President Rowley has asked us to visit the Bandung Branch at least once a month if we can, in addition to our Humanitarian work. We haven’t been able to get out there on a Sunday yet, but since we were with PTD on Monday, we stayed over night and went with Br. Edi (1st Counselor in the Bandung Branch Presidency) to visit a couple of less active members of the Branch.
The first was Brother Fabio, who joined the Church several months ago after being taught by his son, who had joined the Church several months before that. His wife is Muslim and did not join, but she had no problem and gave her approval.
He would like to attend, but unfortunately, Brother Fabio has no car and no job and lives over an hour from the Church, so he has no way to get there and can’t afford public transportation. So….what to do. Br. Edi is trying to help him find a job in Bandung, but so far, nothing.
So we went to see him and his family!
What a very special spirit he has! He spoke openly about his testimony and his feeling about being Christian. He wants to come, but circumstances just don’t allow it. Tough situation. As you can see, he and his family live in very humble circumstances but they were just thrilled that we came and so nice to us.
The second person we visited was Sam, who had joined the Church while living in Taiwan and was now back in his hometown of Bandung. Sam had also spent 14 years in Australia, so his English was perfect. He is an app developer, currently working on one so visitors and tourists can find restaurants, etc. We met him at an outdoor food court with Br. Edi and the two local missionaries.
Sam told us his story and how he came to join the Church in Taiwan and about his struggles when he came back to Indonesia. He also mentioned how grateful he was for Br. Edi (the man sitting on his right) who ‘obviously cares about me’ and has been diligent in visiting him. So we encouraged him to start attending and invited him to attend Stake Conference in Jakarta this weekend. The Branch will rent a bus for the 8 hour drive (yep…) and he told Br. Edi to come get him!
Sam had told us that an Elder Tatton had taught him the Gospel in Taiwan and that he was now home in Utah. Today, with the miracle of today’s social media, it took me less than 3 minutes to find him! So I emailed him and within a few hours, he had in turn contacted Sam and encouraged him to start attending and to go to Stake Conference. Elder Tatton told me a little about their email exchanges and that Sam missed attending Church. We are so grateful for the bond between missionaries and those they have taught – it’s not surprising at all that Elder Tatton would immediately reach out to Sam! Sam is going to try and ride the bus to Jakarta, which is no small effort, especially on such short notice!
We love being here!