19 December 2007

19 December 2007 – Wednesday 

I did not even roll out of bed to pray until almost 6. But I quickly got up and went to the gym. I did some extra time on the bike because I am eating too many cookies. I am hoping that I will not gain any weight over the holiday season. Back at the apartment we had our regular morning and read 4 ½ pages from the Kitab Mormon. Since today and tomorrow are basically holidays, we should be able to read between 20 and 25 pages. Today we passed the half-way point. It is interesting that many of the words we did not know the second time through still stumps us this time. They are either words that are not used very often or just will not stick in our minds. Today I took memperhatikan for memperingatkan – so instead of the lord ‘watching over’ his people I had him ‘warning’ them…unfortunately Mary agreed with me. 

On the positive side, one of the books that Mary ordered and Lisa sent to us is called ‘10 skills you really need to succeed in school.’ It is a great book to use as a basis for many, many lessons and the concepts and skills taught will help the students in all of their classes. The task now is to figure what to teach, how to teach it in a way that increases their English and is fun. 

Sam took me out Christmas shopping – it is P-day and besides during the holiday week little gets accomplished here – and although nothing that I planned to buy worked, I did find some things for Mary. When I got home I found that she had wrapped her presents to me and put them under our ‘tree.’  

After lunch we took naps – at least I took a nap. Then we read for well over an hour from the Kitab Mormon – we are trying to make up for some of the days we did not read or only read for an hour. We read where Alma gives his great discourse on wanting to have the voice of an angel. It is such a wonderful part and so full of things to think about. Like the better parts of the Book of Mormon – that is the part that is not about geography, lists of goods that someone is rich in, or battles and their results – it just breathes of the spirit and cries out to be pondered and absorbed into my life. 

I spent much of the night coming up with some suggestions and ideas to give the teachers of the new English program. Ideas that we hope they will think about and find a way to incorporate into their classes. One of the main one is the 20 – 80 rule that the teacher only talks for 20% of the time. Unfortunately here in Indonesia and elsewhere the opposite is true. The teacher often speaks for 80% of the time and maybe gives the class members 20% of the time to respond. It is interesting that the leaders thought so strongly about the need to improve the teaching in the church that they used a whole worldwide Church Leadership session on this subject. The 20% rule was taught in those lessons. 

We read for the third time from the Kitab Mormon. We read over 13 pages today and it was really good. There are still words that we do not remember even after looking them up at least two other times. But each time we read there are fewer and fewer of these. 

It was a good day – not a greatly spiritual one but enough spiritual experiences to ponder over. Like changing the subject of my talk on Sunday, the great need I have for the Lord’s help in preparing the English class of Solo and eventually all of Indonesia, and for feeling the spirit when reading the Kitab Mormon.  There was one problem that came up. It seems that I ate something that is disagreeing with my stomach and so I visited the bathroom more than usual and probably will for the rest of the night. I can not think of anything I ate in the last 24 hours that might have caused this.

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