Monday, April 21, 2014

I love you more than...

I love lists! I like writing them, reading them, looking at them... Sis Allred has a book of lists! I just have a few pages of lists: “reasons I love Indonesians”,  "you know you're on a mission when...", Questions of the Universe/Deep Gospel Questions, what I want to be when I grow up. Any ideas for me to add?

A couple of weeks ago we make paper airplanes out of pass-along cards
and threw them from our balcony window with no success
in making it into the other apartments- another way to share a message :)
You asked my what floor I live on? The 17th! But get this the 2nd, 4th, 12th, 13th, don't exist! (superstitions) So maybe it's technically the 14th floor.
Did I get to see conference in English? Um... no. I am kinda freaking out. I have tried everything. I just borrowed Sis Allred's flashdrive to download the audio track and I hope that works.

HAPPY EASTER! We didn’t have anything special to do on Easter so we ate some of Sis. Allred's candy and read gospel books! OH and we made frying-pan cookies (thank you momio for the recipe! superb!).
I am trying to send my copy of last conference for you (we can trade again like last time!) but long-story short, it is in a member's car and they are out of the country. I'll send it when I get it back! Thanks for sending those things! Would you send some starburst jellybeans too? Hahaha I'm sorry but I am drooling just thinking about those!

What a marvelous miracle! Magnificent! I am so grateful for the missionary blessings here and at home. I have started writing down one thing I am grateful for in my Sheff Book every night and it is kind of hard to pick just one! But I think hearing the talk in conference about Gratitude hit me. I need to find more silver linings!

Sounds like your Easter was great! I loved the new idea you had and don't you love the Christ videos? Have you seen the newest one?

Incredible! Those Mormons sure know how to make an inspiring video!
Homemade marshmallows too! Haha and just so you know I have told every single investigator about our "ALIVE AGAIN!" saying :)
Speaking of Christ. I really liked this idea that Sis. Allred shared with me from C.S.Lewis. I'll paraphrase. Only those who stand against the wind, understand its true power. Only those who resist the army, knows its real strength. Only those who resist temptation really understanding how strong the adversary is. Those who resist temptation, know the depth of temptation much more than those who give in. And for that reason, Christ perfectly understands the true strength in Satan's temptations and can help us resist as well. I was reading a scripture in D&C 62:1 and that made me appreciate it even more. Oh and did I mention that I have been studying D&C 88 for the last couple weeks? But I haven't gotten very far because there is SO MUCH treasure in that chapter! All about the Light of Christ and how IT governs the universe. The law and being sanctified in the law. Good stuff :)
Investigators. Both of them are so awesome! They both want to be
baptized soon

On and last Monday night president gave us the secret to missionary work. "The problem is that we try to do the Lord's work for Him. He can do His own work. All we need to do is be obedient, know His word and try to share the gospel. Don't try to tell the Lord how to do His work. We are just lucky to get to help out with it."

This week we had a lot of lessons but we didn't notice that until we counted them up. It just felt like another great, fun, miracle-filled, Indonesian week! But it just shows me how much the Lord really is in the work here.
A few highlights:
~Indonesians are the BEST story-tellers. Their facial expressions and voices are hilarious.
~For the first time on my mission, I sincerely prayed to live through an ankot (like a shuttle) ride. I thought we might die.
~We rode a Bajai (3-wheeler buggy thing)
~I met an amazing kid named Antonius and he wants to be baptized! We gave him to the Elders to teach though but I am so excited for him!
~We ate at Chili's and it was the most amazing meal of my mission! (and the most expensive... my wallet still hurts haha)
~McDonald's let me make my own ice cream cone just because I'm a bule! Haha and the pictures are quite entertaining.
~Realizing that all 6 of our newest ward members and our 3 investigators that came to church on Sunday, met the missionaries on Busway (the bus system here.) One of the members said, "That busway program is great! ~The missionaries should be more dilligent in riding Busway!"
~Visiting a member's MANSION last P-day
~Listening to President story-tell of meeting apostles and general authorities
~Teaching English class and having 3 amazing investigators show up at once, wanting to learn
~A new member, Tante asking us to send her picture to our uncles and friends back home in case one is single. (She is 50 and way pretty and hip... If you know any single members, she is ready to meet them haha.)
Bowling for p-day and I lost SO terribly

Love you all so much! Sorry if my email is hectic! We are going to go ice skating later today... wish me luck :)
Jesus is the Christ. HE'S ALIVE AGAIN! Go spread the news!
<3 Sis Sheff

I get emails pretty often asking for advice about the mission 
so I thought I would start sending it in general.

Things that you DO need to bring:
skirts... if you go shopping here, you can find some really cute shirts but skirts are HARD to find. Everyone here is so short and petite so that modest, missionary skirts are rare. I have bought quite a few tops and even a couple dresses but skirts are easier to find in the states.

Things you DO NOT need to bring that you thought you really wanted:
shoes... I wear a pair of crocs every single day. They are waterproof, cleanable, SO comfy, durable, easy-to-find in Indonesia and not even ugly :) Allll the Indonesians wear them too. I brought all those shoes that people told me to bring- the mesh shoes, the waterproof shoes, the leather sturdy shoes, the cute flats. But I left them ALL at the mission home. If you are a sister coming to Indo, don't worry, they have tons of rubberish flats for cheap here and I would say a pair of crocs is my new wardrobe essential. Also bring a pair of flip-flops, a pair of running shoes and a pair of shoes to do P-day things in.
bug spray... takes up weight in your luggage. Bring some but you can get bug spray here too and the bugs aren't even as bad as I expected. (well, depends on what you're expecting)
Q-tips... why did I bring these? You can definitely get them here!
Water-purifier... haha Sister Allred said she bought one just for the mission and has not used it once. We just use bottled water here, don't worry.
Blow-dryer/Straightener/Curler... a few words: bike helmets & humidity. Bring them if you are really dying to but they will gather dust on the shelf. I can count on my hand the number of times I have attempted to straighten/curl my hair and in 2 hours it was already a mess. Save the weight in your suitcase for something better.

…to be continued!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Love you more than...

Starburst jelly-beans and cadbury eggs...

ACK! Where does time go? I get one to email president and then the 1 1/2 hours is already gone and I haven't even written you yet!

We are seeing the Lord's hand so much in the work! Sis Allred and I have like 5 miracle investigators right now. We are meeting people who are prepared. We are seeing some investigators start to progress and change and even less actives. (2 investigators came to conference and an inactive member came to every session! that inactive hasn't been to church since last conference) Just one example, the other day we were walking home and I saw this lady and thought, She was on our bus but I didn't contact her... I should probably talk to her now! So I stopped to contact her then we got talking then we ended up teaching her a lesson in our lobby. She is muslim but has been searching for a Christian church to go to for the past few months. Long story short, she accepted a baptismal date for the 11 of May! We hope to meet with her again tonight.

We have 2 other brand new contacts that we think will be baptized soon and then the two other investigators that came to conference that we are praying will also be baptized soon. I have never seen anything like this my whole mission! Neither has Sis Allred! We both come home every night just in awe, like what happened? And I know it is because of all your prayers and fasting and faith. THANK YOU ALL! I am so grateful to see the power of the Lord so obvious in this work. The AP's are also seeing so many miracles and our ward is blessed. We have also found 3 investigators for the other elders which are all great and so we are obviously a blessed, blessed district here in Jakarta.

Rundown of the week... Tuesday we went hiking for our MLC (missionary leader counsel) and it was like HEAVEN! Seriously the coolest jungle/rice field/river hike and we had such a blast. Then to top that off with listening to president and it was such a cool day. 

Wednesday- we went to visit a new member and her younger sister Moi was there. We ended up teaching the plan of salvation with the sister being in tears. Our new member was a rock star and explained everything (literally everything from baptism for the dead to Pearl of Great Price hahaha) but it was so full of the spirit in that lesson! That night we met with a girl Desi who is soooooo spiritual and basically begged us for the Book of Mormon.

Thursday- we met with our new investigator Vita who is going to be baptized (hopefully next month) and she was soooo great and is really already changing so much (we have only known her since last Sunday but we are already all so close.)

Friday- we met with an investigator who we really think is so close to baptism. Then we had ZTM (zone training meeting) and I saw all my MTC Elders! Barrus, Heiner, Kyle, McCleary... so cool to meet all up again with them! Don't want to brag but our MTC group is kinda the best in the mission. If I do say so myself :) Then we had a ton of people show up for English class that night and I ended up teaching but it went really well.

Saturday we had that investigator from Friday, Leli, come to conference! And the less-active come! But it was kinda a rough day for me. I really prepared myself for conference and for the first time in my life I made a list of questions and really was so excited to watch it in English. BUT uhhh some people told us we weren't allowed to. So I got way emotional that my prayers were answered (to watch it in English) but then unanswered. I shouldn't be such a drama queen but I was SOOOO ready for this one and then I felt like I was not getting what I needed from it. Really what it is, is that I have this mental block where I tell myself I can't understand Indonesian that is from conference or the Liahona or what-not. So then my brain stubbornly shuts down and I get frustrated that I can't understand. (Grumble in the mornin, grumble at night...”Scripture Scouts”) But I think Heavenly Father was trying to give me the chance to break that barrier and I just blew it and cried.... So anyways that night we met Ella... the one who wants to be Christian now and is going to be baptized next month. 

Sunday we listened to conference in Indo but read it on bishop's ipad in english. Then sis Allred and I planned how to convert allllllll our family and friends after we get home.


<3 Sis Sheff

Monday, April 7, 2014

I love you more than....

….APRIL FOOL JOKES! Hahaha gotcha :)

So obviously we weren't on conference, but as Elder Collett said, "At least it was a good April fools prank because it made them watch all of conference!" Haha so I'm just trying to help out! Sorry to disappoint
(Editor’s note: she told us last week she was going to be shown between conference segment about Indonesia. The joke ended up being bigger than she anticipated – because of what she said, a lot of other Indonesian missionary families were also glued to the t.v. watching for a glimpse of our kids serving in Indonesia)

Sunset in Jakarta

So here's our week...
Monday- we were planning this big p-day but had a lady in our ward pass away suddenly so we went to the hospital. That night we went out and proselyted and met with a couple people we had contacted. The funny thing is that we met them at 7/11 (they have them in Jakarta!!!!) but it was just the two guys and me and Sis Allred. We kept saying "do you think they think this is a date?" #sistermissionaryprobs . But it ended being a really neat discussion about religion and what we believe. They aren't interested but it was still pretty cool.
The Relief Society of the ward
Tuesday- we attended the funeral for the lady in our ward. And it was April Fools! So we planned the best prank! We had alllllll of the missionaries call in sick. If we get sick we are supposed to call Sis. Donald (Mission President's wife) and so she was getting calls/texts alllllll morning! We told them Sis. Allred was throwing up but we still went to the funeral. Haha Sis. Donald was at the funeral too so I got to see some of the other "illnesses". Some of the missionaries had sore backs, hurt legs, sick stomachs, rashes, burnt tongues, turning into a giraffe, frost-bite from the freezer... it was quite hilarious as she started to realize that it was April Fools.

The Young Women in the ward

We also went to visit an inactive member that was actually baptized in Hong Kong. (fun fact for you! Remember my old comp Sister Fisher? It was her older brother that baptized this inactive!) We taught her about the word of God and also helped out with her adorable little kids.

TIME OUT! I'm going to go start some cupcakes :) send some more in a minute...
(editor note: another letter came an hour later.)
(Cupcakes are a no-go because they are already making something for our MLC- Missionary Leader Council- tomorrow.)

Wednesday- We met with the greatest contact ever! Please pray for him. His name is Ryan and we had to meet him at his school just before he went home, and now we are worried that he won't get his parents permission to learn. He could only meet for 10 minutes because his mom came to pick him up, so we just gave him a Kitab Mormon and told him to talk to his parents. Then we just prayed. I don't think I have ever prayed that hard and urgently for someone, let alone in a school cafeteria. It reminds me of Les Miserable, "God on high, hear my prayer. In my need you have always been there. He is young, he is only a boy."
Getting hair cut
After that we went to proselyte and I also bought a new backpack (my old bag broke) and we got our haircut. Haha you know how you feel so “swishy” after getting your haircut? "Toss, toss, no hands!" (editor note: comical line from broadways “Wicked”)
ALSO I heard Jon Schmidt's song "Waterfall" at the mall! CRAZY!

Me posing in front of a little convenience store with 2 little boys who dig through the trash.
They are so dirty, but so cute. Sad life, ya?

Thursday- Sis Allred has been signing up for her BYU classes and there is a new Indonesian class. So we have been planning her life and it is so crazy to have to imagine "the real world" again. Yikes!
Post hair cut picture
We also went to visit the grandchildren of a member. We got there so late at night that we had only time to share a verse but I think Moroni 10:32 is a great verse for anyone, anytime, anywhere. Come unto Christ and be perfected in Him.
Us with Sister Donald... lady drivers only

Friday- We had our usual District meeting (did I ever tell you my district leader is Elder McCleary from my MTC group?) Funniest man around. President says, "Hey can I pop in and share something for a minute" Elder McCleary, "I guess I'll allow it." So president shared his feelings about not giving up. He said that we are like deliverers of bread. The Lord bakes the bread (great Bread of Life reference right?) and then we just deliver. Some people will refuse to try it, some will try and be convinced by others that it's not good, but others will eat and be filled and desire to share it with those they love. We also talked about conference from Elder Holland's talk (I don't know when) but he said that they are "mortal messengers with angelic messages." I hope that I can be a missionary like that.
The old with the new... Bajai vs. fancy car
After that we went to go to an investigator's house but we accidentally took the ankot (think ghetto shuttle in a sort-of van) waaaaay too far! Like an hour and half past her house and had to come back. But we taught her about prophets and she is so excited to come to conference. She is about 60+ and an English teacher. She won't come to our church because she leads the choir at hers, BUT she loves the Mormon tabernacle choir and we know she will feel the spirit at conference. We also taught English that night (and played 20 Questions... Sushi was near impossible to guess!) And then taught another new investigator. The elders also had an investigator to teach that night, I think the work is going upward.
Sister Allred on the bus. The guy standing up is wearing JAZZ basketball shorts
Saturday- We went out to an area about 2 hours away and taught a member and then tried to find some former investigators in that area. But instead of finding the old investigator, we contacted like CRAZY and even ended up teaching this devout Charismatic lady and her friend. Sometimes it just hurts so much to see people REFUSE to "eat the bread" that we want to share. Ugh I pray that something good will come from talking with her though.

I love Indonesia. We were watching a street performer by our bus stop and just laughing at all the people dancing and trying to get us to come sing and dance. What a fun loving, easy-going people they are here. That night before going home we decided to walk around our apartment and met someone and then went to 7/11 and taught him! He actually met the missionaries before in Hong Kong. So we gave him a Kitab Mormon and invited him to church.

Walking around the bus stop

Sunday- Rudi, the guy we met Saturday night, came to church! On his own! And then the elders had an investigator come that is a miracle story... turns out he first heard about the church a few years ago then I met him on the bus the other day and gave him our card with the info about English class. So he came to English then met with the elders everyday since and wants to get baptized! He already fits in with a few of the other members.

The "women" of the ward! MY favorites! Everyone is a new member too!
Except the girl wearing the blue/tan dress and the brother in the back

OUR WARD IS THE COOLEST! There is the group of maybe 7 girls that I just adore and 6 of them are new members. The new members make up a good chunk of the ward and they are all young adults who really help build up this ward. And all the members are so good to the missionaries and our investigators. I wish every ward was like this ward! Now we just need to find some families to baptize so that the ward gets some youth.

Sunrise from my apartment window

The elders gave us a new investigator that we taught on Sunday named Vita. She also wants to be baptized but first wants to just know the gospel and learn about Christ. I loved hearing about her story and all her questions. Please pray that she will keep progressing. I know that Heavenly Father has been preparing her.

SO we have seen a lot of miracles the last couple days and I know it is because of your prayers, our prayers and me and Sis. Allred really focusing the last few days. We need investigators! We are starting to meet some really cool people though. We talk to everyone and try to follow even the smallest promptings of who to contact. It makes it so much more entertaining that way. For example, last night we passed a young woman when we were walking home and then thought, "should we? or not?" then decided to talk to her but had to chase her down because she was already so far. Haha almost scared her to death but she was so chill to talk to us and said she heard us singing when we walked past.

For Janice: So beautiful!

Tomorrow we are going to have MLC (missionary leader council) and then have a zone meeting later this week. Then next Saturday and Sunday we get to watch conference. Talk about an awesome week planned ya? Oh and later today we are going bowling (Where is dad when you need him? I'll be praying for Mom's bowling skills.)

I've been studying D&C 88 this week and trying to finish studying all the conference talks from last October before we watch this one. I LOVE THE PRIESTHOOD! I am an advocate for those worthy, willing men who hold that responsibility so that as a woman I can just reap the blessing.  I can't wait to hear from the "mortal messengers with angelic messages" in this conference.
Here's for my brother; the ANDREW store at the mall
Give my love to everyone! I pray for you always!
<3 Sister Sheff

P.S. Doesn't it feel like so normal now... me being on a mission? Amazing how it can become such a regular thing ya?