Hey Hey Hey!
So, this week has been good. Different again, but good. I feel like I write the "different" part every week, because it seems like lately every week has been completely different from the week before. Everything is always changing and not much stays the same. Different challenges, different joys, different blessings, different companions, different houses, different everything. But, what always stays the same is the Gospel, my responsibility and blessing to have the opportunity to share it with the people of Indonesia, and the love I know my Savior has for me and each of His children. So, even with everything changing around that, I, and all of us, can always have a solid rock to build our foundation on that we can hold onto to keep us grounded no matter what is happening around us.
So, what was different this week? Well, my companion, Elder Ajidharma, finished his mission and went home Wednesday morning. So, 1 week with him, and then another companion exchange. But, there is a shortage of missionaries in Indonesia right now because of the group that just went home. No one has come to replace him yet, so I am in a tri-panionship with Elder Hendro and Elder Hobbs right now, covering both of our areas. So, that is cool and nice because it gives us a lot of opportunities to do more work! But managing going to two overlapping wards and keeping everything straight and everyone happy is a bit difficult. But we are figuring it out!
So, Monday for P-day we cooked pancakes and stuff like I said. Then that night we went to visit an investigator who was at the hospital. We talked with him a little bit and shared a short message and helped take care of and comfort him. He was pretty miserable, but was grateful for us coming there. Sadly, though, I think we were the last visitors he ever had, because I found out later this week that he passed away on Tuesday morning. It is so sad that he never had the chance to act on the information that he had received. He has been to church one time, and taught just a few times, because he is a fairly new investigator. But he invited us to come teach him at his house when he got out of the hospital. But, this is also why I am so grateful for our knowledge of the Plan of Salvation and that he still can have an opportunity to accept the gospel in the next life, and his saving ordinances can still be done through Temple work, and he has the opportunity to receive Salvation still, and this time with a perfect body free of the challenges and setbacks that he faced in this life. What a blessing!
Tuesday: Translating...Well, it actually wasn't as bad as I had expected. So, it was a guy from BYU Hawaii that came to speak. And it was actually a seminar on entrepreneurship. Hey, that sounds kind of familiar to me...throwback to classes 6 months ago! It was really cool, though! And there were like 4 translators--Me, Elder Giolas, and then 2 Indonesians that are fluent in English. So, luckily I didn't have to translate much at all, but got to listen and hear some good information that I can apply both to life after my mission, and also by keys to success that apply well to missionary work as well! So that was a good opportunity to do service and learn at the same time! Afterwards we skyped with some other famous "business guru" that wrote the book "The E Myth". After that, we met with Sister A. at the church and shared a little message. It was hard because everyone was leaving the seminar, so we couldn't teach very well. But it was a great opportunity to because she got to meet and talk with a ton of members! After that we had another good lesson, English class, and then eating at the famous Pak John's.
Wednesday--We became a tripanionship. We went and met with a former investigator who is awesome. She is super nice and gave us food, and wants us to start visiting her again. Then we went and met with some students of the piano class at the church who are not members to try and get some new investigators as well, and contacted a few people. Nothing yet, but we will keep trying! Then we met with a family that is all members, but part active and part inactive. We taught a lesson, and then helped the 17 year old daughter with some questions. She has a teacher that has started questioning her religion in school. So, she asked for a Kitab Mormon and some information to help answer his questions and to try to do some missionary work herself! So cool! Then we had an english class at a members home that night with several nonmember neighbors to try to make friends and get our names out and do some service. So that was fun and a good opportunity! After that it was night and time to go home.
Thursday: Service was at the park again this morning. I won't lie, it is pretty boring and is starting to become ineffective because everyone there has already been contacted. So, we are trying to find a new service project at the moment. But, there was a group of school students there, so we gave out a ton of passalong cards to them with info about English class. So hopefully something comes from that. Later we went to an inactive members' house and taught a lesson about our favorite scripture verses. They are super nice and cool, so we tried to make Elder Hobbs lead the lesson to practice. He is a champ and went for it. Even though he is still learning the language, it is cool to see him trying so hard and fun to see him progress! Then we taught a new member who is 13 and has been baptized now for 1 month almost. He is so cool, and seems way older than his age, just in his maturity and knowledge! He is awesome! We were teaching about testimony and helping him find his own. He told us that it just came one meeting with the missionaries. They had met several times already and he liked it all. But this time, they were watching the "Restoration Through Joseph Smith" proselyting DVD or something, and he said a feeling just came to him that it is all true, and he just knew it from that point on! So cool! Well, because our appointments were far away, after this it was night again and time to go home. But a good day!
Friday: Today we met with an investigator named Pak.... He wants to be baptized but is still having problems giving up smoking and drinking tea. So we taught him a lesson again on the word of Wisdom and the blessings of obedience. He accepted a later baptismal date and is trying hard to quit, and has a strong desire, which is cool! That was the highlight of the day, and I have to move on because I am low on time. Sorry
Saturday: Today we couldn't find our first appointment's house because he doesn't know his own full address...weird huh. But that happens a lot actually. So, we did a few errands and tried to contact people. Then we went to the church and cleaned and filled the baptismal font for a member baptism on Sunday. Then we went and taught an investigator and his family. They are cool and haven't been taught for a while because they have been busy and we haven't beee able to find them. But we made it out there and met with them. They are awesome and want to keep leaning and are not so busy now! So hopefully we can help them. Then English and night time.
Sunday: Church started at 8. We had both wards so it went until 1. I had to teach Gospel Principles on Priesthood Organization...in Indonesian. That was hard but I made it through! After that we socialized with members to try to make friends, meet people, and get referrals. Then we went to Pak...(from Friday) to teach him and follow up again. When we got there, he had a friend that he had invited to meet the missionaries! So cool, he's not even a member yet but he is already doing missionary work! So we taught the Restoration and his friend was really interested and wants to meet again! Te coolest part was, though, all throughout the lesson, Pak... would keep throwing in stuff that he had learned and bearing his testimony! It was so cool to see his strength and desire before he is even a member! Then we went and met with the WML to discuss the work. He was awesome and totally helpful! And he gave us tons of good food! Oh, and he gave us chicken that was cooked so that the bones were soft. So, we ate the whole bones and everything! It was weird, but good!
So, that was the week! So much good stuff, and so much more to look forward to!
I love you all so much and miss you too, but I don't let it get too bad or I know I am not working hard enough! But you are awesome! Thanks again for the package, It is so fun! I even made a balloon dog last night for fun! It was like Rufus or Duke, but not quite. And then it popped... :( Oh well, try again later!
Glad things are going well at home! Thats crazy that it snowed already! Its still about 110 every day here! SO HOT!!! But its good, and I am getting a sweet farmers tan!
I love you all so much and love hearing from you! I will try to get some hand written letters off if i can in the next few weeks too! Love you!
Love Elder Wood!
p.s. how bad is MSG for you?