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

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