Indonesia, Jakarta Mission 3/13 - 3/15

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Blessings of Faith

Hey, how's it going!  Sounds like things back home are going well!  That's exciting!  I'm glad that you are all doing well and having fun.  Sounds like some interesting things are going on back home haha.  I laugh at all the stuff that has happened since I've been gone... New dining room, new living room, new car, new couches, new talk show sitting area haha, the Mustang is getting worked on, and!  You guys must be really bored or something in my absence! haha. And you still have another year!  What next!?!  Haha it'll be interesting to see all the changes when I get home!  But it sounds like its all cool, fun stuff!  

Wow, I can't believe its already summer back home again!  It's still nice and hot here, but that hasn't really changed.  But man, a big year!  Sabrina, you graduated from high school!  That's crazy!  You're so old!  And Eliza, you are a Freshman!  No way!  You are getting way to old way to fast!  That's crazy!  But exciting!

So, things here are going pretty well!  We are working hard and sort of starting to figure our way around this monstrous metropolis!  This city is huge!!!  By far my biggest area, and one of the biggest cities I have ever been to!  And we are doing it on bikes!!!  I'll tell you what, I am getting in pretty good biking shape again, though I may be destroying my poor lungs with all the horrible pollution.  That's one thing I am hoping I will get a missionary blessing for--that I don't die of cancer and lung poisoning from pollution.  But I think we're doing OK.  But we seriously have spent an average of probably 5 hours or more on our bikes riding around every day this week!  We consistently have appointments that are over an hour ride away!  And then the fact that we are still wandering back and forth forever trying to find the right area and house without clear signs, streets, or anything adds more time.  My back side is done by the end of each day!  I am missing my full suspension bike and padded shorts, because our bikes here don't even have a front suspension.  But they are pretty nice, new bikes and they are fast and easy to pedal, so that's nice.  So, I am glad I had some experience on a bike before my mission, because my poor companion is dying by the end of each day.  But it's not too bad.

We had a funny experience this week.  We have been talking a lot about faith in DDM this week, because I have felt that that is something important.  And in "Lectures on Faith" from the School of the Prophets, it talks about how literally EVERYTHING we do, we do because we have faith.  It is kind of a crazy but cool thought.  And somewhere else, I can't remember where, I read that every single decision or action we make or do, good or bad, has a consequence or blessing.  But, often those consequences or blessings are delayed as a test of our faith.  And we saw this a little bit yesterday.  The church is about half an hour from our house or more by bike.  And a lot of our investigators are even farther from the church in the same direction.  Yesterday after church, we took off to go see one of those investigators.  Well actually it was just a contact that had invited us to come by sometime.  we rode and searched for almost 2 hours before we could find their house.  And we had just finished fasting at church, and were out of water and really thirsty.  But we felt we should try to find them before we went home to study and get food and more water.  Well, when we got there, some kid came out and told us his parents were sick, then went back inside and didn't come out again to tell us if we could come back.  So, we were dying, still an hour ride away from home, and thirsty and couldn't stop to buy water.  So, we were pretty down and discouraged the whole ride home.  But, once we got home we got some water and food and started studying a little bit.  I just felt prompted to let D&C fall open, and about 3 or 4 consecutive times, it fell open to verses that I had marked or just started to read about missionary work, the importance of enduring to the end, and not being discouraged.  And then within about half an hour of being home, the phone rang with an unknown number.  The guy was like, "Hey, did you just come to my house?" And we answered and found out it was the guy we had just tried to go see.  He then told us he had just gotten home, was curious as to who we were, and said that we could come over at 6 (it was 5 when he called).  So, we immediately jumped back on our bikes, rode an hour and 15 minutes to his house, and taught him and his family (5 people over the age of 8).  It was a really powerful lesson and guided by the spirit.  He didn't immediately accept everything, but he wants to read the Book of Mormon, pray about it, and meet again next week.  SO that was really cool.  And looking back, we realized that probably had we not gone over there right after church, but went a different day of the week, he wouldn't have been there because he works.  So, it ended up working out just how it needed to.  And it was a cool manifestation of a slightly delayed blessing of faith coming when the Lord wanted.  (And of us being sustained by the Lord to not die of exhaustion and dehydration haha!)

And we have some other exciting investigators now, too.  So that is exciting.  Elder W's dad is awesome, and their family is great to us.  He started receiving the missionaries to his house when ELder W left on his mission, but only a few months ago started learning the lessons and stuff.  He doesn't immediately accept everything, but he is progressing and I'm sure that at some point he will be baptized!  So that is exciting!  

Well, that's the big update from here.  Things are going well and I'm excited.  It's hard work and I crawl into bed every night, but somehow wake up with strength the next morning.  

Thank you for always writing to me and being awesome!  You guys are the best!  I love you so much!  

Love Elder Wood

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