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

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