Monday, November 26, 2012

Semarang Week 3

Thanksgiving dinner at KFC was amazing!
Hey Everyone,

I sure hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! Since I have been here, I have truly realized how much we have, and how much we should be grateful for. I will never/should never complain about my house, my car, my job, really, anything in the United States. This has been so humbling for me. Many of the people here live so simply, yet they are so happy. It is great.

It was great to hear about all the good things you did in New York. Believe it or not, I completely understand the kind of things you saw. When it rains here, which it does almost every night, homes flood, and there is trash everywhere. You would not believe how some people live. I see people on the side of the street in their later years, completely naked, or wearing very little. It is pretty sad, but also very humbling. It reminds us of what we have, as I'm sure it did for you in New York.

This week has been good. The KFC trip was a lot of fun, and I have been doing a lot better with the language. The culture is very different, and I am for sure still getting used to that, but it is a lot of fun. It is starting to go by faster and faster, and I know that if I continue to work hard, I will do fine! I sure do love the members here, too. They are so loving, and I feel very welcome at church! It is for sure a different experience, since they are much more loud and talkative during sacrament meeting, which is strange, but it is so great. As I said before, they eat after each meeting, and the food is amazing!

Here is a little day to day account of what went on this week:

Starting with last Monday, after I sent my email, we ate dinner and then returned home. While at home, we all just relaxed and talked. It was really strange to be relaxing so much, since we work so hard all the time. We also watched 'The Other Side of Heaven' which was a lot of fun. It's especially cool because it is the story of my Mission President's brother. We ate, talked, and had a good time. I slept like a baby that night.

Tuesday was a pretty normal day. After our study times, we got food at our regular spot, and ate at the church. I was adventurous, and got a little bit of sambel (spicy sauce) with my meal. Right when I took my first bite, I regretted it. My mouth was on fire! And it was only a little bit! We then went to Brother Bambam's house, since he didn't come to church. He was really sick, so we gave him a blessing. It was a good experience. He has a lot of faith. Later on, we taught English at the hospital again, which was fun. They are improving for sure, and it was cool to see progress. We had our regular English class at 7:00, and a lot of people showed up. We talked about our favorite movies, and one girl was talking about Skyfall! I was pretty upset, and tried not to listen. In two years I will see it!

Bubur, a rice porridge that is eaten for breakfast.
On Wednesday, in the morning, I wanted to get something different, and so I went to the nearest food stand, and got whatever it had. It was Bubur, a rice porridge, and it immediately became my favorite food. (See picture) It had chicken and a bunch of other stuff in it. I love it, but it does make me pretty sick to my stomach. However, it is so worth the pain. Since it made me a little sick, I wasn't hungry for lunch. Because Brother Bambam was sick yesterday, we took him some bread. He was so grateful! He had not eaten in three days, and looked pretty ill. We then had another English teaching appointment at a hotel. They were much more advanced in their speaking, and we taught them about tenses. I then realized how difficult English must be as a second language. In Indonesian, there are no tenses, and so the students were having a hard time understanding. But we were able to help.

Thursday was Thanksgiving, of course, but it was a bit different here. Every Thursday we have a weekly planning session, and this one went well. We were able to plan everything that we needed to do. The main point of the day, however, was our Thanksgiving meal. We went to KFC, and bought a ton of food! Places like KFC, McDonald's, and Pizza Hut, are the nicest places here! It is pretty strange. They are also the most expensive, but for all the food and drinks we got, it was 22$. So Elder Giolas and I split it, so it was 11$ each. Crazy! It was a great meal, though, and I will remember it forever.

Friday was a fun day as well. We did service for a member, and it was really early. But it was fun. The rest of the day was pretty normal, and we had a lot of teaching appointments. It rained pretty hard that night, which made biking a bit crazy.

Saturday was a physically hard day for sure. We had appointments that were very far away. It was extremely busy, and we were able to teach a lot of lessons. For one lesson, we watched the Testaments, and the person we watched it with liked it a lot. It was a spiritual experience for sure. It is so great when we use resources like DVDs. It helps the investigators understand so much better.

Sunday was a lot of fun. We were able to have the Senior Missionaries come over to inspect our home. Nothing was wrong, and we were able to talk with them. It was very strange to see a white, older couple here in Indonesia. They work mostly with family history, and they help people with the Church computer system. They also brought us doughnuts, which was really great. Church was good, since we had two of our investigators come, and I think they had a good experience. We ate afterwards, as always, and the food was amazing. The members are so nice! They gave us a ton of food. Later on, we had a few lessons, and it started pouring rain again. We got home before it got too bad though. All in all it was a very good week!

Well, I am doing great here, and I am learning lots. My testimony is growing every day, and I am so happy to be serving here in Indonesia. I wish you all the best!

-Elder James

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