Wow! What a week it has been in Indonesia! Talk about a Spiritual High here going on right now! And, we haven't even been able to watch Conference yet, so there is more to come!
SO, the first few days of the week were pretty normal. Not too much going on, just a few good lessons with new and/or inactive members and a few investigators. We had some good lessons though! One of them was with a member who was baptized 17 years ago, but can't remember the last time he has been to church. Sad! We have visited him twice now and helped him try to find his testimony again. But it is difficult, because from what it sounds like, he has never really had a testimony that he has recognized before. He met the missionaries and really liked them when he was in junior high school, so he got baptized. But he didn't really know or feel much, he was just converted to the missionaries. So as soon as they left, he went inactive. However, we have found a glimmer of hope to help him grab onto. Even with his limited knowledge about the church and no testimony, he has told us that he felt "free" right after he was baptized. So, there is a testimony in there somewhere that we are going to work to revive and help him learn and grow and hopefully reactivate in the church. It is awesome how the Spirit can testify and bring feelings to the remembrance of those who need or are seeking to find it! Hopefully this guy will then act on those feelings!
So, that was the first part of the week. Sorry I am not going through day by day, I don't really have enough time today, and I want to hit on the highlights!
So, Friday we had PLD (where the whole zone gets together and we have a meeting with President and training and stuff). Friday morning we all met at the church in Solo and had our interviews and talked and hung out together. The interviews were great and I love having a chance to talk one-on-one with President Donald! He is amazing! It wasn't too long, but he talked to me a little bit about becoming a trainer. I will be training a new Indonesian Elder starting on October 23 in the area that I am in right now. I asked him why I, still brand new, am becoming a trainer. He said that when they were planning who would become trainers, he walked in the door and saw me, and he just knew that I was supposed to become a trainer I guess. So, that is cool to know that it isn't just a "Oh, he's there and can do it." But that it really is a calling that he feels and told me that he knows I can do well!
So, that took until the afternoon. Then, because we were still in Solo, my companionship had a few appointments that we wanted to go meet with before the day ended because there was nothing else planned for the day. We had 2 different appointments planned for that evening. But they were far away from each other on opposite ends of town and there wasn't enough time to go to both of them together. So, since we had so many extra Elders there, we did a split. So, Elder He. and Elder M. went to P. (the one from last week that is having a hard time with smoking) to teach him. They said the lesson with him went well. Elder Ho., Elder C. (one of the AP's and the Elder I spent my first week in Tangerang with) and I went to a new investigator--the referral from P. from last week--named M. It was the second time we met him and taught him. But, it was the most incredible and powerful lesson I have ever taught or been in! It was awesome! He has been having some problems in his life and had asked us to pray with him before. So, to start off the lesson we asked him how he had liked the last lesson about the Restoration. He had really liked it he said. Then we followed up on if he had read and prayed about Moroni 10. He actually had! And he said that when he prayed about it, he felt a peace and comfort in his heart! We helped explain to him that that was an answer that it was true through the Holy Ghost, and he believed it. Then, we started talking to him about how he had asked us to pray for him. We explained to him about the Priesthood and its purpose and blessings in our lives, and he then changed his question and asked if we could give him a Priesthood Blessing of comfort and help. So, we did. The Spirit during that blessing was very strong, and we could all feel it! After the blessing, we asked him how he felt. He actually started crying, and told us that he knew at that time that the Holy Ghost had come to him and testified to him that these things that we were teaching are true, and that the Priesthood is a true power of Heaven, and stuff like that! It was so cool! After finishing his explanation, he then asked how he can feel that Spirit and comfort of the Holy Ghost more often in his life. What an awesome question! So, we taught him about baptism and confirmation and receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost so that it can be his constant companion and help guide him. He really liked that idea, and was really interested. So, he then asked before we even had the chance to give him the baptismal commitment, "So, how soon can I be baptized?" Wow! Talk about someone being prepared by the Spirit to receive this message and the ordinances of Salvation! It was awesome! So, we talked a little about the qualifications of baptism and what has to happen, particularly the word of wisdom. He smokes, but told us that starting Monday (today) he would never smoke or drink tea again! He has such a strong desire! And already such a strong testimony! If I'm honest, there were several instances in that lesson that the Spirit was so strong that I got emotional and almost cried, too, when I was testifying! It was by far the most powerful and amazing lesson I have ever taught or been involved in, and I am so grateful for the opportunity! And he even said the closing prayer himself, which people are always to shy to do! So awesome! Needless to say we all went home on a Spiritual high that night and were so excited! Oh, and he has a baptismal date now for the 27th of October! So, we will be going to visit him 2 or 3 times a week, even though he lives like 45 minutes away by bike. It will be our (saving) Soul Ride--kinda like Harley Davidson, but on cheap ghetto bikes! So great!
Saturday morning we had the actual PLD meeting and training. Well, that was another spiritual high! We talked about so many cool things! President Donald has such a strong spirit when he speaks! It is so cool to sit and just listen! One of the things he talked a lot about was the mission goal to get 70 baptisms this year. We still need 34 more, but we still have 3 months to do it. He talked about how it is possible because it is the Lord's work, and He wants it to happen. The only thing that our success depends on is our effort and our faith. We need to have faith that it will happen, work hard to make it happen, and be obedient to the rules and commandments so that the Lord is bound to bless us! The way he talked about it was so inspiring, and we all left with the vision and faith that we can do this! It works out to about 1 baptism per companionship by the end of the year! It can and will happen, I know it! He then moved on to talk about one reason we need these baptisms. He talked about the Stakes of Zion, or stakes, holding up a tent. Right now there are only 2 stakes in Indonesia, and we need 4 to hold up the tent so that there can be a Temple built here in this land! That is inspiring, because I have already seen and felt the desire of the members here to be able to attend the temple! So, to help them in any small way get one in their own country that is more accessible to them would be awesome! One thing I thought of was, "Someday, when I am watching General Conference and they announce that a Temple will be built in Indonesia, I want to have worked hard and be able to say, 'I helped build that Temple. Maybe not with brick and mortar, but I, in some small way or another, helped the church there grow strong enough to need a Temple in Indonesia!'" So, that is our goal! After that, all the missionaries got up and gave a short testimony. The spirit in the meeting was so strong that I don't think there was a single person who didn't get emotional at some point or another. That just testifies of the power, importance, and divine help of this work that we are doing!
The rest of the day, we taught another member lesson that was good to a lady that is too old and unable to come to church, so that was good.
Sunday was good too. It was testimony meeting, and I had to translate for the Mission Couple. That was fun... but I did Ok and it forced me to really pay attention and try to understand!. Oh, and we had 5 investigators that came to church, so that was awesome! One of them was M.! After church we went and taught P. about family history and temple work to help him realize that this gospel is important to more than just himself alone, but that he needs to hep his ancestors too. He really liked that concept and that he could help them gain salvation and all that he his working for! So, hopefully that helps him! And that story will be good for him too--thanks mom!
Well, that is about it for this week! It was a good one!
I'm glad things are going well at home! Congrats on making it to state Sabrina! So awesome! Glad Conference is going well! We will watch it next Saturday and Sunday at the church house with the members...in Indonesian. Hopefully I can understand some of it!
Keep Rufus going strong, I want to see him again!!!
I love you all and am glad that you are all safe and doing well! Hope you have a great week! Love you!!
Love Elder Wood!