Hope things are still going well for you guys at home, sounds like they are!
Well, I am actually writing to you this week from Solo! Yeah, I got my first transfer yesterday and moved from Jogja to Solo Barat area in the Solo 2 ward. Crazy!!! I didn't even have 2 full months in Jogja, so it seems like it was a super short area and quick transfer! Well, I'll tell you more about that later.
I'm glad that you are all doing well! Bummer school starts tomorrow (or today depending on when you read this)! But, school is also fun sometimes in a twisted sort of way!
Sabrina, congrats on doing so well in the Ogden Invitational! That is so cool! I wish I could see you play this year! Take some pics and video so I can watch a little later! But more importantly, congratulations on your patriarchal blessing! That is so awesome, and I promise you that it will be a source of guidance and strength in your life. Whenever I am feeling lost or confused or even discouraged, and many other times too, that is one of the first things I turn to and read. It truly is like personal scripture just for you!
Fun for the dogs to get their hair cut! Everyone always loves looking at their pictures and thinks they are pretty funny looking. But, I have to confess, and maybe don't tell them, but I did try dog a few weeks ago... :( It wasn't very good, though, and I felt pretty weird the whole time I was eating it because I kept thinking about Rufus and Duke...so I don't know if I will be eating it again anytime soon.
So, this week has been another emotional roller coaster with transfers and all. It started out pretty normal, with P Day like I told you last week. Tuesday was another normal day. Tried to make some appointments, but had several cancellations and no-shows.
Wednesday we went out to Klaten (a 2 hour+ bus ride) to visit a new member family and to teach their grandpa with the Sisters. We were supposed to also go contact one of their friends, but instead they took us to a parade. After that, we came home and followed the other sisters to their appointment because they wanted us to meet and take over teaching a member named Bro. Jerry. He is one of the pioneer members in Indonesia, and actually helped with the first translation of the Book of Mormon into Indonesian. But, sadly now he is inactive. It is sad to see someone so knowledgeable and at one point so strong in the gospel to be inactive now. But he was really nice, and we are hopeful that getting the missionaries and members to start visiting him can help him return to activity!
Thursday was pretty good! The last few days and weeks we have been having a lot of flaky appointments and have not seen a lot of success in our teaching or finding new investigators. So, that morning I prayed really hard for success in having our appointments follow through, knowing what to teach, and to find new people to teach. That day, we had a few lessons, had the opportunity to go to the hospital and hep give a sick member a Priesthood blessing, which is aways an awesome experience! Then one of our new investigators cancelled/no-showed, and another investigator family didn't come to English class or their lesson afterward, either. That was a little bit of a bummer after my prayer, but I knew I needed to be patient and trust in the Lord. Because the next day was Elder Wiradi's birthday, all the missionaries and the mission couple went to a good Italian restaurant for dinner to celebrate after English class. While there, we got a phone call from Sister Maria, who we haven't been able to make an appointment with for the last 4 weeks or so because she has been so busy. She was at the church and wanted to pick us up and take us to dinner. Sadly, we had just ordered and were too far away to make it back quickly. Then, about 15 minutes later, the phone rang again. There was a whole family at the church that had just moved to Jogja from I think Bogor. They showed up to the church and told a member who was there that they had heard about our church and wanted to learn more about it right then and there! Again, sadly we weren't there or able to later that night because it was already getting too late! But, we got their contact information to visit them later. But, I truly saw that my prayer was answered that evening! It was so fast, too, and I was so excited to have the possibility to teach so many of our inactive members, investigators and so many potential new investigators as well!
Friday morning came. It was Elder Wiradi's birthday, so we joked and had some fun in the morning. Then, during comp study the phone rang. It was the AP's. We weren't sure why they were calling, because they usually don't ever call in the mornings. But, my comp answered and after a few minutes, was quite anxious, walking around and sounding frustrated with the AP's . Obviously something big was happening, and I eventually gathered that he was being transferred. My feelings were weird, because several weeks ago, I just kept thinking to myself "you can make it to transfers. just make it to transfers." But, when I found out he was being transferred, I was actually really kinda sad. Then he handed the phone to me, and the AP's told me that he was transferring to Bekasi. Then, they said, "Oh, and by the way, you are going to Solo. You leave Sunday afternoon." There was a little more than that, but not a whole lot. At that point, I was initially devastated.
Now, this is going to sound weird, but I also think the transfers thing was an answer to my prayers, but not in the way you will be thinking after reading my emails from several weeks ago. I have also been praying a lot lately for love and charity towards my comp and those I serve among--investigators and ward members. I knew I liked all of them, but I didn't really know how much. It wasn't until I heard that I was transferring that I really realized how much I loved all of them, my comp included, because of how sad I was to be leaving all of them! And I was also really sad to be leaving just after my prayer had been answered the night before and we had so much opportunity for so much success and so many investigators and potential investigators to work with. So, that was a somber morning!
After study, we had district meeting. We kept our transfer under cover until the very end, and everyone was so surprised and sad that we were leaving! But, it ended well because we had some delicious cake because of birthday boy and went to lunch as a district as well! Then we spent some time waiting for appointments, printing a few pictures and visiting members and people we are close to and meet with regularly to say goodbye in the evening.
Saturday morning, I started updating the Area Book and making a list of progressing investigators, investigators, potential investigators, and inactive members so that the new elders that would be whitewashing the area could have good information to get started right away! It was then that, although I was so sad that I wouldn't directly see the blessings and benefits of the answer to my prayer the other night, it was still important and a blessing to me, because I was able to leave the new Elders a good list of lots of things to do as soon as they get here so that they don't have to waste too much time right away trying to find people to teach. They can jump right into teaching hopefully effective appointments! Later that day we met with one of our progressing investigators who is one who regularly no-shows. He actually showed up to this appointment, and we had a good lesson and got him excited to continue meeting with the new elders! And he has a goal to prepare for baptism by the end of September!
Sunday was good, but also sad! Melly, the investigator I talked about from Saturday, came to church for the first time since I have been here, which was awesome! He really is trying now! and that is so exciting! And Sister Maria came for the second time since I have been here and brought her niece! That was great! We got to bear testimony in Sacrament Meeting since we are leaving, and that is always nerve-racking, especially in Indonesian! But, I think it went OK, I hope! After church, we had to say our last goodbyes to so many wonderful members that have been so good and loving to us! We took so many pictures with people (I'll try to send a few)! Then, Sister Maria took us to lunch. She is so sweet, and calls us her children and herself our mother. So, I have a mother in Indonesia now, too. And she said she is going to come visit me in Solo so that she can bring me a painting and some treats! Haha she is awesome. Crazy, but so loving and sweet! Afterwards, we went home, finished packing, and the Barnards (mission couple) drove me to the train station, I got on a train, and an hour later at about 7 was in Solo. I am now living with Elder McCleary, Elder Lopis, and I am companions with Elder Kester! I am comps with a white guy! Crazy! But they are all really cool and fun to live with, and Elder Kester seems awesome and like a hard worker, so I think I will be really happy here! I am so excited!
So this morning we got up and went to a stadium to run around it a little and do some exercise and chill. Holy cow I am out of shape! Running is sooooo hard now! It will take a lot of work to get ready for an Ironman again! But, that's not my focus now. So I will stay healthy and then get in top shape again later. But it is a lot of fun here and I love my new district!
Well, that's about it for now! I love you all and can't wait to hear from you!
Oh, and for the package, maybe a few Swedish Fish, a few JellyBellies, and a little bit of licorice (just small on each of these--they are requests from roommates). And then for me, some granola bars or something like that--there are no granola bars over here. And whatever else you have is great! Oh, and letters! Those are really the best part. And maybe some pictures of stuff that has been going on--the new car, Lake Powell, tennis, whatever! But pictures are awesome, so most important are letters and pictures, and the other stuff if there is space or weight left!
THANKS!!! You're the best! I Love You!
Love, Elder Wood