Monday, February 24, 2014

Transfers - I'm moving to....

But first - I Love you more than….
Our favorite proselyting spot
(a.k.a. weekly photo shoot)
Kirby [Heybourne] movies, but “The Best 2 Years” in particular.
Remember that scene when Kirby is waiting by the phone for his investigator to call? Well that is what missionaries look like on the day of transfer calls. But this time President didn't call us on Friday like usual but on Saturday and we were all dying of anticipation! This is a huge move. Every sister companionship is changing and with 12 people coming in the mission... well there is a lot of change comin!
Drumroll please...
I am moving! BUT not until the 24th(ish) of March. So we have a really odd move because a new sister, Sis. L. Fisher, is going to come here to Solo on Monday and then Sis Manurung is going to train her! But I will be here to help with the training and waiting out my move. In the mission I am going from being a mom(trainer) to being a grandma(sis manurung’s training) and I'll get to help raise my granddaughter! 
Then I move to............... JAKARTA TO BE A SISTER TRAINING LEADER WITH SISTER ALLRED! How cool right? I get the best of both worlds. I get to stay here for a few more weeks (and here for at least 2 of my investigators to be baptized) and I also get to move and experience something new. And I'm stoked to be companions with Sis Allred and travel the entire mission. This transfer they are opening Manado for Sisters-- it is like white sand beaches and waterfalls and all missionaries want to go there. So I will get to go visit sometime soon! And I will get to be companions with every single sister (Sister Jibson!!!!!!!) in the mission at some point! I will get to meet everyone and experience everything! And I will get to meet with all the mission leaders regularly to learn from them. I love that idea. 
Elder Wood & Elder Wintolo baptized this darling family.
Not going to lie, Sis. Manurung and I have been fighting off boredom for the past few weeks. Missionary life can feel monotonous and I started parting my hair on a different side just to change up my life a little. But this move is going to be a huge change. Imagine three people in this tiny house! We have to figure out a bike for her too. I will probably live out of my suitcase and study on the floor until I move too. Gila... but I'm always up for an adventure :)
So Mbah Sis. was not baptized this week and might not be baptized in the near future. But guess what! K. and R.have permission from their dad to be baptized and are aiming for the 16th of March! We just have to get them to stop drinking tea first. 
Sister Manurung and I with our 81 year old investigator
and his granddaughter
I'm really learning so much about prayer on the mission. It seems like I had started taking the work really personally. Whenever an investigator didn't progress I thought "what's wrong with me? I must be doing something wrong and that's why they're not progressing/getting baptized etc." But a few weeks ago I was telling the elders how we are going to need some miracles before any of our investigators get baptized and one elder said, "You don't need a miracle, you just need the Spirit." He said we should stop praying that Mbah would understand and start praying that we could teach him in a way that he would understand. Simple changes like that. I got thinking how this really is not my time or plan but up to the Lord. So I have tried to change what I am praying for and it has really changed my perspective. And you know what? Statistics-wise last week was our most successful week so far together! You can't ever have enough faith and hope and optimism in the mission. Yes it will be boring sometimes or frustrating sometimes but I LOVE this quote from a mission booklet we have. It says, "You have a front row seat to the greatest miracle of all: the effect of Christ’s Atonement on individuals and families.” Alma 31:26-38 is Alma’s aweeeesome faith-filled prayer and then the answer came not as success but that they were given the spirit and got to work! Along with prayer is meditation. President said I should meditate before bed to take time to listen to the spirit. Christ himself told his apostles to take a break in Mark 6:31. Whew- so refreshing to take a time just to think. I AM GOING TO BE BETTER AT JOURNALING! Sheesh when the days/weeks start meshing into one then you know I’m in trouble. This is the article about us helping the firemen clean-up after the volcano eruption last week.

I love you all and hope your missionary work is going well. Don't get sick with all that cold ok? 
Make me proud! Eat some chicken pot pie for me! Oh and tell Taylor Ford hey for me! And congrats to Hailey :):)
<3 Sis Sheff
PS Joshua I found your Indonesian twin in the Solo Jebres ward. Too funny.  Get better ya? Cepat sembuh ya?

(random sidenote- It just hit me this week. Missionary work is like being a perpetual visiting teacher haha.)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Closest thing to a snow day in Indonesia

I  love you more than....

clean. Just being clean... haha.

So I had the most unique week ever! Last Thursday night, a volcano erupted, Mt. Kelud in Eastern Java, a few hundred kilos. from where I am in Solo. My companion and I were weekly planning and thought we heard fireworks or something... nope! It was a flipping volcano! So the next morning we woke up to a good blanket of "Indonesian snow" (aka volcanic ash, ash, everywhereeee). It was raining ash all night long and into the morning. The Mission President told us to stay inside because it was too dangerous to go out. BUT in Indo, most houses aren't enclosed. We have a lot of windows that are just covered with mesh and so the volcanic ash was coming in our house! So we threw a sheet over our laundry and desks and headed to the church in a taxi and had a pretty slow day. I'm so grateful to live in a tropical country in the middle of rainy season because rain has helped tremendously to make the air cleaner and everything else cleaner too. 
We look like hoodlums
Basically right now we have to wear masks, glasses everywhere we go and riding a bike gets you pretty dirty. It feels like riding/mudding on the 4-wheelers every time we go somewhere, and coming home isn't that clean either. We sweep the house probably 5x a day and still find ash on our pillows, in our books and in our dishes. The city looks like some scary movie scene since everyone wears masks and everything is brown from dust. Even the air looks a little hazy. 

The view from the bus window looks like a scary movie scene 

The work has been slow since that day and the Javanese people are nice to a fault and won't let us help clean. But I can't believe that I just went through a volcano eruption! I thought the earthquake was cool but this tops it by far. (for those Brian Regan fans...) “Pin the blue ribbon on my chest. I have the new best bragging story. I walked on the moon!”
Yes! I used a machete to clean the tiles by hand
Valentines Day became Volcano Day and it was the closest thing to a snow day that I will ever experience in Indonesia. Sister Manurung summed it up perfectly with a worldly song (Radioactive), "I'm waking up, to ash and dust. Wipe my brow and I sweat my rust. I'm breathing in the chemicals..."

Closest thing I will get to snow
ANYWAYS! What else do you talk about after a week like that? It gets better everyday but I think we are going to still be dusty for a few weeks. We went to help clean the church the other day and we were honestly scraping mud off of the parking lot one brick at a time. But one of the counselors in the Stake Presidency has some hook-ups so we got some help from the firemen. They brought their fire truck and hosed the whole thing down for us! SOOOO grateful to them! And they let us (me and Sis. Manurung) try their hose! Then the bakso man (think taco truck but with this Indonesian meatball soup) came in the parking lot and just parked there until we (the members) bought every last bowl of bakso soup. Eating soup, watching them clean off the ash, dirty and dusty. Once in a lifetime experience for sure! (Later on there should be an article about me and sis Manurung contacting one of the firefighters.)

Help from the fireman
or were we helping them?
OH! One last funny story about the dust that probably only our family will get. So I seriously think that dust gets stuck in my nose (3rd nostril anyone?) because I blow my nose non-stop and have been sneezing a ton! But the other night I got thinking and actually remembered the good ol’ netti-pot they told me to use when I broke my nose. Remember that? So I tried to replicate the netti-pot with some bottled water and yes it actually helped! Never thought I'd say it. Who would've thought I would be wishing for a netti-pot on my mish?

We tried a place to eat called D'Koboi (cowboy)
which is some little BBQ place
OK now for an update on the investigators...
Mbah Siswanta- He is back and forth! One day he believes everything and is ready to be baptized. The next day he is too scared to even come to church and says he can't read another book that isn't the bible. We have really rely on the Lord to bring the Holy Ghost into his heart because this isn't really up to the missionaries. But we are still praying that he will get baptized this Sunday.

Kartika and Reza- They're really having a hard time stopping drinking tea. It is just the culture here and they don't have a lot of support from their family, friends and teachers at school. They are starting to maybe get tired of us always asking, but I really know they can be great members someday. We love them and their family!

Ibu Bingar- she is a new investigator that the elders gave to us. The Elders met her since she has a little warung (street food shop) and gave her the Book of Mormon which she read almost until finished in just 2 weeks. Then we taught her the restoration, gave her a church tour and she has read the restoration pamphlet, plan of salvation pamphlet and gospel of Jesus Christ pamphlet a million times. The only problem with her is that she always tells us, "don't text me first, I'll text you when I want to meet" and she never does. But she is AWESOME and definitely going to be baptized later. We stop by and eat at her place sometimes and she is always reading the pamphlets and letting her friends read them too. 
Mangkobumen (I think?)
It's like the Kraton (palace) number 2 in Solo

We had one of those weeks where in one day we made 10 appointments and ended up only teaching 1... and it wasn't even someone from those 10. But I believe so much that this work is not about numbers and I feel like Sis. Manurung and I had such a great week. We work so well together and I just love her to death! I don't want to spread rumors but the word on the street is that one of us sisters is moving on the 24th. We don't know anything yet but we are sad to part!

I hope that you have been enjoying the snow. I can't believe the Bear Lake miracle. WOW! Dad you are the best. Did you know that? Valentines was good ya? I'm sad I didn't get heart shaped pizza on Valentines... Everywhere was closed haha except McD's. (Get this! We were at the church ALLL day on Valentines yeah? Well this member was playing the piano and he started to play the theme from “Somewhere In Time”... I about died. Reminds me SOOO much of you guys.) OH YA! So there were some people from the Hong Kong offices here and one of them is from Ogden and has a son who is a doctor in Ogden. Kritt Aardema? I forget the last name. But anyways. I got your letter with the pictures and I loved seeing the ward too. I have been slacking on reading Jesus The Christ but yes let's keep going with that mom!
Give everyone my love!
<3 Sister Sheff

PS Grandma- everyone here LOVES chicken fried steak. There are steak places everywhere! Haha so add that on your list of stops on your fried steak tour. :)

PPS I think my english has gotten worse and typing fast doesn't make it any better... SORRY!

Sunday, February 9, 2014


Happy Valentine's from Solo, Indonesia

This week had a lot of highlights but the biggest is probably
Can you believe that? 9 months ago we drove to Provo, went to J-Dawgs, took pictures, gave hugs and kisses and said "see ya later"!!! Time has flown by but that also feels like forever ago. It is a different world now, ya? Being halfway makes it a time for a lot of reflection. I feel grateful, sad, excited, far from finished, and everything in between. 9 more months. Only 9 months to dedicate to the Lord and be with these awesome Indonesian people. Only 9 more months before I will come home... Ahhhhhhhhhhh!!

Some of the other highlights for the week. 

Sister Manurung and Sis. Sheffield wishing you a great Valentine's Day
Tuesday- we had some let downs with Mbah but I think that Heavenly Father is just testing our endurance with him. Missions are a lesson in love and patience-- that's for sure!

Anastasya and Brother Tri's wedding

Wednesday- We were surprised by one of our investigators getting married by the bishop. They have been waiting a while to get married and she is pregnant with her 2nd child but it was so exciting to see her just one step closer to getting baptized (even though she said she doesn't want to get baptized yet). I played the piano and it was a small but fun event. We took a new investigator on a church tour and we have so much hope for her! 

Our favorite place to eat "Pak Jon's"

Thursday- we learned to make Indonesian soup, which was a definate highlight because it was delicious! But the most quotable part of the day was after we had done service and were eating as a district. I was eating and hadn't finished my tempe but there wasn't any more rice. "What am I supposed to do?! I ran out of nasi!" Yes... I am developing an Indonesian stomach!

Planting trees at Taman Banjarsari

Cute little kids that asked for a picture together
Friday- we helped clean up a local park and plant some trees. It was so fun because there were kids from all these different schools there and it was a city-wide event. Then I whipped out a lemon meringue pie! Haha it didn't look too bad and tasted soooo good! Thank you again for birthday presents ;)

I made a lemon meringue pie for our district meeting

Saturday- HALFWAY DAY! Made for a little bit of an emotional morning but we had some good lessons. The highlight was stopping to talk to a little girl and ended up explaining the restoration, the entire plot of the Book of Mormon and giving her a copy. She is 7 but SOOO smart. I have no clue what will happen to her but I know someday she will get baptized! We also had some good news that Kartika and Reza are allowed to get baptized if there is someone who will pick them up and bring them home from church. Hopefully only a few weeks before they will be baptized.

View from the church window, with the rain pouring down

Sunday- I SPOKE! Haha they asked "Sister Seefel" to give a talk on the Sacrament. I have gotten so passionate about the Atonement since my mission. It started with "The Root of Christian Doctrine" by Griffins, talk that mom sent a while back. But the Sacrament is the only covenant that I can renew here since we are so far from the temple. I think I did well. They said that "Sister Scanfield" did a good job, haha.

Today we are going to go visit another palace in Solo. Guess what?! Sister Manalu goes home on the 11th! Isn't that so sad? I really hope I will get to see her again some day. 

Spiritual message of the week... I was really intrigued with Luke 10:38-42 and the story of Mary vs Martha. I sadly am sooooooo similar to Martha. I am always busy doing things and in verse 40 it says she was busy serving. Isn't that a good thing? Well yes, but in that moment there were better things. I am going to get busy with the best things especially in these next 9 months.

I guess I am from the year of the chicken

Here are some good valentines scriptures...
1 Ne. 11:17, 1 Cor. 13:13, Mni. 7:45-48, Mni. 8:16.
Songs of Solomon 8:7 "Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned."
Our family is worth more than all the riches in the world. Time and the world cannot destroy our family's eternal bond. I send all my love from across the oceans in Solo, Indonesia straight to 1979 Shoshone Drive.

Whew! I hope that you all are having a great week and I hope the next week is even better! I'm praying for you. Keep moving forward! (Meet the Robinsons ya!)

<3 Sis Sheff