22 April 2003

Bulan – Boo-lawn. It means both moon and month. Which when you think about it makes a lot of sense. A matching word is Minggu – which is pronounced just like it is written – Ming-goo. This means a week and if you add hati – Hot-tee – which means day – for ‘hati Minggu’ – you get Sunday.

22 April 2007 – Sunday

A very busy but great Sunday.

We did our normal morning – except we did not get a full hour in on the Kitab Mormon. We had to leave a little early for Jakarta Raya because Mary needed to practice with sister Penny. We arrived in plenty of time and while Mary practiced I did the rounds of handshaking. Hendra asked us to give the opening and closing prayers for sacrament meeting. He forgot to announce Mary as the opening prayer so she just went up at the right time and gave a very nice prayer – in English. She was not feeling well at all – no fever but coughing from deep in her chest. But like a true champ she stuck with it all day.

It is surprising how each week we can hear more words and today we were able to pick out enough to know what they speakers were talking about. Mary is still far ahead of me – she says she can actually understand the words without translating – I think that is great. After sacrament we went to the Gospel Principle class – they had three investigator and that is great. Progressive investigators are hard to come by in this mission.

We left after just two hours because we had to drive over to the Tangerang building. We are meeting the elders and taking them out to teach a single woman. It was way, way out and tucked away among a warren of houses. But once there it turned out to be a very nice house – that is for the area. They had a nice discussion – Mary and I sat in two of the three available chairs and the elders, the investigator and her children sat on a rug on the floor. The elders seemed quite at ease sitting there. They taught about the restoration and got a conditional baptism commitment – they were all smiles when we left. It is great to take part in some missionary work. We dropped the elders at the bus stop and headed home. Luckily Sam was able to find the way to the freeway so the trip home did not take much more time than if we had left from the chapel.

When we got home we thought the day was over but we got a call from Sister Jensen inviting us to come over to the mission home to hear their son Sterling talk about Iraq. He is a contract interpreter for the military and is just finishing up a tour. He is visiting Indonesia before his folks return home.

We got there really early so we had time to talk to him and the family before anyone else came. He asked some good questions about employment and education in Indonesia. Mary pointed out he was one of the few people who ever got as much information about me as I got about him during our conversations.

The Petersens, the office elders, the Aps,  and a number of members of the English branch were invited so it was a rather crowded. Since we came first we had great seats on one of the couches. Sterling gave us a little more history of the area than I thought was needed but his comments on how the Sunnis have come to see us as the only way they are going to ever have a chance to influence in the government was very interesting. He feels that there is really no strong government – that it is basically still a tribal society and until they develop a strong military and police force it is going to remain unstable.
He does not think that the country will break into three independent sections but he does think they will divide into strong autonomous sections with a central government. At least this will be until the younger population becomes better educated and gets tired of living in chaos.

After his presentation I talked to him more about the situation and this time I got to learn more than he did. I also talked to a member of the English branch who is into gemstones. He is a geologist and so stones are interesting to him. He calls diamonds – boring because they are just clear. He told me about sapphires from Viet Nam that were dark blue but each point sparkles in deep purple. I want to get to know him better and see if he will give me an education in gems. He is really high on Indonesian brown opals – he thinks they are beautiful.

As we talked I realized that I know a little about a lot of things and this helps me enter into most conversations and ask intelligent sounding questions. As long as I remember I really do not know much it works fine. It is only when I try to expound or expand on what I do know that I get into trouble.

Before we left I asked President Jensen and the elders to give Mary a blessing. They all thought it was strange that I did not want to seal the blessing but I explained that I felt that others were more likely to not let their personal feeling enter into their blessing. President Jensen blessed her that she would get well but that she needed to follow the medical instructions carefully.

We did not get home until about 9:30 and that combined with Mary not feeling well, we just went to bed without reading the Kitab Mormon. It was a great Sunday

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