Sunday, February 19, 2012

Week 23

To our Wonderful family, and kind friends,

It has been good to hear from some of you. We DO love to get emails and hear the news from home. For a number of years we wrote a weekly letter to our missionary children, and now we are writing as missionary parents. Hmmm... there is something missing here. Thanks to those who keep us in the loop! Thanks to those who read and answer our sometimes lengthy epistles. As usual it was quite a week.

We have been visiting the LDS Charities Boyalali Water Project every 2 weeks. The progress is outstanding. We have told you all about it. Tuesday we went to the "reservoir" and were amazed at the progress. On our way up the mountain we found the roads blocked due to a funeral. (Remember they block off the roads and set up chairs in front of the family home). So dear Bono had to find an alternate route. It was a little tight now and then, (narrow farm lanes) but he got us there.

Elder Greenway has pictures of the reservoir, and some MCKs. Remember that when this is finished it will provide clean water to 30,000 people, including 7 Muslim boarding schools. But the news is that on the way down the mountain BONO GOT LOST! That will mean nothing to any of you except the Grovers who Bono drove all over central Indonesia for 18 months. We call him the human GPS. So this was a first. He kept giggling and having to turn around in spots that were crazy tight. He is the kindest, most humble, dearest person. I doubt if it will ever happen again.

Wednesday was a RED LETTER DAY FOR PEF. The FIRST PEF FIRESIDE IN CENTRAL JAVA was held on Wednesday, February 15, 2012, and we were here and participated. We had wonderful attendance from the YSA, and most were very excited about taking advantage of the opportunity to go to school. Elder Kusamarmantos and his wife, and Bro. Tandiman (a past President of the Indonesian Mission) all from Jakarta came to present the fireside. Elder Greenway also took part. Then Thursday we all headed to Jogja in our car (Yogjakarta - 2 hrs. distance) for the second PEF Fireside, which was also well attended and well received. We also visited the 4 Sister missionaries there, inspected their apartment, gave parental advice, and Elder Greenway gave one of the sisters a blessing. These are amazing times to be in Indonesia.

We feel blessed every day to be here. During the firesides I kept thinking about President Hinckley and his vision for PEF. I thought of how proud he would be to see these stalwart young people standing to be counted as participants in a Program designed by the Lord. Their goodness and attitude are overwhelming, and I am usually brought to tears when I see them working together. We also received some new assignments concerning PEF & Employment Resource work. We are to buy a computer, and use the office (it's good we cleaned it) for program support services.

We received word Wed. that President Groberg and Sister Groberg were coming Friday morning to spend Fri. and Sat. going out with the Elders and Sisters to teach. They attended DDM, (weekly district missionary mtg.) with all, and then set out with the missionaries. We had dinner with them that night and spent a couple of hours going over a few things. Rumor has it that they will make Solo (Surakarta) a stake in April. When I type those words I just cry. It will be the 2nd Stake in the entire nation... the answer to years of hard work and prayers from countless missionaries and members. We get to be a part of this... Oh the joy! But... there is work to do, and that was the two hours of discussion.

Then today we had District (like Stake) Council, and received some new assignments from the District Pres. He would like Elder Greenway to continue to advise the Branch Councils concerning the Rescue Effort. It is doing what the Lord intended it to do - bringing in the lost sheep. But the second assignment took my breath away. You know, you wonder from time to time why you received THIS call, to THIS place. Why things work out the way they do, how our assignment changed from the first weeks here, and how things have evolved. President Agus asked Elder to be an adviser to the Presidency (whoever they may be) and to the Council as we change from District to Stake. He wants to make sure it is done correctly from the beginning. I thought of the years that Dad has spent on the High Council, the many assignments, his knowledge and appreciation concerning the government of the Church. The Spirit bore witness to me at that moment that we are here by revelation to those who made that decision months ago.

We also are part of a committee formed to put together a Day of Service for the entire District. The idea was formed in the mind of Elder Johnson, our District Leader. He then ran it by me, and you know how I love a good community project! So, President Agus gave us the nod, and we had our first meeting right after Council today.

During this week, we also called on Dr. Susianto, an ophthalmologist, who we are hoping will get on board for the LDS Charities healthy eyes program. LDS Charities will pay for everything if the surgeon will donate his services for 100 Cataract surgeries. He seemed interested, so maybe... Add to that, our dear Ricko, the young man heading to SLC on his mission attended his last home Sacrament meeting and shared his strong and emotional testimony. So, as you can see, it has indeed been quite a week.

We know this is where we are to be. We are grateful for your encouragement, and your love. We are delighted to be a part of the greatest work in the world. There are such great blessings that come from being here, some that are even a marvelous work and a wonder, (like we sleep through each other’s snoring!) And we encourage you all to take part (the work, not the snoring).

Love one another,
Melanie and Ron

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