29 November 2007 – Thursday
I woke in the middle of the night and had a very difficult time going back to sleep. But some time I did and woke up after 6:00. I spent the time that I was awake thinking about all the things we did and needed still to do. Worrying if we had made a good impression on the young people, thinking about the people who needed help with getting a job, and on and on. It is amazing how many things I can find to think and worry about when I should be going back to sleep.
We had a very quiet morning. After breakfast we read from the Kitab Mormon and then I wrote in this journal. Mary worked on getting activities together for tonight’s class. We came to realize that this is how we work best. Making up what we are going to do based on what we learned or did the day before. I made one of my matching games using opposites. I finally got around to going to an ATM so we have enough cash to finish our trip. I then walked down to the bookstore to see what they had. When Mary said it was close, I had no idea how close it was.
As I was in the bookstore, it struck me how busy it was. It was as busy as many of the bookstores in America. It shows that the Indonesian people, even in a smaller town like Solo, are interested in reading and learning. The problem is that there is so much poverty in Indonesia, that the fact that there is a growing middle class of very intelligent and inventive people. I believe in a couple of generations, Indonesia will over come the major problems of corruption and under employment and take their place with countries like Japan and Korea as major forces in Asia and the world.
Elder and Sister Bennett joined us for lunch and we talked about a lot of things. We shared ideas about English class, and a lot more. Sister Bennett came equipped with a whole list of things she wanted to get ideas on. We talked about a couple of problems that they seem to be having. It is always good to find out what the couples are doing.
After the Bennetts had to leave, Mary talked me into going to look at some Batik shops that the Barnards told us about. However we could not find them so we came back to the hotel and will go with the Barnards to see them tomorrow. We spent the couple of hours we had left getting everything ready for tonight’s class and then I took a short nap.
We arrived at the chapel in another wild rain storm. Not as bad as a couple of days ago but still a lot of rain and wind. There was only about a half-dozen young people at seminary and my first thought was that we managed to scare all the young people from coming. But they kept arriving and by the time the class started there were 14 – 3 or 4 more than yesterday. I am hoping that was because the ones that came yesterday told their friends that it was worth attending.
We did a number of activities including teaching them the first article of faith. I got a number of them to stand up and try saying it from memory. They are starting to trust us and so they are willing to try. I tried to work with one young man who I think is quite smart but has an attitude and I think he is coming around. At least when I asked him to come up he was willing to give it a try.
We did a number of other activities including one on verb tenses and one on antonyms. I was pleased to find that they know the words ‘antonym’ and ‘synonyms.’ During the class I had Sam get simple meals for the students. They were surprised and happy with the added treat. Some took the food home and some ate at the capel.
I talked to president Tatok – he is the CES co-ordinator for the district – about the class. He thinks it is great and said he has been trying to get the Seminary teacher to include activities in her lessons. He thinks if she did more young people would come. I really hope that the young people can get some of their non-member friends to come. At least they will learn the Articles of Faith.
When we got back to our room, we read for the third time today from the Kitab Mormon. We are still a few pages behind but are catching up. Hopefully by the end of the weekend we will be back on track.
We talked about the English class and my thought was that there should be four things taught each class. The next class would review three of them and add a new item. This way each item gets taught four times and something new is being worked on each class. Then a month or so later the concept would be reviewed for four more times. Then two months after that, if it was needed, it could be reviewed again. Once a concept or a skill was fully understood, it could be used at any time as part of another concept or skill.
I also think that as often as possible there should be two speaking activities, one reading and one writing activity each hour. Once the class is established some homework can be assigned. Nothing that takes long but something that they will find interesting enough to not find it a burden.
So it was a great day. It looks like the idea is workable and that if presented correctly the students will want to attend. Now all we need to do is work up a curriculum that will teach the students while being interesting and fun.