Week 37 - Semarang "Are those your fingernails?!"

Monday, September 29, 2014

Hi Everyone,
This week was transfers and I have a new companion.  His name is Elder Martoyo from Surabaya.  He's been out on his mission 3.5 months. 
Elder Jones and Elder Martoyo in front of the church
This week has been different.   We have been in a threesome, Elder Martoyo and Elder Litster and I.  We only had 3 appointments this week, the rest were all cancelled or they just fell thru.   
It’s been a hard week to work.   It's hard because people live very far away and not all of them have phones so sometimes they aren’t home.   That’s how this week kind of went.  

My investigator Ibu Nur came to church but she wants to change her baptismal date to later in October.   Elder Litster lost his credit cards so he has no money.    I’ve had to loan him  some so we can make it thru the month .   Here we get about $150 to live off for  a month.
What did you think of the one dollar bill in your letter? it was weird to see!
What did you spend it on? You can’t use American money here.
Did Elder Lister get Elder Chou (from AZ) for his mission companion? Yes he comes on Wednesday!
Tyler, I saw a picture of you holding a plate of food, were those your fingernails? Super long nasty gnarly things? Seriously, Tyler so disgusting cut those!
 "Mom, it’s my thumb and my pinky only!  It’s the culture here!"
What are your plans with the district or zone for conference this weekend? on Thursday we go to Jogja and that’s a 4 hour trip there then 4 hour back !  What do you guys usually eat for breakfast? noodles or rice, sometimes eggs too  Do you come back to the apartment for lunch? no it's too far and we live on a hill 
This is the family of our Ward Mission Leader and they are awesome!
How was church yesterday?  Church was good it’s my favorite part of the week
Is it the same 3 hours as here?  It's the same 3 hours here! ha-ha  
Do you ever help with the sacrament? I've helped once.   

What do they use for bread?  For bread they use this stuff called "roti biasa" translation? BREAD!
Well, I've got to go!  I love you all and hope you have a great week!
Love, Elder Jones


Week 36 - Keep the Main Thing the Main Thing!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Hello Everyone,
 This week has been very busy, just like my whole mission. Like normal,  this week started with goals for appointments, for how many Kitab Mormons we would give out, how many less active members we could see and on how I can better myself personally.

Now looking back on my week I can see that I met my goals. Because they were my "main thing".
A recent lesson that I have learned is to "live out of your future, not your past". Do you remember Lots wife?  (Jeffery R Holland gave a great talk about her).  When she looked back (in a sense) she took her main thing and put it aside for a moment of the natural man and then she went to a pillar of salt.  "she became the dust from where she was made" 

 I'm realizing that you have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage pleasantly, smilingly to say “no” to other things, and the way you do that is by having a bigger “yes” burning inside. A yes to keep your eyes on the prize, a yes to keep your Main Thing the Main Thing. 
I also really like Ether 12 in the Book of Mormon and how much it talks about having faith. "Faith without works is dead". We say that a lot in our mission its seems to always be a subject of discussion in Indonesia (faith) .

14. Behold, it was the faith of Nephi and Lehi that wrought the change upon the Laminates, that they were baptized with fire and with the Holy Ghost. (Awesome story)
Verse 27 is a really good one too .  We always share it with our investigators and members to help them become stronger and understand how to do so.

 27. And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.
Just some of my thoughts for the week.  Anyways, here is a re-cap of my week: 
Monday  (P-Day)
We went to the temples which were pretty sweet so I'll let the pictures speak for themselves :)

This feels a little awkward...
Elder Gil and Elder Jones
Tuesday (back to work!)

Got one good lesson but all the other appointments cancelled.  Ahhh the life of a missionary!  Just keep working and be positive! 

The Zone Leaders came that night to go on a split with us the next day ... For anyone not familiar with "splits" it's when you go out with a different companion to learn their way of doing things.  This will help you evaluate and become a better missionary.

Went on a splits with Elder Kyle and we got so much done and worked so freaking hard!  We got 3 new investigators.   What an awesome day!


Just in case you're wondering what "The Boonies" look like in Indonesia?  Well, here they are!


We have a baptism date for Oct 5th for this awesome lady.
Her name is Bu Nur.
At church with our new investigator Bu Nur

I got your package mom!  Thank you so much.  I've already given out 2 of the Indonesian CTR rings you sent me. Now the kids love me even more than they already do! ha ha  I also got your letter Annie!  Thank you so much!  Well, I've got to go!  Thanks everyone for all your love and support!

Love,  Elder Jones

Week 35 - Disclaimer.... don't read if you gross out easily!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Hi Everyone,
This week I have a few pictures and stories that might make you a little sick.  Remember I'm in a foreign country and they have some different customs, like eating dogs.  Sorry... to all the dog lovers!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM AND DAD before I forget :) hope you have a great birthday and I love you guys thank you for being the best parents ever!!!
My long lost brother...

P-Day.  I cooked nasi goreng (fried rice) for everyone from all fresh ingredients and everyone loved it! 

Me and Elder Gil got 3 good appts and we went to the hospital because there are a few sick members.  One who got in a car accident, one who is having heart problems and the other is having kidney failure L
 It was really sad.  They asked us to come and give them all blessings. The hospital was really far away and it was a scary one.   Eight patients to a room no a/c!   It’s big and looks like something off paranormal activity!  We gave them blessings and it was hard to do it in Indonesian, and even harder with 7 other Muslims in the room all looking at us confused, but as of now they are all getting better! 

This is the Rooster that keeps going through our trash!

Went on a split with Elder Litster!  We had 5 lessons that I had set up from the day before.  It was going to be a busy day!  We got onto our bikes and left and we didn’t get 100 yards from the house till Elder Lister's bike broke and he couldn’t ride it, so then we had to cancel all the appts :( and go to the bike shop.  We rode in the back of a truck of some guy.   It was funny we because we had to hitchhike to the bike shop.

Elder Gil and Litster have been doing pranks on each other and Elder Gil dumped all his baby powder out on his desk and wrote “Gil was here”  So when I got back with Elder Litster, he saw it and was so mad.   So he took his tooth brush and cut up a red chili and brushed it! Later that night he brushed his teeth and it burned his mouth like crazy!   (Gil hates hot food)    I think they have a truce now.

Thursday 9/11

Today I wore my American flag tie! To represent good old America!! 

Brother Bon Bon's house in the middle

We went to Brother Bon Bon's house and in the  middle of the lesson there was a rat!  Right when I'm  talking the rat falls from the roof down thru the ladder hole and Bon Bon gets a wooden stick and jumps down and starts hitting it!   It was already dead but I got the funniest video of him I wish I could send it, but here’s a picture!
Brother Bon Bon and the rat


I finished the Doctrine and Covenants!  It was one of the best books ever! I've  learned so dang much! Now I’m on  the Pearl of Great Price!  We had all our appts fall thru which was sad.   English class was good though! Later that night I taught Elder Litster some fun wrestling moves then we ate ice-cream as a district.


Turned out to be a cool day.  We didn’t have any lessons so I decided we would look for opportunities.   I saw this sweet iguana this guy had, so we went and asked if we could see it.  Then I started talking to him about the church.   He’s Christian and in the Indonesian navy which is cool! We have an appt later.
Then we continued walking up a hill and at the top it turned into a cemetery.  We walked thru it and talked to the grounds keeper, then 10 minutes later a Christian funeral came up  for a 10 year old boy who died that morning.   They carried him up wrapped in a cloth!   It was so sad.  Nobody knew us but they said they were all so happy we were there because they saw we had Jesus Christ on our name tags. 

I taught half of Gospel Principles class. My language is getting good! And so are our stats!

Here are some pictures of the dogs that they eat over here:

What's up with all the dog meat? I ate a dog, it was gnarly and I’ve been eating it a lot lately!
Do they always eat dogs?  Not all people.  Papua the islands out here,  they eat people!
What does dog taste like and was it good? yes it’s like lamb or steak
Do people have dogs as pets too? yeah it’s funny. 
Do people eat cats? No cats are very holy here with Muslims because it was Prophet Muhammad’s favorite animal.
Any new investigators? 2 but we lost 4 of them for random reasons 
What are your plans for Pday today? We are going to some temples.
Did Bro Bon Bon eat the rat he killed? no ha-ha
How's English class going? Good, it’s a nice class here!
How many students are in your class? Almost 20. 

I'm looking forward to going to the Temples today, it should be fun.  Talk to you next week!  Thanks for the packages from Aunt Carrie and Leslee, they made my day :)

Love, Elder Jones



Week 34 - Semarang = Summer all year long!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Hello Everyone, 
It's hard to believe that I've been out for 34 weeks already!  Here's a re-cap of last week.
P day we just stayed home again, it’s killing me I want to get out and do something so bad. There are so many cool Buddhist temples around here to see!  But that night I called over 40 people and set appointments,  to make sure that we have lots of work for this week! Which now we do! 

We left the house 3 hours earlier than normal cause we had 4 appointments.   That’s almost what we get in a whole week!  Unfortunately, 2 fell thru but the other 2 didn't so that was good. Both appointments were with people we haven’t met before so that was encouraging. 

Also, I met a really cool old guy on the street.   I felt prompted to talk to him.  He was about 75 years old and we started talking and he said (late in the conversation) that before I said anything to him, he wanted me to talk with him!   We got an appt with him now too!  So that’s sweet!  I’m also almost finished with D&C. 
Brother Bon Bon
We taught Brother Bon again and it was great!  We also taught another Sister Youlie who is an investigator which went well.  Then Elder Gil said he was feeling too sick to work so we went back home around 3ish ... but we did get some work done! I did some phone contacts and set appts for next week while he was trying to feel better.

At a restaurant during Zone Conference

We went to SOLO for ZTM (Zone Conference).  Solo is pretty sweet ... it’s where a lot of culture is and monkeys!  I gave out 2 Books of Mormon and got 3 contacts on the bus! The bus ride was really long though 3 hours there and 4 hours back .  Me and Elder Lister stood up for this lady and her grandma .  We stood for almost 4 hours on the bus it was crazy,  I thought my legs were going to fall off  the bus was so packed!

We had 3 appts scheduled at the church which was great because we didn’t have to go far at all!

Long day, not a whole lot of luck.

We got 2 of our less actives to come, I was really happy about that.   I bore my testimony for Fast Sunday, church was good it was a good day! Actually it was a good week!  We worked so hard this week.  Elder Gil and I lead the Zone in stats. 

Questions :
Why don’t you guys travel to do things on P-day?  We don't have any members with cars here, Bogor was a richer area.  We try not to ride the busses very much.  People will bring weird thing on like bags full of dead fish, so it smells really bad and they can smoke on the bus which makes it really hard to breathe. 

What’s your favorite thing to teach from Preach My Gospel? I love it all honestly!

Did your baptism for Sept 7th go through? Nope it was pushed to the 20th.

Have you received any letters from Annie with excerpts from G’pa Fielding’s Mission Journal? Not yet. 

Are you going into summer or winter or do they even have seasons there? No seasons here, .the temperature here is called neraka api.

Did you ever go back to the Kidney Dr.? Yes he said I’m good! 

Were you able to get your blue clothes white again? Some of them yes. Don’t send me clothes it’s cheaper to buy them here.

Is Brother Bon Bon a member? Yes slowly becoming active since I’ve gotten here. 

What do you do at ZTM? It’s the same as church almost but we go over mission stats and areas and news from president 
Have you had any cool spiritual experiences this week? How much our stats have grown. It really makes me happy to have people to share the gospel with!

What desserts do they have there? They don’t do sweets really here ... it’s like fried bananas with chocolate. No "Indonesian" ice cream but there is a place in the mall with ice cream. 

Where are the other missionaries from that aren’t American or Indonesian?  Australia, New Zealand and England.

 Court says to go to Sam Poo Kong in Semarang.  It’s a point of interest and looks pretty!
We were going to go to Sam Poo Kong today that’s funny she says that, but some stuff came up.
Sending love to you all.  Thank you for the emails, letters and packages!  I really appreciate it!
Love, Elder Jones

Week 33 - Semarang

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Hi Everyone,

I had a very busy week, but here are some pictures.  I promise I'll write more next week.

Love, Elder Jones

Thanks Jamie for the tie!

My new little friend!