Daily Archives: December 11, 2006


10 December 2006 – Sunday

Sacrament was at 8:00 so we were up a little earlier than usual. We met with a small international branch of mainly Tongan, Samoan, and a three or four from other countries including the Ukraine. It was a great sacrament meeting. The Tongan Elders and Sisters sang ‘Far, far away’ in Tongan and put their hearts and souls into the song. The interesting thing is that these same young men and women who sing with such volume are almost impossible to hear when they speak – even with a mike. However I do think I may be losing some of my hearing because Mary said that she could hear and understand almost everything. I may get my ears tested before we go.

After Sacrament the sisters went to hear the Tab Choir and then a Relief Society meeting. The Elders stayed for sacrament meeting. I must say if you are going to sing in a small meeting of about 15 priesthood holders, having Tongans and Samoans in the group is the way to go. I am sure that we were louder than our ward PH meeting of 50 – 60 brethern. Once again the talks were very quiet, but the spirit was strong.

After PH Elder Kane, Elder Mills and I walked over to the JS building and waited until the RS meeting was over. The sisters were thrilled because the speaker for RS was a member of RS Presidency. I guess she gave a great talk because I think every sister in the meeting lined up to shake her hand.

The afternoon was spent studying Indonesian and napping. In the evening we had the Kanes and Frandsens over for an hour. The Frandsens had recently been in Indonesia and a DVD of their trip there. It was interesting because it showed the countryside and the house the Kanes will be staying in. I must say that I am jealous because it is big and modern and will be about half of what we will be paying in Jakarta. The tropical landscape is filled with ferns and flowers – gorgeous.

We then watched Amazing Race and as I expected the two young men won. From the very first I was sure that unless they made a huge mistake they would win. They almost lost because it looked like they would not get on the first plane to NY – but they were the last ones to get stand-by and then beat the other couple easily. The poor team that did not make the first plane, never had a chance.

About 8:15 Berkeley Spenser came over and we talked about Indonesia. Berkeley had been in Indonesia just before Thanksgiving and had met with the Leishmanns. He was positive about PEF getting started but could not give us much info about our part in the work. I would guess we will not really know until we get there. When we talked about learning the language he said we would not be able to learn it. Mary and I are getting tired of people telling us we can not learn the language well enough to carry on a regular conversation with natives. We are going to prove them wrong.

Speaking of that we are doing much better about reading the language. Mary can figure out about 70-80% of the words and I am up to about 50% – or close there to. My goal is to be able to read the language in 6 months and speak it in a year. I think Mary will be able to understand most of it in 6 months.


09 December 2006

Our first day of Welfare/Humanitarian training. Basically all we did was meet with the Alsops for a couple of hours. For the third time each of us took some time to tell a little about us and where we were going. As I heard the stories about how each couple got their calls, other missions they had been on, and their thought about going, I was once again impressed with the great power of the couples the Lord is sending out to do his work. The Alsops also spoke about the three missions they have been on and how each were calls that came before they put in their papers.

We were done by 10:00 and we came home long enough to get our temple clothes and then went to a session. The Alsops and the Nelsons from our group were there. The Nelsons were selected as the witness couple and we all were in the circle. They asked for set apart Provo temple workers and I raised my hand. It was later I remembered that my letter released me as of November 1 – but I am sure the Lord forgave me. I did not realize the afternoon shift was so short handed. But it seems reasonable since you are tied up each Saturday from about 11:00 to 5:00 which cuts way down on what you can do.

We came home and took naps. In the evening the Alexanders took us to Red Lobster for dinner. We ate much too much food but I am pretty sure it is the last time we will eat there for at least 18 months. 


08 December 2006 – Friday

Our last day of regular training. The first half was quite good because we practiced helping new and less-active members. Our visit was to a woman who had not ever been active in her life. She got baptized because her mother went to relief-society. She was a pretty good volunteer and we were able to adapt our message to fit her needs. I did not feel it was great but adequate. The afternoon training was working with Ward and Stake Leaders and for anyone who had been in leadership positions, nothing new was introduced. However I am sure that the sisters probably learned from the lesson.

The best part of the day for me was the language training. We had a productive meeting with sister Tippetts and when it was done all those who were taking language training met together for a very short testimony meeting. I gave mine in Indonesian and as promised by sister Tippetts I could feel the spirit. So now I know that I can go and bear testimony of the gospel and the people will be able to feel as well as hear my words. It was very important to me.