Monday, August 12, 2013

Week 100

"God Be With You Till We Meet Again",
Elder Greenway and I are sitting in a Coffee Shop (because it has free Wi-Fi) in the Solo Airport.  We just said good-bye to a loving group of 22 members who came to the airport to see us off.  We checked our FIVE packed to the hilt pieces of luggage, paid our overweight penance on the suitcase that has our big antique gong in it, and scooted up the escalator to start on this letter. But the BIGGEST NEWS IS..
She will go to the MTC there to learn Tagalog (please forgive me Katie if that is spelled wrong)!  She leaves in December.  Her brother, Ezra, leaves in November, and her family Dad-Maryono , Mom-Ratmini, Aster, and Ezra are going to the Manila Temple in September to be sealed together as a family for eternity.  It really doesn't get much better than that.
I must apologize for the delay of this letter. Our plane was called, and now I am sitting at a desk in Senopati, the mission home.  We have just had dinner with Pres. & Sister Donald and it is now 9:30 p.m. Jakarta time.  So I know this is very late in the a.m. getting to all of you.
I can't really tell you of all our endeavors this past week.  It has been extremely busy...  Two important tasks:  On Monday morning I showered.  Now that might not seem important to most of you.  However, if you have ever served with me in a calling (Sis. Knarr, Sis. Kellis) you know that showers are dangerous places for me.  Monday morning I felt very strongly that we should prepare the Jebres less-active list before we left Solo.  So Elder text the Jebre Ward Clerk and he met us on Tuesday and printed a Ward roster that included families.  Then Tuesday, while Elder Greenway was showing Bishop Suparno of the Benjasari Ward how to remove names from their Ward roster and send them through time and space to their proper places, Ratmini worked with me on the Jebres Ward Roster so I would know who was active and who wasn't.  Oh Glory, what a mess...  But we finally got it somewhat figured out, and then we went to our apartment and organized all these names by kampung(neighborhoods)which takes about 3-4 hours.  Then Wednesday we typed it all up and today we presented it to Bishop Awik.  Now you need to understand that no one has ever worked over these rosters.  So as Bishop Suparno told me, "this is such a gift, Sister", they can actually have living breathing sheep to work with.  Also today, Elder took Bishop Awik, his counselor, and the Stake Clerk, and showed them how to work the computer to manage all the results.  Number 2 item that came from that Monday Shower was a final YSA/AP-YW Movie night just LAST NIGHT!!!!!  We text the Stake President and asked if we could, he was thrilled and he text all the Bishops, and so we had about 60 youth and YSA's at the Kepatihan Building to watch  "Tangled"!  What a way to leave town!!!!  We also had our final English class, went looking for lost sheep with the Elders and cleaned our apartment, did laundry and packed.
Which Brings Us To Today...  We attended the Jebres/Banjasari Wards today.  The Missionaries sang "Ye Elders of Israel/God Be With You Till We Meet Again".  They had me play, and Elder sang and we were so grateful to be a part of that group.  We were asked to say a few words in both meetings, but mostly we just watched and loved the members.  There was a baptism today in Jebres, and last week Benjasari had two baptisms.  So there is much to be grateful for, great appreciation for the fine Elders and Sisters who have been Called To Serve in the Indonesia Mission.  we have talked much about our love for these people.  We have told you that they are family to us, our Brothers and Sisters.  So today, today there were many hugs, many tears, and many, many words of affection.  When we arrived at the airport at 2:00 p.m., there was our English class, our Stake President and his family, Sister Ima and Brother Didit and their children (I teach them in Piano), and Brother Suparno, who has been the General Contractor for all of the water projects we attended to.  We talked and talked, took pictures, then Elder and I sang to them in the waiting area of the airport, the song that began this letter.  We sang in English and they listened, and then they joined in for, "till we meet, till we meet, till we meet at Jesus feet...  And now here we are in Jakarta.
We would like to thank you, our loving, patient family and long suffering friends, for muddling through all of these letters and being so kind to send us notes or Skype from time to time.  Your kindness and interest has meant to so much to us.  Because this will be the end of the Greenway Mission Blog, Elder and I would like to share something very important, and I will start...
I would certainly want you all to know that I have no doubt that this is the Church of Jesus Christ.  I know that there was a time that we all met and shouted for joy at the glorious plan proposed by the Savior, and sustained by all who knew it was the only way to return back to our Father in Heaven.  I know we have other Brothers and Sisters that were there with us, that we knew, that we promised we would help to return, if we could.  I know that we are led by an inspired Prophet, who has asked us all to be better missionaries, that has raised the bar, and lifted the burdens so that many more will have the opportunity to go forth and "thrust in the sickle".  I have been blessed beyond my ability to express by this opportunity to serve.  I will end this mission forever grateful to have been "Called to Serve". 
We have just come to the conclusion of two years of service that, if anything, has proved to me that Heavenly Father's children - members of His church - are molded and shaped by the Gospel into a community of virtual brothers and sisters.  We have lived, worked with, taught and been taught by, and loved and been loved by a people half way around the world from our home in Pennsylvania and learned that the Gospel of Jesus Christ creates a family.  The Gospel creates a people so similar in faith and belief and testimony ... so similar, that we truly see and experience the family of God here on the earth.  The message is so simple.  The Savior, Jesus Christ, organized His church during his mortal sojourn on earth.  As happened so many times, as documented in the Old and New Testament as well as the Book of Mormon, apostasy crept into the church leading to a loss of the simple but eternal truths of His plan of happiness and salvation.  And again, as testified in the scriptures, He has, once and forever, brought those complete truths back to the earth.  The fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is found in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  His Plan of Happiness is available to all who are willing to humble themselves before the Lord and prayerfully consider the message carried by an army of unsophisticated young men and women and a few weathered old seniors.  The Book of Mormon is the word of God.  By following the recommendation of an ancient prophet (Moroni 10:4-5) the worth of this book can be had by all who sincerely seek to know. 
"NOW BEHOLD, a marvelous work is about to come forth among the children of men, therefore, oh ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve Him with all your heart, might, mind and strength ..."
We bear witness to all these things in the holy name of Jesus Christ,
Elder and Sister Greenway

Week 100 Photos

In the beginning of the week, we sat down with Sister Ratmini from Jebres Ward and the bishop of the Banjasari Ward to review the Jebres Ward roster; and to show the bishop how to up-date individual and family membership records in MLS.  Here Sister Greenway and Sister Ratmini are developing a less active list arranged by kampung.

On Saturday evening, we held our last Youth and Single Adult movie night.  We watched "Tangled" and near the end of the movie Repunzel sings a song, "Now I See the Light," and all of the girls and a few boys sang along ... in English!!!
On Sunday, we attended Banjasari and Jebres Wards' Sacrament Meetings.  We took a few final photos:  Sister Situmorang and Sister Jibson (Michigan).
And Elders Gil (Florida) and Watson (Spanish Fork, Utah).

On Saturday, as we made our final exit from our apartment, the Knorpps had us to their apartment, down the hall, for lunch.  From their "living room " window I took some farewell pictures of Solo, looking south and a little east.  Solo Grand Mall is in the center.

And looking south and a little west.

We have mentioned Sister Aster Pasha, one of our many Indonesian Granddaughters.  She received her call today ...  Philippines Manila Mission!!!

Here is Aster with her mother, Sister Ratmini and her brother,  Brother Garnet Ezra, who has his call to the Australia Sydney North Mission.  The dad, Brother Maryono, is the Ward Exec. Sec, and he was in a meeting.

And here is our airport farewell contingent.  Many shared joys and fond, sad goodbyes. (L to R) President Budi Susanto, Novi, Erika, Ayu, Devara, Elisa, Dika, Devia, Astrid, Didit, Ima, Frisca,  Isti, Delfian, Diah, and Bono.  (Front) Yvone, Widap, Monique, Dandi, and Didi.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Week 99

Here's to you from paradise!
What a fun birthday week!  Between Jackson's, Ty's, and my own birthday we did a bunch of skypeing and a lot of fun talking to family.  Thank you for your birthday notes and good wishes.  Besides birthday fun, we also attended the last 2 Ward Parties this week.  BUT!!! we also spent some time NOT partying!!!
We sadly spent our Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons at our last piano lessons.  Tuesday we went to fetch Luki, Lala, and Kiki for piano.  They are siblings that belong to Sister Diah.  She is a wonderful, loving mother and her children are obedient, happy children.  Elder baptized Lala, right after we got here... then baptized Luki just this past while.  We are very invested in those children.  We also taught Willi, Bishop Suparno's son.  He started lessons just after we arrived, and last week he play "Called to Serve" right out of the hymnal!!! in Sacrament meeting.  I mentioned to him the week before that every young man who wants to serve a mission should learn to play that song.  Wow....  Veve also came to lessons.  She is not a member, but her mother has been totally okay with her playing Hymns Made Easy, and other Church related music.   There are others, but let me tell you about Wednesday.  Bila came a 2:00 p.m.  Bila is the Muslim girl who sings, plays piano, and paints. (Remember the painting of me in Javanese Style?)  She is playing a Beethoven piece which is lovely.  She brought me a beautiful batik blouse.  I could not believe it!  We spent time with her, and Natasa, Tyas, Niken and Katerin, Didi, Dandi, and Devara.  Sigh........
But we had to hurry, because on Wednesday night Banjasari Ward had there party.  It started with a Javanese dancer that did the Rice Dance.  The dancer wears green but uses a gold scarf.  The green represents the young rice plant, the gold represents the ripened rice ready to harvest.  It was delightful.   Then they had some of the piano students play, and the Bishop played piano while his wife sang a "lonely" song.  Brother Busro and Ida sang a duet, and there was a much discussion about Javanese customs.  Brother Tomi and family presented Elder with a Batak "Usa"(oosah) which is a woven shoulder cloth that Batak men wear to show family solidarity.  It seems that Elder is an "adopted" member of the Batak Tomi family.  Sister Dewi who makes batik, gave me some beautiful batik.  At the end the youth danced the 2 dances we taught so often, a western line dance and the Virginia Reel!  We really enjoyed the evening. 
Friday evening was the Solo 1 party.  This was a missionary fireside that also honored Friska.  She is the sister that was called to Australia months ago, she and Elder have been working on her visas forever.  At first she was heading to New Zealand to the MTC, but New Zealand does not like Indonesia, so that was fruitless soooooo now she is headed to Provo MTC and they are in the process of w a i t i n g............  (The entire Solo 1 ward fasted today for the visas to come soon).  They had speakers and testimonies, the primary sang, and at the end the youth sang.  We love to hear them sing.  It was very special.  All these parties come with traditional Javanese food, which we enjoyed.
We also did some sorting and disposing in our apartment, some packing...repacking...and then repacking.  But we did something luxurious on Monday that we have never done since we arrived.  We went with the Knorpps to Jogja to see the Indian Ocean, and then went shopping on Malioboro street and simply "took the day".  I know Elder is sending some pictures of the ocean, etc.  There isn't a way for you to see the actual magnificence of this particular beach.  They did not allow swimming, and if you could have felt the power of the waves you would understand why.  Even if the waves swept in and ran over your feet, the power made it hard to stand.  The waves were huge, and broke over and over, and then swept up the beach.  We walked perhaps 3 miles up and back the beach, we walked to some cliffs and near a resort village.  If anyone wants a quiet vacation to the ocean you can't swim in, but a volcanic sand beach that is beautiful, well this was it.
We have called these events parties, but they were tender, heartfelt events that blessed our lives.  We will spend this week finishing the Banjasari "lost sheep" list, trying to pull up the list for Jebres that they will have to work on, we'll have to empty out the apartment, and if we can... we would like to have a final YSA/APYW movie night.  So much to do... mostly we are feeling the Spirit that tells us how much we are loved by our Father in Heaven, and His son.  We are feeling overwhelmed by our blessings and gratitude for the joy they bring.  We have been given so much...
Love you all,
Elder and Sister.

Week 99 Photos #2

This is the family of Uskup Suparno.  His wife, Ida, son Willi, and Princess.

Suparno's brother-in-law is Choki.  Here he is with his wife, Isti, daughters Corri, Dinda, and Myrna; and their son Ricko.

And here is Brother Tomi with Elder Knorpp.  I think they're trying to dance!  Brother Tomi is Choki and Ida's father.  He and his wife were the first Indonesian senior missionaries.

I was presented with a Batak Usa (sp).  Choki draped it around us and they all laughed - I think we are now married!!!!

This young women present a traditional Javanese Rice Dance.  The colors of her costume represent the ripening of the rice.
Brother Eko, the MC, wore the traditional Javanese garb ...
Including his keris!  He also presented an explanation of the keris.

And Willi wore the traditional Batak costume.

And last of all, we wanted to include a photo of Bila at her last piano lesson.  She is the EXTREMELY talented young Muslim girl (14) that Sister Greenway has been helping with he piano skills.

Week 99 Photos #3

Here we are with the Banjasari youth and their leaders.

Pictured with Yuli, Widap, and Joko.

President Ipung (Counselor in the Stake Presidency) and his wife, Dewi and their son Mikal.

Good Brother Busro.
And here is the Banjasari Ward music director, Sister Ani with her family. 
Brother Slamet Widodo, Sri, Ivan, Jeve.  Their daughter Icti, had to leave before the photo.
And Brother Timin, a counselor in the bishopric and his family.
Brother Eko (Executive Secretary) and his wife, mother and son.
Brother Purjono (counselor in the bishopric) and his family.  Wife Rini and Arum his daughter.

Week 99 Photos #4

On Friday the Solo 1st Ward had a going away party for the Greenway's and for Sister Lindha (Frisca).  The ward used this Sunday to fast for her visa's to arrive and for her wait to end so she can leave for the Provo MTC, soon.  Here we are with Preseden Pasak Budi Susanto, his wife Isti and their daughter Tang.

This is Uskup Siyamt, his wife Ajeng, and daughter, Saretta.
Here is Brother Haryono, a member of the High Council with responsibilities over employment and self-reliance.  He is with his wife Elizabeth and his grand-daughter Natasa.  There is another grand-daughter not pictured, Jesica.
And Moko with his wife, Yessica and their new son, Mika.
When we first came to Solo, Arif's wife, Yani was expecting their little girl, Angel.  Now Angel is almost two years old and she has a little sister, Addlynn.
Bono and Diah gave us a personal going away present.  He must have been listening to Sister Greenway when she mentioned she wanted to find a painting of the padi fields we see everywhere we travel.

After the program came the food!  Always a feast.  On the right is Sister Lindha (Frisca) in line with a missionary from Sumatra serving in Solo, Sister Situmorang.

Week 99 Photos #1

As we come to the end of our mission to Indonesia, we have had ample opportunities to be with the kind and loving members here in Solo.  As I reviewed all of my pictures this week, there were just so many that I wanted to include that there is going to be 4 postings of photos.

On Monday, the Knorpps and the Greenways took a trip to Jogja with Bono driving.  We asked him to take us to the most beautiful beach by Jogja.  He asked, "wanting to swim?" and we said "no", so here is the Indian Ocean on the south of Java.  This stretch of beach had 4-6 breaker areas, and is too dangerous for swimming and surfing, but it is the most picturesque!

Looking at the beach and the wet to dry sand, I guessed that the tide was going out.  These breakers are 6 - 12 feet in height and you can see how far they start out into the ocean.

Ahh, I was wrong about the tide going OUT!!!  It seems there was a pattern where the rhythm of the waves merged from time to time and the water coming landward went from 1" to two feet ... QUICKLY!!!!!
After the beach, we went to Malioboro Street for some souvenir shopping.  This is the area reserved for horse carts and becaks.

And here's the actual street for "motors and mobils."  (Motorcycles and cars)

At most semaphore controlled intersections are "beggars."  Islam calls for its people to care for the poor.  The law requires that the person asking for money must provide a service, which can be singing, playing a ukulele, or finger chimes.  In Jogja, you can see street entertainers like this mime.