Monday, July 28, 2014

July 28, 2014

Hello, everybody,
So, there was a lot of hype these past few weeks about some election that was supposed to be really close, and we got a whole bunch of warnings from our leaders that there could be riots or crazy stuff going down because a lot of people really cared about who was going to be the next president of Indonesia, but when the appointed day came, nothing was different.  I noticed absolutely nothing.  It was like the rapture day back in high school.  Everyone made a huge deal about it, but then nothing happened.  To be completely honest, I was hoping for something crazy to happen so that I could tell some cool riot stories, but no one did anything.  And it sounds like that's the way it was across the country.  Disappointing.  
We went to Malang this week, took the train.  It was a little stressful because I accidentally bought tickets for 4 in the morning instead of 4 in the afternoon, and didn't realize it until 2 in the afternoon.  But we got there, we just took a faster, more expensive train so that we could get seats (bummer.  Not really).  We usually take the train that costs 5.500 rupia and takes 3 hours because the timing is better, but instead we took the two hour, 25.000 rupia train.  The AC is better in the more expensive one, and there was tons of room, so maybe we'll always take the nicer train, just adjust the schedule.  We'll see how my new companion wants to do it, because we won't be going until the end of next month, and Elder Marsudi goes home before that.  
Malang was fun, but it was freezing.  It gets so cold over there, like 15 or 17 degrees Celsius.  And the water is not heated, so taking a shower is soooooo cold.  I get goosebumps.  I remember why I bought a sweatshirt while I lived there.
We went to the zoo for p-day last week, and I have a really cool picture of me at the top of a 5 story tower over Surabaya and also feeding a deer (it's an attraction here, they should see Oregon, all the wild deer that are a novelty here), but because my SD card is over half way full, it takes too long to open.  You might not be getting many pictures the next few weeks until I get back to Senopati and pick up my empty SD card.  I'll still get some that way, but maybe only 2 or 3.
Also, I wrote a letter to Elder Heiner in the MTC, but Dear Elder doesn't have an international option, so I told it I am writing from Jakarta, ID, which is almost the same as Jakarta, Indonesia.  I put my right zip code in, so maybe someone who is looking closely will notice that ID stands of Indonesia, not Idaho.  We’ll see if he ever gets it.  Crazy to think that he's going to be in one of the coldest countries in the world, while I'm in one of the hottest.  I hear that in some cold places, missionaries use golf balls to knock on doors because they don't want to get their hands frozen.  Here, I use my ring to knock on gates because everyone has a gate, and it's forever away to the door, and it's bad manners to just yell.  And that's when we knock on gates, which is generally just when we have an appointment because we're not allowed to go tracking here.  There's so many differences but it's still the same work of the Lord.

I love you!  Elder Heiner

With the Malang district.  No, we are not weird.
The name of our town "Surabaya" comes from
an old legend of a shark, called "Sura" in Indonesian
and a crocodile called "Bauya" in Indonesian.  They
fought until they both died.  I don't know how the city
came from that legend but there's a pretty sweet statue.
It turns out my shirt has a picture of a different
"shark fighting a crocodile" statue.

Monday, July 21, 2014

July 21, 2014

Well, it's that time again.  I don't know if I have that much to say.  This week has been pretty quick.  
We had zone conference on Wednesday and Thursday, so that was good.  We had the missionaries from Manado come down, and the ones in Malang came up, and the AP's came, so that was a lot of fun.  It was really the focus of the week, and now it's over, so we're headed to Malang tomorrow to Wednesday.  So that'll be an adventure, too.  
Zone conference was good; it was great to hear from President Donald.  He's a truly inspired leader of God.  He works so hard for us, it's really amazing.  The whole focus was to get us back into studying Preach My Gospel.  So we've got to focus on that.  To all you missionaries that are going to go on a mission, use Preach My Gospel, it'll help a lot.  
I guess I've mentioned our mission couple so I’ll tell you about them.  We have a mission couple here.  They are the Anderson's, and they are super cool.  They have been here 17 months, so they have until the 20th of August before they go home.  They have been in Surabaya their whole mission.  They're from Las Vegas, but Sister Anderson taught at BYU-I for a couple years before they came out here.  They are member support missionaries, which means they help with home teaching and visiting teaching and they take us to appointments that are super far away, and they just try to build relationships within the ward and provide any help they can.  It's a lot of fun to have them around.  
We did a service project at one of our members’ houses this past week, (not the one that there's a picture of...).  He's 80 years old, and when he was about 55 he took a 13 meter fall at the factory, and he's never been the same since.  He lives with his wife in a 3 meter x 4 meter room, and he is a hoarder.  That room was so full they were sleeping outside.  So we went and helped him clean out about half of his stuff, so we could put a bed in.  We were going to clean it all out, but he didn't want us to.  He was shy because there was just so much stuff and he didn't want everyone to see it.  So we got the bed in, and hopefully that'll make a difference, we're going to stop by tomorrow and see how things are going.  Hopefully we can continue to serve him.
I think that's about it.  Life is pretty much the same.  
Love,  Elder Heiner
A service project.  Installing Sister Y's new door frame.
A family we visited with the mission couple,
Elder and Sister Anderson.
Me and Elder Wills
All the Elders at Zone Conference.

Monday, July 14, 2014

July 14, 2014

Dear everyone,
This week has been pretty dang normal.  We didn't leave the city, although we did do splits with the East Surabaya district.  I went out with Elder Simanungkalit, which was cool because I've been to his house in Tangerang.  Only in Indonesia...  
Other than that, things have been pretty low key.  Trying to work everything in is a bit of a trick, but I'm still loving it.
Luke asked what I’ve been eating.  It all seems so normal I don’t even think about it.   I have been eating mini bananas and toast with peanut butter and jelly for breakfast, for lunch I usually eat rice with either "pecel ayam" or "sop sayur."  Pecel ayam is chicken, veggies, and peanut sauce, and sop sayur is a veggies and broth and I usually get tofu and tempe with that.  For dinner, I eat fried rice, or tofu and eggs and rice with peanut sauce, or sate, which is chicken kabobs with peanut sauce, or I eat fried chicken and tofu and tempe, or if there's something else I want, then I'll get that.  I guess I eat a lot of peanut sauce.  But I never eat ramen because ramen here is full of MSG and makes me sick.
All the new missionaries coming are now using shoulder bags and I did decide to go the shoulder bag route also, it just seemed more effective for proselyting, and it really is.  I like it better, except if it's too heavy it kind of hurts my back.  So I just keep it light.  I bought it a couple weeks ago, well, maybe a month...  I forget the time.
My mom requested that I send a gospel message, something that we taught or that I studied.  Because of my missionary memory (that is to say, if it's not in the Area Book, I don't remember it, and if I don't have the Area Book, I don't remember anything), I guess I'll share from what I studied this morning.  I read from the Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: David O. McKay, and I read about reverence.  I think it's a principle that I have misunderstood.  I remember the primary song, "reverence is more than just quietly sitting" but I don't think it ever really made sense.  President McKay really made it clear that we need to be a reverent people, which is something President Spencer W. Kimball spoke of in his book, too.  We should be an example for the people around us in respecting those things that are of a spiritual nature, and that will help us to be more humble, more personable, and be able to feel the spirit better.  It's something that I should really work on, and that I think we all could get better at.  Reverence isn't just for the sacrament meeting room, although we must be reverent there, it really is the way we center our life on the Savior.  As he becomes the focus of our lives, we will have the utmost respect for Him and His teachings, His servants, and His children, and it will bring happiness into our lives.  That's not to say that we only have to be reverent, but that it is one thing that we must do.  Also, one of the excitements of an Elder's life is seeing what English study materials are at the house you are currently living in, and here we have a 15 year old copy of "the life and teachings of Jesus Christ and the apostles," an institute manual that is probably out of print.  I finished the gospels yesterday, so that was really good to look at the life of Christ again.
I love you, thanks for all the support and prayers!  Elder Heiner
Me and Elder M.  The view from the Anderson's 18th
floor apartment.
The rare motorcycle/pick up truck half breed.
Now if only I could figure out how to get this to America.
Look, it's a rice field!
A statue in town.
I'm not really positive what this is
but it looked cool.

Monday, July 7, 2014

July 7, 2014

Dear everyone, 
So, it's been pretty much 2 weeks since I've said anything about life as a missionary, so you'd think that I have lot to say...  Well, that's kind of right.  One of the cool things was that last week was Missionary Leadership Council (MLC) so I got to go to Jakarta, that’s where I emailed from last week.  We did p-day over there too, and for that, we watched “The Lego Movie.”  It was the best non-church movie I've seen in over a year.  Man, I laughed so hard.  It was probably a strange sight to see, all the missionary leadership in Indonesia plus the regular missionaries in Jakarta sitting around the mission president's TV and watching a bunch of stop motion Legos.  But it was so dang good.  Then Tuesday was the meeting, and President has a couple of changes, most of which are pretty lame from the outside world but great for us, so I won't bother talking about that.
One of the big changes is that we're using Facebook to proselyte!  Please don't try to look me up, I can't receive your friend request, and it's not even me.  It's a page for the zone leaders in East Java, so when I move, I won't be on it, but the page will be up.  It's all in Indonesian, and we just post stuff from LDS.org and chat with everyone.  I even sent you the only picture with me in it.  But it's cool, and we have 5 hours a week to use Facebook, and so far it's been pretty cool.  We're still finding people to befriend, but it's fun.  
At church, it's pretty much the same as other areas.  The lesson is from the same book, Joseph Fielding Smith or the Old Testament, or if it's Gospel principles, then the gospel principles book.  In priesthood quorum (we're still a district here, so there are no high priests), we always talk about doing our home teaching and we have to put the chairs away after meetings.  The church is the same wherever you go.  Only the language is different.   It's important that we go, and there are plenty of good speakers, too.  I love going to church.  Plus, without it, I wouldn't be able to tell which day was Sunday.
We went to Malang last week, and I did splits with Elder Siahaan.  He's from Bogor, and he's brand new, and we had a great time.  I really enjoy doing splits, I learn a lot from everyone.  
We had Zone Conference this last Friday, and I was the one conducting...  It's a little different from the front, but still fun. The main point is that we tell everyone what we talked about in our MLC meeting, and then we give a little lesson.  It really was great, but we missed the Williams.  They're the Malang mission couple, and they went home a week ago.  It was sad, but there's a season for everything, I guess.  They were really great people.  It's kind of sad because they were there when I was brand new, and now they're home, and before too long, everyone who was in the mission field when I got here will be gone.  That's a strange feeling.  But there's a season for everything, I guess. 
I know you’ve celebrated the 4th, we've had a lot of fireworks here, too.  It's the start of Ramadan, so there are a lot of people who like to celebrate.   For fun today, we're going to go to a mall and find some t-shirts.  It sounds pretty lame, but it'll be good.  There's a soccer team here in Surabaya, and the fans are called "boneks" (pronounced Bow-neck, bow like bow and arrow).  So we want a shirt. 
I'm out of time so I'll try to get to mom's other questions next time around.  Things are pretty good here, I'm still enjoying life.  Healthy and all that.  I love you!
Elder Heiner
Me at a college campus in Malang.
Me at Monas in Jakarta.  This is the national
monument for Indonesia.  It is in a big park.
Our Facebook Picture.
Me and some deer in Surabaya.
I found this sign quite funny.
Elders Wills, Lie, Anderson, Marsudi, and Heiner
Food pics... Dove
Stingray.  No worries, I didn't get sick.