Wow I'm really here and I've really been here for almost a week! Right now I am at the mission office emailing and doing laundry. I guess I'll just start from the top.
So the last week in the MTC was great but also sad because I had to leave all my teachers. I am so grateful for them and that I got to spend so much time with them and learn so much as well.
Easter was so great at the MTC!! In the morning we had a devotional with Elder Ballard that was broadcast to all the MTCs around the world. It was so awesome to learn and worship the Savior as his missionaries with one of His servants on that wonderful day. It was the first time I really appreciated Easter for what it was.
I left the MTC at 1:00 on Monday afternoon. It was so nice to go with other missionaries because I would have been so lost the whole time! Also at North Temple I saw Bro Hatch at the trax! I didn't recognize him at first and I was just in such a rush but it was so fun when I recognized him! After the flight to LA we had a 5 hour layover where I called home and that was so fun and good :) I wanted to call Teresa too but my phone card ran out... Sad day. Oh well. By the way the International Terminal in LA is MASSIVE. It was like I was in a totally different world from the MTC.
The flight to Hong Kong was super long... My ankles were swollen from sitting for so long, but it was fine and I was just glad when it was finally over and I knew I woudn't have to do it for 16 months. I waited in the Hong Kong airport for like an hour once I found my gate. It was the first time I heard people talking in Indonesian, and that was when I got a little scared, because I could only understand like 1 % of what they said... But I still had a little hope :)
When I got to the airport I met President and Sister Donald. They are so nice and fun!! It actually wasn't that hot because it was pretty cloudy. It was warm but not boiling yet (yet is the key word). We came to the mission home where we had a little orientation with Elder and Sister Moss (the mission office couple) and then a little interview with President, a shower, dinner and bed. I finally got to bed around 8 and slept until 6. I woke up in the middle of the night and forgot I was in Indonesia for a sec haha.
So this week I have been in Jakarta until I get my kitas (ID Card) from immigration. I have spent the whole time with the Sister Training Leaders Sister Sarwano (from Solo, Indonesia) and Sister Chua (Bocolad Philippines). Probably tomorrow I get to go to my first area with my trainer. I am going to SOLO!! Everyone says they love it there because it is so cheap (cheapest area in the mission) and the members are great :) I am really excited to go! My trainers name is Sister Winando (I don't know how to spell it yet) and she is from Malang Indonesia. I am her first one to train. She is a native so I'm hoping that helps my language skills a lot.
Thursday I didn't do much because we had to wait here for Sisters to come for their new companions to come too. We went and got my first street food! Street food here is great and cheap. In Jakarta its only like $1.20 for a lot of food and that's the most it will ever be. My favorite thing we had was chicken on skewers and rice. It was really good! I also got this noodle stuff that was super good, later Thursday night. After that we went to the STLs apartment to drop off my stuff. Their apartment is probably about as big as my bedroom. But its good because they actually have warm water in the shower which was great :)
The last three days we have had a streaming of the Mormon Tab's Handel's "Messiah" so that has taken up most of the evenings. It has been fun to try to talk with some members a little bit. I can't say much but that's okay haha. Really though my language confidence went way down after I got here. Indonesians are much harder to understand than Americans. A lot of the letters kind of sound the same, and they talk fast and mesh things together. So that has been fun. My brain is so tired by the end of the day because I just try to understand but by about 7 my brain kind of closes down and I stop paying attention haha. I know how to talk about gospel stuff and talk about the lessons, but we haven't really gotten that far yet for me to actually say anything. I usually just sit and wait for the other Sisters to talk. There is a lot of slang that they don't teach you in the MTC. It is so formal and correct there so I can read Preach My Gospel and the scriptures more than I can understand people sometimes.
Everyday in Jakarta is pretty much the same for missionaries. Missionary work is really hard here in this city. Everyone is moving so fast and most don't want to take the time to listen. Every day just consists of contacting. We start at like 12 and ride buses, trying to find people to talk to. We sit a few seats away from each other to cover more people. Friday and Saturday I was way too scared to talk to anyone so I pretty much just watched the other two sisters. The goal is to get contacts, so either a Facebook name or a name and a phone number. Friday and Saturday I think we only got about 5 in the 4 hours each day. It's definitely susah (hard). The STLs and the AP's have been here for about 7 months almost with no success.. A lot of times it is just giving a flier about English class if they are Muslim or don't seem interested.
So now about Jakarta. There are so many people here. The traffic is insane. We either ride the busway, taksi, or angkot (like a van thing that they squish everyone into. It's super old and super cheap). We have to jay walk everywhere and that's kind of scary because you just hold out your hand and hope people stop. It will definitely take some practice before I get used to it. But somehow there are never any accidents. I don't understand because there are no lanes and barely any laws about how to drive. I'm grateful I learned to drive in America haha. My first day wasn't bad heat wise, but Saturday was so hot!! So hot! You just feel sticky and sweaty all the time! But I'm really blessed because the buses have AC and so do the apartments. Also we have washing machines!! How great is that!
Sunday church was really good! There were about 60 members there. It was fast and testimony meeting which was good! I actually think I was able to get the jist of what each member bore testimony about. I think my ears are gradually adjusting to how Indonesians talk. I think having a native companion will help a lot with that. Missionaries here say it only takes like a few months before they feel somewhat comfortable and then like 3 months before they feel confident. Hopefully I am the same!! I want to learn fast and I hope I can!!
After church we went to Kota Tua (old city) where we used my Bule Kuat (White person power). There is this big square where there are a ton of people selling stuff, and here in Indonesia, there are a lot of students who have homework to interview Bules. So I just sat there until someone came up to me wanting to take a video of an interview and then the other Sisters would do all the talking. We got 25 facebook names in an hour. They just hope that they can get at least one referral from a group that big. It really is so rare to see white people here so I get a lot of stares and people taking pictures of me. I've heard its worse in the other areas because they aren't used to seeing white people at all.
Wow this a long, jumbled up email. Hopefully when I get settled this will be a lot better haha.
Over all I really like it here!! I like that it is warm, I like the nice people and nice members, I love the missionaries and senior couples. I look around at the way people live and I just think about how blessed I am to have grown up in such a wonderful environment physically but also to be blessed with the gospel!! There are more people in this city than in the entire church. How blessed are we to have the opportunity and calling to share the message of peace, joy, and happiness that comes through the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world.
Thank you for all your emails!! I can't respond to any because this email was so long but next week I am sure I'll have more time. I love you all and I'll talk to you next week!
Kasih, Sister Davis
Sister Jacqueline Davis
Sister Davis is currently serving as a missionary in the Indonesia Jakarta Mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
Sister Jacqueline Davis
Indonesia Jakarta Mission
Jalan Senopati 115
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