This week began as normally as we ever have a week, but as the week progressed, things became a little more emotional.
We went out Monday looking for lost sheep. We didn't find any, but we did visit the homes of the newly called Indonesian Missionaries. We started with Ezra Maryono. Maryono is actually his father's only name. Ezra had planned to be Elder Maryono on his mission. However, the name on his passport is Garnett Ezra, so the Area Presidency decided he will be Elder Ezra on his mission. He is so excited, he doesn't really care. On top of being called to Australia, he his going to the Provo MTC rather than the New Zealand MTC so he is really happy!!! He leaves in November. Agus and Arif (Joshua) who have been called to Indonesia were also supposed to go in November. However, (this is a lengthy explanation) the MTC in the Philippines does not have an instructor for the Indonesian missionaries. So, every time Indonesian Missionaries attend that MTC the Mission must send along an instructor for our missionaries. The duration is 3 weeks, so someone who understands the Indonesian Mission, and mission work in general would need to give up 3 weeks of their life to teach. So our native missionaries go in groups. Sometimes a missionary will have already served 4 months of their mission before they are able to go to the MTC or the temple there. Okay, well Agus and Arif found out that the Mission found a teacher, BUT she will be going to BYU-H soon, so they are going to squeeze an MTC group in before she goes. So instead of going in November, they will be going to the MTC August 2nd, and then begin their missions right after! These lucky Missionaries will be taught by Sister Vanessa Tandiman, who just finished HER mission a couple of months ago. She is one of the choicest women we have ever known, and she is only 22. She speaks English without a hint of an accent, and she is a delightful, and beautiful Indonesian young woman. So we visited with Agus and Arif and their families, and also with Frisca and her mother. We are still waiting for Aster's call. It will probably come about the time we leave.
We spent Tuesday and Wednesday teaching piano, going to Kantor Pos (that takes some time), and teaching English. Elder taught English class on Tuesday. He called it "Apa Kabar", or What's the News. He interviewed each youth by asking questions about their lives. They had to answer him in English. We found out much about their hobbies, their families, what they liked about school, and what they wanted to do with their lives. He was a good teacher, and they did well speaking. We try to get them to converse in English. On Thursday, we sat crowded around a table and played "parlor games". We had to explain what a parlor was first. Then we played "Who stole the cookie from the cookie jar". That game is played to a rhythm, so if you are off rhythm then the game stops. They were very shaky at first, but finally they got the words straight, and the beat, and then we went round and round the table. They really enjoyed the game, they laughed, and then they wanted to speed up the beat. WONDERFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Next we played "The Minister's Cat...". It also goes to a rhythm, and they had to come up with adjectives to describe the "minister's cat", in alphabetical order. So, "the minister's cat is an awful cat, the minister's cat is a black cat, etc., all the while keeping the rhythm. Whoa! This was some work, but in the end they had it. Then we ate corn chips and salsa. They ate most of the "hot" salsa, and left the medium alone.
It was Thursday when things changed. We had decided to take a day and pick up a few things we want to take home. WE BOUGHT A BIG GONG!!!!!!!!! It is so wonderful. I wanted the biggest one that would fit in our suitcase. They have a gong factory outside Solo. But this one is an antique! You should hear it "gong"!!! I want it so I can call my grandkids in for lunch! However, as we were shopping we got a call from the President. They are not going to replace us. He feels the Stake members need to stand up and be more responsible. He is right. They are capable of doing everything we are doing for them and more. They have strong testimonies, a knowledge of the Gospel, and they are even beginning to grasp Home and Visiting Teaching. The Spirit is strong with them because of their humility and love of the Savior. That wasn't the problem....it was telling Bono he would be out of a job. We didn't tell him that day, because every time we thought about it, we became blubbering messes. So we finished up our day, did English (see above) and then quietly went back to our apartment to mourn. My way of mourning was to start packing in earnest. We will need to give so much away, office supplies, a printer, and some appliances. One missionary apartment needs a new 'fridge, and the Samarang Elders need a washer, etc. We must close up the apartment, everything out and gone, instead of leaving it to the next Senior Couple.
On Friday, I made brownies for DDM, and as we pulled into the courtyard of the Building, Elder told Bono the good news... He was okay about it! He said this gives him time to plan, and was all smiles. We told him he was our good friend, and we were worried. He said, "No worries!" He has always wanted to open a bakery, and maybe this is the opportunity. We told him he should sale spudnuts! However, Elder and I blubbered our way into DDM, and all the missionaries suddenly became our grandsons, and granddaughters, and were very kind.
Saturday night we attended a birthday party for Uskup Catur's 9 year old son, Eden. Elder has pictures. The Sister missionaries, their investigator (Nuni), and the Greenways, all rode in the Knorpp's car, along with their driver and his 2 little girls. (They don't do seatbelts here). It is so hard to think things like.... this probably the last time we will go to the Catur's, etc. I know that is morbid, but that's the reality. I will not go on about how much we love these people. You have all heard it a zillion times, but there it is. Our joy in their culture, and their goodness is immeasurable. (siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhh...)
Our grandson, William, tells us he is coming to the airport in his "secret identity". Seems like he has a pretend mustache and now he has a "secret identity" and a "regular identity". We're thinking they will all have secret identities! A lot changes in 2 years. Can't wait!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Love you all, soooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much!
Gramma and Grampa Split Presonalitied Greenway