Hello to One and All!
This letter comes to you on a bright, shiny Indonesian afternoon.(Rare here during the rainy season). We got word this week that our dear, dear friends Molly and Tom Feil (Molly was in Sounds of Freedom with Elder and I) just got their mission call to Sydney, Austrailia Mission. They will be joining us "down under" in April! We promptly welcomed them to the neighborhood. More great news...Today is Rebekah Rejoice Greenway's birthday! She married our youngest, Joel, and we will be eternally grateful. Literally!!!! They are moving to the Richmond, Virginia area THIS WEEK, and just bought a home! Wow! What a birthday present, Rebekah!!! Next Saturday is Sadie Rowe's #3 birthday! Emily, Sadie, Isaac and Ty are headed to Disney World this week. Lots of interesting "goings on" in the Greenway family. We still have 1 birthday to go in January...
All that news makes Solo seem boring, but we were everything but bored this week. Monday was Zone Conference. The theme was from Chapter 6 of Preach My Gospel, The Attributes of Christ. All 34 Missionaries were asked to give a 2 1/2 minute, or less, talk on one of the Parables of Christ. Our district missionaries sang twice, and did a super great job. The harmony on "Dear to the Heart of the Shepherd" was gorgeous, and Elder Mendrofa's (from Sumatra) solo was so, so beautiful. He has an Irish Indonesian tenor voice, and he does these little grace note embellishments that are very lovely. I think that Elder took some pictures at lunch you'll find interesting, and it was a great day.
Tuesday and Wednesday we were glad to get back to our usual piano schedule. Tuesday morning I had to switch back to the non-holiday piano music. I found a new piece on the on-line piano lesson site I have used and used all this time that originates, I think, in Canada. Every month the site introduces a new piece, and tells you the level of difficulty. For January it was the INDONESIAN NATIONAL ANTHEM! The same piece I had to lead at the closing of the Ampel Water Project. We printed off a copy, had 15 copies made, and took it to lessons for the Level 3 students.
Wednesday before lessons we mailed a package home, (remember the sewing up the boxes process?), AND we found out that Noto's 13 year old son Bambang was in the hospital, so we stopped by on our way to piano. He was a VERY sick boy, and had been in the hospital since Saturday! We apologized for not knowing sooner. This is how the conversation went from us to Bono to mother to Bono to us. "Ma'af, Sister, kami tidak tahu." (Sorry Sister, we not know). Bono then fixes our Indonesian, and asks what is wrong. She responds, "Kidney sakit." (sick kidney). Us: What is wrong with kidney? Sis.: It is sick.(smile) Us: Infection? Sis: Too many water powders. Us: ??? Sis: Dr.s say Bambang mixes too many flavored drink packets with his water. (This makes his kidney shut down!, this makes him swollen!!, and his urine red!!!) Us: Ohhhhhh,???? What did Drs. do? Sis: points to IV. We then change the subject. Medicine here is very interesting, they cure everything with IV fluids, so we just pray we don't get sick.
Thursday we took 2 Elders and 2 Sisters and ventured to Boyalali. We are worried about our 2 little ladies. They are not getting tired of us, they love to have us come, they are still reading the Book of Mormon, and they love to learn. But! They can see that having Church services come to them is in the distant future. In our cleansing the roster for Solo 1, we found a less-active member that had moved to Boyalali. I am wondering if it is okay to desperately pray that some wonderfully active member gets a work transfer to that community. Anyway, we are concerned. The momentum is slowing.
Friday there was no DDM, which was good because Bro. Sugino passed away. We had visited him a while ago, he was old, and coming to church was difficult for him, but he had an active testimony. He died Thursday evening, the funeral was Friday at noon in the tiny alley-way in front of his home. The neighbors had spilled out into the allies leading there, so we shook their hands, and then the people moved from the chairs directly in front of his home so that we could sit. AAAgggghhh! No, no!!! we told them, but they bowed and pointed to the chairs. Lovely Muslim people... Inside his home were all the Mormons, singing, bearing testimony, and the Bishop gave a talk. On the front doorstep were piles of shoes, it is the custom to take off your shoes when you enter a home, unless they say otherwise. The neighbors certainly support each other, regardless of religion. We didn't go to the cemetery this time, which was quite a distance away. Instead we went visiting. We went back to a home we had visited before because their older daughter was "lost" on the Ward roster. She is the one who had moved to Boyalali! Then Bono suggested we go to another home close by. The families living there are the sons of one of the "pioneer" couples. The father had been a Branch President and a District President. Two of the sons, ages 40 - 50, are not active. They have an older brother who looked almost as if he had Downs Syndrome, who often shows up at the church. We had the best time visit with the younger brother, Wisnu and his wife. We found out how they are related to some of the other members, looked at pictures of their family, talked about the new Stake, and just enjoyed their company. We certainly hope we can help them return. But the most important part of Friday was Friday night!
We have mentioned our concern about the Primary organization in Solo. They are very loosely functioning. We have found that if we want to help with anything, we have to get them to see the need, and then help them find the desire and knowledge to fix the problem. That was the way they tuned their Ward Councils, that is the way they addressed the Relief Society Women's Conference attendance, and that will be the way they fix Primary. So we have just been speaking to different people about the need. One here, one there... Then I had the idea that we could take Gospel English Classes and every so often study from Handbook 2. Friday night we decided to talk about the Primary Organization. We have a Bishop, the Primary President, and the Stake Primary President who attend that class. But Friday night, the only one in the whole class to come was the Stake Primary President! Little miracles. We talked, she asked questions, we talked, she asked questions.... wonderful!!! Elder has been working with our Area Authority Seventy, Bro. Subandriyo to address the needs of the Kapatihan building, itself. Painting, air conditioners, repairs, etc., etc., etc. All that came about because they cannot have a functioning Nursery without some repairs. We have some time... we'll just keep pecking away at it.
Line upon line, precept upon precept... so true. We have learned so much from these wonderful saints. They are amazing, and uplifting. We will keep learning, and gleaning from them. Have a wonderful week!!!
Elder and Sister Greenway