Monday, November 25, 2013

Yogyakarta Week 14

My district at Borobudur last week

Hello Everyone,

Well, as hard as I tried to hide it from my Mother, she eventually found out that I was in a bike accident. I did not want anyone to worry, since I am honestly fine, so I tried to hide it. But thanks to the wonderful Sisters in my District, and their detail-filled emails, everyone knows. I won't go into details on the crash, since I am tired of explaining it, but the important part is that I am okay! My scars are going away, and the pain is almost gone. 

A sweet little old lady selling peanuts outside of Borobudur-she had the biggest smile!
Anyway, I had a pretty busy, successful week this past week, and we all did some really fun things. I really love the Indonesian people, and I am so glad that here in Jogja, they are kind enough to let us in their homes, and hear what we have to say. This city has been my most successful city so far in regards to finding new investigators, and we have a good deal of lessons. People just have a hard time with acting on what they know to be true sometimes.

Last P-day, our District was invited to join President Donald, his wife, and the Lucherini Mission couple to their activities. We met them at their hotel, and travelled with them to Borobudur, a silver factory, basket factory, and a chocolate shop. They were so kind to all of us, and they gave us a lot of food. I was able to visit and talk to President Donald quite a bit, mostly about football and how it is more brutal than rugby. I don't know if he agreed. He is such a personable Mission President, and we all feel so comfortable around him. It was a great P-day. 

We have a good amount of investigators at this point, but as I said before, they are scared to act on what they know to be true. My companion and I are trying so hard to help them progress, but we cannot take away their agency, and force them to act. It can be quite frustrating, since we know how much they will be blessed if they do what we say, but there is just nothing more we can do. That is why I have been focusing on finding new investigators, so that there will be a broad spectrum of people that have potential. My companion is doing so good with teaching, and it always amazes me that he is still new. He does not act like a new Missionary at all! 

Our last District Meeting was a little different, because President asked me to focus even more on the investigators in the meeting. After a short lesson, I had the District, including the Elders from Magelang, get into a circle with our area books ready. We each discussed every investigator that we are teaching at this point, and then we asked for help from the other Missionaries. It was really successful. We focused the entire meeting on our investigators, and how we can help them improve. It was a cool experience, and I am glad President had us change a few things. 

I had a really cool experience this past Sunday, which made me see the happiness that comes from the family. Sister Allred and Sister Manullang contacted a guy that lived really far away, and they wanted to visit him. Since he was going to pick them up from the bus station alone, and it was pretty far, they asked us to go with them. We took a long bus ride, and then he drove us to his home from the bus station. He lived really far away, in a little village, and just had a little place to live with his wife and two kids. He was one of the kindest men I have ever met on my Mission. He gave us a little food, and we gave a short message on the family. He was honestly so great, and we will for sure go back there to teach him again. Even though he was really poor, he had a great little family, and you could see how happy he really was. It was amazing. 

Well, that is about it for today. I hope you are all doing great, and have fun Thanksgiving celebrations with your families. Our District has some fun Thanksgiving plans, and I will let you all know what we do next week. Thanks for all the prayers and support! I love you all!

-Elder James

A beautiful sunset in our area-I was so happy I was in a pretty place to catch it.

A lizard we caught at our house-we eventually let it go. 

A deep well outside a member's house.

A HUGE ant that we saw at a member's house-
apparently is very dangerous if it bites you!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

News of a bike accident

{I got an email from Sister Sheffield's mom asking how Elder James was doing after his stitches. WHAT?? I asked Rick about it and he sheepishly told me that that he knew that he was in a bike accident, but that Elder James didn't want to worry me about it. That is very sweet, but with this day and age, with the technology we all have, it wasn't but a few days before I found out about it. News travels fast from the other side of the world.}

{I even noticed this cute picture on Sister Sheffield's blog. I wondered why we didn't ever get any pictures from Elder James of their visit to Borobudur with President Donald. That just isn't like him! I guess he was trying to hide the fact that his head was all bandaged up. I hope it heals quickly, and that we get the story of the accident this week.}

Monday, November 18, 2013

Yogyakarta Week 13

Hello Everyone,

First off, I am really sorry if this is a little short. We just came back from Borobudur with a Mission Couple and the Mission President and his wife. We have been fairly busy this week, and I have been so surprised at how fast time is starting to go. I guess I better enjoy it and make the last part of this Mission my best! I will not give a lot of details, but here are a few cool things that happened this past week.

This is our companion study; we watched videos and drank lots of Coke.
My companion is trying to gain weight, so I am trying to help him!
We did not do anything really fun for last P-day, since we all really needed to relax. My companion and I worked really hard to find new investigators, and we actually had a good amount of success. The people here in Jogja are so kind, and they really receive us well.

One cool thing we did on Friday was a trip to Semarang for a Zone Training Meeting. It was so cool to see my first city again, and it seemed just as beautiful as I remembered. It was also really nice to see all the different Missionaries from the area, and visit with them. 

It is pretty far from Jogja, and with traffic it took pretty long to get home. I cannot believe that one year ago, I was new in that city!

President and Sister Donald came from Saturday until Monday to see the city, and visit with our District. President went with us to some of our appointments, and he really enjoyed teaching with us. He was so impressed with my companion, Elder Sadiyono, who is already acting like a Missionary who has been out for a while. I totally agree! We took him to our favorite places to eat, and showed him a little bit of the city. He said it was one of his favorite cities that he has visited.

For P-day today, we were invited to go with the Lucherini couple and the Donalds to Borobudur and a few other places. They were so nice to let us go with them, since they dealt with all the travel and such. I enjoyed seeing Borobudur for the second time, and I really was happy that those who have not seen it yet were able to see it. We then went to a few places that made silver items, which is one of the things Jogja is famous for. We also went to a chocolate factory, and ate at McDonald's together. It was an absolutely great P-day!

I am once again sorry that this is so short. We have to go home, and then get back to work. I hope you all have a great week, and I would really like to hear from more of you! See you again!

-Elder James

A gate at the entrance of Kraton, the old Javanese kingdom.

Eating at Sister Siska's restaurant.

Elder Sadiyano eating his favorite brownie brand.
Like I say, he's trying to gain weight!

Tugu, one of the landmarks in Jogja.

We took President Donaldson to Raminten to eat.

Fried frogs were actually really good!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Yogyakarta Week 12

Hello Everyone!

I hope you enjoy the many pictures I was able to send this past week. I sure did take a lot! We had many fun and interesting things happen, and I have gotten a lot better at taking more pictures of those things. Although we have not had too much success as far as Missionary work goes, we are still trying our best to invite as many people as possible to come unto Christ. My companion and I are getting along great, and we are having a blast here! Here are a few cool events that happened this past week.

Last Monday was actually a regular working day, since our P-day was moved to Tuesday. So we emailed in the morning, and then went to work. We went to Klaten again with the Sisters, trying to teach a few investigators that were supposed to meet us. They were not there, which was a little disappointing after a two hour trip there, but we met with the Winoto family, and had a good time talking to them.

For P-day, we decided to go to the beach just like we did a few months ago. I rented a car from a man in my neighborhood, and a driver as well. He took our entire District, including the two Elders from Magelang there and back. The beaches were pretty crowded, because it was a holiday. 

We went to three different ones, and had a great time. It was super hot, and I got sun burnt again, but it was well worth it. The water was so nice, I was tempted so much to take a swim! As usual, many people wanted pictures with us, which has become quite normal for me. We came home in the evening, and were all really tired. It was a blast.

My companion and I have been doing great together. He is so happy to be out here, and I have learned so much from him. Since we now have AC, we try to do as much as we can in that room. Every Thursday, we do a weekly planning session, and we always do it in our beds, with the AC on full. I can not describe how happy I am to have that AC. We also have been able to continue teaching many people, even though they all have a hard time acting on what they know.

On one day, we received an SMS from a member, asking us to go with her and visit a non-active member. We said we would be happy to do so, and we followed her directions to the place. It turned out to be super far away, and it took us about an hour and a half to bike there in the heat. I could not believe how far away it was. But when we got to the area it was in, it was really pretty. We met with them, and they were very kind to us. We will meet with them as much as possible, and get a work out at the same time!

One funny thing we saw was a crazy guy that just chilled in front of the church. He was making his own cigarettes, and he scared the Sisters pretty bad. I talked to him, and he did not seem like a threat at all. He was just funny. He took a nap, and then took a Book of Mormon from the Sister's bike and started to read it. There are all kinds of people in this world!

The raining season has been picking up, and the other day I was caught in it while riding my bike. It was insane! But today, as I heard about the storm in the Philippines, I know it is not nearly as bad here. I hope everything will be okay for all the people over there.

I hope you all have a good week this week, and remember how much Christ loves each and every one of us. His love is unconditional, and he will always be there to help. I love you all, and will talk to you next week!

-Elder James

Monday, November 4, 2013

Yogyakarta Week 11

Hello Everyone!

Not much happened this week, so this will be a little short. But I have really learned a lot this week from some various activities and experiences. I am learning a lot being a trainer, and my companion and I have been working really hard. I hope I set a good example for him, so that he can improve and become great. I sure am learning a lot from him. He is so happy to be out here, and he has such a great enthusiasm for the work.

This last P-day was not bad, since we spent a lot of time just relaxing and getting caught up on some things that we had to do. We did do a little shopping at Malioboro street, which is always fun. It started to rain pretty hard that day as well, which means the raining season is quickly coming! I am ready! Especially since the weather will cool down a lot more.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, we were in Solo for a Zone Conference. Elder Gong, from the Quorum of the Seventy came, and spoke to all of us. He is the president for the Asia area, and it was great to hear from him. He had a great spirit about him, and it was a very spiritual experience. One thing he mentioned is the amount of people that we are in charge of in this particular Mission. There is only one Mission in all of Indonesia, and it is the 4th biggest country in the world in terms of population. He expressed how much potential this country had. I also was happy to see all the Missionaries from the Zone, and visit with them.

Wednesday night we got back to Jogja, and we decided to eat together before going home. We went to one of my favorite places, Raminten. Since we did not have our bikes, we took a bus, and it took so long to get there! But I was so happy to see that everyone contacted many people, and we found a few people that had a desire to learn. It was a cool thing.

As far as our Investigators go, we are teaching a few that are really great. They have testimonies, but it is hard for them to act. The biggest thing that is hard for them is coming to Church. It can be pretty disappointing when they do not come, because we know how much it will help them. I really hope the Holy Ghost will testify to them of the truthfulness of our message, so they will receive strength to act.

One great thing that happened was that we got Air Conditioning in our home! The Barnards left us theirs when they went home, so I just had to hire some people to move it, and then install it here. It was so nice to sleep without sweating. I cannot describe how happy I was! Our electric bill went up quite a bit, but it is a sacrifice that is well worth it!

That is pretty much it for this week! I hope you all have a great time wherever you are. I also hope you continue to keep in touch with me! I would love to hear from you all. Thank you for all the support and prayers. Talk to you next week!

-Elder James

Our district-sorry it's so blurry!

I ordered this at the restaurant. It was really good, but hard to describe.
It was a chicken and egg dish.

Sisters Manullang and Allred dressed up as each other for Halloween
and came to the church like this--it was so funny!