Monthly Archives: July 2007

19 July 2007

19 July 2007 – Thursday

I woke at about 5 and started to think about the telephone conference we could be part of this morning. I had almost decided not to bother, but felt there was a need. So at about 5:30 I woke Mary up by getting all the info to make the connection. For once I was able to get a connection to the US without a hitch.

I can not say that we learned a lot from the 90 minute meeting – we had almost no input but we did find that we had one of the highest contact percentage in the Asia area. It helps that we only have 14 students to follow. We did get a good idea about using SMS messages to stay in contact with the students to let them know we have them in mind.

The biggest thing that happened today was that we finished the Kitab Mormon. Right through Moroni 10 this morning. Mary said we would start again in the evening but I said no we get the night off and start again tomorrow.

We spent five hours at the office. A client came in and we got him up and running on Jobsdb. I hope he gets a good job – he is a 35 year old man who spent 6 years in the US and was baptized there. The Elders are working with his family and hopefully the mother will join. After he left we worked on a number of things that needed to be done. Mainly I wrote e-mails which seems to take much of my time. I had Sam go get food for me – I am becoming addicted to street food. It is much more interesting than tuna sandwiches.

After the office we headed to Tangerang and the district meeting. The elders were a little late but that was good because Mary was able to catch a short nap. I turned on the air-conditioning and tried to join Mary in napping but it did not work.

District meeting was good. Both sets of elders have some progressive investigators and there is hope for some baptisms next month. Unfortunately Elder Wight will probably go home before that happens but I do not think he minds because he is an excellent missionary. Elder Wight asked us to share our favorite scripture about the Atonement and I was embarrassed because I did not really have one. When I did think of one, one of the other elders came up with it first. So I ended up talking about the Jesus being alone both in the garden and on the cross. That the Spirit had to leave him so he could make the decision to let His Father’s will be done. This was one of the best – make that most spiritual – district meetings we have attended.

For the second week in a row, no one showed up for English class so we headed home early. Two of the elders needed a ride to an appointment so we took them part of the way. The trip back to the apartment went about normal as was the rest of the night.  Before bed I got a jump on the Kitab Mormon by reading the first three pages – there are still lots of words I have not put away in my memory but there more that I can now read.

18 July 2007


My latest building pictures – This is what the front of the building looks like – It will be interesting to see how far along it will be when we come home. The most men I have ever seen working on it at one time is 7 and that was because there was a crew of 4 working to make and carry cement. Most of the time it seems there are just the same 3 men working.

18 July 2007 – Wednesday

We both slept in – that means we made it past 5:30 without waking up. The morning past slowly but we had a really good written chat with Bob via Skype. He could not find his microphone but that was OK. There was no static on the chat feature. It sounds like his family is doing fine – that is always good news. We read from the Kitab Mormon but we only got through 3 pages. I guess no matter how good we get, it takes just so much time to read everything three times including translating. It will be interesting to see how we do the next time through.

We got an e-mail from Brian asking about a volcano that he read about going off in Indonesia. It is about 2000 miles away from Jakarta, but we are glad he was worried. About the only thing that we are worried about is the heat and an earthquake.

Sam picked us up about 10 and we went to the mission home where we managed to see everyone except President Marchant. We made arrangements for our trip to Semarang, dropped off the PEF information Mary accumulated yesterday, talked to translation about some things that we wondered about from the Kitab Mormon, and we talked to brother Tandiman about firesides in the Surakarta area to train leaders about PEF.  It was a very productive is short visit.

Next we went to SoGo for groceries and BreadTalk – unfortunately we were too early to get most of the things we really went for. We decided to visit the other grocery store in the mall and found a few other things we needed. They have a BreadTalk knock-off but it is a poor knock-off and so it does not do much business. They only have 2 bakers where BreakTalk has a dozen – it is also not bright and clean looking like BreadTalk.

We went to the office where we had lunch from the street and took care of some things that we needed to do today. After that it was back to the apartment for the day. Starting next week we should be busy all day, every day with visits to less-actives. We now have a list from one of the branch presidents and hopefully we will soon get ones from the other two. We will try to correlate our visits with the missionaries and perhaps we can get a few people back to church.

We also need to start working hard on resources for school and jobs here in Jakarta. We have not done enough in that area. I guess I am reluctant to start cold calling firms and asking for their HR director. But I am starting to think that is the only way we will ever get this Employment Office really moving.

I made a movie of some of the traffic, but nothing really captured the feeling. I think the only way I will really get it down is to have Sam drop me off at the corner of a busy intersection during morning rush hour and take a long video. I need one of those scenes where 50 – 100 motorcycles are all start up from a stoplight at one time and then comes all the bumper to bumper cars with motorcycles weaving in and out of them.

In the evening we read twice from the Kitab Mormon and tomorrow morning we should finish. We have learned a lot of language since we started some 4 months ago. We have also read many things I had not really noticed before. We have learned that it is very difficult to translate English into Indonesian and then to translate it back to English. We have seen the differences in how the writers used words and what words they chose to use. We may not have been blessed with the gift of tongues but we have been blessed with a greater love for the Kitab Mormon.

17 July 2007

 17 July 2007 – Tuesday

Well not going to sleep until about midnight caused me not to wake up until almost 6. Mary slept until almost 7 – she woke in the middle of the night and could not get back to sleep for quite awhile. By the time we got ready for the day, there was not much time for studying Indonesian before we read from the Kitab Mormon. We did not get through many pages because we had to look up words that we should have known from our early reading but which have not been used for many pages. As I thought about this it brought home the fact that different writers use different words to say about the same things. So as Moroni quotes his father’s sermons, he starts using words that Moroni used earlier when he commented on the writings he was abridging.

We are in the office waiting for Sam to come back with some print cartridges so we can finish up what we need for tomorrow. It has been a very busy and in someways frustrating day.

Sam and I left Mary at the office – there were workmen on the grounds so I felt she would be safe – and went to the mall to get some print cartridges filled and to do a couple more errands. Of course just as we got there I realized I had left the phone bill back in the office so that meant another trip back.

After we dropped off the cartridges, Mary called to tell me that a client had walked in to get some help applying for a job. Fortunately he spoke good English so she was able to work with him and I said we would get back as quickly as we could. When we checked about the cartridges they said it would be about an hour, so we decided to come back to the office and help Mary and Sam could go back for the cartridges and to pay the bill.

Frustration #2 showed up when we could figure out how to resize the brother’s picture so it would fit in the Job DB resume. We even have the instructions that Elder Lieshmann left and it still would not work. So we told the brother to come back tomorrow.

I kept busy sending out e-mails about PEF – there are enough layers of leadership involved that everything takes lots of writing back and forth and of course time to get something done. This is good because everything is checked and re-checked before a decision is made and the Lord’s money is spent. But also means that for most things, nothing can be done quickly.

Mary has spent her time updating the PEF loan files. We only have 13 loans out. I can not imagine what it is like to have 8,000 as they have in Brazil. It must take a lot of volunteers to keep up the records – let alone process loans.

Sams back and we are out of here…more later

16 July 2007


I have mentioned that anytime we see a small open area and there are any young people around, the odds are that there is a soccer game going on. The other national pastime seems to be kite flying. If there is any wind at all the sky will be dotted with small darting kites. They are much smaller than those in the US and do not have tails so they can be moved around quickly – they like to fight kites. Because of their love for kites, often you will see trees and phone lines decorated with kites that got too close. It reminds me of Charlie Brown’s kite eating tree.

16 July 2007 – Monday, Monday

I woke early again – it seems to be alternating – and could not go back to sleep. What a shame since there was no reason to get up early today. P-days are not my favorite days because I do not feel we should keep Sam busy on what should be his day off. However I also can not stand the idea of staying home all day so we compromise and go out for a few hours in the morning and then give him the rest of the day off.

Normal morning except there was no one on line this morning for us to even try to Skype. Cindy is now doing a good job keeping up her blog so we know pretty much what is going on there. Especially when she puts in pictures like the one about the birthday/swim party this weekend. Shauna sends us a letter each week and that is great. Kristy posts occasionally on Olivia’s blog so we have an idea of what happens there. Bob and different members of his family usually send us an e-mail each week and that is great but we could use more – grandparents can always use more letters while on missions.

We read from the Kitab Mormon – the part of Ether that I tend to skip when reading it in English. I must confess that I do not see what we learn from the details of how the Jaredites were finally destroyed. But there must be something there that I miss that is important for others. Soon we will be in Moroni which will be a treat and a great finish.

A communication problem kept Sam waiting for 30 minutes. We forgot that he had the keys to the car so he did not have to come up. When 9:00 rolled around and he had not shown up, Mary said that she thought I told him 9:30. So we waited until about 9:20 when all of a sudden I realized that he did have the keys and probably had been waiting for us. I quickly called and found out that was the fact. So we grabbed everything and headed down to the lobby.

We first went to T1 house and found that they were getting their house painted – at least one room. It turns out that the lease is about to come due and so the landlord is going to have to fix it up to if they want the church to renew for two more years. Hopefully this means all the plumbing gets fixed, etc. We really need a true handyman for keeping the missionaries houses in repair. We had a nice talk with the elders as we toured the house and found that they had a good turnout of investigators on Sunday. That is great news and hopefully Elder Wight will have at least one more baptism before he is released.

After that we stopped by a mall to go to a BreadTalk but they did not have what we wanted so we wandered around the mall and looked for other bakeries. There were a number of them and we got a few things but not what we were looking for. We will go to the other BreadTalk on Thursday.

While we were driving I got a call from brother Burr who is the area director for PEF. He needed us to send in some figures so he could send in a report. I explained that I had already prepared them but was just waiting for Elder Subandriyo and President Marchant to sign off before I sent them. As soon as I hung up with him I called the two of them and they both said what I had written was fine. So we went to the office so I could send it in an e-mail. While I was getting that ready, Mary wrote to ask how we could join in the video/phone conference that is going to be held on Thursday. I could only send half of what was needed because the other half was in a form I could not open at the office. So we closed up and came home.

I quickly sent off the rest of the information and a couple of hours later we got a response that Hong Kong had sent everything off to Elder Cook. Now we just have to wait to see if the Prophet will approve the program for Indonesia. Unfortunately there may still be a banking problem but that is out of our hands now. The Lord will have to work things out in that area – but I suspect if the Prophet approves it, people will get things moving.

Since then I have been napping, reading from the Kitab Mormon – not very well as it turns out – writing a few e-mails, and ducking out to the living room from time to time to see ‘Something about Mary’ that launched Cameron Diaz to the big time. While most of this was going on the cleaning lady came and got rid of a lot of dust and stuff that seems to accumulate on the floor each week. The important thing is that she gives the bathrooms a real cleaning and mops the floors.

We got a note from the management saying that they are installing a bathroom in the lobby area. It will take about 75 days and since we are just one floor above the lobby it is going to be noisy at times.

After a dinner of hotdogs – with real Oscar Meyer franks – we read from the Kitab Mormon. We are into Moroni and should finish by Wednesday or Thursday. I decided I would stay up late so perhaps I could get some solid sleep so I watched some mindless TV, read from the Kitab Mormon and finished by reading some of the Half Blood Prince. She certainly has a lot to clear up in the last book – it should be a lot of fun to read. I finally turned off the light just before midnight.

15 July 2007


Everywhere there are bougainvillea blooming – except on our deck where we have this big bush of leaves and not even one flower. Mary and sister Kane with one of the orphans at the Muslim orphanage we visited to see their mushroom project.

15 July 2007 – Minggu

I slept much better than I expected and did not wake until almost 5. I took the computer out to the living room so Mary could sleep and I could write my talk. Since most of it was well established in my head or in notes I had been making over the last few days. The main problem is keeping it short enough but still getting the points across – this is why I wish I could speak the language. It will be interesting and probably stressing to see how it comes out.

Sam dropped us off at the branch and then headed for his branch. We were happy to see the Lees there. They are a great couple and have good English skills. President Lee was to be the last speaker. I talked to Hendra about who would translate for me and he said he would ask Lukito – if he came. As we sat on the stand waiting for the meeting to start I noticed how few people there were in attendance. Then just before the meeting started and for a little time after that they streamed in. I do not know if they had all been down in the foyer or if they just arrived but it reminded me of home and ‘Mormon Time.’ Brother Leo brought a family of bulais from Salt Lake to sacrament meeting. They seemed like a great family – one son on a mission and another hoping to get his call in a week.

There were four speakers and the second sister who spoke took at least 20 minutes. I decided that I needed to cut my talk way back or president Lee would not have any time. So I cut out all but the idea the danger of ‘dwindling’ in unbelief. The problem was when it came time to translate ‘dwindle’ Lukito could not translate it…we got a good laugh as we tried to work it out. Also since I was winging the talk, he could not get anything from my notes. So I entertained even if I did not teach much. However in thinking about it, I would guess that more folks listened carefully to my talk than others since they wondered what would come next. I ended by bearing my testimony in Bahasa and I think I did a fairly good job. Sister Lee was translating for Mary and I thought I saw a spiritual look in her eyes – but perhaps she was tearing up from laughter.

The elders had a full house in their Gospel Principles class. One investigator and four or five new or inactive members. One of the sisters had been baptized in Bandung back in the 70’s but had become inactive. She saw them on the street and stopped to say hello and said she would come to church. I forgot to bring the English version of the manual so we did not follow much of the lesson but since it was on the law of chastity we had a pretty good idea of what was being said.

PH was good – it was on worshiping things of this earth instead of God. I mentioned that not all modern idols are evil – such as those who put their calling in the kingdom before their family or those who do not go on a mission because they can not leave their kids and grandkids. They do not understand that the best way they could show love for them would be to be an example for them.

After the meeting we walked out to the street and a cab immediately pulled up. He was a really nice young man but he had no idea where Puri Casablanca might be. But we have made the trip enough now to know how to direct him so it took a little longer – he was hesitant along the way – we got home in good time.

Once at home I broke my fast and thank the Lord for his help with my talk. Then I ate lunch and took a nap – which stretched to almost 3 hours. I guess I was exhausted. Which is strange since I slept well last night. After I woke up I helped Mary clean up the house for when the sisters come tonight for dinner. We then read from the Kitab Mormon – I will be glad when Ether is over. We are in the battle section and to me it is a waste of good plates.

We called the sisters to check that they were coming and it turned out that they were running really late and had to cancel. So instead of having hot dogs, French fries, and fruit salad we will have chicken, French fries and veggies from the place downstairs. Mary said it was a great sacrifice but she guessed it was OK.

While we were at Jakarta Raya, president Anthony gave me a letter from a mother who wrote that her son was coming to Indonesia in early August and would like to have some info about what to see in Indonesia. I wrote him and her that we would be happy to help. She wrote back but I have not heard from him yet. He has been in Taiwan for a year and is going to Singapore, Bali and then here. Either he has a lot of money or he is living on the beach. It will be interesting to get to know more about him. He served his mission in the Philippines so he should be used to roughing it.

I am having a strange evening. I seem to have a nagging little headache – something that is occurring much too often this month and can not concentrate on anything for very long. I have tried reading from the D&C and the Kitab Mormon but after 10 minutes I am through. I can not even get interested in TV. What interests me most is going to bed…but after a 3 hour nap that seems ridiculous.

I finally found something that needed to be done and that I could stick with – I put titles on all the pictures we have taken in July and then started on June. I realized that if we do not do this, we will not remember where they were taken. And certainly none of our children or grandchildren who may someday look through them will know. Anyway this kept me occupied until about 9:30 when I went to bed and read from the D&C and then Harry Potter.

14 July 2007


14 July 2007 – Sabtu

I woke at about 3:30 and could not ever really go back to sleep. I spent most of the time thinking about my talk for tomorrow. I have it pretty much worked out in my mind and so it should not be too hard to put it down on paper. I am going to do it in English so I only need half the time because the interpretation takes the other half.

After I finally gave up with trying to sleep, I tried to write an outline but it did not seem to want to come out. Strange how that works at times. I will try again later today. I posted all my journal so it is up to date. I also put in a lot of pictures from our trip this week.

We read from the Kitab Mormon – soon we will be in Moroni and headed for the finish. Except for one section of one verse we did quite well today.

We went to the office where there is going to be all kinds of things going on. I worked on a letter to Elder Cook about getting special approval for Indonesia and the PEF so that we could get some loans out this year. Elder Subandriyo and President Marchant need to sign off on it. Later the sisters brought in an investigator and Sam helped him get set up on JobsDB. He has a good skill and so hopefully we will find him a job.

While Sam finished up him, Mary took the Michigan test and I was the monitor. There were two others taking the test. It was good to be able to read the test and see what the questions were like. Mary finished in about 40 minutes – the test allows 75. I read through it – a young man who was supposed to take the test did not show up until it was over so I had his to read. It was interesting to see the kind of grammar questions they asked and the level of vocabulary. The vocabulary was pretty easy and I thought the grammar was fair. However the reading skills section was pretty difficult.

After the test was over we had to sit around and wait for brother Tandiman to finish with Seminary graduation so I could turn the tests over to him. I was filling in for him as monitor and money collector. We did have a chance to talk to the Kanes for a few minutes and at least say hello to President Marchant and Elder Subandriyo – as well as most branch presidents.

We caught a cab home – Sam was staying to take part in the missionary reunion festivities. A lot of native missionaries from the past were showing up by the time we left. We caught a cab almost as soon as we stepped out on the curb and the traffic was light so less than 15 minutes after we closed up the office we were in our apartment.

I thought I would catch a nap but instead I found myself watching the 4th Harry Potter movie. The least favorite of the four but it prepares us for the movie that soon comes out here. It ended at about the time we needed to get ready to go the wedding.

Sam had Johan Salim with him so we made a party of 4. We got there way early – especially since the bride and group did not come into the hall until almost 7:30. But there were some members that we knew and Sam introduced us to his real mother and father. Later the Tandiman’s showed up with all of their family so we had a nice Mormon contingent. The wedding and reception cost about $50,000 – in the US it would have been easily $250,000. The flowers alone would have run $20K or more in the US. The hotel was one of the best in Jakarta.

There was all kinds of food in great abundance. After the opening celebration – most of which we watched from afar, we had some fruit and creme puffs before going up and meeting the bridal family. One thing that is different is how fast people go through the line – 200 or more went through in 15 – 20 minutes.  After that we had some more substantial food, including mahi-mahi. There was probably 40 different dishes plus fruit, salad and desserts. And anytime you finished a plate you just put it down and it disappeared.

After most of the line was done, I went up and took a picture of the bride and groom. Then I struck up a conversation with the photographer by commenting on his camera. He spoke good English so we had a good time talking about photography. I told him I enjoyed his pictures of the engaged couple – especially one where they were blowing bubbles. He gave me points for being about to talk about composition and lighting. I had just enough knowledge to appear to know more than I do. I should have given him a pass-a-long card.

The taxi ride home took less than 15 minutes and the driver was a really nice fellow who tried to speak English. I think he knew more than he let on. I gave him a big tip and it still only came to $3.00. I commented to Mary that I think this was the first time we ever came home with absolutely nothing in our hands – not even her purse. Usually we look like we are going on a long trip.

I should be writing my talk but I think I will put it off until tomorrow morning. My brain is about fried – I have been awake for over 18 hours.

beakers-at-the-point.JPGa-perfect-inlet.JPGdrying-chilis.JPGkanes-drying-picture.JPGriver-runners-in-indonesia.JPGchildren-gather.JPGchubby-child.JPGclassic-indonisian-woman.JPGSo here are some pictures from our resent trip to Bogor and the ocean. The first two are easy to understand. The next two are pictures of cloves drying-they are spread out everywhere there is a flat place that gets sun. The next picture is a river guides take out point. In the spring – that is during rainy season – the river is all 3 and 4 rapids. It must be a wild ride. The next three pictures were taken at an orphanage. Indonesians are very clean – when you see a dirty Indonesian you know that they do not have any access to any kind of water because most Indonesians take two showers or baths a day. This is the first really chubby child I have seen here. The woman in the beautiful dress and big hat was in the nice village that we visited to see the water project. I am sorry that I did not notice that her face was so much in the shade. She had a wonderful smile.

13 July 2007

13 July 2007 – Jumat

Friday the 13th but no one here makes much of that. Hopefully it will not be a day with any problems. I woke at just about 5 and studied Indonesian – I tried to read Elder Holland’s talk from conference but I have already forgot many of the words. Normal morning – after our showers I put in a load of clothes.

While we were reading the Kitab Mormon my cellphone (handphone here) went off and when I tried to answer it all I heard was ‘Elder Pier’ and then it cut off. My new phone does not seem to have a program for re-calling the last incoming call so I was not sure who it might be but I decided it was probably brother Tandiman calling about today’s meeting at 10:00 so I called him. It turned out it was not him but he told me that the meeting had been re-scheduled to 9:00 he had tried to call me last night and when he could not reach me he sent me an e-mail but to the office account which I can not read here. Since it was already 8:30, I called Sam and asked if he could come right away and that if he took a motorcycle taxi I would pay. About 10 minutes later he was at the door and we were out of the apartment by 8:45. The traffic was not bad so we were only 5 minutes late and none of the others were really ready. I guess I will never know who called at 8:30 and hung-up after saying “Elder Pier.” It is hard for me to believe that the Lord felt the meeting was important enough to have one of the three Nephites call, but who knows.

The meeting included Elder Subandriyo, president Marchant, brother Tandiman and us. All three of those men had or were presidents of the Indonesian mission. We did not take long in the meeting to come up with a champion  – Sister Endang from Solo – and how much we thought that would be loaned the first and second year. We then discussed what needed to be done and we came up with meeting with the youth in central Java the last part of July and August. Brother Tandiman is going to write an information sheet for PEF applicants. I am going to write up the information needed by Hong Kong and a request for quick action on getting clearance so we can get people in school in January or before. Elder Subandriyo and President Marchant will sign off on that and we hope to have it cleared before the end of the month.

We then waited until district meeting that started just after 11. We recited D&C 4 in Indonesian and English at a pace that allowed the couples to keep up even in Indonesian. It felt good. We then all reported our missions – the couples took much longer than needed. That includes us but we had a lot to talk about with PEF, English, ERS, and looking for something for older people to do. President and Sister Marchant came in and that also added to the meeting. I believe they will attend if they are available. I am not sure what the office elders think about this but I think it is great.

After the meeting we went to SoGo and got groceries and of course BreadTalk. Mary found a new bread that is a rolled bread that is filled with blueberry jam. I am sure it is highly nutritional. Then it was back to the apartment where Mary rested and I wrote this until it was time for her to go to her English class at the university. She feels obligated to go because one of her students wrote saying how much she missed having the class. I am staying home to work on the things that we need for PEF and to start on my talk for Sunday. I double checked with Hendra and they really do want me to talk on the Great Apostasy. I will really need the Lord’s help to come up with something that is different that might keep the members awake.

Mary got to the university to find that there would be no class because her students were busy. I told her that she should just forget about trying to hold a class there. Not long after she got home there was a letter from one of the students telling her how sorry she was for not being there and pleading that she come next week and she would make sure that all three students would be there.

We then watched ‘Ocean’s 13′ which I thought was pretty lame. There was just not enough action and while some of the dialogue was OK, it was not as good as the first two. And the idea that you could get one tunnel digging machine into the Las Vegas underground is hard to swallow, but the idea that you can get two – one of which you import from Europe in a couple of days – is plain impossible. So while I am all for suspending belief at times while watching movies, I think giving it up completely is too much of a good thing.

We ordered in our Friday date night pizza – dinner and a show is still going strong even in Indonesia and tried to find something on TV to watch. There was nothing so Mary crocheted and I am not sure what I did until it was time to read the Kitab Mormon. We are now within 30 pages of finishing.

I see from Cindy’s blog that Tyler now has a driver’s license – that means at least two of our grandchildren may be out on the streets of SL. That is a scary thought – even if we are in Jakarta.

12 July 2007

12 July 2007 – Kamis

I slept like a rock last night. I do not think I woke even once. We did our usual morning things. I had orange juice and a banana for breakfast. It still amazes me how quickly the mornings shoot by. We read from the Kitab Mormon – we are under 40 pages from the end. We had a number of letters come in while we were gone. I answered one from Eko who was one of our students. He is not doing well but I told him to get out and find some kind of job.

We spent four hours in the office catching up e-mail, planning our English class for the evening and other mission related tasks that seem to have built up while we were gone. Mary had made tuna sandwiches but I decided I wanted an Indonesian meal so I had Sam buy he and I lunch. It was really good – I still am careful about red peppers but enjoy some of the spicy flavor.

After we closed our office we went to the mission office. We picked up our and the Tangerang elder’s mail, spoke to Elder Subandriyo about a number of things including having a PEF meeting tomorrow morning, and dropped an English grammar book off for the president to approve.

The drive to the Tangerang chapel was helped by the fact that I dropped off to sleep for about half of it. I wish I could do that more often. Really what I should do during the travel time is study, but I am not disciplined enough to do that very often. May before we are released I will learn to do that more often.

District meeting was one of the best I have been in. Since I think I said about the same thing about last Friday’s meeting, maybe I am just getting use to it. However I think the fact that most of it was done in English or using texts I could follow helps it not be boring. We shared some good spiritual thoughts about teaching and the need to call upon the spirit more often to know what the people need to hear and adjust our teaching to their needs. Even elder Wight, who I consider one of the best missionaries we have met, commented on the fact that he felt that often he had been so concerned about getting across the message, he did not think about if it was appropriate or not.

No one was there at 6 for our class but Agus and his children showed up at 6:20 but I think they were only there so Catherin could go to the CostCo like store next door. So we talked for a while and then we left for home without teaching any English. I think the only way we will build up the English class is to find some way to get the members excited about coming. Obviously they do not think it worth their time.

The trip home went very quickly and that was nice. I spent much of the evening catching up this journal for the last three days and then we read from the Kitab Mormon. What I have not been doing is reading from the D&C on a regular basis.

11 July 2007

11 July 2007 – Rabu

I woke many times during the night but always went back to sleep so I was well rested. I got a little reading from the D&C in before the house came alive. I also walked around a few blocks. We had breakfast and then I made sandwiches for lunch while Mary cut up apples. We were out of the house before 7:30.

Even though we spent 6 to 7 of the next 11 hours in a car it was a super day. First we went to see a water project that had just been finished. This meant we toured through a nicest village I have seen since we were here and Elder Kane it was the same for him. We walked through the village and the surrounding hillsides looking at identical distribution points – that is the places where the villagers hook up pipes to get water to their homes. Each distribution point provides water to 6 to 10 families and there were about 20 of them in this part of the project. This means some 150 families now have fresh, clean water for the first time in their lives.

It seemed to be a very prosperous village with stone or concrete walks around most of it. The women and children looked healthy and as always very friendly. The men were either at work or stayed in the house. There were rice paddies, lots of fish ponds, and the villagers were drying cloves about anywhere there was a piece of flat ground. They seemed to have lots of goats – which are kept in small pens that stand about five feet off the ground. My guess is it keeps them from straying and getting killed by wild animals or snakes. Whatever the reason it is strange to walk by a pen and find a goat looking straight into your face.

The village had electricity and many of them had TV. We felt it was interesting that there were families who could not seem to afford to run pipe to their homes at the cost of about $15 US but they had TVs going. I guess it all depends on what you value most.

I enjoyed most of the walking and Mary was a real champ about keep up with most of it. But there were a couple of times where I suggested she wait for us to come back because the walk was going to be mostly up hill. She made lots of friends while we were away. The only problem I had was that I started sweating and just could not stop. If I had thought to bring a small towel or two with me it would have been fine but I could not get the moisture off fast enough.

After touring the water project we went to a bamboo cabin built right next to a river and had lunch. It was beautiful and peaceful and after an hour I came close to stopping sweating but not entirely. We told Taufik – the native engineer who oversees the project and knows how to wine and dine the money folks – about the store we use to own. He was greatly surprised when we told him we sold 2 men tents that sold for up to $600. He was very interested and asked us to get him a catalog.

After lunch we left Taufik and his group – he has a good size crew that oversees all the work – and headed for the ocean which was about 30 minutes away. This was the first time we saw a real beach and ocean that looked like the ones at Redondo and Hawaii. It stretches for miles and miles and during the week there are very few people. There are only a couple of hotels and they did not seem to have much in the way of customers. We walked the beach and Mary got wet up to her knees. She also collect seashells from the Indian Ocean. I just walked along the beach and looked at the waves crashing into rocks and felt like I was back in California. The sky was clear, there was the breeze that always seems to come in the afternoon, and there were a few people enjoying the beach. This is an area this is almost untouched by foreign visitors – but I am sure that will change some time in the future. The town is one of the neatest and quietest we have seen. Beautiful bougainvillea planted along the wide, clean streets. It looks as if some one laid out the town for a busy future time. Very wise in my estimation.

The trip home took the best part of 2 hours. During our time in the car we talked about our missions, our families, our pasts, and Indonesia. It would have much more comfortable if there had been a second back seat so we could spread out some. But it still was a nice day.

Sam was waiting for us when we got back to the Kanes. Sister Kane insisted we have some bread and cheese to tide us over for the trip home. There are no nicer people in the world than the Kanes – we are so glad that we have had the chance to get to know them so well. They are doing an excellent job in their area.

The trip home was much easier and quicker than I expected. It took only about an hour so we got home before ‘On the Lot’ started. I am not sure why we like this program. Most of the movies are not very good but the average quality is getting better as the number of directors gets smaller. It has to be an expensive program to produce and I do not think we will see a second season.

After it was over we read from the Kitab Mormon. Mary actually had us stop a little early because she was so tired. Unfortunately she had twisted her knee – fortunately it was almost at the end of our trip to the beach so while she suffered, it did not cause any inconvenience.

So our two day working vacation came to an end. I doubt if we will do that very often but it was good to do it this time.