Indonesia, Jakarta Mission 3/13 - 3/15

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Undercover Missionaries

Well, this week was pretty good!  It started off on an awesome note!  Ya, last week was Thanksgiving, and I was kinda bummed because I thought we weren't going to have a good Thanksgiving dinner here.  But, the Knorpps, the senior couple, really came through for us!  They invited all the Solo missionaries--10 of us--to come to the church last Monday night for a Thanksgiving dinner.  I wasn't really sure what they would be able to prepare in Indonesia, but was excited nonetheless.  Well, when we got there, it truly was a Thanksgiving Feast!  There was turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, rolls, real butter, fruit and whipped cream, vegetable tray, and soda!  And then for dessert, we had apple crisp and pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting! It was a complete, real, genuine Thanksgiving meal!  And it was DELICIOUS!!! I can't believe they were able to find all of that stuff and put it together here in Indonesia!  And it must have been a ton of work, because they only had a 2 burner stove to cook on, and one of the burners had the oven box on top of it!  But somehow they made it all work!  They are awesome!  And we even played Bingo, just like with grandma!  It felt so home-like, it was cool!  Afterwards we watched Brave together too!  It was such a fun night!

The rest of the week, however, has been a little bit slower and harder.  

Tuesday:  Today we had a lesson with a long-time inactive member.  He was offended by a comment someone made about something like 30 years ago and hasn't been back since I think.  We are trying to help him, but he has already moved to a different church, although he is inactive there too, and doesn't seem to want to come back really.  We will keep trying!  After that we went and visited with P.D.  This was probably the worst lesson I have ever had as a missionary.  He just abused us on the Bible.  He just asked us questions about really high or weird points of doctrine that I wasn't sure on the answer.  And then the members' house who we were at, they started to get frustrated with him and they started debating.  Then I started to get frustrated inside because there was absolutely no Spirit whatsoever.  I tried to politely answer his questions or just tell him we didn't know the answers, then he would want to debate about it with us.  Dad, I remembered your story about not debating with people, so I just sat there quietly as he rambled on for a while, then when I got a break, I just told him that we were not there to debate.  That is not our purpose, and it doesn't help anything.  Then he got all apologetic and let us give our lesson.  I honestly can't even really remember what the lesson was on, though.  I just couldn't wait to get out of there.  It probably wasn't the most Christ-like feelings on my part, but I was a bit offended at the way he berated us on not having a perfect knowledge of every gospel topic ever. Well, finally we got out of there and went to English class, then to dinner, and that was it.

Wednesday:  Today was pretty hard.  We thought we had a pretty decent plan made.  Well, pretty much everything fell through.  We went and visited all our planned lessons, but only got in one.  The rest of them cancelled or weren't home or told us to come back a different time.  Then we went to back-up plans, and got one more lesson in, but got rejected a bunch more times too.  Then we just started thinking of whoever we could visit.  We tried a few more houses, got rejected a few more times, then finally got in one more visit for the day.  Then it was night and time to go home.  We rode all over Solo several times, visited 10 houses, and only got in 3 lessons.  And we didn't even eat dinner before we came home.  It was a pretty frustrating day for how hard we worked.  But oh well, that happens sometimes.  Luckily the mission is always a new day every day.

Thursday:  Today was pretty good.  We had service picking up trash at the park, then we had study time, then weekly planning.  Then we had sports time--we are allowed to go play basketball or volleyball at the local sports field if we work to contact people and to bring investigators, members, and inactive members. So we went and played a little basketball.  Then we went out and visited a newly active member and had a lesson.  Then we went and visited a new contact of ours that we are slowly teaching him without him really knowing he is being taught.  It is kinda funny--like under-cover missionaries.  But he is someone that we are fairly certain would not receive us if we immediately came out and said what we were doing. But we have been teaching a little about families and the Plan of Salvation every time we visit, and establishing a relationship, and he is liking the stuff we say, so soon we are going to tell him more about the church!  Well that was Thursday.

Friday:  Today we had study time, then we had District Meeting.  It was good, but it went super long! After that we went and visited with a less active member and had a good lesson with him, and found out a lot about his needs and stuff.  And he came to church again on Sunday, and brought his whole family!  After that meeting we had English again, then dinner, then it was night time.

Saturday:  Well, this was another sort of frustrating day.  Wednesdays and Saturdays are our longest days here because there are no other meetings or classes to break them up, so it is just working all day. We went and taught P. D. again today, and had a much better lesson than last time.  The Spirit was actually there pretty strongly at a few parts, which was good! Although, he made a comment at some point or another, that combined with all our past experiences with him, really made my companion offended with him, to the point that he refuses to go back now.  So, I don't really know...we were thinking of not visiting him for a few weeks and then going back later, but now my companion refuses to go at all ever.  But the guy still reads the Book of Mormon and comes to church every week, so I'm confused what to do.  But we will figure it out.  The rest of the day we tried to visit a few other members and investigators and got in a few visits which was nice.

Sunday:  Sunday was good.  Fast Sunday--always a lot to fast for as a missionary haha!  Well, we had 6 investigators at church today, which was pretty good again!  After church we went to see a baptism in the other ward--there were 3 people baptised today which was pretty cool--one of which I taught a few times before, so that was cool!  After that, we did some study time, then we went out and tried to visit a few appointments.  We had an appointment that was pretty far away, so we went there.  Well, they had forgotten and weren't home.  That was frustrating.  So we tried to go to several other places--everywhere we could think of actually, and nobody was home!  That was kinda frustrating again haha! Well, we tried to find peope until night, then went home and broke our fast.

Today has been pretty fun so far.  We went to Jogja this morning and played futsal for a few hours and then came home again.  It was pretty fun!  Oh, and guess what I found out?  Sister Sheffield is transferring to Solo this week!  Weird!  I feel like we are just going to follow each other around for the whole mission or something!  Well, we had a good laugh about it. Now we are emailing, then later we have a family night to go to.  

I love you all and am glad you are all doing well!  Bummer for Rufus--I hope he can hold on for a while!  GIve him some pets for me!  I will keep praying for your missionary opportunities!  I love you all so much!

Love Elder Wood
Thanksgiving Feast!

Thanksgiving at the church

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