Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Little promptings of the Holy Ghost

Love you more than....
Rice Burgers! Oh Asia, I love you! I had a Korean Bulgogi flavored "Rice Burger" for P-day today... I think a bun still wins haha. But an A for creativity!

Taking shortcut through the field. I love Jakarta's contrast!
I'm at a blank! I don't know where to start! Every week emailing, my mind just explodes like Pandora's box... if I could just write it all down I wouldn't feel so scatterbrained! Basically I just left my planner at home which in missionary world is like leaving your entire brain home. I feel so lost w/o it! So I will try to remember the week on my own (own my own... pretending he's beside me)

So we had one great miracle this week. I think missionary work is all about persistence. I am the kinda person who feels like sending a letter once every 6 months is enough but I'm learning that when it comes to the gospel, consistent persistence is key! We met with an inactive sister on Tuesday. She was baptized in Hong Kong but before she had the chance to take out her endowments, she decided to come back home and marry her Bhuddist boyfriend. Now she has 2 kids under the age of 2, owns a little clothes shop and usually shows up to church 1x every 6 months. We go over there about once a week but this week when we went over there on Tuesday, something felt different. We shared a short scripture from Moroni 10:32 and a thought but right at the end just started to ask if there was something she wanted to share. This sister broke down and explained how she feels so far from the Lord and that she see's how happy everyone is that goes to church yet how come now that she has a family, everyone is trying to make her stay away from church? She feels like everyone is pulling her away from the Lord and she is not happy anymore. She asked for a priesthood blessing. We testified of God's love and how true happiness is truly found in the gospel. We told her to just focus on the small things for now: praying more sincerely and come to church. The next day we stopped by her shop (for the first time ever) and just shared a follow-up message about prayer. The next day the elders went to her house and gave her a priesthood blessing and shared a message about the Plan of Salvation. Sunday she was at church! 2 little kids in tow! And they are CRAZY!!! Haha our ward has 50 people, only 2 primary kids, a few YW and no YM so they have not had little kids in a while and I think they about went into shock to see these little kids running around. But Sister Manalu (now Sister Nita) was an angel and a lot of the members rallied around this sister to help her kids. I wanted to cry just to see the whole loop. Her sincere desire to feel that closeness to God. Sure Sundays are the best profit for her little shop, but she left that and brought her 2 hyperactive kids to church all alone. That is bravery and faith like none other. And side note, the temptation was killer since missionaries aren't allowed to hold little kids, but we wanted to just hold her kids and play with them. Someday... 

What else? We had a missionary leadership counsel this week at the same time as a whole new group of elders came in and the same time Sister Olsen's entire group renewed their kitas. Seeing all these reminders of when I was new, makes me feel "mission old" and yet so happy at the same time. I have come a LONG ways. I can see how you all have come a long ways too! 
It's amazing the desperation that comes with running out of time. By the time Friday morning's Missionary Leader Counsel meeting hit, I was feeling so anxious and desperate. I have to read everything and relearn every thing and perfect everything and contact everyone and teach everyone and find everyone and yet time keeps ticking away. I feel like there is no time ever! Even just to write a letter; do I read the Book of Mormon or write in my journal or read conference or write a letter or fill out pass-along cards or study mission books. SO then I usually don't get done any of those. (PS I can't even imagine what "real life" is going to be like! How do you do it all? How? haha) But that desperation to be the missionary I always dreamed of, has brought blessings. I have more sincere, real prayers with my Heavenly Father. I am learning so much more behind the why and how of the Atonement. I am finding so many more miracles, little promptings of the Holy Ghost.

Every neighborhood has an official chill spot - How cool!

You know the best feeling? Being at an Sister Lely's house and having her say, "that verse you sent last night was EXACTLY what I needed. How do you always know?" Well I don't! But the Lord does! And through his perfect little web, he sends the Holy Ghost to prompt me to pick a verse and send it to everyone. You know, after I texted that verse to all our investigators (Philipians 2:12) one person responded back and said what a terrible verse. We shouldn't "work out our own Salvation" but should rely on the Savior, and I thought, guess that was a bad idea to send. Yet the next day seeing how it blessed just one person... WOW! It sounds like you were learning the same things this week. About how the little things to us are big blessings for someone else.
Funny stories : 
~We have a facebook love triangle with a now "ex" investigator, a new member and a old-time member who lives in Canada. It is the funniest little drama playing out between these love-stricken Indonesian women and this only-trying-to-be-a-good-missionary member. So our old investigator decided to mail back the Book of Mormon. Too bad! She was so entertaining!
~Sister Olsen went to the doctor and the doctor would NOT let me go in the same room! The doctor was like "what are you her chaperone?" ummmm Yes!? But nothing was wrong, she just wanted to check a rash. 
At church with our Investigators Ariel & Alyssa
OH! I WAS STUDYING THE GREATEST THING THIS WEEK! Sister Jibson sent me the talk "The Atonement" by W. Cleon Skousen. And then I happened to be in the Alma 40's for my personal study. I learned so much about Mercy and Justice. Without mercy we are not saved but without justice, God ceases to be God. It is the perfect balance. Repentance is the only way to obtain mercy. Mercy can only claim the penitent. Christ's request is for those who believe on his name and no one else can be saved! We can obtain that mercy because Christ suffered the worst humiliation and pain of anyone to every come to this earth. How grateful I am for a Savior who would relakan... what is that in English... like "give up" His life so that justice wouldn't destroy our chance at eternal glory.
OK so I am super dee duper out of time but I need to desperately send pictures and email president. Take Luck! I love you so much! AND I AM NOT TRUNKY! But... I can't wait to go to the temple with you too :) and eat Sunday dinner with you too and all those other things you mentioned. 
Make me proud! Keep listening to the Spirit! The more you do, the better you get at hearing.

Tresno selawas'e!
Sister Sheffield <3

Friday, September 26, 2014

Obedience is the price

Love you more than...joking around with Indonesians :) I LOVE THESE PEOPLE! 

We love you
We had a pretty scattered week! ALL of the people we visited came to church! Except one! Haha welllll we just visited inactives and new members, but it makes it sound a lot better! Usually we teach maybe 1 or 2 lessons with inactives/new members but this week we taught 6! It was a change but fun!
in Manado

Monday-Wednesday we were in Manado... Manado was so wonderful!!! My MTC companion, Sister Jibson and I talked alot (don't we always) about life, mission life and Indonesia. We were saying how much the mission culture has changed throughout this year and that if you took the missionaries from when we were new and put them in the mission today, they couldn't handle it! And yet maybe we have some bad habits from the old and need to turn ourselves over completely to this service. I really love the line from our mission's motto: Obedience is the Price. How much we OWE to the Savior. And all the mission rules are just a way to show we really are grateful and willing to sacrifice too. My prayers have been much more specific and sincere lately, probably because I am learning more about myself and what to do to change. I don't want to be myself forever! I want to be better than myself! 

But it was nice to get back to our area for a good chunk of the week. Sister Olsen and I have this ongoing goal of finding a family of 5: married parents with a stable job, 3 kids to help with primary and the remaja (youth) and that live close-ish to the church. So we did a lot of finding this week and are still on the lookout for those who need the Savior in their life! (well we all do, but you know what I mean. Those who REALIZE they need the Savior more in their life.)

Riding in a Bajai with Sister Lely
Thursday we planned to watch the long Joseph Smith movie with Sister Lely and were only 5 minutes in when another sister calls her and asks "are the sisters still at your house?! I need help sending things to the Australian embassy but I don't understand it!" so we said a quick prayer and hopped in a Bajai and helped her out for the next little while. Not only did it feel amazing to do a little unplanned service project, but we took the opportunity to open up her facebook and ask for some referrals! MIRACLE! SHE WAS AWESOME! She was sending her testimony, telling them why they should learn about the gospel and really helped us out. It was a random but great night. 

Friday's we always have District meeting and English class which really is a cram for time trying to teach more than 1 appointment in between the two. But we went for it. After the meeting, we ran to our 1st appointment since she came EARLY and was waiting for us, then we ate our lunch as fast as we could and ran to the next appointment to finish watching the movie with Sister Lely, but turns out that went over time so we were trying to get over the church ASAP and decided to take a taxi. Well there was another investigator waiting for us at the church during English and we were late and in a taxi in traffic and I was just feeling so frustrated! Why is it that we try to just teach people and yet nothing works out the way we planned? "Nothing on my to-do list got done" kind of day. But man is that new Mormon Message amazing or what? I love that you mentioned it too mom, cause I was going to send it to you. We ended up missing our bus coming home that night and got home late. But you know what? That's ok! We were able to have 3 lessons that day when usually we maybe can get 1! MIRACLE!

Saturday we met with our WML (ward mission leader) and it was awesome! Our ward is so cool. Then we were already late to go to our next appointment (a 2 hour bus ride) but we got there in like half the time! No traffic! MIRACLE! It didn't work out with our investigator but we taught a new member who has been absolutely blossoming in this gospel and it has been amazing to see. Then we thought with our 2 hr bus ride home we would need to not visit the less-active family near by and just head home. But as we were on the bus going home, we had the impression to turn around and teach them anyways. We got to their house where they had been waiting for us and taught them a short and sweet lesson then got in a taxi to head home (about an hour before curfew.) It only took half an hour! MIRACLE! The price tag was maybe not too great but it was just another great feeling.

So basically this week we still don't have that many investigators and we still are working out a few kinks in the work in this area with facebook and the ward and all that. BUT to visit with so many less-actives and new members and really feel their love and show our love for them... it was amazing! They all came to church too! MIRACLE!

Sister Narko
Today there is a group of 4 missionaries going home. They are the group right above me! Sister Believe, Sister Manullang, Sister Narko, Elder Taulu.... all my friends! My companions, my old AP, my friends! I will be the next to go after them! Crazy! Time is just flying away!
Speaking of which, my time is up for emailing. I will talk to you more later! The temple sounds amazing and I can't wait to be there with you all soon! Give everyone my love!

Obedience is the Price
Faith is the Power
Work is the Commitment
Love is the Motive
The Spirit is the Key
Christ is the Reason
One more contact.

<3 Sister Sheffield 

P-day in Manado

P-day in Manado

Monday, September 15, 2014

Love you more than...

…Being in the Manado sun!

Me and Sister Jibson (my companion from the MTC)

Well we are writing you from the warnet in Manado! (and I apologize because that means no pictures ugh) I am in heaven up here with these sisters! Sister Narko and Sister Jibson have got to be some of the greatest sisters around! Well now that I think of it, all of our sisters are!

The Khoe sisters from Indonesia (but basically Seattle, haha)
We just finished splits in Surabaya (east java) last week and I was loving my time there with those sisters! Sister Ah Wong and Sister Manullang. 

While on exchanges with Sister Manullang
That was Tuesday afternoon until Friday morning and then we got up at 3:30 AM on Friday to catch our plane, went straight to the mission home to facebook then have a district meeting, when on splits with some sisters who were baptized in America and just visiting home before going back to college (Amanda and Carolyn), had English class then went to bed. Saturday was a full day of work (investigators, inactive members, member referral visits and facebook proselyting). Then Sunday we packed our suitcase before church, at church had Sister Lely's confirmation and ward conference, had a meeting with our WML (ward mission leader) then left straight for the airport. Our flight was delayed which means we got to Manado last night (Sunday) at about midnight. 

Bukit Kasih

Then we woke up early today to get up and go hike this amazing hill with a huge cross at the top. IT FEELS SO GOOD TO GET OUT OF THE CITY AND INTO THE SUN! You never see the sun in Jakarta with all the pollution and since you spend 70% of your day stuck in a bus in traffic haha. I have a major sunburn starting and it feels amazingggggg. BUT I am tired as can be and running on smiles and positive energy right now. I LOVE THE MISSION! I LOVE INDONESIA! I LOVE IT ALL! 
Me and Sister Allred at Bukit Kasih
at Bukit Kasih
On the spiritual note...
I am going through the point in the pride cycle where I need some humbling. Our statistics aren't doing so well and I know I can't blame that on being out of our area. Without going into specifics, I need to focus more on my prayers, journal, relationship with my companion and feasting on the word to hear the voice of the Spirit. 

Taking a break from hiking Bukit Kasih

So I guess I'm at the "mengakui" (acknowledge) stage of repentance. Oh how much I need my Savior! Speaking of which, I was reading this TERIFFIC talk by Elder Neal A Maxwell titled "O' Divine Redeemer".
"How dare some treat His ministry as if it were all beatitudes and no declaratives! How myopic it is to view His ministry as all crucifixion and no resurrection! How provincial to perceive it as all Calvary and no Palmyra! All rejection at a village called Capernaum and no acceptance in the City of Enoch! All relapse and regression in ancient Israel and no Bountiful with its ensuing decades of righteousness!...
He lives today, mercifully granting unto all nations as much light as they can bear and messengers of their own to teach them. (See Alma 29:8.) And who better than the Light of the World can decide the degree of divine disclosure—whether it is to be flashlights or floodlights?"
I had just been studying that chapter of the Kitab Mormon, Alma 29 and also was impressed by that same verse 8. "For behold, the Lord doth grant unto all nations, of their own nation and tongue, to teach his word, yea, in wisdom, all that he seeth fit that they should have; therefore we see that the Lord doth counsel in wisdom, according to that which is just and true." This country is receiving light exactly as the Lord plans. And look at how much it has increased in the last year alone! I hope that I can do my part. Today sister Jibson and I were talking about missionaries who go home as celebrities in the eyes of the members and investigators. Even though I hope that I make friendships that will last and will have made a difference, I hope also that my mission can be just a mission focused on others and serving the Lord. I don't need the recognition or reputation. What I need is to make some changes in my life and be worthy to bring the Light of the Gospel to whomever the Lord has prepared. How great is my calling! 
Ibu Lely is facing some trials as her friends start to question her decision to change churches and be baptized. "Anda tidak setia" they tell her. (you're not faithful) But I am ever impressed with the way she has stood on her own testimony and really has found answers to her own prayers and questions. She has a testimony and a change of heart! Even so we will need to stay close. 
I am so excited to hear the Ogden temple gets rededicated next weekend!!!! SO JEALOUS! 
Ahhhhh real world is hurtling towards me and I am not sure what I am even supposed to have you do for that. I still need to plan for my future yet I feel like it is going to just fall into place without me giving a second thought. Haha oh missions. Make your perspective so different than before. A 180 degree turn.
I got your letter this week mom and it was just fantastic! I don't know if I have ever mentioned though, whenever I get your letters the bottom is torn open. I think maybe from the mailing process and hopefully not from thieves but if you could tape all the edges of the letter and not just the seal, that would be better. You mentioned an itinerary? But it wasn't in the envelope :/ so if you could, I would love to still see it :)
I hope you have a faith filled, spiritually strengthening, miraculous, fantastic, positive week! And with lots of sunshine! LOTS of sunshine! (can you tell I've missed seeing the sun? haha)
Give everyone my love! SAMUEL! You HAVE to teach me how to play the guitar! and I love the batik tie :) JOSHUA! You look like such a stud muffin with those glasses and congrats on the elections and eagle scout!! ANDREW! what kind of batik shirt? Like really traditional? And what size are you all? JACOB! I love you! MOM! You're the greatest! DAD! You're my rockstar hero! :)
Saya doakan anda selalu,
Translated: I always pray for you

Sister Sheff

Thursday, September 11, 2014

A baptism and Koto Tua

I love you more than...CAMPING!
I've gotten to be such a city slicker these days, I need some good camping! And I'm telling you right now so you can hold me accountable: I will not die before I get to be a river rafting guide! Ok sorry, that was random. Sister Sheff's random brain...
Cleaning the Baptismal Font
One more random thing... Wanna hear some of my personal theories? I decided Indonesia is where the tower of Babel used to be. Like for reals. The oldest city in the world on record is apparently in Java. There are over 500 languages STILL spoken and yet no one can figure out the root of Indonesian. It's got a mix of Malaysian, Dutch, English, Arabic, Fijian, Javanese, Tagalog, Portugese... you name it! SO that's my theory... It makes so much sense right?

Bro Hanking, the younger brother of Sister Lely, me and Sister Olsen
But we had a great week OBVIOUSLY! IBU LELY GOT BAPTIZED!!!!!!!!!!!! I still feel like Lely's baptism was a dream. Did that really happen? It was such a delightful day. The whole chapel was just glowing. And to see her little brother (also in his late 60's) baptize her after he has been trying since the 70's to get her to learn... it was just fantastic! Now we just need to keep that momentum going before her confirmation. I don't know why that whole week in between just scares me so much! Well anyways, we are going to be bombarding Sister Lely with the Spirit before this Sunday.
Sister Lely's baptism and "all the girls"

My personal goals this last week were NO EXCUSES! NO WHINING! And I'm loving that goal so I think I'll stick with it. I just need to keep a light attitude and soak up every minute of my mission. Not let whiny missionaries get me down you know :) I am so sick of whiners! So many excuses, so many "I hate..." phrases, so many negative thinking phrases... Instead we should “Fix it up, wear it out, make due or do without!” I think we need to take responsibility for what happens and never convince ourselves that our investigators are any less than golden! Don't let me ever complain ok? I hope that I can make that a strength of mine and a standard for those around me.

All I can say is Heavenly Father is seriously blessing us! We couldn't do any of this without Him. This will be another week where we only have 3 days in our area and so we NEED to be guided in using that precious time. Later this week we head to Surabaya!
Mission leadership council last week
 Hey I need to head since we have a good P-day activity planned but I will try to hop back on later and finish my email :)
Love you lots!
<3 Sister Em Sheff

I’m back. So today we went to Kota Tua (old city) and took a ton a pictures! I also realized that I skipped a few weeks when I sent you all those pictures last week. I'll send what I can next week since the card reader won't work. 

Riding bikes through Koto Tua

Does this jeep look familiar?

I loved all your pictuers from this week! Joshua is so huge! And I was laughing sooo hard! Your email was great this week! I love all the little tidbits of everyone’s life! BYU won! Elections, ACT... Mom lunches! And I love that you met all those “Indonesians” at the get together at the Johnsons! Will you take a picture of all the RM's that you meet? Parker, Lauren, Bransen. Andrew: with the ACT math part, seriously, do the easiest problems first and just mark C for the impossible ones but circle them so you can go back if you have time. Memorize a few of those standard equations and you will be great! I loved the Dad Quote about prayer! I really need to be better at that! I think that is already one of your strengths Mom and I wish I could say it was one of mine. Thanks for your prayers for Lely everyone, and Jacob especially! It really helped!
WOW! You bought tickets! Now what? Haha I just kinda picture this magically working out without us having to plan anything... oh yeah... life isn't like that. Well lemme know what you have for suggestions!
I guess that's all I can think of!
Never be weary in well doing! Make me proud :) Sheffield's do hard things! Suck it up buttercup! CTR! Take luck! There's a fly in your eye!
<3 Sister Emily Sheffield