Sunday, December 29, 2013

December 29, 2013

Dear Everyone,
Merry (terlambat) Christmas!  And Happy New Year!  Christmas was great, and skyping the family was also wonderful.  I couldn't wish for a greater Christmas gift than to see them for a little while.  

For Christmas, we went to house of one of the Jakarta English ward members.  They invited the whole zone, some 22 missionaries, and we all went over there and ate American food.  Turkey and mashed potatoes, and real jello (Indonesian Jello is way not like Jello at all) and other amazingly delicious stuff.  Rolls.  I haven't had real rolls in forever.  Man, it was sooo good.  It was also a lot of fun to talk to other missionaries.  Some of the missionaries I was looking forward to seeing ended up moving recently, so I missed them...  But still very fun.  We've been eating macaroni and cheese, Captain Crunch, and American candy from Christmas packages.  I suspect is will last another week or so, so the celebrating will continue with that.

We're still figuring out how to work effectively in a smaller area, and we're searching for new people to teach because we're now half the area that we used to be in (and honestly we have the smaller area, so that's nice as far as onkos goes... I mean as far as transportation money goes).  It's nice to have so many missionaries here.  Way fun.

I'm still doing well, I can't really complain about anything.  Every day is still another adventure.  I'm so happy to be here, and things are amazing in Indonesia.  I got to talk to President Donald on Christmas (he came to the party, too), and we talked about some of the things that he's trying to do in the mission, and the changes that we're looking forward to, and it's going to be awesome.  The work is just about to take off.  We've got the right missionaries in the field, and we're looking to add some great technology, hopefully quickly but also maybe after a long time.  Depends on the Area Presidency and how fast we can implement it.  

I hope that life is good for all of you.  I'm still doing great.  I know that this is God's work, and I see Him help us every day.  I wouldn't choose to be anywhere else in the world.

Elder Heiner

A respectable Christmas picture of me
and Elder Sutarno
Service at an English school.
We taught how to say the sound "th" and the song
"Do As I'm Doing".  Pretty exciting stuff.
They were really just super excited to see a couple of
 big white guys.  It was on the day Elder B's comp was sick,
so it is just me and Elder B there (we are in the back).
A sweet fountain that is on the way out of our
housing district.  Even Christmas decorations.
I know I said durien was good, but this fruit
is whiter above all other fruits and sweeter
above anything I have ever tasted.  It's my
favorite fruit on the face of the planet,
called manggis.
We caught a rat.  Big and Fat!
We've only had this one rat and he's been chewing on our
door, so we decided to catch him.  This $6 rat trap worked like
a charm.  Within 12 hours we had caught him.

Monday, December 23, 2013

December 23, 2013

Dear Everyone,
Well, this week has been pretty crazy.  Elder Barrus and Elder Sutadiyono got here on Tuesday, and then it's just been a blur since.   We gave them the majority of our investigators and all of the new ones, so we've been starting over and trying to find people.  And Christmas is coming up, which is cool.  I can't believe that it's the day after tomorrow.  That's what my countdown chain says, anyway.  It's still 95 degrees and rainy, so pretty much the same as when I got here, just rainier.  The weather doesn't feel like Christmas at all.  But it's Christmas, nonetheless.

The other day we got a district Christmas package, shout out to Doug and the other primary kid who didn't write his name.  I really like the white shirt and socks, and I just love getting new ties.  That was really cool, and the whole district loves their gifts, too.  Thanks!

The plan for Christmas is pretty good, we're going to be home for a while, open presents together, and then go to the Tangerang 1st Ward's Christmas party, and us missionaries are singing "The First Noel".  Then there's a missionary Christmas party at one of the English Ward member's houses in Jakarta, so we'll head out there.  It's going to be great, we're living it up.  And then I’ll skype home on the 26th in the morning, which is pretty exciting, too.  But don't worry, I'm way too busy to be trunky.  I'm obviously thinking about home, but I'm not lazy to work, which is the important part.  Especially now that we're down on people to teach.  But no worries, we have some ex-investigators we're going to try again, and some potential investigators, and we're going to be extra good about talking to people in the angkots.  

We had a stake Christmas party, and all the missionaries came, which was cool.  I got to see Elder Hobbs again, he's in Bogor.  And Elder McCleary got moved to Jakarta, which means that the only missionaries from my MTC group that I haven't seen are Elder Wood and Sister Scheffield.  Go figure.  I did talk to Elder Wood on the phone the other day, he sounds good.  Hopefully I'll get to see him again before too long.  But also maybe not.

I'm really glad that I'm a missionary.  And for you people who are going to the MTC on the 15th of January, get ready for the best mission ever.  You won't believe what you're getting into, it's amazing.  

Elder Heiner
The District.
It always surprises me to see this in the middle of the city.
For Ben.  Goreng means fried.

Monday, December 16, 2013

December 16, 2013

Well, this week was pretty much the same as last week.  I think.  My umbrella's developed a hole, so I need to get a new one.  There's been a lot of rain this week, I’ll send a picture.  We've been living pretty economically, so on Tuesday, we decided to do Domino's "Two for Tuesday" which was pretty good.  2 pizzas for $5.  I'd totally do that in America, if it existed.  And free delivery.  Can't get better than that.  We might have to do that tomorrow, too.  For Preparation day today, we were going to try something new and go bowling in Indonesia, but then it turns out that the bowling alley doesn't open until 2, and we were there at 12, so it didn't happen.  Maybe in a couple weeks.  

We got news about what's happening in Tangerang!  Elder Sutarno and I are "moving" to Tangerang 2, and Elder Barrus and Elder Sutadiono are moving to Tangerang 1.  They're moving from Medan, which is on Sumatra, and SUPER far away, like 2 1/2 hours on a plane far away.  Yes, there's a lot of stuff... pokoknya.  Elder Barrus is from my MTC group, and he's coming here with the elder he's training, Elder Sutadiono, and they're going to be in the District here.  Which is really exciting.  So now our district will be us and them.  It also means that we will have district meetings again, which is not that big of a deal, but Fridays will be more scheduled, between weekly planning and District meeting and English class.  But that's cool.  I'm excited to have new Elders here.  That also means that we can attend all the meetings from one ward and not a campur-campuran.  Usually, we go to sacrament meeting for Tangerang 1, then wait and say hi to all the Tangerang 2 members and attend their sacrament meeting. Then maybe attend ward council for Tangerang 1, if there is one, and then priesthood from Tangerang 2, and so we don't ever go to Sunday School, except if we have an investigator, and then we teach Gospel Principles second block.  The wards are pretty big for over here, Tangerang 1 has about 75-80 active members, and Tangerang 2 is at 60-65.  The youth programs are decently sized compared to my home ward, the sacrament's always covered, 2 priests or new Elders (there are 5 recently returned missionaries in Tangerang), and 3 deacons.  The young women are at around 5 or 6 from each ward, which is pretty good.  I have only ever participated in the meetings a little, I bare my testimony and I gave a prayer, and I taught Elder's Quorum once, last week.  But other than that, we aren't given too many assignments in the ward.  And every week, I get to see Om Dimas (Om is Uncle.  All names for people that you don't know are family names. Mr is Pak or Bapak, meaning Dad/Father, Mrs. is Ibu/Bu, meaning mother/mom, young men are Om or Mas, which is Uncle or brother, and young women are mbak, which is sister.  There's a word for aunt, but that has a "loose woman" kind of connotation, so it doesn't get used.  Kind of cool).  Om Dimas is what I call Elder Wiradi these days, since he's no longer "Elder."  He's good, he's working for the bishop as a surveyor, and he travels a lot.  He went to Papua the other week, and Kalimantan last week, which is super cool.  I'll probably never end up at any of those places, since there are no missionaries there.

We have 3 Christmas parties that we're going to this week.  The first is a stake party on Saturday in Jakarta, then the Tangerang 1 party is on the 25th at 11, and then there's a missionary party on the 25th in the afternoon, so I think we can make both.  We might have to leave the tang party early, but I really want to see the zone, so yep.  We'll see how it all works.  And pday next week is on the 25th.

Well, Merry Christmas!  Elder Heiner

The best fruit ever.  Smells and tastes delicious,
not even kidding.  It is durian season, so there
are stands selling them everywhere. 
Who want's to go camping?
Our appointment was about 3/4 the way down this street.
The water was 4-6 inches deep.  Oh the rain.
Adventures in cooking.
French Toast-Fu.

Monday, December 9, 2013

December 9, 2013

Hello Everyone,
So, I really am at a loss at what to tell you.  Seriously.  Like, we did stuff.  Just normal a normal missionary week.  We woke up and studied and went out on time, and worked all day, and taught the average number of lessons, and found a couple of people who are interested in the Gospel, and a couple other people told us that they aren't interested in the Gospel/their husband isn't cool with them learning about the Gospel even though they want to get baptized, and so that's a bummer, but free agency is a blessing that I wouldn't want to take from anyone.  I like mine way too much.

I don't have any crazy stories, and I only ate one new thing, and that's sate padang, which is like little roast beef chunks on a kabob in sauce from the Padang region, which is in Sumatera, I think.  It was really good.  

Although it's December, the weather is the same as it was when I got here.  Except it is the rainy season so it rains all the time.  It's still hot and humid, it's just also wet.  Which is pretty normal too, once you count sweat.  But the whole Christmas feeling hasn't set in, even though we're looking at a little over 2 weeks until Christmas.  Strange.  We've talked in English class about why our students want to learn English, and one of the students answer was that she wanted to travel so that she could touch snow.  Our freezer makes ice on the edges, and if we scrape it off, it looks like snow.  But that's as close as it gets.

Well, look at the time.  Thanks for tuning in, sorry that this is pretty boring, but nothing out of what I consider ordinary happened.  

Elder Heiner
We pick this fruit off a tree in our front yard.
I have no idea what it is called
but it tastes way good.
Look at all the ivy we pulled off the wall in our backyard.
Since this picture was taken, my brand new, clean, beautiful
planner got rained on and looks exactly the same as
the other one.  How sad.
Sometimes I forget that I am in Indonesia,
and then I turn the corner....
Splits with Elder Xiong.

Monday, December 2, 2013

December 2, 2013

Dear Everyone,
This week has been a good one.  Not that there are bad ones.  The Zone Leaders came down on Wednesday, and we did splits.  I was with Elder Xiong, which means the every time I've done splits with the Zone Leaders, it's been someone who goes home in less than a month.  Not that means anything.  They're all great missionaries.

My Thanksgiving was pretty normal.  Nothing happens in Indonesia for holidays that revolve around American history.  We did treat ourselves to Carl's Junior.  Which was not as good as real Carl's Junior because beef bacon isn't quite pig bacon.  But it was unlimited refills, so I drank way more soda than I should have.  That’s a real treat over here.

Other than that, it's been day after day of regular missionary work.
Oh, and we went to an investigator's house the other day...  We called him maybe three weeks ago, and he said that he was super busy, but he could meet us on the 30th of November.  Which is really weird because Indonesians usually say just try later, but he gave us a very specific time and place.  So we went to his house, and he was hosting a party for his church friends.  They were sitting around and debating to each other, which may be the way other churches gatherings go down, I wouldn't really know.  So when we got there we thought that maybe we should just keep walking and avoid the place, it sounded pretty heated. However, the investigator saw us and called us in, so we went in.  He gave us food and then we sat in the circle with the other people while they asked questions about our missionary service, which was good, and a little about our beliefs. We really weren't very comfortable with the way the conversation was headed, so we decided to leave.  But we thought we'd better leave a message first, we are missionaries after all, so we read John 3:16-17, which four of them had memorized, and then one of them asked for a scripture that had the same message from the Kitab Mormon, so we read Alma 7:11-13, which is one of my favorites, and they liked that.  So we gave them 2 Kitab Mormons, unfortunately that's all that we brought, we weren't expecting 15 people, and passalong cards, and hopefully someone calls again so that we can teach them.  That'd be cool.

Sorry for no pictures this week.  The internet is slow as a seven year itch today, so I'm using the html version, which doesn't let you upload pictures...

I'm loving being a missionary.  I can't think of a place I'd rather be. Elder Heiner