This morning we trekked on up into the mountains to take some pictures at a Hindu Temple--Berastagi I think, and by the time we got there at about 8 oclock in the morning, it was hot. Like Utah in the summer hot. My apologies for not enjoying the snow like the rest of you. I'm taking a break for a while.
To answer your question, Lake Toba was incredible last week. Really nice to get out of the city. I have picked up a few Batak words like "Horas" which is like "apa kabar" and "maulihate" is "thank you". That's about it. Most of the people just mumble when they speak it, so I haven't made an effort to learn it. But apparently "Barrus" is a tribal name here from Karo. Anytime people ask my name, they start speaking to me in Batak. After seeing my pasty white skin, they backtrack and try Indonesian again. Ha ha! But it's pretty great,.
Medan is still great! Txxxx and Rxxxxx are right on track to be baptized this coming Sunday. They invited us to their Christmas program dealio by their house this Saturday. They came to church yesterday all on their own and the youth have really welcomed them in. Even though all their friends at school are confused at if Gereja Yesus Kristus is Catholic, Protestant, or Charismatic, they still are stalwart and are choosing to make their first covenant with their Heavenly Father. We taught them about Tithing, Fasting, and The Atonement last week and they both just ate it up. There was one funny moment though where we had a really spiritual moment talking about the Atonement when all of a sudden their mom jumped into the conversation and asked "Bang, I want to ask you: can a person really be forgiven of ALL their sins?" We replied with the proper steps of repentance, anyone can be forgiven. She answered back with a sigh of relief and said "Good. Because Rxxxxx was a naughty child growing up." Ha ha!! They're all so great! We're focusing right now with her two sons, but eventually, we're gonna try to get their mom to come to church too. I love this work!
For other important investigators, Elder Sutadiyono and I have 3 investigators, all studying law at the local university, who went home to the island of Nias for the month of December, so we won't get to teach them until January. But when they come back, they all said they want to continue learning and Axxxx expressed a desire to be baptized. We just have to wait...
Life is seriously really good right now. I'm probably the happiest I've ever been on my mission and it's not because of the baptisms, even though that adds to it. I'm happy because I'm doing what the Lord wants me to do. I'm learning that there are two types of obedience that a missionary can have and they get two different results. The first is compelled obedience like we learn in 1 Nephi. Laman and Lemuel obeyed their father and went to the Promised Land. Why? Pretty much because they were compelled. I mean, if my brother shocked me with some lightning power, I think I'd go too. The second type is willful obedience. This means searching out God's will and following it, even when you don't understand why. As a missionary follows this pattern of willful and cheerful obedience, he is blessed with joy and the Spirit. No one can be perfect, but as we try, the blessings come.