Thursday, May 30, 2013

May 30, 2013

Elder Heiner and Elder Wood... 
It's been a big week at the MTC, mostly because we moved.  I now live in MTC West, better known as Wyview Park.  I guess you might have figured that out based on a picture that's been circulating the internet.  We're famous, what do you know.

It's a pretty funny story, actually.  Elder Randy D Funk, a newly called member of the 70, went to Indonesia on his mission, so he wanted to visit us and see what our classroom is like.  But he was also visiting some other classrooms and so we needed to be at MTC Central to talk to him.  They "arranged" (but not actually) for a shuttle to come and pick us up.  Except something got lost in communication, so there wasn't a shuttle.  But two of our Elders got on a bus, the shuttle they set up for all missionaries, and because they were early, we didn't see them do that.  So we were waiting for the shuttle, and then our district leader and another missionary went into the Wyview chapel to call the MTC and figure out what was going on.  He worked it out, and found out at the same time that we were hosting new missionaries at noon...  But that still works with the schedule, so it was fine.  But while he was doing that, the reporter walked over and asked if we were hosting.  We didn't know if we were, so we said no, but that turned out to be a lie...  Anyway, we talked with him for a little while, and he took down our names and places of origin, and told us to have our parents watch the Deseret news.  Come to find out that everyone saw it before we could tell them anything.  It's cool, and everything worked out.  Elder Funk was really cool and he gave us some good advice to be better missionaries. 

We also hosted missionaries, which basically means that we helped them find their apartments and answer any questions they have, and take their picture if their mother wants us to.  We had 40 missionaries come in, which was cool.  Brings us to 150 missionaries here at MTC West.  It's super small, but very enjoyable.  I really like it here.

Picture taken by BYU photographer of the first group of missionaries to move into MTC West.
Jacob is on the second to back row, just right of center. 
Honestly, moving to Raintree seems like such a huge thing that I can't think of anything else to say.  Things are going well.  I'm keeping on learning the language.  We're all getting better at studying and all that, and Elder Wood and I are getting better at teaching.  There's never a dull moment, but most of it is probably dull from the outside world.  While cleaning out our old apartments, we played Mattress Dominoes.  It's where you set up your mattresses in a line like dominoes, standing on end, and you stand in the middle and knock them all over.  It was a lot of fun, and a good way to celebrate our leaving MTC Classic.  There are a couple of pictures floating around but I don't know where they are or how to get them.  There are no cereal towers here but they give you unlimited donuts for breakfast.  And there's ice cream at every meal.  It's always chocolate chip cookie dough, and I never eat it for breakfast, because that's weird.

Oh, and our zone leaders, the Greeks, are leaving on Monday, so on Sunday, Elder Wood and I got called to be the new Zone leaders.  We have about forty people in our zone, and next Wednesday we get new people going to Latvia, Lithuania, Georgia, and Armenia (the Baltic mission).  And then we get some international missionaries going to Greece on the 12th.  It's crazy, trying to learn how to lead while adjusting to new situations.  But it's good, and we're making progress.  We're also growing closer as companions, too.

PS my new mailing address is as follows:

Elder Jacob Paul Heiner
2023 N 900 E Unit #811
Provo, UT 84602

The second line needs to be all caps, and you have to use unit instead of mailbox.  They were pretty clear on that.

The new digs.

The view from the balcony.

The positives of moving.

The Deseret News

Friday, May 24, 2013

May 23, 2013

Hello everyone!
This week has been remarkably similar to last week.  We keep learning the language, and there's a lot of studying that goes on.  We're still learning to focus, but that's expected, right? 

The MTC is great, and to answer your question, there are barely enough washing machines.  You have to get there a little early and stake out a machine that's about to expire and use it quickly.  But it's not too big a hassle.  And bathrooms are not a big deal, there are 6 sinks, and people shower for different amounts of times, and some people don't have to shave, so it's not a problem.  I was excited to see Pres. McDonald, it was insane that I picked him out of the crowd.  Amanda - My favorite food here is bacon.  Wednesday mornings they have bacon, and if you ask for more bacon, some of the servers will give you, like, 10 pieces of bacon.  It's great.

The most exciting thing that happened was that our district plus one of our teachers took on the tower challenge.  That means you try to eat all of the cereal in one tower.  We ate 66 bowls of fruit loops.  It was not our brightest idea, and we got in trouble, so don't do it.  Also, 7 bowls of fruit loops will mess you up for a little while.  Go figure.

On a related note, I'm excited that we're moving to Raintree.  We're going over there on Tuesday, which is cool.  I'm afraid that if we were stuck here for our entire time, we'd have some real problems with going stir crazy at some point in the next seven weeks.  It's going to be interesting...  We keep hearing things about it over there, like that we're going to get all of our meals catered (true), that we get to use the pool for personal exercise time (false), we'll be sleeping in Wyview and taking classes in Raintree (true), general authorities come and visit every week (false, but one is coming to visit us in the 29th, Randy B. Nash. He was one of the first Indonesian missionaries), we get bussed to the temple on p-day (true), and we get to go to Denny's on every other Tuesday (false).  We don't know what's going to happen, so we just make stuff up. 

I'm learning quickly here, more quickly than I could have imagined.  I have the first vision memorized in Indonesian better than I ever did in English, I pray in Indonesian, and I can teach fairly well, too.  We have two investigators now, Jon and Shintah (pronounced SIN-ta), who are actually our teachers Brother Meek and Sister Collins, but it's still pretty real to teach them.  It's kind of cool how much role play helps us learn.  It's pretty great.  We asked Jon to be baptized in our last lesson, and he said that he'd think about it, but he wasn't sure because it was only our second time meeting with him.  I think that's an understandable position.  We're teaching Shintah again tonight, and Elder Wood and I are going to ask her to be baptized, too.  I'm expecting a similar reaction, but I'm hoping for the best.  Colin ended up being one of the Malay teachers, and because Malay and Indonesian are 80% similar, he was all of our first investigator.  I feel bad for the guy.  He had to get 5 lessons from 11 companionships in broken Indonesian and Malay.  That could not have been fun.

Elder Wood and I are getting much better at teaching.  We started off not being able to move on very well, we'd keep getting stuck on points and not be able to move on, but we're getting better about that.  And we're learning how much we can reasonably teach in 20 minutes.  We're also learning how to teach without notes.  We taught the first two lessons basically from a script, but then Brother Meek took away our notes for all of the lessons since, which have been 6 lessons.  We're finally figuring out how to understand each other enough to really say what we want to say.  I'm still nowhere as fluent as I'd like to be, but I'll take what I can get.  And I'm getting better every day.  The more I speak, the better it gets.  Also, Indonesian is leaking over into my English.  Indonesian is essentially refined caveman, and so I'm starting to leave out helping verbs and not conjugate verbs correctly.  And Indonesian words are spelled exactly like they sound, so my spelling is also suffering.   I'm reading the Kitab Mormon for half an hour a day, and I'm reading out loud from it for a while every day, too.  That is helpful.

Cultural fact for the week, you don't use toilet paper in Indonesia.  There's no plumbing, so once you're done using the bathroom, you pour some water down the toilet to get the waste down.  If you use toilet paper, it clogs the system, and that really messes stuff up.  On a related note, using your left hand for anything is one of the most offensive things you can do.  Also, there are zoos you can drive through.  You just go in, and the animals are just wandering around, free.  Indonesia sounds so different than here; I can't wait to see what kind of stuff happens.

Our District at the Provo Temple

Fruit Loops anyone?

The cereal towers

Brother Meek, our instructor with the empty tower.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

May 16, 2013

Well, it's been a big couple of days, here at the MTC.  I don't really know where to start, so I guess I'll start with the important stuff.

On Tuesday, we had a devotional by Elder Nelson, which was awesome.  I sang in the choir so I got to be in the auditorium without waiting in line for an hour and a half.  It was a great address, and it was super cool to have a member of the quorum of the 12 in the room.  He talked a lot about missionary work, and he said some cool stuff like, "obedience brings success.  Exact obedience brings blessings."  And "This life is not a place to rest, but a place to progress.  If it were a place to rest, why would we bother with mortality?"  Those were some pretty cool things to hear because we've been a little lax in our district about being exact in our obedience.  Except for being on time for class.  Our teachers make us street contact in Indonesian if we are late, so we're always on time.  But going to bed and waking up are a bit of a struggle sometimes.  But not the last two nights.  It was a really cool devotional.

I've been picking up the language really quickly, I think.  I can pray, bear my testimony, and teach poorly in Indonesian, and it's only been eight days.  We had an "investigator" named Colin, and we've taught him five lessons.  It's hard, though.  We taught the first discussion after less than 48 hours of being in the MTC.  That was a struggle.  But we've made a lot of progress, so that's good. 

My companion is Elder Wood, and he's from Ogden.  He's a cool guy, and we get along really well.  Honestly, we get along really well with all of our district.  We have 10 Indonesian missionaries, which is a bunch more than I was expecting.  If you're curious, our district is Elder Murphy, Elder Barrus, Elder McCleary, Elder Blaser, Elder Gil, Elder Kyle, Sister Sheffield, Sister Jibson, Elder Wood, and I.  I have pictures of all of them, and I'm going to see if I can't send them.  But the computers are kind of sketchy and don't always upload pictures.  So we'll see what makes it's way over there.

I really enjoy things here, even though it kind of seems like we do the same thing every day and count time by how long until the next meal or until we go to bed...  That's kind of strange, but I guess I'll live with it.  Also, the food is pretty good, and I eat way too much.  They feed us a LOT of food.  I eat way more than I should.  We get pretty good stuff, there's usually three options of things to eat, hot food.  Like for lunch they'll have burgers (always), rice and chicken, and lasagna.  Lunch and dinner have very similar food, I mean not the same, it's always different, but there's a lot of things to eat, and it's all pretty good.  But I'm enjoying it while I've got it, because we're (our zone) is moving to Rain Tree apartments on the 30th.  Well, the rest of the zone is moving the 29th, but we're moving the 30th because our class is being visited by a member of the seventy, Randy D Funk, who went to Indonesia back when it was being opened, and he's visiting on the 29th. 

My teachers are super cool, Brother Meek and Sister Collins.  They both served in Indonesia in the past few years, so they've got some pretty great stories.  They're super cool teachers, too. Church is interesting.  In church, they have a topic, and everyone prepares a talk, and then after the sacrament, the branch president tells us who's going to speak...  It's kind of scary, and we learned about faith.  In priesthood, we learned about enduring to the end.  And there's no Sunday school, they just expect you to teach yourself.

I can't wait to get to Indonesia.  I've heard so many cool/scary things about it over there...  I can't wait to eat the food, and I can't wait to get a tapeworm, and I can't wait to eat food that's so spicy you don't feel it in your mouth, your stomach just aches and you sweat like crazy.  I can't wait to experience a natural disaster or fly to the next area.  It's going to be insane over there, but I'm so dang excited.  

The Badge Collection

Elder Wood and Elder Heiner

The MTC Bunkroom

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

One Day More

     So, chances are good that if you're on this blog, you already know what it's about, but in the event that you have no idea why I'm going to Indonesia, here's some basic information.
     I have elected to serve a full-time mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  In February, I was assigned to serve in the Indonesia Jakarta mission, beginning on the 8th of May, which is tomorrow.  For the first part of my mission, I will be in Provo, Utah MTC, receiving training to be a missionary and to speak the Indonesian language, and in about two months, I will travel to Indonesia, where I will be assigned to an area to preach the gospel.   
     On my mission, I will have to chance to write home once a week, and those letters will be posted here by my mother.  If you would like to communicate with me, you can mail me letters or email me.  While I am in the MTC, my mailing address will be:

Elder Jacob Paul Heiner
MTC Mailbox #49
2005 N 900 E
Provo, UT 84604-1793

     This address will change in about two months, when I actually arrive in Indonesia, and I will give you that address when I know it.  Also, you can send me letters through  Or you can email me at  I will do my best to respond to you if you take the time to write to me.  
     Thank you all for your support, and I can't wait to get out and serve.  If you have any questions about what I am doing or what I believe, I invite you to ask me in a letter or email.  The turnaround time will probably not be very quick, so you might be better off asking a member of my family if it's a pressing question.