Sunday, June 15, 2014

Bandung Week 15

Selamat Hari Senin Semuanya!

This week was honestly very stressful, with some last-minute changes to our plans, and a ton of things to do. But at the same time, it was probably my favorite week here in Bandung. Some amazing things happened, and things are really changing here for the better. I will do my best to describe what all happened, even though it is impossible to do so perfectly.

First off, our activity last P-day was very simple, but fun. We just watched 'The Best Two Years' at the church together after finishing emailing and such. It was really fun because the movie is much more funny while you are serving a Mission. The jokes and quotes make a lot more sense. The day after, Elder Hendro moved to Magelang, and Elder Petersen replaced him. He is a great Elder, and will work very hard with Elder Loudon.

Wednesday started out normal, until I got a call from the APs and President about Lauren, our investigator. They talked about how they would rather the baptism be done this week, even though we planned on doing it next week. This made me pretty stressed to be honest, and since I was on the road, I went into a McDonald's that was nearby, and got to work. I had to schedule a Baptismal interview with the Zone Leaders who live four hours away, tell Lauren and schedule the interview, tell the Lucherinis that it was pushed forward so that they could come, let the Branch President know, and many more things. Luckily, it all worked out.

Before the Zone Leaders came, we had some good appointments on Thursday, including one with Jerry, the nice older man we visit. After the lesson, he pointed to the calendar and said it was his birthday. We immediately took a picture with him, and sang to him 'happy birthday' in Indonesian. He sang along with tears flowing, so grateful that someone took the time to celebrate with him. It was really hard not to cry as well. It is so sad to see how alone he is. We know he will most likely make little progress with the lessons, but we will continue to visit him, because it means so much to him.

On Friday, I was on exchanges with Elder Suryono, and we met Lauren at the church. We taught him what he needed to know before the interview, and then right afterwards, Elder Suryono gave the interview. It went great, and he was ready to be baptized. We told him that Elder Lucherini would be coming to his baptism, (he met them a few weeks ago, and they were really nice to him) and we asked him if he wanted Elder Lucherini to baptize him. He liked that idea a lot. For the rest of the day, Elder Suryono and I visited and taught some people, which was funny because he is from here. He goes home at the same time as I do, and will be a great friend for Lauren. 

That night we had English class, and many came. Afterwards we ate at this new Mexican restaurant. It was the first time I had Mexican food here, and although the burrito was small, it was very good.

Saturday was a day of preparation for the Baptism the next day, and we cleaned the church really well.

On Sunday morning, we got our suits on, traveled to the church, and I left my keys on an angkot, losing them. It was not a great start for the day, and I gave my phone number to a bunch of angkot drivers, offering them money if they found the keys. I did not focus on that, and just went on with the day. We had an investigator come for all of church, which was great because he was able to see the baptism. Lauren's baptism was amazing, and I was so happy to be able to see it. Elder and Sister Lucherini were great with him, and he was so grateful for all their support.

From the time I contacted him two months ago on a train, to seeing him now, it is incredible to see all the progress he has made. He will be a great member here in Bandung, and really help it progress. I will really miss him once I have to go. There is no greater joy as a Missionary than seeing someone come unto Christ, and follow his example.

Today is actually not a P-day, because we switched P-day to Tuesday for a certain activity. We are just emailing, and then will go to work. I will tell all you about that next week. I hope you are all doing well!

-Elder James

Elder Panjaitan on the train
A shot Elder Panjaitan took of me secretly while I was planning -
hence the strange face!
Since the water here is dirty, we had to have a water truck come and fill the font. 
After filling the font, we celebrated our first baptism together as a companionship. 
We played fut-sol with an English student.
I did pretty well with four goals!

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