Monday, June 10, 2013

Bekasi Week 4

Hello again from Bekasi, Indonesia

I have really begun to get used to this city this past week. I am learning how to get around and how to relate to the people here more. Even the language is different in some ways here in West Java. Such as for me and you. In Central Java, they use 'aku' and 'kamu' or 'saya' and 'anda'. But here, instead of aku and kamu, they use 'gue' and 'lu'. It took a while to recognize that, but now it makes sense! The Missionary work is pretty slow here, but my companion and I are working really hard to find people to teach. Here are a few cool things that happened this week.

Last Monday, for our P-day activity, we played soccer at the church in Jakarta. That is why my email last week was short. Many of the Missionaries from West Java came, and we played for almost three hours! 

I sure am getting much better at soccer, even though I am not even close to some of the Indonesian Elders. Many Missionaries, including me, got a little sick because we played so hard and did not drink enough. But I am feeling much better now. 

I remember in Solo and Semarang it was hard because we would bike really far for an appointment, and then they would not be there. That happenes here a lot as well. But here, we take public transportation. We mostly ride 'Angkots' which I have explained before, but now I have a picture! They usually cost between 20 and 50 cents depending how far you go. I do get ripped off often because I am white, but I have gotten used to that. 

The traffic can be really bad most days depending on the time, so we are sometimes sitting in these angkots for two hours or more. The positive side is that we are able to contact many people this way. With riding bikes, it is hard to talk to everyone. But here, we can!

This past week we were able to meet with the Bishop in my ward and his family. When we first arrived, his wife brought out Pizza and soda. I thought that was dinner, and I was so hungry, so I ate a ton. After we talked with the Bishop for a while on how we can help the ward, his wife came back and talked with us. After visiting for a bit, she asked us if we were ready to eat. I looked across the room at the dinner table, and she had prepared a huge meal! The pizza was an appetizer! I could not believe it. We said a prayer, and then ate again. I was about to die going out of their house! They are a great family, and I am glad to serve in this ward. 

We actually went to Jakarta twice this week, because on Friday we had our monthly Zone Training meeting as usual. We left by train, which is the fastest way because it avoids traffic. President had a few interviews before the meeting, and so we all talked and ate Sister Groberg's cookies while waiting. Then the meeting began, and President came which usually does not happen, but since he is leaving this month, he wanted to say a few words. He gave some great advice, and I am so grateful for his great influence on all of us Missinoaries. When the meeting was finished, we all ate at McDonalds and then returned to our individual cities. 

Another member I was able to visit this past week was the family of Elder Hasibuan. I went on exchanges with Elder Mongan, and we went to their house. They made a ton of food, and we talked about how Elder Hasibuan is doing. They were so nice to us, and made us eat a ton. I think I have gained some weight this week from eating so much! 

Well, I hope all of you are doing well. I sure am learning a ton on this Mission. I was thinking the other day about the power of the Priesthood. It has been such a blessing to me and my family, and I really want others to find the same joy. With the power of the Priesthood, we have no reason to fear the things of the world. If we are righteous and worthy, that great power will always protect us. I miss all of you, and I will talk to you next week! 

-Elder James

Picking up some food

Waiting for our train

English class with some little kids

Riding the train that is jam-packed with just fans on the top. It was so hot!
We had our Zone Meeting in Jakarta, so we travelled there.

Elder Mulyono sweeping

At Zone Conference

Sister Suwarsid

Here are some homeless people on the street. There are a ton of them here.
Little kids without homes or families are everywhere-it's so sad!

Food Sister Hasibuan (Elder Hasibuan's mom) prepared for me and
 Elder Mongan when we were on exchanges

Elder Hasibuan's family

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