Monday, July 29, 2013

July 28, 2013

This week has been good.  Lots of biking.  I'm still healthy, so that's good.    Mom, yes lunch is delicious.  If it wasn't, I wouldn't eat it.  And the green beans are thanks to Sister Patch.  Her departing advice was to eat a salad every day, and that's as close as I could get.  When we were on splits, Elder Yarkasi offered to pay for my meal if I ate a cabe (chay-bay) pepper.  It was way spicy.  They're not bad if you eat them with something, but alone is terrible.

The weather is not cooling down, and probably won't cool down.  Rainy season'll hit in September or October, so I've got a little while.  But I'll still be in Malang, which is a way rainy place, I hear.  

One of the things that I've found funny is hearing people pray.  We have an investigator who's been an investigator for a long time, and when he prays, he starts "Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, Amen.  Our Heavenly Father..." He proceeds to offer a pretty standard LDS prayer, concluding with "in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, Amen, enter the Father, Son and the Holy Ghost, amen."  It's way funny, and I don't know what to do about it, so we just go with it.
I read a talk that I really liked.  It's called "the Atonement" by W. Cleon Skousen.  I don't know who he is; I'm assuming a member of the 70 because he's not in Elder Suryono's History of the Church book, which has all of the 12 until Elder Eyring.  If you can't find that talk anywhere, let me know so that I can scan it or take a picture or something and send it your way.  It was just laying around our apartment, the pages out of order, and so it might have been sent by someone's family.  It's cool though.

I also like in Hebrews 2:9, Christ is referred to the Captain of Salvation.  it just is some really cool imagery that I like.  The role of Christ is so important and huge; I wish I understood it better.  

Yep, things are good.  I have nothing to complain about.  Love you all, and thanks for your prayers. Hope the pictures give more info about what I'm up to.
Elder Heiner

I like to look fly when I ride my bike.
Just ridin a bacuk (bay-chuck)

This guy had maybe 250 baby chickens (check out their
colors) on the back of his motorcycle.  When he turned they
would all slide to one side or the other.  It was both
cute and horrifying...

Once you get out of the city, things are way pretty.
This is what I pictures Indonesia being like when I
got my call, with all the rice fields.

For dad...
"Don't cut your lifeline.  Sign up for Institute."

The styrofoam mosque.
It's a Ramadan thing.

Dinner with the 2nd councilors family.

Monday, July 22, 2013

July 22, 2013

Dear everyone,

This week has been a good one.  On Tuesday, we (Elder Suryono and I) were invited to teach a little English at a Muslim school's version of freshman orientation.  So naturally, because he doesn't speak English, it was just me.  It was so different.  I don't know how your freshman orientation was, but for me at South, it was cool to not care, not get excited, and pretend like you knew everything already.  Not here.  Everyone was way into everything, they were so excited to see a white person, I got my picture taken with about seventy-five Indonesians, and they cheered at everything I said.  I had to speak into a microphone, even though the room was not big enough to warrant the use of an amp, and it was absolutely insane.  And I'm pretty sure we were only invited because they wanted a white person there.

Today was Sister Allred's birthday, so we had a party.  And poured flour and water on her.  You know, gotta keep with tradition and culture, right?  And Sister Manalu's birthday is Wednesday, but we're having a surprise party.  Do you know how hard it is to plan a surprise party for someone who has a companion?  Anyway, that's going to be fun.  More messes.

We got a referral this week from one of the young men in the branch.  He's been talking to one of his friends from school, and this friend decided that he wants to be baptized.  So we have to teach him the lessons.  But it's great because he's really into things and has good questions.  Our first lesson was on Sunday, and we'll teach him again on Saturday.  This young man in the ward said that he has another referral, too, if she's willing to meet with the missionaries.  It's way exciting.

We had splits with the zone leaders on Friday.  It was kind of scary, because it was just me and Elder Yarkasi.   It was his first time in Malang, so I had to lead everywhere.  I didn't get lost, which was a miracle.  And if you know me and directions, you'll know that it really was a miracle.  It was good, and I learned a lot from Elder Yarkasi.  He's so funny.  He was the AP when I got here, and a week ago, with one month left in his mission, he got transferred.  He has had the most companions out of everyone currently in the mission, at 16.  Which is a lot for a mission with 75 people.  

We teach this less active family on Sunday nights, and it's great.  But they live really far away.  Like maybe from our house to the Litchfields.  And it's lots of hills, not well lit at all, and sketch.  The only difference from the road to the Litchfields is that there's traffic.  Lots of it.  It's really nerve wracking but we've made it three times with no problems, so that's good.  They're great people, and a lot of things that they do remind me of my family.

I maxed out an ATM today.  For the second time.  I feel like that's an impressive thing in America, but here, that's only $120.  So yeah.  I'm a millionaire.

One of the sisters in the ward and her kids keep trying to teach me Javanese phrases.  I'll repeat them, and then they'll just laugh.  I asked Elder Suryono what they mean, because he's fluent in Javanese, and apparently some of them are from an energy drink ad and some are insults, like "your face looks like a potato (rupomu kyok krupuk ayem)".  And some are "I love you" but only for women that are substantially older than you that you've known for some time and respect like your mother but aren't your mother.  Javanese is a little strange.  

I'm doing well, and I'm still healthy, which is wonderful.  Here's to another good week,

Elder Heiner

Traditional Indonesia.
This is what it looks like everywhere.

A cool government building.
At night.

Our strange district.
Me, Sister Believe, Sister Allred (it's her birthday),
Sister Manalu, Sister Lie, Elder Suryono.
Yeah, I am super tall compared to everyone here.

As a creature of habit, this is what I eat for lunch everyday.
Rice, one egg, two tempe, tofu and potato chunks,
green beans, and sambal.  Cost $.80.  And I'm full.

Additions to my tie collection.
Batik, plaid meets McEscher, and elephants.

Us and the Zone Leaders in our apartment.

Monday, July 15, 2013

July 15, 2013

Dear everyone,

So, this week we went to Mount Bromo and a waterfall near there for a zone trip.  One of the cool things about that was seeing Elders Barrus, Kyle, and Murphy from my MTC group. They're all serving in Surabaya.  We went up to the lookout to see the sunrise, which happens here at about 5:15.  We had to get there at 4:30, and it's about three hours away, so we left Malang at midnight.  Sleep when you're dead, right?  But then we got to the overlook and in was rainy, so there were a ton of clouds.  Which meant that we didn't actually see the sunrise.  But then the clouds melted off, and we got to see the view.  It's a gorgeous place.  Then we hiked up to the rim.  You ride jeeps everywhere in the Bromo park, and they parked the jeep maybe a mile and a half away from the stairs because they want you to ride the horses.  But we're not allowed to do that, so we just walked.  It was quite the view.  And then we drove another hour to a waterfall.  It was maybe a mile and a half hike, and there used to be a path but it's gone now, so you just walk on the bank of a stream, and cross back and forth maybe six or seven times.  And hike in the jungle of Indonesia.  And see spiders that are as big as your face.  I got a picture of one, but I can't tell which picture it is from the thumbnail, so yeah...  You don't get to see it. Maybe in two years you can ask me about it.  When you get to the end of the ravine, there are maybe five little waterfalls that you have to walk under to get to the big waterfall, so we got so wet.  And then you can climb up to the big waterfall and stand almost under it, which was so cool.  One of the most majestic things I've ever seen.  It was so beautiful.
We asked our investigator to get baptized, and he accepted.  But then he told us that he's moving to Bekasi for art school.  So we're sending his information over there, no big deal, and he'll make a great addition to the ward over there, but it's time to find someone else to teach.

The branch here is really strong.  It's kind of small, maybe 80 people, but everyone's super active and they love the church.  The meetings are just like at home.  Except in Indonesian.  And sometimes I have to translate for the Williams, which is so hard.  I understand the ideas, but it's understanding in Indonesian, not in English, so it's so hard to come up with the corresponding English word.  We have a church building here, and it's really nice.  It has maybe five classrooms on the bottom floor, with a single hallway going long ways, and the top floor is the chapel.  It's a really efficient layout, and it's really cool.
It's rained pretty hard for a couple of days, and when it gets going, it's so much water.  We just go back to the apartment and wait it out.  At first, I felt like we should keep teaching, but then I realized that it's kind of rude to expect people to let you into their homes when you're completely soaked.  So we just go and dry off.  It only ever rains for 30 minutes or so (so far), so it's just bonus study time.

I'm still healthy, happy, and working hard.  
Elder Heiner

Elder Suryono, our Investigator, and Me.
Compare me in this picture to me right out of the MTC.
Can you spot the missing 12 pounds?
And, I look tall.
Elder Suryono, Me, and Mt Bromo.
260 steps to the rim of Mt Bromo.
Inside Mt Bromo.
Oh yeah, it's a volcano.
Hiking in the Indonesian Jungle
And these waterfalls we walked under to get to the big falls.
Look close.
Elder Suryono and me under a waterfall.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

July 8, 2013

Dear All,
So, for computer use, we go to what are called Warnets, which is a cross between warung, which is a restaurant on the side of the road, and internet, the meaning of which should be obvious. And the internet is SO SLOW.  My apologies, you might not get any pictures this week, because my camera refuses to upload them at any reasonable speed.  But I have some cool ones.  

We went to a museum earlier today, and it's Indonesian and different, so you can touch stuff and take pictures.  So there's one of me and Elder Suryono and a really old car, and of us in a tank. Sister Allred has some of us with guns, so hopefully I can get those.  Indonesia, right?  Update: They worked.  I guess I just had to be patient.  Go figure.

My companion, Elder Suryono, is from Bondun, which is near Jakarta.  He's been out here for a little over a year.  He's the third of four kids, I think, and at least one older sister served a mission.  I don't really know...  We don't talk about ourselves a lot.  Surprise, right?  

This week has been interesting.  We went to Surabaya on Wednesday, and we had to leave at 11 because it takes about 3 hours to go the 60 or 70 miles...  And the sisters had to check into their hotel at 2.  We just slept at the Surabaya Elder's home, but there are no sisters there, so they got a hotel.  But it was super dingy, so I'm not jealous.  It was cool to meet the other Elders in our zone.  I only say Elders because our sisters are the only ones in the zone...  The Manado Elders came down, too, which was cool.  They only come to every other zone conference because planes are expensive.  I gave a talk on our responsibility to help others repent.  And it was really strange because I was talking in Indonesian, and Elder Coleman, who's currently serving in Manado, was translating me into English for all of the mission couples.  There are three couples, one in Malang, one in Surabaya, and one in Manado.  We got to meet President Donald, and he's a pretty cool guy.  He has a thick Australian accent, even in Indonesian.  And after PLD, we played futsol.  And I'm really bad.  But I make a decent keeper, but mostly because I'm big and have OK reflexes.  Elder Suryono's really good, though.  Because of PLD, the work is a little slow this week.  PLD took up two days of proselyting, and on Tuesday we went 2 for 10 houses, and on Friday we went 0 for 6.  I'm not worried, I know I'm doing my best, it's just unfortunate that those people won't benefit from our message.  We'll try again this week, though.  I think that teaching out of PMG is a great idea.  It's simple, clear, and helps answer pretty much all the questions.  I really like studying it; I try to study some from it every day.  

We didn't get to meet with our investigator this week, we usually teach him on Thursday nights, but we were getting home from PLD late, so that didn't work out.  He did come to branch family night, which was good.  Hopefully we can teach him this week.  We did place a Book of  Mormon.  I doubt it will go anywhere, though.  But who knows? 

I'm still healthy.  I testify that prayer works.  There's no other explanation, I'm pretty sure cobra blood wears off after a little while.   I haven't eaten any more snakes, but I did have fried snail.  It wasn't that great.  Too crunchy.  And I've kicked the habit of biting the nails on my left hand. Amanda, movies… since coming on a mission, I've seen Joseph Smith: prophet of the Restoration, The Testaments, Numerous recorded devotionals, The District training videos, and Mormons and Mobsters.  The last one's pretty funny, I would recommend it.    

I'm having a blast.
Yep, that's Malang this week.  I hope life is going well.

Elder Heiner
We teach an inactive member who lives through here.
It is like another world.
The mosque that always wakes me up at 4:30
for about a minute and a half
with the call to prayer.
Elder Suryono and I at the museum entrance.
The museum also had a library with an
Indonesian volume of Moby Dick and the Bible, the only
2 books there that I had read.  Except not the Apocrypha
part.  And the fact that they were in Indonesian.
Elder Suryono and I with an old car.  It's a Desoto.
Elder Suryono thought that was really funny
because soto is a type of food.
Elder Suryono and I in a tank at the museum.
Elder Suryono and a sign that says something
about how one cigarette is like an egg
or two pieces of tofu and two pieces of tempe.
I'm not really sure what the point was.