Monday, August 18, 2014

Week 7 - First Email from Indonesia, Grateful for America, Heading to Solo

HELLO FAMILY!! I'M IN INDONESIA and I have the slightest clue what people say to me or what the heck is going on. To start off, we are still in Jakarta because before we head to our first areas, we must wait for something called a kitas. I believe we are going tomorrow for that. With that being said, my first area is in Solo Jeberas (I hope I spelled that right hahaha) and I leave Wednesday for that. I'm so excited. My temporary companion's name is Elder Sutarno and he is actually from Solo. When I get to Solo, my trainer will be Elder King. I've heard he's pretty cool so I will have to see. I've only been here not even a week and I love everything about it! The people are so nice and they call white people Bule, so when little kids are outside they start yelling it and following me practicing their English, it is really funny! In Jakarta you would probably kill me already for the things that we do hahahaha. First off, they take a two-lane road and turn it into 5-lanes and they really don't have traffic laws so to cross the street, you kind of just got to walk in the middle of the street and pick and choose where to run in front of cars. The first time that happened I was so scared! Now, it's just like everyday life. So, in Jakarta there is no middle class. It only has super super rich people or super super poor people. So I did go to the mall and buy a bag and a Indonesian to English translator that President Donald said we should buy! The malls here seriously put any mall in America to shame not even kidding. They are all like 6 floors jam packed with stores and in some of them there is like an ice skating rink or amusement park. They are so crazy. To get around in Jakarta, we walk or talk public transportation and boy let me tell you they don't care how full anything is, they continue to pile in there. In Solo and most other places I think they have bikes. I have a funny story. So, we were riding the busway back home one night and we got on the bus. At that point there were not that many people but every stop we picked people up and nobody was getting off. I'm like a giant to them all and underneath me there was just all these little Indonesians and the bus was probably 20 degrees hotter than normal. It was so crazy. 

I am so grateful for the things in America and honestly took them all for granted as I've come here and seen what they live with and in. It is so humbling to just say Selamat Pagi (Good morning) to them and see the biggest smile on their faces. Elder Sutarno and I have already taught a few lessons one of which was to a man guy named Derry. Derry has his baptism date set for September so I'll miss it, but the people here really really love smoking, drinking coffee, and drinking tea. He was really into drinking tea. We taught him the Word of Wisdom and it was the coolest thing to hear him say, "I really like drinking tea, but after coming to church today and becoming friends with you, I know this something I will do." He said he was going to quit cold turkey and that was so awesome.

The members in Jakarta are all really funny and when they say something I don't really know what they say. So they just laugh. This is the coolest thing I've ever done in my life.I watch people and just imagine what they would be like if they had the Gospel in their lives. 

I will say, everything is SUPER SUPER SUPER cheap! However, they have adjusted our missionary budget to be fair. Even with that we have a lot. We buy a lot of food off the street vendors and it puts like all American food to shame! 

I hope I included everything that's happened thus far in Indonesia. The time has taken a little time of getting used to but it's settling in. Crazy things happen everyday that make me thankful for America. One last thing, instead of basketball courts, they have futsol courts outside and they live and die soccer and futsol here. We've had the opportunity to play a few times already and it's a blast. Time is flying by, but I cannot wait for the day when I can understand the people and actually speak the language. That's my biggest challenge right now I think. I thank you all for your letters and all of your support. If you need anything, seek the Lord first he helps the most and then maybe talk to someone else. I love Elder Sutarno even though he is only my temporary companion and I love Indonesia and the people in it. Their smiles and desire just to talk to me are amazing. If you have any questions or anything lust let me know.

Sampai Nanti (Until later)

Elder Hayes

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