Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Hello from Puchong!

Hey! So I got unexpectedly transferred... it's a longer story than it should be. So there's this area outside of Kuala Lumpur called Klang that (I hear) was struggling a little bit, so President Clark decided he wanted to move in a pair of Sisters to try to help the area. So the AP's called Friday night and said I was being sent to whitewash Klang with Sister Jensen and that I was leaving on Tuesday morning. Crazy! I asked everyone to tell me about Klang, so they did and I got SO excited!!! Klang is (basically) the Nigerian branch! Sister Song, since there was no sister that could come to replace me, also got transferred to Penang. On Sunday we found out we were actually leaving on Monday morning, cutting out a lot of the plans we'd made to prepare to leave... so we left without saying goodbye to quite a few people. But I guess that's just how transfers tend to be.

So I get to KL and I'm staying with the Sisters in main KL (since my companion hadn't arrived yet), and we find out that I am not actually going to Klang, but an area called Puchong. Apparently they decided that Klang was too dangerous an area for sisters to be in, so the Elders from Puchong are going to Klang and we're replacing the Puchong Elders.

What I know so far about Puchong (we got here last night) is that there are a lot of Chinese and Indian people.  There are also a few Nigerians as well. The area seems to be more of a suburban town outside of Kuala Lumpur (maybe 40 minutes from the city), definitely more developed than KK. I will be speaking English here, which actually will be awkward for a few days :) The Elders left us a nice little pool of investigators.  I feel like this area is far less Christian than what I'm used to--a lot of Buddhists and also Hindu (we heard a Hindu man praying this morning). It's going to be a really different experience, and I am so excited!!

It was so hard to leave KK.  I shed a few tears.  I truly love and admire the people I got a chance to get to know, and hopefully serve. There are so many people there who have touched me and left me different because I knew them.  I have met some of the strongest people I've ever known there. I have deep respect for so many of the people--members, investigators, people who I only met a few times. Sister Song and I left quite a few people who we really LOVED and it was so sad that we won't be the ones who get to teach them and see them baptized.  (I guess that is normal for missionaries, though.) But I know that the Lord (and the Elders!) will continue to watch over His children there.

So, sidenote... this isn't about my area... but I spent 24 hours in the KL city and FELL IN LOVE. I'm so going back there someday.  It's INCREDIBLE.  Like no city I ever imagined.  The diversity is INSANE! So many Indians and Africans and people from little Asian countries I'd never heard of... I talked to one lady from a country in Europe I'd never heard of, I saw a ton of people from... EVERYWHERE.  It was like being in the entire world at one time.  I felt like I was in an incredible dream.  The feeling in Kuala Lumpur is unlike anything else. So colorful, so rich, so full of SOUL. The buildings are also incredible, and also colorful. The food... ah!  Everything is just... so extremely cool.  I never knew a place like that even existed. It is my new favorite city.

Okay.  Now that you know a little bit of how cool KL is... now back to Puchong.  I'm super excited to be here and I know I'm going to learn a ton.  Sister Jensen, my new companion, is my first American companion since I got into the field :) It's going to be fun!  She is a really fun person.  She stands out pretty well, being blonde and having big blue eyes.  She's way cool though.

That's about all I have time for... next week I'm sure there will be more exciting stories!

Love you all!  Pray always! Never let yourself feel for a moment that you don't want to pray. If you are not in the mood to pray--no matter what you are doing--you need to stop, pray until you feel like praying (quote by Brigham Young), and then continue on in that spirit of prayer.  Prayer should be an integral, fundamental part of our lives. I have been thinking about that lately--how mine needs to be a prayerful heart.  Without prayer we fall shamefully short of our potential in every aspect of our lives.  Prayer lifts us up above this world, bringing us to heights we would never reach on our own.  It is medicine for the hurting heart.  It is the song of the grateful. It's a powerful and precious gift.  I love prayer!

Sister Gopinath

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