Monday, April 1, 2013

Week 81

Good Easter Time to one and all,
The Paragon Hotel and Apartments have huge Easter Eggs in Easter Blue and Pink and Yellow covering the main doorway in to the Lobby. I'm afraid the western world is nosing itself into the Indonesian Culture. Bono told us they hadn't ever celebrated Valentines until about 5 years ago, and now the commercial side of Easter is here! Easter, the religious side, is a holiday in Indonesia. The children have a holiday from school, families travel, the hotel parking garage is full. Pretty wonderful for a very Muslim country. We are grateful for these patient Muslims. I know that the world will further encroach upon their quiet culture, it is coming....
Today we attended Banjasari (again), and as we were greeting the members coming into the chapel, Ricko was playing the piano. Suddenly he stopped, and then there was the Bishop (Ricko's uncle) in front of me asking if I would play. I looked at Ricko questioningly, and the Bishop confided that they all had just realized that "Christ the Lord is Risen Today" was too hard for Ricko to play. So there you go. The Elders Quorum sang today and thus ends the Banajasari Ward month long Auxiliaries and Quorum special musical numbers. After meeting, we took a taxi (Bono had to teach Sunday School) and went to Solo 2nd. It was joyful to see the members there after so long. They also had a baptism, the nephew of their Bishop who is older but still in Primary. The Primary children sang right after the Baptism. They sang the first two Articles of Faith, Popcorn Popping, and Two Little Eyes. Elder told the Bishop's wife how I loved making the "big boys" sing that song years ago. Those big boys are soon to be missionary age! I hope they are ready. The world is waiting for them, and needing what they have been taught all their lives. I hope they are ready...
We have 5 American missionaries in Solo at this moment. There is no time for foolishness. Not only are they teaching the Gospel, but they are doing it in a language they have barely learned. They are in a culture, and a situation that is nothing like they have ever seen or experienced. Their companions are young (18) and most have never been out of the communities where they were born. While the "English" missionaries are struggling with Indonesian, they are also teaching their companions to speak English, something that is very important to President Groberg and the Prophet. These fine missionaries ride bikes in a sweltering climate, eat food that their mothers would never have convinced them to try, and all the time they are happy, and kind, and wonderful emissaries of the Lord. They are totally dedicated, they are selfless, and they are ready. I am so proud to be among them. Sister Hutcheson has been in Indonesia such a short time, is just getting a handle on the language, and because of an influx of new Indonesian Sister Missionaries, she suddenly became a trainer and her new companion speaks NO English. Sister Hutcheson is a marvel!!!! They are all marvelous. The Indonesian Elders in Solo have really helped out. Our District Leader is Elder Hasibuan. At first, he was not so sure he wanted to learn English. But now we do our District meetings about half 'n half. He is really trying. Serving a mission is certainly about serving the Lord. I know that sounds trite, but I don't think there is a real understanding until your in the middle of it.
We are so grateful for the Gospel. We are so grateful for the missionaries who changed the lives of our families, whether they lived 50 or 150 years ago. We are thankful for families who listened, who let those missionaries teach them and then recognizing the truth, became part of the sheep of His fold. We are thankful for the many righteous teachers, friends, Bishops, and different Ward families who have shaped our lives and the lives of our children. We are grateful for a Gospel that brings peace to the lives of those who believe. We are grateful for the Son of God who brought it all to pass, and then went through agonies so that He could heal our souls, that we could partake of His Gift, and then live together eternally. We are thankful for a generous, tender Father in Heaven who loved us all enough to give us the opportunity to chose what we would do. We hope you have a lovely Easter Sunday, and have the opportunity "to feel the Savior's love, in all the world around you", and then maybe this week share it with someone who has forgotten how that feels.
With mighty love,
Mom & Dad, Elder and Sister...

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