Sunday, February 22, 2015

Returned with Honor

Well everyone, I realize that I have been home for almost 3 months now and haven't written an update yet!
Life is good! I am back, studying at BYU and trying to figure out a major. There is an Indonesian class later in the fall so I am excited to take that with all my mission brothers who will get home in May! :)

Honestly, I don't know what to write about. Being home feels so surreal. Even now I look back at all the stories and pictures and think, "Did I just do that?" It goes by in a moment and coming home makes it feel like just a dream. Being home is somewhat normal but some things took some getting used to... like drinking water from the tap! (I mean you guys trust the water but have you ever seen where it comes from? How do you know it's safe?!)
I really love having social media to connect with all of my mission friends from Indonesia and across the globe but nothing will beat the fun times we spent together.

I love Indonesia! I loved my mission. I love this Gospel of Jesus Christ and I love my Savior. I am the luckiest person alive to have served when I did and where I did.
The Lord doesn't call you to a place, He calls you to a people.

I wanted to thank all of you for your support throughout my mission! Thanks for reading my blog! I hope you can forgive me for all my faults and maybe learn something about my experiences. You were all so wonderful to always give me encouragement, send me letters and emails and make me feel loved. It was much needed and I love you guys!

Now that I am in the "real world" again I guess I will sign my name differently.

Harap Allah sertamu selalu.
Sudah pulang dengan hormat.

~Emily Sheffield

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Go forward and not backward

Love you more than…
…you love me and no call backs! It's funny that you say there are 3 days left because for me it's basically tommorow! I had to pack last night, I have my farewell dinner tomorrow then leave for the airport in the middle of the night.

What do I even write about? So, how's it going? Haha so strange ya? I have gone through all the phases of the move... Sadness, excitement, ignoring it, and now I just feel like it can't really sink in! Well I'll just tell you about some of my favorite things from these last few weeks. 
I just am so certain that the Lord's timing is perfect! I have learned so much in these last few weeks that have seriously changed my perspective. Every day in the mission counts! This last week I was more focused on the Atonement. I think that is the one thing I have learned so much about on the mission. The Atonement of Jesus Christ! Branching off from that I have been so blessed to come to more fully understand about prayer, repentance and the Sacrament. It's really cool how much you can grow up in a week. Ahhhh! This feels so strange! Like today when we got in the taxi with all my bags I felt like we were taking Sister Olsen's stuff to Senopati, not mine! Sheesh haha well hopefully it'll sink in soon. Or not-- cause then I won't cry too much!
But I am really grateful to have such great family and friends. You all gave me about the same advice for my last full week-- Just enjoy it! Work hard but take it in! Smile and laugh more than ever. Don't worry, just do what's right.
It has been such a great week. 
~Sister Olsen and I were able to meet with 2 member families at their homes in one week, that's a miracle! One of them was our bishop! OK that is like miracle of miracles! We neverrrrrrrr get to visit his family because of their schedule. But we also were able to have some good lessons. 
~SHEREN AND KRISTINE CAME TO CHURCH! Hooooorayyy! And they brought their cousin too! We taught them about Plan of Salvation and Word of Wisdom and they said that ever since their aunt (Sister Bella) got baptized this year, they have stopped drinking tea too! How cool is that?
~We had this really intense lesson planned with Sister Lely for Thursday and then planned a family home evening with President and Sister Donald. Well throughout the week it was looking like the FHE was going to have to get cancelled when out of the blue Sister Lely calls and says she and her husband AND her son could make it on Sunday night! So President got right to work (it felt like he was a glorified Ward Mission Leader haha) and planned this terrific evening last night with the stake president and his wife as our fellowshipping couple. The AP's came as well and the whole thing just worked out. One thing I've been learning more about lately is that when the Spirit is really there, things will just work out. Like our rough edges are made smooth, no matter what you say, they will hear what they need because of the Spirit. And what better way to invite the Spirit than invite that powerhouse of a group to a family home evening! And hopefully now the Elders can start to build a relationship with Lely's husband and son. 
~We had some great finding this week! I don't know why but we seemed to meet so many people this week that were just interested in listening! I think it is because of all of Samuel's prayers for us :) One of the days were on our way back to the church when we decided just to get off the ankot early and walk around a neighborhood. The first lady we saw asked if we would want to stop by her house and we shared the Book of Mormon with her! Keren ya?
~We gave a few referals to the other missionaries and even an investigator, but every time we do, we seem to be blessed with someone new to teach!
~The hardest part of the week was church yesterday. I have been in this ward for such a long time and these people are really like my family away from home! I feel like I am starting to understand how to love more fully after seeing the love from these members. They are super stars! And I know, truly, that the Lord loves each and every one of His children. 
Have I rambled enough yet?
I am so sorry that my letters are always a mess. I apologize if I say the wrong things. I wish I could write inspiring advice or miraculous stories but hopefully that what I write can just give you a little peek into what I've learned and felt throughout these 18 months. 

So to answer your question, it'll just be me and Sister Jibson traveling home! I think we go together to Tokyo then split up for the next 2 flights... YIKES! But the AP's and Sister Olsen and her new companion, Sister Toegono will get to come to our final testimony as well :) It would be fun if the whole district could come! Sister Reilly, Sis Akaiti, all the elders.

My thoughts right now:
*I AM NOT OLD ENOUGH TO BE AN RM! Can you imagine little old me? An RM! I feel like I still have so much to learn, so much to become! I guess we never stop learning. Onward, ever onward!
D&C 128:22-23
Brethren, shall we no it go on in so great a cause? Go forward and not backward. Courage, brethren; and on, on to the victory!Let your hearts rejoice, and be exceedingly glad. Let the earth break forth into singing. Let the dead speak forth anthems of eternal praise to the King Immanuel, who hath ordained, before the world was, that which would enable us to redeem them out of their prison; for the prisoners shall go free.  Let the mountains shout for joy, and all ye valleys cry aloud; and all ye seas and dry lands tell the wonders of your Eternal King! And ye rivers, and brooks, and rills, flow down with gladness. Let the woods and all the trees of the field praise the Lord; and ye solid rocks weep for joy! And let the sun, moon, and the morning stars sing together, and let all the sons of God shout for joy! And let the eternal creations declare his name forever and ever!And again I say, how glorious is the voice we hear from heaven, proclaiming in our ears, glory, and salvation, and honor, and immortality, and eternal life; kingdoms, principalities, and powers!

*Going home isn't finishing your tugas (assignment!).
John 6:67-69  "Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God."

*Remember that song from the Narnia movie? The Call by Regina Spektor. Sis Jibson just made me think of it. "...Now we're back to the beginning, it's just a feeling and no one knows yet. But just because they can't feel it too doesn't mean that you have to forget. Let your memories grow stronger and stronger 'til they're before your eyes. You'll come back when they call you. No need to say goodbye."

SEE YA SOON!!!!!!!!!!! I LOVE YOU ALL! Please give everyone my love. I am so blessed to have you guys! Take luck!

<3 Sister Shef(in the mission)field

Monday, November 17, 2014

My heart will break in two

Love you more than...
rainy season! We just checked the weather and it is a wonderful 91 degrees Farenheit with an drizzly, overcast. Um ok Ogden was 18 degrees Farenheit (but its like in the middle of the night there). Yikes!

Well my heart is pounding. A few nights ago I laid in bed and felt like my heart was ripping into two pieces. I am SOOO excited to see you all again and give you a huge hug! But I don't know how to leave this smiling, tropical family of mine here! Sister Manalu said she saw your facebook status and thought it was funny how excited you all are and yet how sad they all are. I think it is the real definition of bitter-sweet. 
Here comes my last full week! WAHOO! Are you ready for some miracles?! I am!
This last week was pretty wonderful as well.
Service Project
Monday we played Futsol with the 2 zones near Jakarta, then we decorated Sister Donald's house for Christmas and then went with a member to visit an inactive. However she wasn't home, so they took us out for sushi instead. Which, by the way, I LOVED! I am totally craving sushi now! We had the new missionaries still with us and it is always sooo fun to see their "semangat" (excitement) and hear their funny bahasa.
trying out my "selfie stick"

Tuesday we met with a facebook referral and she is sooo amazing. She really wants this! The other sisters are going to teach her, but I really loved getting to be all together and feel the spirit as we testified about the greatest blessings ever-- the Restoration of the Gospel. You know I may have taught/explained that lesson a thousand times by now, but I am always so impressed by the way the spirit just hits you, like shouts in your head, "this makes so much sense! It has to be true! Aren't you glad God loves us?!" And then we met with that inactive member from Monday night. She was absolutely stoked to have the sisters come by. (It used to be Elders that visited her.) One thing that makes me sad is to see someone who is so loving and kind and sweet, but then to see her make excuses of why she can't come back to church yet. It is never too early or too late to change people! 

Shopping for batik shirts for my brothers, earlier today...pusing (headache)... too many choices
Wednesday we went to visit an inactive, 2 little kids and has a small shirt store. We had this amazing lesson then right before we want to close the lesson, her little son starts screaming his guts out. It was actually a miracle that he waited until we were done though (answer to our prayers!). Then we visited Sister Lely. The Philippino sister that was with us for the week, Sister Baricante, was such a help to Sister Lely. She really understood her position and was able to give so much comfort to her. I think it was just what Sister Lely needed. Did I tell you how Sister Lely's old preacher came around and told her all the things that will go wrong now that she got baptized? Well it has been haunting Sister Lely and we are really worried about her. It is a little bit of a spiritual and financial crisis for her right now and all we can really do to help is pray, pray and pray some more! But we had the neatest thing on Wednesday! Brother (and Sister) Gibson, 1st counselor in Gen. YM Pres, Bro (and Sis) Tanner, 1st counselor in the Gen. Sunday School Pres., Elder (and Sister) Funk of the Asia Area Presidency all came to Jakarta! They had all of the missionaries gather together for a fireside. I received so many promptings just from seeing them interact with us, and with each other. And also from everything they taught. What amazing people! And I got the sweetest compliment after the meeting. President was telling Elder and Sister about when I skyped at Christmas and we had a family cheer and singing and everything. So he was teasing that me and my family are not really quiet people, but Brother Gibson says with a big smile, "Sister, you are just the way I like 'em!" Haha, well thanks! Oh and guess what else happened that day? 2 top Indonesian newspapers decided to make their headline article about Joseph Smith and how Mormons are polygamists and a cult... so we made some good facebook posts that night about how we DON'T have polygamy :)

So then Thursday we went out to visit Sister Bella and her nieces and they were sooo awesome, again! They won't commit to a baptism date yet but it was so great to see them both warm up to us so much. Now we just need to get them to come to church!

My last Mission Leadership Conference (plus a few tag alongs)

Friday we had the MLC (mission leadership council) meeting-- my last one. I've been here for eight of them!!!!!!!! President broke the norm and gave us all this really spiritual training about recieving revelation-- wrestle with the Lord. He said he was reading about it and couldn't sleep later because he needed to study it out. He based it on Genesis 32:24-30 and then just walked us through the scriptures on prayer.
How much do you want it? What are you willing to do to receive it? Are you willing to wrestle for it? (maybe that's the wrong question to ask the Sheffields haha). Are you asking the right questions to the Lord? Alma 8:10.

Well this week the theme has been revelation. I am SOOOOO grateful for this last few weeks that I've had in the mission. I am certain that I was supposed to be here for this extra time because of all the lessons I have learned. This last week alone, I have received so many promptings, insights and personal revelation. I've grown up so much this week! I am in love with this place. I am so so so so so so forever grateful for what I've learned from these people. I am overwhelmed with the loving way they share and give. It is the most humbling thing that everyone has given me trinkets this week to bring home. I really do mean everyone. They have made me recipe books, and bracelets and scarfs and necklaces and key chains. I don't know how I can ever give back all that they have given to me.
Me, Sister Olsen and Heny on the way to her kos (like an apartment)
A beautiful spot near Sis. Heny's kos. It's been awhile since I got out of the city

Saturday we had a trip out to visit a new member before she moves and it took up a lot of time. It really helped her feel loved though :)

Sunday we were so blessed to see Tania come to church again and we FINALLY taught her Pemulihan after her 3rd week of coming church. She is so cool and so ready. She langsung asked us, "if I get baptized in your church then marry someone from another church, how does that work?" Then the sisters had a baptism in the English ward and then we had a meeting with our WML... ummm so today, Monday,  I did a little bit of shopping for the 2 oldest boys. What do the 2 little boys want? Welllllll too late! 
Sorry for such a scattered email-- again! But know that I am great and the work is better!
I LOVE YOU SOOOOOO MUCH! PRAY FOR ME! I pray for you always!

Do it. Do it right. Do it right now. -President Kimball 

Kasih selalu <3 Sister Sheff

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Before I go into "hibernation" for the rest of my life

Arrived Nov 9, 2013
Love you more than…
Mom loves little things! More than Dad and Samuel love nose fights! More than Andrew loves dating girls and Joshua loves smiling. More than Jacob loves rollerblading in the house and more than Lucy loves mom!
Well it's really hard to "pretend" I'm not going home soonish when the entire mission keeps asking "are you still here?!" "you've past your 18 month mark... isn't that like working overtime?" "what day do you go home?" The closer it feels the more I think about how everything really is still the same, but it's just our perspectives that've changed!

I also have been really good at working out hard every day at 6 AM for the last few months but in this last week I think I've eaten myself full every single day! I feel like I have to shove as much Indonesian food into my mouth before I go into "hybernation" from it for the rest of my life. Haha but you know, I've been enjoying this week so much more. I have been taking it all in and just relaxing.
I think I was getting pretty wound up these last couple months but this week, as I've started to calm down and see the beautiful positive side of everything again, we have had SOOO many miracles and good times. It just feels... nice :)

I think  I have been so worried about everything going the right way in the work here before I'm gone, that I have been a little stressed. So this week I have been praying for patience, love and happiness every morning, meal and night. It works! Prayer works! The work has been progressing, our lessons have been so much more meaningful, we are laughing and smiling much more and it's been so much more enjoyable. It's like when you focus so much on yourself, you will fail. But as you focus on others and turn yourself over to the Lord, He will give you success.

Monday when I signed up for classes I was so streesed because all the sudden I realized that real life is scary and complicated and huge and crazy! I got really afraid of growing up! The mission is like Neverland haha where you can escape from all those other responsibilities just to focus on serving others and sharing the Gospel. But we had a district service project that afternoon and an AWESOME lesson with a new member, Heny, that night. We have tried this technique to have the members kinda teach themselves what they need to do and learn and they understand it so much more! It sticks better too.

Tuesday we had our P-day and went to the rollercoaster park Dufan! (DUnia FANtasy... [theme park] they LOVE singkatan [abreviations] here!) It was EXACTLY what we all needed! Just a time to laugh and scream and enjoy life! We had all the missionaries and a few members. One of the best P-days of my mission! I think it was cool too because one of our members brought his Muslim friend and we were able to get to know her a lot better as well. OH! ANDDDD I bought a tongis! (TONGkat narSIS... more abbreviations again!) It's a selfie stick haha and I LOVE it! After that we went to visit a member to follow-up with their missionary work. It was soooo successful! They really were involved and we built more trust and respect between our rolses as members and missionaries! I love my ward! I can't say that enough!

DuFan theme park

Wednesday we had a late start out to visit some members but when we got there it was another miraculously spiritual lesson about faith. We taught their family where only about 1/2 the family is active in church. But one teenage son bore his testimony to us and shared an experience he had at school where everyone made fun of him for being Mormon, but he said it made him even more yakin (sure) that our church is true. He invited his friend to meet with the missionaries on Saturday! He himself hasn't been to church in months but yet here he is being a great missionary for his school friends. It didn't work out that Saturday but we still have a lot of hope for him. After that we had ANOTHER great lesson with 2 girls whose aunt is a new member. They really understood everything we shared about The Gospel of Jesus Christ and had great questions. They both said they would like to be baptized eventually so we are going to help them work towards getting to church and getting ready! There are still a few things holding them back, but it's no big problem :)
Thursday with the new missionaries, we went on exchanges and I happened to meet with Vita that night. She has been less than promising and I think after I go home, the other sisters will probably stop visiting her... Anyways... back to the more positive parts of the week!

Friday we had our first district meeting after the moves and did you know that Elder Wood moved into my district? He's a great missionary. But can you believe that I have served in EVERY city with him?! After that we were on our way to English class and got there early but *small miracle* we had a potential investigator ask us to meet! We taught her about prayer and w/o us even asking, she tried to pray on her own! She is Muslim so that is a huge step! English class was miraculously full and a lot of fun. Some of my friends from class gave me gifts and made me feel so special!

Sabtu we took the train out to visit another member and they also were really cooperative and gave us another referral. Also ITS RAINY SEASON! So I am in HEAVEN in all these rain storms :) Unfortunately all our investigators cancelled but we were able to call Sister Lely and teach her a lesson over the phone just in her time of need. Will you please pray for her? She is having a spiritual crisis and it breaks my heart to have to watch her go through all her struggles alone. That night I bought the sisters slurpees and pop-rocks chocolate bars to celebrate my 18th month mark. Funniest thing ever! Sister ate the pop rocks right before she started to give a prayer and every time she opened her mouth to say something, it was just crackling. I was gonna bust a gut laughing.
Sunday we had ANOTHER miracle! Our investigator Tania came to church again. Remember we have never even taught her a lesson but here she came to church for the 2nd time, has been reading the Book of Mormon and asked us about baptism... Can you say miracle? MUKJIZAT! And I'm going to just say it one more time... I LOVE MY WARD! Church is my favorite part of the week every week. We visited Lely and gave her the Liahona from Juli. I love her so much and can't wait for you to meet her some day.

Today is futsol with all the new missionaries. We have loved being with Sister Baricante from the Philippines this week. She'll move to Manado soon! Lucky duck.
Welllllll I think that's all from me!
Keep doing what your doing and make me proud!
I love you guys so much! Our family is the coolest, most humblest around :) Oh PS did I ever tell you how much I loved your Balloon miracle? I've been telling it to all of our investigators haha.
Jangan lupa yg paling penting dalam kehidupan-- Selalu menomorsatukan Tuhan dan Injil ini. Itu rahasia keberhasilan kita. Sampai ketemu! :) Translation: Don’t forget the most important is the Lord always kehidupan-- menomorsatukan and the gospels. That's the secret of our success. See you!

<3 Sister Sheff