Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Hello from Singapore!!!!!!

What's up everyone!! Yup that's right I'm in Singapore!!!

So this week has been one of the craziest, longest, most exciting weeks of my life!!!

I'll just start from the beginning. So on the flight here I was not able to fall asleep. I could not get comfortable because the seat was so small and my legs couldn't fit, also the Asian lady next to me fell asleep on me lol. But we did get as many cup of noodles as we wanted so that made everything better! I was able to see a little bit of Hong Kong which was cool. We also flew over Vietnam which I got some pictures of. But finally we landed in Singapore!!! We got off the plane and had to go through immigration. We are supposed to dress down when we travel through airports because immigration officers do not like missionary's. Well we didn't know this and Elder Stratton got taken into a room by one of them haha. Haha we thought we'd never see him again but he finally got out lol. When we walked out we saw President and Sister Simmons and the AP's waiting for us. They are so cool I really like them! Our first meal in Singapore was........ Burger king, yeah lame I know, but that's ok it was really good compared to the death they fed us on the airplane haha. So after we dropped off our bags we immediately had to do some train contacting. It was kind of scary but I was able to get 3 phone numbers. The coolest part about everything was just I was in Singapore! It is SO HOT! Man, the humidity is awful! Haha its ok I think I like it lol. On our walk to the mission home we saw like 30 lizards just chillin on the side of a house. That was pretty cool but now I see them everywhere and sometimes they sneak into the apartment haha. We slept at the mission home for the night.

The next day we woke up and all our soon to be trainers were already at the house. I am the only new Mandarin speaker so my trainer obviously is gonna be the only mandarin trainer there. His name is Elder Brown. He's pretty cool and a super good violin player. But we get along and work well together. He keeps telling me how happy he is that I'm here lol he loves me. Next we had a little orientation then found out which area we will be going to. I'm assigned to....... IPOH! Everyone tells me how Ipoh is the promised land and how great it is. And they are so right! After the meeting I got my first real Chinese meal which was chicken and spicy noodles. It was way good. Then from there we flew out to Ipoh Malaysia!

On the plane me and Elder brown planned our first lesson for an appointment that night. We didn't get to teach though because the lady later canceled. W
e go through a layer of clouds and then I see Ipoh!! It is so beautiful! There are these mountains that stick straight out of the ground and are super steep and covered in jungle! The are very pretty!! We just wore normal clothes because they wouldn't let you in if you were dressed like a missionary. You just have to tell them you are there for vacation or a volunteer.

So I walk out of the airport doors and the first thing I see is a cat walking around the sidewalk a bunch of Asians on mopeds and 3 sisters holding signs for me lol. The very first thing I heard were a bunch of gunshots so that was nice :) The sisters made signs for me that said something like "Welcome to Ipoh stinky baby greenie"
Getting off the plane in IPOH
or something like that I don't remember. We then took a taxi to our
apartment and I got to see a little of Ipoh. It is so crazy!!!! It's so rundown and so jungly and so Asian! The roads are crazy! Nobody cares about other cars they just swerve in and out how ever they want. It's crazy! Also there are like a billion of Asians with mopeds buzzing around in-between cars and stuff. It's so awesome. So that night we had to go to the hospital to give a blessing. We hopped on our bikes and headed there. Bike riding is so scary here but I love it! It's so hectic. We rode past a mosque that was playing the call to prayer and I just laughed because that's something I always thought was funny haha. Ipoh is so crowded and so diverse. There's so many different races here. We have tons of Indians, Malays, Chinese, and a ton of towel heads (Muslims). We got to the hospital and couldn't find the lady because the hospital is so crazy. I'll talk about that later. But that was my first day and I fell in love with this mission that night. It is so cool and so fun and crazy I just love it.

So the next day we woke up did study and training and everything and then went to service. Hahahahaha i just laugh every time i think about service because it was so funny. We help out at a dementia center. Hahahaha these old Chinese people are so cute I love it. We walked in and the first thing I saw was a bunch of Asians trying to eat breakfast without falling asleep lol. They were all so tired haha. After breakfast was the fun part. We took them all into a room to sing songs and exercise. lol I'm laughing while typing this because they were all so funny. We sang a bunch of nursery rhymes haha.

So we still had to give this member at the hospital a blessing but this time her friend was coming to help us find her. We were getting ready to go when all of a sudden it starts POURING rain! Like it was twice as bad as the worst rain I've seen in Utah. And the lightning and thunder was so crazy! The thunder was so loud! I guess I got here right as the rainy season is starting lol. So we headed out in the rain and got completely drenched! It was pretty fun!

Then we pull up to the hospital. Let me tell you about this hospital. It is by far one of the craziest things I've ever seen. It is so hectic, there's so many people, it's so unsanitary and so ran down. These hospitals are buildings but not really. Like they don't have hallways or closed rooms, everything is open to the outside world. And everything is so sketchy. The bathrooms are like a very old dirty gas station bathroom. The rooms where patients stay are these big rooms where everyone lays. No one has their own room. And they just lay there and suffer in the heat while pigeons walk around their bedside. Yes, I'm serious, there are pigeons walking around in the hospital. Also there are lizards all over the hospital walls.

The Lizards that crawl everywhere!
So we were walking though this sketchy hospital trying to find this lady while rain is just dumping around us, we were completely drenched and it's just hectic. We come up to this building that is like a shack or a pavilion type thing. We're walking past these rooms of people who all have these really bad skin diseases and I saw some of the grossest things I've ever seen in my life. It was so sad. We finally found this member. Her name is sister S***. She's a big Indian lady with a skin disease that looks like she has leprosy or something. Her skin was falling off everywhere and her fingernails were falling off. It was very sad. I got to do the oil part and elder brown did the blessing. The blessing was so beautiful and brought the spirit so strong. I've never felt so much peace as I have when I was standing here in the middle of this crazy hospital in the middle of Malaysia with rain pouring splashing on us, lizards and pigeons running around, giving a blessing. It brought so much peace to me and sister s***. It was a very humbling experience and was so sad. I am never ever going to complain about health care in America, we are so very blessed! This was a crazy awesome experience for my first day and one I will never forget.

We then road our bikes in the still pouring rain to the mall to do some contacting. there was one point where the water went halfway up my bike tire. We got to the mall and were so soaked. We were leaving water trails everywhere we walked and people were getting mad at us, so we went home and changed. I took off my shoe and poured water out of it lol. I will send pics. Later that night we taught English class which was pretty fun.

Soaked from all the rain!!!

The next day we pretty much listened to conference all day. I got to listen to it again which was nice.
After conference we went
Stretching after Conference Haha!
with president yap to get some dinner. We got these really good waffle things. When we were walking through the grocery store there were like 20 Malay girls working at the cash
register. And Elder Brown says: "Look they're all staring at you" and I look and they all are just staring at me smiling and giggling and blushing hahaha I guess I'm hot to Malay girls lol. Michelle watch out you've got some competition ;) So another thing that happened was when I got my waffle thing the bag had some stuff writin on it. It was writin in Malay so I couldn't read it. We later got it translated and it was a poem that the girl working at the waffle stand had writin to me hahahahaha. It said something like "our love is like a battle, and I would shed blood for your love" or something like that hahahaha it was pretty funny. I guess I'm a hottie to all these Muslim girls lol.

The Poem
So the food here is really good!!! My favorite food believe it or not is called fish head curry. It's a curry with fish head in it and all sorts of good stuff that I'm not sure what it is but its really good! It tastes a lot like flaming Hot Cheetos! Dad you would love this food, everything is all spicy and so good! I love it so far. I also really like squid! You all are probably shocked haha. But it's really good. The one thing I'm pretty sad about is I wont come back as good at Chinese as I thought. I have used very little Chinese here, everyone speaks English. I have spoken probably 90% English. I'm going to try and study it really hard though so I can come back really good. There's so many Indians, Asians, Muslims, Hindus and Buddhist here. I love it!

First meal in IPOH

Well that's all I have time for! I love this place it is so cool! This is going to be such an awesome mission! I love and miss you all! Thanks for all the support!

-Elder Schwemmer


"The sun always looks cool like this!"

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