Monday, November 12, 2012

Semarang Week 1

Apa Kabar orang-orang dalam Amerika Serikat! 
{What is news, people of the United States!}

Well, I am finally here in my first, official area! It feels really good to finally be at the place where I will be for some time. Because of traffic last Monday, we were not able to make our flight, so we got one for the next day, and we made it safely! 

The Indonesian Elders asleep on the bus.
Semarang is right on the coast, and it is beautiful. Although the city has a lot of poverty, and is fairly dirty, it is much cleaner than Jakarta, or any other city I have seen so far. I am happy to be here! When we first arrived in Semarang, the airport was tiny! We got our luggage, and waited for the Elders to pick us up. Everyone was staring at us, probably wondering what two white guys are doing in a very small town in Indonesia. The Elders then arrived in a taxi. They were both very nice! My companion is Elder Martoyo, and he is great. 

They then took us to the Elder's house. It was a lot nicer than what I was expecting! I picked out a bed, closet, and most important, a bike. Everywhere we travel here is by bike, and it is also really hot! So it is pretty hard sometimes on the body, but hopefully I will get used to it. 

This is the food we get almost every lunch here in Semarang.
It ranges between 3,000 and 7,000 rupia. (20-70 cents!) It is really good.
We ate that night at a favorite spot for all the Elders which serves Nasi Goreng. It is basically fried rice with a few vegetables and a fried egg. It was spicy, and really good! The best part of it was that it was 6,000 rupia, which is 60 cents! That night, I slept pretty well since our bedroom is the only room with AC, and I rested for a full day! 

The next morning, I woke up having had a good rest, and we went right to work. We all exercised for a little bit, and then we got ready. After getting ready, we all do our study times for about four hours. It went well. And then we go out into the field! Our companionship has had some great success lately, so we were pretty busy with appointments. We went to non-active members, new members, and investigators. All the people were so nice! This is how our days were for these past few days, and since I don't have very much more time left, I will tell you a few things that stood out this week. 

One event was a male member. We visited him because he had a problem smoking, and we were going to help him. I gave him a scripture: 2 Ne. 4:27-28 with a note that said "Kalau menggoda untuk merokok, membaca ini:" which means "if tempted to smoke, read this." It was a really good experience! 

These are two of the kids from a new member family, and they were so cute!
They were shy at first, but we pulled out some candy, and they came right over
Another was visiting the Joko family, who are the cute kids in the pictures I sent. They were so humble, and such great people!The members are also really great here, and they have really made me feel welcome. 

Our house is one of the nicest I have seen so far in the mission, and the city is a lot cleaner than others. (even though it is still pretty dirty) What has been the best is the people I teach. I will send you some pictures of them, but they are great. The kids are adorable! You would not believe the kind of houses they live in, and they are so happy! It truly is so humbling. We also bike every day, which is interesting. I will for sure lose a ton of weight! One funny story, we were about 30min. from our house, and it started POURING rain like it does almost every night, but we were out. And I didn't have a poncho yet (I do now)! It was insane. 

I really feel bad that I can't write more, but I am out of time! But I am having a busy, good time here, and I can't wait to tell all of you more about it!

-Elder James

This sweet man has been a member of the Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-Day Saints for 20 years!
The outside of our house.
The wall around our house has shards of glass all over it! 
I guess that means we are well protected! 
{Rick says they did that in Argentina as well.}
This is our bathroom! We actually have a toilet, but it does not flush, and no toilet paper...

A very common food here that everyone loves. I have not tried it yet, but will soon!
My companion, studying in our house.
My companion caught a lizard with teeth!
This is the view from a member's house. It is made of bamboo and tin.
Our chapel
Lunch after church with the ward members
What my shirt looked like after biking home in the rain!
This is the oldest man ever found, and he was found in Indonesia. 
This, of course, is not the actual one, but this was at the center of a mall, 
so I thought it was pretty cool.


  1. Two thoughts. I am very grateful for where I was born--WOW! Thought two. Andrew is going to be an amazing missionary-I love the enthusiasm he shows and his already strong love for the people.

    Thank you for starting my week off right!

  2. nice blog James! Come and visit again our country :)

  3. Let's come in semarang again, eat sego kucing :)