Monthly Archives: August 2007

31 August 2007

31 August 2007 – Friday

I really slept last night and when the alarm sounded I quickly turned it off and went right back to sleep without even a moment’s pause about missing exercising. When I woke again at 6:00, I realized we were going to miss the first part of the PEF phone conference that was to have started at 6:00. It took a while to get connected and it finally had to be done through the cellphone. Since only one could listen, Mary got to hear it and take notes.

We read in the Kitab Mormon about the struggle of the people of Lemhi. They could have really used some better diplomats to handle their negotiations. Especially after they captured the enemy king.

Sam came about 10 and we went to the mission office for district meeting and Mary to teach English. As usual it did not get started on time but Elder Decker managed to keep it to about an hour. Sister Larsen gave a short but good lesson on virtue but then they started speaking Indonesian and even with Elder Roper translating they lost my attention. So I read about the Christ-like attitude of knowledge as found in PMG and followed some of the scriptures. I was greatly impressed with D&C 76:5-10 and the promises to those who serve God righteously. He says that He will “reveal all mysteries” and “make known unto them the good pleasure of my will concerning all things pertaining to my kingdom” and “their wisdom shall be great.” I must have read this a dozen times before but today it touched me and I wanted to be in a position to have those blessings.

While we were at the mission home we spoke to Elder Subandriyo about the Intensive English class and he suggested that we might try having a two hour intensive English class each evening at the chapel for those who are interested. He wants to do something to help the young people learn English. So we said we would try this and would start in October. I found it interesting that he was excited that his youngest son had passed the TOFEL test so he can go to BYUH. I am not sure I would be willing to let my son go after my daughter had just died while in the States.

While Mary taught her English class to the staff, I started reading a biography of Elder Faust that the president loaned me. I know nothing about him and his life so it should be a good experience. It is better than getting on the computer or watching TV. After she was done, we came back to the apartment.

We had our date night – without pizza – by watching “The Queen.” It was an interesting story about the events of the week after Diana died. How Blair and the queen was faced with an event that was completely new to the kingdom. The queen felt like she should deal with it by keeping a stiff upper-lip and was completely out of touch with the feelings of her nation about Diana.

We also read from the Kitab Mormon a couple of times. We ended up reading over 10 pages for the day. I also read from president Faust’s biography before finally going to sleep.

30 August 2007

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This is a view of a typical street in a middle class section of Jakarta. It is shot from in front of the house where the Jakart, Raya missionaries live.
30 August 2007 – Thursday

Slept well, woke before the alarm sounded but I was in no hurry to start exercising – but I finally made it out to do the usual 45 minutes or so. I even managed some sit-ups so perhaps I my stomach muscles have finally started to cooperate. We read from the Kitab Mormon by the end of the day we were 1/3 of the way through in 40 days and are on schedule to finish it in 4 months.

We went to the office and worked on our English class material for the evening lesson. Once that was finished we went to the mission office to get lunch at BYU, see the Davises, and pick up any mail for the elders. The Davises told us about their house/apartment hunting – they did not see anything that they felt good about. Jemmy Mongan has seem to have taken them under his wing and is trying to help them find something they can live in.

As we were about to leave I spent some time talking to the president about Elder Packer’s book and some of the things going on in the mission. It is interesting to hear his thoughts about what areas we need to work on. I think the Zone Conference on Monday will be focused on his vision of the goals of the mission and how to achieve them.

We got to the Tangerang building only to find that they have changed the locks on the door because someone had stolen audio-visual equipment. They had not broken in so they must have had a key. We called the missionaries but the only one who had a key was Elder Tuxworth and of course he was the last one to show up for district meeting. So we ended up sitting in the car for the better part of an hour and a half.

Elder Whitmore – one of the zone leaders – was visiting the district so we had four sets of elders and myself at the district meeting. Mary took the first hour to have her piano lesson with sister Catherine. Before the meeting started we joked around a lot and as we started reciting A&P 4 I realized that there was just too much laughing and giggling for any of us to be taking what we were saying seriously, so I asked them to stop. I apologized for my part in the kidding and asked that we start over and think about what we saying. I am not sure how that came across to the elders but I felt better.

I am excited because it sounds like they might actually have a chance to have a baptism in the near future. They have not had a convert baptism in years in Tangerang and so it would be a great boast to the work here. It will show that missionaries in Tangerang can be successful in teaching and change the attitude of missionaries coming into the area in the future.

Elder Cowan gave the lesson and mixed English and Indonesian. He is not learning the language as quickly as Elder Peate. In fact he said this to me and I told him that he should not compare himself with anyone else and become discouraged. That as long as he could write in his journal that he was doing the best he could, he was doing as much as any missionary in the world. I told him discouragement was a tool of the devil. Elder Cowan has a good spirit and will be a good missionary.

We had a good English class. We did our numbers and then played the matching game using opposites. I divide up the class – including the elders – and they had a great time. I gave the cards to Agus to use at home. I will probably make another set for the class because it is good for them. I may make flash cards for them – it is a good way for them to learn vocabulary. We also went through the first five articles of faith – Agus’ children had to help the elders at times. Elder Peate told me that he had been memorizing them while riding the angkots because he realized he did not know them. So it seems the English class is good for everyone – including me.

We made good time coming home and although we were very tired we read for about an hour fro the Kitab Mormon. It was a good day for us.

29 August 2007

29 August 2007 – Wednesday

I had a strange night. Soon after we came back to the apartment, I became so tired that I decided I had to lie down for awhile. It was much too early to think about going to bed, but I just could not keep my eyes open. When I woke up it was after midnight – I had slept for over 6 hours. I did not go back to sleep until after 3 and slept until just after 6 a.m. So I had slept about 9 out of 12 hours. Earlier yesterday I thought I might be coming down with a cold but maybe my body was just telling me that it was very tired. Hopefully today will be not be a repeat of the pattern.

We got to hear from Tom and his family. Both by e-mail and by Skype. William is not quite ready to talk to us but he gave it a good try. After breakfast we read from the Kitab Mormon. Abinadi during his second round of preaching and being brought before King Noah. His comment that once he finished delivering the Lord’s message it did not really matter what happened to him is quite striking. I wonder how many could face such an uncertain future at the hands of their enemies and not worry?

Somehow I made a real mistake a week ago when I had Sam order copies of what I thought was the Self-employment Workshop workbook. What I ended up with was copies of the Career Workshop workbook. I did not realize this until yesterday when I went to get some SEW books for Lukito to use in Bangdung and found that I did not have any. So I had to send Sam to the copy shop to have some made which we picked up this morning on our way to Carrefore.

The traffic was terrible and so it took us almost 2 hours to get everything done – most of that time was spent in the car creeping along the street. I think they should only assign couples to Jakarta who are called for 23 months. Since they will spend 40% of their time in a car that will leave them 15 months to actually do missionary work.

The traffic was so bad that Lukito and Agus were about an hour late in getting to our apartment for our ERS meeting. We went down to our apartment complex restaurant and had a luncheon meeting – Agus’ wife came along. The meeting went well and the food was fine. I will not do this in the future but once in awhile it may be a good thing.

In the afternoon I went down to the gym and did a light workout for about a half an hour. I still have not figured out how to stop being bored while working out. I did take a talk by Elder Ballard about this being a chosen generation of missionaries, but it did not take very long to read. Perhaps I need to put a movie on my PDA and see if that would work. The problem with the TV’s are that they are too far away to hear what is going on.

The rest of our P-day was spent doing laundry, reading, watching a movie about William Wilberforce, and reading from the Kitab Mormon. We read something over 10 pages in 3 hours which made up for some of the days when we only read once. I think we will do this on each P-day. We are on track to finish in 4 months. The movie about Wilberforce was quite interesting. I had never heard of him and I was surprised that he was the main force behind the stopping of the British slave trade and finally the emancipation of all slaves. He also was one of the founders of British Humane Society and worked for many other moral causes.

28 August 2007

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Elder Erickson from Dallas – he is rather tall and so he has trouble getting on and off angkots. Children are the same where ever you are. These bicycle driven rides roam the living areas and bring smiles to those who ride. The young lady was not sure she wanted that old, white man to take her picture.

28 August 2007 – Tuesday

It was a little cooler today when I went out to exercise – I would have liked it to be even cooler. About 20 degrees cooler. I tried to work on vocabulary but I just could not get interested. I did think about my talk about the widow and her mites. The need to give our ‘all’ and not just part is probably one of the hardest parts of the gospel. That is to know what our ‘all’ really is. The Lord does not want us to ignore our family, nor our work, nor our communities. I do not think he even wants us to ignore our hobbies and recreation. He also gives a commandment to not do more than we are able and to not reach beyond the mark. So how does a mere mortal decide when he or she is giving their ‘all.’ I think this is where the Gift of the Holy Ghost comes in. The Lord does not leave us alone to make these decisions or perhaps it is better to say that we have a gift that allows us to double check on if we are giving our ‘all’ or if we are just tossing in one of our mites. So perhaps the scripture should be changed to “So ye that embark in the service of the Lord, see that you serve Him with all your heart, mites, mind and strength. So ye can stand blameless before God in the last days.”

We have a super-slow connection this morning. Posting yesterday’s journal to the blog is taking forever. Someday, someone will bring a truly fast internet connection to Jakarta and blow the competition away. I imagine the big multi-nationals, the banks and some of the government must have fast lines, but us peasants are not so lucky. The president told me yesterday that their service has been completely down for a couple of days.

We read from the Kitab Mormon for about an hour and only had to look up maybe a dozen words. Some of which we should have already known but seem to disappear from both of our minds as soon as we read the definition. We are in the part of Mosiah where King Noah is in charge and Abinidi has just come on the scene. It is easy to understand why Noah and his people were not really interested in Abinidi’s message. No one likes to hear that they are going to be destroyed – especially not when they are living the good life.

We had a very busy day at work. For the first time ever we had three people come in asking for some help. Mary and Sam was busy helping with Jobsdb and resumes. We were so busy that we had to eat lunch in shifts and use another room. Earlier I had worked on getting back one sister’s passport, but when she came in today she said they may give it back early in September without her paying. However I made a good contact with brother Ventura who is a member of the English branch and works for USAID. He is going to try to get me some information about micro-finance in Indonesia.

I also had Sam calling our PEF loans and seeing how they are doing. One brother really bothers me. He is in a branch presidency, knows he owes the money but is acting like he is not going to pay it back because he does not owe it to PEF but to CES. We will talk about it in our next PEF meeting. Hong Kong will be happy that we posted our contacts so their numbers will be up.

After office hours we headed out to Maria’s house to meet with her and the elders. She is the young woman who was married to a man who decided he did not want to be married any longer. He was quite well off and so she had a good life but now she is living in a space that is not much bigger than a one car garage with 3 other family members and her young son Matthew. When we arrived they immediately went out and bought us water – an expense they can not afford but we could turn down. We were there so the elders could teach and so we could get the information we need to create a resume and register her with Jobsdb. She is well educated so perhaps she will be able to find something in the banking world. It was very hot today and the only thing that saved us was a large fan that they let blow right on us. I can not imagine what it is like when those fans are off. She wants to be baptized but the elders think she needs to know more. What we do not need in the church is more single mothers without a job and no testimony.

When we were done there we drove the elders to the mission home so they can go with the district to Bandung tonight. We were invited but we have a ERS meeting and the cleaning lady coming. We really need the ERS meeting and besides we have already been to where they are going. We told them they were lucky we were not going because if we went it would be overcast and raining.

We got a great letter from McKay today and one from sister Sandberg who is serving with her husband who is a mission president in Russia. We love to get letters and e-mail. We also heard from the Peterson’s who arrived home last Friday. Their family basically remodeled their house – with their approval of course – while they were gone. They also had a full weekend of activities – the Peterson’s sound exhausted.

27August 2007

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The man who the Lord gave me a second chance to help.

27 August 2007 – Monday

It was one of those days when everything falls apart and yet some things get done. I did my exercising – my stomach muscles finally allowed me to do some sit-ups. I decided I would be more careful in the future and not do too much too fast. I just read a scripture about that in the D&C but can not remember the reference without looking. We read for pages from the Kitab Mormon – the first time we read it, we did about two to two and a half pages per day so we are doing better.

We got some wonderful letters from our children or their spouses as well as a couple from grandchildren. Between that and the blogs we can keep pretty much up on what is going on.

The first change came when I got a text message saying that our PEF meeting was being put off a week. So I called Sam and said that he did not need to pick us up until 11:15 when we could go to the mission home and eat before Mary had her English class. I suggested she call and make sure that there would be a class and was told that it probably should be postponed because some people were not in the office today. So instead of going to the mission home we went to the office.

I had a special experience on our trip to the office. There was a man going down the street on a little cart that he used like a wheelchair. I believe he is the man who I saw the other day and did not go back to as prompted. As we passed him this time I told Sam he needed to turn around so we could find out where this man lived so that when we got wheelchairs, we could possibly give him one. Sam talked to him and found where he lived and that he spent his day going up and down the road begging for enough money to buy food for him, his wife and their two children. I did not find out how his lost the use of his legs. I gave him 10,000 R – about $1.10 which should allow him to feed his family for the day. I am not sure that a wheelchair will help him, but I know that I must try to get him one. This was a tender mercy from the Lord to allow me a second chance to try and help one of his children in need.

We had lunch off the street – Mary had mie goreng and I had my usual meal. I sent a number of e-mails – in fact we sent e-mails all day to different people all over the world it seemed. I worked on trying to find out more about micro-finance in Indonesia. Everything I find is about 3 years old but I will keep trying to find where I can get current information. I also tried to contact a member who works in the embassy but he seems to have moved. I then tried to call some members of the English branch to find out who worked there now but everyone was gone. It seemed to fit into an already frustrating day. While I was doing this, Mary worked on her English lessons and answered more e-mail.

I checked with the president on how the Davises were doing and he said they had gone up to Bandung to look at some housing. Jemmy Mongan went with them so they are in good hands. We talked a little about the Bennetts and what they are doing up in Semarang. He also informed me that we would be picking up the Walkers when they come in – he will be in Solo at a Zone Conference. We really have become the unofficial meeters and greeters for the mission.

After we closed the office we went to SoGo to do some grocery shopping and of course visit BreadTalk. They had almost everything we craved – much too much chocolate. The traffic was light both ways and we made good time getting back to the apartment. The rest of the day was spent napping, studying Indonesian, reading from the Kitab Mormon, writing and posting this journal, and organizing pictures. We read four more pages from the Kitab Mormon – Zeniff’s account of his kingship in the land of their inheritance.

So we had a day almost completely different from what we had planned but it was still a fruitful and fulfilling day as we serve here in Indonesia. I am truly thankful that the Lord gave me a second chance to heed His spirit in regards to the crippled man. I guess I am the kind of son who has to be shaken a couple of times before my spirit wakes up and hears the still, small voice.

25 August 2007

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Photos from funeral of Dita Subandriyo including family around casket, elder Subandriyo, the petal covered grave, Mary settling in for the duration, and the impromptu choir for the postlude.

25 August 2007 – Saturday

It was nice to sleep in my own bed and I really slept – until almost 6. Because we needed to leave soon after 7 for the Subandriyo funeral, we did not read from the Kitab Mormon. We will really need to read a lot on Sunday to get back on track.

I am writing this at just before 8 a.m. Although the funeral does not start until 11:00 people have been arriving here for hours because they have come from all across Java. By bus and train – often traveling from 12 to15 hours or more – they are arriving. Mary is practicing with the soloists and the choir until 9 when she will start playing the prelude program. For two hours there will be singing and she will play for most of it and all the funeral itself. It is actually an honor to be asked to do this.

As I was out taking some pictures of the tents and flowers, Elder Subandriyo came in on his motorcycle. He had to run home to get some music to play for the guests during the viewing and while Mary was practicing. I gave him our condolences and we shared a hug. Yesterday President Marchant mentioned that Elder S., because of his strong testimony, was doing well and knew that he would see his daughter again. But I would be surprised if, for at least some time, the radiant smile might be dimmed just a little.

I was greatly touched by the experience of attending the funerals today. The bodies were available for viewing at the front of the chapel and for hours people went by and looked and then met the families. The circumstances of their death, their caskets, the number of people who came to see them, and where they will be buried are far different, but they both shared the love of many members and of course they shared the promises of the gospel. Sister Subandriyo left a family of parents and three siblings. The brother left parents, an older brother, a wife and four children – one only 22 months old. One of the most touching parts for me was the family of the brother singing – there was only about 10 who sang but they sounded like a choir of angels. As they sang I noticed one of the young men in the choir could not help singing along. He looked and saw me watching and he put his hand over his heart and I indicated I understood completely.

Another high point was when Elder Subandriyo spoke. He talked about his daughter and the man who was a fellow ex-missionary of I would guess about the same age. He shared some advice he gave his daughter and the one that touched me was that if she was asked a question that she felt was contentious to try to avoid answering it, but ‘if you have to answer, answer with a soft voice.” I thought that was great counsel and something that I still have not learned to do.

After the funeral was over, the whole congregation came forward to see the bodies for one last time. While they were doing this Mary started playing postlude music. Sister Autin started to sing with her in English, she was soon joined by two of the sister missionaries, and then others joined in. I even joined in where I could. This went on for close to a half hour or until the caskets were finally closed and carried out. It added a nice touch to the funeral.

I should mention that Mary practiced with soloists and the choir for over and hour, then played prelude music, accompanied soloists and the choir for well over an hour before the funeral started, and played for almost all the songs that were sung during the funeral. So she certainly got her piano time in today.

We were only two cars behind the hearst and so we got to park somewhat near the grave site. There was a big canopy over the site but even with that it was boiling – especially for us in suits. Mary took one of the chairs so she did not have to stand. The grave was about 4 feet deep and there were a couple of boards to hold up the casket. The elders and her two brothers were pall bearers.

After a song, the grave was dedicated and a short talk. Then the sisters placed garlands of flowers over the casket before it was lowered into the grave with ropes. There is no vault so I would guess as the casket deteriorates the graves collapse. After the casket is lowered people throw handfuls of flower petals on it. Then the grave diggers start filling in the grave with their hoes. When it is filled and mounded, people file by and put more petals on the top so that when they are done there is a mound of petals. All in all it is a beautiful experience that I would have enjoyed more if the temperature was not quite so high. Sam mentioned that they held the funeral early so it would not be too hot. I can not imagine it being hotter.

We were lucky about where we parked so we could back out of the cemetery. The number of mourners and their vehicles meant that many had to park on the road. This of course caused a massive traffic jam which was made even worse by the vehicles in the cemetery coming out and blocking another lane. It probably backed up traffic for miles. I was just glad we did not have to experience this.

We came home and Mary immediately collapsed in bed. A few minutes later I came in to find her crying. She had not eaten any breakfast and so her body was rebelling for lack of food to a point where she was emotionally as well as physically exhausted. I got her a sandwich and some crackers and that solved the problem. She soon was able to fall asleep for a short but much needed nap.

After she woke we read from the Kitab Mormon – we had not read this morning. Then we ordered pizza. After it came I put on the penguin movie ‘Happy Feet.’ While Mary is watching that, I am trying to catch up some of this journal.

It is strange how exhausted we are tonight. I can somewhat understand Mary’s fatigue but I did nothing except a lot of sitting and standing. Perhaps it is emotional fatigue. What ever the cause, neither of us felt like reading more from the Kitab Mormon and by 9 we were both asleep.

How hard it must be to bury your child. To see so much of your hope – Elder Subandriyo had written a note to Dita that he had not sent saying that he was looking forward to her providing his first grandchild – and your dreams be covered with the red soil of Indonesia. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Her younger sister was not able to keep up her composer as well as her elder brothers and parents. She must have been very close to her sister – pictures of them together show two friends as well as sisters. Hopefully for all the family their great faith and testimony of the gospel will allow them to get through this by knowing that when they pass to the other side she will be there waiting to take them into her arms.

24 August 2007

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A display at one of the schools – this could be at any school in the U.S. The Deyhles at the two ceremonies and at Taman Safari.  The twin daughters do not like any sized animalsso they got no closer than 10 feet to the elephants but they were really good sports about it. The Davises and Mary in our lobby – they are going to be great missionaries.

24 August 2007 – Friday

I tossed and turned a little more during the night, the couch is not as comfortable as the bed. But I was always able to go back to sleep. I did not get in my exercises – we had to leave early to pick up the Dahlyes and get them up to Bogor for a couple of ceremonies at schools.

We made sure the Davises were ready for their move to the Peterson’s house. We enjoyed having them here but I am sure that both couples will feel more comfortable when they have more space.

We picked up the Dahlyes – I am sure I am spelling that wrong – at their hotel. Brother and Sister Dahlye and their twin 20 year old daughters. We had a good time getting to know a little more about them. One of their daughters is majoring in Art History and knows Marion Wardle. She is writing her master’s thesis on an English artist I did not know at all but want to find out about. Unfortunately my mind went blank when it came to remembering the British artists of the 80’s so I could not carry on a very intelligent conversation. The other daughter has graduated and is a nanny. She seems to be a little embarrassed by her choice of occupations but it seems to be what she really enjoys so I told her that was the important thing.

We got to Bogor way early and had time to drive around the botanical gardens and the Presidential summer palace. The two programs – actually there were three – went very well. The first was at a very up-scale school that teaches almost exclusively in English. Except for the color of the faces on the children, it could have been in America or Australia. The program was short and then we toured the school. I had a chance to talk to one of the teachers who was Indonesian, born in Germany, grew up in Canada and Australia. He teaches ITC – they have two large computer labs – and says that he really enjoys the work. I also spent some time talking to the very quiet director who stayed in the background. He started the school 13 years ago with just kindergarten and 1st grade and it did so well that he got investors and built a very nice school which he hopes to expand into a full high school.

We had a second ceremony there  when one of the other schools who received some of the books sent a delegation to say thanks to give the family a couple of gifts. One was a wonderful drawing of the brother and sister Dahyle done by the students and nicely framed. I think the family was deeply touched.

We then went to a much more humble school where they put on a very nice program that all the students participated in. It was outside but since we were in Bogor it was not really hot. We also toured this school and the Dahyles tried to shake as many hands as they could. Brother Dahyles message to the children is learn English – as much as they can.  During the day we got to find out more about their foundation and what it and other programs they are a part of is doing in South America and Asia. I think they are a perfect example of Jacob 2 that says that as long as we seek for riches to help others, that the Lord will bless us.

After the ceremonies were over we took them up to Taman Safari. The young ladies were not thrilled because neither of them like animals at all – not even cats and dogs. But the parents wanted to see it so we drove up and gave them a quick trip through the main zoo. I think they were impressed – at least until a zebra almost scared sister Dahyle to death by sticking its head into her face unexpectedly. But they fed the animals carrots and bananas and ohed and awed at the right times. We stopped at the activities area long enough for everyone to use the restroom and get their picture taken with the elephants. We were going to eat there but the restaurant was out of noodles and rice so we decided to look elsewhere for lunch. I am glad we did because Sam stopped at a more traditional restaurant near to Bogor and we had a wonderful late lunch. The hit of the meal was the best chicken sate with peanut sauce that we have ever had. Nothing but white meat chicken and a subtle sauce that did added flavor without overpowering the chicken. Elder Dahyle paid the bill that with a generous tip came to under $20 for 7 people.

The traffic back to Jakarta was heavy at time but we made good time and dropped the family off at their hotel. I really am glad we got to meet them and look forward to seeing them again in Utah after our mission.

We went to the mission home to see that the Davises got moved OK and to pick up our extra key from them. While I visited with them, Mary talked to sister Ahtin about the program for the tomorrow’s funeral. When she joined us she said that we had been invited to stay and have dinner with the Davises and the Marchants. I mentioned that we had just had a huge meal just 3 hours before and that she needed to be at the chapel to practice at 6:30. But she felt we should stay. So we did and had a nice if brief visit. I told the President about our day with the Dahyles and seemed pleased that we let them see Taman Safari.

They dropped me off at the apartment and then went to the church. Sam would be leaving to help escort the sister Subandriyo’s body home and Mary got a ride home with sister Penny and her husband after the practice. I was dead tired – I have been for a couple of days – and fell asleep. Mary woke me when she got home but I went right back to sleep on the couch. About 10 I woke up long enough to go to bed where I read from the A&P for a short time for turning off the light.

I do not know where this day fits into our calling as missionaries. I learned a lot about what is available in Indonesia through the Dahyle’s foundation. I think they now have a better idea about Indonesia – they certainly know that it is not a dangerous place to visit. I got some good ideas on how to work with the less actives – the Dahyles have an assignment to help a couple of Latino wards in Salt Lake and have helped them greatly to grow. We met a lovely family who we may be able to help Indonesia even more in the future.  I know that even though we did not seem to much more than go around in the car and visit schools, a zoo and a restaurant, that it was exhausting.

We got a nice letter from Brian and he posted a comment on our blog. It seems he did not know that we had one. I am not sure that I mentioned that the Taylors – who left for Solo early this morning, had read our blog before they came. It seems that if you put Indonesia into the search engine, it comes up. I guess I should be careful about what I write here, but I really do not want to edit it to make it sound like the mission is a spiritual feast every minute of each day. But I also do not want people to think that taken as a whole we are having a great spiritual experience that we want to keep enjoying as long as we are healthy enough to do so

23 August 2007

23 August 2007 – Thursday

I slept well on the couch and got up and did my hour of exercise. I really feel much better when I do this – both physically and mentally. We read from the Kitab Mormon until the Davises came out and joined us. We thought we would be heading out early to Immigration so the Davises could get finger-printed and sign for their KITAs, but it turned out that Immigration had a meeting which shuts the office down until after lunch. So we had Sam drive us to the office.

They have erected large tents over the whole parking lot and the front lawn so the expect overflow of quests would be protected from sun or rain during the funeral on Saturday. I just realized I did not take a picture of this and will need to do that before they come down. While Mary practiced the piano and the Davises looked over the chapel, I caught up on the office e-mail and did some things for tonight’s English class.

We left for the mission office so they would be ready to leave after lunch. I talked the Davises into trying some BYU food but Sam came back to tell us that it was closed because one of the daughters were getting married. I was greatly disappointed but I do not think anyone else was. Instead of eating we talked to the elders and then the Taylors. We decided there was no reason for Mary and I to go to the Immigration office so we stayed and chatted with the Taylors until the Davies got back.

By then it was time to hurry off to Tangerang and Mary’s piano lesson. We were late but when we called Catherine to tell her we would be late she said she would be also. That was good because we did not have a chance to eat, so we went to the mall and had KFC. We got back just as Catherine pulled so Mary gave her a lesson while the Davises and myself went to district meeting. I was happy to find elder Tuxworth was feeling better – he lost 20 pounds in two days because of his sickness. I told him he should perfect that weight loss program and it would make him a fortune. He did not think people would buy into a full day and night in the bathroom.

I think district meeting was not a good example for the Davises to see. Hopefully the one tomorrow at the mission office will be better. It was pretty much out of hand until elder Tuxworth gave an excellent lesson on why we leave something for the investigators to read or do. I was amazed at how many things he was able to dig out of his little case as examples.

After district meeting we immediately started English class. I had Agus’ family and two of the Indonesian elders. Mary had a total of 4 including Sam. My class went well but I found myself really sweating. As we were shutting down I found that someone had turned the temperature up to 25C and it was no wonder I was warm. I will check that more carefully next week before we start class. We ended a little early because Mary needed to get to the chapel to practice with the choir for the funeral on Saturday. Since Sam is in the choir, they dropped me and the Davises off at the apartment before going.

The Davises and I talked for a short time before they went off to bed. I semi-stayed awake until Mary got home and then we both headed right to bed. Well for me it was the couch but that worked fine. I did read a some from the Kitab Mormon but not long.

22 August 2007

22 August 2007 – Wednesday

Normal morning – we read 4 pages from Kitab Mormon. Then we got everything ready for our guests before leaving for the airport. We got there just as the plane landed and about an hour later the Davises came through the gate. Of course we were on the left side and they turned right – I told Sam they would but I did not back up my thought with action.

The Davises are a lovely couple – he is retired from the being a government agent and she was a middle school teacher. This is their first mission. They were originally called to Micronesia but it was changed to Indonesia because of some medical problems. I am sure they will do a great job up in Bandung.

As we were heading back to Jakarta we got a call from the office elders saying we needed to bring them in so they could get started on their paperwork for their KITAS. This way they were able to meet the Taylors before they leave for Jogja. The Taylor’s KITAS should come tomorrow morning so we booked them a flight to Solo on Friday morning. They will be met by the Roberts and they will stay with them until they get settled. After they filled out all of their paperwork, we came back to the apartment.

By 8 P.M. they were ready for bed. Mary and I read the Kitab Mormon before I curled up on the couch – we gave them our bedroom because it has a King-sized bed and read the PH lesson for next week before turning off the light.

I need to write about an experience that I had yesterday. I feel it is one of those cases – not the first – where I have ignored the prompting of the spirit. We were heading for the office when out of the corner of my eye I think I saw a man inching his way along ground using only his hands. It happened so quickly that I could not see if he had no legs or if his legs were useless but as we continued down the street I thought how he could use one of our wheelchairs. However at this time there are none in Indonesia to give away so that was out. The thought then came that I should tell Sam to turn around and go back and see if we could help or at least get a name so when the next batch of wheelchairs came in we could get one for him. But I did not do that and just continued to the office. Later when thinking about the experience I felt that I had ignored the prompting of the spirit and missed an opportunity to help some one in need. Hopefully either the Lord will give me a second chance to help the man who must crawl along the gutters of Jakarta or will provide him help by some other means. And perhaps I will be more aware of that still small voice when it comes the next time.

21 August 2007

21 August 2007 – Tuesday

I thought the alarm woke me up but I must have been dreaming because after I had been up a few minutes, the alarm went off and I had to hurry to cut it off so it did not wake Mary. I am up to an hour of exercise. I am still taking it easy on both running and sit-ups but I think in a couple of weeks I will be able to be back to where I was.

We read from the Kitab Mormon – we are in the Olive Tree parable. We can read it fairly well but still are not sure of what branch and tree we are talking about. The importance I get from the parable is that the Lord does all that He can to help us and through his servants he continues to watch over His vineyard so that we can return to him. So the He, the servants who labor and those that accept the gospel will all rejoice together. One other thing that I find interesting is that the servant at one point convinces the Lord not to give up on the trees of the vineyard but to give the roots and branches one more chance.

Soon after we got to the office it started to rain – that is it poured. The young lady who was coming to see us sent an SMS saying that she could not come because of the rain. She rides on her brother’s motorcycle. We had no other patrons so I started going through the files to get rid of things we do not need and to organize what is left. There are a lot of good things from the past but there are a lot of junk.

Earlier in the day I got a call from Lukito saying that they had 20 people signed up for the SEW at Bandung. I told him that unless the funeral was on Saturday, we would go with him. Later I learned that it probably will be held on Saturday. Since Mary is playing and we are close to the family we can not go. Maybe next week. We do need to get some SE workbooks printed as we have about run out.

After office hours we went to the mission office to pick up the Taylors and to take care of some things. It seems we are going to the office much more often lately but I would imagine once the Taylors and the Davises get to their areas, this should return to normal.

We took the Taylors to Carrefore where we picked up some needed office supplies, got them an electric dictionary, and Mary some thread for her cross-stitch. We brought the Taylors back to our apartment and gave them a crash course on using the dictionary. We talked for about an hour and then Sam took them back to the mission home. They should get their KITAs tomorrow and be on their way to Solo on Thursday. They are anxious to get started – they are great missionaries and it should really help Jogja.

We read from the Kitab Mormon and finished Jacob. Before going to sleep I read some from the A&P. I just randomly open it and start reading. Sometimes I can read a page without looking up a word and sometimes it seems I have to look up every 5th one. But it is encouraging how much I can read without help. Of course I know the subject matter and the reading from the Kitab Mormon ties right in. Reading articles or newspapers is much harder.