Monday, October 21, 2013

Yogyakarta Week 9

Hello from the hottest place on the planet!

Honestly, this week has been so hot; I think I have lost my sanity. The temperature has been in the 100s and a little below, which does not seem too bad, but with the humidity here, it is pretty crazy. This is also the first house I have been in without AC, and all I use is a very small fan. I don't think I have ever sweat as much in my entire life! I sure love biking here, but in the heat, it can be very difficult. Bu I still had a really good week, and there are a lot of changes happening soon! I can't believe that it has already been almost one year since I first came into Indonesia! Here are some cool things that happened from this past week.

For P-day last week, we went to a member's home for their daughter's birthday party. They live really far away in a city called Klaten, but Jogja is the nearest church to them. They are super active, coming to every activity even though it takes two hours for them to ride their scooter to the church. Their teenage son has never missed a day of Seminary. That should leave no excuse for those of you who make excuses about coming to Seminary when it is so easy! Their family lives with very little, but they have so much love and happiness in their home. Many members came, and we had a great time.

This is just before the yearly sacrifice for the Islam religion.
This little boy was looking at the goats that would be sacrificed.
The yearly day of sacrifice for the Islam religion was this past Tuesday, and I had the chance to watch it at a Mosque close to our home. All the people there were very nice to us, and excited that I wanted to learn about their culture. They sacrificed both goats and cows, and there was a very specific way of doing it with certain words and procedures. It was pretty gory, and I did not send the gruesome pictures I took, so don't worry. 

They gave the meat to people around the neighborhood, and we were given some. Unfortunately, we were not home when they brought it, so they left it packaged. When we got home, it was covered in ants, but we still wanted to try and cook the meat. We boiled it for a long time, and added some simple spices. It was not that tasty, but I was proud that I cooked it myself! You won't get that kind of experience in America!

At a member's house for a birthday party
The Sister Trainers were here in Jogja last week to do exchanges with the Sisters here. They were both in Jogja when I got here, and it was great to see them again. Sister Baantjer and Sister Manullang make great leaders. We all ate together at our favorite 'Pecel Lele' place, and had a great time. It was funny to have six Sisters and only two Elders! I think that is pretty rare here, but with the amount of Sister Missionaries coming in, I think that will become more common. 

We always called Sister Baantjer our 'mom' when she was here because she would always be concerned for everyone, and help with everything. I miss having them both in our District!

On the bus to Stake Conference in Solo
We went to Stake conference this past Saturday, and it was held in Solo. It was really cool to see everyone that I knew from both Solo and Semarang. I was so surprised that they all remembered me, and everything that happened. I will be so sad when I leave Central Java. We listened to the leaders from the Stake, and then took a bus back to Jogja with all the members. We did not get back to Jogja until 11pm, which was pretty late, and when we got home, we went right to bed.

Dinner at Papa Ron's Pizza & saying goodbye to Elder Kusumarmanto
My beloved companion, Elder Kusumarmanto was called this past week, and will be moving to Jakarta, becoming the District Leader there. My new companion will be Elder Sadiono, who is brand new. It will be my first time training, and I am very excited to get to work. I will be going to Jakarta with Elder Kusumarmanto tomorrow, and stay there for a few days while I get my Kitas (identification) renewed, and go to a few meetings. I will really miss Elder Kusumarmanto. He is a great person, and probably my favorite companion! The Barnards are also returning home to Australia tomorrow, and the ward here will really miss them. This has been their second Mission in Indonesia.

Our awesome district before Elder Kusumarmanto and Barnards go home
I have loved serving here, and I know that as I respect and love the people, I will continue to find success and joy. I am so happy to be serving at a time where the Lord is hastening his work, and bringing blessings to all his children. I hope everyone else feels the same way! I will email again soon! Goodbye!

-Elder James

The Muslim Priest that was responsible for sacrificing the animals

A woman dressed in traditional Javanese clothing 
We went into this store to escape the heat.
We found the section of ties, and the AC was right above them!
We thought that it must have been strategically placed for us missionaries!

My tasty noodles with seafood

Playing tennis for P-day near the sisters' home. It was really fun, but very hot!
I'm not very good at tennis but had a great time.

Sisters at Papa Rons, saying goodbye to Elder Kusumarmanto

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