Thanks so much for all your letters and support, it really means a lot out here where any contact with the outside word is a little bit limited. It’s kind of funny, all the sidewalks here are covered almost as if to prevent you from seeing any of the outside world (including the sky). Very unsettling.
Thanks again for writing, it means so much to me. It was so good to see pictures of little John Boy. He even looks so much older in the pictures we took while I was still there. I guess I’m just getting used to seeing the slightly younger Yellowstone version of him.
The MTC is going really great! It’s a very, very cool to be in a place where (quite literally) every minute of your day is planned out in order to help you to become a missionary machine. Everyone here is very serious about using every minute of your time to learn how to more effectively invite others to come unto Christ and to bless their lives with the gospel knowledge we have.
Indonesian is going excellently. The language is very straightforward and actually leaves out a lot of the parts that were very hardest about Spanish. Our very first morning here our teachers had class, so we were just assigned to learn how to introduce ourselves on our own. By the end of the next day we had already learned how to bear our testimonies and pray. So now we’re only praying in Indonesian at the beginning and end of every class, trying to bear our testimony in the language everyday, and singing exclusively Indonesian hymns. One of our teachers said that by the third week we’d probably only be speaking Indonesian. Very, very exciting. I just bought the children’s songbook (Buku Nyanyian anak-anak) and one of those Book of Mormon story comic book type things (Cerita-Cerita Kitab Mormon) and can already get through most of them with the help of a dictionary. So things are going great. I can’t believe we’ve only been here a week. We truly have been blessed with the gift of tongues.
My companion is named Elder Lang and we’ve been getting along really well! He’s much more outgoing than I am, but I feel like we really compliment each other and have made a power companionship so far. He’s actually become kind of the funny guy in our district, so it’s pretty fun to always be where the action is. There are four other elders and two sisters in our district as well. One set of elders and the sister s are going to Indonesia, and the other elders are coming with us to Singapore. There’s actually another district learning Indonesian as well, and I think they’re all coming to Singapore. Elder Lang’s best friend is actually in that district. They opened their mission calls on the same day and got the exact same calls, funny huh?
Our teachers are excellent. Brother Ross is about 26 and served in Indonesia, and Brother Leo is actually from Indonesia and served his mission in Malaysia (Singapore). So we definitely have guys who know what they’re talking about. It's so fun to see their different teaching styles and to learn so differently from each of them. We spend a lot of time talking about the culture of the countries we're going to, which is definitely an MTC highlight. It's gonna be a really different adventure, but I think I'm going to be really safe and have a lot of fun too!
Umm... Ok... so! Fun fact! The name of the church in Indonesian is
dari orang-orang suci
which means literally, "The Church of Jesus Christ from the Holy People of the Last Time Period." Definitely cool. The first line of the name is taken from Portuguese, the second line from Dutch, the third is Indonesian and the fourth is Arabic, so you can tell even from that that I'm headed to a very diverse, very culturally rich place.
I've seen Elder Brown, Elder Taggert and few other people I know which has been a lot of fun. They both seem really happy and very focused on the work.
Um... Anyway, thanks again so much for writing, let me know if you have any kind of specific questions you wanted me to answer, there's so much to talk about it's hard for me to know what to include. We've only been here for a week but it kind of feels like forever (which is a good thing).
Jadi, in the end, saya tahu bahwa gereja ini adalah benar dan saya tahu bahwa Thomas S. Monson adalah nabi Allah. Saya tahu bahwa Allah Mengasihi kita dan membagikan injil ini untuck kita dapat punya kebahagiaan. Saya banyak mengasihi kamu!
(So... I know that this church is true and I know that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God. I know that God loves us and gives us the gospel so we can be happy. I love you so much!)
I love all you guys a lot! Kiss Johnny for me and tell John I said hello!
Dengan Kasih (with love),