Happy December! We sang Christmas Carols in Church Today!!!! Hoooooooraaaayyy!!!!
Well, we haven't had any snow, but it sure is raining. In fact, if all our moisture came as snow, we'd be stuck in our apartment from October - February. How are all of you? Any snow to report? Nevermind... that is the one thing that makes me jealous! Thou shall not covet thy neighboring hemisphere's snow!
This will certainly win the prize for short and sweet. We have had some major cancellations due to rain. When the entire populace rides motorbikes, things come to a screeching halt in the late afternoons. Since piano and Gospel English also comes at that time, well you can guess.
Monday we gave Bono the day off because he had worked solid for over a week. Then we played catch up. We cleaned, did laundry, went grocery shopping, took a walk, and worked on projects from home. Tuesday and Wednesday, we taught piano and went through all my Christmas piano music, and sorted it into levels. Then, of course, we got even more from the computer. I have a rendition of "Angels We Have Heard On High" that sounds more difficult than it is. I LOVE TO HAVE THE LEVEL ONE KIDS LEARN THIS PIECE! They just light up! It's a hymn, it's a favorite, it sounds hard, and they can play it. WOW! It takes some teaching (thank heaven for missionary helpers), but the smiles..... well it makes it worth everything. Even my Muslim piano students love Christmas music. I always ask before I hand it out. I found some more difficult music for Yos, Agus, Widap, and Bila. Carol of the Bells, I Saw Three Ships, Drummer Boy, etc. Thank heaven for the computer! Thank heaven for free music!!!
Thursday we headed for Boyalali. Elders Yim and Mendrofa's investigator from Boyalali came to Church last week! She had to leave Boyalali at 4 a.m. to get the right bus to get to Solo. She was waiting at the church at 7 a.m. She is a sweet girl. But, she could not meet this week, so we took the Sisters, and Elders Hasibuan and Minor. They taught the Ladies AND Kini's husband. They have been reading the Book of Mormon faithfully, and had many questions about modern prophets, apostles, etc. When they read the scriptures from the New Testament about the organization of Christ's Church, they just smiled and said "that is what OUR (meaning this) Church also teaches." They are just the loveliest people. They served us deep fried sweet potatoes that were salty and yummy. They deep fry just about everything. The mountain looked so beautiful. The volcano was partially shrouded in fog and clouds, the terraced crops are green and lush. The flowers are brilliantly colored, and numerous. The chickens are fat, and so are the rats.
Speaking of rats, the Barat and Tangah Elders could hear them scurrying around in their walls. So they armed themselves with sticks, and tore out a moldy, rotted, roach-infested lower kitchen cabinet... and there was a whole family of rats! Da MAMA (huge), the Daddy (smaller), and 2 babies. Elders 4 - Rats 0! I won't give you the details... but there is documentation. The Elders had their pictures taken with the rats (no longer with us), even the Indonesian Elders. We all got the story on Friday at District Meeting. They told us the story, and showed us the pictures while they ate the "Yummy Bombshell Brownies" that I had made from a recipe I found on-line. They were good, even with rat stories. We had a great meeting and learned the importance of the Book of Mormon as the basis for teaching the Gospel. Elder Hasibuan taught, part in Indonesian and (because we talked to him Thursday about how important it is for the native missionaries to learn English) part in English. Good Job!!!! He had a devil of a time trying to say "sincere" (sort of comes out shinsher), but he was persistent. These are the greatest Elders in the world!
We also taught Gospel English, bought the fabric to make Christmas Stockings, tried to visit, and then on Saturday Elder Greenway participated at the Supomo building in a Priesthood Service project and stayed to help clean the building. I was composing 4 part men's Christmas music for the Elders, (and we'll add the Sisters when needed) to perform in the next few weeks. They are always asked to participate in the Ward Christmas parties. Schedule: Jebres-Dec.25, Solo 1-Dec.26, Solo 2-Dec.31, Banjasari-?. I asked them what they wanted, and it was "O Holy Night". So there you go! **BUT!!!! This week begins our new project to organize the rosters in all 4 wards. Tomorrow we will organize the Solo 1 Ward List (out of date by about 10 years) into neighborhoods, and start the clean-up process. We are kind of excited. Elder Greenway wants to buy a GPS so we can just write down the coordinates!????! I am trying to wrap my head around that with what I know about the Indonesians. He is sure it will work...... Anyway, wish us luck. If you hear screaming, it's just us trying to match an address from Rt 01 Rw 13 No.02 Surakarta with the name Agus (like Smith) and no street. They don't have family names, just first names, and lots of typos. We will be praying... no lost sheep!
Elder and Sister Determined "Shepherd" (notice the spelling, Laura)