Sunday, February 3, 2013


Greetings to All from lovely Borneo.  This week we had visitors!!!  Elder and Sister Nielson are serving in Kuching.  They are the missionaries in charge of the Seminaries and Institutes for the mission as well as MLS missionaries.  They will be going home in April and they wanted to see Mount Kinabalu before they leave for home.  They asked if they could come and spend three days with us and we were delighted to have them come.  It is always great to see some new faces across the breakfast table from you.  Don't get me wrong, Ben has a wonderful, gentle, handsome face that I really enjoy looking at but sometimes new faces can bring a new perspective to breakfast cereal and toast.

On Wednesday we took a boat ride out to the island Mamutik to do a little snorkeling.  The Nielson's are big water and swimming fans.  Ben and I not so much.  But we had never been to the island and wanted to check it out anyway.
Riding along with the wind and sea water and fish blowing through our hair.  It was a beautiful day to go to the island beach. (ltor:  Sis. Nielson, Elder Nielson, boat pilot, scary lady)

Pictures of the beautiful beaches, water and island.
Elder and Sis. Nielsen preparing to go snorkeling.  They said they saw some pretty fish and some awesome coral.  Elder and Sis. Read enjoyed the beach and just hangin' out.  The ride back to shore was a whole lot faster and a whole lot wetter and a whole lot bumpier.
We got soaking wet.  The boat driver just kept saying "Sorry.  Sorry" as he went lickety split and bounced us over the sides of the boat. (JK) I bet you can't guess which side of the boat we sat on.  We had a lot of fun on the island.

The next day we went with them to Mount Kinabalu.  We always enjoy going to the mountain.  For one thing, it is always so much cooler up there.  Every time we have gone to Kinabalu it has rained.  It rained again on Thursday when we made the visit.

 On the way up we stopped at a little village that was having a farmers market.  All the people from the nearby villages get together once a week and hold a market where they sell everything you can think of.  We were particularly impressed with this fish seller:

You know right where the fish sellers are -- just follow your nose.  Look at all those different kinds of fish.  These were all dried, but there were some sellers offering fresh fish.

Again we went to the botanical gardens.  You can see some beautiful, amazing flowers there.  Some are only native to Borneo.
This was Andrew, our guide.  He lived and grew up in one of the villages close by.  He and his family had a very poor existence but he said they never went hungry.  They didn't have much at all materially, but he said they never realized they were poor.  They were happy with what they had.  He was such a pleasant young man.  He has studied at the University and is still trying to get his degree.
 This is a laughing orchid.  When you touch the petal in the middle, it kind of moves up and down like it is laughing.
 This is a pitcher plant.  I think they are native to Borneo.  The pitcher part of the plant can get quite large and small animals like mice have been known to get caught down in the pitcher and drown.
 This is a fire works tree.  It kinda looks like fireworks, don't you think?  Come on use your imagination.
This plant isn't very big but if you look close you can see all the tiny little hairs that cover the leaves and the stems.  It was quite interesting.
If you look really really close at this picture you can see a cicada.  It has amazing camofalgue. Andrew saw it on the tree and picked it up.  I have never heard such a loud scream come from such a tiny little bug.  It scared me to death.  I wasn't expecting such a loud noise.  When he put him back on the tree, the cicada immediately changed colors and became just like a part of the tree.  WoW.  It was so fun to see.

We took a side trip on the way home to Poring Hot Springs.  At the Kinabalu Botanical Gardens we learned that Poring means bamboo.  I just thought it meant rain coming down in buckets.  Learn something new everyday.

Because it was raining so hard, we couldn't do the canopy walk or see the butterflies.  All we could do was  soak our tired feet in the hot water.  AHH.  It felt so good.  Just as we were taking the picture a lady came up and got in the picture between me and Sis. Nielson.  Don't know who she is.  She just said she wanted to be in the picture.  Can't really see her too good though.
Mount Kinabalu is a beautiful, rugged, steep mountain.  We met some hikers who were just coming down from a two day climb to the top.  They looked beat, tired, exhausted and ready to curl up and die.  They had been up since 2 am in order to hike to the top to see the sunrise on the mountain.  The last few K's are straight up.  They said it was hard to come down.  They had been hiking for 12 straight hours.

We really enjoyed our time with the Nielson's.  It is always great to have visitors.  Anytime any of you would care to drop by, our door is always open. 

We love you all and miss you all.  Send emails.   Love E/S Rea 


  1. Love the pictures of beautiful Borneo. I'm glad you had a great time with your visitors!
    Praying for you and miss you,
    The Fields

  2. So pretty, I can't believe you turned down a chance to go snorkeling! You're nuts! I loved the pictures of the plants they were amazing. What cool experiences. Love you both.

  3. A photo bomber! That's pretty funny. Also, you're pretty funny Margaret! I like your sense of humor!