Monthly Archives: November 2007

29 November 2007

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.

28 Novermber 2007

28 November 2007 – Wednesday

We slept in until almost 7 which is very unusual for us. We had breakfast and then went over to the Roberts. We spent the next 6 hours sightseeing – it was P-day. They took us to the gift area outside the Hindu temples – the ones we visited with the Kanes a few months ago. Mary found some Christmas presents for the grandchildren and I bought a back scratcher – which I have since lost. They then took us to a couple of beautiful areas where the Solo River starts from big, clear springs. We enjoyed all of this and took lots of pictures. We then returned to the Novotel to have lunch together. After lunch the Roberts headed back to their home. It is always interesting to share experiences with other missionaries. We always learn something that will help us in our mission.

Today Elder Roberts told us that we were the only couple who kept in contact with them except when they were all together for some meeting. I guess we are just the type who likes to know what is going on and like to help where we can. Of course our calling extends all across the island so we need to have that contact. Also because we can travel, we can bring things to the couples from time to time.

The hotel provider seems to have solved the problem with the internet so we could get on and check our mail, etc. Then I took a nap.

The evening class was interesting. There were 10 young people there and their English abilities were really varied. I am not sure we actually found out much except they are very reluctant to use what English they know. We tried to keep everything being fun and I think for the most part it worked. We were fairly happy – especially since this was our first experience with them.

As I am sitting here trying to write something inspiring or unusual, I find that it was just a very normal day of our mission. We are blessed each day with experiences that are new, we see things that are new or different, we share with other missionaries or members. We just serve our mission in the way that seems to be laid out for us. Calling on the Lord for help in those areas where we are walking in the dark and trust him to provide light to guide us. We make mistakes and the Lord helps us to correct them and move on.

Some days it is easier to see the Lord’s hand in our lives, but we know that each day, if we are trying to do what he would have us do, He is always there with His arm extended to take our hand.

27 November 2007

27 November 2007 – Tuesday

None of the alarms went off but I woke at exactly 3:00 a.m. We had not trouble getting ready to leave at 4:00. However we came close to having a major problem. On the way to the airport we ran into a traffic jam on the toll road. There was a flood on the road and the three and four lanes had to be reduced down to one. This was bad even at 4:00 when there are hardly any vehicles on the road. 3 hours later it must have been impossible – both ways. Later we read in the paper and saw on the news that it had been there for at least the last 12 hours. However it seems no one had told people to stay off the road. But once again we were blessed and got through it with lots of time left for us to get to the airport, check in and catch our flight.

Sam and Wawan made it to Solo with a detour through Semarang and met us at the hotel so we could get all of our luggage when we checked in. We got a very nice room – all of them seem to be – and after unpacking we read from the Kitab Mormon. We arranged for inter-net service and one of the first things we checked was if we could get to our blog. We could so we now know it has something to do with Giganet and I will call them when we get back to Jakarta to solve the problem.

The Roberts came and had lunch with us. They are very familiar with Novotel – they stayed here for a couple of weeks before getting their own house. After lunch we got everything together for our class and then Mary had Sam take her to a book store while I caught up with the posting of our blog. Then we went to the chapel. The Roberts and the Barnards were already there. They are two wonderful couples. The Roberts shared some letters that students of an English class that they visited wrote in appreciation. They were amazingly clear and touching. Mainly they talked about how the Roberts had cleared up some things about American society and life. But one was really funny. It said that the Roberts were a perfect couple. “Elder Roberts was fat and Sister Roberts was funny.”

Elder and sister Barnard are from Australia and are doing a great job with teaching Family History to the members. Each couple that we know have special talents that makes their calls so important to the members here. None are alike or have the same talents, but they are one in purpose and in that way they are able to serve with joy and success.

During the time between the Roberts leaving and the class starting, a huge and violent storm moved across Solo. The rain poured down and the wind blew the rain horizontal instead of vertically. It hit the window of our room so hard that we ended up with a good sized puddle because it forced the water through the edges of the window. Later when we were driving to the chapel we found a large tree limb had fallen down and blocked most of the road we were traveling on. their was only one lane open – not going our way – and even there we had to drive over small branches. It looked at first like we would be stuck there for a long time, but one of the instant traffic directors – that is someone who decided to direct traffic – stepped in and soon had the cars taking turns. No one honked their horns or got angry. They just dealt with it.

The rain was so bad that no one showed up for our 4 a.m. class. So, as I said above we just sat around talking about our mission. Priesthood leaders started showing up for our 6:00 meeting to explain the program – including elder Subandriyo who had to fly in to Yoga to get here. While this was going on I checked in on the Seminary class and found there were 7 or 8 students there. So I waited until seminary ended and I stepped in and asked if I could talk to them for a few minutes. So I gave them a pep talk for about 15 minutes and told them we would start class tomorrow at 6:00.  Since the leadership meeting was going to be held in the Seminary room, basically I kept the whole District Leadership sitting around for those 15 minutes but I felt it was important.

I think the meeting went pretty well. Elder Subandriyo told his feelings about the program and what he felt needed to be accomplished. I then asked of I could talk and told the leaders how we were asked to come up with a program and that I could testify that it was God’s program. Therefore while we can slow it down, we can not stop it from coming to pass. Elder Subandriyo then opened the meeting up for questions  – most of which we had no answers for. We did set a date for having a meeting of the youth, their parents and the leaders in Solo so we can tell them exactly what we were are going to do. It will be on January 5th and on the 8th we will start a new Intensive English Class. They told us that it looked like at least 3 students will come from the district. I think that means there are either 4 or 5 spots already filled – leaving only 1 or 2 more.

After the meeting we took the Roberts and Barnards home and then we went to KFC to have dinner. It was not our first choice – we would have preferred McDonalds – but it was OK. By the time we got home we were both very tired and after trying without success to get on the internet we went to bed.

It was a good day in many ways but disappointing that we will have only three days with the students.

26 November 2007

26 November 2007 – Monday

A nice morning. It is going to be another scorching day – blue skies and soft clouds. I think I may stop complaining about the overcast and pollution. I had a good workout for about 45 minutes. I guess I am increasing my muscle tone but it is not very evident because I am still carrying a good 10 – 15 pounds I need to get off.

The morning e-mail includes one from Kristy saying that our new granddaughter would be born on December 10, 2008. She said that is one of the advantages of a C-section. There was also a great letter from the Creers about their mission. What a perfect couple to lead a mission. She wrote about a couple of their branches with small membership with some faithful saints coming miles to go to church. It certainly reminded us of this mission and our faithful saints.

While we were reading from the Kitab Mormon, I got a call from a member of the Solo district presidency saying that elder Subandriyo called last night at 11:00 and asked them to set up a meeting of the district presidency and the branch presidents for 6 p.m. Tuesday so he could talk to them. Of course when elder Subandriyo asks for something he gets it.  Before this the district and branches had met and wanted to hold the Tuesday and Wednesday classes at 6:00 p.m. after Seminary so they could observe a class. So now there was a direct conflict. While we talked we decided to hold the Tuesday class at 4:00, the Wednesday class at 6:00 and the other two classes right after school. This means we will have almost the whole day Wednesday free and perhaps we will drive up to Semarang and see the Bennetts and some of the countryside.

Because Sam is getting the air-conditioning fixed, we take a taxi to the office. I work on some e-mail until Daniel comes in so we can work on his resume and send it off to one of our job possibilities. Then Ezra comes and Mary has an English lesson with him. I give Daniel some more English lessons and tell him to do the work and then bring it back so we can check it. He is going to try to come a couple of times a week to our lessons with Ezra. By the time Sam gets back with the now repaired car – there was a loose hose on the air-conditioning – we are about ready to head for the mission office.

But first we stop by the apartment and pick up the things he will bring. Two big suitcases and some clothes. At the mission office we collect our tickets, Mary teaches her lesson, and Sam starts loading up the things he will take for the couples and missionaries in Central Java. At the same time, the Taylors arrive from the airport. Sister Taylor and I go over to Grand Lucky so she can shop for some things they can not seem to find in Jogya. We kind of got lost but the people were happy to get us back on the right track. The only damage was that I started sweating so bad that I was not sure I would ever stop. But while sister Taylor toured the store I sat and cooled off.

The reason elder Taylor did not come with us is that he has a terrible hernia which will need to be operated on. Sister Taylor tells me that he says it is the worse pain he has ever experienced. When you consider he had part of his left arm torn off in a farming accident, he must be in excruciating pain.

I called Sam and asked him to over to Grand Lucky to pick up all the stuff that sister Taylor bought. I could not face carrying it back to the office. I planned for Sam to leave from the store but he insisted that he drive us back before leaving for Solo. I was easy to convince that I should ride in an air conditioned car instead of walking back in the extra hot sun.

We got back and after dropping sister Taylor off in the mission home, I gathered up Mary and we caught a taxi home. Since then we have cooled off and read four pages from the Kitab Mormon.

For the rest of the day I felt somewhat in limbo. I want to get going on this English program but we can do little until we get to Solo. We have about thought ourselves out. We sent most of the things we think we might need with Sam so we do not have much left here. Even our printer is gone.

25 November 2007

25 November 2007 – Sunday

We went to the Tangerang branches for church but came home early so Sam could take care of some things. We would not have done that if the elders would have had any investigators, but all of them fell through. Elder Cheney and Peate are an interesting pair – they seem to be working well together and are visiting universities as the president has asked. Hopefully they will have some success in teaching in one of them.

We got another job contact, but all the jobs are in Sumatra which means they would not have much contact with the church unless they could get to Medan. I am not sure that is a good idea but if you need a job, you need a job.

Back at the apartment we start planning for our trip. We need to be packed early tomorrow so we can load up the car before we go to the office. Sam will leave sometime in the early afternoon. We read twice from the Kitab Mormon – we fell a little behind in our reading but hopefully will catch up during the week ahead. We usually have plenty of time in the mornings and evenings when we are away.

I have been fighting a slight headache today – something that seems to be a re-occurring theme over the last month. I don’t know if it is stress, the weather or what. Speaking of the weather, it has been really hot the last two days. The sky has been bright blue so there are no clouds to keep the sun from beating down on everything. Thank goodness for air conditioning. They say this is the way it is most of the time in Solo and Surabaya – I would not be able to handle that very long. Especially since the couples there go out almost every day to visit members who’s homes are hardly ever – or never – air conditioned. The Lord knew my problem and gave us an assignment that lets us be in air conditioned buildings or autos most of the time.

We just got a letter from the Taylors saying they are coming in tomorrow. It seems that elder Taylor may need an operation for a digestive tract problem. The president told me that there was another elder with a hernia – hopefully unlike elder Roper he will not have to go home for it. But if he does maybe he will be allowed to come back here to finish his mission. The president mentioned that he had his hands full with about 75 missionaries and wondered how those with 150 – 200 were able to do it. Just reading the weekly reports and answering them takes a lot of time.

It is easy to pack when you have all the room you want. We just started putting things in two large suitcases that Sam will take with him in the car. We will only take a couple of carry-ons so there will be no waiting for the luggage to be de-planed.  Inspired by Nancy mentioning that Neal had already read the Book of Mormon 4 times this year, I started to read it before turning off the light – I only got 3 pages read when my eyes stopped focusing.

24 November 2007

24 November 2007 – Saturday

After a normal morning – including reading from the Kitab Mormon – we went into the office to take care of some things before heading off to a day of socializing. We sent of Daisy’s resume to another potential employer, had Sam start calling our PEF people for the monthly contact, and found out that we can access the blog from the office. So the problem is either in our computer or in the service. Strange!

We spent from about 11:00 to 2:30 having a great time attending a District Leadership BBQ at the mission complex. We got to meet the leadership in a less formal atmosphere. I did find time to talk to president Mak about elder Subandriyo’s desire to have Intensive English taught to all the highschool students. There was lots of food – including some left over ham from Thanksgiving and fresh BBQ chicken.

At 2:30 we took the Marchants and the office elders over to the English Branch’s Thanksgiving Dinner and service project. Their service project was to assemble 75 Christmas bags for children who would not usually get anything. It was well organized and the assembly went quickly. After that we socialized by teaching most of the group how to play the Kane’s dice game. Once I had played for a short time with sister Kane so I remembered how it was played, I went to another table and taught them. Everyone seemed to have fun and the time waiting for the dinner to be set up – it was catered – went quickly.

They had a full blown Thanksgiving dinner with lots of turkey, dressing, potatoes, yams, gravy, and rolls. I of course ate much too much – but I did not go back for seconds. They had a lot of great desserts and I must confess that I ate some. All in all it was a good time and we got to socialize with all the branch members. It is good to be close to them because they are such a big help with the Intensive English Class.

The dinner was held at the apartment complex where the Smith’s live. He is president of the branch and the complex is gorgeous. I imagine the apartments rents for $3000 or more a month. Many of the ex-pats live in this kind of apartments because it is a perk to get them to leave their home and also for security. But when you talk to them and see them with Indonesian saints, you would never know that they live such a luxourious life style. They are just wonderful LDS.

We were among the last to leave – the Marchants stayed so they could see the Smith’s apartment – and Annie went with us. She is a lovely young woman and I have no idea why she has not married before this. We certainly hope that it works out between her and Sam.

When we got to the apartment, Mary wanted to go see the booths and activities that were being put on by the apartment tonight. We could not miss the stage show – it was just outside our window – but there was a lot more going on. There were about a dozen sales booth set up – none of them were doing much business – and Mary found a couple of neckless that she really liked so I bought them for her as ‘Christmas’ presents.

Up on the pool level there was a huge crowd eating free food and watching the stage show acts. We only had a small cup of ice cream and some water. We also looked through a nice display of mostly modern paintings. I found one I really liked for only $90 but I had no idea how to get it home. Later I realized that it did not have a real exterior frame, so I probably could have just taken it off the stretchers, rolled it up, and put it in a tube for traveling home.

Back in the apartment we were ‘entertained’ for the rest of the night – at least until about 11 – by the bands that played almost continually outside our window. It was an unusual ending for an unusual day in the mission.

23 November 2007 – Friday

23 November 2007 – Friday 

A wonderful busy day. After I went to the gym, we got a call from Bob.  We got to talk to most of the grandchildren who were there as well as Bob, Lisa, Mike and Cindy. Then we got to Skype with Jim, Kristy and Olivia. Olivia sang us her ABCs. Jim could not figure out why we can not access our blog from here – everyone else can. He took control of our computer and did about everything he could think of but nothing worked. 

 

Sam picked us up and we spent 5 hours home teaching one family and seeing Agus K’s home and office. The family we saw move here a few months ago from

Malang where they were baptized by elder Hash. The 7 of them live in two small rented rooms with almost no furniture. They do not have enough money to get to church so Agus drives them. We had a nice visit and we are trying to get them good jobs so they have something to live on. Right now the son and one daughter are working at minimal jobs. Of course because we were visiting they had to go out and buy bottled water and some cookies. We knew they did not really have enough money to do that, but it would be impolite not to accept it gracefully. We did manage to leave most of it for them. It always touches our hearts to listen to members like this who have little but are so grateful for the gospel and any help they get. They are lucky to have Agus in the branch presidency, he will do what he can to see they get some jobs.  Agus and his family are going to Bekasi this Sunday so there will be one to give them a ride. I am thinking of sending Sam over to pick them up and we can take them home afterwards.

 

We hurried back to the office to give Ezra Subandriyo his lesson. When we pulled up to the gate I found I had once more left the keys in the apartment. Mary suggested she teach Ezra while I head over to the mission home to pick up all the things we need to take to the couples in Solo.  That way we could get a couple of necessary things done – and it worked.

 

As Sam and I drove over to the office I called one of the Surakarta district presidency and talked to him about the new program elder Subandriyo wants to get started. He told me their concerns and we talked about times and day. I made the decision to change from going Monday thru Thursday to Tuesday thru Friday and addressed some of his concerns. I also told him how this program came to be started. That it came from a vision that elder Subandriyo had and so the goals were not his or mine but the Lords. We have just been called to come up with a plan that will make it work. I do not think he realized this and he said that they would discuss it with the district leadership. He also suggest they call the Solo branch presidents in for a meeting while we are there so we can explain it to them and get some feed back.

When I got to the mission home, I sat down and talked to elder Subandriyo about what we had discussed and he was behind it 100%. He says he wants to be there for the meeting with the branch presidents. We shared our testimony that this was the Lords will we are doing and not our own. I think when the leadership and the youth realize this, things will start to draw together more. It sends chills down my arms just thinking about how this all came about.

 

I talked to everyone involved with getting things to the branches and missionaries and told them we would be happy to take anything they can get together. I gave them a list of what was needed and I think they will get it organized. President Sujud will change our tickets for the right dates. It should be an exciting week.

When I got back to the apartment Mary was finishing up her lesson with Ezra. When he left we read from the Kitab Mormon. Then we ordered our Friday Pizza Hut dinner. I have spent the last 2 hours cataloging pictures, writing e-mail to some of the couples about the change in plans, and catching up this journal so when I can post again I will be all ready. I studied from PMG before turning off the light. It does seem that it is becoming easier to read and some words that have been giving me trouble since we started studying are starting to stick – either that or I can guess better than before.

 

It was a wonderful day – most days are – with some very spiritual experiences. It is impossible not to see the Lord’s hand in so much that we are able to do. I feel that we are truly blessed for being able to serve here in Indonesia.

22 November 2007 – Thursday – Thanksgiving

22 November 2007 – Thursday – Thanksgiving

For the second day in a row I woke late and did not go to the gym. Tonight I will set the alarm for 5 so it does not become a habit. I tried to post to our blog but obviously something is wrong there  because I can not get a connection. I checked to see is WordPress was down but it was fine so I guess there is a problem with the blog itself. Hopefully Jim will get it fixed so I can get back to posting.

We read from the Kitab Mormon before Sam came to pick us up. He took us to the mission home and dropped us off with all our goodies. The rest of the day was spent with all the missionaries from the zone except for the Walkers and the Kanes who were off to the closing of the water project. The first couple of hours were spent practicing for the Christmas program – I am not sure what Christmas program we are singing in but one of the many that will be held during the season. Sister Moore is the choir director and program producer. Our own Jin-Young plays the piano – it was good to see her again.

 

Sister Miller from the English branch was also there and told about her experiences as a missionary in the German area of Switzerland. It was a very hard mission and they could tract all day and not have anyone answer the door. They were excited when anyone would talk to them for even a minute. But she bore her testimony that the Lord sends each missionary out for a certain reason and they need to make sure they accomplish it. Later I asked her what hers was. She said that one Sunday she sat next to a sister in church who turned out to be the non-member fiancé of an active member. Later the man called and said his fiancé had been going to church for 2 years but would not take the missionary lessons. But after meeting sister Miller (who was sister something else then) she wanted her to teach her about the gospel. It turned out to be the only time her and her companion had ever taught all the lessons. In fact she had only taught the fourth one other time. The woman ended up getting baptized.

 

What was interesting was that sister Miller had torn up her knee a couple of time and had a surgery. The mission president wanted to send her home but she told him that she felt there was something that she needed to be there to take care of. After the baptism she did go home 2 months early to have corrective surgery. It was a powerful story and we both had tears in our eyes when she was done. Hopefully we are doing whatever special thing we were sent here for.

 

We had our Thanksgiving dinner with all the missionaries – there was a little turkey and lots of ham, potatoes, fruit, gravy, sweet potatoes, and dressing. Everyone had all they wanted to eat and the president even invited the office staff to come down and eat. They did and then ended up doing most of the dishes – without being asked of course. I took the task of cleaning off plates so they could be washed.

 

We then all watched the first of ‘The Work and the Glory’ movies. It is quite good – too bad the second one was so poorly done. The missionaries all reacted when there was any kissing. After the movie we all had dessert. Sister Walker had made banana cream pie – which was the favorite or myself and elder Collings.

 

When dessert was over and I had help cleanup, we sat down with the Davis’ and went through an English program that sister Davis has been working on. Actually it was organizing some lessons that sister Peterson had done. It is a very good program with lots of activities and three skill levels. It is quite possible that we can use it as the basis for the English program for the whole country. It would be great if we did not have to start from scratch. The Davises have put a lot of work in on this. The Lord seems to want this program to move forward.

 

We then gathered up all our stuff – it had been increased by our Christmas package from Jim’s family – and caught a taxi home. We were quite tired by that time, but we decided to read a conference talk in Indonesian. I thought we would have a very hard time, and although it was not as easy as some of the Kitab Mormon, we were able to get most of it without looking up many words. However at times the translation came out much different than what the Ensign had. I would not want to be a translator.

21 November 2007 – Wednesday

21 November 2007 – Wednesday

I woke up not feeling well, but as the day went on things got better. Instead of going to the gym, I spent the time reading PMG. After breakfast we read from the Kitab Mormon.

 

As I was writing in my diary for yesterday, I had the feeling that elder and sister Walker should invite the Tobings to come to the English branch Thanksgiving get together on Saturday afternoon. So I called them and I think they will at least give it a try.

 

Sam picked us up and we went over to see our friend Rudi. He is the 74 year old Chinese fellow that we made friends with when the elders taught him a couple of times. We have not seen him in a number of months so it was nice to find out what has been going on in his life. One thing is that he seems to have lost quite a lot of money in the U.S. mortgage funds. He was confused as to why they had fallen so badly and I tried to explain it to him. He said that the losses were really bothering him until he started thinking about what it really meant as far as what is of greatest values. He is quite religious and once he started thinking in those terms he decided that he still had plenty to live as well as he wants so why let it cause him so much distress. I told him that was the right idea and that it fit in right with what Jacob 2 says in the Book of Mormon. So we had a good visit for about an hour and then headed back to the apartment.

 

The rest of the day has just flown by. Most of my time has been spent working on some lesson helps for Mary’s English class for the service center staff. We are creating special business vocabulary lessons for them. I think we can use some of them for other classes. Also I sent out a number of e-mails to let the couples know how we are planning to reach elder Subandriyo’s English goal.

 

Mary has been busy getting some things ready for the dinner at the mission home tomorrow. She made a carrot cake for one of the elders who had never heard of a carrot cake before. She is also make candied sweet potatoes – we think they are sweet potatoes.

 

For some reason I crashed at about 8:00 – just fell asleep on the bed while studying Indonesian. Of course I woke up at around 2 in the morning and stayed up trying to read a conference talk until after 3:30 when I managed to fall back asleep.

20 November 2007 – Tuesday

20 November 2007 – Tuesday

Study, gym, wrote some letters about the English class, and read from the Kitab Mormon. We continue to plant, prune, graft, dig, dung, cut down and lay up fruit against the season.

 

The above is as far as I got yesterday before we headed out for a really full day of activities. At the office we taught English to Ezra, help a recently returned missionary start looking for a job and gave him some exercises to help him work on his already excellent English, and did the usual amount of e-mailing. Before we knew it, it was time to head to the mission office so Mary could teach her class.

 

Since there was a long shopping list, we dropped Mary off at the office and went to SoGo. Sam and I walked through the store a half-dozen times in our search for all the things on the list. They do not have yams but they do have sweet potatoes – in fact they have purple sweet potatoes but I did not buy those. What they do not have in Indonesia is walnuts or pecans…we did not think peanuts or almonds would be good substitutes. Marshmellows sell for $6 a package – and they are not great looking marshmellows. Next time Mary gets to go shopping and I will teach her class.

 

When we got back to the mission office, I had a nice talk with elder Subandriyo. He told me that while President Marchant was in Hong Kong he was told that starting in 2009, all Indonesian missionaries would go to the Manila MTC for a month’s training. He said he now knew why he had received the vision for teaching English to highschool students. The training will all be in English so the better they know English the more they will get out of the MTC experience.

After that we talked more about the program we will be starting next week in Solo. He is not worried about anything – he will find the money and the way to get this to work. I can feel the power of the spirit working in him and a fire in his eyes when he talks about the program. I feel we are really being blessed to at least be in on the start of this program. Of course I am also a little daunted with the responsibility. I imagine there will be a lot of trips to the mountain.

 

Mary had two new members for her class. It seems everyone has got the bug for learning English. The main problem she has is the wide range of the level of English skills. I told her about the problem of no nuts and suggested Sam take her over to Grand Lucky to see if they had any. While the did that I went down and talked to the Walkers. When Mary came back – without any more luck with the nuts than I had – she joined us and we invited the Walkers to go to dinner with us.

A little later we were joined by president Marchant so we had a nice discussion of some of the things going on in the mission. The president had to send a young missionary home today for health reasons. It must be hard to call the parents and tell them that a missionary is coming home. At least it is not because of anything moral. As the time came for us to go to dinner we invited the President and sister Marchant to come along so we could show them this great Chinese restaurant.

To make the story short, they came along, the restaurant was closed today, and the substitute one was not very good. But we had a good time talking and it at least filled our stomachs.

We took the Marchants back to their home and the rest of us went home teaching to the Johnson Tobing family. What a great family and what an asset they would be to the English branch. We had a good visit and I tried to give the young people as much attention as possible. After our visit we went back to the mission office one more time to drop off the Walkers and pick up our groceries that we had left there so we had enough room in our car for everyone to go to dinner.

 

By the time we got back to our apartment we were completely bushed but in a very happy way. It was a full day and I think a lot got accomplished. I did not even look at a word of Indonesian before falling into bed and going to sleep.