Hello to all good friends, and adored family!
The end of April usually brings on the "dry season" in Indonesia. Sometimes two or three months will pass without rain. However, we have only had one day of sunshine this week, and even then it clouded up in the afternoon and rained! CRAZY!!! We, of course, have not had the WEATHER that the mid-west and eastern U.S. has had over the past few weeks. Just paradise, a little rain, then more paradise. It has even been a little coolish on some evenings. I know, I know, you think we are just going through "end of mission paradise withdrawals". Maybe so, but it has been lovely.
There is a bit of news from home. We faced the demise of my debilitated Patricia Plum Tree with courage. Ty had no compassion. He was glad to get rid of it! So much that he sent a gruesome picture of the space left with It's death...graciously he put Isaac and Sadie next to that horrid bare spot, so I could see the good and the bad news. Then Emily sent a picture of the newly planted Wilma, the Weeping Willow. It just does my heart good to see a new generation. Here's hoping that we don't have an ice storm bend it in half, again!!! (I also didn't have to do any digging, so that really did my heart good!). Thanks Ty!!!!
Monday we were off to see Alma and Sri at the hospital. Alma is a young less active fellow who lives with his girlfriend, their two young children, and his father. Sri's new baby was born last week C-section, and then her incision became infected. Last Sunday the Sisters called us and we told them to call the Bishop, who has been working closely with Alma. They called us back and told us that the Bishop would be going that evening to visit and offer a blessing to Sri.
Now, we also found out that Elder Wijaya, one of the very sick Elders from last week, had developed a full body rash and when he appeared at Jebres Ward on Sunday, all the women, and some of the men, became hysterical and told him he was going to die! They told him he had a blood rash, and that meant death, and then they yelled at Elder Watson for not taking better care of him. Soon the President was contacted, and so he asked Elder and I to take Elder Wijaya to have some blood work done. The President had assured Elder Wijaya that he was not going to die. So, Elder Wijaya, Elder Watson, and we went to Prodia to have blood drawn. They took Elder Wijaya right into a "drawing" room, and as Elders are always to stay together, Elder Watson started back. Something wary pricked my brain, so I called to Elder Watson and asked how he did with needles. He turned right around and back he came. So I went with Elder Wijaya and Elder Watson stayed with Elder Greenway. The man drawing the blood talked to the Elder a minute, and I assumed he'd asked if the Elder had had blood drawn before, and I swear that Elder Wijaya nodded his head. HOWEVER, when the tech started toward Elder W.'s arm with that needle, his back went stiff, he straightened our his legs, a look of horror spread across his face, and he started to back up against the wall!!! I just about got to him to assure him he'd be okay, when the needle went in and he relaxed and then he just watched with great curiosity. I was glad Elder Watson was outside. We later found out that he'd had a "significant" virus, but he was on his way back to health. We assume that Elder Martoyo had the same thing, but without rash, and Elder Watson felt vindicated he was not a terrible companion. So, back to visiting Alma....
Because we had the two Elders (after the blood work was done) we took them with us to see Alma on our way back to their apartment. It was a good thing. When the Bishop had appeared on Sunday night, Alma told him he wanted Elder Greenway to give Sri the blessing. So Elder Greenway and Elder Watson went into ICU (only 2 at a time please) and Elder Greenway felt it was important for Elder Watson to give the blessing in Indonesian. Alma was okay with that as long as Elder G. was there. Then Bono and I went in to see Sri. We asked where the 2 children were and they said with the village. Someday when I have nothing else to tell you, I will tell you about the marvelous system of caring most of the neighborhoods have created. It is soooo interesting, sort of like home teaching. We then took the Elders for supper, and then home. Today Elder Wijaya was at church, ala no rash and very much alive.
All last week we taught our English class about going to a restaurant. So Tuesday was THE DAY!!! We took them all to Papa Ron's for pizza with the warning that they were not allowed to use Indonesian while ordering, or talking to the waiter. We started with 12 students, Elder and I, and Bono. By then end we had added Elder and Sister Knorpp, Widap, Monique and her sister Yvonne, and Frankie the Knorpp's driver. Tuesday is 'buy one get one free' night at Papa Ron's. We ordered the 8 pizzas, but they ordered their drinks and dessert. They did exceptionally well, and conversed with us in English. They ate up almost everything, and we all had tons of fun. We found out that Yos has a similar "hollow leg" to Joel's up-the-hill when growing up friend, Collin. My goodness can that kid eat, and just like Collin, you can't imagine where it is going. The Knorpps ordered for the group that came late. We couldn't have English Wednesday or Thursday because of conflicts for them and for us.
So Wednesday was just piano.
Thursday we drove to a new resort outside of Semarang called Umbul Sidomukti, near Bandungan. for the Surakarta Stake YSA Conference. Because we were scheduled for Thursday, and because it was a National Islamic Holiday, (the day that Mohammed went into heaven and received the commandment to have the call to pray 5 times every day). We were grateful Mohammed did that, so Diah, Bono's wife, could have the day off and go with us. We had lunch with the Young Singles, (curried chicken, rice, watermelon, rice chips, and level 10 burn your mouth up veggies with cabe (chabay)!!!). Elder started out the presentation by reminding them that just because you have a date with someone, doesn't mean you must marry them. He told them, over and over, that dating is a way to get to know someone. Then he showed them a power point that he had made of a gadzillion things they could do on a date in central Java. What a guy! He had searched the internet and had great pictures and ideas, plus fun pictures of little kids holding hands, etc. It was very good. Now, you must understand that as they sat down to listen to us.... almost all the guys sat on one side, and almost all the gals sat on the other side. We're talking guys and gals ages 18 to 40! (they stretch it a little here). The girls were very attentive, and so were most of the guys, with the exception of a group of Solo guys who were sooooo silly. So Elder got them used to talking about dating, poor guy, then I could talk to them about preparing for marriage without most of the silliness. I started by drawing stick figures of a guy and a gal. I wrote down the character traits of the two. They happened to be mine and Elders traits when we were dating. Basically, I was a little silly and he was very serious. Then I stuck my head (from our engagement picture) on one, and his head on the other. We talked about how important it is to date, and find out what Heavenly Father would have you do. Then I drew two stick figures of a guys spirit, and a girls spirit. We talked about how Heavenly Father doesn't care if you're short or tall, thin or fat, brown skin or white. But he does care about our spiritual selves. How can you really know someone's spirit if you don't date and a see for yourself. We talked about how all marriages should be based on the firm foundation of the "rock", so we added a picture of the Savior. There was more, but that's the basics. THEN WE PLAYED TWISTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That was so fun! We had to hurry home, because I was catching whatever the Elders had the week before.
So Elder went to Zone Training Meeting on his own Friday, while I was home sleeping. Poor guy... he then was stuck in the apartment with me Friday afternoon, and Saturday. We were suppose to take another trip on Saturday, but luckily it was canceled, which was a good thing because I would not have been going. Today we went to Banjasari because I was suppose to play for the youth. When we got there they had decided to put off singing until the 5th Sunday, then they changed their mind and decided to sing, then they found out the Primary was going to sing, then maybe not, then maybe they'd wait until the Primary President got there, then she got there and yes they would sing and would I play for them to sing, so yes it was good we went. But by the time that meeting was over, I was pasty, and white, and felt really yucky, so we call a taxi (Bono had to teach Sunday School, and Priesthood in his ward) and came home. I slept and read until time to write the letter, and now I am going back to rest.
Elder says that right now death would be an improvement, so I guess I will go take my sick and hurt self back to my bed. I'll show him, I'll just get better so I can come home and "plague" all of you.
With my last breath,
Elder and the Late Sister Greenway!