It sounds like it a quite an exciting week at home and I can't possibly keep track of where everyone is right now, but really that is ok. I'll just remember that y'all are somewhere in the USA and I am somewhere in Indonesia for the next year or so. I'm glad things are going well with Deborah and Jon moving and also with Ezra. Good luck Dad with just you and Malan at home. That sounds a little dangerous. Try and make some exotic meals for him to eat to help prepare him for his mission, something like mashed potatoes or turkey sandwiches with lettuce and tomato. I didn't eat too much weird food, but I did get served this absolutely disgusting green bean and coconut milk drink. I almost died!!! But I am getting good at not using my taste buds and just swallow. The most exciting thing was that we found a place that serves pork!! That is where we ate on Sunday to break our fast. (The irony did not escape me that we were eating pork to break our fast at the same time the Muslims were all breaking their fast for Ramadan.) Yeah it made me laugh.
Well I thought I would share with you a little bit of the wildlife of Indonesia. I've gotten quite a bit braver when it comes to animals. For instance I have gotten really good at killing cockroaches without even blinking an eye. I don't even need a little brother to do it for me!! But here are some of the pictures of all the animals I've seen.
Number One: Me holding a really, really big snake. I think it was a python but really I have no idea. This was quite awhile ago in Jakarta. And really all I remember is the guy who worked there kept wanting to put it on my shoulders. I was not for it at the time, but maybe if I went back now I could do it.
Here is me and a baby turtle. One P-day a bunch of missionaries went to an island off the coast of Jakarta (don't worry we got permission) and while we were there, there was a turtle breeding place. And because half of us were white they let us in and we got to hold all sorts of turtles. I enjoyed the little ones the best but there were some pretty large turtles there also.
Ok, so this isn't me, but an Elder in my district pretending to eat the little lizards that are EVERYWHERE here in Indonesia. The elders enjoy catching them and playing with them, but I have yet to have the desire to touch one. Maybe when I've been out a year. But literally they are everywhere, but they eat mosquitoes so that is pretty exciting. One time an elder catch one and kept it in his shirt pocket. It reminded me of Saved By the Bell and Slater with his friend the lizard. I laughed but no Indonesian ever got the connection, go figure.
Here I am with the monkey, Kliwon, that lives next to our house. He actually is pretty evil and it is a good thing he is chained up because he would probably attack us. But we feed him bananas quite often so maybe one day he will be our friend and we could give him a pass along card or maybe a Book of Mormon if we didn't think he would get offended.
The last one is me at the zoo last week here in Malang. The zoo was pretty cool and I'm pretty sure had the biggest collection of albino animals ever, including an albino raccoon. But they had parrots that we could hold. He was pretty awesome and kinda heavy, too many crackers I guess. HA! The zoo usually has baby tigers that you get to take pictures with and maybe hold if they are calm that day. I was pretty darn excited for that, but the tigers needed a rest and were not out when we went. I actually think that they were fasting for Ramadan and therefore just couldn't handle the stress of being out to display. Whatever the reason I'm still a little disappointed about it all.
Really from all this I have decided that Indonesia just has no laws about animal and human interaction. And whatever goes, goes. Because I'm pretty sure the snake, turtles, and parrot were just because I'm white and they don't actually do that. But whatever the reason, I enjoy the experience.
Well as for our investigators, Pamela is doing well. Her mother has said that she wants to see real improvement in Pamela and a real desire for her to actually commit to this church. Something that as missionaries we can support so we are working with Pamela on reading the Book of Mormon everyday, not just when she remembers. It has actually begun to work and she is changing little by little. Hopefully in the coming weeks she can keep improving and doing well.
Yusi didn't come to church this week. We were disappointed and don't quite know the reason. We are meeting with her on Friday and so hopefully we can help her.
Vito and Floren are still doing well but still feel like they are being pressured by their mother to get baptized and so don't want to get baptized. It is a little frustrating and we are working with Ibu Hanawati to calm down and let them gain a true and sincere testimony first before they get baptized. But in her mind they can get baptized first and then get the testimony afterwards. So in response, yes, we taught the third lesson about the Gospel of Jesus Christ to her.
This week we had something happen that almost shocked us. We had a former investigator, who learned with missionaries about two years ago but couldn't get baptized because she wasn't married legally, come to church and tell us that she is in the process of getting a divorce and wants to get baptized. (She was married through the church, not the government). We were both pretty excited about it, not the divorce that is sad, but the fact that she just showed up to church on Sunday and stayed the whole 3 hours. We are going over to her house tonight to meet and asses the situation. Her name is Fifi and has a pretty darling newborn baby. I'll keep you posted in the next coming weeks.
Well things are going well here. The work is hard in Indonesia and a little discouraging at times, but I'm learning that as long as I keep working and doing what I can they Lord can send miracles in the form of people who just come to church and say they want to learn and be baptized. I just have to do my part and let the Lord do the rest. This is his work so there is absolutely no better way to get it done.
And now for the funny story: So last week in English Class we learned about family so of course I brought a couple pictures of my family and showed y;all off. Here are some of the consensus from my class. One: Chris you are the most handsome, followed by Hansen. Two: Mom and Dad, apparently you look like my grandparents ... sorry!! Three: Sarah apparently looks like a boy. This one I can't figure out because she was wearing a bow. Four: They guessed that each brother and brother-in-law was my husband. This class can't believe that I am not married. I tell them I can't believe it either, but strange things happen occasionally. And then the Indonesian Elder asked if every single man in America was bald. It was quite the entertaining time!!
I love you all!! Have a great week!! Enjoy the last few weeks before school starts. Blog some more pictures of Ezra and Viola!! I love you all!!!