Welcome to March!
March always makes me start thinking about gardens. What to plant? Where to plant? I want to get out and start raking up the dead so that the crocus and daffodil can peek through. They don't have them in Indonesia. Hey! They don't have spring, but March does mean that the rainy season is soon coming to an end.
Sister Manalu's hospital stay also came to an end this week. I learned 2 things about that. 1) That Panti Waluyo hospital (compared to all the others I have seen...about 6-7) is about the cleanest hospital I have seen so far. The rest look like they came from an episode of Night of the Living Dead. (I have never seen Night of the Living Dead, but I can imagine). So if I want a clean hospital, it's a good choice. 2) I could easily DIE in that clean hospital. (reminder) When Sis. Manalu first visited the ER, she was told that the Dr. wasn't a specialist and she would have to come back. (lucky it wasn't a heart attack!). Next she was told that her stomach pain was nothing, she just needed to do some sit ups(seriously)... Next she was told the reason she was throwing up blood was because she had consumed too much juice.(Whatever juice she consumed, came right back up). Finally, she was told that the whole situation was caused by her swimming too much. I am not kidding AND I am supposing you all know that young missionaries are not allowed to swim. So after Elder had delivered the Sisters safely back to their apartment, he text President Groberg the Dr.'s report on the original cause, ie.(swimming), and signed the text, "Sincerely baffled, Elder Greenway". President responded, (With tongue firmly in cheek and eyes rolling) "WELL, TELL HER TO STOP SWIMMING!" So no more swimming Sister Manalu! She said she can't remember the last time she went swimming.... However, she is getting stronger everyday. Elder will not allow her to ride her bike until her incision is completely healed. So the Sisters are hoofing it, or more likely taking a becak or taxi. All I can say is that I am grateful for the power of Priesthood blessings and a wise and wonderful Sister Hutcheson.
Elder sprung Sister Manalu and Sister Hutcheson from the hospital late Monday morning. Early Monday morning Elder picked up Elders Mendrofa, Suwarsid, and Masangcay and ran them to the airport. Then Elder Knorpp went to get Elders Wagstaff and Wijaya from the airport about 1 p.m... except Elder Wijaya never made the flight. So Elder Knorpp called the President to let him know. Now, the Elders must leave the phone for a companionship at the apartment assigned to that companionship. So, he didn't have a phone, but there are pay phones around, especially at airports. Poor Elder Wijaya never let anyone know where he was, so by 5 p.m. when he finally flew in to Solo with Elder Taulu, everyone at the mission home was in a panic having looked all over Jakarta for this Elder. He is a nice boy, but received a bit of a "chew out" from Elder Knorpp about always letting the President know when things go wrong. Jakarta traffic jams are legend around Indonesia, and that was the reason for his delay getting to the airport. Oh well, Monday we all had some excitement.
Wednesday we went to the Solo Kota Museum with the Knorpps. We had already been there but went again. However, there was something new in the presentation. Our guide made Sis. Knorpp and I take off our sandals??????? The men could wear their shoes, but the women had to take off their sandals. There was a sign that said "no smoking" (a circle around a cigarette and a slash through it), a sign that said "no sandals" (same picture, only a pair of sandals), and a picture of men and woman's underwear with no slash.(You absolutely must wear underwear)! We were wondering how they checked that.... Anyway, the guide told us that we would be walking barefoot on black sand that contained iron, and that it would help our rheumatism, and would make us look younger. If a face wracked with pain made us look younger then he was correct. The sand was 1 part sand and 9 parts sharp, tiny rocks. After, I limped on to Piano Lessons,(dirty feet and all). We also taught English that night, and worked on numbers. We worked on numbers by 10s (10,20,30,ect.), numbers by first, second, third, etc.), and introduced money. We had made play money according to U.S dollars, and cents. We did some math,(how many pennies in a dollar, nickles, dimes, quarters, etc.) and next we will work with them on spending and counting U.S. money. We were not just concerned about the figures, but also the spelling. How do you explain that it is fourteen, four, and....forty (no u); nine, nineteen, ninety, and ninth (no e). I would write it and then say "don't ask me why" and they would all say "WHY?" and I would say "I told you NOT to ask me why, I dunno", then we would all crack up. They are really smart, and fun.
Thursday we attended the funeral for Sister Sukarsih. Rina's mom, Arum's gramma, and Purjono's mom-in-law. She died from heart disease. As we were sitting in the little alley-way at the funeral, I thought of my Gramma Barbara. I never met her, but my mother told me that she had a heart attack at age 67, sometime in the 1940's, but lived for 10 days after the attack. Mom would say that if she'd had that attack in the 1960's she would have lived through it, and beyond. I wondered if Sister Sukarsih had been in the US, or the Philippines, or Australia, she would have lived. The health care here is sort of a make them comfortable, and if they live HOORAY, if not... The family was so sad, she was sooooo young. These wonderful people have all the hardship, all the sadness, all the heartache we do, and added to that most live in such poverty. I thought of a quote from the Liahona in February from Elder Holland. "When we promise to follow the Savior, to walk in His footsteps, and be His disciples, we are promising to go where that divine path leads us. And the path of salvation has always led one way or another through Gethsemane. So if the Savior faced such injustices and discouragements,... and suffering, we cannot expect that we are not going to face some of that if we still intend to call ourselves His true disciples and faithful followers." Elder Neal Maxwell talked about this same thing often. He would remind us that we often pray to live as the Savior lived so that we might live with Him again. BUT, don't ask us to go without, to serve others unfailingly, to have grief or hardship, or to suffer pain and anguish. As I sat at that funeral I wondered what I might have become had I been born here. I wondered if I would have joined the church as my ancestors did in other lands, and had the courage to face the many difficult choices, or trials.
It's a magnificent, sometimes difficult world where ALL of His righteous spirit children have come to live and be tested. We are certainly tested in different ways, but we are all tested. Elder and I have certainly witnessed the humility and courage of the Indonesian saints. One of their favorite hymns is "Come, Come Ye Saints". How fitting...
Have a lovely time planning your gardens!
Elder and Sister G.