Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Saya Sangat Suka Malang!! (I really like Malang!!)

Hey Family,

How are things going over there in the USA? As for things in East Java they are pretty good. Everything went smoothly with my transfer on Saturday. There was no hitchhiking involved, just one airplane ride from Jakarta to Malang. It was pretty exciting, even though the lady next to me had no interest in talking to me at all. But the nice thing was that even though my luggage was about 3 kilos overweight I didn't have to pay a single rupiah because I'm white. I think airlines in America should adopt that policy. It would make flying for me quite a bit easier. Even though it was a little stressful having to show my proof that I was actually allowed in this country to every single person, but I made it safe and sound and am now enjoying Malang. Yes, I got my package last Thursday. I loved it as did Sister Nababan. She was really touched that yall would think of her. I especially LOVED the Mavs shirt, and even though the box got searched by the mail people and I had to pay a $20 tax on the shirt I still wear it with pride. Maybe the Mavs champion shirt should just stay at home for the next year... just don't let anyone wear it.

Malang is great. It is situated in between three volcanos and we have to sweep each morning so our tile doesn't darken from the volcanic ash that is just in the air. It was nice to see that the sky was still blue and that clouds can be white... I had forgotten those two facts during my time in Jakarta. It definitely can get pretty chilly at night when the wind blows, but I would not say it is cold. I imagine that it is just a lot like Southern California. Just in Indonesia!! My compaion is Sister Tukijan and she is actually from about 2 hours outside of Malang. So she is pretty close to home. But she has a similar story with Sister Nababan. She joined the church about 10 years ago when she was 20 years old while living in Hong Kong. She has quite the amazing conversion story which all started with one pass along card. She converted from Islam and told the missionaries when she first met with them that she had no interest in learning about Jesus Christ, but she only wanted to know how Families can be together Forever. Kinda Funny. But she also has pretty much no family support since her family is all still Islam. But she is a great missionary and a hard worker. She also loves to cook and I think I'm going to gain back all the weight I lost in Jakarta while I'm with her. It is also nice because she forces us to speak Indonesian all the time. She can speak English enough that when I get stuck she can help me, but I'm pretty much in Indonesian mode. Hopefully it will help me learn a lot more and pretty fast.

As for investigators, we have a few that have baptisamal dates for July 10 which is pretty exciting. Ibu Sugiarto has been learning for while and has always wanted to get baptized but has always waited because she hoped that her kids would join her, but she decided to stop waiting and just get baptized. I actually haven't met her yet since she has been out of town, but I hear that she is great.

Another is Ibu Hanawati. She has been learning for about 6 years but her husband is a preacher in another church in town and he has never let her get baptized. But through a series of miraculous events, which included her getting cancer and branch members here donating blood when she needed it, her husband's heart was softened and gave permission to get baptized. He even asked for a book of mormon so he could see what's inside. Her two kids are also learning and what to get baptized but still have a little longer to go.

We also teach Ibu Wahyu (which actually is Indonesian for Revelation) she has three kids that were baptized a couple of years ago and she has recently started coming to church with them. We taught her yesterday and challenged her to read the Book of Mormon, she said she would. It is amazing to see how her kids have set such a good example for her that she has been given the desire to learn. Hopefully she keeps going on that path.

That's about it. The work is definitley a little slower here in Malang. The branch is pretty small with only about 50 or 60 members that come on a regular basis. We spend a lot of time looking for less active members and talking to people that way. You most definitley meet some crazy people that way, but it is great.

Here's a funny story, so I've definitley gotten a little tanner over the past three months being here, but I didn't think too much until I met a man in the branch and he asked where I was from. I said Texas and she said that he thought I was from Mexico because I looked like I was a latino. Either he has never really seen a latino ever or I've gotten pretty tan. I would say the first. But it was still kinda funny.

Thanks for all the thoughts and prayers this week. I have definitley felt them this week. I always feel your love with me and I am always grateful for it. I know this church is true and am so grateful for it in my life. I love you all and miss you! Have a great week!


P.S. I know you are reading this Melissa... I hope that you had a wonderful birthday last week!!!!!!! I also hope things are going well with your pregancy with your little girl. I still don't know what you are naming her so I'm still assuming Leah Palmer! Awesome!! Love ya!!!

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