Monday, July 18, 2016


Well the string of long weeks continued this week. The week started off with my companion being very sick, and he was never really very healthy this week. But even if he was healthy it wouldn't have changed much, because almost every appointment we had scheduled canceled. Sometimes I didn't know whether to laugh or to cry when I heard, oh maaf mas saya nggak bisa ketemu minggu ini, mungkin minggu depan ya? Because I heard that multiple times every day. So yeah this week was super slow, and we spent a lot of time in our house.

On Tuesday, Elder Saunders and I went to one of my appointments because my comp was blowing chunks. It was a super fun appointment because it was in the Savero Golden Flower hotel. Some of the other missionaries passed the hr manager on the street and he said that he wanted to meet with the missionaries. It was so cool, we met with him and some of his coworkers in the restaurant and had freaking good food, and we just really explained why we were here. Then after that we went on a tour of the hotel. It was weird being in something that nice because all day I'm just in the poorest homes.

But yeah other than that everything here is about the same. We had some really fun member appointments this week, and for once the youth in our ward came to sports night (something we host every week). That's something that I have really enjoyed doing since my language is getting better, is speaking with the members. That's something I think that is very different about our church, the fact that 2, 19 year old boys can move into a ward and instantly everyone treats them like family, it is crazy. I'm so grateful for the ward here. They really have become like a 2nd family to me, and they have made the transition into a completely different world easier for me!

Sunday, July 17, 2016


Well this past week was also super long. Our stats were much better, but this week still felt unproductive. First off Pak Iwan no longer wants to be baptized. It's so frustrating, the first time we taught him, we asked him to pray to know if the Book of Mormon was true. Then a few days later he called us all excited saying he knew that it was true. So we went directly into the next lessons, and he accepted everything. But then this week when we met with him he said that he no longer wanted to be baptized, because he hadn't received and answer. So then we started talking about prayer, and realized he had never prayed about anything we've taught him. He believes that we only pray to give thanks, and that God already knows what we need, and that we shouldn't ask him questions. I guess I was just too excited to have my first progressing investigator, and I tried to move him along to quickly, but there is still hope because he still wants to meet with us.

My only other investigator right now, Mbak Vita is doing really well. She's been meeting with the missionaries for a long time, and has already been taught everything. She's so ready to be baptized, but she doesn't believe it because she thinks that she must know everything first. But this week we taught her that baptism is only the first step, and that we always need to keep learning more. Then we left with her agreeing to pray about it, and ask Heavenly Father if she was ready. When I walked out of that lesson there was no doubt in my mind that she will receive that answer. The only down side of this story is we had to pass her along to the elders in Jakarta, because she lives there and only comes home on fridays to do laundry.

But yeah, that's about it. My language is moving along really quickly now that I only speak in indonesian. Yesterday Brother Roger wanted to share his testimony so I had to translate. As I was in the middle of translating, I couldn't help but think of how fast I have learned the language, and just as I thought that he said a word that I had no clue how to say. I felt so embarrassed, but a returned missionary yelled out the word to me. Even though I wish I could say I was already fluent, I'm not. I feel like I'm stressing my self out because I want to be moving along faster than I am. But this week I just want to still work hard and remember that I've only been here for 2 months and just keep enjoying being new. Because someday I'll get to where I want to be, but that doesn't have to be tomorrow. As long as I keep working hard I'll get there. This week I just want to try to be the best Elder Monson I can be.

Monday, April 18, 2016


This week has been extremely long. What seemed like a very promising week on Monday, quickly became a week that felt very unproductive. I mentioned last week that we had a number of new appointments set up for this week, of which none of them actually happened. We couldn't get in contact with any of the people who gave us their cell phone numbers, and the ones who gave us their addresses when we showed up they no longer wanted to meet. And then on top of that we had some regular appointments cancel on us. On Sunday we we were on our way to the Salim family (I've met with them every sunday since I've been here) and its about a 1 and a half hour trip. Anyways when we were within 15 minutes of their house they canceled on us!
Really the only bright spot of this week was Pak Iwan. We met with him at the same less active member's home. Anyways we were teaching the Plan of Salvation, and our member started to go through the Jehovah's Witness doctrine. I was so angry and I didn't know what to do, so I kind of just sat back in my chair for a second and wished evil upon the member. But then the coolest thing happened, Pak Iwan started teaching our member! Its so cool to see just how prepared he is to be baptized . It was the best thing that could have happened.
Other than that this week was pretty boring. It was really hard being the only one in my companionship that knew anything about our area, and the people we teach. Other than that I just hope we have more success finding new people next week, because the days where we are just our contacting are getting pretty old. I just feel so lost, everything we try doesn't work. I just hope this next week we have an easier time. 

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Minggu Yang Paling Baik

This week was extremely busy, we had 3 days where we left the house before 8 and didn't get home until almost 10. It was very tiring but this week has probably been the best week of my mission so far. We finally have people to teach and that's very exciting, and we have one baptismal commitment.  It was such a good week to end my time with Elder Bills. Elder Bills has moved to Malang (East Java) and so now I have a new companion Elder Supriadi. He's about 5 feet tall, and seems very excited to be here. He's also very new to the mission, he's only been out for 4 months, making us the missions's youngest companionship.

Well first off, Pak Iwan accepted the invitation to be baptized. It was honestly the craziest lesson. It was taught at a non-active members home, who is really only believes in Jehova Witness teachings, plus we had Brother Roger with us who doesn't speak any Indonesian. So during the lesson we would take turns teaching and translating. So the whole time we were both speaking, and it felt really chaotic. It was probably the most physically tiring lesson I will ever teach, but the spirit was so strong in that lesson. And at the end he accepted the invite, and I can't think of many other times in my life I've been that happy. So Pak Iwan will be baptized on March 20th.
Then other than that we have another investigator that recently returned from her home in Flores, Mbak Vita. She is so close to being baptized. She pics up everything so quickly, and has already finished the Book Of Mormon, and is starting it again, her only problem is she has to prove that she can remain active, because she doesn't know if she wants to live in Bogor or move back to Flores. And other than that we got a bunch of less actives to church, which was good because we've been working with a lot of them for a while.
The only down part of the week was one guy we meet with about every other week died this week. He's from America, and he's here because he met his wife on a online poetry forum, weird yeah. But anyways he only had one leg, and I don't know his whole medical history, but I know he's been on bed rest for like the last 7 months. His funeral was very sad, after his wife had poured the pine oil on him she saw us standing in the back and came up and shook our hands. When she shook both of our hands she stopped and cried on our shoulders for a little bit. I will miss meeting with him, he really was a weird dude, but he loves the yankees. And he is really a good guy, he would just tell us over and over that he didn't care that he was bed ridden, as long as he could make his wife laugh he was happy enough.
Other than that everything is about the same. We started contacting using Mosiah 2:17 to explain why we are here, because what we were doing before the people instantly lost interest. But when we read that verse with them they are more willing to listen to what we have to say. So we have a lot of new appointments and I don't know yet if they are for teaching or if we're going to be doing a lot of house cleaning, but we will see!

Monday, February 15, 2016

The Squater

Well this week was kind of boring because I was super sick. I woke up Tuesday night and just felt like crap. So I went to the bathroom and just started throwing up, and then like 5 minutes later I had super bad Diarrhea. Then I was up the rest of the night with pretty much the same stuff, it was horrible. Then that has pretty much been the story all week. But I somehow managed to make it out of the house everyday, just to sprint to the nearest bathroom once we got out of our little neighborhood.  But because of this I experienced a big faith building moment. Even though its about 75% squatters here I made it a month and a half without having to use one. I guess you could say that I've always been super scared to use one because you have to squat lower than I thought I could because you have to leave your heels on the ground. Anyways I didn't think I could do it. So Elder Bills and I were out and about and I started feeling so sick. So we ran to a Indo Maret and I went straight to the bathroom just to discover that it was a squater! So I proceeded to take everything off because that's what you have to do. And said a little prayer, and I was able to do it! It was incredible. I now have a strong testimony that the lord gives us strength when we need it.
Other than that we had our lone investigator come to church again, but this time he brought his friend. It was so good. I have never seen a more muslim looking man in my life, but he's the biggest Christan. His bible is so marked up, and we struggled in our lesson because he just kept sharing verses of why he thinks our church is true. I'm so excited for the opportunity to teach him. I think that all of our hard work is paying off this week, because on Wednesday we are going out to Cisarwa to teach a bunch of refugees from the middle east, and I'm way pumped for that. In the past they've had a lot of success with refugees, and I hope that we can continue that streak.
Other than that I just hope I'm healthy again this week because this last week sucked.  Nothing is worse than having to waste time sitting in the house. Two years is so short, and I don't want to waste my time being sick.
Looking for inspiration from Mother Earth

Sunday, February 14, 2016

The Apostate Missionary

Well this week started off super cool. We were in Jakarta for PLD on Monday and Tuesday, so we just got to look around the city for P Day. It was so fun, first we went to 7-11 (the slurpees are the same here!) then they also had hot dogs, I haven't missed american food to much but, after eating it for two days I miss it so much now. They eat the same stuff hear for all three meals, even though its way good it can get kind of old, the other missionaries say that you just have to get over it. But then we went to the grand indonesia mall, it was so big! Its 56 stories high and at the top there is a place called Skye Bar it was so cool to look over the city, even though we didn't go on the best day it was still a cool sight. After that we returned to Bogor, and we had probably our best week yet! We finally have had some contacts go somewhere, so we finally have someone to teach!
First, we taught this huge family from Sumatra, they've been meeting with the missionaries forever but, only for english class, because until recently we were allowed to teach english in villages, but anyways they never really progressed. We had an appointment get cancelled that we were going to because the elders in that area had something else. So we decided to stop by this house. When we got there the whole family was inside. We weren't planning on sharing about the preisthood because thats how this family met the missionaries in the first place because they were given a preisthood blessing. So after we spoke with them we started our lesson, my comp taught the first part and when it became my turn my mind went blank. It was the weirdest thing, because I've been feeling so confident in the language but I honestly couldn't even remember how to say that I was from America! I froze for what felt like an hour, but then the only thing I could remember how to say was about Prayer. So I just started talking about prayer, then the oldest daughter started saying how her son had died this last year, and she was afraid that she would never have any children again. And how her husband was so depressed and said that they were already old and that they would never have children. But then when her son was in his last days she prayed and received an answer saying that if her son died she would have another child. So a couple of months passed and one night she woke up and felt like she should take a pregnancy test and she did so and it came out positive. It was the craziest thing. The spirit was so strong in the room, everyone was so skocked about what they had heard. They all said that before they had heard everything but they thought is was all BS, but now they want to learn more. It was the craziest thing, because I know that even though I was able to smoothly say all of the things I wanted to about prayer, it was nothing special. It was such a cool experience that I will never forget. For PLD we talked about not getting in the way of the Holy Ghost, and I think we realized that we've just been teaching what we think is right, and that we had forgotten to involve the most import person in our planning.
Anyways, I will figure out who my next companion will be this next week and I'm super excited. I'm mainly just sick of thinking who it could be, because I keep hearing all of this names and I don't know who any of them are, so I only have to rely on the Gossip. I'm really excited for this upcoming week because we have a bunch on new investigators and  I can't wait to get in and really teach them. I think all of our hard work is finally being rewarded, so now we just have to put all of our focus on trying to touch the hearts of these many new people.
The view from the Sky Bar

Me and Brother Rodger and Wolly (our deaf member)

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Satu Bulan

Another good week. It's hard to believe that I've already been here for a month. I'm in Jakarta right now, it's weird to think that over a month ago I was just landing in the air port here. When we arrived at the mission home this morning it felt just like it had only been a couple of days since I'd arrived there. I just learned that my trainer Elder Bills is moving in a couple of weeks, which makes me pretty sad.  I was really hoping that he would finish my training.  I still don't know who my new companion is going to be, but I hope its another bule, because I know that having an Indonesian comp would be super tough. This week I went on splits with my DL elder Wiebowo, and it was way hard. He has really good english but we really just used Indonesian all day. It was super tiring, because when people are speaking to me in indonesian I really have to focus super hard.
Other than that this week we really tried to focus on becoming better at contacting, so we didn't teach as many of our regular appointments. So we tried some areas neither of us had been. One was a park, and the other this grafetti art corner thing. The park was super successful first we talked with a group of friends from Manado, they were all like 50 year old ladies who were treating us like we were One Direction, it was super funny. They all hung on our arms and one lady stood in front of my and grabbed my arms and made me hug her, anyways before I could pull them away she got one picture, so hopefully I don't get sent home........ jk Then later we helped some college students set up a slack line and really just hung out with them, and they accepted Kitab Mormons but who knows if they really wanted them.  Then the other place we just took pictures with a bunch of people. I don't know its very hard to contact in Bogor.  The people there are Sundenese so that means they are extremely Muslim so they aren't too excited to change.
Other than that we went traveling to a super far village yesterday, it was what I thought my mission was going to be like. It was crazy some of the people we met said that they had never seen white people in person, so everyone in the town wanted to come and talk to us. It was cool, but I don't think that it will actually go anywhere cause they would have to travel for 4 hours to just come to church. The only reason we went out was a guy who works in the city and only goes home like once a month, and he was the least interested guy there!
Anyways this week was super good, I really feel like if we continue to put a lot of effort into contacting we will find someone who is prepared. Whenever I hear conversion stories here there all super crazy, so I guess I just need to be patient and wait to cross paths with someone who is ready to listen to what I have to say. Other than that its still fun to meet all of these new people, and hopefully I've been planting a lot of seeds for future missionaries to work with!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Sudah satu Bulan!!! (Hampir)

I can't believe that I've almost been here for one month! I never really understood what they meant in the MTC when they said that the days feel like weeks and the weeks feel like days.  Everyday when we plan I feel like we do so much, but at the end of the week it feels like everyday went by so fast. This week felt super unproductive because we had everyone cancel on us! It's so hard because its part of their culture to not say no, so everyone gives us a false sense of interest. Its even rude to say the word no, they just always say belum, so not yet. An elder in Jawa Timor took that so literally, so he's been extending commitments to investigators to accept the gospel in the after life! So dumb!
Anyways I taught english class again this week, but instead of the advanced class I taught the beginner's class. So I taught them Heads Shoulders Knees and Toes. So it was super funny to have like 20 middle aged indonesians singing that song for an hour. But I really love teaching english class because I feel like I can relate to them really easy. Learning a new language kind of sucks, and it can be really embarassing when you screw up, but we just try to teach them to say ngak apa (whatever) and keep trying!
Other than that we taught a family of Papuans last night, they are straight from a tribe, but the lesson went super well. I just hope that they stay here long enough to progress, there are so many stories of people like them accepting the gospel but then having to go home cause they can't find work. Its hard to swallow that there are tribes out east that are using the Kitab Mormon but they can't be baptized cause there is no church out there. Papuans are about the only people we are teaching right now, because everyone else here is sooo muslim. That's why it really is so much more important who I am than what I say. That's what I'm really trying to focus on, because I know that some of the people here are ready to receive the message. First impressions are very important here, because in most cases that's all we get. So I'm just trying to focus on always reflecting that I'm a representative of Christ, thats what I try to think everytime I want to sleep on a bus or look like I'm having a hard time, because people are always watching me. So I just need to hunker down and slap a smile on my face and pray that I can be a light for some of these people.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Mingu Ke Tiga

What a crazy week! First off the terrorist attack in Jakarta! We were just finishing our appointment when the member who's house we did it at told us about it. We didn't really find out much about it later that night, and then the next day we bought a newspaper for language study, and read about it. So this last week or so we haven't been able to go to any places associated with America, so no micky d's :(
Anyway, this week we had a ton of lessons planned or potential investigators and they all just disappeared from the face of the earth. We only have one legit progressing investigator right now.  Her name is Riska and she's from Papua. I hope that we can meet with her again this week.  Her brother is the one who gave us her name. He would be a member if he could but he lives in Papua and there aren't any churches there, but he met the missioniaries in Jakarta, and when he can come to church 3 weeks in a row he will be baptized. So I hope that we can spark that same desire in her.
We have been teaching a lot of inactive members though, and we've had some success. We meet with Brother Wolly, every week.  He's deaf and we don't know how he has money but he has a lot, because everytime we meet with him he has a new cell phone, or lap top or tablet, its the weirdest thing. But I love teaching him, he's such a good guy.
And after this we are going to take Brother Rodger to the hospital, he's a refugee from Congo. His conversion story is so cool, he speaks french but somehow the missionaries taught him english, so we translate church for him everyweek. That has been a big help to me having to translate lessons for him. But know he's trying to learn indonesian. He has such a strong testimony and just wants to go to the temple so he can do work for his parents. It really has shown me how lucky we are to live so close to temples, and help out brothers and sisters obtain eternal life!
Anyways every week is getting faster and faster, and know that I can actually communicate with people I'm enjoying my mission 100X's more!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Mingu Kedua

Week two was much better!  I'm getting used to the food, and I wasn't sick at all this week. I feel like this week I really started my mission.  We had more lessons this week, and I was actually able to do some teaching in them, rather than just bearing a testimony at the end. Its crazy how much I have been able to learn in the last two weeks.
At the moment we don't have any new investigators, and it is kind of hard to find people. We talk to a lot of refugees from the middle east, and we use English because they know even less Indonesian than I do. It's really cool to hear their stories and how they had to give everything up. I don't know how open they are to our message, but they just seem like they need a friend.  This week we plan to teach a lot of them, and who knows, maybe we found a group of people who are ready to accept our message.
We also taught a man who competed in the 2008 Olympics this week. He's a very interesting guy, and his house is full of statues from papua which they all looked like easter island statues. I don't know I just have loved the opportunity this week to meet so many new people with cool stories.  Missionary work really is the coolest thing, think about it, for two years I have the opportunity to go to a completely different place, and only worry about trying to make the people around me happy.
Like I said earlier we've had a hard time finding new people to teach so we've been trying new places in our area, that my comp who's been here forever hasn't been before. That's how we ran across the community of refugees.  The first guy I talked to, and asked why he had come here, laughed and asked if I was aware of world news, then he talked about how hard it is to gain refugee status, and then I asked him where he wanted to go after Indonesia, and he said he didn't know. So I said that he should come to America, and he just laughed and said that they would never let him in! We also tried contacting in a place where they're are so many prostitutes. We collected like 10 contacts before we realized that it was unusual that only skimpy dressed 20 something year old women wanted to talk to us! But we are told to talk to everybody, so I think we didn't do anything wrong ;)
Other than that I'm doing much better, and I can honestly say that I love it here. I'm learning so much, and I don't have a worry in the world, I just wake up and pray that the street food doesn't wreck my stomach!

Monday, January 4, 2016

Selemat Tahun Barru

Hello from Indonesia!!! I'm can't believe that I'm actually emailing y'all from the other side of the world. This past week was probably the hardest week of my life.  First off I've been sick the whole time, and haven't eaten much.  It's been so hard because I feel so weak and I know that I need food but I just haven't been able to keep much down. The food is interesting, to say the least. I like how it tastes, but the thought that it sits out all day in the food cards kind of makes me sick. I really like something called tempe, which is fermented soy beans, its very tastey.  I also really like tahu or tofu.  They fry everything here, and pretty much everything that we eat is from street venders. But they do sell peanut butter and jam and the bread is good, so thats what I've mainly survived off of the last couple of days.

I'm in the city of Bogor, it's about an hour or hour and a half from Jakarta.  It's up in the mountains and rains every day.  They say its cooler here, but I'm still hot all of the time.  Our house is ok, we have toilets, but still no TP so I've had to get used to that, but it reallly is ok!  We only have AC in one room which is the bedroom, thank goodness cause I know I wouldn't sleep without it.  Our city is very Muslim, but the church is strong here, they recently split the wards to make 2.  The church building is very nice, and I'll send a picture of it next week.  But yeah, its great here!  We get around on somthing called an angkot, which it like a hippie van, they are sooooooo hot. The driving here is so weird, they honestly follow no traffic rules here, and everyone drives a scooter, its very slow getting around town.  The malls here are so nice, and everything is honestly soooo cheap.  Like they have a polo store here and everything is like 200.000 rupiah which is expensive for them, but when you think of american dollars its way cheap.
My companion is Elder Bills, his dad works for the US embassy so he lived here before the mission.  He knows the language very well, and he's been in Bogor for like 4 months so he knows where everything is. My first couple of days I didn't understand anything, but everyday I understand more and more.  Yesterday I said the opening prayer in sacrament meeting, and had to introduce myself and bear my testimony, which was so scary but, I got through it, and then last night I had to teach a portion of the a lesson, but it all went well.
I kind of feel like a celebrity because everyone wants to take a pic with me, and they take pictures of my walking.  And when we're walking in the streets there is always a little group of kids following us calling me big, and practicing their English.
Other than that, I'm starting to learn to love Indonesia.  It is very hot and hard to understand people, but I know that if I have enough faith heavenly father will help me with anything I need.

Saturday, January 2, 2016


Elder Monson has arrived safely in Indonesia. We received this email from his mission presidents:

Here is a photo of all our missionaries last night. They were tired after such a long flight.  I am sure there will be lots of news to share in their first emails from the mission field on Monday.

President and Sister Donald
Indonesia Jakarta Mission