Good Evening All, (actually it is 7 a.m. for some of you, 5 a.m. for others).
We hope you had a gratitude filled Thanksgiving wherever you were. Sister Grover had already planned to feed all the Elders and Sisters pie at 5 p.m. Thanksgiving day, but as some of us were talking, we decided what we missed the most were the cold Turkey sandwiches. I think I might have mentioned this in Week 10. So, on Thurs. morn Elder Greenway and I stuffed 6 Indonesian Chickens into our Easy Bake oven, and the 3 Sister Miss. studied at the Soepomo Building while making rolls. Then at 5 we had cold chicken sandwiches on homemade rolls, with Hellmans mayo, and we're here to tell you that every bit of that chicken was slicked up. Then we had pumpkin, apple, chocolate cream, and banana cream pie, with a no-bake cheese cake. To top it off, we had blueberry (a huge flavor favorite here), caramel, and chocolate toppings and whipped cream AND ice cream!!!!! We invited the Seminary Kids (they have seminary at 5 p.m. on Tues, Wed., Thurs., and Fri. evenings here, because school starts at 7 a.m. So you can see that kids leave home at 7 and get home around 7), for dessert, and some of the YSAs came, too. Everything was gone in the end. IT WAS GREAT!!!! But these lovely people are so kind, we had 5 or 6 speak to us at different times during the week and ask if we were okay because we were missing Thanksgiving. Always loving...
The Grovers flew out today. They leave Jakarta tomorrow morning and fly 26 hrs. (including lay-overs) and arrive in Utah tomorrow night. Go figure. A group of members asked if they could come to the airport to see them off! Again, always loving. The Grovers spent the week cleaning and bringing us boxes of stuff. It is amazing what you can squeeze into this tiny apt. They gave a bunch of food to the Elders and Sisters who were very grateful. We will ever be thankful for their training and thoughtfulness. We were very lucky to come to Solo. Most Seniors don't have such a great hand-over of the reins. They will be missed by all who knew them, members and many non-members, too.
Last Monday we were asked to accompany 3 of the Elders to a family home. Noto, the father, was concerned because his son has not been coming to church. The boy is 11, and he gets up early and goes off with his friends. They go to the neighborhood video game place. Indonesians do not have systems in their homes, but each neighborhood has a place and charges to let the boys use it. It is a problem here just like it is a problem in the US. So we went with the Elders to Noto's tiny shanty store, where he sells used clothes. I can remember Emily telling me about homes in Ecuador being like large ovens. Well, ditto. But, we did get Noto and his son to commit to piano lessons at the Kaptiahan building. We wanted to get Bimbang, (pronounced quickly Bimbahng) into the building again. He used to come regularly. Now you will recall that the family car here is usually a scooter, and so if it rains, people don't leave home. So on Tuesday when they were to come to lessons, it just poured for 2 hrs. Hmmm..... We will try again this week. Anyway we have made a number of other plans to help Bimbang remember what he is missing. He loves his Dad, so that is the best start. Call this our rescue effort.
Speaking of Rescue Effort... I think I told you that there is zero Visiting Teaching and Home Teaching done here. They really depend on the missionaries to find and bring back the less active. The problem there is that when the Elders get transferred, then you have to start over. Elder Greenway and I have had the opportunity to see the rescue effort work in the Carlisle Ward. So we felt inspired that it could work here. We already had a meeting scheduled with the District Pres. and all of the Branch Pres. to discuss PEF. Elder Greenway asked if we could meet with Pres. Agus a bit early. He took Elder Ward along to translate for both meetings. I was teaching my group of 5 piano students. Elder Greenway presented his idea, knowing that the Pres. already knew about the rescue effort program, but he told the Pres. how long it took to "catch on" in the US. Pres. Agus was really excited. Ron was very inspired in his presentation. So, Pres. had Ron present it along with PEF in the meeting with the Branch Pres. Pres. Agus had them give Ron a schedule of their Council meetings so that we can attend and do a bit of training. We prayed very hard before the meeting that we would not come off as nosy Americans. Well, we were blessed. Now we will just have to work very hard so that Solo can grow and become a Stake. That is the plan.... 2 years, then maybe a Temple! Oh, that would be so wonderful!!!
Our English as a Second Lang. lessons have been going well. Wed. morning we took five various "board" games, that I found on line and enlarged, to our freshmen students at UNISRI. I had them turn there desks to make "tables" to play on. Well they formed 6 groups. So I gave each group a game, some buttons to use as "men" and a dice. But, I had a group with no game. So, since the idea is to get them to speak English plainly and have fun learning, I taught the last group, "Who Stole the Cookies From the Cookie Jar?" with the rhythm work and all. It was sooooo fun, and a hit! It took forever to get them to do it with the rhythm, and the whole "Who me?" "Yes, you." "Couldn't be!" "Then, who?" was hysterical. But they got it. So I had them come to the front at the end of class and do it for the whole group. Now they all want to do it. I think that will be a whole new lesson, along with "The Minister's Cat" which is similar.
Finally, we are up to 11 piano students, with more in the wings. I still don't have my new pianos, but we will find them. On Tues. I have 5, single lessons, Kiki 14, Lala 8, and Luki 6 are siblings, then Aster 20 and Bimbang 11. Noto 40? would like to learn, too. We'll see if he is serious. On Wed. I have a group lesson - Frisca 20, Agus 16, Yua 20, Alfina 18, Widap 20, and Puspah 12. Widap is pretty accomplished, but the rest are level one and lower. But they love it and that is all that counts. I have been finding Christmas music for them on line, and I told them we should have a recital of our Christmas music. They panicked! But we shall see.... These young people are marvelous. Today the Barat Branch had their YW program. It's like the Primary Program that they do in place of YW in Excellence. It was so beautiful, and very spiritual. Poor Elder Greenway spent Sacrament meeting in tears. We could barely understand things, but the Spirit was there, and it was powerful. They sang about 6 songs, had the YM join in for one of those, and then had beautiful testimonies. WOW!
Well, these are the days of the Greenway Couple. It is sunny and beautiful. Every day it clouds up and pours, then it cools down for the evening. Ah, paradise. Oh, I forgot to tell you I finally saw a rat. The Sisters have killed five with big stick in their apt., the Elders are not so brave, but I had yet to see one. Well we were walking home from piano the other night and scared one out of a ditch into the culvert. Not too big, but definitely a rat! Ah, paradise!
Please take care of each other with love,
Elder and Sister Greenway