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.