Monday, November 19, 2012

Semarang Week 2

An Indonesian father and his cute daughter.
She was so shy when I was taking a picture.

Hello from Semarang!

First off, I am very sorry that last time my email was so short. I did not manage my time very well, but hopefully I will be able to write a lot more now.

So, starting form last Monday, I will go day-to-day...

After I emailed on Monday, we went straight to the Church, and met the other Elders. The church has a separate building where we teach English, and it has a ping pong table! So we all played ping-pong for the rest of P-day, and played the piano a little. It was really fun! We are also allowed to watch certain approved movies, and so Elder Giolas and I watched, “The Best Two Years” in our house. It was really entertaining! Especially watching it as missionaries, it was much funnier, and a different experience for sure. So my first P-day here was good.

As part of our service this week, we taught English to a group of people from a hospital.  They were very funny and way nice. We taught them pronunciation and it was funny to listen to them.
On Tuesday, after our study times and getting ready, we went to a hospital to teach English. They were very nice to us, and they gave us a ton of food and drinks. The hospital was very cool as well. It was all basically outside, which was strange, but there were some very pretty gardens and fountains. We taught a group of nurses and helped them with pronunciation. It was really funny to hear them try to say all these difficult English sentences. They would always laugh super hard at some words that sounded funny to them. Afterwards, the manager took us out to eat, and said we did a good job. My companion and I then traveled to our appointments. One was not there, which is disappointing sometimes, because we bike so far to get there! But our next appointment was there and we were able to teach a little. They lived in a tiny house that I could barely sit in, and the guy we taught was wearing short-shorts and no shirt! To make things worse, he was in his 60's! Wow. But, he was very nice, and it was a positive lesson. After biking around, we went back to the church, and taught our regular English class. Many people showed up, and I taught about grammar. They were pretty confused, but at the end, they learned a lot. We then returned home!

This is my sunburn after only a few days here-crazy! It is just so hot.
The white spot is from my watch.
Wednesday was a pretty physically tough day for sure. We always work out right after we wake up, and it was super hot outside this day. So it was fairly rough. We then got ready, studied, and went to our first appointment. It was the furthest one we have ever had, and it was really hot! I love biking, but it sure is difficult sometimes! I got burned really badly (as seen in picture). What was really sad, is that once we got there, they were not there! Even though we called ahead. But we were able to visit with some members nearby, so it was not completely wasted. Our next appointment, which was closer to our house, was a Pentecostal, but her son is a member, and went on a mission, so she loves the Missionaries. We taught her, but she likes her church too much, so we just visited and shared a message. We asked her to say the prayer, and she gave one that was about 5 minutes long! It was crazy! She said some funny things that I could barely understand, like, "Thank you for these Elders, and I think their church is good, but I like mine better." It was really hard to not laugh at times like that, but it was good. The last appointment was a less active member who said he would not be active again unless he sees Jesus. We taught about faith, but he is pretty set in his views. By his home, there were some little kids that asked me to teach them an English song, and I taught them "Twinkle, twinkle little star" It was so cute to hear them sing it!

Thursday was pretty normal, but the one cool thing we did was go to a traditional market. There were tons of fruit and vegetable stands, and it was all very cheap and fresh! I bought some mangos, which were delicious, and my companion bought some things to make some spicy sauce. Everyone was staring at me a ton here, since they never see white people, especially in places like that. Another cool thing was the lesson we taught to a Christian who is fairly interested. We read 3 Nephi 11, when Christ comes to the Americas, and he liked it. The spirit was very strong in this lesson, and it was a good experience!  I hope he felt the same way.

The Zone Leaders came to our home on Friday, and they each went with one companionship. Ours had Elder Kuijampa, who is from Highland, and I knew his little brother from Jr. High. He was really nice, and it was fun to have him with us. Early in the morning, we all went to a food stand owned by a member, and helped him out for breakfast. He had a lot of customers, and they were so taken aback that white people were serving them! Usually it is the other way around for them. We helped serve food, and then he gave us a lot of the leftovers, so it was a great time. We then went to our appointments, which were also pretty far today. After we ate lunch, we went to a less active member, and he gave us a ton of food! We told him we already ate, but he would not accept that. The food was the spiciest I have ever had here, so it was pretty difficult, but I shoved it all down. I felt so sick! He was very nice, though. We then had English class again at the church, but it rained really hard, so not very many people came. The rain gets pretty crazy here; it rains every night, and sometimes it is really hard.

On Saturday, the Zone Leaders left in the morning, and it was a little sad, because we had such a fun time with them. The day before I put my white shirts in the laundry, since they were getting very dirty. When I got them out, and they were still super dirty! I had even put bleach in. But that is just how it is here I guess. Our first appointment was teaching Sister Joko, a new member about the Plan of Salvation. The lesson went really well, and I was able to be quite involved, even with the language. I am coming along in the language, but I still have a lot to learn! By this time in the week, I really started to notice the time going by faster.

Sunday was good, and church was also good. The members are really nice, and I am getting to know them very well. We had a few teaching appointments, and one referral contacted. He was very nice. He bought us a ton of food, and also, a pack of cigarettes! So we had to explain nicely how we don't smoke. He was really nice about it though, and we will probably teach them in the next couple of days. I also was able to cook some noodles by myself, and they weren't too bad! I am sure getting used to things here.

Well, that is all that happened this week! This coming week will be pretty fun, since we are going to KFC for thanksgiving! Just like my Dad did on his mission in Argentina. I am having a great time here, and it was great to email!

-Elder James 

There are a lot of cats running wild in Indonesia, but they are usually pretty ugly.  This is a kitten that didn't have a mother, so the family dog was nursing it! I missed a picture of it, but the dog didn't seem too happy to be nursing a cat!

This is the bamboo/tin house that a little member family lives in
(the cute little kids from the picture last week).

This was my lunch today, sate aium. It is SO good, but it does make me sick to my stomach. 
It costs about 15,000 rupia!
That is expensive here, but in American dollars it is only about $1.50.

We had a few questions to ask Elder James and 
these were his replies that he sent in a separate email:

{Do you hear the morning prayer calls? I hear that those are very hard to get used to at 5:00 a.m., or whatever time they start.}

I actually do not wake up for the prayer calls, but what does wake me up sometimes are the roosters! They make a ton of noise right at sunrise, which is around 4:50-5:00 am here! I have to wear earplugs sometimes. It is so funny, they are everywhere. However, at some points of the day, I hear at least 5 different mosques playing the music really loud. Its pretty crazy! They are everywhere. Just like LDS churches in Utah county!

{What do you miss most about the US?}

I do really miss clean streets, driving, and just feeling at home. I also miss milk, mountain dew, and a few other American foods. But I am adjusting well here, and getting used to it. I miss being with you guys the most for sure!

{We were curious what is in your typical lunch, like the one that you sent a picture of last week in the brown paper?}

Honestly, most of the time, I don't know! But usually I get these potato crisp things, which are long sticks, and then some type of vegetable, usually cucumber. Sometimes I add fish (which can be really sketchy) or fried chicken. I like to try different things, even though I don't know what they are! One time I got something, and it was really gross! I asked my companion, and he did not know the english word, so I pulled out my translator, and it was chicken intestines! It was pretty gross!

{The boys asked if Andrew ate the huge rats he killed.}

We did not eat the rats we killed, but you would be surprised by how many people here would. They are so resourceful, they would not throw anything to waste. Another funny thing to tell the kids, is there are tons of cats here! Just wild! The only thing is, they are the most ugly cats I have ever seen, and I stay as far away from them as possible. Don't want rabies!

{With so much rain, how are your shoes holding up? Are your feet staying dry?}

I actually left my dressy Eccos at the mission home on purpose, and I just have the ones spencer gave me. They are animals! They hold up so well, and water does not get in at all. Tell Spencer they are great!

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