Sunday, August 26, 2012

Week 50 Photos 1

The FTMs expressed concerned that their English Classes were not drawing more attendees, so I suggested advertising.  This is what we came with.  It says:

"Open for Everyone, English Class, FREE, Class Tuesday and Friday, 6:30 to 7:30 PM, Taught by Native Speakers."

Week 50 Photos 2

Here are Sister Dwi and Brother Untung in their home kitchen/home business where they make Sasis Solo - flavored, ground chicken wrapped in a thin crepe and deep fired (looks like a spring roll) and served with cabe (a chili pepper).  They make about 300 - 350 a day, maybe more with special orders.  Bono says they sell them in lots of 10 and get about 800 rupia each (8 cents).  That's about $25/day minus expenses.

More of the kitchen.

The kitchen sink drains into this floor drain area.  They have two refrigerators (one in their living room and one in their kitchen) to store the ingredients and the pre-fried product.  They then market them to the local waruns (street food carts, small restaurants).

Week 50 Photos 3

Here is Brother Sutarno's (Agus' and Broto's father) business.  He makes a Cheeto looking snack that is a deep fried egg-flour mixture.  The slabs are sun dried about 12 hours then cut in "long sticks."

The "sticks" are then dried another 12-24 hours before frying.

A neighbor nearby, had a brick making business.  Here they are sun-drying prior to being fired.

The heat source for the kiln is rice husks.  It looks like sawdust.

He makes a lot of bricks!!!!

Week 50 Photos 4

On Saturday, I attended a Self-Employment Seminar that seemed to focus on marketing and expanding one's business.  There was a good attendence.

Elder Subandriyo spoke.  He is our Area Authority Seventy.

Elder Kusumarmanto also participated. He and his wife are the mission couple in Jakarta, called as country directors for Employment Resources and Perpetual Education Fund. They are our bosses.

Week 50

Aaaaaaagggggghhhh!!!!!!!! Week 50!!!!!!!

Indonesia has this really terrible law that will not let Sr. Missionaries stay in their country longer than 23 months!!!! That means that on Aug. 26, Today :( , we can only stay another year. When we passed the 9 month mark we both agreed we were very glad we didn't choose an 18 month mission, but here is the date we have dreaded.

Now understand, we do miss our beautiful grandchildren and are sad to miss their important milestones, for instance - Gavin, Sara and Kyle's oldest boy, started kindergarten this past week. She sent a picture..... so cute! There are others that are headed to school this week, and we hope their parents give them a hug from us, and tell them how proud we are of the whole bunch! But, Today at the Jebres Ward we watched as Xavi (Zaphi) and Javi (Javee) toddled around during Sacrament Meeting. By the end of the meeting no parent had their own kids. It was so funny.... Musical Babies! The greatest part is that some of them will come to us now, and Bro. Knorpp had Purwono's  (their driver's ) little Paris on his lap the whole meeting. It is hard to imagine not seeing them grow up!

Last week's Zoo adventure was great! No edible fatalities. We enjoyed the Zoo, the missionaries, and the food. After the zoo visit the missionaries had in mind where they wanted to go "fill up". However, there were more missionaries than cars because some had come by train. So we threw them in the already full cars and drove to the 'warung' , that was closed because of Ramadan. So we drove on to another choice, which had gone bankrupt and was closed (that might have been a blessing???), SO Elder Greenway, who was slowly becoming paralyzed, made an executive decision, and we all ended up at 2 very popular Indonesian food sources..... KFC and McDs. They are right across the street from each other, so half went to one, and half the other. We are very happy we spent the time with these fine Elders, because we found out that the entire male population of our District is being transferred, minus 2 on Thursday. Always an adventure.

On Tuesday I had my 3rd non-member piano student walk through the door. Her name is Fifi, and she and her mom are going to the English Classes that meet on Tuesday evening. So they will come to piano and stay until English. She is # 37... but she has had some music lessons, owns a keyboard, and so will move quickly along. I found out that Bro. Haryono's granddaughter would like lessons, but she will come on Wednesdays at Sopomo. I have 23 students at Kapatihan on Tuesday, and only 14 on Wednesday. The Sisters will be coming on Tuesday to help me, and Widap will come if I call her. Elders Jameson and Mokodompis were coming on Wednesdays.

Wed. and Thurs. We did what we love to do best, we visited the members. Wednesday we visited Bro. and Sis. Haryono. They own a florist shop in their home, and he speaks some English. When we first came to Solo, Haryono's had a grown son die of kidney disease. We attended the funeral. Bro. Haryono is the Stake Employment Resource person, and on Saturday he held his first workshop, which was very successful with 42 attending. Elders Subandriyo and Kusamarmantos came from Jakarta, along with 2 successful entrepreneurs. They taught marketing, and good business tactics. Elder Greenway was asked to speak, also, and really enjoyed the day. BUT, on Wednesday we talked about many other things: About the Church growing in Solo; About working to produce a Branch in Boyalali; About building stronger testimonies. It was a wonderful visit.

On Thursday we visited Bro. Untung and Sister Dwi. Every morning at 4 a.m. they arise and make SasisSolo (SausageSolo). They grind and cook chicken with sugar, garlic, and onion. That is the filling. Then they make the crepes, thin crepes about 6 inches in diameter. They put about a tablespoon of filling in a crepe and fold and roll. Then they fry them and deliver 700 of them to 13 different Warungs around Solo. Then in the late afternoon, they repeat the entire process again. They showed us the whole process and I even made some on Saturday on my own. I might be getting the hang of this crepe business. SasisCarlisle here we come!!!!!!

Then we visited Bother Sutarno. He is the father of my wonderful piano student, Agus. He makes the Indonesian version of Cheetohs, only without the cheese. They make this thick egg and flour mixture, and they set it in flat blocks in the sun to dry. It looks like extra-very-super thick batter that dries and they cut it into a clear sort of macaroni looking stuff . BUT, then they throw it in oil, and it POOFFFFSSS!!!!! puffs up like a fat cheeto. It is a little salty. He makes these by the gadzillion, all day, every day. This is also done at his home. Most of Indonesia's food industries are home industries that provide a living for these families. We know many of them, and they work so hard.

Finally, we visited Bro. and Sis. Sumarno. He is an electrician, and they are the parents of Ari, the young lady Elder Greenway is helping to get to the BYU-H. Also living there are Denok and her husband Ari (yes, her sister is Ari and her husband is Ari), who live in the Solo 1 ward with the parents, but attend the Jebres Ward. Ari and Denok have a 7 month old son, Bara. About this time Elder Greenway started sneezing and hacking, but we needed to go to Primary Singing, so we quickly did that and hurried home for him to medicate and drop into bed.

He was a sick guy on Friday, so we sent the cookies to DDM with the Knorpps, and then Bono came to get me for a Solo 2 talent show, and also to teach Gospel English at Kapatiahan. We talked about the days of the week, and the Sabbath Day. We also learned about weekdays, and weekends. They wondered about What???? we did on Saturday if you do not work and go to school, which they do. Uskup Awik, (Bishop Awik) wanted to know how many hours a week people in America work. We talked about the 40 hr. work week, but I told him many people work longer hours. I explained how Elder Greenway started work usually at 7 a.m. and got home at 6:30 p.m. He smiled at me and touched each of the days of the week, except Sunday, I had written on the board, and said that they work all those days, "but we are not rich".

CRUNCH! That was my heart. It is so true..... most Indonesian members work very hard to take care of their families that usually live 2 families to a house, and still barely make it. The Church is really trying to help this with PEF and the Employment Resource Programs, but the fact is they are still as a nation, very poor. It will take a while for Indonesia to "grow up" in the world. We hope to see the members move faster and be the leaders that help things to progress.

We KNOW that the Church in Indonesia is headed for great growth. We all can see how the Leaders in SLC have great faith in the members here. The humanitarian programs are very strong, the Church gives so much to the poor of the world, we are so humbled by the Christ-like love we have witnessed. We pray, and we hope you will pray with us, to see it burst forth with goodness and joy to all of those who partake, here and in other lands, as well. Pray for Boyalali!!! Pray that the right doors will open to see the work progress there. We are so grateful to be a part of this work. We encourage all to be good missionaries. We know it is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We have seen some wonderful miracles, and felt His love for this part of His vineyard. We love you all!

Mom & Dad, Elder and Sister, Melanie and Ron.

Week 49 Photos - 3

On Saturday, because of the Independence Day holiday, we had the missionaries from the district come to our apartment for an in-service presented by Sister and Elder Knorpp about Family History and how they could use it as a tool in their missionary efforts.  We even hauled the Knopp's couch down to our apartment so all would have a good seat.   It was really informative and most of the missionaries got on-line into New Family Search and did a little of their own "work."  I think the information will stick and they will continue on after their missions, especially those from Indonesia, who were shown resources what they could use for their own research.  Sister Greenway prepared about 6 pounds of Sloppy Joe and the missionaries brought 5 liters of soda. Do I need to mention there were NO LEFT-OVERS!!!

Between the Knorpps i-Pad, their laptop connected to a TV, and our laptop, the missionaries were able to at least set up accounts and see what was available to members and non-members on NewFamilySearch and

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Week 49 Photos - 2

On Monday we went to Ngadirojo (Boyolali County) to introduced the new Sisters to Kini and Markini.  They are the two who asked to learn about the church after spending so much time feeding the water project work crew, about 7-8 of whom were members of the church.  Brother Sutarno offers each bishop in the stake two jobs on the projects for those who might need work.

The village was all decorated for Independence Day 17 August (1945).

After being invited into Markini's home for a snack of water, rice & peanut chips and fermented casava wrapped in banana leaf, Sister Greenway and I took a little walk "around the block."  We met these children and took the requisite photo.  Hey, Brother Grover, now I can understand how you ended up with about 20,000 pics by the time you went home!!!!

Here are Sisters Pontoan and Sister Baantjer (Indonesian and Dutch ancestry from near Price, Utah) with Kini, Markini, and Kini's husband.

I shifted the camera to the left to pick up Boo and that side of the house. You can also see the food they provided.

The I shifted to the right so you can see the sleeping platform. The kettle holds the drinkable water, boiled earlier in the day.  Cooking is done outside in a sheltered area, and just outside the house and up the street about 20 meters is a new MCK.  Water will be coming to the house later in the next month or so.

Finally, I thought I'd include this.  It is the dry season and we've noticed that there are now tobacco fields where there had been vegetables before.  Apparently, the tobacco grows better with less rain.  Many of the villagers strip leaves and dry them at their homes.  Some will even shread the leaves and dry them on large screens for roll-your-own cigarettes.  In some areas, you will see huge drying barns/sheds.  I think most of this is just harvested and sold and the drying is done elsewhere.

Week 49 Photos - 1

On Sunday evening, we attended another wedding.  The bride is the sister of Sister Desi, married to Denok; she is also sister to Ari (Stake YM Pres.) and Purwono (Frankie).  The bride (Tari) had been married before to a fellow who began to refuse to let her go to church; after her divorce she met and helped convert her new husband.  Here she she is pictured  with her new hubby, Uskup (Bishop) Awik and his wife Inda with Javier (Javi).

One of the attendees at the wedding was Purwantari.  She is the Stake YW president.  Here she is holding Javi.  That's her mother (Wiji) peeking in fom the right.   She is married to Sukro, a member of the Stake High Council, past Branch President.  Brother Sukro takes care of the property around the Kapatihan building and the own a small warung (mom & pop store) in their house.  He delivers drinking water to us and the Knorpps, too.

Here are the Knorpps enjoying refreshments after the edding.  That's Purwono, their driver talking to Sukro.

And here is Karen!  She is Purwono's oldest of his three daughters.  She's one of Sister Greenway's piano students and I think she smiles all the time!!

Week 49

Selamat Sore Semuanya!!!!!  Gembira Idul Fitri!!!!!

For the past month the Islam community has been celebrating Ramadan.  During Ramadan the Muslims rise very early, with the cry from their Mosque (which we can't tell exactly which cry they listen to, since the "singing" from the Mosque is often and loud) and eat a big breakfast and then an air raid horn goes off (I am not kidding or mocking, just stating a fact) and that is it for the eating during the day.  Then about sundown the air raid horn goes off again, and that signals that the fast is over and everyone feasts.  Now that goes on all month until the last 2 days of Ramadan and that is called Idul Fitri.  During Idul Fitri the singing increases, everyone returns to their "home villages", or their family's central home, and they set off fireworks all night, everyone chants in the streets all night, until Ramadan is over WHICH WILL BE TUESDAY, FINALLY!!!!   Sorry, but this makes the 24th of July, and Independence Day look Mickey Mouse.  The traffic is unbelievable.... (Bono's brother left Jakarta at 3 p.m. on Friday to travel 400 miles by bus to get home for Idul Fitri, and as of this morning (Sunday) at 9:30 he was still west of Semarang going about 6 miles in 5 hours...).

There is one other tradition that Widap told us about today.  Seems that during Idul Fitri, Muslim children confess their wrong doings to their "elders" (this includes neighbors, uncles, aunts, etc.) and then these people give the youngsters money!   Now, I know a few kids with a few things they should really confess, but I don't know which is worse.... knowing the confession or paying for the bad deed!!!!  AND I am not sure I want my neighbors in Carlisle to KNOW all those things about my Children!!!  Such as it is, our Stake Presidents daughter made over $10 "spilling her guts" to her neighbors.  Ramadan is a religious holiday, the most important of the year, and I do not want to make light of it, and while Idul Fitri is part of Ramadan, the entire country celebrates that portion... so this becomes the reality of the situation.  (We will survive, really!!!)  And if this isn't enough for the is my sister, Janis's birthday to boot!!!!   I don't know if the world can handle it, but HAPPY 29th BIRTHDAY DEAREST NEATEST BIG SISTER!

While we are surviving Idul Fitri, Adam and Amy and family participated in the Joseph Hanson Family Reunion yesterday.  They did return and report that they had an absolutely wonderful time.  They met a bunch of my super cousins, learned more about me??? and found out that my father had an imaginary friend whose name was Jeppnagee!  I am wondering if that is Indonesian for confession!!!  We were so grateful for their participation in that fabulous event.  In fact, we found out that our various families have been to the Lisburn Community and Idaho State Fairs.  They have gone on vacation without their luggage, gone on vacation with buffaloes hanging off their car, and survived 13 bottles of exploding peaches!!!!  (and we think Idul Fitri is tough).  We are constantly amazed at their comings and goings!!!!

While they were off "destroying the world", we were calmly serving as happy missionaries in paradise.  On Tuesday, we attended the new Zone Training Meeting with the Zone leaders leading and instructing.  They did a fabulous job!  They had asked us to plan a game for the break, so Elder Greenway put together a Q & A game about the Rescue Effort with questions about the relationship between the Full time Missionaries and the role of the Ward Councils, the responsibilities of the Ward Mission Leaders, and the responsibilities of the Missionaries to work within a Ward.  It was very enlightening and important, PLUS fun!!!  We had to leave early for piano, but we were happy to have been a part of that meeting.

Wednesday we went visiting.  We started with an inspired visit to Sister Jinten an older single sister who runs a roadside shop that sells all sorts of things.  We found that she had just been robbed.  It seems that some unscrupulous people come to Solo during Idul Fitri, put on the Muslim women headscarves and rob these roadside businesses.  The woman had stepped behind the single counter to "look" for a certain item, and while Sister Jinten was not looking, reached in her hand bag and stole her money.  She was so distraught.  We purchased some batik to help her out, and we gave her the pumpkin bread we always take along, but it seemed like a pittance considering how she felt.  We also prayed with her, and hugged her and tried our best to help.  Today when we saw her she told us she was happy and that she really liked the pumpkin bread.  (We are always sort of guessing that this is what they are saying, but we are getting more sure of ourselves.)  Our past District Pres. lives very close to Sister Jinten, so we stopped by to say hello.  Brother Agus has such a wonderful family, it is a delight to spend time with them and we probably stayed to long.  We talked a bunch about how to make Pumpkin Bread.  They steam their cakes and brownies. We had to hurry to get to piano at Sopomo.  I have a new student there, her name is Sonia and she has excellent English.  In fact, the Stake usually puts her in charge of the "translating" for Stake Conference.  We love her, and she is a great help to the Senior Couples. 

On Thursday we took our new Sisters, Sister Pontoan and Sister Bantjer, to Boyalali to meet the family of investigators we have there.  They are no longer meeting at the Water Project offices because as far as the Church goes, the project is done.  So we met at Sister Kini's home, with Sister Markini, and Sister Kini's husband.  They invited us is always amazing to us how a home can have a dirt floor and be as clean and neat as these homes.  They offered us some snacks.  One was the rice wafers with peanuts that are so good, and the other was new.  Bono told us they take cassava (it is the root of a small tree that they use like a potato) and steam and mash it, then they put a large spoonful on a banana leaf and sprinkle it with sugar and yeast.  Then it is wrapped up an left to ferment over-night.  It tastes sort of like my mother's roll dough, however before I knew how it was made I asked Sister Pontoan quietly if it would be breaking the Word of Wisdom to eat it.  I could just imagine Bono taking four tipsy missionaries back to Solo.  She and Bono assured us it was fine.  Anyway, Sister Kini and I were so happy to see each other that we just hugged and hugged.  We can't tell you how badly we desire this to move forward.  Sometimes you have that feeling that you knew these people before, and that they have been waiting for you.  We are sure.....

We gave Bono Friday (Indonesian Independence Day) and Saturday off because he had family coming to spend Idul Fitri.  But we didn't just sit around.  On Saturday we had an "inservice" for our District (all 14 missionaries) at our apartment.  Elder and Sister Knorpp talked to the Missionaries about Family History as a missionary tool.  Did you know that retention is much higher after baptism if new members are involved in Family History, and is MUCH higher if new members are doing Temple Baptisms. The Knorpps are doing a fabulous job with family history in the Solo area. They are a great missionary couple! We also had sloppy joes.  You all know how much we love to feed missionaries!!!!  They ate about 6 lbs of ground beef made into sloppy joe, 2 packages of chips, 5 liters of soda, and 5 dozen cookies!!!!  We JUST LOVE IT!!

We and the Knorpps did some walking, ran to the mall, and worked on some info. we were compiling for our Stake President.  Today we met with him concerning the Young Singles, he wants us to continue to lead the four Ward groups here in Solo.  We asked if we could have the 1st Sunday evening, and the 3rd Saturday evening set aside for them on the Stake Calendar.  He agreed.  We also talked to him about teaching English.  He would like us to teach the Seminary Students at the Sopomo building after Seminary.  We hoped he would let the Elders do it, and that we could teach a second Gospel English course to the adults of the two Wards.  But he was steadfast and immovable, and so we will be teaching English to the Seminary students from the Solo 1 and Solo 2 Wards on Thursdays, our only evening open during the week, and the Elders or Sonia will teach on Tuesday evenings.  We also talked to him about Primary Nurseries.  Seems that the nurseries in the Stake have no structure.  Sister Indah, Prim. Pres. of the Jebres Ward asked me about her Nursery and so I told her how it was suppose to function.  They don't even have toys.  We then did some homework, and we don't think they know there is a manual for Nursery.  Sooooooo, we gave the President some pages from "Behold, Your Little Ones" and talked to him about toys and a toy cabinet that can lock, and he asked if we can get the manuals in Bahasa, so we are looking into that.  We are hoping that we can do some work with the Primaries.  They could use some structure.  Elder told him we only have a year left, and he was surprised.  So we said "Keep us Busy"!!!!!!!!!!!  We love him, he is such a young amazing individual.

One last event!!!!!!  Elder Greenway has been working with a young sister (about 25), a return missionary, who has wanted to go to BYU - Hawaii for a while.  The foreign students have to pass either the Michigan or TOEFL English test to get in.  Ari has taken the Michigan test twice before and failed (quite frankly because she didn't prepare).  So Elder Greenway has been working with her for months and months.  It has been a slow process.  When she came to him, she was thinking he would just "get her in".  But he made it clear that if she wanted it she would have to work at it.  She was a little upset, and for a bit just stopped the process.  But slowly she began to work, and he has been very patient with her.  WELL, SHE PASSED THE TEST!!!!! and will begin 3 on-line courses this semester, secured the tuition and is working toward attending the campus in Hawaii.  He is so proud of her, and she is so happy.  He also wanted you to know that he fixed the gas line without blowing up the apartment.  I couldn't use my easy-bake oven, because the gas was not coming fast enough to keep up the temperature.  So my little Willy fixed it!!! And we are still alive to talk about it.

Well, my goodness, this letter has gone on and on.  Tomorrow we and the Knorpps are taking the missionaries to the Jogja Zoo (usually about 2 1/2 hours) as a Zone trip.  We hope we get there before we have to turn around and come back.  We hope we have no buffalo hanging in the window of our car, and we hope the Lion does not escape and eat the Camel, which did happen at the Solo Zoo.  Pray for us....

mom & dad

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Week 48

To all those we cherish!!!!!

We hear you have been having rain in PA., but I think that's about the only place in the US that it has been raining.  We have been very dry here also, it clouds up and threatens, but then just goes away.  I don't think the rain hurt the peach growers in Cumberland County.  Emily, Lynn, and Rebekah bottle 60 quarts last week.  They were all for Emily's family, they will do more this week for Rebekah.  Lynn's Kathryn doesn't tolerate peaches to well, so they all agreed to help her bottle applesauce when the apples come on.  However, I am afraid I should not have left them alone to do this......  You see, each year we set up the Richins family large camp stove on the deck of the 100 Sunset Dr. house, and then we can have two stoves running to speed things up.  Well, this year Emily turned on the gas and clicked the lighter and ...nothing.... so she continued to click, and click, and click until BOOM!!!!!!   She is now the only labor and delivery nurse at Harrisburg Hospital without eyelashes, well at least with severely shortened eyelashes.  I hope they appreciate those peaches!!!!  But I also have it on good authority that Lynn is sporting a wounded thumb from about a half bushel of "cling-stone" peaches that were thrown in, and Rebekah has so many nicks on her fingers they were considering work gloves.  I dunno, ya can't leave 'em alone for even one season........  They did have fun anyway!

This week was a tremendous mixture of emotions.  On Monday, Elder Greenway and I took Sisters Blake and Neis to the airport to leave Solo.  I mentioned last week that Sister Blake was headed home and Sister Neis was going to Malang.  Sister Blake was on her way to Jakarta, then leaving at midnight for Hong Kong, then on to Seattle, and then on to Dallas.  She was leaving with a group.  You grow to love these missionaries, and so of course we told her to "call us when you get there"!!  I put that in quotes because for countless years, when our loved ones would leave home, that would always go with them.  Well, she didn't call, but she did email!!!!  So not only did we know she was okay, but she also let Elder Greenway know that her first steak in 19 months was PERFECTION!  (He was soooooooooooooooo jealous).

Monday night our sweet Farida came to stay at our apartment so that we could help her, and get her to the bus station early the next morning.  She was soooooo very nervous.  She was leaving her family, leaving her country, leaving everything she knew, she had NEVER flown on an airplane before, and she had never been to an airport of any size, and the next day she was flying half way around the world to start a new life!!!!!!!  She was literally bouncing around the room.  So we helped here with her carry- on, (thank heaven Elder and Sister Grover, you picked out such a large one all those months ago or we would have been in a pickle), she didn't know all of the rules about carry-ons and so we got that settled.  But she was just so "active" that I finally asked her if she would like a blessing.  Elder Greenway gave her a tremendous blessing of comfort, and the Spirit gave her guidance, that there would be people placed in her way to help her and to guide her through the trip to Arizona.  She flew from Jakarta on Tues. to Tokyo where she had an 8 HOUR LAYOVER!  But she had plenty of time to find her gate, and when she got there she saw a group of Sister Missionaries returning to the US from the Philippines.  She approached them and told them she was a member of the Church.  One of them asked her where she was from and she told them Indonesia.  So, that same Sister just took a stab in the dark and asked her if she knew Elder and Sister Greenway.  Farida told this Sister, who is Elder  Greenway's  sister's daughter (our neice Katie), that Farida was baptized by Elder Greenway.  What an unbelievable miracle, and dear tender mercy.  Those good Sisters took care of Farida until they parted at LAX, and it was amazing to see the picture of Farida with Katie!!!!  Who da thunk!!!  We so appreciated Amy, Eli, Cecily, and Elia representing our family by meeting Katie when she arrived in SLC.  That cute family are becoming busy ambassadors for the Greenways.  We couldn't ask for better!!! 

We also took our little Hendro to the airport on Friday.  Most Indonesian Missionaries go on their mission at age 18, because of laws governing there higher education.  They also cannot go to the MTC in Manila until the Mission here gets a big enough group to send.  Our Mission must provide a teacher, and so the group and the teacher all has to come together at the right time.  Well, Hendro has been on his mission 7 months, and he left this week to go to the MTC with a group of 11 (I think) other missionaries, and to also go to the Temple for the first time.  He was so excited, but we will miss him.  He comes from a very tiny branch in Magelang, and is happy, and a wonderful Elder.  So between Hendro, and Sisters Blake and Neis, and Farida we were feeling like parents with a lonely nest.  BUT today, we picked up Sis. Pontoan (spelling?) from Indonesia who we know well, Sis. Baantjer from Ferron, Utah (Paula, her father is the middle school music teach there) whose father is Dutch and whose mother was born in WAY eastern Indonesia, but immigrated to Holland when she was eight, and an Elder that for the life of us we can't remember his name, who we didn't know was coming with the Sisters, who has marvelous English, and was delightful, and who we will get to know shortly.  So, our little Solo family isn't so lost after all.

YOU SHOULD HEAR BILLA PLAY "WEDDING DAY AT TROLHAUGEN (spelling)!!!!  She is the extremely talented 13 yr. old Muslim girls I teach.  I am just so darn proud of her.  She is also now taking English from the Elders at Kapatihan!  Her father brings her to all these things and then patiently waits for her.  I love that she is spending time around the Elders.  She now has friends at piano, and she and I are having fun.  We love to see these seeds planted.  Who knows?  Before Farida left she brought a young man to Church who is coming regularly, attending English, and receiving the lessons from the Elders.  Syaiful (Shyful) has expressed an interest in piano, so we will see.  His parents sell strawberries, so we ordered some from him because they are pretty rare in the stores.  He is an educated wonderful young man, with great English and a kind heart. We try to spend time with him as often as we can.

Elder Greenway and I also decided to start to work on the 4 Wards rosters of Single Adults.  We have pretty well organized the Young Single Adults lists, so we are sort of moving on.  Thursday we visited 2 widowed Sisters, 3 less active Sisters and attempted to slip in 1 single adult visit, but the young man was sleeping.  That seems to be the "reason" we don't see a number of these young people.  But, nevertheless, we did visit with his family, and that was a plus.  We had such a great time visiting those 5 Sisters.  They love you, and it is really easy to love them right back.  They love to tell you how old they are, and I respond, "Ahhh, Ibu, anda cantik sekali!"  (“Ahh, mother, you very beautiful!”).  And they are!!!!  They also have age related aches and pains, and so we commiserate with them, “Saya juga!" and I show them my arthritic fingers and Elder Greenway demonstrates his sore back.  Then we give them roti pisan (banana bread), and share a message about how every member is needed. We really want them to know they are needed and loved.  Have we told you lately how much we love these dear, sweet, Indonesian people.  These Sisters are exactly "the least of these" that the Savior spoke of when he admonished us to love one another.  Their circumstances are so very humble, but there spirits are great.  We love to visit.

This evening, Sunday, we had a wedding at the Jebres Ward.  Ari, Desi, and Purwono, have a sister who was married to a Muslim, but after their marriage he refused to allow her to come to church.  So eventually they divorced.  Later, she met and converted a wonderful fellow, and tonight they were married by Bishop Awik.  The ceremony is very much like Sacrament meeting, except instead of the Sacrament, you have a wedding ceremony.  There are talks, and hymns, etc.  They asked me to play for the youth to sing, and so we got to be a part of the evening.  The chapel was packed, and the couple, who sit in two chairs and face the congregation, looked beautiful with Javanese clothing.  It was to start at 5, but didn't actually start until 6.  Even the Indonesians call it Indonesian rubber time.  But it was lovely, and we were happy to be there.

We are grateful for the notes of encouragement we get from many of you.  We love to hear the news about the Carlisle Ward, your families and so many other important things.  We hope you know how much we miss you all, and love you.  We hate missing important occasions in your lives, but we love to make occasions important here, for the benefit of these dear Solo friends.  Thank you for your understanding.  We pray for you every day!

Elder dan Sister

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Week 47 Photos 1

About once a month or so, the missionaries are allowed to make a district trip.  Many had not seen Mt. Merapit, the active volcano near Solo.  For that matter, neither had Sister Greenway or Elder and Sister Knorpp.

Ok - We'll get out of the way so you can see the volcano!!!!

Here's the district.  Sister Blake, second from the left, is heading home in 6 days.  She'll be missed!!!

And what's an outing without lunch?  Sisters Blake and Neis, Elder and Sister Knorpp.

Oh, yeah and Ratatouille...

There's a rat in the restaurant!!!!!  Where????

Week 47 Photos 2

We must be entering papaya season.  Though you can see papaya year round, the tree seem to be full of the fruit now!

Here are two of Sister Greenway's piano students - Bimo (L) and Fafa (R) and their Mom.

 One week when we were in Ngadirojo; the children were all getting weighed by a public health nurse.  There is a concern because the children are under-weight in the village above Ampel Kota, but at weight at Ngadirojo.  And the health department didn't know why.

Here is Elder Knorpp speaking with Syaiful, a Muslim friend of Farida's who she brought to English Class and wanted to know more about Family History.

And here are Sisters Greenway and Knorpp outside of the Kapatihan building waiting for Bono.

Week 47

Hello Great family and friends from very sunny Indonesia!

We have not had rain in quite some time, yet I hesitate to even mention this with the on-going drought there in the U.S.  I know from reading online that the circumstances have become dire for many farmers in the mid-west.  It is normal for here, and no one is too worried.  With the farms terraced way up the sides of the volcanoes, they worry more about torrential rains.  They just plant tobacco when it is dry and it does well.  Also doing well is our sweet little Luke, Matt and Tanya's baby that we were so worried about.  He is being blessed today in Ohio, and we are so jealous that Emily, Joel and their families are there.  John and family would have gone, but he is graduating from Goucher College with his Masters Degree today.  These are the days when we long for Star Trek technology, and wish we could beam there and back!!!!

We had a good visit in Ampel on Monday.   You'll remember that we cart the Sisters there each week to teach the 2 wonderful ladies who have cooked for the men of the Water Project for nearly a year.  Talk about "golden".   When we arrived, the older of the 2 sisters came out to talk to me.  She was sharing her testimony with me in Bahasa, and I was sharing the best I could right back.  I told her the joy she was feeling was the Roh Kudus, and that saya tahu benar ini apa anda belajar.  These women truly love the Gospel, and they are anxious to have their friends and family learn also.  One sad note is that wonderful Sister Blake is leaving for home tomorrow, and her amazing companion Sister Neis (brand new in the mission field, but you would never know) is being transferred to Malang.  So, they set up their return appointment for today, Sunday, to say good-bye and to teach one more lesson.  Well, this morning at church, Bro. Sutarno, the General Contractor of the Water Project, told the Sisters that they better go prepared with about 5 new Book of Mormons, because his family taught a Family Home Evening last Monday at Ampel, and had 15 attend and 5 new FAMILIES want to read the Book of Mormon, and be taught!!!!!!!  Plus he and his family are going back this Monday, with the Bishop, to meet these active investigators and continue to teach!  Talk about every member a missionary!!!!

The Sisters also told us that Anggung came to church today, had her baby blessed and shared her testimony.  A while back I told you we had gone looking for Tyas, a less active YSA.  We found her, but she seemed indifferent.  However, her married sister, Anggng ( married to a Muslim fellow), seemed very interested.  So we sent the Sisters, and today she came to church!  In fact, we are really starting to see the "fruits of our labor" and the labor of the Elders and Sisters, and the labor of the Rescue Effort in all the wards of Solo.  It is really a marvelous feeling.

On Wednesday we met at 7:30 a.m. for our P. Day trip to Merapi.  Merapi is the active volcano near Solo.  We had 14 going plus the drivers of the cars, so we had our car (seats 8) and then we were borrowing a car and a driver.  But when the driver went to pick up the car, everyone there decided it needed new tires.  So he had to wait, and so did all the missionaries.  It made us a bit late taking off, but we just visited, and they all sang happy birthday to me, and finally we loaded up and were off.   Now you need to realize that we are going up into the mountains.  So once we leave Solo, we began a slow climb which eventually becomes a steep climb.  About 1/2 hour from the visitors center on a mountain across the little valley from Merapi, black smoke begins to pour from the borrowed car.  So our driver, Bayu, calls the owner, Bishop Catur, and he says to leave it right there, and find a car to rent.  So Bayu starts up the street, and soon comes back with a man driving a Volkswagen van.  Bono, Bayu, and the man negotiate a price, and everyone loads up again and we are off, leaving Bayu with the smokin' van.  This visitors center has a museum, and a movie.  So we all go into the movie, and WADU is it dramatic!!!!!!  Loud music, with explosive sounds, rumblings, and pictures of billowing smoke pouring out of the volcano!!!!!!!  Then all of a sudden, Josh Groban starts singing "You Lift Me UP" and the mountain explodes and ash begins to pour down into the valley.  Elder Greenway said it should have been, "You Blow Me Up"!  No matter what, it was hysterical.  We were all very surprised at the choice of music, and wondered if Mr. Groban knew his song was accompanying the spewing of Merapi.  After that, we all ate at the restaurant with its pet rat climbing up and down the doorway, thrown in for free.  We visited the museum, and then headed for home, having had a terrific day.  The driver of the Volkswagen brought group 2 all the way back to Solo (that was part of the bargain) threw everyone out of the car, turned around and zoomed back to the volcano.  What a birthday!!!!!!!!!

Thursday we took the Knorpps to visit Bro. Tomi, a pioneer member from way back.  He has his family history clear back a gadzillion generations because he ties into a Royal Sumatran lineage.  Trouble is they didn't believe women were important, so there are only men's names clear down to Bro. Tomi's mother.  He knows her name.  It was so interesting to listen to his son, Choki, talk about the customs, and his heritage.  We were there quite a while. 

Then Friday Bishop Suparno offered to go with us to visit at 9:30 a.m. until 12:00 when DDM begins.  We went looking for YSAs, and we didn't see one we were looking for, BUT!!!! we found their families instead, which is much better.  So when we got to DDM we had a list of people for the Banjasari Elders to visit.  We were very excited.  Elder gave the lesson at DDM on the government of the Church, and the meaning of "Keys".  The Elders had been asking him some questions pertaining to this, so they asked him to share his knowledge. Elder Greenway teaches this subject very well.  So, they really enjoyed the lesson, and learned so much.  During DDM we found out that one of the Elders had been hit by a "motor" the day before and was very sore and achy.  But, the poor guy was also running a fever and found out later in the day that he had amoebic dysentery.  Poor Elder!  But the President was on top of the situation and he was receiving the medicine he needed.  I asked him if he had been drinking the water, and he said only to brush his teeth.  Now, he could have contracted this any of a hundred places where they eat or drink, but we told him maybe he ought not to rinse his toothbrush in the water.  He still looked pretty rugged on Saturday when the Knorpps and the Greenways took the Solo District to get pizza at Papa Rons because at least 3 of them were leaving us.  We only had a half an hour at supper time to squeeze it in between all of their appointments, so the Sr. missionaries went and ordered the pizzas and drinks and then they all showed up and ate it.  Fun, fun!!!!  We feel blessed to be around these valiant young people!

It is very interesting to be around these wonderful people.  Jebres Ward had a baptism today of a youth.  He was baptized by Elder Secrist, a fine young Elder.  During the meeting the YM & YW sang "Called to Serve", "Stand For the Right", and "We Thank Thee Oh God For a Prophet".  The youth are a major force for good in these wards and are given PLENTY of opportunity to shine.  Today, Willie, my 11 yr. old piano student who started lessons in Dec., played for the entire Sacrament Meeting!  ALL 3 SONGS!!!  He was fabulous!  I love that the leadership gives them the option to serve.  There are now 7 of my students who have played on Sunday.  They are encouraged all the way.  I am so grateful to see this, and be a part of it.  I think sometimes we are more worried about appearance than opportunity in the U.S.  We are somewhat fuddy-duddy about seeing outside the box.  Thankfully, the Indonesians look for growth, not appearance.  Ahhh!  How we love them.

Love you all,
Sister and Elder G.

 p.s.  Farida leaves for the U.S. on Tuesday morning.   She shared her testimony in Banjasari today.  What a lovely woman.