Sunday, October 13, 2013

Yogyakarta Week 8

Hello Everyone,

This past week has not been too busy, and unfortunately we have had a hard time meeting with a lot of people. But there were still some great things that we did, and I continue to learn a lot. I was especially grateful to listen to conference and learn how to be a better Missionary. Even though we may not get a lot of lessons here, I know I am a successful Missionary when I continue to work hard and am obedient. Blessings have come to me when I serve, and I am so happy to be here. Let me share with all of you a few things that we did this past week.

Last P-day, our District decided to go to Malioboro Street and do some shopping for Christmas. This street is probably the most popular place for shopping and sightseeing in Yogyakarta. There are white tourists all over the place, so we fit in. The people just get really surprised when we start speaking Indonesian! My companion and I thought the shopping would be quick and painless, but we misjudged the Sisters. They took so long! We waited at almost every booth and store that we passed, while the Sisters looked at everything. They kept telling us that it was preparation for our marriage. I bought maybe two items, and it took me two minutes. For them, it took maybe four hours to buy a few things. But it was a fun thing to do as a District, and we were able to talk a lot.

On Tuesday and Wednesday we were able to get a few lessons in, but after that we had none. I really am not sure why, but no one could meet, or no one wanted to. One day, we had four appointments planned, which were already confirmed with the people, but every single one failed. We were so confused at what to do, since all of our back-up plans were shot down as well. So because of this, we have been doing a lot of proselyting, and have met with a good amount of people.

One cool guy we met with was on his way to work when we began talking to him. He was Muslim, which gives us limited options, but he invited us to see what he does for a living. He makes copies of little stone figures, and then sells them to vendors. He was so nice to us, and agreed to listen to a message about Families. It was incredible to see how much our religions had in common with morals and family values. I could tell that he felt something as we testified that the Gospel blesses families. 

I really wish we could teach more, but we are only allowed to teach Muslims after many precautions are made. We will follow up later, and see what happens.

We were able to meet with a few members, and one of which was Brother Jerry. He is very old, and one of the pioneers of the Church here in Indonesia. He was part of the group that translated the first Book of Mormon in Indonesia. His language abilities are incredible, and it was nice to meet with him. We shared scriptures, and talked about preparing for General Conference.

Sister Manullang's birthday was this week as well, and when someone has a birthday here, we usually go out to a special place and eat. She decided to go to the Italian place, so we all piled in the Barnard's car and went there. The Barnards gave her a nice cake, and we had a great time eating the real Italian food. 

This may seem insignificant to many who are reading this, but for a Missionary who is in love with Italian food, and has mostly eaten chicken and rice for a year, it was spectacular. For Indonesia, the place is expensive, but when I thought about the price in US dollars, it was incredibly cheap. We had a great time.

Saturday and Sunday were obviously General Conference for us, and I was able to watch it in English again since the Barnards (Mission Couple) are here. I don't have my conference notes with me, but I really enjoyed all the talks. Watching conference as a Missionary has great meaning, and I cannot wait until I am able to read it from the Church Magazines. Many talks had relation to Missionary work, and how it is the duty of all members, not just full-time Missionaries to spread the Gospel. That is one thing we teach when we visit members. With the members' help here, it makes all the difference. I am so grateful that we have a living Prophet and apostles who can guide us in difficult times.

In my personal studies, I have been reading the Old Testament. Right now, I am in Isaiah, and I am so surprised at how much it testifies of the Savior and his Mission. I have loved reading in the Old Testament, even though many people put it at the bottom of their priorities in relation to the Scriptures. There are so many stories and lessons that we can learn from, and apply to today’s challenges. One scripture I really like is in Isaiah 49, verses 14 through 17. This scripture reassures me that Christ is always aware of me and my problems, as little as they are. He will never leave me, and he will do anything to help me come back to his presence. I know he lives and guides this Church today. I know that because of him, we can overcome any challenge, no matter how impossible it may seem. I am constantly improving because of him, even though my weaknesses are many. I feel like Job, who even through his trials knew that the great Redeemer liveth, and would save him. (Job 19:25) I love you all, and I hope you too will feel Christ's unconditional love for you all. Sampai nanti!

-Elder James

{We sent Elder James a big package of all kinds of American foods and hygiene products last week. We had a really sweet friend here in DC, Dain Hansen, who was so kind to not only deliver a package to the mission home in Jakarta to be shipped to Elder James, but he also took all the AP Elders & Zone Leaders out to a very fancy dinner! Elder James said the cereal was amazing, but wished he could have real milk on it. Said this milk is worse than powdered milk!}
Here are some members making cake at the church. We got there right when they finished! 
They make it very differently here.

The finished product. We were so happy to be there to test it. 

Elder Kusumarmanto making a phone call at home. 

The great cake that the Barnards bought.

{Elder James said that Sister Sheffield ordered Crème Brulee and said her mom used to make it. 
He said that it reminded him of me, since I also used to make it. 
He said it was good, but not nearly as good as mine!}
Watching General Conference in English

Elder Kusumarmanto eating corn. 

Visiting a member's house after watching conference

No comments:

Post a Comment