This past few weeks have been very very busy and there is lots to talk about. I'll try to describe them in order so you can kind of get a feel of how the past two weeks have gone.
Elder Funk and his wife came to Indonesia. He is the Area seventy in Asia and was doing a mission tour. Elder Funk served his mission here quite a few years ago. The spirit was so strong in the meeting. One thing that was very powerful was he invited a family that he baptized when he opened a new area. They stood up front as Elder Funk told the story. It was a very powerful story. This family was very high up in another church and when he learned about Priesthood Authority he told his church that he didn't have the authority to be doing what he was doing. At that time it was hard for his family but they endured. Elder Funk had received news from someone that this man would become the first patriarch in Jawa Tengah. Not to long ago this man was called as the first patriarch of Jawa Tengah. This husband and wife shared their testimonies and with tears in their eyes told us to not care about anything at this point except finding the people who are ready and sharing the Gospel.
Later that night we had English class. All of the other missionaries had appointments so it was just Elder B and I. About a month ago a man whose name is H started coming to class. His english is already really good. He arrived and when I was helping other smaller kids with their english just opened up to me about his past. He said that he has waited so long to tell someone who would understand everything. This is someone who is ready to receive the Gospel. I gave him a Book of Mormon and I asked him to read a chapter. When the other Elders met with him, because he actually lives in the other ward, he had already read his homework. He has come to church the past two weeks and came to the Christmas party for his ward. Even though he is in the other ward I was very happy to help him out and happy to still have the opportunity to talk to him weekly.
All the missionaries had a service project in Solo. A less-active member had a lot of trees that they wanted to cut down. If you can imagine Elders and a couple Sisters hacking at trees with a machete until they fell down, that's what happened. It was actually a lot of fun!!
We held a fireside as missionaries that was a success because investigators came and the spirit was strong and it also strengthened the members as they talked about it for the next few days.
A new member in our ward that was baptized a few weeks ago was in the hospital. He asked us for a priesthood blessing but of course, the adversary is at work. We left the house with plenty of time to visit him between the visiting hours. However, right away problems started. Our bikes broke far away from a place where we could get them fixed. We walked to get them fixed and the guy said that it would be a long time. We just left our bikes on the side of the road at this place and tried to flag down taxis. Every taxi that went by said no they wouldn't take us. The time to visit this member was shrinking. We finally found a Becok and he took us to the hospital, we were able to give the blessing with 5 minutes left to visit him. He was able to return home 8 PM Christmas Eve.
There is so much but so little time, here is a quick summary of the rest:
-my birthday and the birthday traditions here with flour and egg
- a meeting for a member that passed away 100 days ago
- sharing American Christmas music with primary kids that we visit
-skyping the family on Christmas day
-getting spoiled with gifts here as missionaries from the ward and other people
-meeting Elder Boenari's Grandpa as it is common for Indonesian Elders to meet parts of their families on their mission.
One more story before I end this email. One day we were proselyting and we weren't having a lot of success. We decided to talk to one more person and then we would go to the church. We talked to people on the street and they directed us to this ladies house. She let us in and we got to know her. Her husband passed away a couple years ago at the age of 54 in an accident with a train. We taught her the Plan of Salvation and with the questions she asked, I'm sure she knows more about the Plan of Salvation than some members. She is AWESOME and her questions are equally as good. When we asked for her number and try to call her phone she jumped off the couch and ran to get her phone. It caught both of us by surprise but truly a miracle.
SELAMAT TAHUN BARU to you all. I think they celebrate it here almost the same with fireworks and staying out late, but for us missionaries, it will be just a normal day.
I'm grateful for this time of year and all that has happened. Hopefuly great things to you all!!!
AWESOME CHRISTMAS PRESENTS!!!! You all look great! I have not seen a nativity here though.
Miss you all!
|I may have to get me a hat like this|
|One of our English Classes|
|Fire Steak for my birthday|
|a hill we hate so very much, a picture doesn't do any justice|
|Missionaries dancing at the Ward Christmas Party|
|Had to get a picture with the brand new baby|
|MERRRY CHRISTMAS!!!!! where it's 90 degrees and humid!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!|