Thursday, June 6, 2013

June 6, 2013

This week has been pretty ordinary.  Except that they realized that our district fell through the scheduling cracks (which we could tell from day one when they gave us two conflicting schedules), and they decided that we should be here for six weeks instead of nine.  Which means we're leaving the 17th.  Probably.  They already set up our bank accounts for our mission funds, and I have 452,646 rupia in a bank account to pay for my first two weeks in Indonesia.  That translates to $46.  Yeah...  Things are expensive over there.  We should be getting our travel plans here today or tomorrow, which is exciting, and then I'll know when I'll be leaving and where we'll be flying to, and if we're traveling with the 12 Malaysian Elders who are leaving the same day, too...  We'll just have to see.  But that's given us a lot of motivation to study harder and work longer. 

That kind of eclipses all other news around here...  MTC West is still pretty great.  I weighed myself today, and I've gained about 10 pounds.  But that'll probably be gone in the next three weeks, seeing as I'll be in Indonesia before you know it.  Both of the "investigators" we teach committed to be baptized.  June 30th is the day.  They turned the sprinklers on the other night, and so when we went to go play volleyball for gym time, we found the sand all flooded.  So naturally, we did the mature, missionary-like thing and played volleyball in the mud.  That was exciting, and somewhat messy.  It's a good thing today was laundry day.  I honestly can't think of anything else that happened this week.  We didn't get new missionaries into the zone, we get new Greeks on Tuesday, though, and they're all international, so that's going to be an adventure.  I hope they all speak English, because otherwise it's going be really hard.  One of the Greeks from last transfer, Elder Martinez, didn't speak English when he got here.  But it was really good by the time we showed up, so you learn quickly.  His Greek wasn't half bad either, I hear.

The language is going well, I like Indonesian a lot.  I don't think that many people would call it a pretty language, but I really like the sound of it.  I'm not very good at speaking fast, and I don't know how to express myself very eloquently, but I can teach the gospel principles.  Also, my vocabulary is limited to gospel things.  I don't know how to say much at all outside of a teaching setting.  I learned that you shouldn't mix up iblis and istri during a lesson, thanks to Elder Barrus.  (that's devil and wife, if you were wondering.  Don't tell your investigator that they can live forever with their devil in heaven...)  Also, neraka and mereka and meraka are very close.  Which translate to hell, them, and peacock.  Indonesian is a fun language.

We did do some contacting exercises.  We had to get the "contact's" number in a minute or less, which is super hard.  We pretended to be on an ankot, which is public transportation for four people, and you sit right next to someone and right across from someone.  It's kind of rude to ask how someone is in Indonesian culture, like we'd say "what's up" or "how's it going," but that's considered personal, so you just say "mau ke mana?" which literally means "want to where?" or "where are you going?" and that's perfectly OK.  It's a little strange, though, thinking that you sit down next to a stranger, and the first thing you say is "where are you going?"  I'm sure it'll be super familiar within a couple of months, but it just seems weird.  Also, Indonesians have phone numbers that are really long, like 10 digits, and they like to leave off the first syllable, like "lapan" instead of "delapan" for 8, which makes it really confusing when they rattle off a string of numbers.  So we just have them write their number.  Also, a cell phone is called the "HP," short for "Hand phone."  It's not even Indonesian...  But whatever. 

Things are good, I'm learning a lot, and I'm enjoying myself.  We haven't done anything stupid.  Except maybe playing mud volleyball.  That was kind of dumb. 

Elder Heiner

Our District and the Mangums from our Branch Presidency

Indonesian Ministerial Card

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