It is always so fun to read the emails I get from y'all each week and fun to try and think of things to write home and tell y'all about. I thought that saying would be a fun one to translate because it is definitely one that I say to myself each night when I come home after a long day of work and sweat. Because believe me, I am either wet from sweat or rain each day when I come home. Kind of gross, but it is becoming more and more normal to me. And it doesn't get too much better because most of our house is not air-conditioned, only our bedroom. So we love to go to bed early to get an extra couple minutes of the AC. The church is air conditioned so we enjoy teaching there as much as possible, even though most of the Indonesians think it is too cold when the AC is on, so we don't use it as much, which I think is crazy!! I love the AC!! Not many homes that we teach in have it, only if they are really, really wealthy, but most will have a fan which I am very thankful for. Technically it is supposed to becoming winter here, but you would never guess it in the least. It feels hot still.
This week I had my first baptism. I really don't know how much credit I can take for it, since he has been taught for a year, but I was thankful to be a witness to it. It was Michael, the 14-year-old boy. It was a sweet experience. It was fun to see all the youth of the branch stay after church and be there to welcome him to the branch. They all sang a song during the baptism. But is was really great because it brought his mom, Ibu Cynthia and two siblings Immanuel and Karen to church too. The Dad, Pak Paulus, was sick. We hope soon that the parents will get married officially so at least the Mom can get baptized. Pak Paulus has a long way to go before he gets baptized. Really, he just enjoys to Bible Bash and doesn't progress too much.
Pak Jusuf is hopefully going to get baptized this Sunday. He decided that he knew it was true and wanted to get baptized and receive the Priesthood. His wife, Ibu Yana, we are hoping will follow suit in a month or so. She still works on Sundays but says that she is seeing if she can take the day off each week. She also just needs more friends and church and we are trying harder to fellowship her with more of the ladies in the Branch. She has a testimony, but is kind of timid to do anything about it.
My favorite Investigator is Riyanti. She is a 24-year-old law student who is dating a member of the branch. She comes to church each week and has made good friends there. She has started reading the Book of Mormon and wants it to be true. She said that she would love it if there were prophets today, but for some reason she is scared to pray and ask for an answer. Hopefully soon she will make that jump. She's my favorite because she loves it when I try to speak Indonesian and giggles when I mess up. It is funny.
Our other main investigator is Allena. She has had quite the tough life. Her family has disowned her; she just lost her job, and is now kind of homeless. It is sad and has caused her to kind of be angry with God and not trust him. We know that she has felt the Spirit and has felt God's love for her, but she is still angry and doesn't understand why her life is so hard. It is a sad situation she is in and it pains me to know how much the Gospel will help her and bring happiness back into her life, but she just won't accept it. It is hard and we keep praying a lot for her, hopefully she will change her mind.
This week was a great one. I passed my 3-month mark for my mission, which is crazy. Things are getting more and more normal here, meaning that I am less and less surprised by the differences between here and America but it is still new and hard. I know all the prayers said at home for me are a main reason for that. Thanks so much.
This is for Malan really... So, you know how in movies you will see old men playing chess on the side of the streets and you think does that ever actually happen. In Indonesia it does, a lot!! I see old men playing chess all the time and for some reason each time I do I think of you Malan. I don't quite know why, but I just think that you would love that.
This is for Deborah... Ok, so I found what your new business endeavor should be: A Movable Clothing Mending Shop! So here in Indonesia people basically do whatever they can to earn money and sometimes they can get creative. A couple of days ago we were walking down the street and I saw this guy on a bike that had a sewing machine on the back of it. He rides around and people can bring out clothing to him and he will mend them. I thought it was Genius! I tried to get a picture of it, but wasn't quick enough. I'm hoping to see him again.
My funny story of the week: So we were visiting a less active woman's house. She wasn't too poor in that she had furniture and we weren't sitting on the floor, but apparently it wasn't too clean because we were in the middle of sharing a scripture with her (I was speaking at this point) and all of a sudden on the back wall I see the biggest rat known to man run across the wall. It was huge!! Literally I was for sure that he was going to stand up and with Charles 'Gonzo' Dickens tell me the story of The Christmas Carol. I couldn't believe it. Don't worry we left as soon as we could! But, just another experience that I don't think I would have anywhere else!!
I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend in Atlanta this weekend. Enjoy that temple Hannah and Chris. I have been very humbled this past month, as I have seen such a desire and yen for a temple in Indonesia by the Saints here. It is prayed for in a lot of the prayers and talked about in church. I feel so blessed to help build up the church here so that one day they will get a temple in Indonesia. I know it will be a great day for the members here.
Oh and keep cheering for the Mavs. It is probably best that I am in Indonesia so that I never hear about American sports at all and don't think about missing the playoffs too much, because it is really sad. And if they go to the finals you better TiVo each game and save them for the next 15 months so I can watch them when I come home. Deal?
I love you all!! I know this church is true and that God lives and is our Heavenly Father. I have never been more sure of His existence and His love than I am now, because I feel it each day and I have to rely to on Him each day as I serve here. I know we have our Savior in Jesus Christ and that through Him all of our shortcomings are made up and that we can be made perfect as we try our hardest to follow the commandments and be obedient. I know these things are true. I love you and miss you. I hope you have a safe trip to Atlanta and enjoy trying to get another missionary out. What a task!! Thanks for being a wonderful family!
I love you!