Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Closest thing to a snow day in Indonesia

I  love you more than....

clean. Just being clean... haha.

So I had the most unique week ever! Last Thursday night, a volcano erupted, Mt. Kelud in Eastern Java, a few hundred kilos. from where I am in Solo. My companion and I were weekly planning and thought we heard fireworks or something... nope! It was a flipping volcano! So the next morning we woke up to a good blanket of "Indonesian snow" (aka volcanic ash, ash, everywhereeee). It was raining ash all night long and into the morning. The Mission President told us to stay inside because it was too dangerous to go out. BUT in Indo, most houses aren't enclosed. We have a lot of windows that are just covered with mesh and so the volcanic ash was coming in our house! So we threw a sheet over our laundry and desks and headed to the church in a taxi and had a pretty slow day. I'm so grateful to live in a tropical country in the middle of rainy season because rain has helped tremendously to make the air cleaner and everything else cleaner too. 
We look like hoodlums
Basically right now we have to wear masks, glasses everywhere we go and riding a bike gets you pretty dirty. It feels like riding/mudding on the 4-wheelers every time we go somewhere, and coming home isn't that clean either. We sweep the house probably 5x a day and still find ash on our pillows, in our books and in our dishes. The city looks like some scary movie scene since everyone wears masks and everything is brown from dust. Even the air looks a little hazy. 

The view from the bus window looks like a scary movie scene 

The work has been slow since that day and the Javanese people are nice to a fault and won't let us help clean. But I can't believe that I just went through a volcano eruption! I thought the earthquake was cool but this tops it by far. (for those Brian Regan fans...) “Pin the blue ribbon on my chest. I have the new best bragging story. I walked on the moon!”
Yes! I used a machete to clean the tiles by hand
Valentines Day became Volcano Day and it was the closest thing to a snow day that I will ever experience in Indonesia. Sister Manurung summed it up perfectly with a worldly song (Radioactive), "I'm waking up, to ash and dust. Wipe my brow and I sweat my rust. I'm breathing in the chemicals..."

Closest thing I will get to snow
ANYWAYS! What else do you talk about after a week like that? It gets better everyday but I think we are going to still be dusty for a few weeks. We went to help clean the church the other day and we were honestly scraping mud off of the parking lot one brick at a time. But one of the counselors in the Stake Presidency has some hook-ups so we got some help from the firemen. They brought their fire truck and hosed the whole thing down for us! SOOOO grateful to them! And they let us (me and Sis. Manurung) try their hose! Then the bakso man (think taco truck but with this Indonesian meatball soup) came in the parking lot and just parked there until we (the members) bought every last bowl of bakso soup. Eating soup, watching them clean off the ash, dirty and dusty. Once in a lifetime experience for sure! (Later on lds.or.id there should be an article about me and sis Manurung contacting one of the firefighters.)

Help from the fireman
or were we helping them?
OH! One last funny story about the dust that probably only our family will get. So I seriously think that dust gets stuck in my nose (3rd nostril anyone?) because I blow my nose non-stop and have been sneezing a ton! But the other night I got thinking and actually remembered the good ol’ netti-pot they told me to use when I broke my nose. Remember that? So I tried to replicate the netti-pot with some bottled water and yes it actually helped! Never thought I'd say it. Who would've thought I would be wishing for a netti-pot on my mish?

We tried a place to eat called D'Koboi (cowboy)
which is some little BBQ place
OK now for an update on the investigators...
Mbah Siswanta- He is back and forth! One day he believes everything and is ready to be baptized. The next day he is too scared to even come to church and says he can't read another book that isn't the bible. We have really rely on the Lord to bring the Holy Ghost into his heart because this isn't really up to the missionaries. But we are still praying that he will get baptized this Sunday.

Kartika and Reza- They're really having a hard time stopping drinking tea. It is just the culture here and they don't have a lot of support from their family, friends and teachers at school. They are starting to maybe get tired of us always asking, but I really know they can be great members someday. We love them and their family!

Ibu Bingar- she is a new investigator that the elders gave to us. The Elders met her since she has a little warung (street food shop) and gave her the Book of Mormon which she read almost until finished in just 2 weeks. Then we taught her the restoration, gave her a church tour and she has read the restoration pamphlet, plan of salvation pamphlet and gospel of Jesus Christ pamphlet a million times. The only problem with her is that she always tells us, "don't text me first, I'll text you when I want to meet" and she never does. But she is AWESOME and definitely going to be baptized later. We stop by and eat at her place sometimes and she is always reading the pamphlets and letting her friends read them too. 
Mangkobumen (I think?)
It's like the Kraton (palace) number 2 in Solo

We had one of those weeks where in one day we made 10 appointments and ended up only teaching 1... and it wasn't even someone from those 10. But I believe so much that this work is not about numbers and I feel like Sis. Manurung and I had such a great week. We work so well together and I just love her to death! I don't want to spread rumors but the word on the street is that one of us sisters is moving on the 24th. We don't know anything yet but we are sad to part!

I hope that you have been enjoying the snow. I can't believe the Bear Lake miracle. WOW! Dad you are the best. Did you know that? Valentines was good ya? I'm sad I didn't get heart shaped pizza on Valentines... Everywhere was closed haha except McD's. (Get this! We were at the church ALLL day on Valentines yeah? Well this member was playing the piano and he started to play the theme from “Somewhere In Time”... I about died. Reminds me SOOO much of you guys.) OH YA! So there were some people from the Hong Kong offices here and one of them is from Ogden and has a son who is a doctor in Ogden. Kritt Aardema? I forget the last name. But anyways. I got your letter with the pictures and I loved seeing the ward too. I have been slacking on reading Jesus The Christ but yes let's keep going with that mom!
Give everyone my love!
<3 Sister Sheff

PS Grandma- everyone here LOVES chicken fried steak. There are steak places everywhere! Haha so add that on your list of stops on your fried steak tour. :)

PPS I think my english has gotten worse and typing fast doesn't make it any better... SORRY!

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