Sunday, January 29, 2012

Week 20 Photos

We only have a few photos this week.

 The first is sate (sah-tay).  There are different meats and this is sate ayam (chicken).  Whenever we walk home at night, there is this vendor with his wife and Sate Cart (portable kitchen).  They have a small "tent" for their "eat-in" customers - I'll get a picture later.  Out to the front and side of the cart is his BBQ grill (again I'll get pictures this coming week).  The meat is skewered on bamboo splinters, marinated in peanut sauce and then grilled.  It is then served on banana leaves with more peanut sauce. We had take-out.  It includes fresh chopped onions and chilies and you can also get home-made red sambal sauce (HOOOOTTTTTTT !!!!!!)

The second picture is very typical.  This is a family from the Jebres Branch heading home after church.  The husband is Denok, the wife is Desi, and the baby is Xavi (pronounced Zofy - almost sounds like Sophie).  We forget the other two children's names.

The next photo is of three of the children we mentioned in earlier letters.  These kids are from the family of 13, the older kids live with Dad and the younger 6 live with the Mom.  (Remember Lala, I baptized her - also one of the 13.)  We don't think they are divorced ( they may be living as they do because they can't afford a house large enough for all of them) because the Dad transports the Mom and kids to church and home and it requires a couple trips (see second photo above) and he is friendly to the Mom and the church members.  He apparently likes the church but lives with and by his family who are all Muslim and we've been told that he is embarrassed by them seeing him with members.

Finally, here is Enso, the baby of the 13.  You've met him before, and that's his Mom behind him.  He was told to stand still for this picture!  He did, but he didn't have to like it!

Week 20

Dear Great Family and Friends,

Besides being Kathryn's birthday week, and (I can't remember if I mentioned this last week) Sadie's birthday week last week, I can tell you that both son John, and son Adam are out on winter camp outs with the scouts this weekend. When we told them years ago that they would always be grateful that we pushed for them to get their Eagle in scouting, we left out the part that it would also seal their doom. Camp outs have been the result. But honestly, they love it. (honestly!) Just like Emily and Sara LOVE to go to girls’ camp... (love it!)

Hello to all from this warm, beautiful land down under. I forgot to tell you last week that we were definitely going to buy a car this week. Our Emily wired us our money last week and so we planned to drive it to Magalang this very day. But, for reasons that only bank systems know, it has not cleared into our account, so obviously no car until we can pay for it. I'm sure that is as clear as mud. I believe I told you that buying a car was not our wish, and that we have tried to be patient and wait for SLC to help Hong Kong decide what is in store for Senior Couples in Asia. But, we have so many responsibilities that require a car, and many of them are not getting done because we can't get to where we need to be. So this is the solution that must be.

We hope that it will be THIS week. Then we will be off to Magalang to visit the Elders there, inspect their apt., and visit the Magalang Branch, which is a tiny branch meeting in a store front. We would really like to spend some time there. We will also go to Samerang, a bigger branch that is almost 3 hrs from Solo. Then there is Jogja, which has a strong branch, but has seen their attendance drop a bit, and is part of a city that has a remarkable history (one of the oldest Hindu temples in the world) and where we have 2 sets of Sister Missionaries. Plus, now we have a considerable number of water projects to check on all over the mountains that are all around us, plus PEF. So, we are excited to get going! Maybe we will have better transportation news next week.

So, because we had this change of plans many of our planned projects were postponed this week. We have had the usual... piano lessons (they are so fun, I love to see the members progress), and our Solo missionary apartment inspections. Now in all fairness the Sisters just moved into a new tiny, tiny house. Really just three rooms. But it is clean, newly remodeled, freshly painted, and in a new neighborhood. But best of all (so far) no rats!!!!! This is a big deal, considering the one Elder apartment killed 11 rats the week before last, and Elder Gilbert told me today he felt one run across his feet in bed the other night! (Hey Sara, imagine if a rat had given birth in your sleeping bag!).

You have to understand that these are homes they live in, and the homes in Indonesia are very open for ventilation sake, and so that doesn't help the rat problem. Elder Gilbert's apartment was one of the cleanest, but it has a stairway that opens right onto the roof (which has an awning so rain can't get in) but they have had bats fly down into the house. Now the apartment that had the 11 rats, that wasn't so clean, so we made a great number of suggestions and gave them two weeks to get it spruced up. They are trying, and we will see the progress Wednesday. I am sure my children are wincing at the idea of our inspecting any one's work. They remember "Saturday Work" from when they were at home. I just want them to know that when we go inspect apartments we take cookies or some homemade yummy so missionaries won't hate us to come.

Two of the best parts of this week were:

 1) Our weekly DDM meeting with the Elders and Sisters. They are so wonderful to watch and observe, and to just be around. Friday Elder Greenway had been asked by the Mission Office to talk to the missionaries about budgeting. So we went over all their bills and tried to see how much they have left-over for food and personal items. We are trying to see if they need their money increased. It is a very long story - the ins and outs of mission budgets, who pays for what , etc., but those missionaries live a very stark existence. So I let Elder Greenway handle it.

I am always wanting to feed them, which is why I take cookies every week to this meeting. Well, when we got out of the taxi at the Kapatihan building on Friday, I realized I had walked out of our house without the cookies. When we went in the meeting I apologized, I felt sooooo bad. The week before we were out at the Water Projects and so we didn't attend the meeting, and then to forget!!!! Anyway, they all said that they would come and get them and then they laughed and we started the meeting. We want you to know how much we love these fine missionaries. They are remarkable, and they are well disciplined. They have an eye single to the work they have been called to do, and we admire them and are so honored to spend time with them. They sacrifice much to serve in Indonesia, as do missionaries all over the world, and our love for the missionary work has increased by serving with them here.

They were asked to teach a "neighborhood" English class for children once a week where they could have a considerable number of children. Their English classes have always been a great way to find investigators, but they voted on it because they would all need to help. So they will now move forward to see how this goes. Then they also decided that every week they would clean a street. We know that sounds weird, but these wonderful, clean, sweet, loving Indonesians have a big problem with littering. So to increase their visual presence, the missionaries voted to clean a street each week. They are so fun. We'll see how it goes, and we'll see if we can help them. Anyway, after DDM Elder and I came home and I was making some soup to freeze, when tap, tap, tap, and we open the door to 11 missionaries. Can you imagine 8 Elders and 3 Sisters on bikes pulling into the parking garage of a hotel and then crowding into an elevator that stops at each floor? We were so proud of them!!! So they had cookies and juice and then headed right back out to do the work. WOW!! We are so blessed!

2) We found out that Thomas, one of my piano students that just showed up one day, will be baptized with his brother on Feb. 5! He is delightful. He always comes in at the beginning of his lesson and finds me. "Hello, Sestuh Grenway" (Indonesians don't do the long 'e' sound in the usual places), he'll say, and shake my hand, and then go find Elder and shake his hand. AND!!! he is very smart and moving along quickly with the piano. OH I WAS SOOO EXCITED! We are just so proud of him. I'm sure I will tell you about it in a week. Bro. Busro, who comes to lessons is also moving quickly along. He has never had lessons, he doesn't speak a word of English, and he comes to piano every week along with all the kids, Kiki, Lala, Luki, Willi, Dinda, Ricko, Cori, Aster (she's no kid, and last week she help me teach. She is almost 21), Ezra, Thomas and, also, Bro Coki. I found out that Bro. Busro is the only member in his family. His wife and all his immediate family are Muslim. He comes each week and is happy and helpful in the Branch. Every so often his wife will come with him. I tried to tell him today that I am telling you about him..."Minggu tiap saya keluarga tulis mengenai orang Indonesia. Anda saya akantulis mengenai minggu ini. He understood, he even told me to tell you he isn't any good at piano. I told him "Tidak"! (No) Piano builds good relationships.

Today Noto blessed the sacrament. He is the fellow whose son was not attending church, and so the Missionaries asked us to talk to him. What we found out was that the son was not his son and that the mom was not his wife. Well, they are married now, and both are coming and doing well. The boy is still spotty in attendance, but still..... He did a great job! Tonight the Sopomo missionaries are hosting a fireside and showing the Joseph Smith Film that has been showing in all the temple visitor centers. So I will tell you about it later.

Later:What a perfect experience to close this letter. We have just returned from watching "Joseph, Prophet of the Restoration". We remember the first time we saw this film. It was at the Joseph Smith Building in SLC and we were with John and Lynn. When it was over and we walked into the sunlight, I cried and cried... I could not stop crying. Finally, we decided to walk across the street to get something for lunch and there was Elder David B. Haight at the McDonald's ordering a cheeseburger, which made me cry even more. Not because he was eating a cheeseburger from McDonald's, but because I was soooooo grateful to be a part of the Lord's Church. So when the movie started tonight, I started to cry again.

I am very thankful for the Gospel, I am so thankful for Joseph Smith, and Emma and Hyrum. I am so thankful for Henrich Hansen, and Kristen Olsen, for Sarah Thomas and Christian Christensen, for Pleasant Ewell, and Ann Morris Creer. I am so thankful for Nate and Dottie Greenway, for all of these people and more, who accepted the Gospel and left all that was familiar so that I could have the life I have had. I want to see these people someday and somehow thank them for their sacrifice. I do not ever want to be the weak link in the chain that they forged for me. I realized again tonight that our life has been so blessed, that whatever we have been asked to give to the Lord will never compare to what was asked of those early Saints. That their sacrifice was a gift to us, and we pass the gift along by how we live our lives and share the Gospel with others. How can I be so selfish as to keep this gift a secret, to hold it so close that others are not allowed to see its glory and joy? I know that we have the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I am so grateful that those Saints looked forward, and believed. I hope I can see my way to be like them. We love you eternally, dear family and dear friends.

With that love,

Elder and Sister G

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Week 19 Photos - 7 (Morababu)

The first photo is from the streets of Boyolali and the second is the "Welcome" sign.  You'll note the horse and wagon.  In Solo you'll see the pedicabs called becaks (baychaks)all over the city and very few horse carts.  In Boyolali and Yogyakarta (Jogja) you see many horse carts and few if any becaks. The next couple of shots are of common sites. Some day I'll have my camera when I pass a loaded becak - now that's a site to behold!

This is a groundskeeper at the village office.  In his right hand is his pruning shears, harvester, tree trimming and lawn cutting tool.

A fairly typical village house.

The local HandiMart.  Note the gasoline station in front.  Because of the huge numbers of "motors" (motor scooters) Bensin (gasoline) is sold from bottles, which the store owner fills from larger vessals filled at actual gas stations.

Gramma doesn't own a motor!

He's also loaded for bear - or something I guess.

Finally, I thought I'd show the village streets.  Now remember this is on the side of a mountain.  This is all hand laid.

Week 19 Photos - 6

A little surprise when we came out of our apartment one morning.

Subandriyo, Agus, Budi, Melvin (Meredith).

Another luncheon meeting, but we don't know what they were discussing.

Week 19 Photos - 5

Trip to Malang, Zone Conference, etc.

On our trip by train to Malang we noted some things we wanted to share.  Out in the countyside the scenery is beautiful.  The context of this included newly planted rice paddies and the Mosque and palms in the background.

This fellow is probably hauling chickens to market.  If he were hauling just bird-cages they would be stacket 2-3 high behind and to the sides.

 To say that houses were built close to the tracks would be a GROSS UNDERSTATEMENT!!!!

 This is coming into Malang, I haven't the slightest idea what the bridge we were on looked like, but it seemed to be solid.

This is Elder Martoyo doing the "John pose"  He is a great missionary.  His girlfriend lives in one of the branches and they maintain appropriately.  This missionary, we are told, came from absolute poverty.  His allowance as a missionary is probably more money than he has ever had on a regular basis.

Elder Greenway with the Mission President - Pres. Groberg.  Eating a typical box lunch.

Week 19 Photos - 4

 After the "Stone Laying" we headed down to Boyolayi.  It is know for dairy production.  I was told by the mayor of Boyolali that there are 80,000 dairy cattle in his juridiction, and the average farmer has 2 cows!  As mayor he has been able to bring in over 600 Australian beef cattle to the area farmers to add to the economy.

Inside the Mayor's office - Reception area.

The Mayor.  He expressed his gratitude over and over (he was in office last year when the church brought in tons and tons of rice and cooking oil).  The water project, I guess, put us over the top - he offered the church 1/2 acre of land for a church building - free.  Unfortunately, we have few if any members in Boyolali.  Elder Meredith and I were invited back to tour some dairy farms.  With two cows per farm that should be interesting.  Sister Greenway was invited back to lecture on English.

This is where we met.

Week 19 Photos - 3

After the luncheon we headed up the mountainside to where the main reservoir tank will be built. "Here this Structure - Water Vessel Capacity 100 cubic meters."  Sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

This is the excavation for the holding tank.  Mind you - this was hand dug.

Elder Meredith and the village chief beat a drum together in unity.  The local Imam (I think) offered a prayer to begin the project.

The first foundation stones are laid by the chief and Elder Meredith.

The group from the village and all the dignitaries.  Several of these people also got to join in the base-stone laying, following the first set by Elder Meredith and the mayor.

A view looking down from the excavation toward the village.

Walking back down toward the village past a stand of bamboo.

A few beneficiaries of the clean water projects - and the recipients of a few of Sister Greenway's Amarikan cookies!

Week 19 Photos - 2

OK - time for lunch. We'll start with local treats as the appetizers. Roasted bananas, peanuts?, sweet potato cakes with brown sugar or white sugar, fried casava, hot tea or water.

The sweet potato cakes - those are not pepper corns!

The peanuts - at least that's what they look like at first, but the inside is a pleasant and tasty surprise.

Fried Casava. Tastes like baked potato, or maybe LARGE french fries.

Now for the main course:  Lets start with battered fish - look closely - their little batter...fried.

How about some grilled catfish and BBQ chicken?

Or spicy greens or tofu something.

Finally, add some HOT SAUCE, rice chips, cucumbers and cabbage leaves - and the meal is complete!

Week 19 Photos - 1

As we headed up Mt Morobabu to the village where the Opening Ceremony was to be held, we passed no fewer than five holding/pressure reduction tanks.  Remember, this is a passive system and the tanks are strategically located to reduce the water pressure, but still keep it at a functional flow pressure.  Please look closely, there is a "leak" near the top of this tank - it will give you a feel for the pressure at this point.

This is a system that the church put in several years ago before they became familiar with the functionality of MCKs.  We are adding 10 MCKs to this current systrem, and tapping into the water source to provide clean water to 4 more villages or about 30,000 people.  I think the new system will have 18 MCKs. These sites were so great to see as we drove to the village.

Travel was a challenge at times.  Hey - Ron K. check this out!!!

Elder and Sister Smith - Area Public Affairs missionaries; Area police chief, I think; local member of parliament; village chief; Elder Subandriyo - Area Seventy; Elder and Sister Meredith - Welfare missionaries (he set up everything you are going to see for this event).

Continuing on - what's this... Sister Greenway and children - Duh !!!  Siapa nama anda?

Ceremony to Lay Down of First Stone Clean Water and MCK Project 19 Jan, 2012 - in the village of Candisari, subdistrict of Ampel, in the regency of Boyolali - Central Java. Sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Subandriyo and local construction  foreman.

And the band played on...Much too loud for my poor hearing aides.  And the vocals - well let's just say that traditional Javanese will not be replacing Motab as far as I'm concerned.