Hey hey.

Woof. So this week has been hard. I was feeling good after being in the house for four days and was itching to get out. We went out all dayTuesday, having a great time being missionaries when I realized that night I couldn’t walk. oops. The next day I couldn’t move around the apartment without crazy pain and so I called Sister Mains without any clue as to what I should do. I got in to see a different doctor the next morning and it went a little something like this:
Dr: Can you stop being volunteer until you are better, a few months only
Sis B: cannot
Dr: Can you stay inside for three weeks, no walking anywhere and doing physical therapy?
B: cannot
Dr: Can you do admin? Three months admin?
B: cannot. have to walk around all day. should be biking but cannot, so have to walk
Dr: No admin? Don’t have?
B: don’t have
Dr: Well you cannot be out all day for a long while better, or else you will not get better
And then I freaked out. So. As of right now, I’m on house arrest until the Mission President decides what to do with me. Luckily, he’s the most inspired person I’ve ever met, so I know that whatever he tells me to do is what is best. But four days not knowing your fate as a missionary is enough to make you crazy. No news is good news though right? So I’ve been fasting and praying like crazy to try and figure out what I should do.
I’m thinking Heavenly Father just really loves me a lot and is giving me an opportunity to show my faith. So he has to give me weaknesses, Ether 12:27 style. I was joking with Sister LeBaron this week saying that I’m already too emotionally damaged that God had to weaken me physically to get my attention. But I think it might actually be the opposite, I feel like I have a better hold on my anxiety than I ever have in my whole life, purely because of the Atonement. I think this situation is just another way I can grow. I’ve been looking for an answer in the scriptures and all I can find is God telling his children to have more faith, He makes weak things strong. Can.
He won’t take all our problems away, he will strengthen us so we can bear up our burdens with ease. We all need a load to carry. They are all different and they help us each individually to rely on the merits and grace of the Savior. Right now, I guess I need broken legs to have more faith.
It’s hard though. Because part of my brain says “serve with your heart, might, mind and strength. you can come home from your mission on a stretcher in a year” and the other part of my brain says “um i cannot walk”
Ether 12 was the answer to all my hearts anxiety. The Lord GIVES us weaknesses that we might come unto Him. Verse 27 is the best ever obviously, but after a morning or two of studying and studying and feeling so inadequate and having the most irrational panic attacks…I literally cannot go out and be a missionary, how am I supposed to do this, what if my companion hates me because we’re stuck inside all day, what if they send me home, what if I get reassigned somewhere else, what if my knees never get better because I stayed out here when I should have gone home and taken care of it, what if I die alone with my cats, OUT OF CONTROL over here.
But then verse 29 came along and said:
And I, Moroni, having heard these words, was comforted.
Everything was fine. I was so calm and at peace and it was crazy how it happened. Heavenly Father makes weak things strong. He gives us loads to carry because it’s part of the plan of happiness. We don’t have to carry them alone. Through the Atonement, we can receive strength and capacity to bear our burdens better than we ever could alone. The Savior suffered for our sins and iniquities but also for every physical pain, weakness, shortcoming, fears, frustrations, disappointments, regrets, everything. There is nothing we will ever go through that the Savior has not already gone through for us. He perfectly understands and knows how to help us because He carried our load first. He already suffered for my knees. Kasihan Dia, it hurts like nothing else. But He knows how to heal us and He will heal us if we have faith in Him and are humble. He will help us bear up our burdens with ease. Why? Because He loves us. Why? I have no idea. What did I ever do to deserve that? nothing. It blows my mind.
Anyway. I’m taking it a day at a time. Whatever happens, is what God wants to happen for my life. If they send me home, that’s what is supposed to happen. If I’m supposed to struggle through it here, also can. We all get resurrected bodies anyway right?
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak then I am strong
2 Corinthians 12:9-10
love you all.
sister bourgeois

Bird Poo and Thai Food

Apa khabar keluargaku yang terkasih,

Happy Monday. I finished the Book of Mormon again. Sister Opatha has been sick…so literally the only time we have left the house was to go to my physical therapy appointments. We are that broken companionship. But weirdly she felt better when our district wanted to go to the Marina Bay light show…the days of miracles have not ceased? HA. Also it had nothing on World of Color and I was sufficiently let down. I miss Disneyland.
IMG_5156 IMG_5162So yeah. Oh wait we did have ONE lesson this week with Ana. And a bird pooped right on my head as we were about to start. So that about sums up my week. And I got to eat thai food. which was delicious. My legs hurt preeettttyyy bad but I think it’s a good hurt. I have bruises on my legs from getting my IT band rubbed out, but I’ve been the best patient and done all my exercises five times a day like I’m supposed to. And because I’ve literally had nothing to do for the last five days. I miss being in Kuching and being out all day and coming home exhausted every night. There is so much work to be done here it’s frustrating to be in every day. But apparently I need a lesson in charity or patience or something.
Anyway. The Book of Mormon is more true every time I read it. Sidenote, now that I’m in Singapore we can check the mail all the time. But nobody sends me mail. Come on people I was the queen of mail in the MTC. What happened?? LOVE ME.
Anyway. I’m looking forward to my companions “recovery” so we can get back to work. There is so much to be done here and I want to do all I can with my time here. Also it’s stressful to be in an apartment with four sisters instead of two. Too loud. Too many hormones. Pray for me. haha. But I’m happy, getting my legs better, just chuggin along over here. Church is true, the book is blue, see you in ONE!
sister b
ps HAPPY WEDDING ASHLIE AND MIKE! So sad I wont be there, but you bet I’ll be eating cake with you on your one year anniversary xoxo

Six Months?!

Selamat Bulan June, kawan-kawanku.

Not sure if that makes sense. Who cares, I speak bahasa Ingriss now anyway! Just kidding MTC teachers, I still do language study setiap hari. And use my Malay to talk to Muslims working at the mall who give me great discounts on everything. White girl speaking bahasa gets you “most special deal” every time.
Anyway, it’s already June? like school’s out, wedding season June?? The day before I left I was shoveling Cassie’s car out of two feet of snow in front of my house! Crazy. How are the Dodgers and Sox doing? Time flies. Sudah six months I’ve been a Sister! And in those short six months I’ve put on TEN POUNDS. Count em. Laugh it up, I’m a fat sister missionary. I know its real because they weighed me at the doctor this week so don’t even try to tell me I look the same!
Speaking of doctors, the first thing my PT said to me was “wow this is really bad, had you stayed on your bike another six weeks you would have torn your IT band and needed surgery.” But all is well. So basically, I’m pigeon-toed AS. My hips are so tight and pointing the wrong way that it yanks on my IT band which then pulls my knee out of alignment and hurts like crazy. So it’s really not even my knees that have the problem, it’s all in the hips! She said no running for at least six to eight weeks which almost made me cry – how am I supposed to get rid of ten pounds of Malaysian rice! No stairs, jumping, lots of stretching and no bike riding and I should be good as new. Her reaction was pretty priceless when I told her I had been riding my bike around Kuching telling people about Jesus all day every day.
After talking with her for the next two hours while she “massaged” my legs (CRYING just thinking about how bad it hurt) she was thoroughly impressed with our church and the idea of serving a mission. She said “I can’t think of another organization that has 85000 young people worldwide helping improve people’s lives like that. Tell your parents they raised you up good.” Aw. Thanks mom and dad!
So I can’t wait to baptize her. She has a heart of gold. She became a physical therapist because she grew up living with her grandfather who recovered from three strokes through physical therapy and she wanted to help people in the same way. I told her I felt the same way about the gospel! It’s only a matter of time before she’s dunked. Plenty of physical therapy left to get the lessons in 🙂
When Sister Opatha and I aren’t at the doctor, we’re trying to find people to teach. I’m getting better at contacting – sort of – and meeting a lot of interesting people. Most of them don’t want to know about Jesus, they just try to invite me to a club or their house or tell me they don’t believe in God and don’t want to talk to me. Fine. I got a little discouraged this week about it all. This palce is full of people, there has to be some that want to be happy forever! My district leader basically told me to calm down and keep going. Which is the answer to every panic attack I ever have. Heavenly Father didn’t send me here to fail. There are people who are ready here. We just need to find them one by one. That’s how the Savior ministered anyway. ” They went forth one by one and did see with their eyes and feel with their hands and know of a surety” right? And anytime we try to emulate the Savior, we’re probably doing something right.
So yeah. one by one.
Our one right now is named Ana. She’s from Georgia (the country) and is 23 and getting her PhD in Mathematics. Same…She’s a genius. We had a lesson on the Plan of Salvation with her and it blew her mind. She said it just makes sense. She told us she had been feeling like she is missing or longing for a place or person but she has no idea what it is. When we taught that she lived with Heavenly Father before she came here, she said “That’s SO cool” .. You’re telling me! And we can go back and live with him again! She told us she believes this is what she has been looking for. Are you joking? I told her she has a Heavenly Father and a Savior that love her and want the best for her and so many of her questions were answered. Although she has more questions than anyone I’ve ever met. My favorite one yesterday was “Okay so we are always learning and growing, I like that. So can I still do math in the Spirit World and the Celestial Kingdom?” Sure Ana, do all the math you want. But if anyone tries to make me do calculus after I’m dead I’ll know I ended up in outer darkness. HA.
So yeah. This church is so true. This whole mission thing would fall apart if it wasn’t. Didn’t a Marriot or someone say that if he wanted his business to fail he would send 19 year old boys out to represent it? Luckily we aren’t the ones in charge out here. I just feel so lucky to be a part in blessing people’s lives every day. I’m already sad I only have a year left! If it keeps going like these first six months have, I’ll be home in no time! And probably 20 pounds heavier. AH!! Speaking of going home, The last two Elders from my MTC group went home this week, both because of medical issues. Sad! Who would have thought Sister Booja would be the last one standing?? Oh and Sister LeBaron’s new trainee unexpectedly went home too, so she’s in Singapaore too! Never a dull moment. Anyway, sorry this is long. Pictures are from my last day in Kuching/first day in Singapore. Yes I’m wearing the same outfit. Everything else was packed. Don’t judge. LOVE YOU! and HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAVIS ANN!
sister b

My Life is Amazing


Wanna hear a joke I just overheard?
Why did the bike fall?
Because it was too tired…two tired. HA.

This week FLEW, but I’m finding that most transfer weeks do. I wrapped up my stay in Kuching, saying goodbye to two different branches full of amazing people and banyak iman. The thought that I might not ever see them again broke my heart and I may or may not have told them I would come back with my family soon…whoops. Bourgeois Summer Vacation 2015?
And now I’m Singapore! Or Singa-super-rich it should be called. How is this all one mission?? It’s like I live in a video game. You just stand and all these contraptions move you to where you want to go. Lots of missionaries call Singapore “Escalator Land”’s nuts over here. But I absolutely love it. EVERYTHING is different from Kuching.
I’m in a WARD for one thing. I called my district leader Saturday night asking if my companion was lying to me when she told me that I didn’t have to give a talk, teach sunday school and relief society and meet with the branch president after. His answer was “missionaries don’t lie, and we have a bishop here-not a branch president.” … Right.
We take the MRT and buses everywhere we go, I laugh every time it tells us to switch from the green line to the circle line. Circle can?
We also live in a BEAUTIFUL place called Chinese Gardens. On the 17th floor of course. I’m not in Kuching anymore!!
Sister Opatha is great, it’s her birthday today actually. I don’t know about you, but she’s feeling 22. I’m pretty sure she thinks I’m crazy. I was blown away that she didn’t have any investigators and they just go out and hand out pass-along cards all day. So I’m hoping to bring a little East Malaysia over here and get creative and find some people to teach.
I feel like a lot of the missionaries here are kind of discouraged about the work and just have the attitude that all big-city missions are like this, that they won’t see a baptism their whole mission and nobody wants to listen. Maybe I’m still new here and don’t know anything, but I feel like out of seven million people in this city, there’s plenty that Heavenly Father has prepared to hear the gospel.
I’m just really happy to be here. Just really happy in general. I don’t know why because I feel like there is so much to do and I’m only one person and there’s no way I could ever do it all. But I don’t have to! I’m trying my best every day. I’m out serving and helping and loving as many people as will receive me. Tuhan is taking care of the rest. My heart is so full. I love you all, have a good week, say your prayers.
oh the chinese say my name bor-ju-ah in three really distinct syllables. I never win

Bye East Malaysia!

Nama Berita, nuan.
We had two baptisms on Saturday!!
IMG_5102 IMG_5096 IMG_5107

Whoops I didn’t write last week because I was on a Mothers Day high. SO GOOD TO SEE EVERYONE. And also I was depressed because we had a family of eight drop us the night before. So that was upsetting. And then right before we went to email, Sister Mains called me and told me I wasn’t allowed to bike for a week because of my knees and we had to walk or take taxis everywhere we go. After emailing I was all angry in my head thinking that I can ride a bike and my knees are fine and I shouldn’t have said anything and then I got hit by a car. Whoops. Okay Heavenly Father, you win. I don’t want to ride my bike anymore!!

Jangan risau, it wasn’t even that bad. So basically we needed to make a right turn and cross like four lanes of traffic. Because my knees are broken, I was pretty far behind Sister LeBaron and she was through the intersection before I could even start to get into the right turn lane (which is super wide like a left turn because this whole country is backwards) so I patiently waited on the left side of the intersection for the light to turn red so I could cross in front of the stopped cars. We do it aaaalll the time. But as I turned to do so, a huge truck ran the red raaaaaan the red light and hit me as I was turning out. Oops. Knocked me pretty hard and I flew over my bike and in front of all the stopped cars. Of course he just kept on driving. I laid on the ground for a second and realized I wasn’t dead and got up and moved my newly ruined bike (at least it’s not stolen?) off the road.

IMG_5085 IMG_5084 IMG_5070Then I had a panic attack haha. Sister LeBaron realized I wasn’t behind her and turned around to see me on the ground in the middle of the street so she was FREAKING OUT. Luckily, I was saved yet again by a Muslim angel couple. They are the nicest people here hands down. He came running up to me and started asking me a bunch of questions and then pulled over when the light turned and has Sister LeBaron and I get in his truck with him and his wife and threw our bikes in the back and took us to the doctor.
Oh and literally twenty seconds after we got in his car it started raining SO HARD. Harder than the day we went to Bintawa. Multiple trees fell down in front of us and power lines were falling over and the streets were beyond flooded. It was so crazy. So had I not been hit by a car, we would have definitely been hurt or killed in that ridiculous storm! And say what you want about Muslims, they’ve saved me two times and counting since I’ve been here. It breaks my heart that it’s illegal to teach them here. But that’s why I’m learning bahasa right, somebody’s gotta teach them when we die!

Anyway, I’m completely fine. I have a bruised ankle and a sprained wrist. Thank goodness because the doctors here are…rubbish. Sister LeBaron said “I think she’s in shock she got hit by a car what do we do” and he said “well she looks fine, she probably just needs your support” yahkah. hahaha it was ridiculous.

Oh breaking transfer news!!! I’m headed to SINGAPORE. Yay a place with real doctors! I’m in the CCK ward. Not a clue what that means but I will soon. My companion will be Sister Opatha. She’s from Sri Lanka and is BEAUTIFUL and weighs like 80 pounds. I’ve only met her once but I’m sure she’s wonderful.

IMG_5077 IMG_5061 IMG_5066 IMG_5037 (1) IMG_5001 IMG_5048 IMG_5092And my whole train of thought from before is gone. Whoops. Anyway, worst week of my mission for sure. But, I’m so excited to go to Singapore!! What am I going to do without my Ibans?? Okay gotta go! love you all!!

Oh and one more thing a member spelled my name bswa this week hahahahahaha

xoxoxo sister bswa

A Wise Purpose

Helloooooooo orang-orang putih,

This IMG_4850week was looooooooong. But I was due for one. And it’s over now so onto the next one. LeBaron recovered from her lice and we were finally allowed to leave the house. Yay. And then the next day we went on splits which happens way too much because Sister LeBaron is still the Sister Training Leader so she still has to jaga the other missionaries so I get put with Sister Hales at least once a week. She’s brand new and thinks she’s really good at everything. Maybe she is. Maybe she’s really good at everything except locking bikes. LOL.
The thing that kills me is 20 minutes before I made her unlock and re lock the bikes because she locked them to each other only and not to the fence. and then when I reminded her at our next appointment she gave me some serious sass about it. Turns out she locked her bike to the pole and missed mine…whoops. And of course it happened at Veronica’s house. Have I told you about them?
Soooo we have this family that we’ve been teaching and they are SO GOOD. I love them. They do everything they’re supposed to do except come to church and the excuse they give us is that they can’t leave their house because everything will get stolen….nice I actually haven’t heard that one before. That’s been the excuse for a few months now I think. So we’ve been trying to teach them about faith and like you can’t take your tv to heaven so go to church! Turns out it is a legitimate fear because that’s where my bike was stolen. whooops. baru faham. But I just said “It’s nothing, I can’t take my bike to heaven and now we can all walk to church!” And they actually came to church yesterday! So if it takes my bike to get stolen every week to get someone new to church, that’s fine with me! It hurts my knees anyway.
There happened to be an extra old bike at our apartment so I’m good to go. But you bet that I am in charge of locking bikes wherever we are now hahaaa.
Let’s see what else happened. We were at a family’s house and after they had forced us to eat a huge plate of rice they pull out the little ones wrapped in bamboo and say “Here, Sister it’s glutenous rice!” perfect. just how I like my rice with extra gluten. Someone shoot me.
I’ve been real stressed out being with a new missionary because it’s just made so so clear to me that I have literally no idea what I’m doing out here. I’m only with her one or two days a week and I freak out about it every time. I don’t like being in charge. I have no idea how to be a good missionary or a good mormon it feels like sometimes. I had an investigator ask me “who is Elohim and what is Kolob” this week and I literally didn’t know. I know I don’t need to but what would I have done if I didn’t have a walking Book of Mormon as my companion? So it’s been an anxiety-filled couple of days. What can ya do. Read the scriptures!
My all time favorite is Words of Mormon 1:7 which says:
And I do this for a wise purpose, for thus it whispereth me, according to the workings of the Spirit of the Lord which is in me. And now, I do not know all things; but the Lord knoweth all things which are to come; wherefore, he worketh in me to do according to his will.”
I’m pretty sure he’s talking about why he’s writing the plates or something but I feel the same way being out here most of the time. I have no clue why I’m here. There are so many missionaries that are better teachers and better at bahasa and better mormons than me. But the Lord knows all and for some reason he sent me here. I don’t know all the reasons why but I don’t need to either. I do not ask to see the distant scene, one step enough for me.
love love love you all so much. ps I’ve been here for five months! five moons as we say in bahasa
sister bourgeois

eternal lice

Hey hey.

Let’s start with a little language study shall we? There are really only two words we use in English that we take from bahasa. I learned this in the MTC so I may have already shared this, but we have orangutang (orang utan means forest people) and cootie which comes from the word kutu. Except for in bahasa, kutu actually means lice.
Kena means hit. When Malaysians see us out in the rain they yell “Sisters jangan kena demum!” don’t get hit with a fever. Their fear of the rain is hilarious. It rains almost every day. Except on Tuesday it was an even worse storm than the one on my first or second day in Kuching. I was actually FREEZING. I haven’t been cold in five months! The rain was painful and of course we were riding to Bintawa which is an hour away. Taught five lessons soaking wet. We probably did get kena demum that day so I should give them a little more credit. Anyway..
So Sister LeBaron was complaining all week that her head was soooo itchy and I told her to get over herself and take a shower because East Malaysia was getting to her. Turns out she’s kena kutu. We woke up yesterday completely fine. I baked a cake for a birthday party (hear that future husband?) and got ready for the day when LeBaron pulls the crawliest bug out of her own scalp. We couldn’t go to church because she had lice. Ew. So I spent literally three hours combing bugs and eggs out of my companions hair. I have a whole new definition of the phrase “nit-picking”… We stopped counting around 40…And then we ate the cake. Whoops. Sorry little Andrew, the fat Sister Missionaries couldn’t come to your birthday party because THEY HAD LICE oh and they ate your birthday cake. hahaha. it was delicious. And just so everyone knows, I have yet to be hit with the lice. I made LeBaron go through my hair and comb out every suspicious looking dandruff on my head. So far so good.
Anyway, this week was great. We have been going knocking with our members whenever we have time between lessons and it’s the most fun thing ever. We don’t even do anything the members get so pumped up about it. So this week we took Niah and followed her around Bintawa and she lit it up. We would never find the people we do without members. She took us INSIDE of a lumber yard. We thought we were going to visit her husband at work or something but no there’s people that live in there. People that are prepared to hear the gospel. We met Amin, who lives in a lumber yard. He became a Christian a year ago only and doesn’t understand why there are so many different Christian churches. Well let me tell you all about it Amin. It was amazing. He was just soaking in every word we said. Oh and his lumber yard has Sundays off work (which NEVER happens) and so he wants to come to church and check it out. what? I swear Heavenly Father just places someone in front of us and is like “here baptize this one” I don’t even do anything. And then we walked out of the lesson in shock and the call to prayer was playing and it was the prettiest sunset and we were in a Malaysian lumber yard. So cool.
In other news I’ve strained my MCL/meniscus so it has been heaven not being on a bike the past few days. Pray I don’t get banished to Singapore and it will be healed! But everything else is great, I get to go around teaching people about eternal lice all day! HA I crack myself up.
Jangan kena kutu!! Sayang kamu semua
sister b