Arrived Nov 9, 2013
Love you more than…
Mom loves little things! More than Dad and Samuel love nose fights! More than Andrew loves dating girls and Joshua loves smiling. More than Jacob loves rollerblading in the house and more than Lucy loves mom!
Well it's really hard to "pretend" I'm not going home soonish when the entire mission keeps asking "are you still here?!" "you've past your 18 month mark... isn't that like working overtime?" "what day do you go home?" The closer it feels the more I think about how everything really is still the same, but it's just our perspectives that've changed!
I also have been really good at working out hard every day at 6 AM for the last few months but in this last week I think I've eaten myself full every single day! I feel like I have to shove as much Indonesian food into my mouth before I go into "hybernation" from it for the rest of my life. Haha but you know, I've been enjoying this week so much more. I have been taking it all in and just relaxing.
I think I was getting pretty wound up these last couple months but this week, as I've started to calm down and see the beautiful positive side of everything again, we have had SOOO many miracles and good times. It just feels... nice :)
I think I have been so worried about everything going the right way in the work here before I'm gone, that I have been a little stressed. So this week I have been praying for patience, love and happiness every morning, meal and night. It works! Prayer works! The work has been progressing, our lessons have been so much more meaningful, we are laughing and smiling much more and it's been so much more enjoyable. It's like when you focus so much on yourself, you will fail. But as you focus on others and turn yourself over to the Lord, He will give you success.
Monday when I signed up for classes I was so streesed because all the sudden I realized that real life is scary and complicated and huge and crazy! I got really afraid of growing up! The mission is like Neverland haha where you can escape from all those other responsibilities just to focus on serving others and sharing the Gospel. But we had a district service project that afternoon and an AWESOME lesson with a new member, Heny, that night. We have tried this technique to have the members kinda teach themselves what they need to do and learn and they understand it so much more! It sticks better too.
Tuesday we had our P-day and went to the rollercoaster park Dufan! (DUnia FANtasy... [theme park] they LOVE singkatan [abreviations] here!) It was EXACTLY what we all needed! Just a time to laugh and scream and enjoy life! We had all the missionaries and a few members. One of the best P-days of my mission! I think it was cool too because one of our members brought his Muslim friend and we were able to get to know her a lot better as well. OH! ANDDDD I bought a tongis! (TONGkat narSIS... more abbreviations again!) It's a selfie stick haha and I LOVE it! After that we went to visit a member to follow-up with their missionary work. It was soooo successful! They really were involved and we built more trust and respect between our rolses as members and missionaries! I love my ward! I can't say that enough!
|DuFan theme park|
Wednesday we had a late start out to visit some members but when we got there it was another miraculously spiritual lesson about faith. We taught their family where only about 1/2 the family is active in church. But one teenage son bore his testimony to us and shared an experience he had at school where everyone made fun of him for being Mormon, but he said it made him even more yakin (sure) that our church is true. He invited his friend to meet with the missionaries on Saturday! He himself hasn't been to church in months but yet here he is being a great missionary for his school friends. It didn't work out that Saturday but we still have a lot of hope for him. After that we had ANOTHER great lesson with 2 girls whose aunt is a new member. They really understood everything we shared about The Gospel of Jesus Christ and had great questions. They both said they would like to be baptized eventually so we are going to help them work towards getting to church and getting ready! There are still a few things holding them back, but it's no big problem :)
Thursday with the new missionaries, we went on exchanges and I happened to meet with Vita that night. She has been less than promising and I think after I go home, the other sisters will probably stop visiting her... Anyways... back to the more positive parts of the week!
Friday we had our first district meeting after the moves and did you know that Elder Wood moved into my district? He's a great missionary. But can you believe that I have served in EVERY city with him?! After that we were on our way to English class and got there early but *small miracle* we had a potential investigator ask us to meet! We taught her about prayer and w/o us even asking, she tried to pray on her own! She is Muslim so that is a huge step! English class was miraculously full and a lot of fun. Some of my friends from class gave me gifts and made me feel so special!
Sabtu we took the train out to visit another member and they also were really cooperative and gave us another referral. Also ITS RAINY SEASON! So I am in HEAVEN in all these rain storms :) Unfortunately all our investigators cancelled but we were able to call Sister Lely and teach her a lesson over the phone just in her time of need. Will you please pray for her? She is having a spiritual crisis and it breaks my heart to have to watch her go through all her struggles alone. That night I bought the sisters slurpees and pop-rocks chocolate bars to celebrate my 18th month mark. Funniest thing ever! Sister ate the pop rocks right before she started to give a prayer and every time she opened her mouth to say something, it was just crackling. I was gonna bust a gut laughing.
Sunday we had ANOTHER miracle! Our investigator Tania came to church again. Remember we have never even taught her a lesson but here she came to church for the 2nd time, has been reading the Book of Mormon and asked us about baptism... Can you say miracle? MUKJIZAT! And I'm going to just say it one more time... I LOVE MY WARD! Church is my favorite part of the week every week. We visited Lely and gave her the Liahona from Juli. I love her so much and can't wait for you to meet her some day.
Today is futsol with all the new missionaries. We have loved being with Sister Baricante from the Philippines this week. She'll move to Manado soon! Lucky duck.
Welllllll I think that's all from me!
Keep doing what your doing and make me proud!
I love you guys so much! Our family is the coolest, most humblest around :) Oh PS did I ever tell you how much I loved your Balloon miracle? I've been telling it to all of our investigators haha.
Jangan lupa yg paling penting dalam kehidupan-- Selalu menomorsatukan Tuhan dan Injil ini. Itu rahasia keberhasilan kita. Sampai ketemu! :) Translation: Don’t forget the most important is the Lord always kehidupan-- menomorsatukan and the gospels. That's the secret of our success. See you!
<3 Sister Sheff