Monday, July 27, 2015

Q & A with Sister MacKay in Malaysia! Lots of pictures, too!

Last night Sister MacKay got on early, so I (her mom) was able to ask her a bunch of questions! 

Q: How are your shoes working out? Silly question, but I'm wondering! lol
A: Shoes are fantastic. I actually left my nicer shiny black ones in Singapore, and I'm glad I did. I actually only wear my read ones and my blue/grey ones, and they're great. Perfect for Malaysia!

Q: What did you do last P-Day?
A: Haha, last P-day..... we didn't do much. We got ice cream though! It was way good! There might be pictures of that too, because they make it with nitrogen or some other thing, and it smokes... and it's really cool. haha, It's so hard to think when I'm going fast!

Q: You said "good news: no lice so far from it!" about the costumes?? 
A: Haha, well I try and avoid putting things in my hair that are Malaysian's, but when they literally walk over and stick it in your head, you're kind of at a loss. But it made for cool pictures! Also, I don't wear makeup any more. Completely pointless. 

Q: Is it just to rainy to wear makeup?
A: Way too wet. And sweaty. And just pointless. haha. No one here wears makeup. 

Q: How is the bike riding? 
A: Bike's great. Haha, went to the bike shop ...3? times this week to get it fixed up, and it's best now! The chain doesn't slip anymore, or fall off, and I have mud flaps so I don't get a brown streak up my back every time I ride in the rain! Which I didn't know was an option at first, so yay! haha, and it even has gears!

Q: Is biking everywhere weird or is it normal by now?
A: Biking is somehwere in between. I'm figuring it out though! My legs have been super tired this week, but it gives for great praying opportunities! 

Q: Who is in the headdress pics with you?
A: That was when I was on exchanges with Sis. Dennis, one of the STLs. So she's the other one dressed up. The other people are the members who's house we were at.

Q: What about the other pics? Is that your area?
A: Yeah, some of those are in my STL's area, which is way more country than our area. Ours is all of the city of Kuching (fun fact, Kuching means cat!)

Q: City as in Vegas or city as in Cedar City?
A: Cedar. The city part is pretty small, but there are a lot of areas outside of it.

Q: You look so happy but tired! How are you feeling?
A: I'm only tired in the mornings, but that's where studies come in! I get a huge burst of energy during that time. :)

Q: How's your Malay coming?
A:  As far as language goes, people say I'm really good for being so fresh. I'm understanding more and getting a little better at speaking. Thankfully, all the people are super nice and patient! Also, all the food is super good. We got in late last night (not actually, we were just supposed to be home early to report numbers to district leaders) because the woman we were teaching literally refused to let us leave. Like, she pretended not to hear us; and when we got up to leave, she brought the food and told us to sit. I think if we had resisted any more, she would have spoon fed us! People here take their food seriously. She was quoting scriptures at us about feeding people or something. We get fed a lot though! We never know when, haha, people just randomly feed us. It's great!


Headed to the airport!

Goofing around at the Hong Kong Airport

Sharing is caring!

uphill with a temperamental bike

looking back...

Kuching is so green!

Random food picture: It's chicken parts; chicken ovaries, undeveloped, eggs, stuff like that. Fun fact. Haha (I ate the egg, not the ovary. Haha)

Apartment selfie!

My mom loves this face!

Her bike, sporting the new bike flap!

Nitrogen Ice Cream for P-day!

See the smoke?

Sometimes people just come and put stuff in your hair lol 

I'm wearing some traditional Ibon clothes

Sisters MacKay and Dennis (Sister Training Leader)

Add caption

He's wearing a headdress, too!

Biking everywhere!

I think this is her companion...


Monday, July 20, 2015

First Week in Malaysia!

Hahaha, I love you that you and dad both gave me outlines, whether on purpose or not it's probably a good thing because I didn't make notes of what to write about this week like I usually do.
Trip: I slept the whole time. Nothing exciting there. Oh,  Sister Crandall's ankle swole up to the size of  a small mellon (the last melon!)  because she ran over it with her luguage... or maybe I did with my lugauge?... the day before. When I left her she was still hobling around. ...It was kind of really sad. 
My comp is Sister Pullicar from Idaho. Super sweet! She's basically awesome. 
Oh yeah, haha, I'm in Kuching, which is basically the westernly part of East Malaysia. No one really speaks any English, but sometimes they know a word or two. I usually just here their English when they yell "Speak, Sister MacKay!"... which is always like five people saying that in unison. Weird. Maybe I should speak a little more. Or when the kids say, "Can I call you Sister Barbie?" Which has happened a weirdly large number of times.
Weather: Hawaii X 40, not an exaggeration. Hot, but somehow way more bearable than Vegas. Maybe in my mind it's just normal to constantly have water flowing out of my skin, because I'm strangely fine with it. Many weird things. haha
Health, fine.
Language is coming. Mostly what I can understand is gospel words, so I can kind of keep up in lessons, but otherwise I'm lost. Siket-siket, lama-lama, jadi buket. Little by little. Bug bites get big. Sunday was scary, but it was a great oppurtutnity to rely on the Lord.
Eating every meal on the floor is an experience. I definitely wasn't expecting.. this. Not sure what I ws expecting. oh my goodness the techno music is stressing me out so much!! Ah! Minor freak out. I'm good. It's so cool though! The people are so nice, and they're really impressed with how much Malay I can speak for being in the country for three days.
[I asked her for her High of the week as well as her Low]
Okay, we'll do the high - I seriouslly can't focus with this music. We'll have the techno be my low. Kidding. Kind of. Umm.... The first day was really hard. We planned all day and then met with the branch pres. so I didn't really.. do much, it felt like. I fell asleep during planning, and I didn't know how to eat the yummy chicken they fed us because there were so many giant bones in it; and I couldn't understand a thing, I got my first bug bites, and I was just... didn't know what to think about everything! I also fell on the escalator in Singapore and took out some poor Asian woman, but that was funnier that sad. 
So I didn't exactly know how this was all going to go and kind of got into that mode again of, basically, if I grit my teeth, then I'll get through this. Only eighteen months. But the next day we got to teach, and ,suddenly, everything was amazing. I've learned that teaching is the highlight of everyday. Meeting the people and getting to share something that is so incredible, so true, so life changing, so eternally effecting, and I get so excited! I hope my enthusiasm shows through when I bear my testimony so they can see how important this is to me. Also, studies make every day. Without studies days are a lot harder. This morning I was going through a booklet I was given and reading what it says about stress management  As I read thought it I was hit with how differently it described handling stress than the world. Often times people turn to alcohol  exercise, video games, tv, food, whatever. And that's how we find peace in this world, that's how we cope. But the suggestions in this book were to pray, look for and record blessings, and things like that. It made me think of the scripture in.. John 14:27, I think, that says basically that God doesn't give peace in the same way as the world; it's better, it's healing, it's eternal hope. That's what I learned in my studies today. :) Ah! No time! I love you! I'll try to be more organized next week. Monday's are p-day.
[Her sister asked her some questions, so I'll include them here!]
Q: Did you get to see any of Singapore before they shipped you off to another country?
A: Noooooot really. I took the subway most places, or busses, or walked a lot, so I didn't see a lot. But our chapel is really pretty! Huge round window, freezing AC, but crazy nice. And four stories high.
Q: Does your apartment have AC? Or are you just hot all of the time?
A: AC, yes. I think so, most of the time. Sometimes, it's super hot, like when I go to bed, but by the middle of the night it's really cold. So its kind of an Antartica or Sahara Desert kind of thing. I'll take it, though. Way nice! Actually, our whole apartment is way nice: fish bowl view, wood floors, six girls, and the occasional dead lizard in the shower. 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

God has a plan for each of us...

Well, I was going to do this email later because we were going to gym, but when we walked out we were informed that the field was closed. We gotta start looking at that sign. The last time we went outside was the 4th, but the large gathering of families in the field made it pretty apparent that we were in the wrong place.
Meeting our Mission President was such a great experience! We all instantly loved each other. Don't ask me what happened during that meeting, haha, but I love it and I'm so excited to see them again in a few days! Sister Simmons is especially sweet. Also, President Simmons served in Taipei, and their son is serving in Budapest right now.
First of all, tell Nana that I love her letters. SO much! They're beautiful, inspiring, and it makes me feel like I'm sitting at lunch talking with her. Second- Sister Crandall was reading me some of her family history stories yesterday and it made me really want some. If she has time would she be able to send me a story or two? We have such neat family stories, pioneer or not! Even if it's about her dog that died when she was little. ;)
Oh! Another thing, I'll get any packages I'm sent whenever I go into Singapore, which is about ever three months. Just FYI. I don't know how letters and other mail works.
My district cleaned the temple last Thursday! It was so neat! The elders cleaned lockers and us sisters cleaned the chandeliers in the sealing rooms. It was beautiful to feel such an indescribably beautiful spirit there the whole time, and to get to look a little closer at the details in those rooms. So we dissembled, cleaned, and reassembled. The crystal is imported from Italy! It was a little stressful to try not to clink or drop anything from our ladders. 
As we sat in the baptismal waiting room waiting to be taken up to the sealing rooms, we sat in front of the glass that led to the dark baptismal font. As I sat there I wondered if this would be anything like waiting to God and Jesus Christ after our Resurrection. Would we all be dressed in white? Would some of us be clinging onto our best Nike running shoes, or our shiny watch, or their gold rings? Or will your prized possession be your dented, scratched, but well used CTR ring?
So I had a really neat experience yesterday, and actually, I haven't even gotten to telling Sister Crandall about this yet. We were role playing in class yesterday with Sister Anderson, I was the mom, and there was the rest of the family too, and Sister A. was teaching. She's a newer teacher so I'm not used to her vocabulary so I wasn't understanding a lot, but knew she was teaching about the Plan of Salvation. As I looked around the room with all of us sitting on the floor, laughing, smiling, or just seriously listening.... It felt like a flashback. Then I knew, I knew that it is no accident that we are all here. We knew each other, loved each other before this. We have all been preparing for this calling, and many others, for far longer than our time here on earth, we have been taught the first lessons of the gospel since when we lived with our Father in Heaven. There are no accidents in this life; to say that something was luck is denying our faith. You think that anything happens by accident here? Wrong. Do we say that God has a rough outline for our lives? No, He has a plan, a very specific, detail-oriented plan for each of us that, if we follow His commandments, includes the path of least resistence for us. Ha, I know now that I was planning on a mission for far longer than I ever suspected, and that it was something that I chose to do long before. Where would I be now if I had not followed those promptings? Made this choice? I believe I wouldn't be in the right place, not at all. I hope I'm learning and growing from this. I'm having amazing experiences that are beyond this world, beyond this life. I hope I'm becoming something better. :)

Breakfast this morning!
I love the hot sauce packets! I stash them in my bag and bring them out at just about every meal. Haha, People give me funny looks, then point and laugh, then ask for some. it's a great cycle.

Sneaking Pics before July 4 Devo

Sneaking Pics before July 4 Devo

Happy Faces!

The "Elder Duckworth"

The "Sister Quan face" waiting for fireworks

The "Sister Quan face" waiting for fireworks

Happy Fourth of July!

4th of july! We stood in the MTC parking lot and peered through the trees at the staduim of fire fireworks show. It was fun!

Sunday Walk Pics :)


Pop Rocks!

Sister Lebaron's predictions for where we're going!

see below :)

The Indios didn't get their Visas, so they needed some cheering up!

Doing laundry at 5am like a boss

Thursday, July 2, 2015

I leave the country in 11 days!

Sister Crandall and I read the article the 1st presidency put out as well as their message in the Ensign this month. As I read and listened to these, I couldn't help but become really, really happy. Why? Because I realized that there's nothing to worry about. We know who the winning team is; we're on that team. God has a plan for us, His children, and nothing, NOTHING, can get in the way of that plan. It's God; you really think a few laws can stop His work? No way, José. He is more than we could ever imagine, with more love, more kindness and mercy, more greatness than we could every imagine! He is all,the Beginning and the End; His purpose is our eternal salvation. With this information there's no need to worry. It's all okay, because this isn't our plan, it's not the government's plan, it's God's plan; and in this there is peace and joy. Have faith, don't be afraid of the things happening now. With fear there can be no faith, and with faith there can be no fear! I can't imagine a life without these truths, without the truth of the Gospel, of eternal life, and of all things wonderful that comprise the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

So we moved into the new MTC housing last week....... and then promptly moved out a few days later. Haha, Apparently, there was a bat sighting on the 4th floor so they evacuated all of the girls they had just moved in. We all looked at each other and said, "Better bats then giant rats," after which we heard some entertaining stories of bats in Malaysia. I think I'll still take the bats. I did get the DL on that from one of the workers though. I guess there's a nest in the wall, so the'll have to fumigate them because if they release them they'll just fly back. Fun fact for the week! Haha, We've now moved three times since being here. We're getting good at packing! The Lord just wants us to be prepared. :)

We did another musical number in church this week, singing accapella Praise to the Man... While the fire alarm blared in the background. Haha, It was the middle of sacrament meeting, we all looked at our branch president and he said, "Sing on!" It sorta felt like a scene from the "Titanic." Thankfully, there really wasn't a fire. haha

Language story of the week! One of the Indo elders was teaching a lesson and asked the investigator what she had read in the BOM. She pointed to a scripture and read it. The only word the elder understood was gereja/church, and could have sworn it was the verse saying there is only one church. He got excited, pointing to the verse and said, "That's us! That's this church!" The woman looked very concerned, and, hahaha, after the lesson, he realized that the scripture was talking about the great and abominable church. Hahaha, He said we're the great and abominable church! It was great. Thankfully, that investigator has to stay with him. haha

Thank you for the clothes and the packages! I think the blue skirt may be our best investment. haha, and I love all the shirts and the yellow skirt to replace my other one! Thanks! They have calling cards here. I'll buy one. I'm like 98% sure I'll have my flight plans tomorrow so I'll let you know about that next week. Apa hal!  There was somethings else! I can't remember! Not enough time!

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHH! Stressing. I'm leaving the country in 11 days! Oh my goodness. So crazy. Oh! Tyler and Imari's wedding! Tell them congrats for me! I'm so happy for them! I met one of his old SVU girlfriends younger sister [and a girl you used to teach swimming lessons to, and one of those girls from the family that knows Joan and Randy and her sister served with Kristen... yeah them. People just pull me out of crowds here!] who's like, "I recognize you from the pictures my sister would show me of Tyler's family!" Apparently, she was impressed with how "family orriented" he was. I didn't have the heart to tell her I'd never heard of her sister before. Or that Tyler was married the day before. Lucunya. I DON'T REMEMBER WHAT ELSE I NEEDED! Ah! freaking out! Apa hal! It's okay. I'll be fine. ah.!.)

Okay, that's all I can fit. I love you!!!

I found these clothes in a box in one of the class rooms labeled "teacher's belongings only." The clothes had been in there since I've gotten here so I figured it was okay to snoop, unless there was a homeless man living in our building. It's like some Indian garb or something, probably belongs to our old Indo teacher, Bro. Rawle, but let's not think about that. I had to pull some teeth to get Sis. Crandall to wear this, so cherish it.

We're trying to stay low-stress. :)

Elder Duckworth in his natural state.

Sister Peterson, and Cloward with us on our temple walk!

Sister Quan performed a learning test on some of the elders, it's pretty great. She did it to us too!

Sister Quan is teaching us how to pray in Chinese! Tell Ty! He'll be proud!

We're the Sister Training Leaders for the next two weeks!