Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Thomas is now in Mukah

Thomas went to Singapore on Wednesday, 10/19/2011, and picked up his new companion, a brand new Elder Parker from Mesa, Arizona.  They have been assigned to work in Mukah, in the State of Sarawak, on the Island of Borneo, in East Malaysia.
Elder Parker just landed in Changi Airport in Singapore
They (all the new missionaries who just arrived from the US and their companions who will be their trainers and the mission president and his wife and some senior missionary couples) went to Little India for some authentic Indian food.
Little India

After 2 days of training, Thomas and Elder Parker left Singapore for Malaysia.  At the Changi Airport, they couldn't resist doing the Photobooth thing. 

"Postcard" from Photobooth at Changi Airport

Thomas and Elder Parker
Aerial view of Sibu as they approach the airport.
They spent one night in Sibu and they look an early morning bus to Mukah on Saturday.

Monkey on a tree along the road. 
Thomas' new quarters in Mukah.

Inside the house in Mukah, with the landlord seated on the sofa in the background.  That's Sister Cunningham talking to the landlord.

Mukah is a coastal town at the mouth of the Mukah River that is about 3 hours away from Sibu by bus.  The town and surrounding area have about 43,000 people.  Most of the population are Melanau, natives on the Island of Borneo.  The rest of the population are Chinese, Malay, and Iban.  Thomas and Elder Parker are the first full-time young missionaries stationed in Mukah.  They are very excited about the new assignment and look forward to getting to know the people in town.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Thomas in Sibu - October

Thomas was involved in a minor traffic accident.  He was in Elder White's car when it was "nudged" by a bus.  Minor damage to the vehicles and no one was hurt.
Bus that hit Elder White's car. 
Damage to bumper of bus.
Car not as lucky.
Damage not too serious.
Skyline of Sibu
Baptismal service in Sibu.
Sister Singar, who was about to be baptized by Pres. Dagang.
Thomas continues to do well in Sibu but he is being transferred to Mukah and, with his new companion Elder Parker, will be the first full-time elders stationed in Mukah. He is really excited to open up the area for the church.  He will join the Senior missionary couple, Elder and Sister Cunningham, who have been in Mukah since February 2011.

Thomas in Sibu - September

September was a special month in Sibu and Mukah.  Thomas and his companion found a number of families and taught them the gospel.  A number of them joined the church.  He has great love and respect for the local people and enjoys getting to know them and performing service in Sibu and Mukah.  He also got to see a lot of his friends at the East Malaysia Zone Conference where he and other missionaries received training from Pres. and Sis. Clark and other leaders.

East Malaysia Zone Conference.
Elder Polley, Thomas' companion and fellow zone leader. 
With Elder Howell at zone conference.
With Elder Brody and Elder Howell
With Elder Polley and Matau and family.
At baptismal service of Sister Jenny and Brother Jonnes
Baptismal service in Mukah.
With Elder Tabiar and Alice and Ryan (next to Thomas). 

New converts with Elder and Sister Cunningham from Alaska.
The Igan Bridge across the Rejang River, in Sibu.
View from the church in Sibu
With Emak and Apai at Bukit Aup.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Thomas in Sibu - August

Thomas had some great experiences in August.  Here are some pictures he sent home.  August 30, 2011 was Hari Raya, a big festival in Malaysia that celebrates the end of the month of fasting (Ramadan).  In East Malaysia, the custom is for the Muslim families to open up their houses for anyone to visit.  The elders decided to visit Senator Datuk Wan Hamid, who represents Sibu, and other families.

Photo of the elders with the Senator and his family in his beautiful home.
Hari Raya at other homes.

Thomas was also able to meet up with Elder Bench, his first companion, in Bintulu just before Elder Bench completed his mission.  Here are some picture of them visiting families they taught together.

At one of the outings, Thomas was trying to learn how to cast a net to fish in the river.

Some cement ape statue found in Sibu.

River in Sibu.

Photos of church picnic in Bukit Aup.

At one of the long houses in Bukit Aup, Thomas saw some of the relics kept from generations ago.  These are human skulls kept as trophies most likely from ancient tribal battles.