Monday, January 27, 2014

January 27, 2014

Dear all y'all,
Things are good here, I'm still healthy and happy, and loving things.  This week was good, did some cool stuff and helped some people.  

Probably one of the coolest things that happened this week was that I got to do splits with Elder Broberg, who's like the coolest white zone leader Jawa Barat has ever seen in 2014.  He's one of my idols, a truly Christlike person.  And he was my companion for the day.  Talk about faith, that man is amazing.  We had our appointments fall through, and so we decided to go out and find somebody.  We asked around, where is somebody that's Christian, and they told us "over there."  So we went to that house, and the lady was like "oh, I already have a church, but thanks anyway, Uncle" so we started to move on, and then the kids in the street were like, "oh, try this house, too" so we did, and a kid who's maybe 15 came out and we said that we're church service and we want to share a message, and he told us his parents weren't home.  And then his uncle came out and we told him we were church service and we want to share a message, and he told us he's sick, and then his mom came out (she's like 65) and we told her that we were church service and want to share a message, and she let us in.  We asked her a little about herself, and it turns out that she lives in Depok (another "city" but kind of our area but also kind of Bogor.  It's weird) and she's just here to keep care of the house while her kid's in Solo, and the uncle was just there for the day, he also lives in Depok.  So I was not to serious about this lesson, it just seemed pretty normal, we'd share the restoration and they'd be less than receptive, and then we'd move on.  She went to go get her bible, and Elder Broberg turned to me and said, "do you remember what Elder Funk said, that people will come to Jakarta thinking they're coming for family or for work, but really they'll be coming for the restored gospel?"  And immediately my outlook on that lesson changed.  We taught the restoration, and they received it, invited us back, gave us referrals, the uncle said he'd come back into Tangerang for next Tuesday, so we're going back tomorrow, and I'm way stoked.  They're awesome.  And a miracle.  It was so cool.  And then we went back out and searched again, but the couple people we found were busy so we just got their addresses and numbers.  So that's good, we'll go back later.  Also, we're out of Book of Mormons this week.  And the office is out.  So hopefully people will be ready to accept pamphlets and stuff...  This is going to be an interesting week.  

Indonesia's a really cool place; it's got so much traditional culture that's been yanked up in an effort to become a first world place.  So the western influence here is huge, especially on the younger population.  Hair styles and t-shirts and stuff are all really western, and a lot of the stores are western, fast food and big brand names.  I was really surprised the first time I saw a crocs store.  They're cool here.  Strange, I know.  But people here are in love with America, especially Obama.  I guess he went to elementary school here, so everyone loves him.  And there's a lot of American influence on the music.  Which is cool, there are a couple bands that I like the songs I hear in the grocery store.  "Noah", "Shelia on Seven", "Smish"  I don't know if that's the real name.  There's not really a way to know, and the grocery store only plays Western music half the time, but it’s there.

As far as the language, I hesitate to say that I'm fluent, but I translated for PLD last week, and I no longer translate my thoughts, they just come out Indonesian, and sometimes when I daydream, other people speak Indonesian to me.  Which is strange, but a good sign, I think.

I don't know if I did that much else that's exciting.  We did keep busy, I promise.  We visited some investigators, and we texted the giant stack of business cards that have been in the house for who knows how long, we visited some less active members, we talked to people in the angkot, we studied, yep, that's pretty much the list.  It was a great week.  I didn't eat anything weird.  Or new.  Just the old delicious Indonesian fare.  

Anyway, love you all!  Elder Heiner

PS  Sorry, no pictures today.  We had to move warnets because the usual one is full.  And this one's sketch. They also offer gaming so there are a lot of high school kids here that are smoking and lots of shooting noises from the games.  And I can’t plug in my camera.  The one that we usually go to is just internet, so it's way quieter.

Monday, January 20, 2014

January 20, 2014

Hello Everyone,
So this week's been great.  We had zone conference, the big kind, so Medan came down, and we had interviews with President Donald, and we got to sleep in Senopati, which means I got to use toilet paper (overrated) and shower with hot water (NOT overrated.  That was so very nice.).  The conference was all about having faith, which is super cool.  And then we watched Ephraim's Rescue, which was such a legit movie.  I was blown away.  It was like 17 miracles, and just awesome.  

Then we came back to Tangerang, and that's great.  I love it here.  We had a primary kid in our ward get very sick and pass away, so we visited him in the hospital and went to a comfort night for his family and to his funeral, so that's been a bit of a downer, but I know that it's the will of God, whatever happens.  

Yesterday Elder Randy D. Funk from the second quorum of the 70 was in town, so he invited all the Jawa Barat missionaries to come to a fireside where he and his wife talked about their experiences and gave us advice and super cool stuff like that.  It was great, and like a second zone conference in the same week.  I'm super glad that I'm here close to the mission home because one of the perks is when cool stuff like that happens, I get invited.  It's hard to come to stuff like that if you have to ride a plane to get to the mission home.  

Yep, I think that's this week.  It was a really exciting week.  I had a blast. 
Love you,  Elder Heiner
First time in a bajai.
What is a bajai?
Motorcycle gone covered taxi.
President Donald and me!  He is the greatest.
He has a way thick accent, it's so cool.

Monday, January 13, 2014

January 13, 2014

Hello everybody,
Life in Tangerang is just swell.  Everybody's (finally) healthy, and we're just plugging along.  We did splits in the district on Wednesday and Thursday, which was a lot of fun, and I learned a lot.  Probably more than anyone learned from me, to be honest.  I often feel like that...

Other than that, this week was pretty normal.  Life as a missionary in Tangerang really has a lot of angkot riding, now that I think about it.  We seem to spend a lot of time hot and sweaty and stuck in traffic.  Plus all the angkot drivers play the same dangdut song.  Dangdut is a popular style of music here, with drums and an ethnic beat.  So if you want to know what it's like in an angkot, wait until its 95 degrees, put a bench in your car, park it in the sun, play a dangdut song really loud with the bass turned up high, and sit for an hour.  Not that I recommend that, I’m sure you can imagine it just fine.  And not complaining.  Just know that teaching lessons and finding people makes up for whatever traffic conditions show up.

Tomorrow and Wednesday are PLD, which is exciting.  I always like to get to see other missionaries.  And we get to see President Donald, which is super exciting, too.  I love that man, he always is so supportive and amazing.  And his Indonesian is pretty good.  

I've been trying to be healthier and eat more fruit, there are so many different options here.  It's really tasty so I'm happy with this decision.  There's a stand that's a 2 minute walk from the house, and manggis is 20.000 a kilo (maybe 3.000 a fruit), and starfruit is 25.000 a kilo (which is about 7.000 a fruit, and they're big), and bananas are cheap too, and I'm going to buy a sirsak later this week, I don't know how much they run. Yum.
Well, my time's about up, and I don't know what else to say.  I seem to run into this problem sometimes.  It's a good thing I have a planner, otherwise I wouldn't know what we're doing today and I wouldn’t know what we did yesterday.  How useful.  Somebody was inspired when they made that thing.  And the area book.  Man, I would die without that.  Shout out to future missionaries, use your area book.
I love you all.
Elder Heiner
Me and a starfruit.
The railroad we ride occasionally to visit a couple of
people who live quite far away.

Monday, January 6, 2014

January 6, 2014

Dear everybody,
Hello from 2014!  I guess it's been that for a whole 6 days now...  So it's not really that exciting at this point, but it still feels pretty new.  I was hoping to wake up to flying cars or at least nicer angkots, but that didn't happen, it's still pretty much the same.  New Years Eve was pretty much the same as every other night on the mission: asleep at 10:30.  And then I woke up fresh to a brand new year.  It was great.  Maybe I need to celebrate like that more often; I stayed up after midnight way more often than I went to bed at a decent hour before the mission.
This week has been a week.  We had a lot of lessons fall through, but we did manage to meet with an investigator who is really hard to meet with, so that was good.  It's been 3 months or so since he's been able to meet with missionaries, so that's cool.  And he told us about a potential service opportunity, so hopefully that happens. 

We also had zone conference, which is strange because it feels like we just had one, but that was in November.  And we have a big zone conference in two weeks, so that's cool.  We set some goals for this year, and President Donald set some pretty big goals for the year, and I honestly was concerned when I heard them.  But we got back and started working on them, and I think we can do it.  We can talk to that many people a day, and then if we talk to that many people, we can for sure get that many lessons, and then if we teach that many people, someone will want to come to Christ.  If we just start small and talk to more people, everything else will follow.  I listened to a conference talk about that earlier today.  It was way good.  But I forget who it was...  It was in the Saturday afternoon session this past October.  Man, I love conference.  This week has been good, but next week will be better, I think.  It's the first full week in 2014, and I have high hopes.  And high faith.  That's something that President Donald's really helping us do, is to build our faith.  There's a video clip - Small and Simple Things - and President Eyring talks a little in that, and he says that "the Lord sends his prepared children to his prepared servants" and faith is a real part of that.  I'm really working on being more faithful.  It's good.  
Love, Elder Heiner
You know it's the Elders house when...