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 MarchantÃ¢Â€Â™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 todayÃ¢Â€Â™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.