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.