Selamat Siyang Semua Orang!
President and Sister Donald are both hebat!! They're both trying to hard to learn the language, and President Donald is already pretty good, but after they've been speaking in Indo for a while, their Australian accent slips in. It's awesome! They both said, and I quote "what lovely parents you have" in their Aussie accent and I couldn't argue with them!
PLD itself was an incredible experience for me! It was held at the chapel here in Surabaya, so the Elders already here didn't have to travel very far, but the Sisters and Elders from the Malang district, Elders in Sidoarjo, and Elders from Manado had to come pretty darn far. The Elders in Manado only come once every other PLD and since President Donald wanted to meet with everyone, they came, even though the Elders there are all new and had been there a whole week. All the traveling Elders spent the night at our place, and even though we have wicked awesome air conditioning in our bedroom, it got a bit stuffy fitting 10 Elders in one bedroom.
On Thursday, we all headed over to the Church for PLD at 9 in the morning. Our Zone Leaders, Elder Masangcay and Elder Rondononuwo, conducted and gave a few talks about how Priesthood Authority and Priesthood Power correlate. We can have all the Priesthood authority in the world, but if we aren't controlling that Authority by principles of righteousness, it's "amen to the Priesthood of that man." I got to introduce myself and give a short 5 minute testimony and it was the most intimidating thing of my life because over in the corner was Elder Coleman translating everything I said! Our AP's, Elders Yarkasi and Lee, talked about how we're supposed to be measuring our success as missionaries and how ultimately, it's our attitude that determines how successful we are going to be. Yes, working hard, being smart, getting baptisms, and teaching a lot may increase our joy, but in the end, (especially if you aren't getting any baptisms or teaching lessons) it's our attitude that determines who we are and how successful we will be.
I think it's a principle that can be applied no matter where we are. With you being in Palmyra right now, it can apply to you too! Yah, it might be hot, sweaty, and sometimes boring or long, but if we have an attitude of optimism, it's amazing how fast it can spread. President Donald concluded the meeting by saying to dedicate our lives for these 2 years to the work. (D&C123:12-13) He encouraged us to find those "President Donalds" ready to receive the Gospel. He finished interviewing everybody and then we all played futsal for two hours at the neighboring futsal gym!
As far as teaching goes, Mbak Lidya was in Sidoarjo for the last week so we didn't get to teach her at all, but we found a new investigator from a member referral! Her name is Mbak Fenty! Whoa, sorry, let me go on a tangent here. In Indonesia, you call everybody by their title as their first name. If it's a young man, call them "mas", young woman: "mbak", older man: "pak", and older woman: "ibu". She had been an investigator before but for whatever reason, just kinda slipped out of the radar. So we get the opportunity to teach her! We taught about the Pemulihan last week and teach about Rencana Keselamatan tonight! Wish us luck!
Wait, Dad says there was an earthquake in Bandeh Aceh? If so, that's pretty far north from here right? So I didn't feel it, but we have had a ton of rain!! Last week, it rained for literally 3 days straight. Anytime we were preparing to go out for the day, it just started to pour! Other times, we'd be already outside, think we're fine and *wham!* a rainstorm comes out of nowhere. We were headed to go teach a life-long investigator, Pak Sugiamto, and it felt like I was swimming, both because I was sweating so bad and it was just dumping on us. My watch and backpack passed the water-proof test, but my socks, shoes, shirt, and body didn't. It's good for me right? I'm down to about 80 kilos (176 pounds). :) We eat a lot! But it's awfully difficult for me to keep it in. President Donald was saying that my stomach hasn't gotten used to the bacteria yet.
How was everyone's 4th of July? Did you get to spend it in a Walmart parking lot again in Ohio? :) Indonesia doesn't celebrate the 4th of July (for some reason) except for my companion and other Indonesians telling me an occasional "Happy Birthday to your country Elder!" That made it better. :) In other holiday news, Ramadan starts on Wednesday! There's the nicest Muslim Mbak that comes every week to English class and she was telling me and Elder Murphy a little bit about Ramadan. Starting Wednesday, they fast from(pagi) until (sore). Elder Hendro was telling me while we are the grocery store to not eat in public during those times. So I stocked up on oatmeal, me(noodles), roti, mango juice, and nasi (rice)
|Wearing Grandpa Killian's tie|
|Cutting papaya up for PLD (Zone Conference)|
|The bathroom in Surabaya apartment. Left is the toilet--right is the "bak" or shower.|
Good to hear that Palymra is treating you well! I would encourage you to definitely enjoy the weather. :) Something that's interesting that I haven't thought about before until it was brought up to me at church is that the Book of Mormon is the Lord's dealings with the people from America, and the Bible mostly from the Middle East, but why isn't there a record from Indonesia? And maybe there is and we just don't have it. But I didn't really have an answer to this "mas" who randomly came to church, but I could bear my testimony that the Book of Mormon was true. There wasn't any convincing or scriptures that I could pull out to help me tell him that the Church is true. The only thing I could fall back on was my own personal testimony that it's true. Sometimes in life we'll be backed against a wall, face a trial, or have to answer someone about our church and the only thing we can fall back on is our own personal conviction that it's true. And that is the most powerful tool to use in times of need because it can't be refuted by others. It's your OWN.
Indonesian word for the day: "Pendamaian". Which means Atonement, or directly translated: "object worked by the hands of a man that brings peace". Everything that's unfair or cruel about life can be made clean, right, and true through the Atonement of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Hope you have a fantastic week and hope you know you're in my prayers too! :)