Hello to our ever diligent family and friends, (either that or you are gluttons for punishment!)
This week was Elder Greenway's birthday! I will tell you about that in a minute, BUT I think I failed to mention it in last week's letter!!! Poor guy, however as you will see, he didn't feel slighted at all. I also failed to mention that during the week all you "Utahns" would celebrate the 24th of July. I must tell you, so you won't think the rest of the world is unappreciative, that the CARLISLE WARD had a "pioneer day" picnic on Saturday the 26th!!!!! However, what would July be without Jackson's birthday (30th) or Ty's birthday (31st)?!? Matt and Tanya tell us that Jackson (who will be 5) wants a Super Hero birthday party. He is such a great boy that I can imagine all Super Heroes attending! Emily tell us her husband, Ty (age-less) wants a great big party with the WHoooooole ward attending, plus some of the neighbors, and co-workers, and maybe even some people he doesn't know! Ty LOVES parties!!!! (this is such a lie, that I may get struck down BEFORE I can finish this letter). Happy Birthday!!!! Jackson and Ty.
On July 19, at DDM, the missionaries expressed a desire to watch the Missionary Fireside that was broadcast in June. We offered to show it for them at the church, but they all voted to have it at our apartment. So the Knorpps brought some watermelon, and I made dessert and then we ordered 10 pizzas from Papa Rons. BUT, before the feast we spent 2 glorious hours watching that inspiring broadcast. I truly hope you have all watched it. It changes you life! Please, my children, take the time to watch it online. Of course, it helps if you have 12 full time missionaries, full of the missionary spirit, crowded into your tiny apartment watching it with you.
Tuesday we went home teaching to Bro. Mulyono's. This was our last visit to his home... We talked and laughed and he taught us and we taught him, and then he prayed. What a joy to have spent 2 years going to his home every month. After Bro. Mulyono's we went to Kepatihan for piano lessons. Widap and Yos came to observe. I am teaching this next week, and then they will take over. We ended Tuesday with English. We found "Goldilocks and The Three Bears" and "The Three Little Pigs" in simple play form on the internet, and had them perform the plays for each other. They read the scripts, but we asked them to act the parts. They were great, especially the "not by the hairs of my chiny chin chin" parts squeaked out by Alsia, Erika, and Novi.
Wednesday was a wonderful day. We met Elders Norris and Taulu at the Kepatihan building about 10 a.m. and they went with us to find lost sheep. We found 4 dead people, many "moved, married, and Muslim"... but we also stopped along the way and contacted 3 "neighbors" who would like the missionaries to come back to their homes. The greatest event of the day was in the very beginning. The Elders have been visiting at the Slamet Widodo home. He is Sister Wiji's son. Every week Sister Wiji brings her grandchildren to church. Her son does not come, his wife has come before but is not usually there. Every week Sister Wiji crowds 4 or 5 of the 6 children in a becuk (baychuck) and sees that they are there. On Wednesday we went to see the family with the Elders. Brother Widodo was not there, nor Sister Wiji, but Sister Widodo was there with 3 of her children. They live in very humble surroundings, but she asked us to come in, Elder Taulu dragged two mattresses together on the floor, and we sat and visited. I gave the lesson, and Elder Taulu translated, and we talked about the things that bring happiness. We told her that the things that will bring true joy are taught at church. We asked if she would come with us on Sunday, and she finally admitted that the reason she does not come is she has no shoes!!! SIDELINE: When we came on our mission I had purchased 3 pair of "closed toe" shoes because those were the required shoes. However, when we got here we found that the requirement was more for the young Sister missionaries because they ride bikes. So I bought a couple of pair of sandals here, and I have never had the other shoes on. So this morning we took the shoes and picked up Sister Widodo and her children. Alas! the shoes were too big, BUT the sandals I had on were the best fit. So she now has a pair of black sandals to wear to church! At church she let me hold her 3 month old baby girl, (who promptly spit up on me) so our joy was complete. She said she would come next week. Maybe if we all pray about it, Slamet will come too!! Wednesday, after searching for lost sheep, we took the Elders to Raja Ayam for lunch, then we went to piano at Supomo around 2 pm.
Thursday we took Sisters Situmorang and Jibson to Boyalali to visit Kini and Markini, our Ampel ladies. Oh My............. That was a difficult farewell. We keep feeling like parts of us drop off and are left behind. We will always pray for the Church to come to Boyalali. I really can't say more than that. It was a very hard day...
HOWEVER, at 6 p.m. the Solo 2 Ward had a Missionary Fireside/Going Away Party for Agus, Arif, and Elder and I! It was really lovely! They had Bro. Agus (the past District President and father of Arif) speak, then Agus, Arif, and Elder and I each shared testimony, then the ginormous Solo 2 Youth Choir sang (okay this is when the tears really started flowing), Uskup Catur spoke (he and Elder are having a contest who can cry the most), and then the Stake President. Amazing, right?!? But wait! Then we all went outside and they had a party, AND THEY HAD ALL MY PIANO STUDENTS FROM SUPOMO PERFORM!!!!!! I had no idea, but it was so wonderful. Then Didi, Dandi, and Devara, sibling piano students, sang a song they had written about stretching your talents. "Sister Greenway, want you to help yourself... Sister Greenway want you to succeed" is part of the chorus. Elder was taking pictures and dancing with the Bishop's wife, and teasing all the kids. What a day!!!
Then Friday!!!! Happy Birthday Elder Greenway! We woke up to the phone ringing, and it was the Kepatihan Elders singing a Happy Birthday, then the Sisters called, then the Skype started going from family at home, WOW! He is loved. Everyone, EVERYONE! knew it was his birthday. We started with DDM, and we celebrated by taking do-nuts and the Elders all sang again. Then we zoomed over to the Supomo building because I had been asked to show the Solo 1 Relief Society how to make cookies. Elder helped Frisca (yes we are still trying to get Frisca on her mission, New Zealand MTC is out because of visa difficulties, and Provo MTC is in...so Elder is now helping her to get her visa there), and I baked cookies with help from the Sister Missionary assistants. The meeting was suppose to start at 3:30, however this is Indonesia so it started after 4:00. Then they had a lesson, and THEN we baked cookies in my Easy Bake Oven. Actually we did Banana Oatmeal cookies, and the no-bake chocolate oatmeal cookies. I had to make cookies out of ingredients you can get here, so no brown sugar. Anyway, by the time we were done it was 6:00 p.m. which would not have been a problem, EXCEPT!!! the Jebres Ward was giving us a going-away party that started at 6:30! So we went looking like drowned, sweaty rats, but we had a great time. They had someone from each auxiliary talk to us, and they presented Elder with the Traditional Birthday "cake" for "special honored dignitaries", which is yellow rice pressed into a cone shape, with cabes(hot peppers) and other delicacies on the side. Then they sang, and the youth sang us sad departing songs, with drums and guitars. They had us speak and then Uskup Awik spoke.... My oh my, they are not making this easy!
When we got our missionary call, my children were all concerned because they knew that I don't do "hot" very well. This call is a testimony to the words,"I'll go where you want me to go, dear Lord". He knew what a blessing this call would be to our lives. He knew how much we would gain from knowing the Indonesian people. We certainly have been blessed. Thank you for helping us through... we love you all.
Elder and Sister Greenway.