Sunday, December 29, 2013

December 29, 2013

Dear Everyone,
Merry (terlambat) Christmas!  And Happy New Year!  Christmas was great, and skyping the family was also wonderful.  I couldn't wish for a greater Christmas gift than to see them for a little while.  

For Christmas, we went to house of one of the Jakarta English ward members.  They invited the whole zone, some 22 missionaries, and we all went over there and ate American food.  Turkey and mashed potatoes, and real jello (Indonesian Jello is way not like Jello at all) and other amazingly delicious stuff.  Rolls.  I haven't had real rolls in forever.  Man, it was sooo good.  It was also a lot of fun to talk to other missionaries.  Some of the missionaries I was looking forward to seeing ended up moving recently, so I missed them...  But still very fun.  We've been eating macaroni and cheese, Captain Crunch, and American candy from Christmas packages.  I suspect is will last another week or so, so the celebrating will continue with that.

We're still figuring out how to work effectively in a smaller area, and we're searching for new people to teach because we're now half the area that we used to be in (and honestly we have the smaller area, so that's nice as far as onkos goes... I mean as far as transportation money goes).  It's nice to have so many missionaries here.  Way fun.

I'm still doing well, I can't really complain about anything.  Every day is still another adventure.  I'm so happy to be here, and things are amazing in Indonesia.  I got to talk to President Donald on Christmas (he came to the party, too), and we talked about some of the things that he's trying to do in the mission, and the changes that we're looking forward to, and it's going to be awesome.  The work is just about to take off.  We've got the right missionaries in the field, and we're looking to add some great technology, hopefully quickly but also maybe after a long time.  Depends on the Area Presidency and how fast we can implement it.  

I hope that life is good for all of you.  I'm still doing great.  I know that this is God's work, and I see Him help us every day.  I wouldn't choose to be anywhere else in the world.

Elder Heiner

A respectable Christmas picture of me
and Elder Sutarno
Service at an English school.
We taught how to say the sound "th" and the song
"Do As I'm Doing".  Pretty exciting stuff.
They were really just super excited to see a couple of
 big white guys.  It was on the day Elder B's comp was sick,
so it is just me and Elder B there (we are in the back).
A sweet fountain that is on the way out of our
housing district.  Even Christmas decorations.
I know I said durien was good, but this fruit
is whiter above all other fruits and sweeter
above anything I have ever tasted.  It's my
favorite fruit on the face of the planet,
called manggis.
We caught a rat.  Big and Fat!
We've only had this one rat and he's been chewing on our
door, so we decided to catch him.  This $6 rat trap worked like
a charm.  Within 12 hours we had caught him.

Monday, December 23, 2013

December 23, 2013

Dear Everyone,
Well, this week has been pretty crazy.  Elder Barrus and Elder Sutadiyono got here on Tuesday, and then it's just been a blur since.   We gave them the majority of our investigators and all of the new ones, so we've been starting over and trying to find people.  And Christmas is coming up, which is cool.  I can't believe that it's the day after tomorrow.  That's what my countdown chain says, anyway.  It's still 95 degrees and rainy, so pretty much the same as when I got here, just rainier.  The weather doesn't feel like Christmas at all.  But it's Christmas, nonetheless.

The other day we got a district Christmas package, shout out to Doug and the other primary kid who didn't write his name.  I really like the white shirt and socks, and I just love getting new ties.  That was really cool, and the whole district loves their gifts, too.  Thanks!

The plan for Christmas is pretty good, we're going to be home for a while, open presents together, and then go to the Tangerang 1st Ward's Christmas party, and us missionaries are singing "The First Noel".  Then there's a missionary Christmas party at one of the English Ward member's houses in Jakarta, so we'll head out there.  It's going to be great, we're living it up.  And then I’ll skype home on the 26th in the morning, which is pretty exciting, too.  But don't worry, I'm way too busy to be trunky.  I'm obviously thinking about home, but I'm not lazy to work, which is the important part.  Especially now that we're down on people to teach.  But no worries, we have some ex-investigators we're going to try again, and some potential investigators, and we're going to be extra good about talking to people in the angkots.  

We had a stake Christmas party, and all the missionaries came, which was cool.  I got to see Elder Hobbs again, he's in Bogor.  And Elder McCleary got moved to Jakarta, which means that the only missionaries from my MTC group that I haven't seen are Elder Wood and Sister Scheffield.  Go figure.  I did talk to Elder Wood on the phone the other day, he sounds good.  Hopefully I'll get to see him again before too long.  But also maybe not.

I'm really glad that I'm a missionary.  And for you people who are going to the MTC on the 15th of January, get ready for the best mission ever.  You won't believe what you're getting into, it's amazing.  

Elder Heiner
The District.
It always surprises me to see this in the middle of the city.
For Ben.  Goreng means fried.

Monday, December 16, 2013

December 16, 2013

Well, this week was pretty much the same as last week.  I think.  My umbrella's developed a hole, so I need to get a new one.  There's been a lot of rain this week, I’ll send a picture.  We've been living pretty economically, so on Tuesday, we decided to do Domino's "Two for Tuesday" which was pretty good.  2 pizzas for $5.  I'd totally do that in America, if it existed.  And free delivery.  Can't get better than that.  We might have to do that tomorrow, too.  For Preparation day today, we were going to try something new and go bowling in Indonesia, but then it turns out that the bowling alley doesn't open until 2, and we were there at 12, so it didn't happen.  Maybe in a couple weeks.  

We got news about what's happening in Tangerang!  Elder Sutarno and I are "moving" to Tangerang 2, and Elder Barrus and Elder Sutadiono are moving to Tangerang 1.  They're moving from Medan, which is on Sumatra, and SUPER far away, like 2 1/2 hours on a plane far away.  Yes, there's a lot of stuff... pokoknya.  Elder Barrus is from my MTC group, and he's coming here with the elder he's training, Elder Sutadiono, and they're going to be in the District here.  Which is really exciting.  So now our district will be us and them.  It also means that we will have district meetings again, which is not that big of a deal, but Fridays will be more scheduled, between weekly planning and District meeting and English class.  But that's cool.  I'm excited to have new Elders here.  That also means that we can attend all the meetings from one ward and not a campur-campuran.  Usually, we go to sacrament meeting for Tangerang 1, then wait and say hi to all the Tangerang 2 members and attend their sacrament meeting. Then maybe attend ward council for Tangerang 1, if there is one, and then priesthood from Tangerang 2, and so we don't ever go to Sunday School, except if we have an investigator, and then we teach Gospel Principles second block.  The wards are pretty big for over here, Tangerang 1 has about 75-80 active members, and Tangerang 2 is at 60-65.  The youth programs are decently sized compared to my home ward, the sacrament's always covered, 2 priests or new Elders (there are 5 recently returned missionaries in Tangerang), and 3 deacons.  The young women are at around 5 or 6 from each ward, which is pretty good.  I have only ever participated in the meetings a little, I bare my testimony and I gave a prayer, and I taught Elder's Quorum once, last week.  But other than that, we aren't given too many assignments in the ward.  And every week, I get to see Om Dimas (Om is Uncle.  All names for people that you don't know are family names. Mr is Pak or Bapak, meaning Dad/Father, Mrs. is Ibu/Bu, meaning mother/mom, young men are Om or Mas, which is Uncle or brother, and young women are mbak, which is sister.  There's a word for aunt, but that has a "loose woman" kind of connotation, so it doesn't get used.  Kind of cool).  Om Dimas is what I call Elder Wiradi these days, since he's no longer "Elder."  He's good, he's working for the bishop as a surveyor, and he travels a lot.  He went to Papua the other week, and Kalimantan last week, which is super cool.  I'll probably never end up at any of those places, since there are no missionaries there.

We have 3 Christmas parties that we're going to this week.  The first is a stake party on Saturday in Jakarta, then the Tangerang 1 party is on the 25th at 11, and then there's a missionary party on the 25th in the afternoon, so I think we can make both.  We might have to leave the tang party early, but I really want to see the zone, so yep.  We'll see how it all works.  And pday next week is on the 25th.

Well, Merry Christmas!  Elder Heiner

The best fruit ever.  Smells and tastes delicious,
not even kidding.  It is durian season, so there
are stands selling them everywhere. 
Who want's to go camping?
Our appointment was about 3/4 the way down this street.
The water was 4-6 inches deep.  Oh the rain.
Adventures in cooking.
French Toast-Fu.

Monday, December 9, 2013

December 9, 2013

Hello Everyone,
So, I really am at a loss at what to tell you.  Seriously.  Like, we did stuff.  Just normal a normal missionary week.  We woke up and studied and went out on time, and worked all day, and taught the average number of lessons, and found a couple of people who are interested in the Gospel, and a couple other people told us that they aren't interested in the Gospel/their husband isn't cool with them learning about the Gospel even though they want to get baptized, and so that's a bummer, but free agency is a blessing that I wouldn't want to take from anyone.  I like mine way too much.

I don't have any crazy stories, and I only ate one new thing, and that's sate padang, which is like little roast beef chunks on a kabob in sauce from the Padang region, which is in Sumatera, I think.  It was really good.  

Although it's December, the weather is the same as it was when I got here.  Except it is the rainy season so it rains all the time.  It's still hot and humid, it's just also wet.  Which is pretty normal too, once you count sweat.  But the whole Christmas feeling hasn't set in, even though we're looking at a little over 2 weeks until Christmas.  Strange.  We've talked in English class about why our students want to learn English, and one of the students answer was that she wanted to travel so that she could touch snow.  Our freezer makes ice on the edges, and if we scrape it off, it looks like snow.  But that's as close as it gets.

Well, look at the time.  Thanks for tuning in, sorry that this is pretty boring, but nothing out of what I consider ordinary happened.  

Elder Heiner
We pick this fruit off a tree in our front yard.
I have no idea what it is called
but it tastes way good.
Look at all the ivy we pulled off the wall in our backyard.
Since this picture was taken, my brand new, clean, beautiful
planner got rained on and looks exactly the same as
the other one.  How sad.
Sometimes I forget that I am in Indonesia,
and then I turn the corner....
Splits with Elder Xiong.

Monday, December 2, 2013

December 2, 2013

Dear Everyone,
This week has been a good one.  Not that there are bad ones.  The Zone Leaders came down on Wednesday, and we did splits.  I was with Elder Xiong, which means the every time I've done splits with the Zone Leaders, it's been someone who goes home in less than a month.  Not that means anything.  They're all great missionaries.

My Thanksgiving was pretty normal.  Nothing happens in Indonesia for holidays that revolve around American history.  We did treat ourselves to Carl's Junior.  Which was not as good as real Carl's Junior because beef bacon isn't quite pig bacon.  But it was unlimited refills, so I drank way more soda than I should have.  That’s a real treat over here.

Other than that, it's been day after day of regular missionary work.
Oh, and we went to an investigator's house the other day...  We called him maybe three weeks ago, and he said that he was super busy, but he could meet us on the 30th of November.  Which is really weird because Indonesians usually say just try later, but he gave us a very specific time and place.  So we went to his house, and he was hosting a party for his church friends.  They were sitting around and debating to each other, which may be the way other churches gatherings go down, I wouldn't really know.  So when we got there we thought that maybe we should just keep walking and avoid the place, it sounded pretty heated. However, the investigator saw us and called us in, so we went in.  He gave us food and then we sat in the circle with the other people while they asked questions about our missionary service, which was good, and a little about our beliefs. We really weren't very comfortable with the way the conversation was headed, so we decided to leave.  But we thought we'd better leave a message first, we are missionaries after all, so we read John 3:16-17, which four of them had memorized, and then one of them asked for a scripture that had the same message from the Kitab Mormon, so we read Alma 7:11-13, which is one of my favorites, and they liked that.  So we gave them 2 Kitab Mormons, unfortunately that's all that we brought, we weren't expecting 15 people, and passalong cards, and hopefully someone calls again so that we can teach them.  That'd be cool.

Sorry for no pictures this week.  The internet is slow as a seven year itch today, so I'm using the html version, which doesn't let you upload pictures...

I'm loving being a missionary.  I can't think of a place I'd rather be. Elder Heiner

Monday, November 25, 2013

November 25, 2013

Another week is come and gone, and here we are again.  I can't believe that I've been in Tangerang for over a month.  I also can't believe that I've been in Indonesia for over a month.  Or that I got to college over a month ago.  What is going on with the time?  

This week was good.  We found more people to teach again, which is great.  I feel like they keep finding us.  We spend as much time as possible proselyting, or doing as much as we can to find people, but we have yet to find anyone by doing that.  For three weeks now, someone new has found us.  It's quite the miracle.  I have so much hope for the people we teach, and they just need to have a little faith and take that first step.  Read the Book of Mormon and say one prayer.  Or come to church.  It's so close, so I have really high hopes for this week.
I didn't eat anything too strange this week, I think.  I did hear about something that I don't think I ever want to eat.  Sometimes, people here take the contents of the intestines of animals they've killed for food and then make soto with that.  It sounds so gross; I don't think I could bring myself to eat it.  And I've eaten some strange stuff.
It hasn't really rained that hard this week, which means it's been SUPER hot.  It is hot all the time except on the top of Mt. Bromo (which was months ago) and during sacrament meeting for Tangerang 2.  The AC goes crazy and I just freeze to death.  My companion too.

OH, have you read the Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Lorenzo Snow book yet?  It's amazing.  I ordered it from the office and got it last week, and it's way good.  That guy really was a prophet of the Lord.  Super dang good.  

I think that's about it.  I mean, sure stuff happened, but I don't know what to tell you, and my time's up, so maybe you can just look at the pictures and imagine that I'm a better writer.  I'm healthy, as far as I can tell, and happy, and I'm learning a lot.  

Love, Elder Heiner
Typical, duck footed me.
The church in Tangerang.
The inside is the very same as every other Mormon church.

Monday, November 18, 2013

November 18, 2013

Hello, Everyone,
This week has been good.  Well, it's really been quite fast, and I don't know how it's Monday again.  Heck, I can't figure out how November decided to be half over.  But here we are...  Like it or not.

Here’s some information about my companion as of now.  His name is Elder Sutarno, and he's 18 years old.  Which is the normal here, Indonesia is one of those countries that President Monson mentioned when he said that they'd had good results with 18 year olds from some countries, so they decided to open up the option for the rest of the world.  It has to do with the college system here.  You can't stop college once you start.  So for quite some time 18 year-old's have been able to leave on their mission from Indonesia.  Elder Wiradi and Elder Suryono are both in that same category.  Elder Sutarno is from Solo, he's the third child of three, his parents joined the church before he was born, along with his grandparents, so technically he's a 3rd generation member.  He's been a missionary for just over 3 months, and Tangerang's his first city.  He's way cool, has a lot of faith, and I often feel like he's teaching me way more than I could ever hope to teach him.  

This week was good.  Pretty normal.  We had ZTM on Friday, and on Saturday we did some service at a hospital with a mission couple, helping kids with Cerebral Palsy stay happy while they got measured for free wheelchairs.  It was quite the experience.  Then we went and visited an inactive member who's waaaaay the heck away.  He had requested our visit to President, so hopefully it was a good experience for him.  Between the hospital and the member, we rode 9 angkots and a bus, and we finished 113,000 rupia.

Yesterday, we had a member bring her boyfriend to church, and we taught him in Gospel Principles.  I taught chapter 16, which is "the church in olden times" or something similar to that.  I don't know the exact translation.  After the lesson is over, he looked pretty confused, and didn't ask a lot of questions, and then I found out that he was Muslim, which would explain a lot.  Hopefully we can meet him later this week start with who God and Jesus Christ are, and help him to understand more about that before going straight into the restoration and stuff...  But I have high hopes for him.  We didn't meet with our new investigators, which I know sounds bad, but they can only meet on Saturdays, and Saturday was our hospital service and nonmember visit day, so we will get out there this week. But things still look good.  I'm excited to be here.  
Elder Heiner

PS I was unaffected by the typhoon, which is good.  Thanks for everything and all who asked!
One of our many visitors.
Thought you might like the scale.  They are big!
Looking over part of the city.

Monday, November 11, 2013

November 11, 2013

Guess what?  I'm still alive!  And things are good.

We totally found 5 new people to teach this week, and it was a miracle.  A complete miracle.  Thursday night, we called a couple people that we wanted to visit on Friday, and they were all out of town, or had something going on.  So what do you do at that point?  Call random people in the phone filed under “S”, which means investigator in Indonesian.  We had about 6 people that didn't want to pick up the phone, 2 inactive numbers, 3 people that weren't available or didn't want to talk to the missionaries, but this one lady was ok with us coming over.  So we searched the area book to find her teaching record and therefore her address, but it wasn't there.  There wasn’t anything about her.  So we called again and asked for her address and how to get there, which is always a weird conversation to have.  "Hey, so I was wondering, how do I get to your house?"  Luckily she was OK with it, and told us what angkots to ride and how to get there.  And then she texted it because I'm white and not a native speaker and only mostly understood her, which was very kind of her.  We get over to her house, which takes like an hour and a half because of traffic, and it turns out she lives with her band, which is 3 other people, and they're all Christian and open to hear us.  We taught the restoration, they asked good, intellectual questions, and three of them accepted Kitab Mormons, (because we only brought 3...), and they invited us back.  Then the lady gave us a referral without us even asking, and we didn't have anything else we were planning on doing, so we went there.  She wasn't home, but her dad was, and he invited us in.  He was way cool, and we had a good two minute conversation or so, he told us when his daughter has time off, and gave us her phone number, and was cool with us sharing our message with him.  But then the Jehovah's Witnesses showed up.  They've been teaching him for a little while, and just happened to show up when we did.  When they saw missionaries they immediately forgot about the man that they came to teach.  They were just dying to debate, but I have never been one for debate, and Elder Sutarno's not a man of many words, so we listened, answered their questions, and after maybe 20 minutes, decided like this was not a particularly productive use of time.  We bore our testimonies, invited them to pray and got out of there very quickly.  Their words were very nice, but the meaning and intent was very malicious.  I don't want to say anything negative, they are children of God, and he loves everyone regardless of their choices, but it was not my favorite experience.  But I did learn, and I'm grateful for the experience.  We'll go back, though, and hopefully this time we can really teach this man.  Hopefully he'll really pray about what he knows and what we testified of.

I also ate something really delicious this week: martabak.  It's like a pancake with chocolate on the inside and you can get other stuff too, so I got peanuts.  You can also get cheese, because Indonesians are all about the chocolate/cheese combo, but I opted out of that.  There's also a kind that's eggs and onions and stuff, which is more "real food" and it's also delicious.

The rest of the week was good.  We didn't meet with the people from last week, one went out of town and the other was also out of town...  This week, though.  I'm excited for this week.  Things are looking good, here in Tangerang.

Elder Heiner

Our Backyard.
Maybe some yard work is in order.

Monday, November 4, 2013

November 4, 2013

Dear Everyone,

Well, I'm still in Tangerang, which is great.  I really love it here.  And this week was really good, too.  We started off with going to Jakarta for PLD.  Medan was there, so I got to see those missionaries, which was great.  It was the first time I'd seen Sister Hutchinson since she left for her mission, and the first time I'd seen Sister Jibson since we got to Indonesia.  Elder Gong was there, which was Awesome.  It was the first time I've met a General Authority, or at least the first time I remember meeting a General Authority, and it was way cool.  I kind of figured that meeting a General Authority would be kind of, I don't know, disappointing.  Like they'd feel rushed, or like you were stealing their time that they could be using to do General Authority stuff or something like that.  But it was really cool.  He was really interested in me, and really cared, and took real time to get to know me and my companion, and all the missionaries there.  I feel like he really tried to befriend us, and he succeeded.  If I saw him on the street, I wouldn't hesitate to go and say hi.  He was way cool, and had a lot of things to say, and was very supportive and I learned a lot.  It was a great experience.

The rest of the week was good.  Lots of riding in angkots but also a good number of lessons, so that's good.  We have a couple of people that are just on the edge of receiving a witness that this is true.  If they stick with it just a little longer, read a little more, pray one more time, they'll know that this is the truth.  That Jesus Christ really lived, died, and was resurrected so that we can be made whole again.  That He restored His church in this dispensation through his prophet, Joseph Smith.  And that they can partake of all the blessings that our Father in Heaven desires and has planned for them.  I ingin, which translates to desire, want for them to just take that one little step of faith.  It will change their lives.

We had a break the fast yesterday.  It was the same as every other break the fast I've ever been to.  Except the food was Indonesian.  And there was way more of it.  The members sent us home with 6 kilos of food.  It's really good food, too.  I have a couple favorite foods, and one of them we got a bag of.  They're called "ber-ken-dale" and they are so delicious.  They're like the size of a cream puff, and it's garlic mashed potatoes that have been deep fried.  That's what I thought they were, but I wasn't sure, so I asked the lady who made them, and actually, that's what they are.  I can eat like 50 of them.  But usually only 2, because that's what you can get for 1000 rupia at the padang.  

Yep, things are good.  I'm really enjoying things here, and hopefully things start to progress.  I can see it happening.  We're soooooo close.  
I love you all, Elder Heiner

Halloween on $11.
I tried to explain the Halloween traditions to my
companion.  He thought it was all pretty weird.
This makes me a little worried.
What's in them?
Everything is a little smaller over here.
Oregon Ducks at PDL!
Sister Hutcheson, the Lisks, and Me.
Mini MTC reunion.

Monday, October 28, 2013

October 28, 2013

Hello, Everyone,

So, I'm actually in Tangerang, now.  It's great.  I love it here.  I love almost everything about it.  The thing I really hate -- the angkots are color coded.  In Malang it was letters, Bekasi used numbers, and Tangerang uses colors.  It's not that great for the colorblind individual.  But I'll get over it.  And, I like everything else, though.  

We have a bunch of people to teach, seeing as that we absorbed our teaching pool and the teaching pool of the other companionship.  It's really nice, but also very difficult because only a few of them live close to each other, and this place really is huge.  It's a struggle for one companionship to visit all of the people, which is really not the worst problem I've ever heard of.  It's not even really a problem.  Busy is good.

We got new area books the other day.  They're nice, with lots of plastic sleeves and stuff so that things look nicer and more organized.  It was a good chance to clean stuff out, too.  We found one teaching record from 2008 that had been followed up twice this year, once in January and once in May.  The January status said, "the number's not active, so we went to her house and it was empty.  She must have moved."  And then the May one said, "we found out she died three years ago.  We'll send the referral to the spirit world mission office."  There was another record with a phone number written on the top, and someone else had written, "this is not _____'s number, this is Mr. ______, and he is NOT interested in our church."  Funny stuff.

The wards here are good.  There are some really good, active members, and we got invited to like 15 people's houses.  I asked them when we should come over, and none of them gave a real answer, just whenever.  A real relaxed attitude.  And I don't know any of their names.  So maybe I'll ask them again next week.  There's also this really old lady who has a bunch of children who are really strong in the church.  She's really cool, but we had the same conversation about what my name is, where I'm from, and if I'd met her son who's in America, four times.  Actually four times.  Elder Sutarno thought it was the funniest thing he'd ever heard.

Speaking of my companion, Elder Sutarno, he's way cool, really stellar.  I can't complain about a thing with him.  He's way on top of things, and I'm always surprised when I realize that he's only been here for 2 months.  And then I realize that we only have 6 months field experience between the two of us.  He knows his way around the Tangerang 1 area like nobody's business, and he knows considerably more than me about Tangerang 2, but we're both still learning.  Things are good, and he's teaching me lots, even though I feel like I should be the one doing the teaching...  But yeah, it's good.  It's kind of quiet in the house, with only two of us.   But, OH, we have beds here!  It's the first time I've slept in a bed since I got here.  Usually it's just a mattress on the floor, but here we have bunk beds.  I spend the first night on the top, but since there are only two of us, I took the opportunity to claim a bottom bunk.  It's super nice, and the mattresses are new, and man it's amazing.  I sleep so well.  It's not just a six inch foam pad (Malang) or a one inch foam pad on a box spring (Bekasi).  I'm really enjoying my time here.  Even though I've only been here for a few days.  Not even a full week... 

President Gong from the Area Presidency is coming tomorrow, we have "mission conference."  Except it will be in three parts because it's easier to move the AP's and President Donald and Sister Donald and President Gong than it is to fly two zones to Jakarta...  But Medan's coming down, which is super exciting because I get to see Elder Barrus and Elder Murphy and Sister Jibson and Sister Hutcheson.  It's going to be great.  We have to take a taxi at 4:30 in the morning to get there on time.  That part is going to be less fun.

Yep, well, I think that's about it.  I hope that things are going well for all y'all.  I'm super grateful to be here.
Love,  Elder Heiner

We've had some rain since I've been here.  Well, a lot of
rain, actually.  It flooded while we were in a lesson.  The
deepest part in the street was a foot and a half deep.  The
closest I have been to swimming since I got here.
Me and Elder Sutarno, about 20 minutes ago.
The Tangerang house.

Monday, October 21, 2013

October 21, 2013

Dear Everyone,
This week has been good.  We had stake conference, which was the Asia area conference, and way cool.  It was ALL about missionary work, and broadcast to 21 stakes and 40 districts.  Which is amazing, really.  But I got to hear Elder Holland and Elder Hales get translated into Indonesian.  Hopefully people get excited about things.  They were on a broadcast from the Church headquarters.  An Asian lady was picked to lead the intermediate hymn, but they had us sing in English, which was strange.   The ten year plan is to have three stakes in the Jawa Barat area, which is a big goal, but if people get into it, I'm sure it can happen.  Also, if the church is that size, then they could also get a temple.  That'd be so cool.

We had an investigator get baptized.  His name is P.A., and he's been investigating the church for about three years.  He texted us last week and was like, "I've decided to get baptized, can I do it this week?" but we couldn't get the Zone Leaders down before this week, so he was baptized yesterday.  It was way cool, and the gospel is going to really bless his life.  He's way funny, and I'm sorry I won't get to see him get confirmed.  

Yep, I'm getting transferred.  In maybe 8 hours, I'll get in a taxi and ride it to Tangerang.  It'll cost me like $15 or $20, and be an hour and a half or two hours.  A good thing about a taxi is I don’t have to worry about the weight of my things.  And then I'll start serving there.  My companion has been in the mission field for 10 weeks, and Tangerang's losing two Elders so it's just him and me.  Over two wards.  By ourselves.  I'm way excited because it means we'll be busy.  Super busy.  And so I'll finish out his first twelve weeks training program.  It's crazy.  But yeah, I was under the impression that I would be in Bekasi until Christmas at least, but it turns out that President Donald changed his mind at the last minute.  So maybe I'll spend Christmas in Tangerang.  But I thought that about Malang...  I have yet to serve more than 2 months in an area.  I'm sad to leave Bekasi, there are a bunch of people here that I'll miss, and I really do like the city, but I'm also excited to get to Tangerang.  I get to start again, have new experiances, learn a new place, and also I'll get to see my companion's homecoming talk.  Yes, my current companion is from Tangerang and all his family.  I feel like that's not an experience that many missionaries get to have, especially while on the mission.  
Life is good.  I'm still excited to be here.  Things are always changing.  

Love, Elder Heiner
PA is now Brother PA
My nemesis, Korianton the Kockroach.  
He is about an inch and a half long. 
  He really doesn't do much and only comes out at night.  
And runs at my feet or flies at my face, 
or just watches me shower.   Which is weird.
I had a "steak".  It was deep fried and for $2,
 it was the worst steak I have ever had.

Monday, October 14, 2013

October 14, 2013

Dear Everyone,
Well, I don't know if this week has anything that is really considered exciting from your end of things.  We went to another funeral.  We had zone conference, the big kind, so I got to have an interview with President Donald.  That was really great.  He was super helpful, and supportive, and told me what's going to happen in Bekasi next Monday when my companion goes home.  I really love President Donald.

We had our AC fixed!  The repairman was like 2 hours late, so that problem is the same no matter where in the world you're at.

General conference was interesting.  It was in Indonesian, but the first few words from each prophet were in English, so I'd get all excited, and then the translator would kick in...  I could understand what was being said, but I couldn't think about it and translate at the same time, so I just ended up confusing myself.  Can't wait for the Liahona to read everything.

I still have time, so saya akan membagikan kesaksian saya, tetapi pasti di bahasa karena saya lupa bagaimana bagaikan di bahasa inggris...

Saya tahu bahwa gereja ini adalah gereja yang sama bahwa Yesus Kristus mengorganisasi ketika dia hidup di bumi ini.  Semua adalah sama, imamat, pembaptisan, semuanya.  Saya tahu bahwa hanya melalui mengikuti Injil Yesus Kristus kita boleh kembali kepadi Bapa Surgawi kita.  Saya tahu bahwa kita semua adalah anak-anak Allah, dan karena itu, dia mengasihi kita semua masing-masing.  Kadang-kadang, saya bingung kenapa dia mengasihi saya, karena saya bukan orang luar biasa, saya biasa aja, saya bukan nabi, atau terkanal, atau apa-apa.  Saya tidak terlalu pintar, saya hanya biasa.  Tetapi dia mengasihi saya, dan itu mukjizat yang besar sekali.  Saya juga tahu bahwa Allah kita mau kita untuk menjadi behagia.  Dia mempersiap jalan bahwa kita bisa pulang setelah kihidupan ini, tetapi karena kasih dia amat besar, dia akan biarlah kita pilih.  Saya bersyukur atas kesempatan ini untuk melanyi Allah.  Dia memberkati kihidupan saya, dan saya besyukur sekali.  Saya tahu kalau anda mau menjadi bahagia, coba gereja ini.  Itu akan membanutu anda untuk lihat yang penting.
Dengan Kasih,
Elder Heiner

Me and a Boa Constrictor
It's a big snake... 4 meters
It's a good thing I didn't drop my badge.

Monday, October 7, 2013

October 7, 2013

Dear everyone,
This week's been good.  We totally found a family to teach.  I'm so stoked about it.  Seriously, I couldn't be happier.  Last week, a sister in the ward came up and asked if we wanted an investigator.  We said of course, because we can always use investigators.  So we went to her house yesterday, which was seriously far… an angkot, a bus, and another angkot.  But the investigator was actually a mother, her 3 daughters, and the oldest daughter's husband.  Totally worth every minute!  We taught them the Plan of Salvation, and they had good questions, and it was really wonderful.  The member was there, too, and actively participated in the lesson but didn't dominate.  Which is hard to come by.  Often, members will either not do much or take over the lesson.  We're going back next Sunday, and hopefully they'll still be interested.  I'm so excited about this.
The rest of the week was pretty normal.  The AC died, so it's been way hot at nights.  We'll get it fixed tomorrow.
I'm also excited about general conference.  I've heard it was wonderful, and I'm way excited to see it.  Next Saturday and Sunday is the time.  Indonesia does it marathon style.  Saturday at 8 is Saturday morning session, 10:15 is Saturday afternoon, 1 is Priesthood or Relief Society, just in different rooms.  And then Sunday's the same, 8 and 10:15.  It's going to be way cool.  And in Indonesian, so this is the real test of if my language is coming along.  But seriously, can't wait.

Cooking situation...  We have a two burner camp stove in our kitchen.  And a sink.  And a drying rack for dishes.  And a water dispenser, a dumb one that doesn't cool water.  And we have  a fridge.  But we mostly eat out, which is pretty cheap, like $25/week.  We eat at member’s houses maybe once or twice a week.  It's always so much food, though.  If I know we're going to a member's house, I eat a way small lunch or skip it altogether.  They're always like, eat a lot, and then take more, take more, take more, and then you waddle home.  It's great, though, and always good food.  I am down 24 pounds from when I left the MTC.

We took Elder Gil to drink snake blood, which was fun.  We're going sightseeing in Jakarta today, so that's going to be cool, too.  And yeah, things are good.
I'm still happy, healthy, and all that jazz.

Elder Heiner
We went to dinner at the mall with the Bishops family.
The mall is called Summarecon and is seriously the
hugest mall I have ever been to.  They were doing
a culinary night.  You trade your real money for the
fake money in the picture and then you use that for
their food.  It was pretty good.
Never get into an angot that isn't the front one,
otherwise you could be waiting for hours.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

October 1, 2013

Dear everyone,

This week has been so fast.  On Wednesday, we sent Elder Martoyo home.  So now I'm trying to learn the Bekasi One area and investigators/inactive members along with my original Bekasi Two area. Elder Gil and I are figuring out how to cover everyone.  It's quite exciting.  And difficult.  But mostly exciting.

We went to an English club at a local SMK, which is like a cross between technical college and high school.  That was fun.  They were happy to try speaking English, so I really enjoyed that. The girls thought that I looked like Liam from One Direction, so basically that is the highest compliment on my looks that I've ever received.  Apparently I also look like Ari Wibowo, a German actor who stars in Indonesian films, and some guy named Lorenzo from Moto GT.  Unfortunately, I have never seen either of them, so I don't know if those are compliments or not.  But Liam from 1D seems to for sure be a good thing.

I got to speak at a funeral, which was a way cool experience.  It was a traditional Batak funeral, Batak being the culture from Sumantra.  The man who passed away‘s younger brothers are inactive members of the church, so they invited missionaries to say something, and I got picked.  The way the funeral works is that the family sits on the edge of the room in a line, the open coffin goes in front of them and they lean on it and stuff.  Then people stand in a crowd in the rest of the room, and people come up in groups and a spokesman says something to the family.  So I got to speak for our church, and really I just bared my testimony that I know they'll have the opportunity to see their brother, father, husband, and son again.  I expressed my disappointment that I didn't get the opportunity to meet him in this life, but that I have full confidence that I will meet him in the world to come.  I bared my testimony that I know that he still lives, and that he is happy.  The plan of God is such that no one comes into this life without leaving it.  He is not nothing, right now, he was not erased when he died, but he lives now, and he will live again, and they will have a chance to see him again.  It was really an incredible experience.  

Things are good in Indonesia.  Hard, but good.  I wouldn't have it any other way.  I am happy, and healthy, and so glad that I'm here.
Elder Heiner

The Bekasi district the night before Elder Martoyo pulang'd.
A few of the people on the train with us.
An "air jambu" or water guava.  It's not similar at all to guava,
and I think it is really funny looking.  I also think it is funny
that "air" means "water" in Indonesia.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

September 24, 2013

Dear Everyone,

This week has been good.  On Tuesday, we did splits, Elder Gil with Elder Barlow, Elder Martoyo with Elder Wiradi, and Elder Hobbs with me.  It was a lot of fun, and I learned a lot from Elder Hobbs.  It was different to be completely in charge with someone who doesn't really know how to get anywhere.  I learned a lot.  

On Wednesday, Elder Gil and I took the new Elders back to Senopati (the mission home) so that they could sign for their Kitas.  One of the things that President Donald is doing is to have all trainers come in for a meeting before they meet their trainees, and then they'll fly back to their areas together.  And so I met up with Elder Suryono again.  That was way cool.  He's training Elder Barlow in Surabaya.  Lucky Elder Barlow.  

The rest of the week was good.  Quick.  I'm really learning to love Bekasi, something I thought it was going to be hard to do.  Once you look past the dirty and the smelly and the crowded, it's a good place.  The people are good, and I love working with the members.  It's so different than Malang, but I'm really enjoying it.  

Elder Martoyo goes home tomorrow.  And because there's not another missionary, Elder Gil is joining our companionship.  Did I ever tell you Elder Gil is from Puerto Rico?  We're becoming a threesome over the two wards.  Elder Wiradi goes home in a month, so then we don't know what will happen.  It might happen that Elder Gil and I are the only ones in Bekasi.  Or we could get two brand new Indonesians, if there are new Indonesians to be had.  Or who knows.  It's still way far away.  

We teach our English class in the church, and we just tell everyone about it in hopes of getting people there.  We have some students that like to bring their friends, which is good advertisement too.   Some weeks, we'll have 4 people show up. And then the next week, one of the regulars is a lecturer, so he'll tell his students that we're teaching about jobs or something and that they should all show up.  Then he tells us that he told his students that we're teaching about jobs...  then 40 people show up and, yeah, we teach about jobs. It's pretty dysfunctional, as far as curriculum goes, but lots of fun.

We went fishing.  Elder Martoyo made fishing rods out of an old broom at our house, and that was fun.  It was at a pond.  One of the members owns a fish hatchery-ish so that made for quick fishing.  And we got to keep some of the fish, which we then...  I can't think of the English word…  "Bakar" translates to burn, but that's not exactly what we did.  We had a fire and put the fish on a grate over it until it was cooked.  Whatever you call that, that's what we did.  
Yep, Indonesia's just as exciting as ever.  I'm still healthy and happy,
Love,  Elder Heiner

I caught a fish!
"Sop Buah" or fruit soup.  It sounds weird but it is delicious.
It's like fruit salad with sweetened condensed milk
and ice mixed in.
Me in an Indonesian phone booth.
Me and a giant monkey... at the toy store.
This is Jakarta traffic.  Only one way though.
I couldn't get both sides of the street.

Monday, September 16, 2013

September 16, 2013

Dear Everyone,

So this week has been exciting.  It was moving along until Friday, and then it was gone...  

We had a zone conference.  In Indonesia, there are two kinds of zone conference.  There's a zone conference every month.  Two out of three months are ZTM, which is about two hours.  All the missionaries from the zone come, and it is similar to a really a big district meeting.  We have announcements, discuss investigators, have a lesson, say hello to anyone who wasn't here last time and say goodbye to anyone who's going home, it ends and we go and eat.  PLD is bigger and happens on the third month.  The president and the AP's come (but the AP's are in our zone, so they come to ZTM too).  PLD is all day, starts at 9 and goes until 4, people give talks and testimonies, President Donald gives a lesson, all the mission couples attend, we spend the night before, we play futsol after, and eat like four meals together.  Too much background?  This one was ZTM, PLD's on the 29th of October.  But this ZTM was unique because we had 10 brand new missionaries show up, and then we got to take one home while they wait for their papers.  So we've had six missionaries in our house, all of us plus Elder Hobbs and Elder Barlow.  They're way cool, and I've enjoyed talking with Elder Hobbs in angkots and stuff.   He's going to Solo on Wednesday, which is cool.  He's a way good missionary, really brave, really direct, and he's really helped me to realize how much better my language has gotten since I arrived here.  

Well, time's up but lots of other stuff happened this week.  We visited some members, taught an investigator, looked for people, and rode the train to Jakarta. Yep.  It's been fun.
Love you.

Elder Heiner
Me in front of our house.
Me, Elder Blaser, and Elder Gil at zone conference.
Elder Wood, Elder McCleary, and the Sisters are the
only ones from our MTC group I haven't seen since we split. 
About half of our English class (see me in the back)
We have a lot of people show up to our classes here.
The washing machine.
We don't have a dryer so we just hang everything up.