27 April 2008


Herman Liunokas Kollo – the newest member of Jakarta Raya branch and his sister. Elder Suseno, Brother Herman, his sister, Elder Thiemann, Elder Cheney

27 April 2008 – Sunday

My Sunday started at 1 a.m. and for the next three hours I alternated between trying to get back to sleep and working on my talk. I do not think I do my best work at that hour of the morning but it at least gave me something to do. Every time I turned off the lights I would think about the talk. Finally at about 4 I think I managed to go to sleep but I am not sure. I woke again at 6:00 and it did not seem like I had rested at all.

I immediately got up and started putting more of what I had thought about into a talk. By the time I had finished I thought I had a pretty good outline that I could make into a 5 minute or a 25 minute talk. I was concerned that I would fall asleep on the stand or while speaking – or at least while it was being translated.

We read for about 30 minutes from the Kitab Mormon before Anny and Sam showed up to take us to Jakarta Raya. When we ran into a blocked off main highway, I hoped it was not a sign of what was in store. I had a vision of us not getting there on time. However Sam found a back way to the church and we not only were on time but got there before the elders.

Actually there were a lot of missionaries at the meeting – six elders and two sisters. The sisters thought one of their investigators was coming but he or she stood them up. The Zone Leaders showed up because there was a baptism after the block. In the last 6 weeks we have had the opportunity to see a number of baptisms. The great thing about this one is it is a man – they do not have a lot of those. There was one more small problem. Both Mary and I left our name tags at the apartment. Everyone had a good laugh and acted like they did not know our names.

I asked Lukito to translate for me and I gave him what I had printed out. It would not be a great help for him but it was better than nothing. It turned out that it was good that I had prepared for a longer talk. There was only one other speaker – Sister Anna – and she only took about 6 or her 10 minutes. So I had 25 minutes and I took 27. I felt that I got the message that I was trying to make across. I know that the spirit was there because I could feel it. When I recounted one of my personal experiences, Lukito got so choked up that he had to stop and regain his composure. The only thing that I was unhappy with was how poorly I read the scriptures in Indonesian. Of course after the meeting was over everyone told me how good it was and Mary said that it worked so I was pleased. Certainly the Lord blessed me with lots of good ideas and support. I just rather wished that some of it had not taken place so early this morning.

The Gospel Principles and PH lessons were enjoyable. We had good translators and I participated in each of the classes. Brother Herman and his sister was in the GP class and they seemed to be quite interested. In PH I noticed that brother Herman carefully followed the scriptures. Unfortunately they did not have copies of the conference talk for each member – I really think that would be a good thing to do for the 4th week lesson. If they gave them out a week ahead of time so people could come prepared to participate.

After the block there was a snack for everyone before the baptismal service. Herman Liunokas Kollo became the newest member of the Jakarta Raya branch. Elder Suseno got to baptize him and it took three tries to get him completely immersed. The last time Elder Suseno took no chances and really put him under. But brother Herman did not complain or hesitate at all. I need to suggest to the elders that they teach the candidate to bend their knees so it is easier to get them down and up.

Back at the apartment, I had some lunch and then took a much needed nap. Since then I have spent almost all of my time catching up this journal and working on pictures that I had taken over the last couple of day. Tomorrow I will try to post all the missing journal pages and pictures. Maybe it will inspire the rest of the family to post more often on their blogs.

I just realized why President Eyring said that we should take some time each day to think how the Lord has touched out lives that day. It is because we become so use to having the blessings and experiences of the Gospel in our lives that they just seem normal. When that happens it is very easy to not thank the Lord for his tender mercies. If I am not careful I forget how patient He is with me. I do not recognize how he has watched over and protected us these last 17 months. But if I take the time to ponder the day and search for the evidence of His touch and His love, it is always there.

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