21 February 2008


The first picture is the Tangerang District – from left to right – Elder Prause – he has been in Indonesia for 8 days – Elder Manullang – from Manado and one of the best English speaking Elders we have met – Elder Cheney – from Hawaii and who is always smiling and positive – Elder Abu Yamin – who is from Solo and is as I write heading for Medan on Sumatra – and Elder Worwood – who has really become comfortable with the language and has a great desire to serve. The Motorcycle load picture is of very neatly stacked magazines – notice the pile stacked on the handle bars and held in place by the drivers chest. The last picture is the three young men from the Tangerang branch that make a special effort to come to Mary’s class so they can improve their English. They are the future of the Church in Indonesia.

21 February 2008 – Thursday

Bad night but a great day so thing balance out. No gym this morning – I needed the sleep. We read from the Kitab Mormon – Jacob teaching in 2 Nephi 9 and 10.

At the office we meet with a young woman who just got in from Hong Kong and is looking for a job. She seems very bright, articulate, has good English and is not bashful. We believe she will soon have a job. Mary created a resume for her and gave her 5 copies. I gave her the latest help wanted newspaper and some member that might have a job opening and she went away happy. It is great to be able to help someone and feel that they will use our advice.

I wrote a number of e-mails to further arrange things for next week’s visit to Central Java. I got an SMS from the Bennetts saying that they had 7 out of 8 students to their first HS English class – I wrote back that it was great news. I look forward to seeing them in action on next Saturday.

After getting some English lessons together, we head off for the mission office so Mary can teach a lesson to the staff. Hopefully this is helping them more than is apparent in talking to them. We wish they would use English more around the office – that is the best way to improve their language skills. While Mary teaches I have lunch from off the street and catch a short nap.

Hendra continues to try and solve the problem with the computer. Hopefully he will have it ready tomorrow when we go there for our other District Meeting.

On our way to our meetings at Tangerang, we stop at the mall so Mary can buy some more things she needs for making the teacher’s kits for the HS English classes. It is costing much more than we expected and is going to stretch the budget. But at least when we are done, keeping the work up should be easy.

When we got to the chapel I realized I had not brought the things we needed for the ERS meeting. Agus and Lukito were kind and we managed to have a good meeting without an agenda or any of the materials. We discussed a number of problems and I learned a lot from them. I learned why Jakarta does so well on getting their reports in and the rest do not. Hopefully after our trip to Central Java, that district will also begin to be better. I certainly hope so for the new couple’s sake. We set the time for the next meeting.

After that meeting we joined the in-process Tangerang District Meeting. We had a good discussion and lesson. We met the other new missionary – Elder Prause from Washington state. He seems to already have a pretty good grasp of the language. I was able to add a few thoughts about how saying we are not successful because of some fault in our investigators. I told them my LeGrand Richards story about us only being able to solve problems that we make our own. I think I need to tell that story regularly because I need to remember it myself.

After District Meeting I went down to greet the English students. By 6:00, when we are supposed to start, no one was there. But two young men showed up for Mary’s class so I took them, Sam and Anne up and started the meeting. Right after the opening prayer Agus and his four children showed up. They are a great family and we will miss them when we leave. I hope we can come back and visit them sometime in the future. Soon after that another family came – a sister and three children. So we ended up with a nice class. I reviewed prepositions – they had forgotten some over the last 6 weeks. Then we read Hop on Pop and went through the vowel sounds. I gave each family a copy of the words to take home along with another book so they could practice during the week. Hopefully they will.

On our way back to the apartment we took Elder Abu Yamin to the mission home. He is being transferred to Medan tomorrow. He is a wonderful elder with an ear to ear smile. He has been out about 3 months – maybe a little longer – and this was his first transfer. The President decided to put another pair of elders in Medan so that they could have more togetherness. Hopefully they will also have more success there. Parts of Sumatra have more Christians than Java so they have more people to talk to.

At the mission home we have the chance to say goodbye to Elder Stewart who heads home tomorrow. He has a good spirit and will be missed. We also talked to President and Sister Marchant about their quick trip to Eastern Java. They seem to have had a good trip and enjoyed the beauty – at least the little they had time to see – of Malang.

We received the latest Lianona today with it’s beautiful picture of Christ on the front. I like it because it gives a view of the Savior that is seldom shown. This is not a smiling, soft looking Savior but one who, to me at least, seems firm and focused on the task His Father has set for Him. His to me are set and firm and speaks of all the thoughts He has about the world and what He must do to set an example for all of us. Also I see a firmness that I would expect to see in the Lord as he knows what He faces in Gethsemane. I imagine many of the covers will be used as pictures on the walls of member’s homes.

Before I turned off the lights I read President Hinckley’s message about Christ. It is fitting that the last message that members throughout the world will have by the Prophet is his testimony of Him who leads this church. He starts his testimony by saying, “I know that I am not the head of this Church. Jesus Christ is its head.”

When I looked at the e-mail this evening there was an answer from Sister Barnes who is serving in Africa as area coordinators for PEF. In reading about the dangers of their mission, I was struck by how different each mission is and how what might concern one is not even considered by another.

It was a long but spiritually up-lifting day. We have a special opportunity to see and talk to so many full-time and senior missionaries. Also to visit with President and Sister Marchant, Elder Subandriyo, and others in the office who are the heart and soul of the mission and the Church in Indonesia. Often times when I am tired and perhaps a little discouraged, we will meet with the missionaries and feel their joy of teaching the Gospel. We hear their testimonies and see the smiles they have as they talk about their missionary experiences. We get to teach, counsel and learn with and from them.

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