Monday, October 28, 2013

October 28, 2013

Hello, Everyone,

So, I'm actually in Tangerang, now.  It's great.  I love it here.  I love almost everything about it.  The thing I really hate -- the angkots are color coded.  In Malang it was letters, Bekasi used numbers, and Tangerang uses colors.  It's not that great for the colorblind individual.  But I'll get over it.  And, I like everything else, though.  

We have a bunch of people to teach, seeing as that we absorbed our teaching pool and the teaching pool of the other companionship.  It's really nice, but also very difficult because only a few of them live close to each other, and this place really is huge.  It's a struggle for one companionship to visit all of the people, which is really not the worst problem I've ever heard of.  It's not even really a problem.  Busy is good.

We got new area books the other day.  They're nice, with lots of plastic sleeves and stuff so that things look nicer and more organized.  It was a good chance to clean stuff out, too.  We found one teaching record from 2008 that had been followed up twice this year, once in January and once in May.  The January status said, "the number's not active, so we went to her house and it was empty.  She must have moved."  And then the May one said, "we found out she died three years ago.  We'll send the referral to the spirit world mission office."  There was another record with a phone number written on the top, and someone else had written, "this is not _____'s number, this is Mr. ______, and he is NOT interested in our church."  Funny stuff.

The wards here are good.  There are some really good, active members, and we got invited to like 15 people's houses.  I asked them when we should come over, and none of them gave a real answer, just whenever.  A real relaxed attitude.  And I don't know any of their names.  So maybe I'll ask them again next week.  There's also this really old lady who has a bunch of children who are really strong in the church.  She's really cool, but we had the same conversation about what my name is, where I'm from, and if I'd met her son who's in America, four times.  Actually four times.  Elder Sutarno thought it was the funniest thing he'd ever heard.

Speaking of my companion, Elder Sutarno, he's way cool, really stellar.  I can't complain about a thing with him.  He's way on top of things, and I'm always surprised when I realize that he's only been here for 2 months.  And then I realize that we only have 6 months field experience between the two of us.  He knows his way around the Tangerang 1 area like nobody's business, and he knows considerably more than me about Tangerang 2, but we're both still learning.  Things are good, and he's teaching me lots, even though I feel like I should be the one doing the teaching...  But yeah, it's good.  It's kind of quiet in the house, with only two of us.   But, OH, we have beds here!  It's the first time I've slept in a bed since I got here.  Usually it's just a mattress on the floor, but here we have bunk beds.  I spend the first night on the top, but since there are only two of us, I took the opportunity to claim a bottom bunk.  It's super nice, and the mattresses are new, and man it's amazing.  I sleep so well.  It's not just a six inch foam pad (Malang) or a one inch foam pad on a box spring (Bekasi).  I'm really enjoying my time here.  Even though I've only been here for a few days.  Not even a full week... 

President Gong from the Area Presidency is coming tomorrow, we have "mission conference."  Except it will be in three parts because it's easier to move the AP's and President Donald and Sister Donald and President Gong than it is to fly two zones to Jakarta...  But Medan's coming down, which is super exciting because I get to see Elder Barrus and Elder Murphy and Sister Jibson and Sister Hutcheson.  It's going to be great.  We have to take a taxi at 4:30 in the morning to get there on time.  That part is going to be less fun.

Yep, well, I think that's about it.  I hope that things are going well for all y'all.  I'm super grateful to be here.
Love,  Elder Heiner

We've had some rain since I've been here.  Well, a lot of
rain, actually.  It flooded while we were in a lesson.  The
deepest part in the street was a foot and a half deep.  The
closest I have been to swimming since I got here.
Me and Elder Sutarno, about 20 minutes ago.
The Tangerang house.

Monday, October 21, 2013

October 21, 2013

Dear Everyone,
This week has been good.  We had stake conference, which was the Asia area conference, and way cool.  It was ALL about missionary work, and broadcast to 21 stakes and 40 districts.  Which is amazing, really.  But I got to hear Elder Holland and Elder Hales get translated into Indonesian.  Hopefully people get excited about things.  They were on a broadcast from the Church headquarters.  An Asian lady was picked to lead the intermediate hymn, but they had us sing in English, which was strange.   The ten year plan is to have three stakes in the Jawa Barat area, which is a big goal, but if people get into it, I'm sure it can happen.  Also, if the church is that size, then they could also get a temple.  That'd be so cool.

We had an investigator get baptized.  His name is P.A., and he's been investigating the church for about three years.  He texted us last week and was like, "I've decided to get baptized, can I do it this week?" but we couldn't get the Zone Leaders down before this week, so he was baptized yesterday.  It was way cool, and the gospel is going to really bless his life.  He's way funny, and I'm sorry I won't get to see him get confirmed.  

Yep, I'm getting transferred.  In maybe 8 hours, I'll get in a taxi and ride it to Tangerang.  It'll cost me like $15 or $20, and be an hour and a half or two hours.  A good thing about a taxi is I don’t have to worry about the weight of my things.  And then I'll start serving there.  My companion has been in the mission field for 10 weeks, and Tangerang's losing two Elders so it's just him and me.  Over two wards.  By ourselves.  I'm way excited because it means we'll be busy.  Super busy.  And so I'll finish out his first twelve weeks training program.  It's crazy.  But yeah, I was under the impression that I would be in Bekasi until Christmas at least, but it turns out that President Donald changed his mind at the last minute.  So maybe I'll spend Christmas in Tangerang.  But I thought that about Malang...  I have yet to serve more than 2 months in an area.  I'm sad to leave Bekasi, there are a bunch of people here that I'll miss, and I really do like the city, but I'm also excited to get to Tangerang.  I get to start again, have new experiances, learn a new place, and also I'll get to see my companion's homecoming talk.  Yes, my current companion is from Tangerang and all his family.  I feel like that's not an experience that many missionaries get to have, especially while on the mission.  
Life is good.  I'm still excited to be here.  Things are always changing.  

Love, Elder Heiner
PA is now Brother PA
My nemesis, Korianton the Kockroach.  
He is about an inch and a half long. 
  He really doesn't do much and only comes out at night.  
And runs at my feet or flies at my face, 
or just watches me shower.   Which is weird.
I had a "steak".  It was deep fried and for $2,
 it was the worst steak I have ever had.

Monday, October 14, 2013

October 14, 2013

Dear Everyone,
Well, I don't know if this week has anything that is really considered exciting from your end of things.  We went to another funeral.  We had zone conference, the big kind, so I got to have an interview with President Donald.  That was really great.  He was super helpful, and supportive, and told me what's going to happen in Bekasi next Monday when my companion goes home.  I really love President Donald.

We had our AC fixed!  The repairman was like 2 hours late, so that problem is the same no matter where in the world you're at.

General conference was interesting.  It was in Indonesian, but the first few words from each prophet were in English, so I'd get all excited, and then the translator would kick in...  I could understand what was being said, but I couldn't think about it and translate at the same time, so I just ended up confusing myself.  Can't wait for the Liahona to read everything.

I still have time, so saya akan membagikan kesaksian saya, tetapi pasti di bahasa karena saya lupa bagaimana bagaikan di bahasa inggris...

Saya tahu bahwa gereja ini adalah gereja yang sama bahwa Yesus Kristus mengorganisasi ketika dia hidup di bumi ini.  Semua adalah sama, imamat, pembaptisan, semuanya.  Saya tahu bahwa hanya melalui mengikuti Injil Yesus Kristus kita boleh kembali kepadi Bapa Surgawi kita.  Saya tahu bahwa kita semua adalah anak-anak Allah, dan karena itu, dia mengasihi kita semua masing-masing.  Kadang-kadang, saya bingung kenapa dia mengasihi saya, karena saya bukan orang luar biasa, saya biasa aja, saya bukan nabi, atau terkanal, atau apa-apa.  Saya tidak terlalu pintar, saya hanya biasa.  Tetapi dia mengasihi saya, dan itu mukjizat yang besar sekali.  Saya juga tahu bahwa Allah kita mau kita untuk menjadi behagia.  Dia mempersiap jalan bahwa kita bisa pulang setelah kihidupan ini, tetapi karena kasih dia amat besar, dia akan biarlah kita pilih.  Saya bersyukur atas kesempatan ini untuk melanyi Allah.  Dia memberkati kihidupan saya, dan saya besyukur sekali.  Saya tahu kalau anda mau menjadi bahagia, coba gereja ini.  Itu akan membanutu anda untuk lihat yang penting.
Dengan Kasih,
Elder Heiner

Me and a Boa Constrictor
It's a big snake... 4 meters
It's a good thing I didn't drop my badge.

Monday, October 7, 2013

October 7, 2013

Dear everyone,
This week's been good.  We totally found a family to teach.  I'm so stoked about it.  Seriously, I couldn't be happier.  Last week, a sister in the ward came up and asked if we wanted an investigator.  We said of course, because we can always use investigators.  So we went to her house yesterday, which was seriously far… an angkot, a bus, and another angkot.  But the investigator was actually a mother, her 3 daughters, and the oldest daughter's husband.  Totally worth every minute!  We taught them the Plan of Salvation, and they had good questions, and it was really wonderful.  The member was there, too, and actively participated in the lesson but didn't dominate.  Which is hard to come by.  Often, members will either not do much or take over the lesson.  We're going back next Sunday, and hopefully they'll still be interested.  I'm so excited about this.
The rest of the week was pretty normal.  The AC died, so it's been way hot at nights.  We'll get it fixed tomorrow.
I'm also excited about general conference.  I've heard it was wonderful, and I'm way excited to see it.  Next Saturday and Sunday is the time.  Indonesia does it marathon style.  Saturday at 8 is Saturday morning session, 10:15 is Saturday afternoon, 1 is Priesthood or Relief Society, just in different rooms.  And then Sunday's the same, 8 and 10:15.  It's going to be way cool.  And in Indonesian, so this is the real test of if my language is coming along.  But seriously, can't wait.

Cooking situation...  We have a two burner camp stove in our kitchen.  And a sink.  And a drying rack for dishes.  And a water dispenser, a dumb one that doesn't cool water.  And we have  a fridge.  But we mostly eat out, which is pretty cheap, like $25/week.  We eat at member’s houses maybe once or twice a week.  It's always so much food, though.  If I know we're going to a member's house, I eat a way small lunch or skip it altogether.  They're always like, eat a lot, and then take more, take more, take more, and then you waddle home.  It's great, though, and always good food.  I am down 24 pounds from when I left the MTC.

We took Elder Gil to drink snake blood, which was fun.  We're going sightseeing in Jakarta today, so that's going to be cool, too.  And yeah, things are good.
I'm still happy, healthy, and all that jazz.

Elder Heiner
We went to dinner at the mall with the Bishops family.
The mall is called Summarecon and is seriously the
hugest mall I have ever been to.  They were doing
a culinary night.  You trade your real money for the
fake money in the picture and then you use that for
their food.  It was pretty good.
Never get into an angot that isn't the front one,
otherwise you could be waiting for hours.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

October 1, 2013

Dear everyone,

This week has been so fast.  On Wednesday, we sent Elder Martoyo home.  So now I'm trying to learn the Bekasi One area and investigators/inactive members along with my original Bekasi Two area. Elder Gil and I are figuring out how to cover everyone.  It's quite exciting.  And difficult.  But mostly exciting.

We went to an English club at a local SMK, which is like a cross between technical college and high school.  That was fun.  They were happy to try speaking English, so I really enjoyed that. The girls thought that I looked like Liam from One Direction, so basically that is the highest compliment on my looks that I've ever received.  Apparently I also look like Ari Wibowo, a German actor who stars in Indonesian films, and some guy named Lorenzo from Moto GT.  Unfortunately, I have never seen either of them, so I don't know if those are compliments or not.  But Liam from 1D seems to for sure be a good thing.

I got to speak at a funeral, which was a way cool experience.  It was a traditional Batak funeral, Batak being the culture from Sumantra.  The man who passed away‘s younger brothers are inactive members of the church, so they invited missionaries to say something, and I got picked.  The way the funeral works is that the family sits on the edge of the room in a line, the open coffin goes in front of them and they lean on it and stuff.  Then people stand in a crowd in the rest of the room, and people come up in groups and a spokesman says something to the family.  So I got to speak for our church, and really I just bared my testimony that I know they'll have the opportunity to see their brother, father, husband, and son again.  I expressed my disappointment that I didn't get the opportunity to meet him in this life, but that I have full confidence that I will meet him in the world to come.  I bared my testimony that I know that he still lives, and that he is happy.  The plan of God is such that no one comes into this life without leaving it.  He is not nothing, right now, he was not erased when he died, but he lives now, and he will live again, and they will have a chance to see him again.  It was really an incredible experience.  

Things are good in Indonesia.  Hard, but good.  I wouldn't have it any other way.  I am happy, and healthy, and so glad that I'm here.
Elder Heiner

The Bekasi district the night before Elder Martoyo pulang'd.
A few of the people on the train with us.
An "air jambu" or water guava.  It's not similar at all to guava,
and I think it is really funny looking.  I also think it is funny
that "air" means "water" in Indonesia.