Monday, January 20, 2014

Birthday letter home

Birthday letter home
Jan 19th, 2014

Advice to serve a mission:
I know that serving a mission has helped me out so much.  I was never a spiritual giant, before my mission, but I feel the Lords present more in my life every day.  If you have a remote desire, do it!  I won’t lie to you, a mission is one of the hardest things I have ever done.  It is harder then hitting people on the football field, harder then the sprint work outs for track, and harder then getting a concussion and not being able to play football my senior year and harder than tearing my hamstrings and not being able to place at state, despite knowing I could.   But I know it is so worth it!  The change you will see in people’s lives is something I wouldn't trade…ever!  I love being out here helping people remember Jesus! I love the Savior and I need him every day.  I can't do this work alone but that is the great thing about being a missionary I have been called and I am set a part to have the Lords help in this work.

Miracles of the Week:
Miri Chinese Elders: Elder Mitchell and Elder Fletcher
These Elders had an investigator who was having a hard time praying. Consequently, he was not progressing. They decided to read 1 Nephi Chapter 1 with him just as Elder and Sister Wilson taught. When they read the verse that told the story of Lehi receiving the answer to his prayer in a vision, the investigator interrupted and told them that this story was "incredible". He explained that previously he had not known if God would answer a sinner’s prayer, but now he understands that even though he is a sinner, God will answer his prayers. This investigator has been praying ever since and is now progressing toward his baptism.

“President Ezra Taft Benson said that missionaries “need to show how [the Book of Mormon] answers the great questions of the soul.” Preach My Gospel, pg.107

This week has been great!
Tuesday: we had dinner with a family in the branch and shared a nice message with them.  Later that night, when we arrived at our investigators house for our appointment,  we found him was sad...I love him so much and want the best for him!

Wednesday: We went and visited all of those whom have difficulty coming to church on a consistent basis and they all said they didn't have time for us.   We went knocking on doors for a little bit, said good bye to other missionaries and went to teach English class.

Thursday was our weekly planning meeting and went to go see a member of the branch and his mom.  We taught about the Book of Mormon but his mom wasn't interested any more.

Friday: We went to go see another investigator and he wasn't home.  We helped a member of the branch prepare their lesson plans for church, went knocking on doors and visiting less active families, and nobody wanted us to visit.  We had dinner and rechecked on our investigator and he still wasn’t home.

Saturday: We went out to the Miri town area to visit a lady that we called, she was really happy to meet us.  Her sister is a member in KL right now.  Despite really wanting to meet us, she told us that she is super busy with work and can’t focus on God.  We passed her off to the other Chinese Elders to work with.

Sunday: We went to church and then after, we practiced singing “Chai Shen Dao” for Chinese New Year.  It is really hard... but I think I have it down now.   We went home and then headed up to a member house and taught a lesson. By the end of the night, the member’s husband, who is a non member, prayed for the first time in his life.  About 10:30 that night I got a call from President Mains to wish me a happy birthday.

And this was a great week!

Speaking about people whom have chosen to go on a mission:
I am very excited that Jessica Harrison is completing her papers…Tell her to go Chinese speaking to Singapore, we need more Chinese speakers!

Heavenly father loves us so much.  It is amazing to feel the love he has for the people here.  I love that God really does know and love us individually.  I pray for each and everyone here in Malaysia. 

Elder Fletcher

Singapore Skyline

Monday, January 13, 2014

2nd week in Jan

Jan 12, 2014
We are going to the crocodile farm today in just like 2 seconds. I love you guys so much!!  Thank you for your amazing example!! I don't know about transfers yet, that is supposed to come about 2 in the afternoon but it is going to be big.   I love you guys.  My week has been great!! Singapore was amazing.  I loved it!  I have some pictures to send you guys.  Hopefully, I can later today.  Love you so much.   Wow! Dad has a better bike then me. Haha.  I am hoping to sell my bike to a new missionary coming in, so that way I can buy a better one.  Maybe.  Ok well I will write you in a little bit after I return from the Crocodile farm.

Thanks for the birthday wishes.  Haha.  I am so excited!  I can't wait!  A sister in the branch made us a cake this last week and alot of the members want to celebrate my birthday, but I might be leaving with transfers.  I will for sure let you know.  Love you guys.   Tell dad he has a super nice bike and I will have to get one when I get back so I can go biking with him.   However, I might be a little fat when I get back! hehe

For exercise I usually clean the house or work on my biceps and triceps or pecks or forearms.  I can't make my legs tired because I bike everywhere.  On occasion we run over to the shop lots and buy some butter pau's.  They are so good! :)   I won't be fat unless I serve in KL or Singapore. They don't bike there.   Well I am going to go so love you so much!! Thank you for your amazing example.

(After the Crocodile farm)
Well transfer news isn't in yet... They said they will call the zone leaders then send out an email but we haven't heard anything yet.  That means it is most likely a huge transfer. Woot woot!  It is a high possibility that I might stay here but who knows, it is still kind of crazy so we will have to see!

So anyways, the crocodile farm was pretty cool.  I feed a crocodile today,  that was fun.  I also got some really good pictures.  I am excited to share them with you.  So basically I am doing great in Miri and Miri is doing great!  We had 29 at sacrament meeting yesterday.  The highest in a while, we also have been teaching a man (Call him Sam) I Love him to death.   He has such a hard life and really wants to repent.  He has showed so many steps to progressing with life already and he really wants to change.  Every time we go over he thanks us and says that we are welcome anytime because he needs our help.   It is so exciting seeing him change.  The first night we met with him, my comp and I were a little sketched by him but I really have grow to love him.  I am so excited this week, we want to give him a baptismal date.  I am praying that he will accept it.

We spent alot of time in Singapore this week and saw some really amazing things.  We walked underneath the big hotel that was being built to get to the big mechanical trees. 

I met Elder Wilson (the second counselor in the Asia Area Presidency).  That was cool!  Elder Mitchell had a personal interview with him.   They didn’t interview everyone, it was just random.  Singapore airport has a butter fly garden that was cool, I have some pictures!! We learned alot about how to use the Book of Mormon more Effectively!!

I am sending you all post cards! oh and I found Elysa’s package.  The reason it didn't get to you guys is because I forgot to put USA on it... so they sent it back to the mission office... so sorry about that... I will get it sent out this week... and I will put USA on it!  All these pictures I am talking about I will be sending next week.  I forgot my card reader again.

Transfer news

Well I am staying with Elder Mitchell for the next 6 weeks in Miri. Elder Chan and Elder Kong stay the same.  Elder Wayment is going to Kuching as the zone leader, Elder Chirstensen is staying and being DL and Elder Griffen is coming in and Elder Schuetz and Elder Tan are staying here and Sister Anderson is training and Sister Trottier will be with Sister Taylor and Sister Caballa is going home and Sister Ballyntyne is going home! So yep!! crazy!

Well I love you guys so much!!
Love Elder Derek Fletcher

Monday, January 6, 2014

After Christmas

Dec 29, 2013

Thank you for the pictures, they look great.  Now I just wish I could figure out how to put them on my phone.  I am glad you had fun in Lava Hot Springs over Christmas.  Darn I miss Lava!  For Christmas we went around and visited tons of members and they fed us tons of food.  Good stuff!   I do keep a good eye on my new phone; it is my lifeline for learning Chinese.  It is funny about Elysa’s blond moment as you were eating at the Chuck wagon in Lava.  I have actually played a lot of pool here. The Chuck wagon has good food, oh man I want to go there when I get back.

Sounds like you were doing some good missionary work while you were up in Lava.  Members are so vital! Without members nothing happens!!

I am not sick but my comp might have a disease growing on his foot.  haha J  I keep telling him he is going to die.  He doesn't like it very much.   This week has been a lot of visiting people and just talking with them.   People don’t seem to like to talk about church things when it is Christmas.  It is weird.   Oh well, we still are building good friendships with them.  It looks like neither Elder Mitchell nor I will be getting transferred for at least 2 weeks.   They were supposed to be this week but I guess not.  Next week is zone conference and we go to Singapore and the week after is transfers and maybe I will get a chance to train!

We fly a ton.   The mission spends so much money on that.  It is crazy! Zone conferences and renewing Visas to stay out here cost so much money.

Love you guys got to go  J


That is awesome about Dad’s new church calling.  With dad in the Sunday school, I can see mom in young womens. What do you think?

I am glad to hear that mom is quilting and making more quilting friends.  It will be great to get your name out there with the other quilters.  That will definitely move the quilting business forward.

We leave Wednesday for Singapore at 840 and don't get back till Friday at 4.  I haven't spent very much time in Singapore so I don’t know much about the Ferris wheel. It sounds like it is fun.

Things are going great this week.  We have had a lot of miracles.   Last night we had the best lesson ever.  We went and visited sister Cai and we brought President Chan with us. He bore such a powerful testimony and committed them all to come to church.   Even the non-members in the family said they would come.  I am so excited.  It will be so good!!

We also got lost in Tudan last night, but a very nice man who was Muslim helped us find our way out.

We had our first priesthood class ever yesterday.  Woot woot woot!

I have had a couple headaches but it has been because of dehydration.   But I am hydrated again with no problems.

I sent home a picture of the outside of my apartment; it is the nicest house in the mission besides Singapore. It is called the Miri Mansion. Our landlord is Chinese so I go practice my Chinese with him when ever he comes over to weed or paint.  The Elders that live in Jin Hold have maids!!

Dad, don’t get jealous of my bike.  It actually is a pretty old bike.   The chain is rusty and some of the gears are missing. It has been a missionary bike for a very long time.  I am just grateful it works.  I am planning on selling it, I can ship it home to you if you want it dad.   Or you can buy some really nice ones here for like 1000rm which is like 333 American.  I could look in to the slow boating prices if you want??

Catch you next week