Before I start, I wanted to add a disclaimer: I LOVE MY MISSION! I know that I am supposed to be here and it is truly the Lord's work. Ok now for the nitty gritty :) I made it to the second week in Indonesia! It is so different here than Jakarta that it really feels like a different country! Anyways I love it here so much but I had a really rough week. It has been a week to go down in the books.
I began sorely missing you all and the comforts of living in a westernized country. Coming here it feels like I am seriously on the opposite side of the world and that is basically true. I wake up with so much fear and doubt and homesickness and worry. After being in Jogja for 24 hours I remember thinking that i wanted to be home. I didn't want to GO home, I just wanted to BE home. Remember that one summer when I would cry before going to nanny every day but everyday I went and it was actually not bad at all? It's a little like that. The best solution I have found is work and I've gone to bed each night so happy and so excited about serving the Lord. The mornings are the worst and I have found myself crying in the shower a few times. As soon as we left the house though, I plastered on a smile and soon found myself laughing and contacting and loving everything.
The 26th I remember just sitting in our house (which is huge but so far the most dilapidated. I love that it is turquoise though! Side note: there is sooo much turquoise in Indo! I think it is Heavenly Father's way of telling me he loves me.) and writing in my journal and feeling so discouraged. I think it dawned on me that I had been so selfish, Even in my reasons to come on my mission. If I wanted to be home just because I didn't like it, then the reasons I came must've been the wrong reasons. I was getting annoyed with all the ants and I was worried about emailing home and all these stupid things that really are nothing in comparison to the goodness and miracles of my mission. I was feeling very alone here and like no one really knows where I am or what I am doing but I know that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are very aware of me.
I LOVE Alma 26! It has been such a comfort. Alma 26:27 is a life changing scripture. The second to last verse in the chapter also about God being mindful of us as wanderers in a strange land. So grateful for w hat I have. I know sometimes I'm just a baby on the inside even though I act so tough on the outside, but I also know that this is no longer my time, it is the Lord's time.
The next day (the 27th) we had an appointment with a member family really really far so we had to ride a bus for an hour or so. The dad is extremely sick and bed ridden and we just shared a message about prayer. I started to cry when bearing my testimony to him about prayer because I knew that I was so blessed to have prayer. It was the first time I ever cried during an all indonesian setting and it was because I felt the spirit so much and knew God loved me. And get this- it started to rain! Oh Heavenly Father knows me so well. I was looking out the window at the rain pouring on this turquoise fence and something just switched. It's OK! So many people have survived Indonesia and I am going to be one of them., I am not just going to survive, I am going to thrive.
I have needed every scripture, every quote, every encouraging thought and every family picture to keep me going this week but I also needed to pick myself and just keep riding my bike! The biggest secret to missionary work is work, as PMG (preach my gospel-missionary training) says. As the week continued, things have been much better as well. Would you believe I love spicy food now?! and I love riding bikes! I love the pouring rain out my window right now and I love the sisters I am living with. My trainer is Sister Suryani. She is an angel and so helpful. We have been on the search for new investigators though (since she just had 3 get baptized last week!) and have continued to visit some inactive members. I love that she is always encouraging me to take the lead in contacting or planning for a lesson while still guiding me through this country that I am not familiar with. It has been so fun to get to know her and her conversion/life story. I don't know what I will do in 3 months when I have to get along without her.
I hope this email wasn't worrisome. I just want you all to know that this has been the hardest thing I have ever done. It's not necesarilly the work, it is the change and trying to convince your natural man that there is more. Lemme think of a few funny stories to brighten this email.
Oh! We got a contact just because this little girl wanted a picture with 2 Bule's! (me and elder wood) Sister Suryani said that they call it the Bule Power hahaha. There are ants everywhere in our house (reminds me of that song that Janice and Meredith and I used to sing "those ants, ANTS, those ants, ANTS... they just keep on a walkin and nothing's gonna stop em those ants") But I was going to mention that we have to keep all of our food tightly sealed, in the fridge or in a rubbermaid. This morning we were eating breakfast all together when Sis. Suryani screamed bloody murder and threw her bag of bread accross the room! We were all so worried I ran over to look at the bag and she is shouting and about crying and saying "cicak!!!" (prounounced chichak). Turns out there had been a lizard in her bread and she had already eaten 2 slices! She was gulping water and saying that she felt like there was slime in her stomach. Oh it was soooo funnnny! We have been teasing her so much about it too. Oh! I got two huge black patches on the back of my skirt from my bike on my first ride of the day out to the church and had to walk around like that for the rest of the day.
Last tidbits: I love listening to music on my ipod. It is such a comfort. Church is so intimidating because you can't understand anything. We had an hour and a half bike ride to an investigator's house and a little more than that on the way back and I am only a little sore!
OH there is so much I want to write about and so much I want to ask you about! I am just trying to not think about Island Park but every time I spray bug spray it brings so many memories. Have SO much fun for me and tell me all about it. BE SAFE! And please send me letters! I can't ever find a way to print emails. I am going to try to write real letters as well and send a few pictures that way. I LOVE YOU SO MUCH! So much that I am going to do everything I can to live with you for eternity. I hope that I can help the Indonesian people here have that same blesssing of eternal families. It takes sacrifice but the Lord promises us he will make up for our trials 10 fold!
Sister Suryani says hello and I have so many TL's about how cute our family is. I don't want to say farewell but I really need to! Take luck! Be good. Remember who you are and act acordingly! CTR! Brush your teeth! Write me! Pray for me- I pray for you always (that is a quote from a knight's tale actually i think) KASIHMU SELALU! Sister Emily Adelaide Sheffield