Monday, April 1, 2013

Solo Week 14

Happy Easter Week Everyone!

This week has been pretty fun. We did some cool activities, and worked really hard. I am really getting used to the life of a Missionary, and I am improving in many ways every day. One thing that I have really gotten good at is setting goals. When I set specific goals for my language, study, or the work, it really helps me focus and progress. I hope I will be able to carry that with me when I return home. I have made many other improvements in my Mission, and I hope that continues! In my previous emails, I have given a day-to-day description of what I did that week. I am not going to do that anymore since I tend to be repetitive, and also to save time. I will still tell you all about all the amazing things that happened, but I will just get rid of all the boring filler things! So here are some fun things that happened this week. 

We got approval from President Groberg to go to a beach with our ward on Friday, but we had to work after we emailed last Monday. So we visited some investigators, and went to a member's house. They were the Didit family, and were really nice. They fed us a ton of food, and we gave a message about repentance. This topic has been a focus lately for all Missionaries, and our goal is to help people better understand the importance of repenting through the Atonement. As I have learned about this principle, I have felt so grateful for Jesus Christ and all he has done for me and everyone else. When we repent, it should be a positive experience, which leads us closer to Christ. If we do not, his Atonement goes to waste. 

Ever since I was little, I have always walked and talked in my sleep. This has continued on my Mission, and I often get stories from my companion and the others in our house of what I do. One in particular, I got up and began having a conversation about teeth whitening. As Elder Hasibuan started talking back to me, I laughed really hard, and then went back to bed. I wonder if that habit will ever go away! 

The Zone Leaders were able to come and visit us, and do exchanges. My companion and I were paired with Elder Jameson, and we had a fun time working with him. We taught many lessons this week, including the last few for Daniel, (Previously spelled 'Danielle' because the last Missionaries wrote it down wrong haha) since he was baptized on the 31st. I have also really improved lately with talking to people. I honestly do not feel scared anymore to approach some random person and start a conversation. It is one of the most fun things I do personally. It feels so good to speak with someone else, and see how the Gospel and this Church can bless their lives. 

On Friday, as I mentioned before, we went to a few beaches near Jokja with our ward. The ward rented out three big buses, and we all traveled over together. When we first got there, we had a small meeting with a few messages and testimonies. We also had an investigator come, and I think the messages on Family really helped him. I was asked to give a message, so I gave one from Mosiah 4:14-15 about family as well. We then went down to the sand and enjoyed the beach. The water was blue and beautiful, and I was so tempted to swim! Maybe when I come back to Indonesia in the future. 

It was a really nice day as well, and we had a fun time exploring the beach. We also went to a few others, which was pretty cool. They were each different, and I was so glad I could see all of them. The second one was really crowded, and I was approached by almost ten people who wanted their pictures taken with me. Elder Hasibuan wanted to make a sign that said, "Photo dengan boleh lima ribu" (picture with a white person: 5,000 rupia). At the last beach we ate some fresh seafood, and drank from coconuts. It was a great trip. 

Sunday was Daniel's baptism. It was also a really good, spiritual, Easter meeting. The classes were combined, and many bore testimonies of the Atonement and the Savior. After church was the baptismal service. We had a great service, and almost all the members stayed to see it. 

Daniel is such a great boy, and it was so uplifting to see his happy spirit. I know he will be a great member and leader in the future in this church. My companion and I were the witnesses, and his father baptized him. We all ate together afterwards, and took some pictures. It was great! 
This is the perfect study morning complete with Bubur Ayam!

I honestly love this Mission. I have grown so much in the gospel, and I constantly strive to continue. There is no better way to build a testimony than to share it. This church has been such a blessing for me and my family, and it will continue to be. I wish you all the best in your lives, and I hope you focus on what is really important. I will talk to you all again next week! 

-Elder James

Elder Martoyo before his haircut.

Elder Martoyo biking in a beautiful area where a lot of our investigators live.

A rice field with workers that is in our area.

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