Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Crocodile Farm and At the Beach in Miri

The Crocodile Farm

"I think he is hungry"

"Say cheese"

My district in Miri
By the Ocean
 Houses in Miri

Monday, October 21, 2013

2nd Letter from Miri, Mayalsia

This is how Derek's letter came in this week.  Keep in mind it is 10:30 Sunday night.  Shawn has gone to bed and I have take my medicine that knocks me out:  How do you login to Dropbox?  New email:  Are you guys there?  New email:  What is the login for the Dropbox? 
New email I guess he felt he needed to write something:  Sounds like you guys are super busy!! ha-ha That sounds like a lot of fun for Abbi though!!  Dad good job!!  Keep working hard.  Sorry I can't help my arms don't reach that far!  ha-ha  Mom I think your quilts are amazing!!  Ok well I am going to see if I can get this picture thing working.  It is amazing here.  I love it!!  Yes I bought a bike!  I don't get it till Wed!  It is a really good bike and I got it for a steal, cause it was a missionary's who is going home this week and he just put all new parts on it!  A new bike here is about 1100 rm so that is about $325.  I got a great bike for a steal!!!  Hold on a minute!!
New email:  So I made a new one.  I uploaded my letter and pictures to it.  I hope that it works.

This Shar, I woke up for some reason, but it was to late.  He was getting off.  This was the last part I got from him.  I tried to get something from him, but this is what came back:
I wrote my letters in picture form this week and they should have loaded... if they didn't I"m sorry.  I don't have a lot of time I have to go bye... I spent all my time figuring out this picture thing and you guys weren't responding..

So I go to check both Dropbox accounts.  And nothing has uploaded.  I hope that he can work on this a little bit through the week.  I also hope he does not throw the letters he has written.  Even if he has taken pictures of them.  This has been a very hard two weeks not knowing what he is doing or how everything is going.  I know he loves it there.  He works hard.  He puts his heart into everything and never gives up to a challenge.  Give him the biggest mountain and he will climb it.  Give him the hottest desert to cross and he would do that.  This is what is Father in Heaven has asked him to do so he will do it.

I guess we will be staying up late next Sunday night.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

1st letter from Miri, Maylaysia

Oh that sounds like a lot of fun!!  You guys sounds busy!!  Abbi be careful!  You are still young!  Ok so I don't have a picture of my comp yet, but I do have a little bit!  I am serving in Miri, East Malaysia!  It is kind of crazy!  We are the only Chinese speaking Elders in this whole area.  The whole city is ours!  Most people don't speak English or Chinese, but there are some!  We teach the English and Chinese lessons. 
I have my first lesson with Christian Kou tonight.  He is investigating different Christian churches.  We are going to teach him the restoration.  Hopefully he will see the difference between our church and others.  We have been knocking the past 2 days and all we have been able to hand out is a pamphlet.  Nobody wants to talk to us.  We have been praying  for members to help us out.  We only have 20 Chinese and English members.  We are planning on doing service for them and hopefully that will open their hearts to our message.  I have been studying about Ammon recently and relating it to Miri.  I am trying to figure out how the spirit wants this work to go in Miri.  We will have to see how this works.
We are actually eating out more then we eat in.  I don't have to cook very much!  The reason why is it is cheaper to eat out then buy groceries here!  The food is fantastic.  I love it!  We are actually going to eat roti canai.  It is fried bread with kari you dip it in too!!  It is so good!!  It is 1 riggot for a thing of bread and that is about 33 cents.!! ha ha!!
Most areas we have to go into are rundown with tin roofs with garbage everywhere!  It is crazy! It is insanely humid here.  I sweat just sitting here!  It looks like there might be no way to stop the yellowing of the shirts, but we will see!
I have a nice Sunday shirt, but that is about it!  Well we have our first lesson in 2 weeks tonight!  Our phone ran out of minutes so hopefully we are able to get some on there by the end of the day!  I have a bike right now that was left, but it has one gear and it always falls off of it.  Elder Conner is leaving in like a month, and I will buy his bike for 600 riggot that is about 200 American.  It is a really nice bike!  Hopefully I can sell it when I leave this area!
I have to go email my president.  I'll send you the pictures that I do have!  I'll take more this week! My companion is Elder Mitchell!  We are going to a Crocodile Farm to day!  It'll be really cool.
We live in one of the nicer areas in Miri!!   I'll take more pictures.  I have been super tired.  Our bed time is at 11 instead of 1030  But I was in bed at 10 ready to sleep! Ha Ha!!

Elder Fletcher

None of his pictures made it through this week!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

I'm flying to Singapore!

Derek left Tuesday afternoon for Singapore.  He has a long day of travel ahead.

local time
Utah Time
Leave SLC
Arrive LA
Leave LA
Arrive HK
Leave HK
Arrive SP
This was the last letter he sent:
Dear Family,
Was a good day.  We got a lot done!  Well I had my luggage issue.  But that finally got figured out, so that was nice.
This week I really have felt the love we receive when we obey the rules!  I have gone to bed and gotten up on time every day this week.  I have felt less tired, happier and all around better.  I love these feelings.  So I'm going to still do my best everyday to keep these rules!
       "Be perfect at what you can be perfect at!"  Coach Corb
I also got tons of candy today and my Ipod!  Thank you Dad and Mom for my Christmas present the speaker is great!  I love it!  Everyone loved the Baklava.  They said Thank You!
OK, so my Chinese is still not perfect.  My teacher told me when I pray I'm saying "we thank thee giving us no things".  When I should be saying "all that I have"  I'm trying some of the words get mixed up.  Practice make perfect right.
In field orientation was great.  We learned tons of information about being a missionary.  They got us all pumped up.  We are so excited to go out into the field.
I forgot to write in my journal this day.  So much going on.  I know I am packing to get my suitcases under weight.  But I forgot if there was anything major to tell you about.
Today was Conference.  I learned a ton about working with members!  I am just, so excited to get out to the field!  We are going to have a great 21 1/2 months out there!  Conference was definitely a spiritual feast.
Such a wonderful experience with conference.  Now we have heard the words of God.  It is now our responsibility to act on these words.  We must convert ourselves to Christ.  We all need to turn outward in service.  I will do my best.  I know with the Lord I can do anything.  He is on my right side and my left.  And go before me and prepare the way.  With him I cannot fail.  I will make my brother proud.
Thank you so much for your thoughts mom!  I love you!  And it was an amazing conference session!  Sorry to hear about the dog!  Hopefully it gets worked out and the dog will stay in its own yard.  I miss it there.  Your quilt sounds really cool, you always make it work!  I like the new idea you have for the business!  I know Grandpa would be proud of you!  I know he loves you very much!  And has always been there to help you when you're in trouble!  I think back on Pres. Uchtdorf's talk at Priesthood Session.  It was amazing!  You should watch it!  I love you Mom!  I can't wait to talk to you tomorrow.  Keep working hard!  "You can do it Now"
Elder Fletcher

I sent something home for Ulu!  I bought a thermometer.  I'm all packed and underweight
49.4, 47.5 and 14.5.  I haven't gotten the sheets yet, but I have the watch, so at least that will make it to Singapore!
Love ya,

Dad and Mom stayed awake much of Wednesday night, because we didn't get this email below like they thought they would around 11:00 pm.  We finally received it at 2:30 am Thursday morning.  It sounds like he had a long time traveling, but he is very eager to get to work.  We should get our first letter Monday morning early.  We don't know where he is going within his mission right now.  Hopefully he won't forget to tell us!  This is what we got at 2:30 am Thursday:

Love you guys!  Singapore I'm here!! :)  I made it and have been doing good on the train ride to the mission offices.  Our goal was to place a Book of Mormon, neither the assistants or us complete this goal.  But I did place a pass along card!  Although my Chinese was not very good and broken, I was still able to communicate!  The assistants complimented me on using so much Chinese the first day! They said they didn't know of any other missionary that talked with that kind of confidence the first day!  They also told the president! :)  Well I love you guys.  Thank you for preparing me!  See you around Christmas!  Love you guys!  :)

Pres. Mains and Sister Mains with Derek at the Singapore airport

Friday, October 4, 2013

16th Letter from the MTC - Sept 30th

No I haven't gotten trunkie yet.  But I have condensed all my stuff into one bag, my carry one and my personal bag.  I'm so scared, but excited all at the same time!
Well, that's good that Abbi has done well in her classes.  Tell Abbi to keep up the good work and I'll be waiting for her letter!  I am also excited for the packages and Ulu's letter!  I will be sending home a package and maybe a suit case depending on this email we get from the Mission home.  Honestly I have been able to work it all out I'm just waiting for your packages.  Then I will decide on the stuff to sending home that i have picked up at the MTC.  No worries I will try to find room for this stuff you are sending me tomorrow, I will make it work!  You guys are great thank you!  If you could sent me the carry on and personal bag restrictions for my airlines that would be great thanks!
I'm sorry to hear about the dog problem!  I would say just go kick that dog! kai wan shao! In Chinese! How are our dogs and Carmen?  The dog hasn't hurt them?
Oh that's good about the quilt!  What are your plans for making over the business?
Oh Grace was a really great friend!  I miss her making fun of me and my jeep! Is she going to write me?  Oh who has been asking about me? Tell them all "HI" and they should write!  Well I mean I know that I was a lady slayer back in the day!
How are Grandma and Grandpa Fletcher doing?  I miss them!  I haven't heard from them.  I thought about them today at the temple.
It is going to be really different writing letters over in Singapore.  We will have to figure that out when I get over there!
I'll send home my weekly email in a minute!
Love your son,
Elder Fletcher
We had Skye TRC which was fun we talked to a native from Taiwan!  We committed her to pray with her husband!  That was cool!!  Dai Zhanglao (Elder Delicana) leaves tonight!!  Kinda sad he really became a good from in the 2 weeks he was with us!!  He is going to Rancho coucoumuanga California because he was having visa troubles!!That was cool!
We had a good lesson today on what missionaries we want to be when be reach the end of our missions.  We set are goals!  We will see how that turns out in 2 years!  We had our last devotional in the Marriott center this week!!  The next one will be in like June!!  We had a lesson on street contacting.  Now I am really excited to go!!  5 hour layovers here I come!!
We had a lesson on loving your investigators today.  Which I thought was interesting!! Because we really don't think to much that it might be hard to love someone!  But just think about it!  Think of someone you can't stand.  Think of someone that just scares you.  Think of someone that has hurt you.  How can you love them?
Well first we start by realizing who they actually are.  They are a Son or Daughter of Our Heavenly Father.  They are your Brother or your Sister.
Now think with me for a second, how much does God love you?
Well guess what He loves them that same amount.   Because we are all His children! He wants the best for you always.  He wants the same for them.  When you think you can't stand someone just remember they are a child of God.
As missionaries we have been call to Preach His Gospel to everyone.  Not to just those we are comfortable with.  God loves each of His children.  All this leads in to some events I will talk about later in the week.
We got our travel plans today!!  Crazy I know!!  Today our lesson was on talking to everyone!!  We all heard a talk this past week about finding the people in the house with the red sign.  That means find everyone.   Something really interesting is, stories from converts that were ready to hear our message but missionaries walked the other way, because they were to busy to stop and talk to a child of God.
Today we learned that we should talk to everyone and meet everyone.  Forget about numbers but get to know people!  Elder Bednar said it himself "If you come up to me on your missions and say Elder Bednar we taught 14 lessons this week! I will say I Don't Care.  But what I do care about are those 14 people those 14 homes those 14 families who are they?  What do they like?  What are their challenges?"
Got a package of cookies today!  But I didn't know who they were from, so I had Elder Simmons eat one first! ;)  But they were really good!! So I have had a couple experiences where I have had to act out a word because I couldn't think of it in zhongwen or yingwen!  That's not good!!  Ha ha oh and apparently in Chinese culture somebody calling you fat and zitty is a compliment.  It is how they show they care about you.
Today I got my Chinese name!! Qiu which you guys already knew, but my first name is Shan4 Qin2 which Shan4 means righteousness and good deed like with service and it has a hint of humility in there.  Qin2 means hardworking with a hint of never giving up.  Ha Ha.  Our district wrote down our traits on a post it and our teachers did too.  Then Jin Laoshi pick out names with the help of He laoshi a native from China!
Great Devotional today!! Bore my testimony in Chinese during fast and testimony meeting! Well that was about it!! Ha Ha!! It was super relaxing!! Which was nice!!
Welll i love you guys!! wo ai nimen!!
you xinxin you banfa.
Elder Fletcher