Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Selamat Paskah!! (Happy Easter!!)

Hello Family!!

Welcome to another letter from the Indonesian Missionary!! I know it is your favorite part of your week... at least until you get a Californian Missionary then I will have someone to compete with, but I know my letters will be a bit wittier. I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter! As for me, I think one thing I will have to get used to with living in a mainly Muslim country is that Christian Holidays are not that big of deal, actually no deal at all. Even for the members (The sacrament meeting talks in the Indonesian Branch I went to were on Prophets). Pretty much I would've had no idea it was Easter if I didn't go to the English Branch and hear them tell me Happy Easter. Still it wasn't too big of deal, which was a little sad to me and made me miss home a little, but I got over it and just kept going.

In answer to the question about Mother's Day. I've arranged with a Senior Missionary couple that are here in Jakarta to use their skype to call home. I'm very excited to be able to see and talk to y’all. I'm planning on calling about 7:30 at night our time on Mother's Day which is 7:30 in the morning Texas time, Sunday morning. I hope that is ok and that I am worth getting up a little bit early to talk to me. But that's what happens when I live on the other side of the world. Is that ok? I hope so or I don't know what else to do. Umm... the couple's name is Elder and Sister Meredith and their Skype name is melvinmuriel. They should be emailing you more specific information about their skype so that y'all can become contacts before Mother's Day. Now the trick is that y’all are online and ready at that time so that I can call you. No sleeping in!!!

I am glad that everyone had a great week in Atlanta and I hope that things go even better in Houston this weekend. I'm sad I won't be there with you Bevan but will pray for you and know that I am there in Spirit. We can go to the temple in a little over two years as returned missionaries... Deal?

Well the highlight of this week was another baptism. It is pretty rare for a companionship to get two baptisms here in Indonesia, let alone right in a row. So I've been warned not to get too used to it, but it is has definitely been a blessing for me to witness here so far. Pak Jusuf was baptized and was so excited to become a member of this church. It was a wonderful baptism and the spirit was quite strong during it. He was baptized by the Branch President who told us that his son, who is a missionary here in Indonesia, also was baptizing an investigator on that day. He was so pleased to baptize someone on the same day as his son. I think Dad and Bevan should make that a goal during Bevan's mission. It would just me too adorable!!

Pak Jusuf and I both are hoping and continue to work with his wife, Ibu Yana, and children Gama and Hiskia (who the elders are teaching) will follow suit. Ibu Yana would love to be baptized, but is still not ready for keep the Sabbath Day Holy and change her work schedule or just quit her job altogether. We as missionaries are fasting for her on Sunday, I know I don't even have to ask, but it would be great if y’all would join in also and help increase her faith.

Riyanti decided to get baptized this week. We asked her to commit to a date in the middle of May, but she wanted to push it back to June 5. The reason she gave is that June 5 is a much more memorable date and she wants to be sure she always remembers it. I guess that makes sense, but I hope that really is the only answer. She is doing great and really is ready to be baptized.

Allena is still struggling a little. She was able to find another job this week, which is great but made her even more busy so she can't meet with us too much now. She has tried to stop smoking but hasn't been too successful yet, but she came with us to a relief society party on Friday and was able to make friends and meet a lot of women in the church. It was fun to see that.

This week we started teaching Ibu Sri, she is the housekeeper for Elder Subandryo, who is the area 70 here in Indonesia, which is kind of cool. She is a cute, shriveled old Indonesian lady (all of those are meant as compliments) who has come to church the past two weeks and feels great love in the church and told us she definitely feels different when she comes to this church. Let's hope that she continues to progress and have the desire to learn.

Saturday was fun because two of the church historians came to Indonesia and gave two firesides, one just to the missionaries and another for all the members, about church history. We got to ask questions about church history and hear some cool stories. It was really fun to attend and learn. The funniest is that I guess here in Indonesia a documentary just came out about Warren Jeffs, Polygamy, and the FLDS church which put the real LDS church in a bad light. During the general session there were quite a bit of questions on polygamy and what was going on with that church. I felt like I was back in high school when all of this was really going on answering all those questions.

My funny story of the week: So we teach English to little kids a couple times a week. It is definitely one of my favorite times of the week. So this week while we were teaching about numbers a little girl raises her hand and says: "Sister Blake, you look just like Harry Potter." Of course that was in Indonesian and at first I thought I didn't hear her right, because I'm still learning, but my companion confirmed that that is what she said. I'm still quite perplexed and don't understand, but apparently I look like Harry Potter!!!!

Thanks for being a wonderful family and supporting me so much during this adventure of mine. It is definitely the hardest thing I have ever done in my life and there are times when I don't know how I can go on, but the Lord is always there to strengthen me and help me and keep me going. I owe Him so much and am so grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ and how it helps my life. I love you all!! Have a marvelous week and time at the temple.



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