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!
HOLLEY STRINGHAM: Salt Lake City, born and raised; returned missionary from the Indonesia Jakarta Mission.; a simple folk aimed on changing the world