Oh my, but what a wonderful, delightful week.
Just before we came on our mission, someone actually snuck into our yard in Carlisle one night and dug up 3 full grown white flowered hostas. Now, if they had knocked at my front door and asked for a slice of those hostas I would have said sure. I love to share perennials, and our sweet Ms. Miczo who lived across the street for years shared tons of perennials with me before she passed away. She probably gave me those white flowered hostas. Well, anyway, I had to divided and replant some variegated hostas (because I was in a hurry, we were leaving after all) and so when I left that part of our yard looked a little sparse. There were some other trouble spots I had been nursing along. So this week dear, dear Ty took pictures and sent to me. #1 was a picture of the hosta. WOW!!! They are all blooming, and looked so beautiful. #2 was a picture of our "gully" where I had put an 8 inch stick of spirea bush along with a bunch of day lily bulbs, and WHOA! I have a 3 ft spirea bush and many beautiful orange day lilies. #3 was a picture of our loaded down blackberry bushes with ripening blackberries. Ty apologized for eating them before we get home. I figure he's earned them. I know this has nothing to do with the Indonesian mission, but it reminded me that with some work and a little faith tremendous results can "flower" forth!
Which makes me think of Eni. Eni and her daughter were at church today. Eni is one of the less active Elder and I went looking for a month or so ago. She was the woman who was baptized when she was 11 because a neighboring family was baptized. She had hardly been to church since. The family moved away, and she became "lost". Years later she moved, with her daughter, into a new kampung and Uskup Suparno and his wife Ida (EEda) also live there. I don't know exactly how they came to talk about the church, but Ida has visited Eni for years and they became good friends. So when we went to the kampung looking for Eni, we asked if Ida knew her and...... We visited with Eni and asked if we could have the missionaries come and visit her. She agreed, and so we sent Sister Hutcheson and Sister Manullang. They have both been transferred and now the new Sister Missionaries are going, AND TODAY SHE CAME TO CHURCH!!! It made our day... Banjasari Ward had asked me 2 weeks ago if I would speak today in church on missionary work. I was determined to do it in Indonesian. So over time I would write some and then have Aster (from the Jebres Ward) go over it. Honestly, I enjoyed writing that talk. There were some words like "judgement" that she knew a more common word than I, or that agar means "in order to" rather than the usual "to" word. So today I nervously gave that talk, and most of the talk was about how we should love others enough to share the Gospel with them, and find those who need our help that have already been baptized. I was grateful to let Eni "know" we loved her enough to find her. I never really said that, but I hope she felt it from all 4 talks given. They were all about Missionary Work, 1 by Sister Jibson, one by Elder Norris, and one by the high councilman. I could hear Elder Watson translating for Elder G. and he was saying in English what I was trying to say in Indonesian. I was very glad.....
After Banjasari Ward we rode with President Ipung to Soepomo building for Solo 2 Konferensi Lingkungkan(ward conference in Indonesian). The youth had been asked to sing during the conference, and when we asked what they were singing they kept telling us it was a surprise! Solo 2 is the largest of the 4 Solo Wards, and they have quite a youth group. With leaders, probably a little more than 20 members. So this was quite a choir, and they had included the Solo 2 Missionaries. Oh.... but what they sang. They sang the arrangement of "I'll Go Where You Want Me to Go"/ "Olive Tree" that I had arranged for the October Stake Conference last year. When you are the Choir Director it is really hard to know how a song sounds to everyone else. You are too worried about doing things right. So to sit today and listen to this choir sing those songs with all the louds and softs, and harmonies just the way I had imagined....MAGNIFICENT. It also helps that most of the singers are in our English Class, and so added to the beautiful songs was all the love we feel for those youth. Elder and I were making puddles.
Now to make the whole day MORE WONDERFUL!!!!!! Ezra, Aster's brother, Ratmini's son, and one of my piano students, got his Mission Call today to SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA!!!! Our dear friends, Molly and Tom, are the "office couple" in the Sydney mission. Elder and Sister Feil, you will love this young man. He is a righteous, humble, smart young man. Elder G. is going to have to hurry to get his Visa going before we go. Australia, and especially New Zealand (where they have the MTC), are tough Visa's to push through. We also found out that Frisca, the Sister whose visa has taken forever for Elder to work out, FINALLY has her visa and has her date, August 15, to fly off to Melbourne, Australia for her mission. Solo will soon have a missionary is SLC, Elder Putra, and 2 missionaries in Australia. There is another missionary in Canada from Jogja, which is in our Stake. These young people have pretty good English, and will be such a blessing for Indonesia when they return home. We are waiting for 3 more calls from the Solo Wards. Aster's is one of them.
Also, this week, we were asked to speak at the Surakarta Youth Conference for about and hour. We left Solo at 5:45 a.m., picked up Aster (who needed a ride up and back), and headed toward Merapi our friendly, active Volcano. We got there about 9 a.m., gave our presentation, stayed while the Stake President spoke, then headed home to arrive in Solo about 2 p.m. We had been asked to speak on the power of good friends. We showed them the old seminary video "Putting on the Whole Armor or God" (which they had not seen), and then we talked about how friends can get us to remove our armor. Elder has a picture of our "Armor Guy", and as they talked we removed his armor. Each piece of Armor has the names assigned from Ephesians 6. So as we removed the armor we talked about what was lost. Then Elder talked about the power of good friends, and the power of being a good friend. Then we decided to show them "Spiritual Crocodiles" because they hadn't seen that either. That is such an impressive way to warn them about the "crocodiles" that lurk in everyone's life. They were attentive and responsive, and we really felt honored they had asked us. Besides, it was just plain fun!!!!!
Those are the highlights of our week. We have enjoyed talking to some of our children via Skype. We taught English and piano, and simply enjoyed being with our loving friends here in Solo. Tomorrow we will go looking for more "lost sheep" from Banjasari. We have a list of names we need to locate or not, before we can leave. We don't want some spirit at some heavenly future time asking us why we didn't get the job done. So little time.... so much joy.
Elder and Sister Mad Hatter!