Monday, May 26, 2014

May 26, 2014

Dear Everyone,
You'll be happy to know that I am safely arrived in my new area, I did have to downsize a little.  Mostly random souvenirs that I'd picked up.  I had Elder Canfield take them to the mission home while he was waiting for his new companion.  He's great.  So, I had my suitcase below 20 kilos, but then it turns out that we could only have 15 kilo on the airline that I was flying.  The overweight fee is 15.000 rupiah per kilo, which totaled to be 75.000 rupiah (I was right at 20 kilo), meaning that I paid $7 to be 10 pounds overweight.  Not too bad.  The flight was good, I slept the entire way.  There were 2 other missionaries on my flight, Elder Lie from Semarang and Sister Edwards from Utah.  So that was cool.  Surabaya's a great place, It's really hot, but that's not really different than Tangerang.  The people are not as wealthy as in Tangerang, this is a lot of more regular people.  But they're all Javanese here, which means they take naps from 12 until 2 and never actually say no and always are very polite and nice. And speak a language that I don't understand… guess I’ll learn some Javanese.  The area is mostly city, and way smaller than it was in Tangerang.  But there are a lot less members.  We have three companionships in our branch, 4 elders and 2 sisters, and then there are 6 missionaries in the other branch, too.  So the district is huge, that's cool.  My companion, Elder Marsudi, is super cool.  His home is Solo, Indonesia.  He's very well read in the scriptures, and a great teacher.  I have a lot to learn from him before he goes home on August 11.  But he's a hard worker, and he has a lot to teach me.  I'm way excited to be here.  We've got a lot to do.  Like on Thursday we're going to Malang to do splits.  So that's cool.  I'm excited to maybe see some of the people that I had met when I was there.  Who knows?  For p-day today we played futsal with the district, which was a lot of fun, and later I'm going to go and get my bike fixed up because the last elder that used it didn't get it fixed before he left.  Oh, well.  Life is pretty good as a missionary.  We're in the same house as Elder Wills (who stayed in Tangerang with Elder Barrus and Elder Sutadiyono at the end of February) and Elder Lie, who just moved out of his first city, Bekasi, where he was for 7 months.  Fun stuff. 
Love you all,  Elder Heiner
Me and Elder Marsudi
The church in Surabaya East.  It is very nice.
Me and Herbie.

Monday, May 19, 2014

May 19, 2014

Well, another week come and gone, and here I sit on the floor in the internet cafe, typing away, as Monday at 10:34 often finds me.  As normal, I have forgotten most everything that has happened this week ( I should bring a journal sometime), so I am happy to report that I have a prompt for today: A place you walked, a place you rode your bike, and a place you rode an angkot.  And the strangest place you ended up in.  Or something along those lines.

So a place we walked:  We only walk when we go and get food at lunch time or if we park our bikes and go mill around trying to talk to people and ask where the Christian people live.  So we walked to Alfamart pretty much every day.  I use any big bills we have so that I can use the smaller ones in other places.  We buy lunch at this lady's cart right next to Alfamart.  I'll have to take a picture.  And we walked around a handful of housing complexes.  So that was cool.
  
As for bikes, we rode them everywhere.  To appointments, to member’s houses, to church, home from everywhere we rode our bikes to. We rode them to dinner, and all that other stuff.  

And we only rode angkots once this week, and it was because Elder Canfield and I were really sick (we ate some bad siomay I think) so we took an angkot to our family home evening appointment on Thursday.  Everyone who had a heart attack because I got sick (that's you Mom), calm down, I'm OK now.  100% healthy.  We rested up and drank Pocari Sweat, the miracle Indonesian drink, and now things are great.  So don't worry about it.

As for the strangest place we ended up, it wasn't this week, but it was earlier last month.  We contacted a guy on an angkot and he invited us over.  So we decided to go.  He told us to meet him outside a graveyard, so we thought maybe he lived inside, which would've been cool.  But instead, we went across the street and into a little driveway looking thing, and then we went back, and there were hundreds of little forts and lots of little mosques and stuff.  The guy lived about a kilo back into this neighborhood of little tiny houses.  Crazy.  I couldn't believe how many people lived in such a small place.  It was great.  

Well, next week, things'll be different.  I'm headed off to Surabaya on Thursday, I'll ride a plane.  I don't know how many missions have planes do transfers, but the number can't be very big.  There, I'll meet my new companion, Elder Marsudi from Solo, Indonesia and then we'll be the zone leaders over there.  It's going to be a wild ride.    Love, Elder Heiner
This is a picture of me.  And part of Tangerang, Indonesia.
A fish I ate.  It was pretty good.
I still feel funny when I have to eat the bones in order to eat
the meat.  But we just eat the little ones and they are
crunchy and fried.  That is pretty normal.
A picture Elder B just forwarded to me when we we were at the
wedding a couple weeks ago.  The men all wore these hats
and held the swords.  Very traditional.
Trying to dry off after being caught in the rain.

Monday, May 12, 2014

May 12, 2014

Hello, everyone.  Happy Mother's Day to all you mothers out there.  Your sons love you, I know it.  Thanks for all the hard work, you're great.  Mother’s Day isn’t celebrated here.  Also, it was great to talk to the family today.

This week in Indonesia has been pretty good.  Pretty normal, but good.  I turned 1 year old on the mission, which I guess is a pretty big mile mark.  I realized that that means that I've missed a year of real life for everyone, so I guess that means I owe some people apologies.  Sorry to everyone who had a life event and I missed it.  Like a wedding or a graduation, or a funeral, or leaving on a mission, or a concert/recital, or having a child, or a birthday or some other cool event that I missed.  I had a thing and couldn't make it.  But if I was in America, I would've done my best to be there.  I also realized that I have missed a year of movies, music, tv shows, and other stuff like that.  And that's not a big deal.  I'm really not worried about any of that.  Except Phineas and Ferb.  Do they still make new Phineas and Ferb's?
  
As for this week, we're teaching a new English program.  Well, Elder Barrus and Elder Canfield are teaching the new program, and Elder Sutadiyono and I are teaching the "fun class" for those students who aren't at the skill level to do that program.  So we played go fish with a couple of elementary school kids.  It was fun.  We have some that we can use to learn vocab, and to play go fish.  

Elder Canfield and I have been making an effort to eat before 6 as is said in the white handbook, and it's helping us to be healthier.  And also, we're trying new stuff.  The other night, we tried noodles from Sumatera, and it was way good.  I've been enjoying things here.  

Well, it looks like my time is about up, hopefully everyone out in your neck of the woods is happy and healthy.  Elder Heiner
Mexican Food in Indonseia!
The goldfish sales man.
 I love this, just hope he never has an accident.   
Skype Time!

Monday, May 5, 2014

May 5, 2014

So, once again, I'm faced with the incapacitating problem that I don't know what to write about that won't be overwhelmingly boring to people who aren't currently serving in Tangerang.  Like, I'm pretty sure other Indonesian missionaries would just look at our week and think that we did what every companionship in Indonesia did.  We had plenty of miracles that other people would not blink at, and we taught a handful of lessons, and we have some progressive investigators, which is just fantastic.  But I often think that from an outside perspective, missionary work would seem boring.  But believe me, it is far from.
On the agenda for today:  We're going to Carl's Jr.  And then doing some shopping because I’ve got a few things I need to pick up.  And then Elder Canfield is going to write a letter, and we're going to pick up our pants from the tailor, and then visit a Texan and eat Mexican food because it's cinco de mayo (although there is really zero Mexican culture in Indonesia), and then we're going to visit a member.  Chalk full.
And I love you all!   Love, Elder Heiner

This might be the Indonesian hamburgler.  Or the man who
founded the apartment complex.  Or a random JB.
I'm not sure.
The local cemetery.
Guess which way Mecca is?
Caption courtesy of Elder Barrus:
They were married in accordance with the government on
Thursday.  Then in accordance with Jawa Culture, they had
a traditional Javanese wedding on Saturday.  Which means
lots of big hair, tons of  makeup, swords hanging out the back
of the guys shirts, smashing of eggs, cleaning of feet, Jawa
dances, funky music, and lots of tofu and tempeh.
It was sagat fun!