Holley mentioned that a gentleman from the ward passed away. This must be at his funeral.
With other Indonesian missionaries and members.
This is the ancient Hindu temple Prambanan.
Hello everyone! It's been a bit of an exciting week here in Jogja. Sister Nainggolan got ran over by a motor (AKA a motor scooter) on Thursday!! We were on our way to an investigator and stopped at a newly red light. The motorist wanted to go through, but didn't see Sister Nainggolan as he was going around the car behind her, and crashed into her. They both fell. There were 3 people on the motor, one of them was a 3 year old little girl. Her leg had a big scrape on it and she was crying. Sister Nainggolan got some deep scrapes on her leg and her her lower back. We went to the hospital in a police car. Luckily Sister Nainggolan wasn't hurt too badly, it's just really hard for her to walk. Her bike is pretty much dead, too. That was the one I was going to inherit when she transfers next week, too! But that doesn't matter, all that matters is that Sister Nainggolan is ok. I wasn't close to the crash. I got stuck behind some slower traffic, so I saw them crash as I was trying to catch up. Sister Antonio didn't get hurt either, but saw the whole thing happen because she was right next to Sis. Nainggolan at the stoplight. Because of that, we've ridden in taxi's and becak's since Thursday, which is nice because we don't have to ride our bikes, but also bad because now we don't have any money! But all is well now.
This was taken just a few minutes before we left our house on Thursday, the day Sister Nainggolan got hit. Things happen so quickly, we never saw it coming!
We found Christmas decorations in the closet, and then got peanut butter as a Christmas present, Christmas miracles do happen, folks!
Having a wonderful Christmas in the heat, humidity, and rain!
Riding in a becak on our way to the internet cafe to email.
INDONESIAN TIDBIT #3
People in Indonesia don't use forks like Americans do. They eat rice and chicken and everything, pretty much, with a spoon. Sometimes I still find myself accidentally using a fork out of habit, but I'm slowly training myself to eat everything with a spoon.
INDONESIAN TIDBIT #4
In Indonesia, they don't use toilet paper. It doesn't agree with their sewage system, from what everyone tells me. So, we use a hose instead. I don't know how I feel about that yet, but will except it. At least in our house we have a toilet and shower, not a hole in the ground for a toilet and a bucket of water for a howler, like most of the missionaries have.
This week is Christmas, remember what Jesus has done for you, personally. Her loves you more than you will ever know and I invite you to discover how He has blessed your life through study and prayer. I have done that throughout this December and I have gained a more personal relationship to Christ, it's really helped me!
It's been a super fast week here in Jogja, I can't believe how fast time flies when your on a mission! We've talked to many people and gone to many homes. It's rained a lot and been very hot. This week went went to Mission Tour, where a a general authority comes and gives us a lesson for a few hours. It was in Solo, a city about an hour train ride East. He talked to us about teaching according to what people need, not just teaching them what we want or what is needed for them to be baptised. They're actual people, not just someone to check off a list, like sometimes we as missionaries forget. It was really good, and it was nice meeting the other missionaries in my zone. I got to talk to Sister Kaleopa, who just barely left the MTC when I came in. She's so cool, we both wish we could have been at the MTC at the same time so that we could learn together. Both of us were solo's, but it's ok, we're both here and we're both awesome.
I'm starting to adjust little by little. This has probably been the hardest week so far. I've been having a really hard time, but I think I'm finally starting to get the hang of things. I'm learning how to be a better teacher and how to rely more on God. I can talk to an Indonesian without constantly looking to my companions to translate. I'm finally starting to have faith in myself again and know that everything will work out. I've struggled, but I will love it here, I will love the people and my companions and my language. Everyday all of that get's better.
When it rains and we're still home, we don't go out. I haven't quite figured out why, but we just chill out until it stops raining. So, a couple days ago, as we were about to go out to a less-active member's home, it started to pour. We waited and it didn't stop, so we pulled out the mattresses and took a nap in the front room. It was glorious.
Despite there being not much Christmas in Jogja, the malls are taking advantage of the holiday. We teach one of our investigators in the mall. They put on Christmas music and have a big Christmas tree in from and apparently Santa on stilts. Mostly only stores have the Christmas spirit. When we went to the local grocery store they had a Josh Groban album going off. I almost died when "I'll Be Home For Christmas" came on, but it's ok, I'll survive. It was nice to here the angelic voice of JG, though. Haha! I'll miss all you guys on Christmas, I hope you all have a wonderful time, where ever you are. Whether it be Utah or Armenia or Georgia or Finland or Hungary or Lithuania or Latvia or Madagascar or Texas or Idaho or wherever. Have a great Christmas, only 2 weeks left!
This is my first Mac-and-Cheese after my infamous 7-Days-Straight-Of-Mac-and-Cheese Marathon right before I entered the MTC. It tasted a little weird, but it's ok, it was good enough for Sister Stringham. I'm learning that Indonesian food products are a little sketchy. Don't try to Chocolate Jello!
Just a normal day in Jogja. We were on our way to a member's house when we got stuck in traffic. Yep, not much else to say. My companions thought it was weird that I was taking a picture of the traffic, because it's so normal for them.
INDONESIAN TIDBIT #1
The sun comes up at 6:00 a.m. and goes down at 6:00 p.m. It was weird for me to get used to when I first got here. Almost a quarter of our day is spent after sundown. When we wake up at 6:30 it feels like noon.
INDONESIAN TIDBIT #2
Everyone pretty much rides scooters. If you want to understand more, watch Studio C's '2Guys on a scooter" on youtube. That's pretty much how it is here. Not only does everyone ride a scooter, but they also carry crazy things on them too. This week, I saw some weird stuff. One guy had these 2 baskets hanging off of his scooter with 3 or 4 pretty big rabbits in each one. Like, as big as Easter (my rabbit I had as a kid). Yesterday I saw the same type of thing, a guy was riding in front of me with a big cage thing around the back of his scooter with oh, maybe 15 live chickens just chillin' out in it. Fun times in Indonesia...
Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not
walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
This week I had an experience that has stuck with me. As we were riding to a member's house quite a ways a way, it started to rain. Hard. And the sun had gone down. I could barely see. My glasses were blurry because of the water. It was dark. I didn't know where we were going. I could only see Sister Nainggolan's reflector strip on the back of her dark poncho. It was the only thing I could follow to know where to go. Sometime I couldn't see her, she was too far ahead or it was too dark. Sometimes I could see her silhouette when a car came by, sometimes I was right behind her and could see her perfectly. I kept thinking to myself, just find Sister Nainggolan's reflector strip and you'll know where to go. This is like us. We don't know where we're going in life, we're surrounded by darkness and danger, both physical and spiritual. But, if we are always searching for the light, if we are always searching for the Savior, we'll make it to where we need to be, we will be safe from falling off the road or making a wrong turn and getting lost, or whatever terrible thing could happen. I was certain I was gonna get run over or get caught in the river that was forming in the road. But, I followed the light, though dim, and made it to the member's house. I was drenched and tired, but ok. Saya tidak mati!
Well, I've officially been on my mission for 2 WHOLE MONTHS!!! Can you believe it?!?! I've definitely had my ups and downs, but it has definitely been worth it, every second of it. This week, these last two months, have gone by so fast. It feels like just yesterday I was writing my first email home.
This week has been one of the hardest weeks of my life. I've struggled with understanding, with speaking to people, with teaching, with believing in myself. I prayed so hard this week that I could feel better. I constantly had this weight on my chest that wouldn't go away, I've been miserable here, ever since I got here. But, my prayers were answered a few days ago, I just started feeling better about myself and why I am here. I started to have a better attitude and actually enjoy being here. I know this mission is not going to be easy. I know I'm never going to be a perfect missionary, I know talking to people will probably never be easy for me, whether I know their language or not. But none of that matters- if I'm perfect. As long as I try my hardest it will work out for the best. As long as I have hope and faith, the Lord will take care of the rest.
We had Zone Training Meeting on Friday. I got to meet all of the missionaries in my zone. Some of them are leaving on the 16th! They gave me really good advice about being a missionary and sticking through the first couple weeks. After the meeting, many of us went to this restaurant called S.S. This is Sister Antonio, Sister Nainggolan, and me, waiting for out food.
I don't know what to say about this... On our way home, we had a photo op and we took it. Jogja is a tourist town, there are many people who dress up so you can get pictures with them.
Me, Sister Antonio, Sister Nainggolan, and Mary. Mary is getting baptized next Sunday! She was already going to get baptized before I got to Jogja, so I can't take any credit, but she's so great! I love Mary! Very little people get baptized in Indonesia, so my companions were very excited to hear that she wanted to get baptized.
This is Gina and me. Like a few weeks ago, I took a picture with Lely, one of the '"investigators'" I taught in the MTC. This is another "Investigator" that I taught my first week at the MTC, as portrayed by Sister Allred. She's so cute, and I love her so much. We've gone to her house twice to teach her family. They are awesome too.
I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas season and always keep the spirit of Christmas close to you hearts!
HOLLEY STRINGHAM: Salt Lake City, born and raised; returned missionary from the Indonesia Jakarta Mission.; a simple folk aimed on changing the world