It sounds like everyone has had a great week. It took me a couple minutes to get over the shock of Dad getting a nap, that is crazy!! It sounds like your life is getting a little less hectic. I guess that happens when you send almost every member of your family across the country, or world!! I'm glad that you enjoyed those pictures I sent home. This week I held a chicken. They are incredibly lightweight. I was surprised. And then I really wanted to eat it!! I enjoyed all the pictures that you sent me via blog. I almost didn't recognize Maren she had gotten so big. And Lillian's hair gets crazier and crazier in each picture I see. Holy Cow!! I'm glad Ezra and Viola are both doing good and had time to hang out together. Does school really start next week? That is crazy that summer is already over and even more crazy that Hansen is starting High School and Rebekah Middle school!! Good Luck everybody and be sure to let me know how everything goes. And just think if you were going to school in Indonesia you would already have been in school for a month and have to go to school on Saturdays and have to wear even worse uniforms. So be grateful!! And then I just wanna tell Malan that I am sad that I don't get an update on the latest Rangers happenings. I have no idea what is going on!! Just putting that out there!!!
So today is Indonesian Independence Day!! It had been quite the affair. Actually I feel a little jipped off because this year it falls right in the middle of Ramadan so it is not as crazy or exciting as usual. I won't ever get to see the celebration for real. Next year the last day of Ramadan, which is the second biggest day of the year here, falls on 17 Aug. I can't even imagine the parties that will be going on. I bet I will probably be able to hear it in America next year. But it has been quite the week leading up to the holiday. Actually it has been a little frustrating because everyone is busy and so we haven't been able to meet with them, but hopefully things will calm down soon and we can get back to the real work. Yesterday we spent part of the time celebrating at a block party-Indonesian style with our neighbors. Pretty much nothing like Block Parties in America. But I still got to meet some of the neighbors and explain to others what the random American was doing at an Indonesian Independence Day Party. Then today we've been at the church for the 6 hour Branch Party. It was quite the ordeal and really fun. The members here in Malang are really great and love to just have a good time. The only disappointment was that the nasi goreng (fried rice) cook-off didn't happen. It is really disappointing because the missionaries were gonna be the judges!! We were excited all week for it and it didn't happen. Probably the biggest disappointment of my mission so far!!
Like I said before things have been just a little busy with all our investigators lately because of this holiday so we haven't been able to meet with many of them so their isn't too much to report.
Pamela still hasn't been given permission to be baptized and has been really worried about not being a real member of the Branch but all the members have done a really good job helping here feel accepted and included while she waits. She is trying to be patient and mature about all this but that is really hard for her. We are now just kinda playing the waiting/praying game while her parents think about it all.
Yusi came to church this week and so did her younger sister Desi, which was really exciting. But we haven't been able to meet with either of them for about two weeks which has been really hard. We have tried to keep connected by sending text with scriptures to read and stuff like that but it has been hard, hopefully she is still doing good while she is so busy. We are hoping we will be able to meet with them this week.
Vito and Floren are doing good. They both came to church this week and attended all three hours and were more with the youth rather than their mom. Their mom has been doing better being calm and not forcing them and giving them time to sort things out on their own which has helped a lot. Vito actually defended the church to one of his teachers who was not saying good things about it, which is good and I believe a step in the right direction. With them the key has just been patience and letting them feel comfortable and not trying to force them and overtime things have gotten better.
Fifi is good. Her baby got pretty sick this week so she wasn't able to come to church. And she doesn't want to really start learning until her life settles down with everything going on which will be a few more weeks, which is understandable. But we still have contact with her and are helping her out little by little. She is really nice and sweet and her baby is adorable.
This week we got two really good contacts and they both seemed a little bit interested in hearing what we have to say which is exciting. So hopefully in the next week we have a few more investigators... Pray really hard!!!
Funny story for the week actually happened a couple of weeks ago, but I still think it is funny. So we were at the house of a less active family and this was the first time I had met them. So we were sitting there talking to them and the teenage girl asked me where I was from. I say America and shes gets really excited and asks if I know personally Justin Beiber. I say no. And she tells me that we are both from America and that because of that fact of course we would know each other. I smile and try really hard not to explain the fallacy in this girl's thinking and reasoning over the matter. That Justin Beiber is actually from Canada!! But she was really, really disappointed that I didn't know him. Poor Girl!!!
So this week I was reading some old GC talks and came across the one where President Monson asked us to pray for areas that aren't yet open to missionaries and areas where the church and missionary work doesn't have a strong influence. As I thought about this I thought about how really people just think this is for China and that is really what we are praying for, but then it hit me and this prayer is also for Indonesia!! And suddenly this commandment seemed a lot more personally. I would love to see the day when actual proselyting can happen in Indonesia and missionaries can be more open with how they talk to people. Now I don't know exactly how this can happen, but with Heavenly Father it can happen. He can preform miracles to help this work. I now am much more fervent in praying for what President Monson asked us to and I hope those of you at home are too. I love these people and want them to have the Gospel and know that Heavenly Father can help in that. I love you all and love this Gospel. Have a great week!! Love you!!