Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Solo Week 3

Pictures of Senklee's Baptism from last week.

Greetings again on Tuesday!

Seriously, I am so sorry I keep emailing on Tuesdays. These past three weeks have been really busy, and for some reason, we always have things on Monday, which do not allow us to email. But hopefully as things settle down, we will all get a better schedule. 

One thing that I forgot to mention last week was that I tried eating dog! The feeling was very strange, but the taste was honestly not bad. It was very tough meat, and not to be eaten, but not horrible. At least I can now say I have eaten dog! This week was a little hectic with a lot of things going on, and a lot of changes, but when it is busy, the time flies and we have fun. It is crazy that I have been on this Mission so long already! I can only imagine when I reach the one-year mark, and time starts to really go by fast. Anyway, here is what happened in Solo this week.

After my last email, on Tuesday, we returned home and prepared for the day. Once we were all ready, we went to our appointments. However, since my companion and I were 'whitewashed', (which means we were both new to the area) it was very difficult to find the people we wanted to visit. We kept asking directions, but everyone said different things, and we traveled back and forth around the city. We did have one person planned who we have already visited, but they were not home! It does get a little frustrating, but we contact and talk to people, so it is still fun. In the evening, we had our English class at the church, and a decent amount of people showed up, which was good. It is funny, because as we teach English, we learn things that we did not know before, or things that are a review from school. Looks like my English will still be okay when I get back.

Wednesday started out normal, but shortly after we studied for a bit, we went to a wedding at the Church. Two members were getting married, and it was a cool ceremony. The bride was wearing a traditional Indonesian wedding outfit, and the entire ceremony was held in the chapel. The Bishop performed the ceremony, and he said that he hopes they will be able to be sealed in the temple soon. It made me realize how lucky we are to have so many temples in the United States. There was food at the wedding, and we socialized with some members. After the wedding, we had a few appointments planned with an investigator family, and a single male investigator. Both appointments went well, and I was able to express myself in the language much better. I also got to know them personally, which is very important. 

Thursday morning started as it always does, with early service. This time was just as successful as the last, and it was great to talk to many people. We also played soccer with some little kids, which was super funny, because they killed us. We then traveled to a nearby place and got some food. I got chicken sate, which is really good. It is grilled chicken pieces on a stick, with some tasty sauce over rice. Not exactly a good breakfast, but it is Indonesia. Once we returned home and were ready for the day, we did our weekly planning. My companion and I worked really hard, especially since we are both fairly new to the area. We studied the map, and read a lot of files from all the people who have learned from the Missionaries in the past. I am so glad that the past Missionaries in our area were organized! If not, it would be very hard to function. I remember that once we left and started biking, the weather was incredible. Right at sunset, the sky was pink and blue, and it was not too hot. I really wish I had taken a picture of it! Indonesia is beautiful!

Pictures of our apartment, although we will be moving soon.

Friday began with our regular study session, and it was very productive. I am learning a ton from my companion, and he is a great trainer. Once we were all finished and ready, we went out as a group to look for houses for rent. If any of you know a place in Solo, contact me! We were not too successful, but we have a good amount of time before our lease ends, so no worries. While my companion and I were travelling to an appointment, it started raining very hard. We pulled over and waited for a bit for it to stop, and then continued. Indonesians are a little superstitious about the rain. Many believe you will become very ill if you are out in the rain too long. When it rains, people usually pull over and wait for it to stop. This creates a good opportunity for contacting! Once the rain settled, we met with Brother Mesias, a new member. He was very kind, and was fun to talk to. He is really into classic American Motorcycles, and he would not stop talking to me about them! I wish I knew more about that kind of stuff, because I had no idea what he was saying most of the time! Once we were finished, we went to the Church for English class. After that, we ate at Pak Jon's as usual, which always is a good ending to the day.

On Saturday, right as we were getting up, my companion had a really bad gum infection. The left side of his jaw was huge! I wish I would have taken a picture of it, but I didn't want to make fun. We went right to the dentist, and they gave him some medicine that will help. (It is completely healed now) He was a good sport about it, and we kept telling crazy stories about how he got it. Once we got back from the doctor, we finished our studies. It was then time for lunch, and many of the Elders in Solo went to a member's house to eat. The food was very good, and we went through his pictures from his mission a long time ago. We then had a few people we wanted to talk to, so we went right to work. Everything went great, and we are improving in the area. In the evening, our ward had an activity where we watched 'Mountain of the Lord', about the building of the Salt Lake Temple. It was very nice, and a few members bore their testimonies after. It was a very spiritual experience. 

Sunday was another long day at church. We went to both wards, which was fun, and we had a few meetings after. Once again, we were there for about eight hours. But it went by fairly fast, and we got a lot done. It is so important to build a good relationship with the members. When I was home, I ate a ton, and was able to study and talk with Elder M. I am sure grateful for him! It helps so much to have another American in the house that can relate to some of the trials and differences here in Indonesia. My companion and I had an appointment later on, and it went very well. The person we met wants to learn more, and he is very knowledgeable about the Bible. We then met up with Elder M. and H., and ate with their Ward Mission Leader. He told many stories about his Mission, and gave some great advice. 

Playing Footsol in Jokiakarta.

Preparation day was Monday, and many Missionaries from the Zone met up in Jokjakarta to play Footsol and eat. It took a while to get there, and we had to get up a little early, but it was worth it. We played for about two hours, and even though I am no good at any type of soccer, it was fun. We then ate at a very famous place there for Missionaries. I was very surprised at the amount of white people I saw. Apparently, many people from Australia come to Jokjakarta to visit, sight see, and shop. We then made the long trip back home, which left us very little time to do other Preparation day activities. This is why I was not able to email yesterday. 

There is a little of what happened this week. This morning, Elder M. left for America. It was very sad to see him go, because he is such a great friend of mine. He is a great Missionary, and has been a great example to me. He was always so nice to everyone, and was never afraid to talk. I was sad that he left, but I know things will move along here on the Mission. There are things that are difficult sometimes, but in the end, so many blessings come. I am so happy to serve here, and I wish everyone reading this could experience everything that I have. I hope you are all doing well, and I will talk to you next Monday! (Hopefully) :)

-Elder James

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