To all of the pumpkin lovers we know, let it be known (because Joel said) "The Frost is on the Pumpkin, the frost is on the Pumpkin!!!!" (thank you Joel, that was sooo "fall" of you :)
Oh my goodness! Where to begin.... We have definitely been on a learning curve this week. When you enter Indonesia, you must apply for and receive and "kitas", which allows you to move around the country and be legal. It is good for one year, while our visas are good for 23 months. We have actually been living here illegally since Sept. 28 because the computers at immigration were messed up.
Last week we found out that everything was up and going and we were to go to Jakarta to renew our kitas. We left Wednesday morning and arrived there about noon, then waited and hour for a taxi to Senopati, (the Mission Home). The traffic is like nothing you have ever seen. While there, we read an article in the newspaper that said that by 2014 the traffic will come to a complete standstill in Jakarta if so many miles of new roads are not built by then. We thought it was already at a standstill.....It took us longer to drive to the Mission Home than to fly to Jakarta. But we did get there around 2:30 p.m. and then Elder and Sister Seiters, Elder and Sister Kepler, Elder and Sister Healy, Elder and Sister Beaman, and President and Sister Groberg and we all had lunch. The Seiters and Keplers were also there to renew kitas.
We stayed until Friday afternoon. We enjoy these other couples and are so grateful for their example. They are all marvelous people. Our kitas appointment was not until Friday morning, so on Thursday we ventured to the oldest Museum in Indonesia, a beautiful old building built by the Dutch in the 1700s (John you would have loved all of this), and filled with artifacts ranging from the skull of the "east Java man" (for all you anthropologists), to ancient Chinese Ming dynasty vases, to Hindu Gods and Goddesses. I can't even begin to tell you how interesting it was. Our guide, Sis. Paul, is an ex-pat. who had lived in Jakarta once before, and was back for her second dose. Her husband works for Conoco/Phillips and they have raised their four children all over Asia. They are now grown, so she decided to take classes and learn to be a guide. She was delightful. THEN WE WENT TO LUNCH AT CHILI'S AND ELDER GREENWAY GOT A STEAK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Now all is right with the world.
We also went to the gorgeous monument, the Monas, which is like their "Statue of Liberty". Inside the huge base, there are about 50 large dioramas depicting Indonesian history from the time of the "east Java man to Indonesia's Independence. Elder and I got to study these well while the others stood in line and rode to the tippy - tippy top of the monument. For those who don't know, Elder Greenway has a complete aversion to heights. I was thrilled because I was more interested in the history than the view. We now have a complete admiration for the valiant lives of early Indonesians. They have fought and fought and fought for their independence. It seems between the Chinese, Portuguese, Dutch, Japanese, Dutch/English, and Communists that someone has always wanted these beautiful islands. Courageous is probably the best adjective, then wise and patient are close behind. There just isn't room to tell you everything, but suffice it to say we are so proud of these lovely people.
On the second evening, while we were at Senopati, we received word via Emily that Joel and Rebekah had been advised by their pediatrician to take Little Jane Anne, just a week old, to the emergency room. She was vomiting green bile, and to quote Pres. Groberg (in his before life he was a pediatrician), "that is not good". Grampa Elder asked for everyone there to please pray for her. Dear Sister Kepler suggested that we do so right then, and so President and Sister Groberg, the Keplers, the Seiters, and the Greenways knelt together and kind President prayed for our Jane Anne. We asked Emily to please let us know as soon as she knew anything even if it were the middle of the night. (This time difference thing is a pain.) Around mid-night we got the call that everything had checked out, but that she had lost some weight, so they suggested a few things and now have her under the watch of the family doctor. WHEW! PLUSSSS..... When we got home we found out Sara's boy, Andrew, had fallen and seriously konked his head!!! Another trip to the emergency room, but more blessings. He is also doing just fine! We have felt tremendous blessings this week. We have known, and we have surely told you countless times, that we are more than blessed to be on this mission, to be healthy, to have the means to be here, and especially to be in Surakarta, Indonesia! Oh my, how we love the Lord.
On that note I will mention General Conference. We see it a week late here. On Saturday the wards meet in the two buildings at 10:00 a.m for Sessions 1 & 2. At about 3 p.m. the Priesthood session and Relief Society broadcasts begin. Their Young Women stay for the Relief Society Broadcast. The interesting part of this... most Indonesians have a 6 day work week, and all Indonesian children go to school on Saturday. So at 3 p.m. there were YM & YW all seated in their school uniforms to watch those 2 broadcasts. Today, we started at 8 a.m and ended about 1 p.m. Then one ward had their children stay for a Primary Sacrament Meeting Program practice. At 4:00 p.m. the youth from Solo 1 and we will practice for their part in Ward Conference, and at 5:00 p.m. is the Stake Youth and YSA Choir practice for Stake Conference. We don't need to tell you about General Conference. I'm sure you all were there to partake of that feast. Just in case you had some very important reason to miss any portion (say an earthquake and your power was off), please take the time to view and read and study anything you might have missed. President Monson asked that we do that anyway, so we'll all be doing the same thing.
Just one thing..... In case you don't know..... Elder Greenway and I have a great love for our children. Every day it grows. We can see now some greater eternal perspectives that we have come to recognize. We apologize for those things we surely could have done better. We know each of you will be better parents because you will have learned from our mistakes. You are the "noble and great ones" raising the"noble and great ones" who will usher in the coming of the Lord. We are better people because we know and love you, just as you will be better knowing and loving those priceless spirits in your family who have been reserved for this time. We were told many times today how families must work together. We were told it isn't enough anymore to just go along. We must hold Family Home Evening. We must be reading the scriptures together. We must pray and council together as families because Satan surely wants you to fail. We will be working and praying harder in your behalf, we pray that you will take this council seriously. We love you beyond measure...
Mom and Dad