Monday, March 25, 2013

Solo Week 13

Hello again everyone! 

I know people from many places are reading this, but I guarantee it is colder where you are than where I am right now. (Unless you are in Indonesia.) The raining season has officially ended, and the hot one has begun! I honestly felt an immediate difference. It is really nice that raining is less frequent, but the heat is killer. I have the worst farmer's tan in the history of my life. But besides the weather, I am doing absolutely great. All of us Missionaries here in Solo are getting along, and we have some fun times. I have really been working hard lately, because my companion has given me more responsibilities. It has helped me a ton, and I am so grateful for his example and teachings. Here is my description of this past week. 

Tuesday began as most days do, with our study times and getting ready for the day. Once that was all done, Elder Hasibuan and Elder Martoyo began cooking. They asked me to film them, and they started to prepare the food on camera just like they do on the food network. It was honestly the funniest thing I have watched in a long time. They kept picking up random things with companies on it and acknowledging their fake sponsors. 

Elders Hasibuan and Martoyo eating the food they cooked.
Since I filmed, they gave me a portion of the food to try. It was really good! I also learned a lot in making Indonesian food, so it was a great experience. When we left the house, we first went and visited Agus. He is doing very well, and has been able to come to church for the past few weeks. While we were teaching, it began raining very hard, which showed the last of the crazy rain for a while. During this rain, we did a few errands such as fix my companion's bike. When the rain slowed down, we taught Danielle. No one came to English class that night, but we were able to eat at Pak John's. 

Wednesday was a day full of biking in the new hot weather. When I woke up, I could already feel the heat which would nearly kill me during the day! All the study time went well, and we went right to work when we were ready. We first went to an investigator's house who has been struggling with a smoking addiction. We had given him a commitment the time before to stop smoking before the nineteenth, and he fulfilled it. We were very glad, and began encouraging him to continue. If he continues for a little over a month, comes to church, and never smokes again, he will be baptized! I was really excited, and I hope he continues to fight the addiction. We spent a lot of time finding addresses that previous Missionaries left behind, and we had a few contacts. Then the time came to bike over to the Bishop's house. We had a lesson there with an investigator. It really helped to have the Bishop's family there in support and testimony. 

On Thursday, we had our regular service at the park. While I picked up trash, I was able to have a great conversation with Elder Wagstaff. He is almost done with his Mission, and is a great Missionary. I was also able to contact a few people and have some positive conversations about our church. The people who talk to us are always so impressed with our willingness to help and serve them. We also had our regular meal together, which is always a highlight of the week for me. Afterwards, we went to the post office, and then returned home to study. We planned for the week as well, and our companionship will be having some great appointments coming up. Once we went out, we visited the home of a non-active member, and got to know him. He did not seem too interested in coming back, but we had a nice conversation about the gospel. Later, Elder Lee and I exchanged companions and went to visit an American investigator. We taught him with Elder Greenway, the senior Missionary. It was a very unique experience to teach in English. I felt the spirit very strongly.

Elder Hernandez was at our house on Friday, since we do District Leader exchanges every once in a while. It was cool to talk with him and switch things up. Once we left for the day, we had the regular District Meeting. We have had a goal to do this meeting all in English in order to help those Indonesian Elders who want to learn English. It was a fun meeting, and we had the treats that Sister Greenway always gives. This time it was pumpkin bread with raisins. It reminded me of home, and made me realize how much I miss my mother's cooking! After the meeting my companion and I went and visited Agus again, which was good. We also taught Danielle at the church, and helped him prepare for his baptism. He will be baptized on the 31st, which means we will only teach him a few more times. It will be very strange when we do not teach him anymore. It has become such a great, regular thing! A leadership meeting was at the church, and even though we weren't part of the meeting, there was lots of food. They gave us a ton, so we had no need of going to Pak John's! 

Saturday morning started with Elder Hernandez and I getting up really early to exercise a little bit. When we came into the bedroom again, Elder Hasibuan woke up, freaked out, and then explained, "Saya berpikir Elder Hernandez hantu". Which means "I thought Elder Hernandez was a ghost". We also got some delicious Bubur for breakfast, and so my day was off to a great start. After study time, we went to a member's house to eat lunch. The food was great, and we had a nice conversation with the family. Then we headed out for our appointments. 

The little kids loved seeing pictures of themselves in the camera!
We first went to an non-active family who we visit quite often. They are super nice, and have a bunch of kids. We took some pictures of them, and talked with the parents. They were such funny little kids!

The cute little family we often visit. These two are twin boys, with their older brother.
The twins are hilarious. They have their own little "language" they speak to each other!
After this, we met at the church to help clean it up. We came as they were finishing up, but I was able to talk with a few sisters in the ward, and get a referral. I am so thankful for helping members! The last appointment was with an investigator who has been having a difficult time accepting the gospel. We have been trying really hard to teach him, but he is not too interested. But we will keep trying to invite him. 

Sunday came up really quick, and I was not prepared! I realized in the morning that I had only a little bit of food for the day. I need to go shopping on Saturdays from now on. Church was really nice, and I learned some great things during the classes. I learn so much more when I actually understand what the teacher is saying! When we returned home, I was starving. I made the two eggs I had, and ate some oatmeal. It was enough to halt my hunger, but a lesson nonetheless. I had a great time studying at home especially when I read the Liahona. I am always so excited when the new editions come to our home. Later that night, we had choir practice with Sister Greenway. The Missionaries and the youth of the stake are preparing songs for Stake Conference. I am not the best singer, but it was really fun to learn some songs with everyone. We tried to meet with someone later that night, but they were not home. Other than the lack of food because of my lack of preparation, it was a great Sunday. 

This week was not as exciting as some of my past ones, but I hope I was able to explain my experiences. I am having the time of my life here, and my testimony of this Church continues to grow. All the worries and concerns that a Mission sometimes brings go away when one begins to see the blessings. I have been so blessed by our Heavenly Father, and I feel a great desire and responsibility to bring that joy to others. I hope others in the Church will also feel that desire, and do Missionary work, even if they do not have a name-tag. Well, I hope you all have a fantastic week. Sampai Minggu depan! 

-Elder James

Elder Hasibuan's shoes have been going downhill for sometime.
They finally officially died this week!

I love all the funny stickers on cars around here.
A lot of them get the translations wrong.

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