Hey! Good Morning from here in Indonesia, and Good Night to you at home!
Haha holy cow, a mission really is such a roller-coaster ride! So, this week has been pretty good overall, but it has definitely had its struggles, too!
After I wrote to you last Monday, we went and met with an inactive sister. She is really nice, but she talks a lot and I can't understand most of it because my comprehension is still pretty terrible haha! So I can get little bits and pieces here and there, but most of it is just trying to guess the main topic and what she is saying about it from a few words here and there. It gets a little bit frustrating, but it is also good because I can already tell that I understand more of what she says now than I did the first few times that we met with her.
Tuesday was good, we didn't have any appointments with investigators, so we just met with members and helped strengthen them, while at the same time practicing my language and teaching skills, so that was helpful. The only problem was that over half of those appointments cancelled, so we spent a lot of wasted time since there is nowhere close to the church where we were that we could try to proselyte in. So that was pretty frustrating. I feel like we have a lot of ineffective time here between appointments and when people cancel because we can't really go actively proselyte, and that gets pretty frustrating.
Wednesday we taught a 14 year old boy who is an investigator. He is awesome, and when we were about halfway through the lesson, we asked if he wanted to end and finish another time, and he said, “No, I want to learn more.” That was awesome! We met with him later this week, too, and he said he wants to get baptized! So awesome! He is from a part-member family (the same one that owns that awesome restaurant, so I love going there because we get awesome food every time too!) But I am super excited about that and that I think we will have our first baptism soon! Wednesday night, though, things began going a little south. During our evening planning session, I must of said something that my companion didn't like, or pushed doing something that he didn't want to do or something, and he got mad at me. It wasn't like an angry yelling mad, but he didn't talk to me for 3 days straight. No evening planning, no weekly planning, and I couldn't even really get much out of him to do companionship study. That got really frustrating to me, because throughout the next days, I had no clue what was going on, where we were going, who we were teaching, or what we were teaching about until we got there usually. Luckily, about half of Thursday was spent with the Sisters going to appointments or English class together. So that was awesome that day.
Oh, and English class was pretty amazing this week. A girl showed up that is from Portugal, and her father is from Java. She has never been contacted by the missionaries, but heard from her friends that our church is a cult and wanted to find out because she didn't really believe them. So she came. The sisters got her information and have taught her twice since. Come to find out, the other day she saw me riding my bike, and—in her words—wondered why a tall young white man dressed up nicely wearing slacks and a white shirt and tie, and very shiny black shoes was riding a bike through random areas of Jogja—she thought I looked like I could be a successful businessman or something. So she decided to follow us, and we ended up at the church. She asked her friends about it, and they told her lies, so that's when she showed up on Thursday night. She was so excited to meet with the sisters and learn more!
Later that night, the Zone Leaders showed up to do exchanges the next day. What perfect timing with how things were going! And I finally had another American Elder to talk to in English, and that I could really relate to. It was great! So Friday we went on splits, and I went with the American Elder. It was a lot of fun! Since I don't know my way around yet, we made most of our appointments at the church and taught there. One of our appointments cancelled, so we had a big chunk of time in the day to fill. We decided to go to the mall because he needed to get a few things, and said it was actually a great place to do some contacting and proselyting. It actually was. We were just looking in one store and started talking to one of the workers. She started asking questions about what we believed, and as we were talking, she called over another employee friend to learn too. They asked if we had any books or something that they could read to learn more, and so we gave them a Kitab Mormon and some pamphlets and they gave us their information to meet again! That was cool, and one of the first successful contacts I have had!
After that, we had another appointment, but this time at someone's home. I have only been there twice before, and at night, so I didn't know exactly how to find it. Long story short, we spent about an hour looking for it, maybe more. We were an hour late for the appointment, and I later found out that we were nowhere close. But, there was a good ending. Some people in the neighborhood we were lost in invited us into their home to rest for a minute. We got talking and found out they are Christian. We began to talk about church a little bit, and they invited another neighbor over to learn more, too. We shared a very quick message—it was late and we had to get home soon. But we got their contact information and their address, and they really want to meet again this next week to learn more. And it was awesome, because the neighbor seemed a little confused about some of the teachings of the Bible, and said if we had any enlightenment or new way to interpret the Bible, he would love to hear about it. I can't wait to share the Book of Mormon with him! So, although we thought we were lost, I am learning that missionaries are never really lost, they are just where the Lord has placed them.
Saturday I was back with my companion, and had no clue what was going on. In the morning, we went with the Barnards (senior couple) and Sister Sheffield and her companion to a sister's house a ways away to visit her for her birthday. That was really fun! Then we came back and taught that young boy that said he wants to get baptized, and we again had some delicious food! Then we had another lesson with an inactive member (the one I couldn't find last night). It went well, I think, but again, she talks a lot and I couldn't understand most of it. Then, we were riding our bikes somewhere—I'm not sure where we were heading, and it started to pour. Luckily we were close to home, so we went there. It was about 6:30. I thought we were just going to spend a few minutes waiting out the storm, but I found out that we were staying home for the rest of the night. Then I thought we would do weekly planning, but nope. Just a night of no talking and sitting at home wasting time. I tried to not make contention, because I am trying to smooth things over between us, but inside I was immensely frustrated because I came here to work, not to sit at home. I don't know if he was sick or not, but I was still frustrated. I tried to make time as productive as possible and do some studying, but I need to work on not getting so frustrated because it makes it hard for me to focus on what I was studying.
Sunday was church, then we took the Sacrament to 3 members not able to come to church. Two of them were with the sisters again, so that was nice because it was someone to talk to again. Then we went to teach Sister Maria again. We were trying to teach her son about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but she has a lot of questions and likes to talk a lot, so we didn't get very far. But it is OK for now I guess because it is strengthening her, and I could still feel the Spirit at various points in the lesson.
Finally last night I got a few sentences out of my comp. He actually told me what we are doing today! SO we are emailing now, then we will go to the Jogja Sultan Palace (the Kraton) with the sisters. Then we will go clean the apartment. Then we have a lesson tonight with an inactive sister and we will be teaching her about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is so good to know what is going on again! And I think things between us are slowly improving! So that is great! Hopefully this week will be much better!
I love you! And I love the picture book, and so do the people we teach. It is so funny to watch them look at pictures from America and how different it is from here! And they think it is weird that we are all skinny, because here being fat is a sign of wealth and high status haha. But I love looking at the pictures and so do they!
I love you, and hope you are doing well! I love your letters each week—they are awesome! Hopefully I will get the mail ones soon, too!
Elder Jacob T. Wood