September 30, 2018




Elder vanDuren

Busy Week

This week has been really busy, so I'll just try to run through highlights:

Last Monday we went shopping most of the day, and I bought a bunch of Batik to make ties, as well as a traditional Javanese mask and a coin from the Dutch East Indies from 1921.

On Tuesday we just had a bunch of regular appointments. The one interesting thing that happened was that when we went to Brother Peri's house, he was a completely different person. Usually he rants about whatever problem he has for 30-45 minutes, then we share scriptures and discuss to try to help him. This time, though, he said that he wanted to talk about scriptures, and that's it. We immediately moved to just discussing scriptures, and he seemed totally fine. It was a big difference from the last couple times we'd been there.

On Wednesday, we had PLD, where we got instruction from President Mackay and our mission leaders. After the instruction, we went and played billiards as an entire zone. Turns out, President Mackay is really good at pool.

On Thursday, we spent almost the entire day contacting inactive families. We've actually had a lot of success with that. This last week we had several inactives come to church who had been inactive for quite a while.

On Friday, we spent quite a bit of time just riding around in Kampungs (small neighborhoods sort of) and chatting with people. Even though we didn't get any new investigators, we were still out there meeting people and introducing them to Elders.

On Saturday, we taught Brother Agung again. He's still working towards being baptized, although he's still struggling with smoking. He's really enthusiastic about being baptized, although his baptismal date might have to be moved back again.

On Sunday, we had an appointment with an inactive member and an active member, then we ate dinner with the other elders in our house, since we'd all pitched in to get food to make Cap Cay together. It was really good.

Today, we went to the Karaton Surakarta, which is the royal palace here in Solo. We visited the museum, then met up with a friend of ours who is technically a prince there. There's a ceremony later today, so part of the palace that's usually open was closed, which was a bummer, but on the upside, we saw our friend wearing traditional clothes instead of shorts and a t-shirt for the first time ever.

Javanese people really, really like giving you free food, to the point where I only bought one meal a day for 3 days this week because of the extent of food we were given, sometimes by investigators, sometimes by members, and sometimes by people we'd never even met before that moment.

I've reached a point with Indonesian where I can consider myself decently fluent. I can understand all the talks in sacrament meeting, and can actually chat with people on the street, which has made this transfer feel much faster. I feel like I can actually successfully work here now, which is a huge blessing.

I want to invite all of you this week to consider what the Savior's Atonement means for you personally. We've been talking about that a lot with Brother Agung, trying to help him gain a really strong testimony of the Savior. Talking about it so much made me start to think about it for myself, and I realized just how wonderful He is. I want to testify that I know that Jesus Christ is the Savior and Redeemer of the world. He truly did sacrifice himself, he truly suffered, bled, and died for our sins, that we may return to live with our Father in heaven again. I know this is His church, and he know he loves us, in His name, Jesus Christ, amen.

Elder Marr


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