Monday, December 30, 2013

Yogyakarta Week 19

Our District Christmas picture before the party
Merry Christmas Everyone!

I hope you all had a good Christmas week. Although Christmas here is very different from Christmas in the United States, I still had a lot of fun. In comparison to my last Christmas here, this one was much more meaningful and nice. Even though we were pretty busy with Christmas activities this past week, we were still able to teach a few of our investigators, and get some work in. We actually were quite successful this past week, because we met with more people to teach. Here are a few cool things that happened.

The crowd before the ward Christmas party started
For Christmas Eve, there was a ward party at night time. We invited all our investigators to come, but I was doubtful that they any would show up. I should not have thought that way, because we had an investigator come with his two grandchildren. He lives very far away, but he wanted to do something special for his grandchildren, so he came. It was great to see him there! The members all did different things, like singing, acting, and dancing. There were a few acts that showed the Javanese culture, and it was cool to see.

Elder Sadiyono with his Christmas presents
On Christmas day, I was able to open my package from my family, and see the cool things they got me. My companion loved all the things my family sent him, and he was really surprised that he got that much stuff. I also was able to call my family through Skype, and that was by far the best present of them all. 

Our District watching "It's a Wonderful Life"
We had a District party with the Elders from Magelang, and I got approval from President Donald to show 'It's a Wonderful Life'. We used the church's projector and a member's speakers. I was able to find the movie with Indonesian subtitles. Everyone loved the movie. We drank hot chocolate, played games, and visited. It was a fun party!

Elder Waltman & Elder Sadiyono when we all ate at McDonalds
The Zone Leaders, Elder Waltman and Elder Hasibuan stayed for three days and two nights to do exchanges with us. It was good to see Elder Waltman again, and work with him and his companion. We got a good amount of lessons done, and were able to eat at McDonald's together. I am glad they spent Christmas with us.

The Sugiyanto family came to visit!
On Friday morning, we received a surprise phone call from Sister Sugiyanto, who wanted to visit us. We directed her to our house, and they gave us food. They were in Jogja for a few days, and it was fun to see them. That night, they took all the Missionaries out to eat pizza, and we were able to visit. They are such a nice family! I have been able to see them in almost every one of my cities so far!

Sister Hasibuan with Gina, the sister's investigator.
An investigator of the Sisters, Fero, was baptized this week as well, and confirmed the following Sunday. A while ago, she was very scared of the Missionaries, and would not come to Church. But after getting to know the Sisters, and learning a little bit, she felt more comfortable. It has been really cool to see the progression she has made. The Gospel really does help people change, and I am so glad that I have the chance to bring that to the lives of others.

My companion and I with our Christmas ties
On Sunday, something really cool happened. Right when we got to the Church, members told us that there were a few people visiting. There was one family here on vacation, and then a single young man sitting in the chapel. My companion and I split up, and sat next to them. The family left right after sacrament meeting, but they said they had a really good experience. Apparently they were just looking for the closest Church. But the young man that came followed us to all classes, and then we taught him after Church. He had many questions, but we were able to help him understand a lot of things, and he said he wanted to be a member of this church! We gave him a baptismal date, and he is preparing for that. It was such a miracle! President called me after we taught him, and said he had a referral from the church website. It was that same guy! I told President that we had already taught him, and he was very impressed. I hope everything will go well!

Me with my new Broncos t-shirt, in front of the Christmas tree
In my personal studies, I have finished the Old Testament, and am now reading in the New Testament. I already love reading it so much! The teachings of Jesus are so clear and explicit, but also deep and thought provoking. I am very happy that I will be able to finish my goal of reading all the standard works by the end of my Mission. My testimony of the scriptures has grown so much! I wish I had studied them more before my Mission. I feel so much peace when I read.

I hope you all have a great week!

-Elder James

A member doing a traditional Javanese dance for the Christmas party

Relaxing in front of our house

Us with Sister Dewi

My Christmas gifts from my family

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