Monday, June 30, 2014

Love you more than...

flying Dad's big kite at Porter Park in the springtime in KC! :) There are so many kite flyers here. Do we still even have Dad's old kite?

So this week was amazing! It was seriously a great week! Haha but it is so funny how my emails sound either happy or sad all depending on how my Monday morning went and this morning we got stuck in traffic with an annoying taxi-driver trying to drive us in circles to get more money so I am warning you in advance if I still seem tense. Haha but don't worry, I didn't even yell at the taxi driver, just told him off kindly :) Don't you love being a missionary!

Well we went to Medan last Tuesday! It was a good flight and the airport was so nice. We then got in a train to go to the city then got in a sidecar of a motorcycle to get to their house! I think the only transportation we DIDN'T use that day was a boat and a bike!

Wednesday I got to go on splits with Sister Zabriskie from St. George (not sure if they're related to the Ogden zabriskies) and a soon-to-be-sister-missionary Mei. We had a lot of fun! I loved getting to work with Sis Zabriskie and since I was with her a month or so ago, her language has gone leaps and bounds! Medan has a lot more Christian people but we didn't have time to get to all our appointments. We did get to try durian though! Haha seriously the weirdest fruit ever and it smells terrible. It is covered in huge spikes, then you chop it in half and have to take out the slimy pieces fruit with a big old pit in each one. It's like custardy tasting with a little bit of stink to it. Definately takes some getting used to. We went out with the mission couple too. Medan only has 4 elders, 2 sisters and a mission couple out on that entire island of Sumatera and they only see visitors like once every 3 months so it can seem pretty lonely.

Thursday Sister Believe packed us a lunch of fried rice and apples and cookies. She is so sweet to us and it was so good to see her again. Sis Believe goes home a month after Sis Allred, so this might be one of the last times to visit her! Oh wanna hear something funny? In the taxi on the way to the airport, guess what song came on? The end credits song from Anastasia! "Love is the song and I wanna keep goin, life is the river I wanna keep flowin" (actually I don't know the words at all haha) but Sister Allred and I were like "we know this!” Oh and our flight attendants put on a show for the kids since it was their last day of school. I think I want to be a flight attendant some day. Getting off the plane I was feeling SOOO congested and sneezy and ringing ears after the flight so I took a Benadryl then took a nap!

Friday: I got your letter with all the pictures! LOVED IT! The photo strips and the picture of Andrew & Dad wrestling were my favorites :) after District meeting I finally made a trip out to the doctor. Sis Manalu (the RM) went with Sis Allred to our appointment then Sis Suryani and Sis Manurung went with me to the doctor. HOLD IT! DO YOU REALIZE I met every single one of my companions this week? Except Sis Jibson but I saw her just a couple week ago! Whoa! The Jakarta district alone is made up of sisters that have alllll been my companions at some point! Haha sorry. Mission life is so weird and things like that are really exciting. I love that here, at least in our mission, the missionaries all know each other so it feels like a family. And after they go home you still see them all the time! It was fun to spend a little bit of time with Sis Suryani/Manurung as we tried to convert everyone in the health klinik :)

Saturday: we visited a member (which is sooooo rare in this ward since they all live a million miles away) and it took about 2 hours since the traffic right before fasting month is insane. The medicine I have makes me drowsy though and so we were a little out of it when we visited. Funny story! I was giving the closing prayer and I wanted to say protect this family from "worldly influences" which would be "dunia wi" but I said "dunia roh" instead which means "the spirit world" Haha so I said "please protect this family from the spirit world... sorry! the worldly influences". Darn medicine haha. Later we met with an investigator at her shop. She has a hard time focusing mainly because she just loves Americans. But one funny thing is that here people like to show off us missionaries as their bule friends by taking us to really bule places to eat and buying us food. So we got a free meal at Pizza Hut! (that is like a nice sit down restraunt here.)

Sunday was the official start of Rhamadan (idk how to spell that... the Muslim Fasting Month). It was a really "sepih" (quiet) day in Jakarta and even at church. No investigators, no new members. I taught the lesson and there were only 2 other class members besides Sister Allred and our Ward Mission Leader. Oh and the AP's flew to Bali to baptize some kids... I know right?! The nice thing of fasting month is that no one likes to be out and about during the day while they're fasting so traffic is so quick!
But we realized that we didn't meet very many investigators this week and we taught almost NO lessons. (I'm going to whine for a second so you know what a missionary's thoughts sound like) After feeling so busy this week how can we have almost no lessons? How is that possible? OK ok so maybe we were traveling for 3 of the days and maybe I was sick and yes the traffic was terrible but come on! Where are our investigators? How come no one came to church? Leli is not really progressing like we hoped. And Vita-- well we decided to not contact her for a week and wait for her to talk to us so she would realize what she was missing w/o the gospel and she didn't... until just this morning actually! Isti, our golden investigator who wants to be baptized decides to not answer any of our messages or calls. Even our new members are all out of town. But this week will of course be better than last. I am feeling healthier and we will have more time in our area. Sister Allred's only goal is to have faith. Whew, we can do it! I keep going back and forth with thoughts like "Don't worry, just have faith, it'll all work out!" and "Come on! What else do you want from us?! Just get baptized already!" Especially with Sister Allred's mission clock counting down, we are feeling some pressure to see some baptisms.

I love this gospel more than anything else and it breaks my heart to pass by so many people every day that don't get to feel this peace and joy from the gospel. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet called of God to bring back every fruit and blessing of the gospel into this last dispensation and that the Book of Mormon is scripture that was preserved for our time. I know that this work will continue to progress even if we don't and that someday, everyone will acknowledge Christ as the Savior.

We are having Mission Leadership Counsel tomorrow and *drumroll please*  we are going to get our group facebook account! Haha bring it on!
Have fun at the cabin and don't break any noses ya?
PS did I ever mention that my old investigator from Jogja got baptized?! Atin! Remember her? She finally got baptized! Hooray!

Quotes of the week:
"Faithful people have high expectations" -Me ;)
"True doctrine, understood, changes attitudes and behaviors. The study of the doctrines of the gospel will improve behavior quicker than a study of behavior will improve behavior." -President Boyd K. Packer

Give everyone my love for me! Take a ton of pictures and send them to me! Joshua stop being so huge. Samuel stop being so cool! Andrew too.

<3 Sister Sheff

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