister Bodell taught the search questions, and I, again, taught the other. It's been a fun training. It's always fun to go to Kuching.

We stayed at the Imperial Hotel again. This is the hotel where we've died and gone to bathroom heaven. The bathrooms consist of a tub with curtained shower, a separate glass-enclosed shower, and a toilet with built-in bidet. All very nice and clean. We were on the 11th floor so the view was pretty nice.

That's the ocean off in the distance.

There are shop lots like this all over in every city. Some are really old, or at least look old because of the weathering of the buildings. The chapels in Mukah and Bintulu are located in shop lots like these.

Wednesday morning President Lai spent a couple of hours teaching Sister Bodell how to use WISE, an online attendance/assignment program for seminary. She will be keeping this information up to date for Sibu, Sibu Jaya, Mukah, Bintulu, and Kuching. It's pretty complicated, but Sister Bodell can handle it. We had the rest of the day to wander and shop. We also called Elder and Sister Slider. They picked us up and drove us around. It was good to spend time with them.

Chinese New Year is a big thing here in Sarawak, at least in Sibu and Kuching. There were lots of decorations up all over . . . almost more than at Christmas. Here are some examples:

The display at the Imperial Hotel where we stayed in Kuching

Crossing a bridge at a display in the Boulevard Mall, attached to the hotel

Bamboo backdrop

A display at Spring Mall

The entrance to Spring Mall

Thursday morning we were picked up from the the hotel by Elder and Sister Hammer. They drove us to the airport. They are Family History missionaries. We met them Tuesday evening at the church where our training was held. They are on a two-year, family history mission covering East Malaysia.

We arrived home with a notice from City Link, the local delivery company, that a delivery attempt was made Thursday. One of the Elders will be glad when we get the delivery tomorrow morning. It's his bicycle!

No he won't! The bike was delivered the next morning. We delivered it to the addressed Elder, but it turns out that the wrong bike was sent here by mistake. We need to send this bike to another Elder in Kota Kinabalu, commonly referred to as KK. This will be our project Monday morning. Hopefully, whoever has Elder S's bike will ship it here. Elder S was a little disappointed, but we do have some extra bikes here in the district. He's not walking so he's happy!

Sunday was a busy day as usual. Sister Bodell was doing music in Primary in both branches. I was getting a couple of emails written for supplies. Later in the day we conducted a second music conducting class. We had a good attendance this evening. It was a lot of fun. We're doing a continuation of the class the 1st of March. Some of the class members will be out of town until then.

We also visited Sister Mills in the hospital. She's twisted her back and has quite a bit of pain. She's a trooper, though, and will get through this. Oh, the trials of age! Sometimes they can be a real pain!

The four Elders assigned to Branch 2 were asked to speak in Sacrament meeting today. They were asked shortly before church. All four of them did an outstanding job. I was impressed with their knowledge of the scriptures and how they were able to speak without notes. Most impressive was the Spirit with which they spoke. They are humble, obedient missionaries who want to teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to others. There was a wonderful feeling in Sacrament meeting today. They helped select the music so it coordinated with their talks.

We are blessed again to be here. We are tired, but buoyed up by our testimonies of our Savior, Jesus Christ and the His restored Gospel. Writing this blog each week reminds me of the many blessings we have in our lives. We are grateful to be here. We are grateful for our family and friends and their support. We love all of them! That would include you. Yes, you who are reading this right now. We love you! Thank you for your love and support!





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