Thursday, October 8, 2009

Onward, Every Onward

Halo Keluarga Saya!

Things are going really well here! I feel like such a veteran. We're finally the people who really know their way around the MTC. We've picked up all the tricks of the trade and everything. Really awesome. And everyone says that the last couple of weeks move even faster than these are now, so hopefully the next thing I know I'll be in Singapore!

So! Lots of exciting news this week! First and foremost though, I've got to tell you about our surprise visitor. We were just sitting in class one morning doing our personal study when this guy with an "MTC coordinator" nametag burst in and said, "OK elders and sisters, are you ready, do you need to do anything else except for clean up? Really, you need to clean up a little bit." We all sat there staring a little blankly while he started taking some of our pictures off the wall and continued, "So you know who this guy is, right?" Again, more blank staring. Finally, one of the sisters mustered up the courage to say "Umm... We have no idea what you're talking about." Turns out the Minister of Religion of Indonesia, Mr. ("Bapak" in Indonesian) Pasaribu was in Provo for a conference at BYU and was going to come visit our class. Immediately we started panicking and rushed to get everything cleaned, finish up our personal study and spend like 45 minutes prepping some questions and answers and everything. It all turned out really well though! He spoke hardly any English, spoke really clear Indonesian so we were able to understand a lot of what he said to us and even got a chance to take a couple of pictures. It was very awesome, but very, very stressful. It turns out that he's the guy who has to sign all of the Indonesian missionaries passports for them to even get into the country, so it was really important that we didn't goof anything. It went really well though! Everything turned out just fine!

So! I guess that's the really exciting news! We've started to speak a lot more Indonesian in class now. We have whole periods that are designated SYL (Speak Your Language) where we can only speak Indonesian. And we're giving talks so that we'll have something prepared when we get into the field. I guess brand new missionaries are a favorite target for speaking in church. I already gave mine though and it went really well. I'm really starting to feel like I can express myself pretty well at a basic level. And we've finished all the major grammer so it's just vocab from here on out!

Unfortunately, as a side effect of my Indonesian training I've pretty much lost all of my ability to speak Spanish. I think about half the missinoaries here are Spanish speaking and they'll often stop us on the sidewalks to practice contacting in their language. I can almost always undestand what they're saying, but as soon as I start to try and respond Inodonesian just pours out. That's a good sign though I guess!

Hey, fun Indonesian fact! Have you ever seen the old Disney Swiss Family Robinson movie? I don't think I have, but apparently the pirates speak Indonesian! So, next time you're watching it keep an eye out!

Oh! Conference! Wasn't it spectacular? I don't think I've ever loved it so much. Just tons and tons of stuff felt so applicable to me, and hey, compared to sitting in class all day it was actually kind of a vacation! Definitely awesome. I think my favorite talk was undoubtedly Elder Holland's. I couldn't believe the kind of power he came out with. I've never heard a stronger testimony of the Book of Mormon in my entire life. It was cool to be able to see in him where I'd like my testimony to be someday. Definitely a lofty goal to achieve though!

Ah! Our class suffered a major betrayal this week when we found out that Brother Leo stole Lucu away from us. He disappeared a few days ago after several very suspicious notes about "lucu exterminators" and "false idols" were left in our room while we were away at Gym or Lunch. We were all pretty convinced it was the other class who took him. But it turns out, just yesterday Brother Ross told us it was Brother Leo. We've all missed him dearly, and are definitely excited to know who to confront to get him back.

Umm... not a whole lot of new cultural information this week. We learned a little while ago how to play Rock, Paper, Scissors though! They play by making a fist with their hand and then sticking out either their thumb, pointer finger or pinky to pick either gajah (elephant), orang (person), or semut (ant). The elephant steps on the person, the person steps on the ant, and the ant crawls in the elephants ear and eats its brain. So a little different, but funny that they even have the game at all! Brother Ross said pretty much every culture has some equivalent.

We've played softball in gym for the last few days, and, surprise surprise, I've actually grown to like it a lot! I've certainly come a long way since those days so many years ago of standing out in left field with my glove on my head, trying to take a nap and hating every second of it. I guess there's some truth to the idea that you'll start to love something if you'll just try it first. I've also become a big volleyball fan! Crazy, huh? I dunno though. Good times to be had and none of us are that good so it's always pretty even.

Umm... Turns out my malaria medicine, Doxycyclene, is also sometimes prescribed for acne. Have I mentioned that already? I guess I'm just pretty excited to see if there's really clearer skin in the Singapore mission!

Well! It's been super good to talk to you all again! I can't wait to here how everything's going! I love you all so much and pray for you every night!

Saya mengasihi semua kamu!

Dengan kasih dan hormat,
Elder Blissett (Kevin)

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