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.

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