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.

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