Indonesia, Jakarta Mission 3/13 - 3/15

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Remember the true meaning of Christmas!

Hey!  Great to hear from all of you!  Glad to hear things are going pretty well back at home!  That is pretty crazy that it is 70 degrees and warm!  Kinda like here!  But not quite as warm...  The Christmas season is still weird here.  About the only time it feels like Christmas is when we play Christmas music at the house or if we go to a nice mall for P Day and they have Christmas Decorations up.  But we have a small tree at the house, too, which is fun.  And the mission home is decorated nice, so that is fun, too!  

That is pretty crazy that the Sheffields are going to be here so soon!  That will will be fun that they will be at the mission home most of tomorrow, because tomorrow is mission leader conference all morning at the mission home, and so I will be there for much of the day as well!  So I probably will see them!  That will be awesome!  I am excited to get the package!  It is always fun to get stuff from home just because it is from you guys and packaged with love!

Well, this week was pretty good!  We had stake conference this Sunday, which was really fun because I got to meet a lot of the members from Tangerang again!  And the talks were all really good about how we can strengthen ourselves, but there was an expecially big focus on strengthening new members and helping them grow in strength so that they will stay active!  That was good, because that is something that our mission has been struggling with is having converts come in but quickly leave as well because of various reasons.  So that will hopefully begin to help!  Luckily I am so grateful that Sister M and her family, Mama V and V, and Brother W are all still active!  

The rest of this week we have been doing pretty well, too!  We went on splits to Bekasi, and I went with Elder Tuttle.  He is pretty new but he is awesome!  We went and taught a contact that they had.  His name is R.  He has the biggest, nappiest afro I have ever seen!  And the front of his house is like an unkempt jungle.  And he doesn't have lightbulbs inside his house.  We knocked and he came out and greeted us wearing some ratty shorts, a wife-beater, and smoking a cigarette.  To be honest, I was a bit nervous to go in at first haha!  But we went in and taught him.  And we had an amazing lesson talking about the role of the Savior and His infinite love for us and the gift of His Atonement, as well as the Restoration of the Gospel and the Book of Mormon.  Well, R used to live a pretty good life, but he got into some bad habits and lost all his money and fell away from God.  He has family in other churches, but has never really been interested, I picked up.  But as we explained the Restored Gospel and baptism, he was really interested and listening.  And by the end of the lesson, we had committed him to baptism, reading the Book of Mormon, praying, coming to church, and quitting smoking!  And then, he took us to his family's house and introduced us to them, and sat in as we taught them!  It was an awesome day!  It is so cool how when people are exposed to the truth and open to receive it, it can totally change their desires and help them find the way back to the path they want to be on!  

And our investigator, C, is still progressing well and receiving all the commitments and working to prepare himself for baptism!  So that is awesome!  He is having a hard time recognizing an answer about the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, so we are working with him on that.  So thank you for your email on personal revelation, dad!  I think that that can really help C!  But he is still going by faith!

And we had some other good lessons and whatnot going on this week.  And we are still battling traffic haha!  Man I miss I-15 and whatnot!  

Well, I am glad that you are all doing well!  Thank you so much for the emails and love and advice!  I love hearing from you every week!  I am excited to get the packages from you and the fresh treats and love!  Haha!

Well, I hope you all have a great week!  Hope it cools down a bit so it feels like Christmas a bit, and so that you can go skiing!

Oh, and you should really check out  And share it on FB!  The church is doing a big worldwide Christmas campaign thing, and it is even in indonesian at  Check it out!  They have some cool videos and stuff, and supposedly there will be new things coming out the whole month to help people remember the true meaning of Christmas!  It is good stuff!

Well, I love you all so much and can't wait to talk to you.  It sounds like we will be able to skype from the mission home on Christmas day here, so at some point on Christmas eve for you guys.  I can't wait!

Love you!

Love Elder Wood

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving dinner!  So yummy!  Prepared by Sister Lucherini

Hey!  Man, that is pretty crazy to see pictures of you guys with Sister Sheffield back at home!  It is pretty weird that people from my MTC group are already going home!  So crazy!  It makes it seem like time really has flown by and that I don't have a ton of time left!  Which is kinda sad!  But it is motivation I guess to make the very most of what time remains (which is still enough :)

So, this week has been pretty good!  Not too crazy.  Thursday here was just...Thursday.  But we did have a quick streetside dinner with a couple of teenage new members after English class. So that was fun for our Thanksgiving celebration.

But Friday, that was Thanksgiving.  Every Friday we have district meeting at the mission home, and after district meeting this week, Sister Lucherini, one of the senior couples, had prepared a full Thanksgiving dinner with turkey and stuffing and potatoes and pies and everything!  It was so delicious, and so fun to eat it all together at the mission home!  So we were able to have a Thanksgiving here!  Which was awesome!

After thanksgiving lunch we went out to start working, and it was raining, which always causes terrible traffic here.  We headed out to an appointment on a bus, got separated and lost a little bit, and by the time we were out to the area of our appointment it was already too late to go there, and we had to head home, and were still almost late going home.  The traffic was so bad and the lines to get on the buses so long that I think we traveled the total of less than 10 miles in over 6 hours!!!  It was absolutely ridiculous and pretty frustrating, but also kind of a funny experience to just look at and see how crazy that was!  But it was a bummer that we weren't able to make it to our appointment.  But it was OK in the end, because the guy still came to church on Sunday!

This week we also got to go on splits to Bekasi, which was fun!  It is a lot of fun getting to go work with the other missionaries and learn from them!  And it seems like the Lord always blesses us with miracles of great success when we go on splits!  Things just seem to always work out well to boost morale of the other missionaries and help them in their areas!  So that is definitely a tender mercy that seems to often accompany splits! Like this week we found a new investigator and got a lot of really interested contacts and several return appointments with them!

And then on Sunday we had a small miracle happen!  We have a zone goal to get have every companionship get one more baptism by the end of the year, and we were fasting for it.  We had one investigator on date, but he is not doing anything to progress, and still hasn't come to church, and is now just asking us for money.  So we were kind of losing hope on him and wondering where our baptism was going to come from.  But, we had a fairly long time investigator come to church this Sunday again, and we met with him afterwards and had a really powerful lesson about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and we got him to commit to preparing himself to be baptized on the 21 of December!  So that was super exciting!  His name is C, and he seems excited, too!  He has just been concerned that he will not be perfect, and that is why he has not committed beforehand, but we were able to help him understand that baptism is the first step, not the end goal to perfection, and he understood that and wants to go forward with faith!  So that was a miracle and answer to our fasts!  

So, it was a pretty good week here!  Not too much going on!  But lots of little good things!  I am liking the area, though still getting used to the traffic!  Sometimes we go 5 miles in the same amount of time it would take to drive to St. George, which is pretty crazy!  But we try to make the most of it and get contacts on the buses and whatnot!  But Jakarta is a good area and I am liking my companion.  
Glad to hear you are all doing well and had a pretty good, though different, Thanksgiving!  And Sunday today sounds like it was pretty fun!  Tell everyone hi for me as well!  

As far as FB goes, it is actually a mission page called Mormon Jawa Barat, and also Mormon Indonesia.  You are welcome to follow the pages.

For treats sent from home, I don't really know what.  I am kind of just getting to that point of being happy with what's here, and waiting for the rest to be exciting when I get home.  But maybe a few Reeses peanut butter cups would be awesome, and if you can get it through, some home made honey!  Those might be kind of exciting!  And then just whatever you think would be fun!  You always do a pretty good job of picking things to go into "the box."

Well, I love you all!  Thank you for the emails and the pictures, and the advice and the stories!  You are awesome!  I hope you have a great week and Happy December!  Can't wait to skype!  Love You!

Love Elder Wood

Ice Skating for P-Day!  Me trying to be good at ice skating...lacking in form and flexibility haha

Me and my homie Elder Jones chilling on the couch at the mission home before Thanksgiving lunch!