Monday, April 22, 2013

Solo Week 17

Hello again friends and family!

This week has been great, and I have had some fun experiences. I am sorry that the photos I sent are not the best of quality. The computer I am on is not very fast, and so I had to compress them to really bad quality. But bad quality pictures are better than none. Right?

Like I said in the last few emails, I am having a really good time here in Solo. I hope I have a lot of time left here. We have been doing well with the little investigators we have, and although it can be disappointing when they do not always follow through on their commitments, it is great to see what progress they make.

One change that I have seen happen in my mission is the transition to an Indonesian view on money. I cringe at the fact sometimes I have to pay $2 for lunch, or I stress when a bill to fix my entire bike comes to $8.50. This sure does help me manage my money better, and it really comes in handy when finding cheap things. The food here has been an experience by itself, and my body is still getting used to all the different types. 

My companion and I have been getting along better than ever, and we work hard. I am so glad that he has been such a great example to me, and I hope I can be a good example to other Missionaries as well. We have been getting really close to the members, and they help us with just about everything.

Recently, we were invited to the Bishop's house to celebrate his mother-in-law's birthday. As we were biking over there, it began to rain really hard. We stopped at his dealership where he works, since it was close, and waited for a bit. Then he loaded our bikes in the back of a truck, and we drove the rest of the way! That was a blessing for sure. The party was a lot of fun at his house, with lots of food, and I loved playing with hot wheels with the kids. 

This past weekend was Stake Conference for all of Central Java. The first session started on Saturday night, and myself and a few other Missionaries were asked to help with translation. I explained that there were other Missionaries with much more language experience, and they simply said it would be a good learning experience. I was pretty scared! We used a system where we talked into a microphone, and the ten or so Americans listened with headphones. They were mostly Mission couples from around the Mission. We switched off between us Missionaries and a few members, and I did an okay job. Just like they said, it was a learning experience for sure. It was also really fun to see many members from Semarang and to visit with all the Missionaries.

Sunday morning was the next session, and instead of being held at the church, it was held at a reception center. The center was really nice, and it fit a lot of people. I was really impressed at the amount of people that came. I did translations for this meeting as well, and all the Missionaries in Solo participated in a youth choir led by Sister Greenway. We sang three songs during the meeting, and it was a blast. All the practice that we did was well worth it. The spirit was very strong! Many leaders from the Stake spoke, as well as President and Sister Groberg. They gave great advice and I was glad I could understand their talks. 

I wish I could go into detail about all the other cool things that happened this week, like buying ties, three for $1, but I am about out of time. Thank you all for your letters and prayers. I really feel the faith and support of you all constantly. I hope I will be able to make you all proud here! I am learning so much, and my testimony is being built every day.

Sampai minggu depan! {Until next week!}

-Elder James


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