Week 32 - Semarang

Monday, August 25, 2014

Hello again,

  Me and my comp!


All our janjis fell thru so we proselyted all day but that wasn’t bad cause we got 3 potential investigators! Hopefully they will lead to something! English class was fun. I taught them how to play musical chairs and they loved it :)

We went back to Brother Bon Bon’s house and he just wanted to listen to the radio about the war in Israel.  He then spent 30 minutes telling me how cucumbers will cure my kidney stones!  It was pretty funny because the more excited about the conversation I got, the more pumped he got until he was ecstatic it was so funny!  Don't think I'm going to try the cucumber thing though!

 I went to get my checkup  and the doctor wasn’t there.  So we have to do it next Wednesday,  but we got another potential investigator at the Dr.’s office and gave out a Book of Mormon! 

Thursday night there was one of those giant lizards in our room that bite! It was right above Elder Gil’s bed and  Elder Litster is so scared of them! Anyway I caught it, after an hour and it was 11pm by that time but we let it go down the street.  I’m now the hero ;) 

Weekly planning with Elder Gil

Today we had DDM district meeting.   I read a bunch of scriptures.  I also found a really cool story which I’ve included at the bottom of this letter. 


Got 2 solid lessons! I gave a guy the baptismal commitment and he accepted to be baptized the 7th of September!  We’ll see what happens.


What is the food that you miss most from home?    carne asada burrito!

What is the new food that you like best from Indonesia? Rendung (chunks of beef simmered in coconut milk and spices)

What do you like best about your new area? The spiritual environment! 

How are you feeling this week?  Kidneys sore but feeling better. 

When does your comp go home? 8 months 

Have you filled your journal yet? No and when I do I’m not sending it home! Sorry :)

Do people still ask to take a picture with you all of the time? Not in Semarang cause we're on bikes 

How’s the eating situation?  I’ve been buying healthy food and been doing better

Are you still losing weight? No I gained a pound or 2 

How’s the language now?  Can you understand everything? Almost everything.  The people in the area here (Central Java) speak another language called Javanese and I’m having to learn that and how to mix the 2 languages which is hard.  

Is it hard to give out Kitab Mormon’s? Sometimes it’s awkward when you find out they are Muslim 

How do you like being on bikes? Its hard because my bike is soooo bad! 

Do you wear your helmet buckled? Always 

How’s the ward? Small. Needs some work.

What service do you do? English classes here only 

Very cool story:

In that place between wakefulness and dreams, I found myself in the room. There were no distinguishing features save for the one wall covered with small index-card files. They were like the ones in libraries that list titles by author or subject in alphabetical order. But these files, which stretched from floor to ceiling and seemingly endlessly in either direction, had very different headings. As I drew near the wall of files, the first to catch my attention was one that read "Girls I Have Liked." I opened it and began flipping through the cards. I quickly shut it, shocked to realize that I recognized the names written on each one.

And then without being told, I knew exactly where I was. This lifeless room with its small files was a crude catalog system for my life. Here were written the actions of my every moment, big and small, in a detail my memory couldn't match.

A sense of wonder and curiosity, coupled with horror, stirred within me as I began randomly opening files and exploring their content. Some brought joy and sweet memories; others a sense of shame and regret so intense that I would look over my shoulder to see if anyone was watching. A file named "Friends" was next to one marked "Friends I Have Betrayed."

The titles ranged from the mundane to the outright weird. "Books I Have Read," "Lies I Have Told," "Comfort I Have Given," "Jokes I Have Laughed At." Some were almost hilarious in their exactness: "Things I've Yelled at My Brothers." Others I couldn't laugh at: "Things I Have Done in My Anger," "Things I Have Muttered Under My Breath at My Parents." I never ceased to be surprised by the contents. Often there were many more cards than I expected. Sometimes fewer than I hoped.

I was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of the life I had lived. Could it be possible that I had the time in my 20 years to write each of these thousands or even millions of cards? But each card confirmed this truth. Each was written in my own handwriting. Each signed with my signature.

When I pulled out the file marked "Songs I Have Listened To," I realized the files grew to contain their contents. The cards were packed tightly, and yet after two or three yards, I hadn't found the end of the file. I shut it, shamed, not so much by the quality of music, but more by the vast amount of time I knew that file represented.

When I came to a file marked "Lustful Thoughts," I felt a chill run through my body. I pulled the file out only an inch, not willing to test its size, and drew out a card. I shuddered at its detailed content. I felt sick to think that such a moment had been recorded.

An almost animal rage broke on me. One thought dominated my mind: "No one must ever see these cards! No one must ever see this room! I have to destroy them!" In an insane frenzy I yanked the file out. Its size didn't matter now. I had to empty it and burn the cards. But as I took it at one end and began pounding it on the floor, I could not dislodge a single card. I became desperate and pulled out a card, only to find it as strong as steel when I tried to tear it.

Defeated and utterly helpless, I returned the file to its slot. Leaning my forehead against the wall, I let out a long, self-pitying sigh. And then I saw it. The title bore "People I Have Shared the Gospel With." The handle was brighter than those around it, newer, almost unused. I pulled on its handle and a small box not more than three inches long fell into my hands. I could count the cards it contained on one hand.

And then the tears came. I began to weep. Sobs so deep that they hurt started in my stomach and shook through me. I fell on my knees and cried. I cried out of shame, from the overwhelming shame of it all. The rows of file shelves swirled in my tear-filled eyes. No one must ever, ever know of this room. I must lock it up and hide the key.

But then as I pushed away the tears, I saw Him. No, please not Him. Not here. Oh, anyone but Jesus.

I watched helplessly as He began to open the files and read the cards. I couldn't bear to watch His response. And in the moments I could bring myself to look at His face, I saw a sorrow deeper than my own. He seemed to intuitively go to the worst boxes. Why did He have to read every one?

Finally He turned and looked at me from across the room. He looked at me with pity in His eyes. But this was a pity that didn't anger me. I dropped my head, covered my face with my hands and began to cry again. He walked over and put His arm around me. He could have said so many things. But He didn't say a word. He just cried with me.

Then He got up and walked back to the wall of files. Starting at one end of the room, He took out a file and, one by one, began to sign His name over mine on each card.

"No!" I shouted rushing to Him. All I could find to say was "No, no," as I pulled the card from Him. His name shouldn't be on these cards. But there it was, written in red so rich, so dark, so alive. The name of Jesus covered mine. It was written with His blood.

He gently took the card back. He smiled a sad smile and began to sign the cards. I don't think I'll ever understand how He did it so quickly, but the next instant it seemed I heard Him close the last file and walk back to my side. He placed His hand on my shoulder and said, "It is finished."

I stood up, and He led me out of the room. There was no lock on its door. There were still cards to be written.

Love you all! Keep the faith :)

Elder Jones

Week 31 - Semarang

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Hi Everyone,

Had an interesting week...


Elder Gil and I went to teach a man named Brother Bon Bon.  He lives in the coolest thing.   His house is like the inside of a port a potty. You walk in and it’s only a drain in the floor, but there is a door in the roof with a ladder that comes down and you climb up and his house is 4x4 up top with one light.   He as all his stuff hanging from the roof! It was so humbling but he is such a great guy!   He has over 300 scriptures memorized which is pretty cool too!  After that Gil and I proselyted.  That night I taught English class for the first time in this area and they all liked me.  We played some get to know you games! I like Semarang but it’s so HOT!

Today we went down by the ocean to proselyte.   There is a lot of cool culture down there. Saw a few little islands and fishing boats. Saw a school of jelly fish. It’s a lot cooler closer to the ocean. That evening we had district bonding time we ate dragon fruit and star fruit then played Monopoly. Which I destroyed everyone at ... ;)


We woke up at 4 am to go to Yogjakarta for ZTM (Zone Meeting).  It took 4 hours on a bus to get there one way.  Driving through the jungles and rice paddies and fields were cool though.   I bought a cool shirt for only 1 dollar and an American flag tie to match my American flag socks! 


The Zone leaders came home with us and we went on splits with the other Elders. Got  2 lessons in our area which was good! I gave out a Kitab Mormon and had a few contacts.

Zone leaders left in the morning.  I did catch a baby iguana and it bit my finger!!  But that’s about all!

It was a good day at church! We went and taught a lesson with a guy who has a monkey!  He was such a cute little guy!

Here are some pictures of a few things I ate this week...

They fry up the feet too! Mmmm

Getting some snacks and supplies to clean up the apartment!
Miss you all!  Stay safe!

Love – Elder Jones

Week 30 - Transfered to Semarang!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Hello again,
This was quite the hectic week! Every single day we had a lesson and got a dinner appt every night! Monday we had p day and we went bowling and that was a blast!
Tuesday we got mie ayam which was good!  I forgot to write in my journal after Wednesday because I was packing!  I started on Tuesday just so I could do a little each day, because I hate packing so much.  

Wednesday we went to a members house and ate mie and nasi, then we came home we were late to their house cause we missed the turn by a mile.

My delicious fish from last week!

Sometimes you've just got to have fun!

Flying to Semarang
Anyways, I transferred and I’m in Semarang!  It’s so hot here like 10 times more than Bogor and we’re in a bike area.   It was fun going to the airport alone and flying alone too.   When I got into the taxi in Semarang the accent of the driver was so different and hard to understand.  On the way to the mission house he got lost and I didn’t have a phone and he wouldn’t let me use his so he just kicked me out on the road!  I had to find my way to the house walking!  It was far but eventually I made it!

Sunday was pretty good too.   I like the ward a lot it’s a lot smaller but I think it’ll be good.   That night I unpacked and did weekly planning with Elder Gil.  That night power went out and it was so hot!   Monday morning we cleaned the house. 

What’s Semarang known for?  Being able to eat horse and dog.
What’s your apartment like? Dirty.  I’ll whip them into shape though.

What’s your comp like? Elder Gil ! He is a funny guy.  He’s really good a beat boxing!
How many Elder’s in your apartment? 4

In your district? 4

Where will you have zone meetings? Jogja this Thursday it’s on the whole other side of the island! But it’s so cool there.

How was church yesterday? Churchy

In your opinion, what are the purpose of transfers?  Certain people can touch someone’s heart in a way some can't, and it’s hard to meet them all in one town.   Also, so we can experience the culture of the whole country.
How are you feeling?  I’m drinking a lot!   

Any lasting effects of the kidney stones? Still sore, I’ve got a check-up soon.
Is Semarang a bike area? With hills!

Did you fly alone? Yes, it was great !
Did anyone ask you about being a missionary?  I didn’t wear missionary clothes on my transfer.   You wear a batik shirt and that’s all cause of possible dangerous extremists.

How far is it from Bogor? 12ish hours
What are your plans for P- day? Play Monopoly.
What’s the missionary work like in Semarang?  Its slow,  but not as slow as Bogor.
Thanks for the prayers and e-mails!  Love you guys!
Love, Elder Jones

Week 29 - Volcanos and Earthquakes!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Getting my check up this week!

The first couple days of the week I took it easy because "my body needed rest".   I’m feeling much better now. 
We had a good amount of lessons this week too!   I did find out that I will be transferring next week to Semarang.   I’m excited because it’s close to the ocean!

We got to eat dinner with my companions’ Aunt this week. She took us out! We also got a referral from the office.   The referral was a girl from India.  She’s Buddhist,  but wants to become a Christian.   We met her for the first time at Burger King.    Buddhists are the ones who believe they will be reincarnated and don't eat cows because they are dead family.  We totally forgot about that before we went to Burger King! 

Yesterday we had a family from America come to the ward!  That was cool and Elder McCleary and I got to translate for them!  They were very nice and it was good to see some Americans :)  I got to speak in church before I left.  
Today for p day we planned on going zip lining but it was closed.   No big deal, so we went bowling again and then played pool! I found out I have a hidden talent ha-ha!!  I also caught a wild bunny in our backyard!

We had an awesome lunch, fish and chicken I’ll send you the pictures soon!  Dad, you would have loved the fish (mango, red onion, vinegar… it was great!)   Later that evening we went to this cake place and had cake and milk shakes! I loved it  :) They said that when I come back to Bogor, we can stay at their houses.   I’ve got to say this is my favorite area yet ;) 

That’s crazy that the roof blew off Quick Lane!  When I saw your subject line I was amazed so I added Volcano Eruptions and Earthquake to my email subject line for the same effect :)  haha

Questions for Tyler

How long did you stay in Jakarta? We left the next day which was sad because we couldn’t get water for a week we finally got it today.  I’ve spent maybe 20 dollars on water bottles -__-

Did you stay at the Pres. House? Yes  that was nice!

Have you been drinking all the water that you’re supposed to? I’ve been trying really hard.

 Is that water bottle bowling in your house? Yes we have soooo many water bottles at our house it’s crazy!

Have you started packing for transfers? You know me, I’d almost rather get a kidney stone again than pack!

This is one question that I keep  meaning you ask you, why did your mission companion leave you while you were in Bogor at the hospital and go to zone conference? "Because he needed to hear the lessons being taught".

Did you ever find out what append to your Afghan investigator? Nope,  he really disappointed me L

What was the picture of the coins? I’ve been saving change and I got 10 dollars which is around 100000rp which is really good!
Well, that's all for this week!  Stay safe and don't blow away in that crazy AZ wind!
Love,  Elder Jones