Monday, April 29, 2013

Solo Week 18

Hello Everyone!

Wow, I have now been in Solo for about four months! There is a chance I will be transferred soon, which will be sad, but I am looking forward to a new experience. Today is actually eight months on the mission to the day. As I think about it, it really has gone by fast. With this realization, I sometimes have to really slow down and focus on what my purpose is. It is great that my Mission is going by fast, but at the same time, I must always be sure that I am doing my best to bring others to Christ. Really, that is our purpose as Missionaries. We are not trying to increase the membership of the church; we are only trying to help others in their relationship with God and Jesus Christ, and their plan for us. Anyway, here are some highlights of the week:

One of our progressing investigators has been making some great progress lately. He had no belief or faith in Jesus Christ just a little bit ago, and now he has a strong testimony of our Savior. It has been so amazing to see his growth and strength in his family and life. Seeing him and many others grow in faith has really taught me how much Jesus Christ can bless our lives. All we have to do is put trust in him, like our investigator did, and he will bless us greatly.

My companion and I have also been working with the many inactive and less-active members here in Solo. We have actually had some great success with a few, and it has been a blessing to see them return to church and activity. We continue to help them transition back to the church, and we resolve any issues they might have had before. I have heard a few people here criticize this church for not going out for those members that may have gotten lost in this life. I promise that we do go after them, and that we care greatly for them. Honestly, most of our work here in Solo is focused on those lost sheep.

As far as unique activities this week, there were a few. The first was a trip to a member's house, which was very far away. We rode with the Bishopric, and helped the Sister that lived there move her Daughter's remains to another spot in the graveyard. It was a cool experience, and my companion was able to give the blessing on the new resting place. It was the first time I had seen that being done, so it was a cool experience. I felt sad for the Sister who lost her daughter when she was quite young, but it was great to see her faith in knowing that she would see her daughter again.

The other cool experience I had was to see a traditional Javanese wedding. It was a member of one of the wards here, but they were married traditionally before going to the temple. I think they will go fairly soon. The ceremony was much different than anything I had ever seen before, and a few members helped explain the process to me. 

During the ceremony, they only spoke Javanese, so I had to have my companion and other members translate for me so I could know what was going on! The other Elders and myself drew quite a bit of attention from people, who did not know us, which I think was a good thing. I was glad to learn about the unique culture that is very prevalent here in Solo.

The food at the wedding was delicious!
 This Mission has been blessing my life in so many ways. There is no better way to learn more about the Savior than to follow in his footsteps the best we can. Obviously, we are all not perfect, but as we continually strive to become like him through our words, deeds, and thoughts, God will see our faith, and make us strong. I often think of Ether 12:27 where it states that God will make our weaknesses strong in him. I thank you all for all the love and support you have given me, and I look forward to emailing all of you again!

-Elder James

This is another cool Indonesian sport--it's like volleyball, but you use your feet and head!

This is our mission couple's driver, Frankie--he's really nice!

Elder Lee at English class.

Playing "cowboys" with some member boys.
Essentially it is just letting them shoot me with Nerf guns! 

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