Good Evening From Glorious Indonesia!
What a beautiful day! We are now in the rainy season... which means just about every afternoon it clouds up and rains. Now sometimes it clouds up and rains a great gush!... and then pitter-patters to a stop. Sometimes it comes with flashes and booms, and then rains of and on 'til morning. However it is, it cools things down a bit and makes everything even more beautiful. I am sitting here typing this listening to the "call to prayer", the Islam song in Arabic, that reminds us 5 times a day that we are indeed in Indonesia. Yesterday as I walked in front of the Kapatihan building I thought, here I am, little ol' me, in Indonesia! It still takes us by surprise sometimes.
We were at the Kapatihan building to have a celebration with our Youth Choir that sang at Stake Conference. Right after the conference we asked for their attention and announced that we would have a movie and snacks to thank them for their dedication to the choir. We had 68 singers that day and we had about 50 to the party last night. We just brought snacks, but the Stake President thought we should also have food, and sent someone to get everyone a food box. We have shown you pictures of these boxes. This one was a dollar, (1000 rupia), and it had a piece of chicken and a cup of cooked rice, with a 'paket' of sambal, (the hot stuff they put on everything). They ALWAYS eat these with their fingers, even if there is a sauce, or something squishy. Interestingly the box was from Popeyes. We doubt if it is the same as the one in the U.S., but it was yummy. We watched "Enchanted", in English with English subtitles. They are very smart, and loved the movie. We had taken a taxi to the building because Bono's family was getting together for his mother's 80th birthday. After the party, Monique Catur would not allow us to taxi home, dispersed those she brought TO the party to others going home, and we rode home with this 16 year old through the havoc they call traffic. Kinda gets your heart a pumpin'.
We also had "loaned" the car to Bono earlier in the day to attend the reception of Moko and Yessika (pronounced Jessica). We have often talked of Moko and Sutarno. Sutarno is the father, and General Contractor of all the water projects. Moko is his son, and Civil Engineer for the projects. He is about 26 and finally found Yessika. They were married Tuesday morning at the Supomo building. I was asked to play the piano. Monday, Sisters Neis and Manalu, and Elders Miner (brand new from St. George), Hasibuan (the new District Leader), and Suryono received phone calls to be to the wedding. When they got there, they were told they were to sing!! That's about the same time I found out they were to sing. SURPRISE! They didn't even have time to go through it, and that's about how it sounded. Poor guys..... Anyway, Yessika's mother and father are not members. Her mother has a sister who is, and so she was fine with the marriage. BUT her father was not so happy. So he "tolerated" the marriage in the Chapel, but all of the missionaries were sort of uninvited for the reception held yesterday. It was held in Klaton, about an hour away. We told Bono to fill up the car with ward members and go. So he did! These wonderful young Indonesian couples get married in the Chapel, then again by in a "government" marriage, and then again in the Temple, when they can get there. They are really married when all is said and done.
Friday evening we were invited to the closing meeting of the recently held All Indonesian Young Single Adult Conference- - (remember Elder and I dancing). They always do this. The meeting, held at Sari Bundo Sumatran restaurante, is for the committee to bring all receipts for compensation, and to go over any issues that need to be reviewed. Every committee member talks about what they spent, and is reimbursed, this takes some time.... Then they discuss the issues. Well, it seems that they did alright by getting permission from the hotel, and from the city Chiefs to hold the conference. BUT... no one asked the police for their help and permission. They will forget the slight by paying a penalty of $20. Hmmmmmm...... We found that very interesting, but remained mute. This is their country, and their corrupt city police forces, we just live here. Anyway, then we were invited to eat with them. There is always Ayam (chicken), and many other 'things' (anyone's guess) that had a lot of red specks. THAT MEANS HOT!!!!!! Elder likes to burn his lips off, me... not so much. We will say to someone, "What is this"? (Apa ini?) And they respond. So when I asked and they said, "fish"...I was happy. But then they rethought, and decided it was eel. It looked more like eel, it was roundish with the backbone in the middle of the meat, not along the back, but it was very good. Tasted like chicken :). Across the table from me, Rudy was trying to decide whether to eat a large salmon eyeball or not. It was covered with some sort of sauce, but he didn't make it. Down the table Mugi was loving something large and fishy looking. Always interesting.....
Other items of interest... I now have 5 non-member piano students, having added a new boy this week. AND, Sister Sri Widodo played the piano for the entire Sacrament meeting today. She already played when she began lessons with her son (the one that looks like Nate when he smiles), but lacked confidence. Well, today she was Great! I was so excited for her. The goal is to have them all playing in Hymns Made Easy, or beyond by the time we leave!!!! Elder is working on some improvements for the Kapatihan building. It is the smaller of the two buildings, and has some definite needs. He is determined to have that building right up there with all of the others. There is a sort of "haves and have nots" feeling between the 4 congregations. It would be nice if that could go away. The mission just received 9 new missionaries from the Provo MTC. One is from Australia, and the rest from the U.S. Solo got Elder Miner, and our Zone also got Elder James from Virginia, and Elder Giolas from Draper, Utah. Hey Ty, there is and Elder Costner from Kirtland, New Mexico in Surabaya.
I think that about does it for now. We hope you have had some memories made this past week, and enjoyed the blessings we all have been given. We are very grateful for your friendship and love. If you have some time this week, drop us an email and let us know about your family. As we have said before, (many times), like all other missionaries we love getting mail!!!
Have a week full of gratitude, look out for others,
Elder dad and Sister mom