This week had its own adventures and weird days (but really is any day normal as a missionary?) but it was a really good one! It was Thanksgiving, Mission Tour with Elder Evans, and Stake Conference here in Jawa Barat. Definitely spiritually uplifting!
With investigators this week and getting lessons with them it was kind of hard just because we had some sicknesses and our investigators aren't very zelas when it comes to making appointments. But that really ended up being okay. Sister Hyde was sick at the beginning of the week so I went on exchanges with Sister Wheeler on Tuesday so they could still work. Sister Roylance wasn't feeling that well again too so it was good to have her stay at home with Sister Hyde. On Saturday all of our plans fell through, but Sister Wheeler and Sister Hyde had an investigator that wanted to go to the Saturday night meeting for conference in Jakarta, but they also had some investigators they wanted to meet with so they would come to conference, so we did a split there. They have a lot of investigators in the same area so on Saturday we got 5 lessons in 1 day! That is a ton for Indonesia so that was fun, even though it wasn't in my area.
Thanksgiving was pretty fun :) Sister Roylance and I taught English Class again this week and we used a little hand out that Sister Rowley sent to us about Thanksgiving so we got to explain all about why we have Thanksgiving there. On actual Thanksgiving it was Thursday so it was weekly planning session, so for lunch we just got pizza from Dominoes which was pretty delicious and fun :) That was all for Thanksgiving.
Friday we had Mission Tour! Elder David F. Evans came again. He is the same member of the Seventy that came a few months ago. The first time he came I felt pretty sad about what he had said because it kind of just hit right to the bone about all of the things we have been doing wrong as a mission, but this time was wonderful! We looked at the progress we have had since the first time he came, and we have progressed a lot! Our number of Lessons with Members has gone from 48 to 96 in a week as a mission, and the number of referrals went from like 300 per week to like 800 per week. Those numbers are amazing as a mission and I am really excited to see the progress. He also talked a lot with us about how to have faith. He said that the way to gain faith is to set goals and then to reach them. He talked about the importance of missionaries to have personal Baptismal goals and also for members to have personal goals about bringing people into the church. It was so beautiful. He also shared a verse from Ether 3 about the Brother of Jared. The Brother of Jared sees the finger of the Lord and then he is astonished and falls to the ground. Afterwards, the Lord asks in Ether 3:11 'Do you believe the words which I SHALL speak?" and Ether answers yes in verse 12. Ether has that much faith that he doesn't even need to know what the Lord says to know with an asurrance that it is true. How beautiful! Do I have that much faith? Have I completely surrendered myself to the Lord and truly believe all of the miracles he will work in this country. The Lord can do anything, but he will not do anything if we are not faithful. Am I limiting the miracles the Lord desires to work in my area because of my lack of faith? I just loved the motivation and happiness I felt from him as he spoke, and I am so ready to have more faith every time I meet with an investigator.
Sunday was Stake Conference! It is a HUGE deal in Indonesia and one of my very favorite weeks of my mission. It is so exciting to see the excitement and respect people have for a member of the 70 who comes. We got up at 5 AM because we were in the Choir and had practice before hand. We had such pretty dresses made by the members and it was so fun to just be matching. We sang Consider the Lilies, If you Could Hie to Kolob, and This is the Christ. All in English. These members are so great. It was fun to look out on the crowd and see everyone from up front. We also had 3 INVESTIGATORS COME! THREE! ..... came! I LOVE HER! and ..... came! I LOVE HER TOO! and ...... came!! We haven't met with her in weeks because she is so busy but two months ago she promised she would come to conference and she came and I was so happy about that. They all loved it.
After Conference we went home to Bogor on the bus, and when we were at the church, I felt we needed to go to ...... house, so even though we passed ......on the way home to Bogor, we took the 2 hour bus/angkot journey from the church to her house and had an amazing lesson! Last week we taught her about repentance and I gave her homework in Mosiah 26:30 about repentance, that as many times as we repent sincerely we will be forgiven. So she kept reading and read the whole story about Alma the Younger and understood literally all of it. She talked about how repentance has to have action and has to be sincere and it was literally amazing. We continued on and finished the Gospel of Jesus Christ lesson and asked her to be baptized again and to pick a date. She is still kind of nervous to pick a date just because she is always so worried to make promises if she is not 100% sure she can keep them. We read all of the baptismal interview questions with her and she believed them all. She said she wanted to ask her member friend Brother ...... about it and then we invited her to kneel with us and pray and I have never heard an investigator offer a more sincere prayer. I am so sure we can go there with Brother ......and calm her concerns and she will get baptized this month. I know it with all my heart and I am so excited to see it :)
As for our house, things are going great :) Sister Roylance is an angel and did a miracle with the bathroom. We're doing little by little to get better. The ants haven't been a problem since. Robert the lizard hasn't come home the past week, but his new friend Gabriella the lizard showed up above the front door the past couple of days. We're not worried because we're not Elders and aren't going to try to catch it haha. They just chill and eat the ants and it's fine. It's actually turning into a really nice house, other than the AC broke so we're trying to figure out what we can do about that today.
Also Sister Wheeler goes home next week, and Sister Hyde found out she is white wash finishing training in Solo Banjarsari Jebres! So Sister JATMIKO who is Sister Roylances Trainer is coming to Bogor today and then next week she gets her new Bule child. So we're pretty excited. We've heard some rumors about other people moving too because we don't think President is done telling everyone about transfers, but we hope and are pretty sure Sister Roylance and I get to be with each other for another transfer.
As far as my package, I think thats all... Some fruit roll ups sound really good and some fruit snacks... It will probably save space if you take them out of the boxes and put them in Plastic bags. Overall I think thats it!
I hope you have a wonderful week and "Light the World" with the Savior as this Christmas season starts. LOVE YOU!!
Love always, Sister Davis
Wow this week has been crazy on so many levels! But it was exciting and something I will remember for a long time.
So on Monday while we were at Taman Safari President called us and told us he approved us switching houses with the Elders because their house is closer to the church and our old house we had to walk 15 minutes on a super dark road every time, so we decided the Elders were better to handle that. The crazy thing was we had to do it before Tuesday morning! So on Monday evening we hurried and packed up all of our stuff to move the next morning.
So just picture the situation of 4 Sisters moving into a house that has been Elders for the past 5 years, and they have about a total of 6 hours to clean it all. Just picture that!
Well here's how the past week went down. I don't even think I can try to explain it... It's nice because it's really big, but the person who built it wasn't smart and put a ton of wood in it, which with bugs is not a good thing... I really want to send you pictures but this new warnet next to our new house is really sketchy and I don't trust it with my card. But anyway the biggest problem we see is that the back of our house is kind of open, like there is this massive fountain, (Dad would like it if it was clean) and then the kitchen is actually outside too... just covered. But this fountain is really gross... And there are actually 3 HUGE CATFISH ALIVE IN IT! And we don't know what to do to get them out, and they live just off the algae that grows in the pool. There names are George, Albert and Smith. hahahaha thanks for prophets :) they are about 2 feet long and they get really active at night haha. On Tuesday evening we went in our house and there was a HUGE LIZARD in the corner. His name is now Robert. He is a toket and apparently they are really hard to get off of you if they bite you, but apparently it's good luck if you have one. He is about a foot and half long too. I like him now, but he hasn't come home in the past couple of days. Also on Tuesday night we were in the bathroom, which reminds me of the cupboard under the stairs in Harry Potter, and Sister Roylance sees this huge group of massive ants that fly in the corner, so she gets brave and gets the Hit bug spray and starts spraying and they are literally falling out of the wall. There were probably about a hundred or more. I got a pretty good video of the whole situation. We were pretty discouraged about this house the first couple of days, but now we like it because it's an adventure house :)
This week we found a new family! We call her Mama and she has two kids. She stopped her motor cycle when we were on the way to a member's house and said we could come to her's some time, so we got her number and went there with a member that lives really close to her there are about 5 member families in that area which is a lot for Indonesia. She said she had had a Book of Mormon before and she still had it but had never opened it. She was surprised that so many of those people were members and she was really open with us. We have a lot of hope for her.
And the most exciting thing this week was that ........ CAME TO CHURCH! Finally we had an investigator actually come to church. She was so happy and I loved it. I also gave a talk in church! My topic was on the restoration of the gospel, and the scriptures they gave me were specifically on the restoration of the priesthood. I talked about the blessings of the priesthood, and got to share the experience of our family being sealed in the temple and the members loved it. I hope .......loved it too and we are going to pastikan her baptisimal date when we meet with her this week!
This next week we have mission tour with Elder Evans again and also Stake Conference which will be so awesome! We are singing in the Choir and our dresses are SO PRETTY and the members sewed them for us for free. So thats really exciting. I don't think we are doing anything for Thanksgiving. We might just splurge and order pizza before our Weekly Planning Session.
I also got your package Mom! I thought the customs people had opened the candy, and then I was really happy to hear that is was actually you. Sorry I opened it already, but it was good I did because the sugar from the Sour Patch Kids was all falling out and it would have been covered with ants. My Christmas present is just seeing all of your cute faces :)
Have a wonderful week!!
Love, Sister Davis
Sorry this is late today. We went to Taman Safari again because Sister Roylance and Sister Wheeler hadn't been before so we went again. It was a lot of fun and it is just one of the happiest places on earth for me all for only 12 dollars :)
So unlike most people from America think, including me before I came here, Indonesia isn't just down in the corner here because everyone already knows who the President is. We were sitting on an angkot like 2 hours after it had been picked and someone asked where we were from and we said from America. They asked us who the new president was and we said we didn't know yet, so a girl on the bench in front of us immediately says Donald Trump and I was honestly super surprised from what I had heard. Even though this is a third-world country, one thing everyone prioritizes are cellphones. EVERYONE has a cellphone, and most people have smartphones. So they find out everything on the internet super fast. Sister Roylance doesn't say she is from Washington because everyone things it's Washington DC and start talking politics, so she says Seattle instead. Maybe other parts of Indonesia don't know as much, but missionaries are only in big cities, so we really live in pretty established places.
This week we had a few different things happen. We went on splits with the Sister Training leaders on Wednesday, which was good. We showed them some of the struggles we were having and they agreed with some of them and gave us suggestions on how to improve, so hopefully we can have more success when we try them. Sister Roylance and Sister Jatmiko went to ....... and they had a great lesson. They taught about the Restoration again because it had been a long time, and at the end she said she wanted to be baptized and she was going to pray about December 3rd! and we had as a companionship made a goal and were praying for there to be someone to be baptized on December 3rd. We tried to go to her house on Saturday but she wasn't there, so we couldn't find out her answer. So we were waiting at church on Sunday, so excited for her to come, but then the member that said they would bring her came and she wasn't with them. The member said that they had a friend they had to take to the station at 9 in the morning before church and that there wasn't enough time to go back and pick up ........ My heart kind of broke in half, especially because this is the second week she actually wanted to come and couldn't come. So we are really hoping her hopes aren't crushed and we can get her to come the next few weeks. We're going to go to the Bishop's house and see if he has any suggestions for us.
We did have a few weird lessons this week, but that's okay. Hopefully things are just waiting for us to receive them and we will be blessed with at least one person new this week that has been prepared to receive us.
Love you! I hope you got the picture from Brother Ezra today. That's gonna have to be it for this week :)
Love, Sister Davis
This week was still pretty hard with investigators not wanting to come to church and lots of our appointments canceled or just didn't go through. It's pretty frustrating to be honest, but we're still praying hard and trying not to give up hope.
This week we did have a couple good lessons. The first one again was with ....... She is getting so much better and understanding so much more. We decided to watch Finding Faith in Christ with her, which was a really good idea. It was really the first time for her to watch a movie about Christ's life and actually understand what was going on. Every time she said she had a question, it was eventually answered in the movie. I can see a difference in her. She actually asks real questions. Before we were pretty sure she hasn't been reading any of the homework we have given her, but last lesson she asks about the Aaronic and the Melchizedek Priesthood, which we didn't talk about at all, so it meant she actually read it. It was so awesome to see that what we are teaching her is actually making a difference in her life. I can see our purpose being fulfilled, as we are really helping her to come unto Christ and receive the restored gospel. She may not understand everything, but just us teaching her is really helping her understand that there is a Savior. I am so excited to hear when she eventually gains a strong enough testimony to get baptized.
On Saturday we met with one of our investigators ....... We talked a lot about faith with her, how it is more than just believing something, but has to be followed with action. It was the first time she has thought about it in that way. I felt prompted to ask her the baptismal questions, like if she believed that Joseph Smith was a prophet, if she believed that the Book of Mormon was the word of God, and if she believed that the Church of Jesus Christ is lead by Jesus Christ. She said she believed all those things with such a confidence in her voice. Then I invited her to be baptized and she said she wasn't ready and wanted to learn and understand everything first. We're going to keep teaching and working with her. She wanted to come to church this week, but she has to ride 2 angkots, the train, and walk to get there if Sister....... doesn't pick her up, and Sister ...... was in Bandung this weekend. So, we are really hopeful that she comes to church this week, and when she starts making that a habit we have a lot of hope for her desire to be baptized.
Even though the work is still hard here in this country, we are still grateful for the little miracles that happen. I am so grateful for the amazing miracles that happen at home, that my grandparents finally had the opportunity to be sealed in the temple this weekend with my family. Only on my mission do I realize such a blessing it is to know that my family will be together forever. There are so many members in this country that long for that to happen, and I can't wait for in a few years to come when I will have the opportunity to come back and see so many people partake of the celestial blessings that are available in the temple. That is something I want for these people more than anything else in the world, and I am so excited I get to be a small part in making that happen.
I hope you all have an awesome week. Remember how blessed we are all to have the gospel, and use that gratitude to share it with others. I know that we all will feel the happiest when we see our brothers and sisters joined together in the Kingdom of God here on earth. How great a blessing is it to know of the restored gospel and how great a responsibility it is to share it.
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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