Well, I have good news and bad news... and the problem is it's all about how you look at it! So...
President Groberg, Sister Groberg, their daughter Gretchen... (who spent her entire teenage social life with your cousin, Margaret(Greenway Kids will know) and Gretchen's older sister) ...and her husband all came to Solo to visit on Thursday! We had lunch at Adem Ayam (Indonesian fare), and on Friday attended DDM. We had a lovely visit, and then the President had to go back to Jakarta, and Sister Groberg and the travelers went on to Bali, where they met with President again (whew!) to hold a Bali Branch Conference!!!! However, while he was here he asked Elder if we had received our release date from Salt Lake. We have not. He was a bit surprised. He also told us with all of the new missions (58?) that Indonesia would probably be way down the list to receive new Senior Couples because the new missions will all need office couples, etc. Therefore, there will be no one to replace us. So Elder and I decided that they have just forgotten about us, and we will probably be on the list next year at this time! NOW, of course we could be mistaken, and our release date is just not at the top of someone'spriority list... but we think we ought to warn you. (kidding, Emily..please do no call Salt Lake :) Anyway, we'll let you know when we hear, (maybe sometime next year)!
Besides that, we have finally finished the Solo 1 surgery. By that I mean that we have surgically removed about 40 or so names from the Solo 1 roster. About 10 dead people, about 8 people that are less active that live in other wards, about 15 that live more than 2 hrs. away so are in the Indo. Branch, and the rest have simply disappeared (so their names go to Salt Lake to the lost list). Every time I think about that lost list, I think about when Salt Lake called John looking for Joel while Joel was on his mission. The man asked John if he knew Joel Greenway, and when John said yes the man asked if he knew Joel's whereabouts. John said, "Don't YOU know where he is?!?" What a crack-up! Elder worked with Solo's Ward Clerk and transferred all those names to the proper places. This week we will begin on the Banjasari Ward. Elder and I both met with Bro. Choki this week and went through their roster. All I can say is... here we go again! It is so important to have an accurate roster, so we are adding the suggestions of visiting and home teaching assignments next to many of the names. We're hoping that will get the ball rolling in Solo 1.
I told you last week we would be having a Stake Relief Society Birthday Party this past Tuesday. It started PROMPTLY!!!!!!!!!!!! at 10:00 a.m. and ended about 4 p.m. (about an hour late). But it was well organized, and hot, and fun, and busy, and hot, and everyone had a great time. We have a picture of the attendees. They had a talent show in the afternoon, and Jebres (remember the Ward Christmas party dancers) danced... but then so did Solo 1. In the morning we made Rainbow Cake (which is steamed because no one has ovens), and they made a craft. The 10:00 meeting had speakers and lasted about an hour. So, it was a day mixed with many kinds of activities, and lots of socializing. For lunch they had the typical food boxes, but for dessert there was this fruity drink which was really refreshing. Now, I will tell you the ingredients: 1 part milk, 1 partmayonnaise, 1 part syrup (Indonesia has a gadzillion flavored syrups they use to flavor water. So when we go to visit a home they will bring in stroberi, orjeruk (citrus) flavored water.) To the above mixture you add chopped watermelon, apple, pineapple, dragon fruit (think...never mind there isn'tanything to compare) and papaya. Then add ice. While I was partying, Elder wasfinishing up the Solo 1 surgery, and came back and took pictures. So, Elder will send pictures!
We spent some time at home this week PREPARING. President Budi asked if we would organize the Youth -YSA Stake Choir for Stake Conference to be held on April 28. I have to arrange the music because most the youth don't read music, so the songs must be very simple arrangements. But I don't want them to just stand and sing a melody, so I try to stick in interesting variations. We will sing the "As Sisters In Zion/ We'll Bring the World His Truth" medley (because the YSA's sang it when they were youth). I have arranged a simple "This Is The Christ" and "I Wonder When He Comes Again" which we will sing in Indonesian. Now, we just need to get the practices organized, and get the word out. Elder also has been asked to organize and get proctors for the Michigan Test, which students must pass if they want to go to BYU-H, or any of the other Church Schools. It will be given in Solo on April 1, and they encourage the Indonesian missionaries to take it that will be going home this year. Most learn English serving with American Elders, and some are called from the Philippines, then go to Provo to the MTC where they learn Indonesian and English. The Mission encourages them to learn as much English as possible. THESE MISSIONARIES ARE SO SMART!!!
Today we had a baptism in Jebres. That is the 3rd baptism in the Kapatihan Building this month. One inBanjasari, and two in Jebres. Two were spouses from part member families, but today was a brother the missionaries found, who loved the Gospel. His wife is Muslim, but she came today and attended the whole block. The only blot on the day was the poor brother had to be baptized 4 times because he kept kicking his leg up. (The Bishop was doing the baptizing, and was really trying to help him, but up it would come!) If you are Muslim, you would not understand the need for "immersion", so I hope she didn't think they were trying to drowned him. The Sisters were sitting next to him, so I think she was in good hands. We love baptisms!!! Today we were at Church by 7:30 a.m. because we were going to the opposite building than Bono. So to get him to his ward by 8:00, we have to arrive pretty early. Banjasari meets at 8, then Jebres begins at 10:00. So the baptism didn't begin until about 1:30 p.m., finished about 2:15. That's pretty normal for a baptism Sunday. But we're among our lovely friends, and so the time passes quickly. Today's R.S. lesson was on working day by day to become like Christ. We are so blessed to be among these generous, loving souls.
So, until we meet again... Thank you for your support and news about family and friends. Just because we're so far away, we are still interested about you and yours. We love you, and really do pray for you, and express our gratitude for your lives, and love.
Ever in Indonesia...
Elder and Sister Greenway