Monday, May 6, 2013

Solo Week 19

Hello Everyone,

I hope all of you that are reading this are doing well. This past week has been really fun, and I am loving Indonesia. The one bad thing that does not change is the heat! I am getting somewhat used to it, but it still kills me every day! My language is still improving, which makes discussions and lessons much more interesting. I also have been able to learn much about the culture here, which has a very strong presence here in Solo. 

One family that I would like to talk about today is the Mesias Family. We have been visiting them quite often since I have been here, and I have seen such an improvement. They are so active now, and I really feel the love of their family. They just barely had a new baby, and my companion and I visited them at the hospital. Right when I began talking to the father, I felt the deep love he had for his family. It truly testified to me that families are one of the only ways we can feel eternal happiness. The baby was a little boy, and is healthy and doing well. 

My companion and I had the chance to visit some of the many widows in our ward with some members. The members of the ward put together bags of rice and food for us to give to them. Every one of them was so grateful, even though I could barely understand the Javanese they spoke. They were all so upbeat and funny. One of them commented on my red hair, and how her white hair was better. We spent a good amount of time visiting them, and then we ate afterwards. 

{I asked Elder James if there were spring flowers there like we have.
He said there were a lot of flowers, but took this pretty picture of
flowers in front of the church to show me.}
Our two investigators have been doing really well, especially since one of them told us the truth that he was still smoking, since he lied to us before. We explained that we were not mad, and that Heavenly Father would much rather him be honest than to hide the truth. We explained how we could help him only if he was honest with us, and how it was the same with our Heavenly Father. I really felt the spirit in this lesson, and I was so happy to help this man. The other Investigator is also doing well with the same problem: smoking. He has really improved, and in the lessons he has more and more to say. I absolutely love to see this kind of improvement.  It is what makes Missionary work the best. 

On Friday, we were able to go to Jokjakarta for the monthly Zone Training Meeting. We rode a train there early in the morning, which was the first time I rode a train in Indonesia. It was a nice train with full AC. When we got there, we had about three hours before the meeting started, so we shopped for ties, and practiced our bargaining skills with vendors. 

We also rode a horse-drawn buggy to the church, which was only $3 for five people. 

At the meeting, I was given a bag which had a package from my family! The Sugianto family took it to Indonesia for me, and I was very grateful! I have already consumed just about everything that was inside it. On the way back to Solo, we took a train that was economy class, with no AC. That was not as fun of a ride, but we made it back in time for our appointments! 

Church was fantastic yesterday with the testimonies shared. I was able to translate for the Knorpps again, and I did a much better job than last time. I guess it takes practice! My companion bore his testimony, and he was by far the easiest to translate. Because I am with him 24/7! As a matter of fact, we have been together for almost four and a half months. That is way longer than companionships usually go for, and I am so glad we have done well together. 

After church, there was a celebration for a pregnant member, and they had a bunch of food. The main course was Nasi Kuning, (yellow rice) and they had EsBuah (fruit drink) as well. Luckily I had prepared for this by fasting early yesterday, so I could break my fast right when the feast began! It was a great meal. 

Well, that is about all the really cool things that have happened to me this past week. I might move pretty soon from Solo, and I am enjoying it while I can! I have been so blessed by this gospel, and from this Mission. I really have grown in my testimony of Families this past week. I know that if we really focus on strengthening our families, and help them grow closer to God, we will feel a sense of purpose and happiness that no worldly things can bring. Thank you all for your prayers and support. I feel your love every day, and it really helps me on this Mission. 

-Elder James

What my English class sometimes looks like

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