Monday, March 4, 2013

Solo Week 10

Hello Friends and Family!

Another week has passed, and they seem to go faster and faster. Solo is absolutely great as always, and us Missionaries are busier than ever. The culture shock is fading away more and more daily, and I am adapting to the changes an American has to make in order to live here. I am getting along great with my companion and other Missionaries, and the members in my assigned ward are incredible. This week was also very busy with many things that we had to do, while preparing to move houses. Even through all the hectic times, I feel such peace and joy in being a Missionary. Hopefully this week I will be able to share a portion of the great things that happened to me.

After our email time on Monday, and all other preparations, my companion and I went to a part-member family. The mother and daughter are members, but the father is not. We as Missionaries have built a good trust between him, and I think we will have success. His wife is pregnant, and he said that he wants to be baptized before the baby is born so they can be together as a family. What an incredible thing for a Missionary to hear! We shared a message on families, and we are being very patient with him as he progresses. He attends church, and only has a few issues he must overcome.

Tuesday was a pretty difficult day for many reasons. But after the regular study times and getting ready, we visited with Agus, which is always really nice. I was actually able to schedule and organize a plan to get him to church. The Bishop of our ward has many cars, and Agus has a wheelchair, so I just had to make a few phone calls, and a plan was made! When I told him that he would be able to come to church, he was so happy! I felt so glad we were able to help him. After that, my companion and I searched for the homes of previous investigators who had stopped learning. We found both, but only one had time to talk with us. She had many kids at her house, and was very kind to us. She obviously did not have much, but she offered us tons of food. We have to be a little careful with that, so we do not take too much. Later, we taught Danielle at the church as usual, but I started to feel really ill. We continued anyway, and I also taught English. But on the way to Pak John's to eat, I felt horrible. Once the other Missionaries ate, I quickly returned home, and went right to bed. I had a high fever, a bad headache, and my stomach was really bad. I said a short, but faithful prayer that I would get better, and then I went to sleep. 

On Wednesday morning, I felt a lot better. My fever was completely gone, but I still had bad stomachaches and I was very tired. Sister Groberg said to rest that day, so that is exactly what I did! The whole day I slept, ate a little, and studied from the scriptures, church magazines, Preach my Gospel, and much more. It was actually really nice! I specifically liked the many editions of the Ensign I read. My perspective on these magazines and church resources has grown so much. I have come to absolutely love all the church magazines we get. Right when they come, I am super excited, and over the next couple of days, I read them cover-to-cover. I would encourage all who are reading this who may have been having a bad day, to go and read an edition of the Ensign. It helped me so much in feeling better physically, and it strengthened my testimony greatly. I absolutely love how great this wonderful church is at sending uplifting media to the world. One quote I liked in the Ensign was in a talk by Dieter F. Uchtdorf, but he quoted Leonardo da Vinci, "He turns not back who is bound to a star."

{If you want to read the talk he's referring to, click HERE.}

Thursday came very fast, and I went right back to work. I was feeling much better, and I was anxious to get out and work after a day at home. Even though the first activity was probably not the best for my health—we picked up trash at the park. But we all worked hard, and contacted a few people. Afterwards, it was fun to eat and talk with all the new Missionaries who arrived in Solo recently. I got to know them a little better, and had a great meal. After this, we headed home, and began our daily studies. This has become a beloved time for me! It is so peaceful. 

Once we were finished and all ready, we headed to the Bishop's house where a ward party was taking place. The main activity was fishing in his backyard pond for Lele. (Catfish) Everyone caught one or more fish, except for me! I tried for about an hour and a half straight, but had no success! 

Many members made funny jokes like "Elder, you are supposed to be fishing for men, like Jesus said!" I guess they were right, because I had no luck. Once many fish were caught, (by others) they fried them, and we had a big meal. It was a ton of fun, and the fish was delicious.

Friday was a great day. What made it great was in the morning, when we went to the church for our District Meeting, my birthday package from my family was there! I was so happy to get it, I even opened it all right there in the church. I also want to thank everyone else who sent me cards, notes, and small packages for my birthday. Anything is greatly appreciated! Also, District meeting was fun with all the new elders and introductions. Sister Greenway also brought a snack, as usual, and they were peanut butter-chocolate brownies! It brought back memories of home cooked meals, and I was so grateful that she brought them. 

Later, we had many appointments scheduled, but only one went through. Since we had extra time, we visited my companion's Grandma! She is very old, and in our area, so we are allowed to visit. She showed me some pictures of my companion's family, and told stories. After that, we had English class, with a few people showing up!

We mostly prepared for the big move on Saturday, which meant a lot of cleaning and packing. The hardest thing I did was clean our bathroom, which had became quite gross over the years. However, I was quite grateful for it, because it has a westernized toilet. The next house we are moving into only has two Indonesian ones, so I enjoyed it while it lasted. We also found out this day that the owner of our new house was not ready for us to come in. But we had to be out of our old house by Monday. So this caused a change in plans, which made things more stressful. But eventually, we figured things out. Our successful appointment for the day was at an investigator's house. He has had a hard time accepting this church as true, and believes there are many different ways that God prepared. We continue to try and help him understand, and hopefully, sometime he will open up his heart.

The first Sunday of the month really shows me how fast this Mission is progressing. When we went to church and met Agus there. It was such an incredible experience to see him attend! This was by far the highlight of the day, and it really made me feel like I was fulfilling my job as a Missionary. He loves testimony meeting, and he came to the right one. All of church was great, and I learned a lot. 

The Bishop's wife gave us Missionaries a bag of food, even though we would have to wait until we were finished fasting. When I got home, I began studying, and waited until the time. Then, I broke my fast, and ate a ton of the junk food all at once! This was not good for my stomach, but so worth it. We also had the chance to meet with Brother Mesias. He was not very active a little bit ago, but with help from us and other Missionaries, he has been coming to church and other activities every week! We had a good, spiritual lesson about the priesthood, and I think his testimony was strengthened. The priesthood blesses families so much when used righteously.

So far, today has been filled with moving things to our new house. We cannot sleep there yet, but all of the Missionaries in Solo helped move our stuff there. For now, while we are waiting for the owner to be ready, we will be staying with the other Missionaries in their house. It will be crowded, but should be a lot of fun!

There is a little about what happened this week. I wish I had more time to write! There are so many great things that happen here, and each day is unique. That is why I love this Mission so much. Yes, there are hard and difficult times, but there are also times that make this Mission worth every second. I will be so blessed for the rest of my life because I chose to serve, and I am so happy to do so. I feel the Savior's love for me and all his children every day. That is the whole purpose of Missionary work: to show the people of the world how much Jesus Christ loves us; and how we can return to him with glory and happiness in the end of days. I hope all who are reading this come to realize the same. I know this work is true!

-Elder James

1 comment:

  1. Have to say I have been reading the Ensign. Elder James is RIGHT!