Happy beginning of Autumn!
Yesterday Emily Skyped while she was running home to get some jackets so as to comfortably sit through Isaac's Fall League T-Ball game. Imagine! .....and Elder went swimming yesterday in our outdoor apartment pool. Autumn is such a pleasant time. It is a great time for a super birthday!!! Eli will be 8 years old on September 21st!!! EIGHT YEARS OLD! I'm sure we all remember when he was leaping up and down in the "jumper" that fit in the doorway of the kids bathroom. We were terrified he would leap right out of it. Obviously he is still that active, and he has the broken arm to prove it! His is the only birthday for us in September. Grampa Greenway (Sept. 12) and Great (Sept. 14) are good birthdays to remember, too. We miss both very much. Last year on Sept. 12 we entered the MTC.
As usual our week started with a trip to Boyalali. Things are progressing with the sweet Ladies there. They are planning to come to Church on Sept 30th. We have to plan it way out because there is much to be arranged. Bro. Sutarno is planning to hold a FHE at their home soon, and the closing ceremony for the Ampel Water Project is next week. We have permission to take the Sisters to that ceremony with us. We are thinking a couple of Elders might also be a force for good, but we will need to see about that.
We had our District to our apartment on Wednesday for some teaching about using Family History as a missionary tool. We had already done this, but then we lost 7 of the ten that had been taught. So, we did it again last Wednesday. Elder and Sister Knorpp have worked hard on their presentation. They will be using it allllllllll over the Indonesian Mission. Family History IS a great tool in many ways. The missionaries asked questions, helped Knorpps with their translation of words, and were very interested. Elder and I decided to feed them with a baked potato bar. They eat potatoes in Indonesia, however not baked, usually fried with peanut sauce, or sambal. So eating a baked potato was a new experience for the Indonesian missionaries. I'm not sure how it went over with all of them. I saw a couple gobble it up (hey, it was food) and I saw a couple looking at it with concern. But we baked 14 potatoes, and had tons of toppings, and in the end everything but the onions were gone.
On Thursday we attended Tian and Ryanti's wedding. It was similar to the wedding last week, with a different bride and groom. However, this was the wedding where the Young Single Adults were asked to sing. Tian's mom had asked months ago if we would put the group together. We had a fabulous choir!!!! Now I have to be honest, most of that is due to the group of Elders we happen to have here right now. They all can sing, and sing well. So the men of the choir were just absolutely amazing. Mellow, strong voices that created this great foundation. We sang a medley (I LOVE a medley) of "Where Love Is", "Families Can Be Together Forever", and "For a Family Is of God".
I took part of the last song's verse 2 and combined it with verse three... so It began "a mother's purpose is to care, prepare, to nurture and to strengthen all her children," then "a father's place is to preside, provide, to love and teach all his children". Ahhhh Fabulous lyrics. It made Tian cry. It ends..."God gave us families, to help us become what He wants us to be. This is how He shares His love, for the family is... of.... God." Beautiful, true and touching! I love it when music bears witness to the Heavenly Father's plan. It did at that wedding. I hope every family is singing that song. I remember when other primary songs were introduced, and our family would sing and sing. "I Belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints... I know who I am, I know God's plan, ...I'll follow Him in faith." Boy did our family sing that song!!!! Living in the mission field, that was an important song! Aren't we grateful for Primary, and Primary Music?!?
Speaking of Primary Music, Solo 2 and Solo1 both had their Primary Sacrament Meeting presentations today. Solo 2 is a huge Ward taking in all of western Solo, to the North and South. They had 52 primary children, with the boys all in white shirts with red ties. Every child had their parts memorized, the music prepared, and they ended with Yvonne, who just turned 12, singing with Jati, one of the Presidency, "Teacher Do You Love Me". Sniff, sniff!!!!! Poor Solo 1 is landlocked into the center of town. It has around 15 children, with the children of the leaders running wild all over the podium. I kept saying to Elder, "if you grabbed two, and I grabbed two, we could probably reach the doors before they began their terrified screaming." (They are still apprehensive about our whiteness). But they did try, and they did sing. In fact, I played the piano "Secret Prayer" for the congregation to sing opening the meeting. When they started I thought that there was only one other choir ever that could compare to Indonesian members singing. That was when the Heavenly Hosts sang the night of Christ’s birth, AND the Indonesians were probably in charge of that choir!!!!!
We did some visiting this week, also. We were walking home from the wedding on Wednesday and passed by a barber shop owned by a less active member. We stopped and visited with him and met his children. He told us he was less active, (we knew that). Then we just visited with him. So on Friday we stopped by to deliver some Oatmeal Raisin Bread, and to talk. He was busy cutting hair, so we didn't stay, but he was cordial, especially when he saw Bono (he is the best missionary in the Church), and we will stop by more often now. We also visited Widap's home. She is 7th of 8 children, and her house is maybe as big as the family room on Sunset Dr. I can remember when I saw where my Grampa Joseph Hanson had been raised in a similar family as Widap's. It was a 2 room adobe brick house and I can remember how I thought of all those bodies trying to navigate inside. WE ARE SOOOOOOOOO BLESSED!!!! But Widap is a tender-hearted, kind, generous soul, and she adores her family. There is something to be said for "togetherness".
Finally, we visited Barita. He attended BYU-Hawaii, won the BYUH Idol contest, (that means he can really sing), and he lived in Indiana for a while with his wife, Jati and their 2 children. She is expecting # 3 very soon. They are delightful people, and they love to learn. They asked a bazillion questions when you are with them. They both have great English. Then we were off to our Gospel English class where we played a couple of board games, I got the idea from on-line. They were about Frequency Words ( often, seldom, always, etc.) and Comparing Words (bigger, larger, smaller, nicer, etc.) We have so much fun at those classes. Some of the "spaces" on the board asked them to do crazy things like sing Happy Birthday, walk backwards, pretend you are playing soccer, dance for 10 seconds, etc. So of course it was a bit of a riot.
Lastly, life will be picking up for us a bit. We have been asked to be on the committee for the "all Indonesian Young Single Adult Conference" held in Oct.. We just returned from a meeting and we will be working on the program part of it with Barita! Elder is also heading up the "Senior Missionary Conference" to be held the end of Nov. We have 10 Senior Couples in the mission and the conference will be in Jogja. Today the Stake Pres. asked if I would put together a choir of YSA, and Youth to sing 3 songs for Stake Conference in Nov. We are also practicing with the Banjasari youth for their Ward Conference on Sept. 30th. So life is busy, wonderful, joyful, and busy. (Did I already say that?) Isn't it remarkable to be a part of the Gospel with Elder and I doing the same things that are being done wherever you might be....... Teaching, being taught, and loving the members! We are amazed at what is accomplished when everyone heeds the call. We love you and we love our Father in Heaven for blessing our lives with your love.
Elder dan Sister Greenway