Indonesia, Jakarta Mission 3/13 - 3/15

Monday, April 27, 2015

Golf and a Great Zone Conference!

Golfing in Jakarta!!

Caddie Girls

President Donald puts one in
President Donald, Elder Barlow and Me

Hey!  Thanks for the Birthday Money!  I know it is not my birthday yet, but I already used a lot of it...  Today Elder Barlow and I had the awesome opportunity to go play 18 holes of golf with President!  So we got up at about 4:30 this morning and got ready and were out of the house by 5:15.  We got over and had a 6 am tee time.  And since we were all pretty rusty after not having played in so long, we played a game of skins--the winner of every hole gets "10,000 dollars," and if you tie the hole it carries over on jackpot to the next hole.  So it was pretty fun!  And amazingly I was still sort of able to hold my own on the golf course!  sort of... I didn't take last place!  And I kept it under 100 on 18 holes with rented clubs and not having played in almost 3 years!  But it was a blast!  It was just fun to be out on the course having fun together!  And it is pretty cool to say that I played a round of 18 holes on my mission in Jakarta, Indonesia.  And with my mission President!  President Donald is the coolest mission President ever!  It was fun to just hang out and relax and talk with him, too!  He is such a normal guy, but has so much wisdom and experience and it was just fun to get a round in.  Haha but it was pretty awkward, because at the course they make you have caddies, and they were young ladies.  And needless to say, seeing some young white guys, they were all over us.  So we were playing cat and mouse with the caddies trying to keep them at bay.  They were constantly grabbing our arms and whatnot.  And we were pretty awkward, cause we are missionaries...and President was having a good chuckle!  But they were useless as caddies...they didn't know much about golf or help out on advice much.  Mostly they were there as "self-confidence boosters" for guys who are into that sort of thing.  But just a distraction and annoyance to missionaries haha!  But it was funny!  But thanks for taking me to play and teaching me when I was younger so that I could have all these cool opportunities!  After golf we came back to the mission home and had some breakfast with President and Sister Donald, and now we are upstairs in the AP's office emailing.  I'm not so sure what we will do the rest of the day.  We're pretty tired haha!  But sleeping's no good either!  Too boring!

The rest of the week was pretty good, too!  We had Zone Conference all day Tuesday and Wednesday with President.  So that was fun!  Got to get our interviews in, play some basketball and futsal together, and have some meetings and learn lots of good things!  I am excited because I am still learning so many things that I can do to be a better missionary with the time I have left!  Sometimes I wish I had learned or applied it all earlier, but I guess it is all about building up and learning new things constantly!  But there were a lot of good things talked about, and stuff!  It makes me melancholy (oh man, that is a good word.  I sometimes feel really proud when I can remember good English words, because usually I can't remember anymore.  My vocabulary is terrible... don't make fun of me when I get home...) to go home so soon and stuff, but I am glad that I can still be learning and improving!  We learned more about how to work more effectively with members--like going over to their houses and just having them invite friends and neighbors over, and we go over and play the guitar and sing songs together and play games and whatnot, and then share a short spiritual message and showing the members and their friends that we are still humans and fun to be around.  That was something new, because up to this point we have focused a lot on being very serious and strict, but now President is encouraging us to try a bit of a more relaxed approach, and I think it will have a lot of potential for success, so I am excited to try it.  But I don't remember guitar much any more...luckily my companion can play a bit.  But sadly I can't sing well either haha!  But we will make it work and have fun!  

We have met with D a few more times this week, also.  He is still amazing!  Last night there was a baptism of a member child in the English ward, and they did it at a members home.  So we invited D to come and see it with us.  So he came, and he invited a friend--just some random girl that he met on the street a few weeks ago who he started to talk to about the gospel, and she was interested!  He is even actively doing missionary work, and is so excited about it!  I am constantly amazed by him and his love for and desire to share the gospel with those around him!  Even though he is not even baptized yet, I keep thinking he just needs a black name card with white lettering that says, "Elder S!" He is awesome!  The friend that he invited is a Christian from Papua, and now she is really interested in learning more about the church and stuff!  So cool!  And the baptismal service was awesome!  It was at the Prendergrast family home, where we have done several other ward activities and baptisms.  And every time we do it, there is just a really powerful spirit there!  It is one of those special places where you just feel at home and close to Heavenly Father.  It is one of those places where you really can feel that Home is a little part of Heaven on Earth.  It reminds me a lot of our home, too, because I felt that at home with how close our family is and how much love there is there!  So thank you all for being such a great family and creating that atmosphere!  I love you all!  I hope I can have a family and home like that someday!  But I know that it is something that comes from living and actively practicing the gospel together!

And Pak Ma has been coming to church again the last few weeks and we have really been hitting him hard with helping him understand that this is the one true and living church, and it seems to finally be sinking in.  So he has committed himself to date on the 10th this month.  So that is exciting.

And I, that member that may be coming to stay in Utah for a little while this summer, also brought a friend to church on Sunday who is also very interested in learning!  So there are a lot of good and exciting things going on right now!  

So this coming week hopefully we will stay pretty busy!  So that will be good! 

Glad to hear that Utah has been getting lots of water recently!  Sounds like it was much needed!  Ya, we get a lot of rain here!  But usually the storms only last for about 10 or 15 minutes of torrential downpour, and then it just immediately stops.  Hearing it on tin roofs literally sounds like a machine gun starting to fire and then stopping.  there is no slow buildup or stop.  Its just here and gone.  Its kinda crazy!  So sometimes it catches you unaware, but for the most part we avoid being out in it.  Probably a bit different than Leeds.  And definitely a lot hotter!

Haha thats pretty funny that the missionaries stopped by.  Have they been around our ward more lately?  cause I don't really remember ever seeing them around before the mission, except at dinner appointments once a year...  But that's pretty cool!  Hopefully some people will let them in!  Good job on opening the mouth!  Haha I think that's the hardest part usually!

Sounds like the house is coming along well!  Pretty big project!  But that will be exciting!  Our house here is also getting a bit of work done, cause it is falling apart.  Nothing too major, just repainting and fixing all the leaks in the roof and stuff.  But it is looking nicer!  But it is distracting doing study with a hammer pounding on the roof above you!  

I am excited to go to the temple all together!  That will be way exciting and such a cool opportunity!  That will be a busy first few days home haha!  Get home, temple, half marathon, homecoming!  So much for sleeping after I get home haha!  But it will be good!  I am excited for it all...except maybe the half marathon...I think I might collapse...but It will be good!   Oh, and thanks for getting me set up for the Lotoja, too.  BTW, when is that?  That will be fun, too!

Well, I gotta go for this week!  But I love you all!  Thanks for the emails!  And thanks for the support!  I know the church is true with all my heart, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to share it with others!  Have a great week!

Love Elder Wood

Wood Realtors...back in business!

That is so cool, and I am so excited!  Thanks for the videos to be able to see it!  She definitely looked excited about it!  

So this has definitely been a very different week!  We worked super hard this week, and it was incredibly frustrating and discouraging at times!  But we finally accomplished our purpose...and literally at the very last second!

So you may be wondering why Wood Realtors is back in business...Well, this week we became real estate agents...  In order to obey the Law of Chastity, D sold his old apartment with plans that a friend would move into it after he moved out, and that he would move in with a different friend, and his girlfriend would move into a new apartment that we had found so that they could live separately.  Well, things did not work out as planned.  The apartment that we found for his girlfriend fell through last we had nowhere for his girlfriend to move into.  Then the friends that were going to move into D's old apartment decided not to, so he was going to be evicted soon.  So we spent the majority of 4 days this week going around with him and searching for an apartment for his girlfriend.  We had the limitations of a very limited budget and were actually faced with a lot of racism, many people not wanting a black person to live in their apartment complex.  So we were constantly getting turned down.  We thought it would be a simple process, but it turned out to be very difficult.  So, we felt more like real estate agents this week than missionaries.  But we were doing it to serve an investigator, because there was no way he could do it on his own because he doesn't speak the language or know how things work here.  And we couldn't get members to spend that much time looking because they had work, too.  So we helped him.  Luckily we were also able to proselyte a bit along the way and found some good future proselyting areas, and also got some good contacts and hopefully potential investigators.  But it was incredibly difficult, discouraging, and frustrating.  We had several deals fall through last minute for unclear reasons and whatnot.  And tonight was their last night at their old place... they get evicted today.  and yesterday we still did not have a place for them.  But finally last night a member told us about a place, and we went and checked it out, and it was perfect.  So we are moving them in today!  So, this week, Grandpa's business came back into business!  But luckily this week it is going back out of business, and we become Elder Wood and Elder Barlow again!  But we finally got things figured out.

We also got them an interview with President Donald for baptism.  But sadly, because they do not have legal visas here yet, they cannot yet be baptized.  We even tried to get permission from the area presidency.  But that is the church's policy, and it is probably for the best of the church, because we are walking on eggshells here.  So, they will have to wait a little longer for baptism.  But someday the Lord will prepare a way for them!  

That was most of our activities for the week--teaching, finding apartments, and proselyting.  But we are making progress and working hard.  Today we are moving, then we are going to go do some shopping, then working.  This week we have PLD!  So that is always exciting!  And ya, that is most of what is going on here!

Thanks for all the advice and whatnot!  I really am trying to finish strong, because I want no regrets!  The mission is awesome!  I don't want to regret anything from it.  And I am super excited Sabrina got her call!  That is so cool!  I am glad we have a good summer before she leaves, too!  That will be fun!

Well, I love you all and hope you have a great week!  

Love Elder Wood

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Sunday, April 12, 2015

Happy Easter

Hey!  Looks like you all had a great Easter down in St. George!  Looks nice down there!  The weather here feels a lot like St. George weather, and we've had blue skies, so it feels the same, too!

Well, this week was a good one.  J got confirmed, D and R are progressing well and are awesome!  D even shared his testimony yesterday in church!  He said he used to be like a Lamanite, but then Ammon and Aaron (the missionaries) came to him and showed him the right way and he is so grateful!  Haha so cool!  He is reading the Book of Mormon enough to compare it with his own life!  He is awesome!

The rest of this week was really busy with appointments and splits to Bekasi and whatnot.  And there were the frustrations along the way and whatnot.  But things ended up happy!  And we had a good dinner of French toast and eggs and ham last night taht we cooked to finish off the week.  Then we started this week going to a nice ice cream place for lunch!  That was good!  And we were busy and a little late with traffic and stuff, so I am really short on email time.  So I really apologize that this week is going to be way lame!  My bad!  Next week will be better!

But things here are going well and I am loving it!  I am really sad that it is winding down so quickly!  But there is still a month to go and make the most of!  And we have a lot of good potential for the coming month!  So that is exciting!

I am glad that housing got worked out!  That will be fun!  Thank you for all your work on that!  You guys are the best!

Well, I really have to run right now, but I love you all and am really sorry this is so lame!  Have a great week!  

Love Elder Wood

April Fooled

Well, I got April Fooled pretty hard!  I can't believe you all did that to me!  You were all in on it, too!  I am at the mission home emailing today because I have to sign up for classes for next semester today!  And I saw that and I started freaking out!  I thought it was real!  I didn't even realize to scroll down because I thought it was real!  I told everyone!  President Donald thought it was cool!  Sister Donald was freaking out, and so were Elder Barlow and I!  And then I realized it was April Fools, and I felt like an idiot haha!  But it was definitely a good laugh!  That was probably the best I have ever been april foolsed!  I fell for it hook line, and sinker!  And I was confused out of my mind, because that just so doesn't seem like Sabrina!  So good one!  Now, what is the real story?!?

Well, this week was a pretty good one!  J got baptized on Sunday!  That was pretty awesome!  It was stressful getting the last bit of preparation done, and it almost didn't happen this week.  But we were able to get it all set up and it was an awesome day!  We actually had 4 baptisms in our ward yesterday!  The sisters had a family of a single mother and her 2 sons that got baptized, and we had Pak J!  So it was awesome!  A great day!

The rest of the week was pretty good, too.  D is awesome!  He has read all the way up to Alma in the Book of Mormon and he understands it all and is coming to church!  And he has found a new place to live, so we are just helping him sign the contract on it and get moved out in the next week or so!  So that is awesome!  And he has another friend that has been following the lessons with us lately.  His name is R.  We thought he was just another Christian, because he is so receptive and understands so much.  Well, this week he told us that he used to be Islam.  We asked how long he has been Christian, and he said, "For about 2 weeks...this is the first church I have been to, because D invited me."  Well, he loves it and feels the spirit and whatnot and wants to get baptized, too!  and the last few weeks, they have been getting to church really late.  But this Sunday, R is the one who called D at 6am to say, "wake up, lets get to church on time!"  And they came on time!  It is so awesome!  So we are thinking we will hopefully get them baptized in the next 2 or 3 weeks!

Sadly M is not really progressing right now.  He is not reading the Book of Mormon very much, and hasn't come to church the last 3 weeks.  He says he wants it all, but he doesn't do anything about it.  So we are going to visit him this week, and tell him that if he doesn't start acting, we are going to have to drop him for the time being.  That's kinda rough!

And Pak B is hard.  He can't really understand or remember much, and he has no support from his family on church or anything, and lives way to far away to come, and can't come alone.  So that is sad.  But hopefully a miracle will happen.  

Well, sorry, I can't write too much longer because I have spent so much time freaking out about a fake engagement, and now I have to sign up for classes.  So wish me luck!

I love you all!  Happy April Fools! 

Love Elder Wood

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Exhausting..Stressful...I'm loving it!!

Well, things here have been interesting this week.  On Monday we all went paintballing!  Even President Donald came!  That was pretty fun!  Haha and my team totally dominated!!!  So that was sweet!

On Tuesday we had Mission Leader Conference.  That is always awesome!  We talked a lot about Christ-like attributes and creating more unity in the mission.  So we taught about that at Zone Meeting on Friday.  On Tuesday after MLC, we had to go to the hospital because Elder Barlow had a major ingrown toenail, and we had to get it operated on.  So that pretty much killed our whole Tuesday because of how long it took to get to and from the clinic with traffic.  Wednesday was a pretty normal day and we had some good lessons.  We met with the guy from Malaysia again, which was cool.   Thursday was a long day of weekly planning and planning for ZTM.  But we were able to get some lessons in, too.  Friday we had ZTM, and that went well!  Then we had to go back to the hospital for a follow-up visit on Elder Barlow's toe.  Saturday, we had a few hours in the morning/early afternoon to go out and work.  But then we had to come to the church to set up for a fireside.  We threw a missionary fireside on Saturday evening for members and investigators.  We watched a part of Elder Bednar's "Come and See" talk, and a Mormon Message.  Then we had some cake and had some games set up -- like ping pong, badminton, futsal, and the "eat the donut on a string" game thing.  It was a ton of fun and we had a lot of people show up!  And most of them were investigators and new members.  It was great, because the investigators got fellowshipped well and everyone had a great time!  Everyone was telling us we need to do another one soon!  So that was cool!  That took us from the evening to the night, though.  But Sunday was good!  We had several investigators show up at church!  We had 2 random people just show up to the fireside last night, and they came to church on Sunday and we taught them!  So that was cool!  And we had a member visit with Sister Bombasi from the English ward.  That was fun!  And good food!  Oh, and we brought a new member named Ivan along with us!  He is like the best friend member with the missionaries!  He is the coolest guy ever!  He got baptized about 6 months ago, so just shortly before I got here.  He is indonesian but he speaks fluent English.  He is always going fellowshipping with us, and hanging out on P-Day, and he is way cool and way strong!  And, he has an aunt that lives in California.  Well, this summer he is coming to visit America for about 6 months to visit his aunt and stuff!  Elder Barrus and I have invited him to come spend a few weeks in Utah with us and all the other missionaries he knows, and he is super excited!  So we have been getting him started on Family History work recently so that we can take him to the temple to do baptisms for the dead for his family while he is there!  So we are super excited about that!  I hope it is Ok if I invite him to stay at our house with me for a few days while he is there.  I really want you guys to meet him!  He is so cool!

As for the rest of the work, as you can see we had to spend a lot of time out of our area this week, so we didn't get in as many teaching opportunities as I would have liked.  But we still had a good week.  Pak J is still preparing to be baptized next Sunday!  So that is super exciting!  He is awesome!  Sadly Pak M didn't come to church again yesterday, so he has to be delayed a week.  But we went to his house and taught him the Sabbath more in depth, and I think it helped him a lot, and he committed to for sure come next week, and wants to be baptized the beginning of April.  So that is good!  As for Pak B--ever since his stroke we haven't been able to get ahold of him, so that is a bummer!  D--our African friend--is doing awesome!  He is embracing the gospel and it is awesome!  He said the other day he was riding a train, and the Holy Ghost told him to testify to the blind guy next to him about Jesus Christ.  So he did, and the guy was Muslim, but said that D's testimony touched him, and he wants to meet with us now!  Haha so cool!

That is most of the report on what is going on over here!  It is a lot of good stuff!  I am loving it here!  It is exhausting!  And stressful at times!  But it is such an amazing opportunity!  

Well, I love hearing from you all!  Thanks for the letters and everything!  Haha sounds like things will be busy at home for the next few weeks!  Good--you guys can stay busy so you can stop being so trunky haha!!!  

But I hope you all have a great week!  Love you!

Love Elder Wood

Sunday, March 15, 2015

We Broke the Barrier

Hey, how's it going?  That is exciting that some snow finally fell!  Pretty late in the season haha!  But better late than never!  

That will be super cool for Grandma to seal Uncle Gene to her family!  So exciting!  And that will be cool to be able to go and see it!  That is pretty cool all the stuff he did!  I wish I could be there!  I miss the temple!  As far as people here going to the temple, it depends a lot on their economic status.  There are people that go maybe once a year, or once every two years, and there are people who have never been, and people who have been once in their lives.  So a lot of it just depends.  But there are quite a few who have been, which is cool!

Well, this week has been pretty good!  So, our mission standards of excellence are to get in 20 discussions a week.  I have done that in Solo and Manado and Tangerang.  But we have never been able to get it done in Jakarta, because we spend such long periods of time stuck in traffic getting anywhere, that it has been a struggle to get it all done.  The traffic is killer here!  We sometimes spend 3 hours in a crappy non-Air Conditioned bus that is falling apart as it idles down the road, but we don't go very far.  Haha it has been a major learning experience on patience.  And it has really slowed us down.  Until this week!  We finally broke the barrier here this week, and got 21 lessons in!  So that was awesome!  We were super excited!  And we had a lot of little miracles along the way!
Right now, we have Pak B, Pak M, F, and Pak J all on date for baptism this month.  And D and his friends K, N, and R (all from Africa) are still learning and progressing and came to church this week and we are just trying to find a time to meet with them and renew their date, because a few things came up and they weren't able to be baptized yet.  But they are all excited, too!  So there is a lot of good things going on!  Oh, and we got another new foreign investigator this week!  His name is C from Spain.  He speaks English well, luckily!  But it is fun, because now on my mission, I can say I have used English, Indonesian, French, and Spanish in teaching appointments.  But my Spanish is very limited at this point, and my French...I think I can say 5 words is all haha!  But it is still fun to try!  So we have a lot of awesome investigators at this point and a lot of potential going on!

We had a miracle to get Pak J on date.  Last week he pretty much rejected us, and we just sat there, took it, and then testified and challenged him to close with prayer.  We walked out feeling that we had lost him, but over the next 24 hours the Holy Ghost worked on him, and he called us back and wanted to meet! So we have met with him several times since, he came to church yesterday, and we taught him last night.  But at the end of the lesson he still wasn't sure about baptism, so we again challenged him to kneel and pray specifically about it, and during the prayer he got his answer.  He opened his eyes afterwards and asked who it is that baptizes him.  We told him it was up to him, but that we wanted him to commit to the 29th of this month, and he accepted!  So that was awesome!  The Holy Ghost came through and worked hard with him!  Prayers are powerful, and answered in the way of the Lord!  I know that much!

Other than that, this week Elder Tufaga, one of the Elders in our house, got Dengue Fever.  So he has been in the hospital since Friday afternoon.  We have been doing splits with him.  And Sunday was my turn, so I didn't get to go to church.  That felt way weird!  That was the first Sunday I have missed in a long time!  And it felt extra weird to not go as a missionary haha!  Made me realize how important church is!  But luckily Elder Tufaga is doing well and will probably get out in the next few days.  His isn't as bad as mine was, luckily!

Oh, and this week these guys came around our neighborhood with these smoke blower things that kill mosquitoes and cockroaches and stuff.  We asked them to spray inside our house, too, because we have a cockroach infestation.  Well, after they sprayed, I swept up about 50 or more dead cockroaches from off the floor around our house...It was pretty disgusting!  The smoke drove them out of all the cracks and they died in the middle of the floor!  Gross!  But at least they are gone for the most part now...

Well, I think that is mostly it for this week!  Thanks for the emails!  I love hearing from you! and I hope you all have a great week!  And get some rest!  Sounds like things are going crazy!  I love things here, though!  I am sad to see it going so fast, but there is still a lot of opportunities ahead the next few weeks!  Talk to you later!
Love you!

Love Elder Wood

Saturday, March 7, 2015

I'm Loving it!!

Hello!  Wow, I can't believe it is already March!  Time is flying by here!  But things are staying busy and interesting!  And I am loving it!  And glad that I still have time left here!  But it is going away too quickly!  Trying to make it all count!

Well, this week was a pretty good one.  We went on splits to Bekasi at the beginning of the week.  That was fun.  I got to work with Elder Canfield, and that was a lot of fun.  I lived in the same house with him in Tangerang for several months.  He is a great guy and an awesome missionary.  I learned a lot with him, and had a lot of fun and learned a lot of things bouncing ideas back and forth with him and talking about the work here and whatnot.  Fun to have a change of scenery every once in a while.  But splits are always a pain, too, because they take us out of our area for a day and a half, and so we lose a lot of opportunities to spend time proselyting and finding new investigators, because we are then trying to catch up on teaching appointments.  But it is good.

As far as this week goes, we had some cool experiences.  We have an investigator named J.  He promised us last week that he would come to church last Sunday, but then didn't come.  So on Monday we went to his house.  Well, he was totally trying to politely reject us and tell us he didn't need to change churches and whatnot.  But he just couldn't say it.  He was just beating around the bush, and we were just waiting for it.  But he never really got there.  So we just sat and listened and then answered his concerns the best we could, and had him close with prayer and ask God what he needs to do.  Well, during the lesson, we felt we were guided by the spirit, but his attitude wasn't really changing.  And we didn't feel the Holy Ghost during his closing prayer.  So we left thinking that he was gone.  But the next day he texted us and all of a sudden wanted to meet again.  So we met.  And since then, we have met him 3 times this week, and have had some awesome lessons with him, and he really wants to keep learning, and has promised to come to church next week, and almost has said he wants to be baptized.  He just said that after we left that first time, he was ready to put the Book of Mormon away, but he felt a desire and need in his heart to read it, and so he has been, and he has been feeling good about it, and is beginning to gain a testimony of the truth, despite how many people around him (pretty much everyone he knows) telling him that our church is evil and a cult and whatnot.  So that has been a really cool experience to see the Holy Ghost work on him and change his heart so much over such a short time!  A miracle!

We have been teaching D and his friends still, too.  And they are pretty cool.  D is still living with his girlfriend because he hasn't been able to find a place to live yet, but he is looking because he really wants to move out so that he can be baptized!  So he is awesome!  And he came to church this week!

Pak M has stopped drinking coffee and is pretty much all ready, so we are preparing him for the 15th of this month!  Pak B is still smoking just a little, but we visited him today and got him to give us his last pack of cigarettes and commit to stopping fully.  We were pretty blunt with him and his friend that was there, too.  I think his friend got a little offended, but Pak B is awesome and realizes that it really is the Lord wanting him to do it, and he wants to do it too!  So he took it really well!  These are really our most progressive investigators right now, and they seem to be doing well!

We had one guy that some other missionaries contacted show up at church, too, and we taught him afterwards, and he was pretty cool and wants to come back next week as well!  So that was pretty good!  Little miracles!

Today for P Day, we ran into President and Sister Donald when we were going to get lunch, and they invited Elder Barlow and I to go eat lunch with them.  they took us to a nice restaurant and paid for our lunch, and it was so delicious, and so fun to get to sit and talk with them!  They are the most amazing people!  

Well, I think that is most of it for this week!  Things here are awesome and I am loving it!   Mom--for your questions:  My companion is good, my health is good, the weather is hot and humid and the rainy season is ending, and I am good.  The house is pretty good, but they are in a bad habit of talking til way too late sometimes, so we are always tired haha!  We are trying to get a hold on that.

Thanks for all your letters!  I love you all and hope you have a great week! 

Love Elder Wood

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Another Week in Paradise!

Another week in paradise!  We have had a busy week,that's for sure!  On Monday we helped one of the Sisters' investigators move houses in the morning, then played basketball, and emailed,and did other stuff, then taught 2 lessons. One was with a kid named F.  He is Islam.  But he committed to baptism on the 14th of March!  So that is pretty exciting! 

Tuesday was MLC, which was awesome!  President always has way cool things to say to inspire us and direct the mission in the way it needs to go!  It is so cool to have the opportunity to sit in on that meeting and participate!  Such a blessing!  In this one we talked a lot about become full purpose missionaries--not just finding and teaching an baptizing, but also reactivating and retaining, and how to make all of those things work together to be most successful!  About how doing one of those things, we can make it have a positive effect on all other aspects of our work, and that we need to focus to do all 5 of those things!  

The rest of the week we were busy with lessons, teaching investigators and stuff.  And we had to prepare our lesson for Zone meeting, which was on Friday.  The meeting went pretty well and I think the message got across well.  The missionaries seemed to enjoy it!  That has always been one of the hardest things for me--teaching something that everyone already knows, but doing it in a way that will keep their interest and inspire them to do it.  I think we are getting slowly better at it.  But it is definitely a good learning experience!

As far as investigators go, Pak B is still smoking a little bit. He has cut back a lot. So he is still working at it.  And he went to the doctor this week, and the doctor told him that he can't smoke any more or he is at high risk of having a stroke.  So hopefully that will help him to stop, because we definitely don't want him to have a stroke!  But look, the gospel is true!  Pak M is still doing OK. He has cut back a lot on coffee and has pretty much stopped now.  But there are a few other things that we are working through with him to get him fully ready for baptism!  But I think it will still be happening pretty soon!
D, the African guy, is awesome!  He had to move this week, so we weren't able to meet with him too much.  But we met with him on Sunday night, along with like 5 other friends.  It was a very interesting lesson, because there were 2 people who only spoke French, 2 who spoke Indonesian, David who speaks pretty good English and French, and us, who speak English and Indonesian.  So there was a lot of translating going on back and forth.  And two of the people in the lesson were Islam.  So we taught a simple lesson about Jesus Christ and the Atonement.  And all of them liked it and are interested in learning more and coming to church.  And there were a few other of their friends that we met that night that are interested in coming to church.  D is awesome, thought!  He is giving tons of referals and still soaking everything in like a sponge!  Last night, he reminded us about his baptismal date for next week before we had the chance to bring it up.  But sadly it cannot happen yet, because he is still living with his girlfriend because they can't afford two apartments he says.  But he promised us that ever since we gave the commitment to live the law of chastity on our first meeting, they have been chaste.  He hasn't even kissed her on the lips!  And he was under the impression that that would be good enough given his circumstances.  It was really hard to tell him no, because we could see how bummed he was about it.  But he took it well, and said that if it is God's command,then he has no right to change it!  So he will wait and keep working for a solution! He is so cool!

Well, that is most of the best information from this week!  Elder Barlow is my companion right now.  He is from Bountiful.  I think his mom said she knows mom, and that dad went to high school with his aunt or something.  But he is cool and we have been getting along well!  Exhausted! but happy!

I love you all and hope you have a great week!

Love Elder Wood

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Friday, February 20, 2015

Happy Valentines Day

Hey!  Glad to hear things are going well back at home.  Bummer that there is no snow!  That is crazy about that plane crashing on Valley View, too!  Speaking of golf, my new companion, Elder Barlow, plays golf, too.  And President told us he wants to take us to go play a round sometime in the next few weeks!  So that will be super awesome!  A round of golf with the mission President!  No Pressure, right!?

Haha that's pretty funny that the JW's stopped by this week!  We run into them quite a bit here!  They actually came to our house here a few weeks ago, too, and tried to contact us.  I think they got a bit more than they were bargaining for there, as we walked in with one short pamphlet and they walked away with a 5 minute explanation, testimony, and a Book of Mormon and 3 pamphlets.  Sadly they weren't too open to having a discussion.  But we gave them our testimony, too.  

Well, this week has been pretty good, too!  Our investigator, Pak B, who is really quite old and has a hard time remembering things keeps coming to church.  And he has gone the last 3 days without smoking!  Which is awesome for him!  He is finally starting to pick up on things and is really making the effort!  It has been a lot of work with him!  But it is way cool to see it be paying off!
The African investigators are doing quite well, also!  They are awesome!  Especially the one that can speak English!  He studies the Book of Mormon, Gospel Principles, and Teachings of the Presidents of the Church manual almost every day!  And he always has great questions!  He is way cool!  I think he will be prepared for baptism in the next few weeks along with his friends!  

Pak M is coming along slowly but surely. He also has an addiction to coffee, which is the main thing holding him back.  And he doesn't always do his scripture study.  So his progression is not as fast as it could be.  We are really working on getting him to read and study often so that he can have his testimony grow and be strengthened!
And we have several other investigators that are doing well!  We had several of our baptismal dates drop this week.  Not that they rejected us, just that they will not be ready by their date next week, so we will have to meet with them and push it back a bit and work harder to get them progressing and preparing.

This coming week we will be having mission leader conference tomorrow.  That is always an awesome experience!  And today we played basketball for P Day with all the zone leaders that flew in!  That was a ton of fun!

Um, ya, that's most of what is going on here right now.  The work is progressing and the Lord is blessing us!  We are finding many people to teach and several that are prepared to hear and receive!  So that is exciting!  

I love you all and hope you have a great week!  Thanks for everything and for all your love and emails!  I love reading them!

Pray for snow, and baptisms :)

Love you all!

Love Elder Wood

Monday, February 9, 2015

The Spirit Speaks in French!

Well, it has been a pretty busy week!  We had a lot of cool stuff going on and a lot of neat opportunities.  On Monday night, we went to teach this African guy named D, that the Sisters contacted.  He has come to church in the English ward twice, but we have not been able to teach him until now because he is a pro soccer player here and is way busy.  But we showed up.  I was actually on splits with Elder Troff because of all the transfers and stuff.  So it was fun to be with my son again.  Well, we show up and he is in a tiny little apartment.  He is sitting there with his African girlfriend.  Then this huge other African guy that is ripped walks out of the bathroom in just a towel and starts speaking French.  And another one goes into the bathroom.  We have no idea what's going on, or what is going to happen.  Well, we just kind of sit waiting because D is stalling on starting the lesson.  Then the guy that just got out of the bathroom comes in dressed again.  And they start talking in French again.  Well, then D explains to us that he is the only one that can speak English really, and his friends and girlfriend only speak French.  But he wants them to hear the lesson, too.  We were like, “Well we don't speak French, so how's this going to work out?”  But he said he would translate.  So we started the lesson and taught the Restoration as simply as possible.  It was so simple, and after every sentence, D would translate it for his friends.  And although it was simple, the Spirit was so strong, and they all understood.  They answered our questions and they asked questions and everything!  And throughout the lesson, during his translation, we would notice D was saying way more than we had said, but when he stopped, he looked at us and said, "Sorry, I was just telling them that if they read the Book of Mormon, they will feel the Spirit and get peace, comfort, and direction in their life like they have never had before."  and stuff like that.  He is just learning for the first time, but is bearing his testimony from the little he has read and experienced at church!  It was awesome!  Definitely one of the coolest lessons I have ever experienced!  So simple and slow, but to see D so excited to share it and translate with love for his friends was awesome!  I just wished I understood more French!  But at the end of the lesson, all three of them committed to baptism!  And they asked what they had to do to prepare for it, and accepted all the commitments right then and there!  And the friends, in very broken English, kept pointing at his heart and saying, "I feel happy!  I feel so so happy right now!  You are my family now!  You come here whenever you want!"  It was awesome!  They were so genuine and so sincere!  And they came to church on Sunday, and we set up the translating equipment because there is a member that speaks French, and he translated for them!  It was so awesome!  They are so cool!

Then on Tuesday I was at Senopati all day waiting for my companion to get in and stuff.  In the evening, Sister Donald came up to the office, because there were just a few of us here, ordered pizza for us.  Then we went down into their house and we got to watch Meet the Mormons with President and Sister Donald!  That was a way cool experience!  

The rest of the week with Elder Barlow has been awesome, too!  We have been really busy and have been working really hard.  We have a lot of investigators that are doing really well!  In fact, we currently have 8 investigators with a baptismal date, and several others that we are going to commit this week!  So the hastening of the work is really happening!  We got 16 lessons in this week, which is more than I have ever gotten yet in Jakarta, and we didn't even get to go out at all on Tuesday.  And we already have 14 lessons planned for next week with a lot of other time for other investigators to meet!  So there is a lot happening!  We have been working on making covenants with the Lord to bind Him on blessings, and we have been seeing the results.

Well, I probably ought to wrap up.  But I love you all!  I hope you all have a good week!  I am loving the mission, and we are going to do some awesome things in the last few months here!  Love you!

Love Elder Wood

Monday, February 2, 2015

Not an alien!

Well, it has been another busy week!  The beginning of this week was PLD--like zone conference with President.  We had to teach a part of it on the role of the Spirit in conversion.  And it was pretty cool.  I learned a lot.  And we used a fun little object lesson with oil and water.  They don't mix together very well by themselves.  But if you add some soap (the Holy Ghost) they will mix together a lot better and will turn white (pure).  Haha so that was fun.  But we forgot anything to stir it together with, and we didn't add enough soap during the actual it only sort-of worked.  But it got the point across.  So that was good.  PLD was good and inspiring as always!

After PLD, we got several new Indonesian missionaries straight from the MTC.  So, Elder S and I have had two of them with us all week.  So we have been on splits with them, which is nice because we can get 2x the work done.  And it has been funny to be with missionaries so new.  My companion is still on white-person shock, so he still thinks I'm something weird and special, kind of like an alien.  Which is funny, because all the other missionaries are already so over that sort of thing.  But it has been fun.  But we were teaching our first lesson together--his first lesson in the field with an investigator. And halfway through it I got a pretty bad random nose-bleed.  And it wasn't stopping.  So I just had to sit with my head tilted back and a tissue over my nose while he and a new member, who was fellowshipping with us, taught the rest of the lesson.  Haha that was stressful for all of us, and definitely an interesting experience!  But it worked out alright!  So that was cool!

It is transfers this week.  I am not transferring, but my companion will be transferring, and I will be getting a new companion, Elder B.  So that will be a lot of fun.  I've met him several times and he is a really good guy and we get along well.  So I am excited for that!  He will be coming in tomorrow.  

This week we found some new investigators.  One of them is from the Congo, and the other is from India.  Who'd have guessed.  But they are both really cool and came to the English ward yesterday!  So that was exciting!  And we are going to teach them later tonight.  Sadly for several different reasons, we did not have a baptism yesterday.  But the investigators are still doing well and want to learn and progress.  We are just working through a few things--mostly word of wisdom things.  But it is progressing.

Today we went ice skating for P-Day which was fun.  And then we ate an italian pizza place, which was pretty good.  And I think you guys are too concerned about the picture.  I think it looks worse than actuality, because everyone here says I look the same as before, and I still weigh the same and eat fine.  So I am ok.  

Well, I am glad that you guys have all been having a good week.  Tell Kye congrats on the baptism! that is awesome!

So ya, that's pretty much it.  Hope you have a great week!  And mom, congrats on winning the food challenge thing at the Superbowl party.  Sounds like you've taken the cake the last 2 years!
Well, I love you all!

Love Elder Wood

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Visitors from Utah

 I am glad that you got the pictures!  Sister Wayment was so nice, and it was fun to talk to her!  It was pretty crazy, there were a lot of people from Utah in church yesterday, actually!  There was Sister Wayment (who is really good friends with the Bartons, too--the Mormon world is so small haha!), Elder And Sister Visick--the doctors from Logan, and then there was another big businessman from the Campbell's soup company who I think was also from Logan that came and visited the ward today, too!  It was fun to talk to all of them, and they were all so nice!  Haha and they all asked if I had anything that I wanted them to bring back to Utah.  Sadly I didn't have anything with me...So I sent my love home haha!

Haha as for the skinny picture...I am the same weight as when I left I think...But I am really skinny.  I eat a lot...but mostly white rice.  There's not a lot of protein to be had.  And this whole week I have been pretty sick...I have had a sick stomach and have had pretty bad diarrhea a couple of days.  So I was really glad for the packages, actually!  Especially the cereal, because that is about all I have felt like eating for most of this week.  So I really was grateful for that!  But ya, this week I lost a bit of weight before she took that picture, just because I haven't been eating much, but I have been losing a lot....  But today I feel fine!  So that is good!  I finally feel like I can eat rice and whatnot again!  So hopefully I can start packing it on again!  

As far as the work goes, it has been another pretty good week. As always, there are ups and downs, and we had quite a few lessons and plans fall through. But overall, we were quite blessed this week. We taught Pak M again, and he is excited and preparing himself to be baptized on Feb. 1. Pak B, another investigator, is also on date for Feb.1, and he came to church yesterday.  His testimony is growing and he believes it is true. It is just a bit of a slow process with him. But he made some improvements and steps this week, so that was a blessing! We also got a media referral named Pak A, who we were able to teach this week, and he is awesome! He is very open and searching for truth, and he promised to keep learning and to come to church next week! And last night as we were on Facebook and taking stats, we were trying to make an appointment with an investigator named F. He is also very open and knowledgeable. During our conversation last night, he messaged and asked us what he needs to be baptized! So we were super excited about that, too! There have been many miracles happening this week!  Oh, and that Malaysian guy I told you about a few weeks ago came to church yesterday, too!  So that was cool!  Oh, and about a month or more ago we contacted a couple at a mall.  Well, they contacted us actually.  But we lost contact with them because they went out of the country over the holidays.  But they work at the same company of one of the members, and they know each other.  So this week we got the member to talk to the husband at work, and talk about having a family night together, and they seemed really open to it he said, so they are working out a date!  So that is awesome!  Lots of miracles and blessings from the Lord!  The hastening of the work truly is happening!

C is doing well.  He was out of town for work this week.  The Ws are still awesome!  And So is Mama V and Sister M from all I hear!  So that is good!

Today it has been raining pretty hard all morning while we have been cleaning the house and studying.  now we are emailing.  And then we are going to an appointment and stuff doing our work.  Then later tonight we are going to Bekasi and playing futsal and doing splits tomorrow.  so should be fun!

Tell Hailey Daniels congratulations on her call, too!  And tell the Smoots all hi from me!

Well, I love you all!  Thanks for the emails, packages (or this week better known as life support), and everything!  You guys are awesome!  I love you!  I will try to eat some more this week haha!  Have a great week!

Love Elder Wood

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Raising the Bar!

Well things here are going well!  This Sunday, C was confirmed!  So that was awesome!  He is super cool!  All our new members are awesome, actually!  And one of our other new members, Brother E, who was baptized about 2 months ago, just baptized his son yesterday, too!  That was super cool to see!  And we have been getting a lot of lessons and having some good success.  Pak M came again this week, and he brought his brother as well.  And Pak M is still excited for baptism!  Sadly we weren't able to teach his brother yet, because he had another appointment.  But Pak M is excited to help his brother as well!  So that is awesome!

This week we had mission leader conference, and talked a lot about the goals for this year.  We have a mission goal to get almost 400 baptisms this year!  That is super exciting!  And so we are raising all the goals and standards of excellence of the mission in accordance.  Haha it is awesome, because if you had told me these goals in my first few months here, I sadly probably would have laughed in your face and said not possible, because that was just the culture here.  But things are changing, and the Lord is hastening the work and everyone is getting excited.  There are still a few that are pretty shaky about these goals, but they are willing to try I think, and we are seeing success throughout the mission, and it is motivating everyone!  So that is exciting to see!  We had to teach a ZTM lesson on it, and we had some fun object lessons to convey the point, that I think went well!  

Sadly today we weren't able to go paintballing.  I think we will be going next month, actually.  But we are looking forward to it.  Today we are mostly just relaxing and stuff.  We got haircuts and have to go shopping.  Plus, I got strep throat this week, so I haven't been feeling to great.  But I got some antibiotics and stuff and am recovering well. 

Well, I hope you guys have a great rest of your time in Hawaii!  Have fun and be safe!  And Happy Anniversary Trip!  I love you!  

Love Elder Wood

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Welcome 2015!

Hey!  Well, welcome into 2015!  Those pictures of skiing were awesome!  I miss the mountains!  But I am going to freeze when I get home, I think!  The other day it was rainy at night and I woke up and it was like 75 degrees, and I felt cold.  Like really cold...  But oh well, I'll get used to it.

Well, this week was pretty slow actually.  Because of the new year, everyone has been out of town and so we have had a really hard time getting many appointments.  So we have been spending a lot of time proselyting.  But it has been raining almost every day this week.  Which makes it hard, because when it rains, not many people are outside to talk to, and we can't knock on doors.  So it makes it a bit difficult.  And we get wet.  So we are just banking on the old missionary rumor that the more you proselyte in the rain, the prettier your wife gets!  Hopefully it comes true!  But we have been able to find a few people.  And then we experienced a few miracles.  

One of them was after proselyting for several hours and having almost no success, we were walking to a members house and a guy called to us "Hey, are you Mormons?"  We started talking to him, and turns out he just moved here about a week ago from Kuching Malaysia.  He was baptized in 2010 there, and knew several of the people we met while we were there.  I asked him and he knew about that guy that we spent a lot of time with that had adopted all those boys.  And he knew Alana, and said that she is serving a mission in Kuala Lumpur right now.  Sadly he didn't know grandma and grandpa haha.  But it was awesome to meet and talk to him.  He said he had been looking for the church here, but hadn't found it yet.  So we took him to the member's house with us, and then took him to the church.  He said he would come this Sunday, but sadly he didn't show up.  Hopefully next week.

Then on Sunday, this random guy showed up at church.  We had no clue who he was and had never met him before.  But we talked to him at church, and then taught him after church.  Turns out his friend gave him a pamphlet a week or so ago, and yesterday he decided to come.  When we taught him, he committed to baptism on the 24th of January, and wants to bring his brother with him next week!  So that was awesome!

On Sunday night we had a "cottage meeting" at President's house.  He invited all the missionaries in Jakarta to come to his house and bring any investigators or new members who could come.  We had a short devotional and then had a little dinner together!  It was awesome!  And that guy, his name is Pak M, came!  And he seemed to really enjoy it, so that was awesome!

Today we are going to play some basketball or golf for P Day, and next week we got permission to go paintballing with a new member!  So that will be awesome!  (Oh and tell Sister Sheffield that we got permission for paintballing, because she tried for months and could never get it haha)  
Um, ya, I think that is mostly it for this week!  Hope you all have a great week and that you get some snow!  I'll be praying for it! 
Well, I love you all!  

Love Elder Wood

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Christmas, Baptism, and Happy New Year!

Hey!  That was so fun to Skype on Christmas!  You all look great, too!  It was so awesome to talk to you all again!  I'm glad it sounds like you all had a great Christmas!  Man, sounds like the iPhone 6 is a pretty hot item right now!  Fun!  And Sabrina, I want to see a picture of your skis!  Haha I thought someone was getting skis this year!  I knew because of the Alpine Sports sticker on my Christmas box that you sent with the Sheffields ;)  I was just wondering who was getting them!  Sounds like Sabrina was the lucky winner!  Well those will be fun for your ski class!

Well, things here have been good.  On Sunday, C got baptized!  That was awesome!  We were super excited about that!  He was baptized by Brother Subandriyo, which was really cool!  He seemed really peaceful and calm and happy afterwards!  And we had a member bring a friend to the baptism, which was cool.  And the guy really liked it and wants to learn now, too!  That was the highlight of the week for sure!

Other than that, not too much has been happening since we talked on Christmas.  It has only been a few days.  But the baptism was awesome!  

I love you all and hope that you all have a great week and a happy new Year!  ANd that is so exciting that there is finally some snow on the ground!  So cool!  Oh, and congrats on the big 25th Anniversary!  You guys never told me you were going to Hawaii!  But have tons of fun!  I love you tons!  

Love Elder Wood