Monday, December 17, 2012

Semarang Week 6

Hello Dear Friends and Family,

I hope you are all living up the last days on earth! Since the world ends on the 21st of this month, we have been trying to baptize as many people as we can! Honestly though, is everyone in America still going on about that theory? Hardly anyone in Indonesia even knows about it! Pretty funny how superstitious some people become about those things.

Things here in Semarang are going great as usual. We are all preparing for Christmas, and for the festivities that will come. I hope that everyone remembers the real meaning of Christmas, and how grateful we should be for the most glorious gift of all: Christ's sacrifice for all of us. It sure has taken on greater meaning for me, especially as a Missionary.

Well, here is a recap of what happened this week...

After our email time last Monday, we went to a couple appointments, but neither was there. We did, however, obtain a referral from some members, so it was not a complete waste! We then just stayed at the house and ate a lot. P-days are very enjoyable, but also very strange because we have so much free time. We still stay pretty busy with shopping and everything.

We went right back to work on Tuesday, with the regular four-hour study time. Normally, Missionaries have a one-hour companionship study, but all new Missionaries go through a twelve-week training course, which makes the companionship study two hours. It is a very good system, and by the end of it, I should be able to know how to function perfectly as a Missionary, and ready to train others to do the same. The church sure is organized! After the study times and lunch, we went to visit the famous Brother Bambam. He is a great member, and it is always fun to teach him. We then set time aside to contact people, which is always a little hard, but it sure helps the language progress. After trying for a little bit, we found a nice man who new the Missionaries before us. He did not seem like he wanted to learn, but he was very kind to us. We will visit him later next week. We then had a few more appointments, but the only one that was able to learn was Pak Hadi. We taught about the word of wisdom, and he liked it. Later was the regular English class, and afterwards we met with the Zone Leaders, who stayed the night.

Wednesday was obviously 12/12/12 which was pretty cool! It will be a very long time until that happens again. The Zone Leaders were with us the entire day to do interviews and see how the work was progressing. It was fun to have them over. To celebrate 12/12/12, we went to KFC. (Which is apparently the only place we go to celebrate.) We ate right at 12:12pm! (see picture) Afterwards, we split up and went on with our day. We had many lessons, but one notable one was with a really graet family. They are mostly less active, but we were able to share a simple message with them, and the spirit was very strong. They believe very firmly in prayer, and we hope they will come back to church. They were very nice, and shared lots of food. We then returned home, and visited with the Zone Leaders. One of them, Elder Kjiampa had only twenty days left on his Mission. He said it went by so fast, and it really made me realize how fast it will go for me pretty soon.

Thursday was a little different, because we got permission to play Futsol (indoor soccer) with some teenagers from the neighborhood. They are the ones we buy nasi goreng from often. It was such a workout! I mostly played goalie, since I could use my hands, and it was so difficult! It was a lot of fun, but we got killed! I don't think I have ever sweated so much in my life! It was so humid and hot; I was drenched. We then returned and studied, and I was so tired during the rest of the day! 

After lunch, we went to the hospital to teach English again. We taught a bunch of younger nurses, and they were so nervous to talk to us at first. We were very friendly to them, and towards the end of class, they opened up. Afterwards they took so many pictures of us! It was pretty funny. The managers then took us out to eat, and I got Bebek goreng (fried duck). It quickly became one of my favorite foods here. It was so good! The only thing we had later was a few teaching appointments, and they went well.

Friday began with service early in the morning, as usual, and it is very fun. The food they sell is very good, and they always give us so much to take home. I don't think we are serving them, I think they are serving us! Since it was Friday, we had our District Meeting at around noon, and it was a lot of fun. It really made me realize how close us four Missionaries are becoming; especially now that the language is coming along. We set some goals, and made plans for the week. My companion and I were able to do some contacting, because we want many more investigators. It wasn't too successful, but there were some very nice people we met. Many try so hard to speak English to me, but the accent is so overwhelming, I have no idea what they say! I'm sure it goes both ways sometimes with my Indonesian. As we were traveling, I found a place that had Bebek (duck) again, and I asked my companion if it looked like a good place. He said it was good and cheap, so I got two orders of Duck! The price turned out to be 32,000 rp., which sounded so expensive! My companion and I were amazed at how pricy it was, since our meals are usually 3,000-7,000 rp. After a while I realized that was just $3.20, which I guess means I am becoming more Indonesian! Later was our regular English class, and it was a lot of fun. I mostly just talked about American football with a few people, which was refreshing.

Saturday was one of my favorite days here by far. It started out with the regular study time, but then we received a call from an Indonesian senior mission couple. They said they wanted to take us out to eat, so they picked us at the church, and they looked for a good spot to eat. They picked a place, and the main thing they served was, you guessed it, duck. This meant I ate duck for three days straight. I never got tired of it though! It was a lot of fun eating with the mission couple and hearing about what they were doing. They then dropped us back off at the church, and we biked to our appointment. After our appointment, we went to a park nearby the church, changed into exercise clothes, and met someone from our English class to play American touch football! He invited us yesterday, so we took time out of our P-day to play with him. Every week, about twenty Indonesians come to this park to play. It was amazing! They were pretty good, but I did amazing! (No bragging, haha!) I had four interceptions, threw for three touchdowns, and ran for one. I played Quarterback the entire time, and man was it fun. I also helped them a little bit with their technique, which even though I am not the best at football, it helped. They begged us to do it again, which we might. We then changed, finished our appointments, and returned home. I was pretty sore, but it was so worth it!

Sunday was pretty normal with church and study times, but we were able to visit a member, along with a few others from the church, who was in the hospital because she fell in her home. She was very happy to see us, and it was fun to talk to her. The members are pretty close friends, which I like about it here. They love us missionaries, and I feel at home whenever I am with members. They play such a vital role in the work here, and without them, we would not have very much success. The last thing we had was visiting the Joko family, who are new members. They are the ones with the cute kids, and they are very strong in the gospel. It was a good day to recover from the soreness of my body from Futsol and American football.

There is a little of what happened here. It sure is an adventure each week, which is exactly what I like. However, I really do want to hear from all of you, so send letters! I never thought I would be the kind of missionary who looked forward to letters so much, but they are so nice to get! It is great to hear from all my great friends and family. I hope you are all doing great, and I'm sure you will all have a wonderful time this holiday season! I miss you all a ton!

-Elder James

{I asked Elder James to send some pictures of his apartment.}

Our apartment

Elder James' desk is the one on the left and behind is a fun poster that has some pictures from home.





Kitchen (open to back yard)

Elder James' closet (on the right)

Alley that we ride our bikes through to the back yard

Back yard

Water tank and washing machine

No comments:

Post a Comment