Can you all believe that I have already been in Solo for fifteen weeks! I sure can't. These three months have gone by so fast, which really shows how much I love this city. The church is well known here, which can be a really good thing, and a bad thing. But we are making some good progress, and have a few investigators who have baptisim commitments. This week has also been one full of delicious meals, and great experiences. Here are some highlights of the week.
Since this past week was the first week of the month, we had our zone conference on Tuesday. All the Missionaries from Central Java came, stayed over on Monday night, and then we had the meeting on Tuesday. It was a lot of fun to see everyone, and President Groberg gave some great advice to help us become better Missionaries. It might be his last one before he returns home, so I was glad to see him and Sister Groberg. Also, three Missionaries in our Zone were about to return home, so they bore their testimonies and gave advice. It was a cool experience! We all played futsol together as well.
This past week, as I said earlier, we have had some great success with a few investigators. One in particular is really making progress with a smoking addiction, and he has a baptism date for the fifth of May. We have been teaching him twice a week in order to prepare, and he is making incredible progress. It is so rewarding to see these kinds of things as a Missionary. The other investigator with a baptism date just had a baby, and he is really beginning to feel the spirit more in his life. He is opening up more and more to us Missionaries, which helps us teach according to his needs. We also have received a few referrals from the Senior Mission couples and a few members. I pray that we will have success with them as well. We also have continued to contact many people during our service time. This past one was a lot of fun, and we played American Football a little bit afterwards.
I was able to take a picture of the place we regularly eat, so you can see how great it is!
Another notable thing that I experienced this week was many different appointments and invitations with tons of food. My companion and I visited a family in the ward, and then they took us out to eat. The place had amazing seafood, and that is what we all got! It was the first time I had crab in Indonesia, and it was different, but really good. I felt so lucky to have such an amazing meal! But that is not all. The next day, on Saturday, I was on exchanges with Elder Lee. We helped the Bishop's wife translate something into English, and they invited us to eat again! We had one more appointment, but when we went there, he was not home. So we met the Bishop's family, and they took us out to a place better than the first! It was seafood again, and the shrimp was especially delicious. I was so full after that. But that is still not all. After church, we ate a huge meal with a non-active family, which filled me up, but then that night we were invited to another member's house, where we ate an even bigger meal! I was so full. They insisted on us having more and more, and they would not let us leave until we finished all the food. I was about to die!
Conference will actually be next weekend for me, since that is when everyone here watches it. I think they do that to make sure all the translations are correct. I am really excited as always to hear from our amazing leaders. I think what really helps me prepare for conference is to write down many questions or trials I am having, so I can see what answers come. I did this in the MTC, and found incredible results. Just today, Elder Hasibuan moved to Sudiarjo, and Elder Wagstaff is on his way home. They were both great Missionaries, and I was so lucky to serve with them both. I am also excited to meet the new Missionaries that are coming in.
Recently, I have spoken with someone who has a really hard time accepting Joseph Smith as a prophet of God. They point out many of his mistakes and faults throughout his life in order to prove that he was not a prophet. This made an impression on me, and I prayed very fervently that night to receive an answer and help. What I felt was this: A prophet is a man. He is not a perfect person, and he has faults like us all. What separates him from others is the fact that he is called of God to speak in his name. There are standards of worthiness for sure, but one of those is not perfection. Joseph Smith was not the only prophet to make mistakes. Study Moses', Abraham’s, or other ancient prophet's lives and you will find imperfections as well. We cannot derive a conclusion that one is not a prophet from his uninspired works. We have to make a decision through his inspired works, and then pray. An answer will come to one who asks in faith and sincerity. I know Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. I also know he was a person, like you and me, with faults and trials. God always speaks through prophets as we read in Enos 3:7. It only makes sense that he would communicate with us today because of his perfect love for us. I know this is true!
Thank you for all your support as always. I wish you will all have a great upcoming week, and enjoy the wonderful blessings God has given us. Sampai minggu dapan!