Monday, March 31, 2014

March 31, 2014

Dear Everyone,
So, this week was my birthday, and that was good.  We got bikes, so I guess that was kind of exciting.  We went to the beach.  We met with people.  Everyone is healthy.  Yep.  I’m short on time, so instead of writing a bunch, I just sent a whole booty load of pictures.  A picture sends a thousand words, right?  
Love, Elder Heiner
It's like paradise or something.  You would think we were
on a tropical island.  
I'm sure I looked dumb taking this picture.  We go to the
beach and here I am, taking a picture of the black
plastic tag that I wear ALL THE TIME.
Me and my comp standing on the beach.
Our Beach Picnic.
Now we are standing on a rock with all the Tangerang Elders.
This is my cake!
Shout out to Elder Barrus... the best white missionary
to serve in Tangerang 1 in 2014.
(OK, the only one.  But really, thanks!)
My cake was going to set the house on fire.
I don't know how I will handle my 40th!
My favorite juice, Dutch Eggplant.
A krupuk.  It is crunchy, airy, and delicious.
Look closely.  Rain, yes.  But also the blue motorcycle
is a laundry delivery man.

Monday, March 24, 2014

March 24, 2014

Dear Everyone,

Well, I don't know if there's anything too exciting that happened this week, it's just much of the same.  We did get invited to play basketball against the team of one of the deacons in the ward, so we gladly accepted, it's been a LONG time since we've played basketball, but we were fairly confident, after all, how good can a bunch of deacons be?   Our team consisted of us (the Elders), a deacon from the ward, a priest from the ward, the Elder's quorum president, and a guy from the 1st ward (he's got the sweet mustache).  So there were 8 of us, which was pretty brutal. Well, it turns out that they wanted us to play the good team that practices at the same place as this kid, so they were mostly high school graduates, a couple of them play on National teams, and we just got destroyed.  It was really sad, but also really fun.  Elder Canfield was the star of the game with his play "the doghouse," something they made up for church ball back in the day.  Quite the play and I scored all 2 of my points in that game from that one play.  It was good, but taught us how out of shape we are.  American basketball is fairly rare here, and usually the people are not very good, but these ones were awesome.

Hopefully this will counter some of the out-of-shape-ness (but I think it won't), we're getting bikes later today!    Maybe that'll help me to get some exercise in...

Life in Indonesia is good; I have nothing to complain about.  I can't say I really remember too many of the differences between non-missionary life, and life as I know it, so I don't know if I have anything to write you about.  I'm sorry for being so lame, but that's about it.

OH, and the 1 Elders had a baptism yesterday, that was really cool.  He's a cool guy, and he's converted from Islam because his fiancĂ©e asked him to try it out.  They've been a couple for 4 years, and she's just been waiting for him to soften up so that she can marry a member, and it finally happened.  He's great, and they're getting married in May.  They're great people, and he's going to make a great addition to the first ward.

Well, I think that's it for news from here, life in Indonesia is always super exciting, but at the same time, always the same.  And time keeps flying away.  Elder Heiner
Our team vs the Hawks.
Yes, we were really 32 at the end of the game.
And they were really 78.  The 4 Elders from Tangerang.
The "tornado potato".
It is such a great thing.  They take a potato (a whole one)
and put it on a kabob stick.  There is a machine they put
it through to cut it into a spiral.  Then stretch it out,
dip it in batter, and deep fry.  Then they flavor it... BBQ,
sweet cheese, roast beef, and a few others.
A typical Indonesian construction site...
with the staples of Indonesian construction.
Concrete, Rebar, and Bamboo.
A pick up truck.  They all look like this.
The BSD - Parung Angot.  We ride it about 5 times a week,
sometimes more.  We don't go all the way to Parung, that is
pretty much Bogor.  We get off at about the half way point.

Monday, March 17, 2014

March 17, 2014

Hello everyone,

It's been a pretty good week, and it's been way fast.  I can't believe how quickly the time passes.  I guess there's only 54 more days until I've been a missionary for a year (that was told to me, I promise I'm not counting) which is unbelievable.  

We had zone conference this week on Tuesday, which is unusual but not that unusual.  It was the little kind of zone conference.  Then we ate at Burger King, which is the best burger I've had in Indonesia.  And then swung by Senopati (the mission home) so that Elder Canfield could switch out some stuff.  And then came home, so that was pretty expected.  And then on Wednesday we did splits with the Zone Leaders, who are Elder M. Johnson and Elder Suryono (remember him?).  I got to be with Elder Suryono, which was way cool because my Indonesian has gotten a TON better since I was his companion in Malang and also his English has gotten better, too.  So we could actually communicate.  Crazy.  

On Sunday, we didn't have any appointments after church, so we decided that we'd go home and eat (OK, that was the plan all along) and then call everyone we know and see if someone is at home.  So we get in the angkot and there's a kid sitting next to us, and Elder Canfield talked to him, we didn't say much about the church, but we invited him to English class and gave him a passalong card with the Book of Mormon on it, and then he got off to get to his church.  About 15 minutes later, we get a text from a random number asking us if we're the church that teaches about the Book of Mormon.  Of course that's us, so we asked what we could do.  It turns out it was this guy, he's 21, and he read the card (which is rare, there are a lot of words on the card) and he wants to know if he can join our church.  We said yes, "of course, can we meet with you?"  So at 5, we meet him at the church and he's been curious about our church for a long time.  We asked him where he heard about our church, and he's a big fan of American music, and his favorite singer of all time is none other than David Archeluta,  whose facebook page says he likes the Church and the Book of Mormon. Our friend had read a little about that, and when he saw the book in our hands, he wanted to meet with us, but he didn't really want to talk to us because we're scary white people.  So we taught him the Restoration of the Gospel, and he accepted it immediately.  We asked him if he would pray about it, and he was like, "I don't know if I need to, I feel that it's true."  We told him to anyway because a personal testimony is very important.  He lives right across from the street, and he's just super cool.  That is the other Elder's area, but it doesn't matter, the point is that he wants to come to church.  He does work Sundays, so we'll have to see how this all plays out, but I have faith that this is the man we've been waiting for.  And hopefully he has lots of friends that are also searching for the truth.  It was crazy, and the Spirit was so strong there, and it was really cool.  Miracles really happen every day.  

Also, shout out to my little brother, who got his mission call last week; he'll be tearing it up in Sweden.   I'm way excited.  Love, Elder Heiner

Zone conference featuring some MTC friends (plus 2)
Scenery we pass every day.
More scenery.  A regular street.
Book of Mormon names are everywhere!
By everywhere, I mean the hospital next to the church.

Monday, March 10, 2014

March 10, 2014

Dear Everyone,
This week's been a pretty dang good one.  It's funny how a little change can be good.  Not that I had any problems before, but things are great.  On Monday, I got a new companion, Elder Canfield from Logan, Utah.  He's a great guy, he's 19, he got out here in September, and he came right out of high school.  His home sounds like the Mormon street in Mormonville inside of Mormon world, what a different place than what I know, yet really all the same. He's ready to work hard, and I've really enjoyed that.  We just GO all day every day, and we're seeing a lot of success.  He’s had one other area and one other companion (Semarang and Elder Suarsid).  He's a hard worker and an easy person to get along with, so we just get out every day and talk to everyone and work our rear ends off and have a great time.  This last week has been so fast, and we've seen so many miracles, so it's super cool.

One of the awesome miracles we saw was when we were in an angkot waiting for it to start so that we could get to the next place on our agenda.  This guy walks up to the window and asks if we're the Mormons.  Well, we took that opportunity to tell him about the Book of Mormon, and he was fairly interested, so we loaned him a copy and said we come back later and tell him all about it.  We got his number and name, which was one of those names I'd never heard before.  We got in touch with him, and went to go visit him, and he told us the approximate area in which he lives, and then to just ask people and they'll tell us.  So we did, and then we got to this house, and they let us in, and we asked where this man was.  His wife told us he was sleeping, which was strange because he had just texted us, but weirder things have happened, so we just rolled with it.  We had to get to district meeting, so we quickly explained to this woman about the Book of Mormon, and then gave her a copy and got her number.  I thought it was really weird that we were doing that, and afterwards, Elder Canfield also thought it was strange, but we did it anyway, just in case.  After all, having two Book of Mormons really isn't a problem for a family with 5 kids.  We pray with this woman, and then we get on our way.  Not 30 seconds later, the guy texts us again asking where we are.  We explained that we had just talked to his wife and that she said that he was sleeping.  His response, "my wife's at work, where are you?"  It turns out we had just gone to a random person's house who had the same name as the guy we had met, and she liked learning about the Book of Mormon and invited us back, but we had no connection to anyone at that house.  We just knew a guy with the same name.  So then we went to the other guy's house and taught him quickly so that we wouldn't be too late to District meeting but also so we could teach this guy.  We got a return appointment, and so that worked out great.  But stuff like that has been happening all week, and I love it.  We meet so many people and have so much fun.  And Elder Canfield has a great imagination, so we just talk about random stuff when we're walking in the streets, and he's got some cool questions about doctrine and life and everything.  It's really a blast all the time.  

I love this place more and more all the time, and it's wonderful.  I also apologize for the lack of creative pictures; I just wasn't very quick on the camera this week.  I’m also forgetting what's strange here, I feel like it's all just normal, the same as back in America, so I feel like everyone would just think that this place is boring.  And then I remember that everything here is different. That probably makes no sense.  Anyways, have a great week or day or whatever.
Love you all.  Elder Heiner

The Dream Team.
Me and Elder Canfield
For mom.  Inside our friendly neighborhood Alfamart.
We were able to find the ingredients and made bread in our
toaster oven.  We just played the "close enough is good
enough" game since we don't have measuring cups
and it worked out pretty well.  I guess it was really yeasty,
which is OK by me.  Bread is rare here.

Monday, March 3, 2014

March 3, 2014

Dear Everyone.

This week has been a lot of fun, we got two new missionaries in our district for the week, Elder Wills and Elder Davies.  Elder Davies was with our companionship, so I got to know him pretty well, and he's a way cool guy.  He's from England, around Manchester or something, so his accent is pretty cool.  His Indonesian is not that bad, for only having talked to white people in Indonesian.  It'll really take off when he gets to Medan.  Also, all these new missionaries have such amazing faith.  There was a training meeting earlier this week, so I went over to Senopati with my companion who is training and the new missionaries, who also had to be there.  Everyone who's spent this first week with these new missionaries has seen so many cool miracles, people who just walk up to us and ask about the church, or who speak fluent English so that the new guy can help contact him, or just tons of little things that never happen otherwise.  I guess I should really work on my faith so I can be more like them.

I didn't get to attend the training meeting because I'm not training anyone, but I did get to hang out with the trainers after, and I got to talk to Elder Kyle and Elder Gil and Elder Blaser, which was really cool.  I really want to talk to Elder Wood, but he's moving to Manado, so hopefully when we have to get our KITAS renewed in a few months I'll get to see him.  And I got to hang out with the new missionaries while the meeting was going on, so that was cool.  It's a way strong group coming in, full of great missionaries.  And 3 of them are staying in the zone, so I'm excited to see them at zone conference.

Culture... Fruit here is pretty great.  I usually eat blimbing (star fruit), or manggis, or oranges, or mangos, or dragon fruit, or bananas, or watermelon, or melon (which means cantelope or honeydew, I'm not really sure which) and I like rambutan.  It's the fuzzy ball fruit that I sent a picture of the other week, we have a tree that grows these in the front of our yard.  We gave the neighbors permission to pick them if they gave us some, because we can't eat it all and they keep asking, so now we have two giant bags of the stuff and it's great.  Some fruits that are pretty normal in America just aren't here, you don't see peaches and most berries.  And some of them are really expensive, like strawberries and grapes.  And some of the fruits from here are really expensive, like durian.  My favorite way to eat fruit is sop buah, or fruit soup.  There's a place right down the street, and for 8.000 rupia, they take a bunch of fruits, and also avocado which counts as a fruit here, and chunk them up, put it in a little plastic baggie.  Then he blends up some dragon fruit, a couple strawberries, some sugar water, and some sweetened, condensed milk and pours it all over the other fruit, and it's very delicious.  And it seems pretty easy to make, so I'm going to have to make it when I get back.  

I think that's about all I have to say, Thanks for all the support!
 Elder Heiner

Alfamart is like a gas station grocery store.  There are lots of
snacks and small toiletries, but also cooking supplies - rice,
soy sauce, sugar,  and other things.   The two brands of local
grocery stores are Alfamart and Indomart.  They are almost
exactly alike, except for their deals.  We seem to mostly shop at
Alfamart.  The big stores are rare and are usually in the malls.
You can get clothes, electronics, cleaning supplies.  We
generally just stick to food.  Elder Barrus and I went halvies
on imported orange juice and it was delicious.  Can't find
that at Alfamart.  American OJ has a lot more orange in it.
One last shot of our district and me with Elder Sutarno.
A random street.  When we got out of a lesson I thought
this must be pretty different than what home looks like.
A repeat picture of the rambutan fruit
from the tree in our yard.