"Though April showers... may come your way (shoobedoo, shoobedoo) They bring the flowers.... that bloom in Maaaayyyy!"
My sweet alto mother would sing that song every April and May. I actually have her Women's 3 Part Harmony music from way back in the 1950's. She sang with a Ladies Chorus in Nephi, Utah and had a collection of very old music. I've used "When the Red, Red Robin Comes Bob, Bob Bobbin' Along" with the Activity Day Girls in our Ward. Music crosses generations so easily! Which reminds me of our Stake Choir Party held last night to celebrate a very successful Stake Choir performance. But before I get to that, I must say, HAPPY, HAPPY, BIRTHDAY TO OUR SON (Sara's hubby) KYLE ON THE 10TH OF MAY!!! May you enjoy your ice cream in a VERRRRRRRRYYY BIG BOWL!!!!!!
Last night we held the Choir Party. We had 30 of the 60 or so singers in attendance. The 10 Elders and Sisters were not in attendance, having much more important things to do, so that means about 20 did not attend. Transportation is always a problem, and also work, etc.; so, we actually were pleased with the 30 that came. They ate 17 pizzas!!!!!! of the 20 we ordered, and watched "How to Train Your Dragon" with Bahasa Indonesian subtitles. They cheered and laughed and worried when it looked like Hiccup "bit the dust". In other words, THEY LOVED IT! As usual, we enjoyed just being with them. We are all so comfortable together. They call me Gramma. They love to laugh at Elder's antics (he's such a tease). Last night, about a third of the way through the movie, Yos came to the back where I was watching over the Pizza table. I was sitting there so I could open a new box when one of the boxes of the three flavors would get low. He just came back, moved a chair by mine, and sat down and watched the rest of the movie. Sweet Yos! Then Thomas, a 13 year old from the Banjasari Ward, came in at the beginning and shook our hands, then he went to the back of the crowd and came in again and shook our hands, then repeated it again until we all laughed. Many are more like grandchildren than far off youth. On the way home, I was telling Elder about Yos coming to sit by me, and I thought again that I will not be here to see him leave on his mission, or get married, and I get so sad. I do wish I could split in two.
Now, I do want you to know that we did reward the valiant Elders and Sisters for also participating in the Choir. They all came to our apartment on Monday (their Prep day) so we could thank them for their singing. The reality is that the Choir would just fall apart without them. They are mature, and willing to sing, have singing ability (all missionaries sing!) and are dependable. We began their "party" with a lesson. We took the quote (with a bit of a change) "Where Ere Thou Art, Act Well Thy Part" and talked about their part. "Where ere thou art"... where ever the Lord would have you serve... "Act well".... choose to be your best..."Thy Part".... what is there part? We talked about how "their part" would change many times during their lives. What ever their part is now, it will be different in a couple of years, and different 10 years from then, etc. etc. etc. We told them that our part as Grandparents was so different now than was our part as parents of teenagers 10 - 15 years ago. They will have just one chance to "act well their part" as young full time missionaries. Then we asked them a hard question, "What gets in the way of their doing their best as missionaries?" They were hesitant to answer, so I told them about how the heat sometimes tempts me to want to stay inside and hide. Then they did open up a bit. They talked about how "disappointment" was a bitter pill to swallow. Canceled appointments, investigators that don't progress, people who don't keep their commitments, add up to create the feeling of "why try". Another subject was zero baptisms. Elder and I talked about the old Harrisburg Mission being the lowest baptizing mission in the eastern U.S. Who would think that getting called to Harrisburg PA. could be so hard? But it was, and still is. Then we discussed some of the ways they can do better to "act well" their part. These are terrific, hardworking, dedicated missionaries. We were blessed to have them in our home. Then (with permission) they watched the same movie as the youth and ate about 5 tons of Taco Soup with Corn Chip(Knorpps found Corn Chips that are actually pretty good!), and Sister Knorpp made some yummy Apple Crisp. It was a great day.
We didn't just party this week, although it does sound that way, we still did piano, English, and we FOUND A LOST SOUL THAT IS WILLING TO HAVE THE SISTERS COME AND VISIT!!!!!!!!! We are so excited. We are like the young Elders. We are so tired of writing on the Ward Less Active Roster, "moved, married, Muslim". We had two names that lived near the Banjasari Bishop. So we went to talk to his wife, Ida (Eedah). She told us that one name belonged to a dead person, BUT the other name was a woman that she knew and had VISITED MONTHLY for years! The lady happened to be visiting next door to the Bishop's home, so we were introduce to her and her 8 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER!!!!! This lost Sister had been taught the Gospel when she was only eleven , while her neighbors were being taught,sometime in the 1980's. She had never been really very active. So we asked if we could send the Sister Missionaries to see her. We will see where this goes, but we were just so thrilled to find a real breathing human being! The "lost" lists get very long here. We are searching carefully, with the help of the young Elders and Sisters, to find a few sheep that the Lord has prepared.
Finally, Luki was confirmed today, and Uskup (Bishop) Awik wisely asked Elder Watson (just before the meeting began) to confirm Luki. Elder Watson (from Spanish Fork) was soooooooooooo excited. He went over the ordinance with Elder just to make sure he had it correctly in mind. He was perfect, and gave Luki a sweet blessing which we appreciated. The Bishop also asked the Ward Mission Leader to Confirm another child the Sisters had prepared for baptism. What a wise, and wonderful young Bishop. Each companionship of Elders is assigned to one ward, but the Sisters work in each of the Solo Wards. They attend all the council meetings and have told us that Uskup Awik uses his Council Meetings to find and rescue the less active. So far this year that Ward has had 5 convert baptisms, many the husbands or wives of former less active ward members.
It is wonderful to belong to a Church who has a Prophet and Apostles to lead and guide us. This Rescue Program came from the Lord through these Leaders to help us find our important "lost sheep". Home and Visiting teaching is a huge part of this program. We have an even greater testimony of Home and Visiting now, because it hardly functions here. We can see what happens when members like Ida does her Visiting Teaching year after year, even when it seems that it does little good. Perhaps now is the time, and Ida has planted all the good seeds of conversion. Just imagine if everyone did their Visiting teaching as faithfully as Ida?!? Just imagine...
Take care of each other, love your families, serve faithfully,
Elder Dad and Sister Mom.