With a "thunderous" Good Afternoon, family and friends!
Uhhh... it is raining here... lots and lots of rain, with thunder, and lightening, and all the while you exist in your relative dry, nine degrees Fahrenheit!!! WOW! Can we say bitter cold?!? I am so sorry to bring it up (tee hee hee) but it is really raining, watering the beautiful tropical flora and fauna. Speaking of beautiful, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to beautiful Kathryn this very day!
Something else "thunderous" happened today. JUMALI CAME TO CHURCH AND BROUGHT HIS SON, LEMUEL! Jumali is one of the three "lost" return missionaries we found last week. His son Lemuel looks about 8 years old. When we arrived at Jumali's home he was not there, so we visited with his very kind wife. Then just as we were leaving, he came along on his becak(baychuk). These are the bicycle/passenger cart means of cheap transportation here in Solo. These drivers work very hard pedaling people, and various other loads all over the city. Jumali does this and also raises exotic birds to sell. He said the exotic birds were almost as lucrative as the pedaling all over. I had forgotten my candy bag in the car, so I asked Lemuel if he would like to go with me to fetch it... AND HE DID! We asked if we could send the Missionaries by, and Jumali agreed, and today they were there. Unfortunately, we were at the other building, but Bono was there. He is the best missionary Indonesia has because he loves to visit. Bono told us that 2 other less active members were there today. Wahhoooooooo!
We taught our first Seminary/Gospel English class last Tuesday. Then Wednesday there was a BYU Hawaii presentation for all the Youth and older. Then Thursday was Mohammad's Birthday, so no seminary?!? Well if you think about it is sort of like Washington's Birthday. School was out, and it is a big holiday all over the nation. However, we did have great fun at the first class. We sang "If Your Happy and You Know It", and they started out doing the usual things, then the last boy chose "give a hug",...that was a delightful first for me, and for the kids! But they did it!!! We reviewed vowels, especially short vowels, they solved a difficult "Hang-man", they played a game where they had to say a word that went with the vowel sound...and chose words like ordinary, and application, and learned the steps of prayer in English. Then Yos, my sweet dear piano playing Yos, said the closing prayer in English. They were wonderful. Now that we have an idea who can and who cannot, we can better plan.
A Mission is a great teacher of Christ's Gospel. It is true that a missionary's study brings knowledge, but missionary experience is also a great teacher. We are in constant contact with members whose feelings about God are at various levels, as it is with all God's children. Some are strong because they have testimony, and are converted. Some have testimony, but did not pursue conversion, and have fallen away. Most of those use the common word "offended" somewhere when they talk to us. This week I came to realize that "offended" is one of the "weapons of rebellion" Elder Bednar was talking about in his October Conference address. It can be found holding hands with selfishness and together they are manifested in the inability to forgive. We have to look really deep to see what offense is at the bottom of a grudge. Usually we do not look, and then we go on blaming others for our troubles and bad feelings. Conversion wipes the slate clean by means of the Atonement, wiping the slate clean by giving and asking for forgiveness. Without it, that "weapon of rebellion" becomes stronger than our testimony, and pulls us away from the Gospel, pulls families apart, and pulls us away from theSavior. Looking deeply, that is the hard part.
We love our all of our children. We are so grateful for their support and patience while we are away. We are grateful for our forgiving friends, for our loving neighbors, and for caring siblings all over the world. We have been very blessed throughout the years. We ask for your forgiveness and continued care.
Elder and Sister Greenway