I know I say this at the beginning of every email, but that is because it is just so true. I love Bogor and I love being a missionary. This week has been so wonderful and I am so excited for all the things that are in store!
This week started with going to Jakarta on Tuesday for a meeting with Elder Evans from the Seventy. We have to ride two angkots to the train station and then the train for about an hour that stops off close to the church in Jakarta. We were stuck in horrible traffic when Sister Hyde realizes she forgot her nametag!! Of all the days! So we called the AP's and asked if it was better to be ib time without a name tag or to be late with one. He told us to get off the angkot and ride a taxi home and then to the train station to get to Jakarta. So we tried to find a taxi, but ended up riding another angkot to place with a lot of taxis. We got in the taxi and then found out he wasn't from Bogor and didn't know how to get home. The road we usually go on was closed off so we went another way, and we got very lost. It ended up taking us an hour and a half to get home when it should have taken us 20 minutes. She grabbed her name tag and decided we would just deal with it and pay the taxi to take us to Jakarta. Thankfully the church is in south Jakarta right next to the toll road so we miraculously made it to the church with 15 minutes to spare. That was probably one of the most stressful time experiences of my life haha.
The meeting was really great! Elder Evans used to be an executive director of the missionary department and just barely got called to the Asia Area Presidency. He talked a lot about the doctrinal purpose of missionary work, teaching repentance and baptizing converts. We talked about how we need to teach more often, which means we need more investigators and all of our activities need to be about teaching people to get baptized. Sometimes we do good things, but we need to focus on doing the best things. I'm glad we have so many investigators here that we can teach so we don't have to worry about that problem as much here, but in Solo and other parts of the mission it is definitely harder, so hopefully we can change the mission culture to follow these principles better. He also talked about asking referrals from everyone, not just members. Because investigators and new members are going to be the ones that will most likely be able to give us names of friends, rather than members whose closest friends are usually members. So far we have been really good about doing that. We haven't had a referral given to us yet from it, but there have been a few people that said they would text us their information if we reminded them. The biggest blessing that has come though is the progress and success of our other investigators because of our obedience to the call to act from a general authority of the Savior.
This week the best things that happened were investigators at church. We had 4 which is SO GOOD here in Indonesia. ..... is so awesome! She came to church again and brought her 16 year old son. She told her member friend who gave us the referral that she wants to be baptized as soon as possible!! We are going to try to meet with her as often as possible so we can teach her all that she needs to know so she is completely prepared to be baptized without going into it too fast.
Sarah is another investigator that came to church. She is 18 and really likes being friends with us. We finally got into a setting to teach her about the Restoration which was a great lesson. She is genuinely open and I can tell she loves learning with us. We invited her to come to the Bishops house with us this Friday, and she was really excited about that. I know that with love and teaching with the spirit, if she does her part in keeping commitments, she will gain a testimony and be baptized!
......is our last investigator at church. She is about 26 and we met her from English Class. We taught her and her mom on Saturday with Sister ...... It is so awesome that members are so willing to come with us to lessons so that the investigator has a friend to go to church with. Her mom is a very strong lover of the Bible, but she doesn't have a church. She agreed with us about how of course there is a prophet on the earth today, and just about everything else we said. Hopefully she can see the importance of going to church and will be able to act and keep commitments we give her. I wish we could have focused more on ..... during the lesson, but her mom liked to talk A LOT! We gave her a lot more attention at church which was really nice and we are definitely going to meet with her often.
The thing I love most about Bogor is the feeling I have with the members. Bogor is a pretty established place, with a lot of people that work in Jakarta or have worked in Jakarta but they like living in Bogor because it is cooler and there is more land to have more homes instead of just massive apartment buildings. There are families here that have been established that are on their 3rd generation of members. They are thriving temporally and spiritually and can really support each other in all aspects of their lives. We went to a family home evening on Saturday evening with about 5 or 6 member families, and there was time after we gave the lesson from the Family Proclamation and bore our testimonies about families, so almost everyone got to share their testimony. It was so amazing to hear their conversion stories. These people here have so much faith. They are humble enough to open their hearts to these 20 year old kids, can gain faith in a 14 year old boy 200 years ago, and have such strong faith in a Living Prophet that lives half way across the world. When I am at church, I feel the strongest faith in the world. Some of these people have to leave 2 hours before church to come and they still come early. I literally shake hands with every single person that comes through the door. Everyone knows everyone and they recognize when an investigator there and aren't scared to talk to them and welcome them with open arms. I can just see Jesus walking in the door at the beginning of sacrament meeting, seeing so many saints with such strong faith and devotion towards him, all with so much love for one another. I learn so much more from these people than they even realize. They are really examples of the scripture in Moses 7:18 "And the Lord called his people Zion, because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them." This church building every day is Zion, and I am so blessed to experience it every single week for 9 hours since we attend both wards.
I am so grateful for the examples to me here, and I really couldn't wish for anything better. This week is transfers, and we are getting one new Sister in the mission, which makes me happy, but sad because that means our trio is probably getting split up. I love working with Sister Hyde and Sister Simanungkalit and I hope that more than anything we get another Sister to come and live with us so we can all work in Bogor together, even if we are in different companionships.
I love you all and hope this week is fantastic!!
Love, Sister Davis
MERDEKA!!! Happy Independence Day Indonesia! This Wednesday was Independence Day for Indonesia and it was so fun! I think they love their country more than we love America to be honest. There was a two ward activity and it was a blast! Indonesians know how to have fun! And by that I mean real good fun! The day started with games outside like tug of war, potato sack races (but they probably were really sack of rice lets be real), and then a Krupulk eating on a string contest! You'll just have to google what krupulk is haha. Then after we had lunch there was a talent show! Indonesians for the most part aren't shy, so it was really fun to watch it all. There was lots of singing and playing instruments and pretty much all the songs were Indonesian independence songs. America needs to work on our patriotism haha. Then one of the members taught this line dance and literally EVERYONE danced. Literally the people here are so fun and I really love it here.
As for investigators we still have a ton! We are working on finding those who we can really tell want to learn rather than just want to be friends so we can put more effort into them instead of a little effort with a lot of people. There are a couple of investigators that I feel have real potential and I am excited to see what happens in the next month.
One is ........ She is a referral from one of the members. The member brought her to the activity on Independence Day and to church on Sunday. The word is she already has a desire to be baptized, but she hasn't been free to meet with us yet but she liked church and we have a lesson with her this Wednesday. I'm excited to meet with her outside of church to really get to know her, and I am really hopeful with her!
Another investigator that is awesome is ........ we met her on Saturday night while walking home. She is Muslim, but mostly because of her family. But previously she has been taught about the Catholic church and still has a desire to be baptized into a Christian church. The spirit was really strong as we taught her about the restoration so we will see how the next few weeks go with her too!
Tomorrow we are going to Jakarta because Elder Evans from the Seventy is coming to do a mission tour! Yay! To prepare for it, President Rowley gave us an assignment to read Alma 17-42 and some other talks and things from Preach My Gospel. While I was reading about the mission of Alma and the sons of Mosiah, I decided to write down what they did as missionaries, and then the blessings that came from the Lord. It was an awesome experience to read it while being a missionary. There are so many things to be learned from them. One thing I really liked was in Alma 33:22, which says, but if not so, then cast about your eyes and begin to believe in the Son of God, that he will come to redeem his people, and that he shall suffer and die to atone for their sins; and that he shall rise again from the dead, which shall bring to pass the resurrection, that all men shall stand before him, to be judged at the last and judgment day, according to their works." All we have to do is begin to believe. The beginning is really where a lot of it is. You can't go anywhere with an investigator if you can't help them believe that Jesus is their Savior. I also really like Alma 34:31, which says "Yea, I would that ye would come forth and harden not your hearts any longer; for behold, now is the time and the day of your salvation; and therefore, if ye will repent and harden not your hearts, immediately shall the great plan of redemption be brought about unto you."
I really like this scripture because it promises us that if we repent, his mercy will IMMEDIATELY be brought upon us. He will bless us immediately. I have seen it in my own life and I have seen it in the lives of other people here in indonesia. I am so grateful for the opportunity to teach people the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ and see the blessings physically manifested to them through his grace and mercy brought to pass by the atonement.
Love you and have a great week!!
Love, Sister Davis
I'm glad you had an awesome time at Bear Lake! Thanks for all the pictures you sent and I'm glad it's still happening this next year too!
Wow, opening a new area is quite the adventure let me just say that. And I even missed the first week when Sister Hyde and Sister Simanungkalit were here. But it gives for lots to do and never any empty time!
Bogor is definitely different than Solo. There are definitely even more Muslims here than there were in Solo. We do a lot of contacting that leads to inviting to English class but that's okay. Just being able to have them exposed to missionaries in a positive light is a good thing :) Our area is HUGE!! We have the two cities of Depok and Bogor. There are 2 wards that are really strong. Bogor 2nd ward has lots of priesthood leaders and that is really really helpful. Also, since there hasn't been Sisters in for a long time, the members love working with us and we have had like 5 referrals given to us without us having to ask. It is awesome!
Wednesday and Thursday we did splits with the STL's. They both came and one day Sister Hyde and I were with Sister Hanks and then they switched with Sister Jatmiko the next day. Sister Hanks is from Bountiful and Sister Jatmiko is the younger Sister of the Elder from Solo who served in Layton a few years ago. Sister Hanks and Sister Hyde are both really tall, so that was a fun day of Bule (white person) comments haha :) They make me laugh more now than they used too. It was fun being with the STLs but crazy trying to find our way around as we still have a ton of investigators and referrals that we haven't been to before. Wednesday all of our appointments/non member findings/ referral findings fell through, but we got a lot of contacts and I know a lot more about Bogor now after asking like 20 different people for directions throughout the day.
One of our investigators is....... She recently just quit smoking to live the word of wisdom, which definitely lead to pretty heavy withdrawal symptoms. She had a baptismal date for this week, but I think we need to make sure she understands more about everything before she makes the commitment to live it. She has so much faith but her understanding is a little slower than others. So we'll see what happens in the next few weeks with her.
Another investigator is ...... She is about 18. We taught her and her mom this week. We answered a lot of their questions and talked about the Plan of Salvation. I don't know how much they took in or if they liked it, but we'll see what happens with them too. ....... seems more open than her mother, so hopefully she can stay open to learn more about the Savior's real role in her life and how living the gospel can really bless her life.
One of our other Investigators is ....... She is literally so smart. She has already read all of the triple combination and her questions are ones that we discussed in my BYU Book of Mormon classes. Because she is so smart, it is hard for her to learn with the spirit. She loves to learn a lot about different books and she said she believes the Book of Mormon is the word of God, but she still needs to develop a testimony of Joseph Smith as a prophet of God and that the Church of Jesus Christ is the same church as Jesus Christ established when he was here. Her family still won't let her come to church, so hopefully we can help her gain a desire to come to church so she can gain the faith so the Lord can provide a way for her to come to church someday.
Sister ....... is a member we met with at the hospital. She accidentally dropped a huge pot of boiling water on her body and it spilled on her stomach and all over her right leg. It was so sad to see, and that was a week after the accident happened. We talked about priesthood blessings and hopefully when she is well enough to cover the wounds the Bishop can give her a blessing. Her husband isn't a member yet, so we are hoping he will start to open his heart when he sees how much the members of the church care about helping his wife.
This morning we cleaned our house finally after 2 weeks. Our house used to be the Elders for years, so you can imagine. I'll just say after 2 hours the spirit now resides with us in our home :)
So far Bogor is awesome! It rains every night about 6:00, Theres lots of awesome places to see here, and the church is so strong and has a lot of potential to grow. Hopefully within the next year the stake here in Jawa Barat can be split to have 5 wards in each and be one step closer to having a temple be built here for these faithful members.
Sorry there are no pictures again. We always email at Warnets here, so I probably won't be able to send any until I get to the mission home for a PLD or something. You'll just have to wait and get excited when they come :)
I love you all and I am just so happy to be back here in Indonesia!!
Love, Sister Davis
(Sister Davis has been home for one transfer on a medical leave. The surgery went wonderful and this is her first letter back in the field.)
Okay I'm still really excited about today but I'll start from the beginning. This email is probably going to be really short because we're late emailing but i'll try.
So after I called you in LA I met Elder Payne who was coming from Arizona after having his visa delayed a transfer and that calmed me down. The flight was all fine and they let me through customs with no questions at all.
President picked us up and told me I was with Sister Winanto for the week in Jakarta while she waited for Sister Stevens to come from the MTC to go with her to Tangerang, which is a city like an hour train ride from Jakarta. We got to serve in South Jakarta where Sister Winanto had previously served. One of the best lessons we had was with a less active member who kind of got lost from the missionaries for the last two transfers, so we went there and it was amazing because her husband who hadn't listened to the missionaries for 7 years FINALLY agreed to have a lesson. We taught about the Book of Mormon which was so awesome and Sister Attika (the less active) helped so much and it was really a great blessing.
Friday night Sister Stevens came and then Saturday we had a training with President Rowley about all the rules of the mission. He is a lot stricter than President Donald, so it will take a little while for all of it to filter into the mission, but this week I fasted that I could gain a desire to follow him exactly and be more obedient my second time around rather than the first. As I looked up at him while we were at church, I just felt this feeling of love for him and of love that the Savior has for him. He is the trusted one that is guided and directed on how to make this mission the best it can be for this people. I know I will be a happy missionary if I exactly follow his counsel and do what I know to be right.
On Saturday night, I hopped on a taxi and rode 2 hours to my new area of BOGOR!! Bojor has been closed for Sisters for 10 YEARS!! So me, Sister Hyde who has been here for one transfer, and Sister Simanungkalit from Solo Banjarsari ward (I've been to her house and met her family which is cool) get to white wash. So we have 6 weeks left of training. I already LOVE them and I hope this experience is amazing.
There is already so much to be done here. We had two investigators at church on Sunday! And they are pretty progressive right now. I'll update you more on them next week. Also president came to church in Bogor which was pretty cool too. Our house is on a block called "Hollywood" with a globe that has South America backwards on it hahahahaha. It used to be the Elders house so it's pretty big and nice. There's not as big of a bug problem as before in Solo and there is a toilet! Awesome!
Today we went to a SAFARI! It is like a zoo as big as Seaworld where you drive in your car and feed all the awesome animals that come up to your car for like an hour, and then at the zoo I HELD AN ORANGUTANG!!!! It was the best thing ever of my life and I loved it!! It was so cute and held my hand and AHH!! I also rode an elephant and got a picture right next to a tiger too. It was literally like the best day of my life, as anyone would know if they saw me at a zoo before. I wish I could send pictures but this Warnet is really sketchy so maybe once we are here for a while we will find a better one.
Also, fun, crazy, insane fact. Sister Hyde's mom, Sister Pratt at the time, WAS A WELFARE MISSIONARY IN THE COSTA RICA SAN JOSE MISSION AND SERVED ON THE SAN BLAS ISLANDS!! So mom if you were ever companions with her that would be so awesome. Also, HER DAD SPOKE FRENCH IN THE CANADA MONTREAL MISSION!! How crazy is that? I think her dad would have served in between Dad and Blair, so they probably wouldn't know. But if they do know an Elder Hyde that would be so cool :)
I think that is all for this week! Next week I will have more time to explain everything here and I will learn more about it here.
Love you all! I love being a missionary and I LOVE INDONESIA!!
Love, 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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