Happy Father's Day to all the Extraordinary Fathers who are reading this letter!
I has been a much better week than last, especially for poor Elder Greenway . So, we had a lot of catching up to do.... We took off Monday with the Sisters, and headed for Boyalali. Moko, an engineer on the water project, had been contacted by two women (interested about the Church) who are cooking for the workers on the project that do not live on the mountain. Many of these workers are members of the Church and stay in the village building at night. One woman is older, and she has a daughter who is married and has two children. They are Christian, and they have been impressed by the many members they work around.
Anyway, Moko contacted the Sisters and since we usually check on the Water Project twice monthly, we offered the ride. Well, it was a resounding successful first visit, and it looks like we will be going to the project weekly so the Sisters can teach these delightful women. Elder and I try to talk with them, and are getting so we can understand what they try to tell us, but we cannot give a discussion. Besides! The Sisters told us that every so often the ladies have a question, and Moko answers in Javanese. Well, not even the Sisters can speak Javanese!
On our way home we stopped for Javanese Fast food. Elder (still getting over his upset) had Nasi Goreng (fried rice), I had Bihun (Javanese Noodles and veggies) Sister Neis had Bak Coy (saucy, steamy veggies) Sister Blake had Spesial Paket (sort of a combo plate) and Bono had Sop Rusuk (rib soup). Fun!!! We will go again Monday.
On Wednesday we headed out to visit, but we also had piano... so the visiting was short, but successful. We are looking for less active YSAs. We went to find Dewi, a granddaughter that lives with Bro. and Sis. Marwoto. She was working at Mata Hari (the JC Penny of Indonesia), so we visited with her active grandparents. They are a pioneer couple who joined in 1977. They would love to see this grandchild active.
We will call back again and also send the Sisters to visit with her. These wonderful Sister missionaries... The Elders are assigned to a Ward, so their biking about town is generally limited to the ward where they are assigned. The Sisters, however, go wherever they are needed, which is all over Solo and beyond as paragraph 1 explained. Actually, they even come to Tuesday piano to help me. This past Tuesday I really appreciated it because I ended up with 10 students, 7 which came within the first hour. And! Joy of Joys, Kiki agreed to play one song for Sacrament meeting the end of July. She will play the opening song, Aster will play the Sacrament song (using the correct left hand...she usually makes it up as she goes along), and Ezra will play the closing!!!!!! I agreed to play the rest song if the Bishop needs one.
Thursday we had a new request. Sister Indah, Bishop Awi's wife, is the Primary President and she wants her primary teachers and leaders to learn the Primary Songs. So she asked if I would come and play for an hour from 5-6 p.m. so they can just sing. So, on Thursday we took off to find Tyas. SHE WAS HOME! We visited with her mom (active) and her married expectant sister, Anggun. Anggun is married to a Muslim fellow, but was very interested in our conversation. In fact, I felt her desire to learn more than Tyas. We have asked the Sisters to follow up Tyas and Anggun.
We then went looking for Chandra Mulyano (moved – address unknown), but found, across the alley, Arif's (a young member) father and brother at home very sick, so Elder Greenway and Bono gave them a blessing. Mulyani (the mom) was very happy to see us, and we handed out candy to all the neighbor kids. We then went looking for Adriyati, (no longer at that address). Then we were off to sing. On a side note, when we got to Solo, Elder and Sister Grover told us that we would be amazed at how long it takes to get anywhere. They don't measure distance by miles here, but by time. So the activities I just told you about took from noon until 6 p.m.
Friday we decided to take donuts to DDM! Oh how missionaries LOVE donuts. We have been hard at work going over the YSA lists with anyone who will talk to us. We have really worked to update those lists. We have typed and re-typed. So at DDM we were able to give the Missionaries updated (so far) lists. For our purpose (YSA) we eliminate the married "missing", their purpose is to help the Ward members to find them. We are also trying to find where members who have moved out of Solo have gone. Bono told us he went with Elder and Sister Roberts, (about 5 or so years ago), to find a young man and that young man had moved to Jakarta. Well, the list still has him at the same address as five years ago. We have asked for help to train these new Ward Clerks.
After DDM we found Bagus Romadhan's family (he was at work), and was able to talk to Dimas (YSA) and Riski (YM) from Sister Endang's family. We invited them to come join with the Stake for Youth Conference (July 3-5), or to come to the All Indonesian YSA Conference in August, or church, or English Classes, or activities..... We have a prayer in all their homes, and hope the Spirit will touch their hearts. If just one comes...
WELL, THAT IS JUST WHAT HAPPENED!!!! HURRAY!!!!!! Last week I told you about "Dika" who had left his mission because he was so homesick, and then the family and he were so embarrassed, so they stopped coming??? Last night we had our big Solo YSA Bowling Party, and Dika came and had so much fun, laughed and goofed around with all the others. We had about 20 attend, and Gunawan, from the Jebres ward out-bowled everyone even Elder! They were all so fun to watch. Some scored a whopping 28, while Gunawan score 168. Poor Yua, heading into frame #4 had a score of 9. It cost the Stake $1.50 per bowler. Most of them cannot afford that, so they have never been bowling. We will for sure go again. They were taking pictures, and when I say that I mean posing with bowling balls, posing on their approach, even a group picture with them laying on the floor right in front of a lane! So much fun. We were proud to be there with them.
One by one we'll work on this. We have seen some success with young people returning, we have seen some success with the active visiting their lost friends (that's what happened with Dika), we have had parents ask us for help with their older children, and we have seen the Ward members becoming involved. One by one, that's how we are all blessed. If everyone helps one by one, just imagine! I come from an extended family where many were less active. Elder Greenway comes from family where most never had the joy of knowing the Gospel. Many left this world without the blessings of the temple. Some returned later in life, some did not, and some never knew. I came from a faithful lineage that joined in far away places and left everything to make the sacrifice to gather to Zion. Elder Greenway's parents were so faithful and served two missions. How could we ever face any of them if we didn't help each other? "For of him unto whom much is given much is required;" D&C 82:3.
We are absolutely sure we have been given much...
Let's look after each other, one by one...
Elder and Sister Greenway