A Travellerspoint blog

May 2018

Farewell Sunday

I'm going to miss my church family.

sunny 98 °F


Today was my last Sunday in Johor, Bahru, Malaysia. It's been a wonderful place to be on Sunday. I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints, or LDS, or another name is Mormon. I know it. I live it. I love it.


There are usually about 30-40 people there. Due to school being held on Sundays, most of the children are unable to attend. We are hoping with the new government that it will change and they will be able to come again. Like every congregation in our church we a variety of people attending. We have families of all sizes. We have singles and missionaries. We have a variety of talents and abilities, and personalities. We have different professions. We are led by a bishop, or in our case here because it's so small, a branch president. Larger congregations are called wards. We are smaller so called a branch.

We all have "callings", things to do to make our branch run smoothly. And none of our positions are paid. I have loved serving in this branch. I was first called as a primary teacher. I taught the children, when they came, from ages 3-12. Jaden and Hyrum were the ones that most often attended. I loved teaching these kids. Not always easy as sometimes, when there was a holiday, many would come and they didn't all speak English.

My next calling was to teach in the Relief Society, the largest women's organization in the world. Although I wasn't able to teach often, because of traveling a lot, I also loved this calling, and the opportunity to get to know the women better.

I have also been able to play the piano on many occasions. I have sure become rusty not having a piano around to practice on, and I was never that great anyway.

Today I was able to speak in Sunday, another chance of what has been many. It is difficult preparing talks, and I'm not good at it. So stressful to put together ideas in a coherent way, but finally I was able to do it. I used the theme of journeys. We are all here on earth making journeys of our own, trying to make it through the hardships, but trying to find happiness and showing gratitude for our many blessings, while serving others. I have loved the journey I have made to Malaysia, and am grateful for the opportunity to meet each Sunday with the wonderful members of my branch.


Today, as they do every 4th Sunday, they had a Linger Longer. This is where they bring potluck food to share and everyone stays after church to eat and visit. Today they had it in my honor. And the food was fabulous. Some of the best food ever. Roast beef and pork, and noodles and sandwiches. Yummy Chinese dishes cooked with love.

Until we meet again, my dear friends. I love you dearly.


Posted by dianeski4 06:50 Archived in Malaysia Comments (1)


Food feast after food fast!

overcast 88 °F



There is so much going on during Ramadan. And it's so fun to be a part of it...well... the eating part anyway. I haven't tried the fasting part. Muslims fast from about 6 am until 7:10 PM. No food and no water. Even some of my 3rd grade students participate on some days. To the point of not swimming during PE so as not to get any water in their mouths. I admire my Muslim friends. In this heat, I would find it so difficult, but they seem happy to do it, and I'm amazed at their self-control and show of their faith. The church I belong to, the LDS church, fasts one Sunday a month for 2 meals, and that's hard for me!

It has been really fascinating to live in Malaysia which is a full of diversity. The major religion in Islam. The 2010 population census states that 61.3 percent practices Islam. 19.8 percent Buddhism; 9.2 percent Christianity; 6.3 percent Hinduism; and 3.4 percent traditional Chinese religions.


Tonight our school nurse, Suhada, took us to a food bazaar after school. Talk about a smorgasbord of delights! Food stalls with yummy looking food everywhere! It was only 5 pm, but the place was packed with shoppers picking up food for the evening meal. We ran into our friends Peter and Sharina.

I picked up some BBQ chicken, roti, crepes in rainbow colors, pomegranate, sugar cane and coconut juice, and curry. And I didn't wait until after 7 to eat it. It was delicious!


Posted by dianeski4 06:17 Archived in Malaysia Comments (0)


Almost Paradise

sunny 90 °F







With crystal clear water all colors of blue, this place was almost paradise. So glad I was able to take this trip, although it was super short.

There were five of us traveling. 4 of us from Raffles American School and Dave, my friend from the US. He had spent 40 hours getting her as his flight was canceled and they rerouted him. He arrived shortly after 1:30 am and we left at 3:45 am. Poor tired boy! But he did well.

We left at 3:45 am and drove to the airport in Johor, and then spent 5 + hours flying and 2 hours on a boat to get to Mathiveri Island in the Maldives. The airport there is it's own island, and Male is next to it, and you can get there by ferry. Would have liked to have just set foot on that island, but didn't have time and heard it's dangerous.


While on Mathiveri Island we stayed at a really nice guest house and had all our meals prepared for us. One of the meals was a beach BBQ. They had set up tables on the beach and dug holes in the sand to put in torches. Candles on the tables. Super yummy food with banana pudding for dessert. It was so beautiful. All the meals were really good. Every morning we had this tuna dish with spices and rice in it and an egg. And yummy Roshi. I want to learn to make it.


We were able to tour the school there and meet all the kids in all the classes. That was cool. Part of the school had the open air concept.

We went to a small island next to us, and swam and chased rats away from our stuff. One day we took a boat tour and went snorkeling. That same day Gail, Candice and I went snorkeling off the dock and it was just as nice.



And the rest of the time we just relaxed.

Amanda got a new Go Pro and put together the following video. Check out her skills!


It was an awesome adventure. So glad to have spent it with some wonderful friends!

Posted by dianeski4 23:35 Archived in Maldives Republic Comments (0)

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