Wow! I've been in Solo for almost a whole week! Its been crazy and way different from Jakarta, which I really like :)
Tuesday I got to listen to about half of MLC which was really cool and fun to see how the leaders make goals for the mission. It was so amazing to see the revelation that President Donald has for the whole mission. He is definitely inspired in his calling. After MLC I flew out to Solo with the zone leaders here. Thank goodness they came with me cause that would have been pretty scary to fly and go through Indonesian airports with no idea where to go.
After I got to Solo, I had to ride a taxi by myself to the house. I didn't know where I was and I couldn't help the driver. He had the cellphone number of my companion so she tried to explain it to him. We finally found it :) It was just funny because I was just this bule (white person) with this taxi driver with no idea how to help him haha.
My Companion is Sister Winanto. She is so great!! The Sister Trainers told me she didn't understand any English but her english is better than she gives herself credit for. She always speaks Indonesian and I can understand her better than I can most natives. It is a real blessing that her accent is fairly easy. If she doesn't know the word in english, she can usually describe it simply in Indonesian so I can understand. She is from Malang Indonesia. She served 6 months in Jakarta and now has been in Solo for 3 months.
Here in Solo we bike!! On Wednesday within the first minute on my bike I fell off. So I don't know how true the saying "It's just like riding a bike" is because It was hard at first haha. Also, the traffic is not nearly as bad as Jakarta but it is still scary to ride bikes because there are cars literally right next to you! and buses are also sooo scary. They are massive and the road is rough and I'm still getting used to it. But I'm way better than the first day haha :) Banjasari is super hillly so sometimes we have to walk. I have never been so sweaty in my life. It is crazy. I literally am just sticky and hot all the time. But it is wonderful because the churches have AC and also our bedrooms. At least I don't wake up hot :)
There are 4 wards in Solo and two church buildings. There is one set of Elders for every ward and one set of sisters for every 2 wards. We serve in Banjasari and Jebres. So on Sunday we get to go to church for 5 hours!!
Here in Solo we do a lot of meeting with less actives, and only a few investigators. There are just a few people I want to talk about even though we've had lessons with a lot of different people.
______ was a referral from a member. We taught her about the Book of Mormon and I can tell she already believes it is from God. She can't go to church because her health doesn't allow her to drive a motorcycle by herself or ride her bike. It is so much harder to teach people and help them keep commitments to come to church because a lot of time their circumstances are out of their control. We have only had one lesson with her but hopefully she becomes a progressive investigator and finds a way to come to church.
_____ is also a referral. We also taught her about the Book of Mormon and I think she has a lot of potential. It is easier when they have a friend to help them and answer their questions and go to church with them.
_____ is our investigator with a baptismal date for next Sunday!! Yay! But there is a little problem with getting official documents with divorces and marriages... So the Ward Mission Leader came with us to our lesson with her and they are trying to figure out how to get things sorted out so she can be baptized. She is really great though and keeps her commitments. I didn't really understand everything they said but that's the gist of it.
Sister _____ Less Active:
Okay this woman is one of the most amazing people I have ever met. She is so great! She only lives like a 30 second bike ride from us. The problem is after she was baptized, her husband heard things from the neighbors that Mormon's are a cult and he won't let her come to church. He won't let her meet with the missionaries either. This week he has been gone so we took advantage of the time to visit her. We visited with her a little longer than normal and the Elders came too. She has a little boy named _____ who is 6 and he is so cute. He loves the Elders. She has one of the strongest testimonies ever. She always says that she has faith. And that even through her trials, she is happy. She loves reading the Book of Mormon and asks questions that are pretty deep for only being a member for less than a year. Her testimony strengthens mine so much. She has hope even through so much trial. Hopefully if I were in the same situation I would have the same faith to be happy like her.
Also every member loves to feed you. We get something to drink or eat at every meal. There are these salted boiled egg things that are nasty... and I have had fried tofu which isn't the worst thing but I don't really like it... But I love whenever they give us chicken, rice either fried or regular, fried eggs, mie (flavored ramen noodles pretty much) and that's about all. So far I have survived but there are still a lot more things I have to try.
We met with a lot of other people but I don't have time to share about it all. When I say we taught a lesson, it is pretty much just Sister Winanto and I barely bear testimony about something. It is so hard because I feel like I just follow her and I am her sidekick instead of her companion. I want to understand so bad!! My heart just wants to run so much farther than my brain can! It has probably been the most frustrating thing.
Saturday and Sunday was General Conference!!! YES! And I got to watch it in English which is like the greatest blessings ever. I thought I was going to have to watch it in Indonesian which scared me so bad. The main thing I got from it and that touched me so much was the message that "I am a child of God." And He loves us perfectly because we are His children. He loves us and he will rescue us. He will never leave us alone. It doesn't matter what we have done. He loves us simply because we are His children. He knows all our imperfections and weaknesses, but he still loves us. He sees us as we can become, not as we are. My goal is to help these people really understand who God is and that each one of them is a special child of God. Because he loves us, he has provided a perfect plan for each of us to return to him. If each one of us truly understand this, we will have a desire to do all we can to follow his plan so we can be physically in his loving presence again. It is so important to always remember and never forget it. One way I can help others understand his love is by loving them. I may not be able to understand anything about them, but I can still love them. I can love them even if I don't know their name. It is my goal. They can come closer to Christ by seeing my love for them. As I listen with love, I will be able to understand them and know what to say by the power of the Holy Ghost just like it says in Preach My Gospel. I am so grateful for leaders of this church who love us and are examples of how to be like the Savior.
Funny things: There are literally chickens and roosters everywhere and it is hilarious. Also there was this massive scorpion beetle thing that sister Winanto had to kill for me that was so nasty!!!! Ugh!! Also she is scared of little lizards which is funny because I'm not haha. I'm glad we're scared of different things.
Love you all so much!! I'm so grateful for this adventure and all the things I'm learning! Thanks for all your letters! I only have an hour so I can't reply while I still have to write about all these culture things but hopefully later I will have more time. Love you!!
Kasih, Sister Davis
Sister Jacqueline Davis
Sister Davis is currently serving as a missionary in the Indonesia Jakarta Mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
Sister Jacqueline Davis
Indonesia Jakarta Mission
Jalan Senopati 115
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