Monday, October 21, 2013
President Donald told me in my weekly email last week that some changes would happen soon, but I didn't expect it to happen as soon as it did. The phone call came while we were in Rodalink getting my brakes fixed-- Elder Broberg will be taking his talents to Jakarta. He and Elder Xiong (remember him--Zone Leader from Surabaya?) are going there to replace Elder Prasetyo and Elder Adhjidarma, the Zone Leaders there who are heading home this week. He leaves Wednesday and I'll miss him very much.
After Elder Broberg was done talking to the AP's, he handed me the phone and Elder Coleman told me I'll be one of the missionaries that gets to train a new missionary from Tangerang. I'll fly in to Jakarta with Elder Broberg on Wednesday for a training meeting with the other trainers, pick up Elder Sutadiyono, and we'll fly back Thursday night and start working. Dang. This last month went by too fast! Elder Broberg is an incredible missionary and will succeed at whatever he puts his mind to because he's such a hard worker and listens to the Spirit. I'll miss him tons.
We still worked hard last week and as a result, sangat memberkati kami (we were very blessed). We still have an investigator with a baptism set for October 27th, but we had to teach a few lessons first. Like Word of Wisdom, Law of Chastity, Tithing, no problem right? We've been praying really hard he would gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon first. Because if that happens, everything else will fall into place. We showed up in his Kos (or little room he rents out) and after praying, asked about his reading. After explaining where he was at in his reading, he said, "saya yakin bahwa Kitab Mormon benar." Or "I'm absolutely certain the Book of Mormon is true." Ah man! God does answer prayers! We started teaching the Word of Wisdom, but he had already read the pamphlet and stopped drinking tea and coffee weeks ago. We taught tithing the next time, but he had already learned about it in the Gospel Principles class and already started paying it. As a result, we were able to cover and make sure he has a testimony of all the commandments last week, which means we get to focus on his baptism and other doctrinal things this week. It was a testimony builder to me! God is in charge. Our responsibility as missionaries and member missionaries is to just simply guide through the Spirit. He's ready for his baptism on Sunday. Can't wait!
As far as other investigators go, we're starting to get a lot of help from the members. And as we teach with them, I'm beginning to see the value of having members bring friends in. It's much more effective because they can answer the questions we can't as Bule missionaries. Sister Novitha, a convert about 3 years ago from the main church here--HKBP, helped us teach three 22 year old ladies who came to the church building one day and wanted to know more. She could explain why we take the sacrament in a way that they could understand.Be a member missionary! The Elders and Sisters will appreciate it. It invites the Spirit and as the investigator progresses, they already have a friend. This work will roll forward because it is God's work. The blessings that come from the strait and narrow path are much greater than from staying on the wide and easy path. Church is true!
|Hari Raya Idul Adha--a Muslim holiday where they sacrifice a cow at the local|
masjid (mosque). Here I am with the cow sacrificers (is sacrificer even a word?).
Sunday, October 13, 2013
The Indonesian translation for General Conference arrived last week, so the Branch here in Medan had the opportunity to watch it the last two days. Not without a few problems though.. Senopati (the mission home) sent us all the sessions on a flash drive and we rigged up a projector, a flash drive reader, and a sound system in the chapel of the church building last Friday. It seemed to be working fine when we set it up with the BML, Brother Ronald, but when we startedmorning's session, the session got about 10 minutes in when it all of a sudden skipped back to the beginning. Dah.
Tell Jeff Rollman it made me grateful for my BYUTV training. After some troubleshooting fun, we decided that the flash drive was the problem. We eventually downloaded all the sessions on a new flash drive from the church computer, and it was fine the rest of the sessions, but all 8 of the members that showed up for the Saturday morning session didn't get to watch it in Indonesian. Which was a bummer because it was so good!
I have no idea how to get my ideas down except by writing a list. So here we go! Thoughts from General Conference:
Conference always rocks. Other than conference though, Elder Broberg and I had a great week! We had an experience last week with one less active member. His name is A and he's been inactive for just a few months. But he's the one who brought H, our investigator with a baptismal commitment, to church that one time. We've been talking with H since and he's told us he's a little confused why the person who introduced him to the church is inactive. We explained how God ultimately loves us and because he does, he respects our agency above all.
However, we met up with A last week and just talked with him. He explained that he has to work on Sundays and can't come to seminary or institute. But while we were talking, I got this distinct impression to tell him about Hendra. I don't know exactly what it meant to him, but I told him how grateful we were that he introduced H to the truth. And that we know H is grateful too. I hope it helps him to become active again. If anything, it made me think about the role of the Holy Ghost in the work I do.
Remember Elder Vinson's talk from Conference? There's a little kid pushing a rock with all his effort and might, but it won't budge. The dad comes over and asks if he's giving it his all and the kid replies with "of course." The dad then tells him "not yet. You haven't asked for my help." As missionaries, we can push and work and teach like crazy, but if we aren't letting the Holy Ghost teach or find as we work, we're like the little kid, getting nowhere with our work. I know that Heavenly Father will help me as I ask, because ultimately, this is His work. Missionary Work isn't missionary work without the Holy Ghost. I know this is His Gospel and His work. The truth that we hold can bless people's lives beyond measure and bring them the most happiness and joy they can't find otherwise.
And now, the answers to this week's questions:
1. Medan is much nicer than Surabaya! Little cooler and not as hot.2. I actually don't miss the AC. The fans work really well and it saves a ton of money on our monthly electric bill.
Monday, October 7, 2013
Selamat Pagi Semuanya-If I didn't know the word for rain before, I sure do now. Hujan. All of last week, it was absolutely beautiful clear and sunny during the day, and then there was "hujan" like crazy around till the end of the night. Elder Broberg and I were woefully unprepared for most of the days. Like last Wednesday where we biked out to teach a less active, Sister Desni, and then tried to make it to Sister Ezra's house before it rained. We got dumped on and were soaking wet by the time we arrived there. It was still kinda raining, but Sister Ezra wanted to come with us to teach one of our investigators, Agus. So Broberg and I hopped onto her "becak" (bay-chalk) (google that) and went to teach A. Still in the rain. I don't know how I would have reacted if I wasn't a missionary. But knowing we were going out to teach someone about the most precious thing in our life made the rain seem small in comparison. We followed up on his reading and asked if he prayed to Heavenly Father and in essence, he replied that he knows the Book of Mormon supports the Bible and is the word of God. In all honesty, hearing that response that he knows it's true, made up for any discomfort we felt getting to his house. Sometimes being a missionary is just that awesome.
It does help to have a comp who's crazy optimistic and positive the whole time though. Elder Broberg is a stud of a missionary. In every aspect of the work, he's truly Christlike. Any time we meet with anyone, even if they like us or not, he shows his love for them. In situations where I would get frustrated or irritated at something, he keeps his cool and is always so positive. I've never heard him say anything negative about anything ever. I'm super blessed to be working with him right now in Medan!How was Conference everyone? I hope you all felt the Spirit, found an answer to a question, or found something to bless your life because that's what Conference is for. Because we have to wait for the Indonesian translation to come out, we don't get to watch conference until . Since we have a mission couple here in Medan now, we actually get to watch it in English! I'm pretty stoked about that. We have a goal this week to invite everyone we teach to bring a question to Conference and then promise them that it will be answered.
I love you all and hope you reflect on the Conference messages again and again. Santai saja!
And now to answer some questions:
1. Our apartment is actually kind of a duplex deal where the renters live in one half of the house, and we live in the other, gated and walled off part. I'll send pictures next week. Our bathroom door broke off its hinges so we just kinda prop the door up against the door frame and tell everyone we're showering. Fun, huh?