Hey Hey Hey again!!!
So, this week has been great! Different from the last few weeks because all the people around me changed, but it is still great and I am loving the new people! They are really all really cool and we get along well. I miss Elder McCleary because he and I were friends from the MTC together, and Elder Kester was super fun and easy going. But the new Elders are great too. One of them is brand new to Indonesia, and just came with the group that just got here. His name is Elder Hobbs and he is from New Zealand. He is awesome and totally willing to work hard! Then there is his comp Elder Hendro, who is cool and has actually already served in Solo, just a different area. Then there is my companion, Elder Ajidharma. He goes home on Wednesday, which is weird...we were companions for less than a week. But I guess that is just how it works out. Which is too bad because he is a stud and a great teacher and really friendly and outgoing. And he has been really good to kind of sit back and let me try to figure things out for myself and learn how to lead an area, and help me when I need help. So that is good. I guess what will happen Wednesday, though, is that I will be put in a threesome with the other two Elders in the house and we will cover both areas together for several weeks. So that will be good and hopefully will keep us super busy!
So, we are just coming to the end of our P-day now as I am writing this. We got up and cleaned the house this morning, and then all 10 of the missionaries in Solo met at the church and I cooked pancakes for them all. It was a lot of fun and they turned out really well, actually! Everyone really liked them and called me the pancake master...haha. Then we just kind of chilled at the church for a while and watched Mormon Messages and stuff. Now we are emailing. Oh, but I have to tell you something. So while we were at the church today, the Stake President showed up and asked to talk to me in his office. I asked if anyone else should come, like my comp..., and he said just me. Whoa, I was a little scared, like "what did I do wrong...are we not supposed to cook here or something, or is there something else...?" But, what it was is he asked me to translate for a meeting tomorrow. I guess there is a speaker coming from BYU or something to speak to I'm not sure who about seminary and stuff, and he wants me to translate. From 9 AM to 3 PM! I feel like I am not even fluent yet. But apparently my bahasa is good enough that he thinks I am from just talking to him. I told him I am willing to try, but that I may need some help. He said that is fine, so I asked Elder Giolas who has been here for a year to help me. So, He and I will be translating from English to Indonesian for 6 hours or so tomorrow! Holy cow I will be tired and dizzy from all the thinking that will take! So, pray for the gift of tongues for me tonight if you can!!! I will need all the help I can get! But, I think it should go OK, especially with Elder Giolas there too.
So, like I said this week has been good. Some big changes and opportunities, though!
Last Monday was a chill P-day and I bought my first Batik shirt. Its pretty cool looking, but I don't have any pictures in it yet.
On Tuesday, we met with some members and ate with members and investigators a few last times before Elder Kester left, so he could say his goodbyes and introduce me to people. And we had a lesson and English class, so that was good.
On Wednesday, we said goodbyes at 5AM! Then I went to the other Elders' house and was on splits with them for the day, and went to a few of their investigators. Then Elder Ajidharma got here , we went and visited an investigator in the hospital and talked with him for a while and gave him a lesson on comfort and stuff. It is sad, he has no family or friends close by to visit him, so we are trying to start visiting him to help comfort him. After that, we came home because it was getting later and we had to wait and be home for the 2 other new elders to get here.
Thursday we had our two hours of service at the park. Then we visited that investigator at the hospital again. Then we did weekly planning and study. Our investigator cancelled, and we needed to get groceries for the new elders, so we went to the store that night after proselyting.
Friday: Friday we had a lot of meetings like DDM and stuff that took a long time, so we didn't get too much other stuff done. But the meetings were good and helpful, and we still got in a lesson and English class, so that was good.
Saturday: Here we go. So today was an adventure. And a cause of much stress for me! So, Elder Ajidharma and Elder Hendro were on splits today, which meant that I was with Elder Hobbs, the brand new Elder that doesn't know much yet, like I was a few months ago and still feel like. So, I was leading completely! And the problem was, I couldn't get anyone--investigators or inactive members--to answer their phones or to make an appointment. So, I had to start figuring out what we were going to do. So, I picked an area on the map and found the names and addresses of all the members that I could that lived in that area. I didn't know if they were active or not, so we planned a lesson for both and headed out hoping for the best! We had 6 names to go visit. We couldn't find the addresses of several, despite our best efforts. Finally we were able to find one. I didn't recognize the guy, and after talking to him for a few minutes, I could tell he was very inactive. He didn't remember hardly anything about the Restoration or the Gospel. So, I taught him the Restoration from the beginning, rather briefly. Then we discussed his baptism, the feelings he had felt, the covenants he had made, and why Sacrament Meeting is important going along with those covenants. Then I invited Elder Hobbs to bear his testimony about Sacrament meeting and baptismal covenants, because he had been pretty quiet the whole lesson. He was great, and totally tried his best. But, the funniest part was, he started trying to give the guy the baptismal commitment! He was about half=way through or so before I realized what he was doing and leaned over and told him that the guy is already a member. We all had a good laugh about it and he took it like a champ! But we did get the guy to commit to coming to church on Sunday. Too bad he didn't actually come. But, I felt that the lesson went well, and now I have someone else I can add to the teaching pool.
Then we found our way to another members' home. This time she was active. As we were about to share a brief message, about 10 neighborhood kids showed up with her son. She invited them all in to "learn with the Elders." So, that was kind of cool--I taught the Restoration very simply and focusing on God is our Loving Heavenly Father and HOw to follow Jesus Christ to 10 twelve year olds of all different religions. So that was pretty cool!
After that we were out of addresses and still had several hours left in the day. So we just started talking to everyone we passed on the street. Then we went to the mall to proselyte, because oddly enough, that is one of the more effective places to proselyte here. And I helped (and sort of made) Elder Hobbs go out of his comfort zone and make his very first personal contact in Indonesia! So that was cool to help and watch him progress and grow! That pretty much finished our day. But, that day I gave out 7 passalong cards, which I think is a personal record for me. So, for how stressed I was, it actually turned out to be a pretty successful and productive day! And I was definitely blessed, because I was able to do things like finding addresses that I have never done before. And I understood more in our lessons from what people say than I ever have before, too! So that was cool! And It was awesome to really be able to see how much I have learned and progressed in the last less-than-3-months. And I found out that I can do things that I didn't think it was possible for me to do!
Sunday was good, too. We went to both church meetings--so 5 hours of church, and then to a baptismal service at the other building in Solo (there are 4 wards here!) The baptismal service was great, and our Investigator attended that and came to all of church--and brought her 2 daughters! So that was awesome! We are actually planning on giving her the baptismal commitment this week, so it was great that she came and liked it! After that, though, all of our other appointments cancelled and we couldn't make anymore, despite our best efforts. And it is weird to go proselyte at the mall on Sunday...SO we stayed home and marked up the map with all the members and investigators and updated our ward lists and area book so that we could be more productive in the future. So that was good!
That is so fun that you were able to meet with Elder Putra and have that relationship! His family, especially his mom, was so excited about it and told me thank you so many times! So I think you made her week! And it was fun for me to hear about it too! They really are awesome people, and I feel like they are my second family here in Solo!
Oh, and as I am finishing this, I just opened my email from President Donald. I was feeling so good about things and they have been going well lately...until I read his email. And now I am super nervous and stressed. He is making me a trainer come October! I don't know if I am ready yet! But I guess I'd better be! Holy Cow, though, reading that stressed me out a little bit. Leading one day was hard enough, but doing it for 3 months! Whoa! I just don't know.. But I guess it is flattering that he trusts me that much, and I better be ready, because ready or not, here it comes! So, I guess that is what you could pray for me for...to be ready and prepared to be a trainer already!
Well, enough about that! I am glad to hear that you are all doing well. And glad that you have had a pretty good week it sounds like. Good luck on remodeling the house and stuff! And too bad the Cougs lost. I guess its a good thing I'm half way around the world so I didn't have to suffer through watching that happen again!
I love you all and I love hearing from you each week! It is one of the best parts! Well, I gotta go, but until next time!
Love Elder Wood