Well, this week was quite the amazing one! One that will never be forgotten!! I can't even possibly describe all the things I learned and all the things that I felt. It started on Friday with the whole mission getting together and having an all day training including a 3 hour meeting with Elder Bednar. It was so fun to see all my friends from the MTC again and see how we are changing and improving. The meeting with Elder Bednar was so cool. We took a whole group picture with him and I sat right at his feet. Pretty awesome!! In the meeting with him we learned all about the role of the Spirit in our teaching but we learned it through him asking us questions and us asking him questions. We told some pretty amazing stories about being an apostle, working with President Monson, times when he was a missionary. Hopefully I can remember all of them to tell you when I come home. It was definitely an unique experience to have in my mission and one I will be truly grateful for.
The most exciting news was the creation of the new stake in Indonesia. It is the Jakarta Indonesia stake and includes the wards in Jakarta and the surrounding cities, 9 in all. Most of the branches were turned into wards, but not all. The new stake president was actually the first counselor in the mission presidency ... don't worry he is not anymore. So I know him and he will do awesome. The new stake executive secretary is a single, 24 year old returned missionary. He works in the mission office as the driver for the Merideths and I told him to get a good phone with lots of minutes. From seeing this process happen twice at home, I know that the executive secretary is really the one who works the hardest, sorry dad! The english branch got made into a ward and the new bishop is a young father of 3 who just moved to Jakarta about 5 or 6 months ago from America. He looked scared out of his mind!! When I saw him I just thought that Dad and Mom could relate to him a lot. It was most definitely such a unique experience and time in church history I felt so honored to be apart of. Who would've thought I would be in attendance when the first stake in Indonesia was formed! Crazy!!! Elder Bednar gave another wonderful talk about the importance of the Atonement in our lives not only for sin and pain but also for feeling inadequate. He related it to himself being called as an apostle and then to the new stake president but I felt my testimony grow as I have seen myself use that power of the Atonement the last 4 months as I feel so inadequate here in Indonesia as a missionary. It has truly been the Lord's Atonement that has kept me going.
Bevan, I am so excited for you!!!! This is the beginning of a great, crazy, tiring, but absolutely amazing two years of your life. Enjoy the MTC, have fun, and make friends, but also work hard. In less than a month you will be knocking on doors, riding your bike through the streets of California!! And when you feel like you don't know if you can do it for 2 years, like it is way too long, just remember you have a lot longer than I do and I still have a LONG time on my mission too!!! Just remember that!! Good Luck! I love you lots!! I am really, really proud of you! Knock them dead! (Not literally! Please don't kill any investigators!)
Well, this week with everything with Elder Bednar we had a hard time teaching all our investigators. We were busy doing other things. But here are a couple updates:
Riyanti postponed her baptism. We don't know when yet. She still wants to keep learning but I think she realized she wasn't as sure as she thought she was. So we have been getting back to the basics and making sure she knows Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon, and prayer are all true. She continues to pray, but doesn't feel like she has received an answer yet.
Ibu Yani, the wife of Pak Jusuf, is still hesitating. Well, she actually is trying to get her husband to go back to their old church. He still knows that our church is true and wants to go to our church but doesn't want to upset his wife. It's been a little heartbreaking, but we keep working with her one on one and seeing if we can find out if there are really other issues or doubts that she has. We love that family so much and want them all to be baptized but there is something stopping them and we can't figure it out.
I am so happy the Mavericks are doing so awesome!!!!! This is quite amazing!! You have to start tvoing all the games and saving them for me to watch when I come home. Sometimes I just have to say that it is only for my Heavenly Father would I miss this exciting Mavericks time in history. Keep going Mavs! When you are at the next game try to meet Dirk and see if he will write me a letter!!
Mom, I did think of something that I would appreciate in the box you are sending ... church cds, efy, mo tab, anything. Indonesians love to listen to music and we are limited in our options. Any you send would be much appreciated. Thanks so much!!!
Well, I am glad everyone is doing so well. Once again, Good luck Bevan!!!!! I miss you a lot!! Good luck too Deborah if you have Viola this week!!! (And yes you can send pictures on the email!) I miss you all and know this church is true! Have a wonderful week!!