Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Week 65

We whishhh you Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at your nose, Pah rum pah pum pum!!!!

Well, if you are planning to have us come to your ward and do ANYTHING, we are filling up fast!Tomorrow we are showing the Devotional to the Missionaries and having Taco Soup, Thursday is our YSA Christmas Movie and Pizza Making Party, Friday Solo 1 is having a Relief Society Party and Wati Kustedjo is cooking (she is the lady that was cooking when I had Rica Rica Anging (Spicy Dog), December 24this the Missionary Christmas Eve Dinner, December 25th is Jebres Ward Christmas party and Youth Choir (they are learning “This Is Christmas” Amy and Connie), December 26 is the Solo 1 Christmas Party and Elder is closely related to Santa that day, December 27 is the Banjasari Christmas Party AND TODAY THEY ASKED US TO TEACH THE WARD A WESTERN LINE DANCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Will we never live this down?Are we doomed to ever make fools of our aged selves? Will they delete all the pictures??!!) Add to that our Merry Adam’s (10th) and Jolly John’s (17th) birthdays, (which also happens to be Emily and Ty’s avinerssary ((that’s how we say it at our house)) (((and also happens to be niece, Katie’s birthday))) . Add Christmas, and a few other sundry dates, and there is our December Calendar.

We had an especially nice week.Added to our usual joys, we had Zone Training Meeting in Yogjakarta. That means that the Knorpps and the Greenways got to fill up their cars with wonderful full-time Elders (the Sisters were already there) and drive the 2 hours to Jogja.There isn’t much of anything that is more enjoyable than that. It is so fun to talk and laugh and learn ABOUT these fine young people.We also got to learn FROM them, and we practiced learning from the Book of Mormon with a purpose, and a desire to feel the Spirit.Elder Jameson and Elder Finland (that is what I call him because I can’t pronounce his Finnish name) are good teachers!!!Then we reloaded the cars (with the Sisters) and went to Wendy’s (YES!JOGJA HAS A WENDY’S WITH CHILI !) for lunch.We also found out that Elder Mendrofa can’t see beyond a meter in front of his face!!! And he has been riding a bike all over Solo.(We are fixing that tomorrow) What a great day!

But the most wonderful part of this week came about because one great lady had tremendous faith and courage.We have mentioned before that we were concerned because at General Conference time very few of the Sisters had a good opportunity to watch the General Relief Society portion of Conference.It is offered, but it is after 4 hours of the Saturday Sessions at the same time as the Priesthood Session, and the women here always have the children. Sooooo, they either go home and put kids down for naps, or they run around the church chasing crazy-tired kids. We were concerned about stepping on toes, but felt strongly that the women needed this opportunity to grow from the Broadcast.So we began planting seeds of thought with some of the women.One was Ratmini.She is the wonder-woman of the Jebres Ward.A few years back, she noticed that in all the pictures of the Aaronic Priesthood at work, they were in white shirts.So, she talked to all the moms and soon all the Aaronic Priesthood were wearing white shirts on Sunday. Well, after our talk, she went to the Bishop and told him about the Women’s Conference problem.He agreed to invite the women to come again.So she came to us and asked about a date.We suggested she talk to the Relief Society Pres. of the Banjasari Ward, and see if they would like to come.They agreed, with their Bishop’s support.Ratmini is a Counselor in her R.S. Presidency (along with about 6 other callings).We also suggested that when the announcement was made about the Conference showing, that the husbands be encouraged to stay at home and take care of the children. (We have been reminded that “this is not their custom”).Interestingly, the Bishops were fine with this, but some of the women exploded!Poor Ratimini, we were at the other building the day of the announcement, and she really took some hits.She, Elder, and I had some long talks.BUT! We all knew that this was the right thing to do.So the date was set, December 8th, 6:00 p.m., with a nursery provided by both ward’s Y.W.I don’t think she slept all week.Tuesday she cried, and we talked again.I reminded her that right choices are often hard choices, and not always popular choices. She asked if I would talk to the Sisters before the Broadcast, so they could understand the purpose of conference.I wondered if anyone would come.We have prayed.Well, last night the first annual Relief Society Women’s Conference Broadcast was held in the Surakarta Stake at the Jebres/Banjasari Wards Building.THERE WERE 31 INDONESIAN WOMEN IN ATTENDANCE. Thirty-one!!!!!You can’t imagine how spectacular that was, and they left their children home!!!!!!!!!!!Ratmini, wisely invited the Stake Relief Society Pres. (she was one of the Sisters we had talked to when planting the seeds) and she was so happy.Now they know it can happen.She asked me who would be invited in April for the Young Women’s Broadcast!!!That dear Ratmini!!We just cried and cried after the broadcast.What a spiritual event.What an example she is of love and courage.

Add to that a fabulous YW presentation (like annual Primary Sacrament Meeting Presentation, only YW) at Solo 2 today, and Sister Tomi’s 1000 Day Event after meetings at Banjasari (in Javanese culture, when a loved one dies, you gather family and friends together every so many days for years after they die to celebrate their life.Sister Tomi died 1000 days ago), ….and it has been a lovely, spiritual week.A week of many tender mercies, and one down-right miracle.What a perfect way to spend the Christmas season.We are grateful for you and your desire to experience this Mlraclee of Christmas while thinking of others. JOYOUS!!!!

We think of you and miss you especially at this time,

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