Monday, September 2, 2013

Yogyakarta Week 2

My first picture in Yogyakarta! The city is beautiful!

Hello everyone,

A whole week has passed here in Yogyakarta (Jogja)! I have also got past my year mark! This past year really has gone by fast, and I cannot imagine how fast this next one will go. I really do feel changed, even though I still have a lot of progress I can make. My testimony has grown so much, and I have realized the importance of faith in all of our lives. 

A pretty shot of the outskirts of the city. It is so clean and pretty here!

This past week was pretty busy, but boring as well since we just wandered around the city with a few appointments trying to get adjusted and learn the city. We have to know the situation first before we can really progress. The Sisters here have sure been a great help! Here are a few important things or events from this past week:

Our district in Jogja. This was on top of a hill that was so pretty!

My companion, Elder Kusumarmanto, and I have really hit the ground running here. Right away, we started calling investigators and making appointments even though we have not met them before. There are a few possibilities of baptisms here, so I hope we can work hard. In this District, there are also four Sister Missionaries, (Sisters Baantjer, Manalu, Manulang, Sheffield) and one Mission couple. (The Barnards) I really like them all, and we get along great.

In my studies and teachings, two particular scriptures have really strengthened me. One is Alma 32:27, and the other is D&C 130:20-21. We read Alma 32 a lot with many people, no matter their status, because it teaches so well about faith. I liked verse 27, because it taught me that it does not matter at what stage one's faith is at, because any kind of true faith will grow. Even if we can only desire to believe, that will grow within us, and develop into a great knowledge eventually. The other one in D&C just really reinforced the principle that obedience brings blessings. I think that is so true, and many people forget about it; including me!

The Jatmiko family was in Jogja, so they took us out to eat! Just like Solo.

On Sunday, I was able to meet all the members here, and introduce myself. They were all very nice, and really supportive. I think I will have an awesome time with all of them. It was really strange to be in one sacrament meeting with eight Missionaries in total, but I should get used to it.

For P-day today, we went to a beach south of the city. It was super pretty, and we took some cool pictures and explored. There were many places to hike, with new views and scenes. The sun was pretty bright, so I did get a bit sunburnt, but I have gotten used to that. We drank coconuts by the beach, and enjoyed it because the entire place was almost empty!

A really pretty restaurant that is owned by a member.
We go there to teach her son, and always get free, good food.

I really am happy to be here. There are obviously times where I struggle with certain things, but I really think I just need to improve. I think that is what God really cares about. Not about where you are, but what direction you are going. I hope we always remember that when we get down. It sure helps me through some hard times. I love you all, and I want to testify of the power of faith in our Savior, Jesus Christ. Have a good week!

-Elder James
This was a little thing we did with the sisters.
There is a park with two big trees, and if you can walk in between them from a far distance,
you will have your wish come true. 
It is really hard! We all tried it, and only Sister Manalu could do it.

Some guys shooting a movie on top of a part of 'Kraton',
the remnants of the old Javanese Kingdom.

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