Hey hows it going!? Sounds like you are all doing really well, which I am really glad for! I love to get your letters each week, and especially your pictures! They are so awesome! And hearing of all your missionary experiences at home!
Mom, you had said you hoped I was being blessed for your missionary efforts at home. Well, I will tell you, this week we definitely were!!! Yesterday was church, and we had 8, yes, EIGHT investigators there in Sacrament Meeting! That is a record for me! And for many of them this was the first time they have ever come! Several of them are even Muslim, and this may have been their first time coming to a Christian church! And the best part is that every single one of them had a great experience and wants to come back next week!!! And that is not even all. We also had 2 long time inactive members come to church for the first time in probably a year or so! And another formerly inactive member come for her third week in a row! It is so awesome!!! And it was a really cool program for all of them yesterday. It was the Young Women's program in Sacrament Meeting, and the Spirit there was so strong! There was only one problem. There were more investigators than my companion and I could sit with! Haha but luckily several members helped out and sat with several of them, and everything worked out well! So cool!
And, the fact that we had 8 investigators come this week is even more of a miracle because we have not been able to do a whole lot of work this week. We have been stuck at the house a lot since Wednesday because my companion has chicken pox. For the second time... Poor Elder Wintolo! Luckily it is not too bad and he is not too miserable, but he has had to stay at home and rest most all the time so it doesn't get worse. And he has felt fairly weak. But luckily he was blessed with enough strength to go to church on Sunday, because I don't know what would have happened with all our investigators had we not been there. So many little amazing miracles in this work!
So, there is not a whole lot to report for the week. We got all of our most important meetings with investigators and stuff in at the beginning of the week before he got sick, and the others I was able to go on exchanges with other Elders so that we got everyone covered. So I am grateful for that!
P.D. is still progressing. He still has a baptismal date for the 22 of December and we are still working towards that. We are a little worried about him though, because he doesn't really have a Testimony of The Book of Mormon or of Joseph Smith yet, he just wants to be baptized Christian. But we are still working towards getting him a real testimony and preparing him for baptism, and he is still working too, so I have faith it will happen.
We also have Sister A. and her daughter. They have an incredibly strong testimony and a great desire to be baptized, but do not yet have their husband's/father's blessing/permission. The other daughter has also been coming to church lately, even though we have not yet been able to teach her. They are awesome, and we are really trying to help them prepare for baptism. It is just hard because they live too far away to bike to, so we have to get a ride from someone with a car or meet at the church, and they are very busy. But they try to make time to meet with us, and are good about coming to the church to do it. But we want to try to go to their house this week so that we can talk to the father, and hopefully get him to give permission and to begin learning himself, because how much better to bring a whole family into the church!
We also have M., a 9 year old boy. He is the son of a member that is just returning to activity. He has not yet been baptized, but wants to be. But it is hard because we have to teach him all the lessons first, very simply. But, he has a learning disability that makes it hard for him to focus for longer than 2 minutes and hard to remember much. But he is awesome, and we are working with President Donald to figure out how to best work with him and help him progress.
The other investigators that we had come to church are actually not even investigators yet. One of them is a kid who just showed up last week, and we invited him to come back this week. We have been trying to meet with him this week as well, because he wants to learn, but he is busy with finals at school, so we have not been able to meet yet, but he has already come to church twice!
The last two investigators who came are a cool story. One of them has been coming to English class for a few weeks now. He is Muslim. But, he told us that he feels really happy and peaceful when he is in the church building. So we invited him to come to Sacrament meeting. Well, this week he came and he brought his wife and son! So cool! And they had a great experience and said they want to come back next week as well! So we are going to try to start teaching them this week as well! Exciting! A lot of possibilities and people to help find Eternal Happiness!
Mom, I can kinda feel for you with your friend passing away this week. We also had a member that I really liked pass away here. He was a pioneer member here and had a stroke a few weeks ago and passed away Tuesday night at 2 am. They don't waste any time here, though. On Wednesday morning we were invited to go to the funeral. This was cool, though, because it was an LDS funeral, and they talked a lot about the Plan of Salvation. Which is awesome, because there are so many people there that are not members of our church. What a great missionary opportunity for the church and the family, and that they took advantage of that opportunity, even at a time of great sadness for themselves.
Well, I will start to wrap it up here. I hope you guys have a great Thanksgiving! Don't worry, we actually are having a Thanksgiving here. The Senior couple here, the Knorpps, are cooking us a big Thanksgiving Dinner and all the missionaries are having a Thanksgiving Dinner together at the church tonight! So we are pretty excited about that! Thanksgiving--even in Indonesia. We are even having turkey and stuffing and mashed potatoes and gravy! SO GOOD!
Oh, and tell grandma and grandpa thank you so much for the package! They are so awesome! And tell grandma to get well soon for me! I am glad that she is doing well! Also tell the Jessens thanks for their package! I have a few letters written for them, and for you guys that I will try to get sent off in the next week or so. Sorry I am so bad at sending real letters here!
Say hi to everyone for me tonight and tell them I miss and love them all! But things here are awesome and I know I am right where I am supposed to be!
I love you all so much!
Love, Elder Wood!
Pictures from the Bishop's mountain house on p-day last week
The pine trees made me think of the cabin back home!