Dear Relished Resolution Rejoicees,
Well the first week of the New Year has come and gone, and I just realized that I failed to make any resolutions! I am hoping that you will send me some of yours, so that I can keep up. We have a number of projects on our agenda, but nothing that resembles a resolution. Oh well, we do have two wonderful boys having birthdays this week!!! (January is a busy month for birthdays in the Greenway clan). First comes Hiram Nathaniel Greenway III (alias Nate) who will be TWELVE YEARS OLD on the 9th of January!!! He is the oldest of our Grandchildren (and the oldest of Adam's kids) and by far the most handsome Nate we know!!! Next will be William Roy Greenway who will be the BIG 5 on Saturday. He is the most wise of all the William Roys I have ever known. John's family will be celebrating that day! We have had much news this week. Some really great and some not so great. So it is good to know that everyone will rally to show their love for one-another. Sometimes it is harder than other times to be so far away.
Our language skills remind us constantly that sixty years old brains have "cemented synapses" (as President Groberg told me), but we are still trying to do our best communicating. This last week we had two interesting experiences. The teacher in Relief Society asked me... "Are you mystic?" The lesson was on forgiveness, and I had been trying to follow the Indonesian (all lessons and meetings are in Indonesian). So I said, "Apa?" (What?) "Are you mystic?" she said. "Mystic?" said I. "I don't think so..." She said something to the group, and then she wrote MISTAKE on the whiteboard. "OOOOHHH!" I said. "Banyak!!!" (much!!!) She was asking if I made mistakes. A few days later a waitress asked me if I wanted woll wet. Woll wet, I thought.... but since I was ordering a sandwich, I took a guess at whole wheat, and was right. If you knew how Indonesians pronounce vowels, woll wet is right on. We do enjoy talking to these super people, but it is nice to have Bono along to bail us out.
On Monday we had some errands to run, then we wanted to do our home teaching, then we were to fetch a new to Solo Elder coming from Manado at the airport about 5 p.m. So we accomplished the errands, went to visit Bro. Mulyono... and probably stayed a little longer than we had planned. He is so delightful, and we love him so, that is hard to leave. Anyway, as we were heading to the airport we get a call that one of the Elders is in the Emergency Room. Luckily, he was at a hospital on our way (one of the gad-zillion hospitals in Solo). When we found him we also found his entire apartment there. Apparently, he had flu symptoms the night before, but didn't want to stay home from a District trip, so went on a hot bus up the mountain, hiked around, and rode the hot bus home without eating, etc. When he got off the bus he was so dehydrated he could not stand and his companions nearly carried him to the ER. (Boys will be boys). We talked to the Dr. who was treating him, who wanted to observe him for an hour, and gave the companions some taxi money with strict directions to call us when they were home. By now it was pouring, like buckets full, so we dash to the car and head to the airport. We got Elder Hernandez, and drove him home in a perpetual car wash. By then it was dark, and past time to meet the Knorpps for New Years Eve dinner. It was at that dinner that the "woll wet" happened. We were in bed long before midnight...however... the next day we ate lunch while watching the "ball drop" at Times Square!!!! Crazy.
It has rained here everyday, which is not unusual for the rainy season, but the length of time each day IS unusual. Normally the rain begins around 3 p.m., and then it rains off-and-on until later in the evening. This year, it starts about noon, and rains all day and all night! That really takes a toll in our weeks activities because, as we have told you, nothing happens when it is raining. We did manage to see Katrin, a less active older lady, who once owned a "warung" (a little noodle eatery) along the same street as the Supomo building. She is too infirmed to run the warung, so now she helps to park cars near her place. That means she has almost no income. She was dirty,(we think it is hard for her to get to water), and she said her children won't come and see her because she is dirty. Her warung is really a shed with an awning, and she sits under the awning all day, and sleeps in the 6 ft. by 4 ft. shed at night. No water, no electricity... she does have a little iron bowl she can burn in to heat a kettle. We asked if we could get her some food, rice, water... but she said she didn't need food, she needed money. We aren't allowed to give money, so we will go to the Bishop and ask what can be done for her. She finally shooooed us away because we were keeping her from parking "motors", and it started to rain. The poverty is so hard....
President and Sister Groberg are here for Zone Conference, and our District is singing. We will sing "Dear to the Heart of the Shepherd" in beautiful 2 part harmony, and "Come Follow Me" with Elder Mendrofa singing a solo. We practiced Friday and it was lovely. The Knorrps and the Greenways had the President and Sister over for lunch (Ty, I put the "over" in there for you) after Church today. It was nice to visit with them. President and Sister Groberg are on their downhill run toward home. We will get a new Mission President in July.
The rain slows us down a bit, but does not stop us. We are anxiously engaged, and have many other items of business (but they might be a bit over-talked to all of you). We do love to watch it rain, and it does cool things off, and Bono will not get out of the car if it's coming down too hard... but It's all part of the adventure we call a Mission in Indonesia. What ever we do to serve these loving dear friends blesses our lives with "joy beyond measure". Serving is just blessings in disguise. We are so grateful that service is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. When the world gets hard, service is the answer. When the day seems long, service is the answer. When others are suffering service is the answer. When we want to change others, our service changes us, which is the answer. We are so grateful to all who so lovingly serve and support us.
You are our examples,
Elder and Sister Greenway
P.s. I wish you could hear while reading this letter. The "Iman" is calling the Muslims to prayer. So, the sound of rain, the palm trees swaying in the wind, and the iman singing his call to prayer. Just like a movie......