Daily Archives: July 5, 2007

5 July 2007


Our new mission president and his wife speaking to Elder Wight. I thought Mike might enjoy a picture from a few weeks ago when we gave free eye-exams and glasses to members and non-members. Finally there is a picture of the Zone with the President and Sister Marchant.
05 July 2007 – Thursday

I had another good night of sleep. Maybe reading the D&C before dropping off gives me a special blessing for sleep. Whatever it is, it is nice. Normal morning except we need to be ready to leave at 8:15 to go to Zone Conference. So we do not read for a full hour and I do not get as much time in reading the D&C.

Today is president and sister Marchant’s first zone conference and we are anxious to meet them and to see what they are like. We are among the first into the chapel and so we get to spend a few minutes saying hello. He is not wearing a suit coat – since he was a missionary here for over 2 years he knows well how hot it will get. The assistants have the air-conditioning going full blast so it is actually a little chilly.

The first half of the conference is different because instead of two or three speakers, the president had each of the missionaries – including the couples – speak for 3 minutes. Mary talked about the English program and I shared my thoughts about D&C 1:17-23 and how it seem to apply to the Indonesian mission. I felt good and think that I have the basis for a good future talk.

Lunch was excellent and I had a nice chat with Elder Kane. When we were done Elder Kane and I went to get the copies of book that he had made for me. This was the book on small business practices that Steve Gibson wrote and said that I could copy. As we sat in our office, president Marchant came in and joined us for a few minutes of discussion. He is so relax and easy to talk to. He mentioned that he had never been a bishop, in a stake presidency or even in a high-council and here he was the mission president with authority over districts and branches.

When I asked him about his call he said he had a feeling that it was coming. He also spoke about those first days and months as one of the first missionaries here. There was one member – who had been baptized in Singapore – in all of Indonesia. There was nothing translated into Indonesia, none of the missionaries knew a word of Indonesian, and there was no way to really communicate with the president in Singapore. Getting a phone call through to the mission office took two days. He never called home at any time during his mission because it cost $3 a minute – and that was 1970 $1 which I guess would be about $20 – $30 a minute now. They had $100 a month to live on but that was really a lot of money in those day – about $2000 in today’s money.

Sister Marchant is a truly motherly type. Little if any makeup, her hair is not dyed, and her clothes are neat but plain. They said that they will be visiting all the missionary apartments – without warning. I can just see some of the missionaries hearing a knock on their door at 8 a.m. and finding the two of them standing on the step wanting to come in. It reminded me of hearing how Elder Subandriyo when he was mission president doing just that. The members are going to love this president.

Before the afternoon session started all the missionaries had their picture taken with the president and then a group picture. We of course were included. The president has a really nice Nikon film camera. As usual the afternoon training session had little meaning for the couples. Mary fell asleep for part of it and I tried to.

We had plans to go to dinner with the Kanes but it turned out that they had to take the sisters back to Bogor and since last night they had kept their driver out until 11 p.m. they thought they should not stay late tonight. It seems most of our plans with them fall through. But to tell the truth I was rather glad because I wanted to get home and relax.

Unfortunately I could not go to sleep so I posted some pictures on the mission website, posted yesterday on our blog – Cindy is doing a good job keeping up her blog and Krista posted a letter to us there, looked at some e-mail, and read a little from the D&C. We ordered dinner from the restaurant and then we read our hour from the Kitab Mormon. It seemed easy reading but it took a long time. Mainly trying to figure out the word pattern so that it made sense.

04 July 2007


So here is my teaching picture that seems to have not made it before.  The picture of the sheep and the goats are for Olivia to show we have petting zoos here, only the animals are not in pens.
04 July 2007 – Wednesday

Happy 4th of July at least here in Jakarta…no fireworks however. It started well for me – I slept in until after 5. I guess I just need to stay up until close to 11. Mary did not sleep well – she took her turn of waking at 3 and not being able to go back to sleep. Finally working at reading Harry Potter in Indonesian wore her out enough to let her drop off.

I spent the first hour studying Indonesian vocabulary – only about 15 words but I am going to stick with them until I get them implanted in my mind. Then I switched to the D&C for the next hour and while drinking breakfast. Reading out loud really slows things down and that is good.

D&C 3 came alive for me this time. It is interesting that the second record revelation is basically about God rebuking Joseph for letting the world govern his actions instead of Him. As I read 3:4 I thought how this applied to me – how often have I rationalized my actions.

What really hit me as I read was D&C 5. It got me really thinking about faith and how it is a function of our relationship with God. The closer our relationship, the stronger our faith and the more we are likely to seek His counsel in ‘all our doings.’ It allows us to step into the darkness and not just hope that He will provide the light we need to guide us but ‘know’ that He will even if there is no evidence other than the prompting of the spirit. As we gain a closer relationship with God and Christ by becoming more Christ like, we will draw closer to the spirit and as the scriptures promises we will become one with them.

As we do that our relationship with others, such as spouse, children, and those around us, will become stronger as we do that which Christ would do. We stop arguing because we listen more than we speak and when we do speak it is to draw us closer, not to win a point. This is something I really need to work at.

***An hour later I read an article in the paper by Marshall Goldsmith that counseled that many leaders do not know when to shut up. To learn that it is as important to know what not to say as it is to know what to say. I am going to look for the book that this article came out of – I think I really need to know more about learning to be quiet. As I was writing this, I thought of Elder Holland’s talk on the misery the tongue causes to our spouses and our children. Perhaps I need to spend more time listening and less time talking. To encourage and not to discourage others and their ideas. Maybe there should be a book called ‘The wisdom of silence.’

Mary’s time at the office was spent cleaning up and organizing the paperwork from the English class. I spent most of my time creating review sentences for the vocabulary. I also started organizing our trip to Semarang to learn what the Bennetts are doing and to talk to the students and their parents about preparing for the future. We hope to go for three days sometime this month. Unfortunately no one came in to office for help. But we did get quite a lot accomplished.

I forgot to mention that yesterday Sam gave me a new cell phone that brother Park donated. He said it as a used one but I think it was brand new. Anyway Sam spent most of his time putting in all the numbers and learning how to use the phone so he could teach me. I have decided that somewhere deep down inside I have a aversion to cell phones and PDAs that will not allow me to learn to use them properly. It is like the veil that keeps us from remembering our pre-mortal life. I am hoping that there is no need for electronic devices when we get to the other side. But the new phone is neat. It includes a camera and lots of fun functions.

After we had finished at the office we decided to do our shopping at SoGo.  Mary wanted to buy a book for Jin-young and look at a new BreadTalk knock-off that she had read about. The traffic was a little heavy but it did not take an hour like it did last week.

Once we were through there and back home, we settled into our usual evening routine of reading and answering e-mail, looking at Cindy and Olivia’s blogs, writing in my journal, watching TV, etc. Later we read another hour from the Kitab Mormon and I read a little from the D&C before turning off the lights.