Monday, February 24, 2014

February 24, 2014

Dear all of everyone,
So, this week was fairly uneventful.  We did splits within our district, which was fun, and we are getting the AC fixed later today (it's been broken since before I got here...), and we did a bunch of teaching.  We also got calls about moving, and it turns out, I'm staying in Tangerang!  I'm really happy about that.  But my companion is moving, he's off to Medan, and I'm getting a new companion.  His name is Elder Canfield, and he's moving here from Semarang.  He's been in the mission for 6 months or so.  That's all I know about him.  He is serving half the island away, and he'll ride an airplane to get here, so it's understandable that I've never had a conversation with him.  I've seen him once, when he was brand new and we were picking up a couple elders from his group, but I can't remember his face, so it's going to be pretty fun.  I'm excited for this.  Elder Barrus and Elder Sutadiyono are both staying, so the district here is going to be mostly the same.  

Also, tomorrow, we're going to Senopati to get another couple of white missionaries.  They land later today (hopefully), and so we'll head over there and get ourselves two brand new missionaries to live in Tangerang for a little while while they get their papers in order.  It's going to be a lot of fun, and we're planning things to do with them, like eat durien and parey, and take them proselyting, and whatever else we're doing on a regular basis.  It'll be good.  

Other than that, things seem really normal.  I guess I'm just not that exciting.  I promise missionary work is more than 2 paragraphs worth, I just don't know what to tell you.  So yep.  
Anyway, love you all,

Elder Heiner
Me overlooking my town of Tangerang.
We are at the top of a mall that is by the church.
My Comp hiding from the rain in true Indonesian Squatting Mode.
Indonesians squat with their feet together and their soles flat
on the ground.  It is impossible.  But they do.
Me with a sweet eagle.
We ended up early to district meeting so we got of the angot
early and took some pictures as we walked to the church.
A mansion in Bogor.  We were there on p-day.


Monday, February 17, 2014

February 17, 2014

Hello everyone!
Happy late Valentine's Day, another very American holiday that doesn't really exist in Indonesia.  This week was pretty normal.   We're getting better at contacting people, the mission goal is 15 a day, or 105 a week, and this week we contacted 55 people, which is a record high for my companionship.  We have a long way to go, but we're making progress every week, so before long we'll make it.  Our Book of Mormon stash is also running lower, we gave away 4 this week, which is also a number I'm fairly happy about.  If only people would have time to meet with us.  People rarely answer their phone, so we have about 15 people we've talked to who have expressed interest but have not yet met with us in a teaching situation.  We'll keep trying!  

Fun tracting experience:  We went out in some random neighborhood, and started asking people where the Christian people live.  It's kind of interesting how it goes down, we walk up to anyone in the street, say hi, and tell them we're from church service.  Almost always, they start to get this freaked out look on their face, or they go to tell us that they're from a different religion, but then we ask where the Christian people live.  If they're Muslim, they immediately sell out all their Christian neighbors.  It's really an interesting system.  Anyway, we were told that there's a Christian lady that lives around the corner, and so we knocked on her gate.  She came to the door, and we started to tell her a little, and she goes, "I know, what's the deal, Elder?"  That caught us by surprise, so we tried to recover...  She was one of Elder Earls and Elder Widodo's investigators about a year and a half ago.  We asked her if she still has a Book of Mormon, and she said "sudah nggak" or "already no" which makes a lot more sense in Indonesian than it does in English.  So we asked her if she wanted to read the Book of Mormon again, and the answer was the same, "already no."  So we thanked her for her time and asked her if she knows anyone that lives close that might be interested in hearing about the gospel, but apparently the other Elders often come by there, so yep.  We continued our proselyting efforts.  Maybe missionaries will run into her again and she'll want to learn again, who knows.  End of story.

Fun culture fact:  No one has pets!  The occasional person has dogs, and that means that they're Christian or Catholic (different religions in Indonesia...  I don't know what the deal is).  I met one person who had a hamster, and there are places that sell fish tanks and fish, so I assume that someone owns fish, I just haven't met them yet.  Everyone has a stray cat that lives in the trash can or something, and there are cockroaches out the wazoo and also lizards everywhere.  And ants.  They are also everywhere.  But as for domesticated pets, they really don't exist.  Now you know!

I think that's it for this week, things are still great here.  Loving life and working hard.  I'm still healthy and slowly gaining back weight.  Hopefully I'll get back on a bike so I can lose it all again, I'm not disciplined enough to diet...

Love, Elder Heiner 

Me in "hutan Kota 12" - translated as City
Woods 12.  I don't know where the other
11 are. 
I don't know why you need this many mirrors.
This is the sign at the church.  We don't have one of the
traditional LDS church signs because technically we don't
meet in a church.  We meet in a meeting building.


Sunday, February 9, 2014

February 10, 2014

Dear Everybody,
Hello from Indonesia!  The rain let up this week, so that's good.  The floods had a chance to dry out, or so I hear.  In South Tangerang, we don't really have problems with that.  This week has been good, we did a lot of proselyting, and found a handful of people that we can call this coming week and try.  As we get more proficient at contacting people, our list of potential investigators also grows, which is really great.  Also, President Donald is really pushing the whole "if you want to teach more people, you need to talk to more people" kind of thing.  And it totally works.  Who would have thought?  

WARNING: Don't read this paragraph if you like cats, or are squeamish or anything like that.  Don't worry, I didn't eat one.  Nor did I injure one, it was more of an attempted rescue.  We got back from proselyting on Wednesday and were going to make some more passalong cards and then head back out, and we heard a cat in our bedroom.  Which is SUPER strange, because there's no way a cat can get into our house, and then the bedroom door is also closed, so I was a little freaked out.  I opened the door, and turned a light on, expecting to get attacked by a feral cat, but it turns out, there was this little wet ball of something on the floor making cat noises.  I got closer, and it was a baby kitten.  By the looks of it, it had been born less than an hour ago, and the mother was nowhere in sight.  Also, the kitten was still attached to it's placenta, and there was cat blood on the tile floor, but not enough that it was like a birthing zone.  Also, usually cats have litters of 3 or 4 I think, right?  So looking around, I saw a hole in our ceiling, and we came to the conclusion that this baby cat had fallen through the roof and landed on our floor, but was still fine.  So we put him in a box and put the box on the roof in hopes that the mother would go find it.  Also, the mom did have like 4 kittens, because that night they wouldn't shut up.  Or the next night.  They're pretty quiet at this point, but it's still occasionally a problem.  We just don't know what to do about it...  Anyway, the mom didn't get the one that fell and it didn’t survive, so we (really, don't read this if it'll make you sad) just put him in the trash can and let the garbage man take him.  I feel really bad about it, but I don't know what else we could've done.  

Anyway, happier note, families in Indonesia are SUPER strong.  In America, it's weird to live with your parents after you graduate high school, but here, people often live with their families even after they get married and have kids.  So sometimes 10 or 15 people live in the same little house.  Things are moving more towards an American standard as the Indonesian culture is getting more westernized, but outside of the Jakarta area, it's as strong as ever.  And everyone goes home at least once a year, at the end of Ramadan.  So also, people are really open to hear about a message that strengthens families.  What message would that be?  The Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ.  If you're interested to hear such a message, contact the nearest missionaries or go to lds.org and find out for yourself.  

Well, things are still great here in Indonesia.  
Love you, Elder Heiner

Me and Elder Sutarno eating Sop Buntut -
Ox Tail Soup.  It was soooo good.
The soup really has an oxtail in it.  It is the big chunks of meat.
We got new Kibat Mormons!
56 of them!
This is the hole in our roof, if you read the story.
Western toilets are rare enough that sometimes
people just need a little instuction.

Monday, February 3, 2014

February 3, 2014

Hello everyone:

Things this week have been pretty darn good.  And also pretty darn normal.  Whatever that is.  We had ZTM (little zone conference) on Friday, so we went to Jakarta and learned about keinginan and pengharapan, which is desires/wants and desires/hopes.  It was good.  I always like seeing other missionaries and hearing their stories, it gives me a lot of hope.

We met with our grandmotherly investigator, and she's awesome.  She's already read six or so chapters of the Book of Mormon, and she defended it to her friends.  The told her it was a cult thing, but she said, "how do you know?  If you want to know, you can read it and find out for yourself!"  I have high hopes for the woman.  But now she lives in the next town over, so we might have to give her to the Bogor Elders, it just depends who's closer.

This week for service, we taught English class.  We have an investigator who runs a Christian school for kids with special needs or who need help to focus, and he invited us to teach English over there, so we decided to try it out, and so for a couple weeks we might be doing that.  We talked about the sounds "th" and sang the snowman song.  It's great with all the actions.  

Culture update of the day:  You never wear shoes inside of people’s houses.  When you get to the door, you leave them outside and hope that no one steals them.  I haven't heard of it happening, but with the flooding, someone might need a boat and mistake my shoe for a canoe.  At public places, people usually keep their shoes on, unless they didn't wear shoes.  It's completely OK to go barefoot anywhere.  Or wear sandals or real shoes or plastic bags or whatever.  Just as long as it doesn't get in the way of riding a motorcycle, because that's what everyone uses.  

Well, I think that's it for the day.  We're going to go ice skating for Preparation day over at the mall, just the four of us.  I'm looking forward to it.  

Love you!
Elder Heiner

Sunglasses - $2.  Slushy at Family Mart - $1
Looking fly and feeling good - Priceless.
My fruit stand we visit quite often.
This isn't the best picture but it is unique.
A monkey riding a motorcycle right in front of our house.
It is a real monkey wearing a mask.  There's a guy who sits
down and plays loud music.  He yells a the monkey and the
monkey does tricks.  The monkey also "prayed" and did
somersaults.  People give money like a fundraiser.
Splits with the ZL's