This week went by so fast that it was hard to believe it was time to write y'all again. It is hard to think of what I did to write in the letter. I'm glad to hear things are good in America and everything is going well with Deb and Jon moving up north. I hope everything goes well. Be sure to blog about you new digs so I can see it. I'm sorry to hear about Ezra. It came as a bit of a surprise to me but I know he will be fine and healthy. I am always praying for him (as with the rest of my family) and I am glad to know that he can go home. Keep holding up Simon and Annie. I am sure he is just scared that Maren is going to squish him with all her love when he goes home. It is a fright for most of us!!
So here in Western and Central Java there is a dialect called Javanese which was the main language until about 40 years ago when Indonesian became the national language and schools and all government things were done in Indonesian. So most people know Indonesian except the old people who refused to learn Indonesian and just wanted to stick with Indonesian. That's all fine and dandy except for the white person that is still trying to learn Indonesian and doesn't have time to learn another language. Let just say it is frustrating. Especially because it is the old people who usually freak out about my white skin so when you have an old lady following me around blubbering something that i don't understand, petting my white skin I decide i don't like Javanese. I've learned a few words and it is pretty hard, so I think I will just stick with Indonesian. There are actually quite a lot of dialects and most Indonesians know Indonesian and another language, but Javanese is most definitely the second most spoken language after Indonesian.
This week I had the fun pleasure of trying some good new food: duck and eel. Duck is actually really good, kinda expensive, I mean I spent about a dollar and ten cents on the meal. But I really, really liked it. It is kinda hard to eat with your hand (only one, because it is rude to use your left hand for anything so you have to eat rice and meat and everything else with one hand) but I'm learning. I plan on being a pro when I come home and teaching everyone how to eat rice with one hand. Eel on the other hard was not the best. It wasn't terrible but it was weird. From what I could tell they just took the eel out of the water, waited for it to die, and then fried it and gave it to me to eat. I tried not to look for it's eyes but I think I saw them. I don't know if I will ever try it again. But a happy memory and don't worry I got a picture. Sorry I forgot the card reader today, I'll try to remember next week.
I'm glad that you enjoyed the pictures I sent home last week. I hope they made it on to the blog and all have been able to see and enjoy. Are you still keeping up on my blog or was that lost about two months ago? And yes that was me that took money out of my account. I plan on using it to buy some fabric. It is really cheap here in Malang and I am pretty excited about it. Maybe I will buy something for y'all too... still no nativity mom, sorry. I could find you a nice al'koran or picture of a mosque if you want but nativity is proving to be a little bit harder. Sorry!!
Well the investigators are still doing good. The exciting thing was that Yusi finally came to church this week! We were very excited. She even brought a friend (who by the way was wearing a Texas sweatshirt. Crazy!) but then she has been in the middle of finals or something like that at school so we haven't been able to meet with her at all this week or talk to her at all about her experience so we are hoping that she still wants to come next week.
There wasn't a baptism at all this week, which was a little disappointing but at the same time has proven to be good to allow each of them a little more time to prepare. Pamela's parents really want to see a big change in her actions so that they know that this church is actually good for her, before they will let her be baptized. And that has proven difficult for the quite emotional 15 year old. Slowly though she is changing and it might take awhile but hopefully one day she will have permission to get baptized.
Vito and Floren aren't quite ready to get baptized. It is a hard situation because their mother is really pressuring them to get baptized and the more she pressures the more they don't want to learn and come to church. So we are working with Ibu Hanawati to try and get her to basically chill out and give them time, but that has also proven difficult. We are just trying to take it slow and work with these two teenagers also and not ruin the delicate situation with them. Over time I am sure they will come around, they are just acting like typical 15 and 16 year old. These teenagers!!!
Well now a funny story!! So we were teaching this less active lady and we were sharing a part from a conference talk from the last conference. We had the Liahona with us, the one with all the snowy pictures and everything. Well after the lesson she was looking through the Liahona and finally stops and says 'Sister Blake I have a question. Do all of the trees in America look this weird?" "Well what do you mean Sister," was my response. "Why don't they have any leaves and why are they all white?" She couldn't figure out the snow!!! She had just no idea what it was! Oh so funny!! But I guess to them who have lived in Malang Indonesia their whole lives and aren't that educated snow would be quite foreign. I try and tell them it is really not that exciting and pretty miserable and they don't believe me.
Well I hope everyone has a great week and I will be praying for Ezra all week. I hope everything will turn out ok. Of course it will with our Heavenly Father in control how could things not turn out ok. My testimony on that matter has certainly grown over my mission. Heavenly Father is always watching over us and all things are to help us learn and develop. I know and am so grateful that He loves us so much, each person in America, each person in Indonesia, each person everywhere. What a blessing!!! I love you all! Have a great week! Miss you!