26 April 2008


The pair of puppets that we bought at the fair. The Kanes admiring the floral arrangement in the foyer of our apartment. Us with the happy but exhausted couple.

26 April 2008 – Saturday

A very busy day but not all of it was involved in missionary work. I woke early and went to the gym. Later when Elder Kane was up we sat in the living room, talked about our missions and our plans for the future. The Kanes do not plan to go on another mission for a couple of years. But who knows how they will feel once they get home. Mary prepared a very nice breakfast that was well received by all of us.

We went with the Kanes to the Craft Fair and in 2 hours managed to buy everything we needed or could afford. We then left the Kanes with the Smith’s and headed home. I had a lot to do on my talk and this journal. We were also in need of naps. I managed to get a lot done – including going through the pictures from the last couple of days and getting them captioned. We also read from the Kitab Mormon. When the Kanes came home we showed each others our treasures. After that it was time to change into our suits so we could go to Sam and Anny’s reception in style.

We got to the reception after 6 and the couple was supposed to show up at 6:30. It is a custom here to have the bride and groom make a grand entrance on a red carpet so they do not come until after most of the guests arrive. Of course the guests know this and so most of them do not come until well after the start date. In this case they bridal party got stuck in a really bad traffic jam and even with a police escort they did not get to the reception until about 7:30.

But I used the time wisely. We greeted the guests and then I went to the office where I let Elder Herman and Laki use the phone to call one of their investigators who must come to church tomorrow if he is to be baptized the following Sunday. They ran into a major problem when they found that the family that usually brings him had moved during the week. It will be interesting to see if he makes it.

I also got the special vocabulary words for Titan. That took longer than it should because I managed to hide one of the lists and it took a couple of searches to find it. I also talked to him about the pilot program – I certainly hope he signs up for it.

Once the bride and groom showed up things got moving along. Anny looked beautiful in her gown. Sam looked scared to death but handsome. The couple moved down the red carpet and up to the cultural hall. Once they and their parents were on the stage, there was talks by the fathers and then Mary was asked to give an opening prayer – something she was not prepared to do. There were some words of wisdom from President Smith – he also did not know he was on the program. The cake was then cut – I do not think wedding cakes are much in demand here – and they fed pieces to each other. Then I was called on to give the closing prayer – also unexpected. It seems that somehow part of the program did not quite get out to those who would participate.
Then there was a line to congratulate the parents and couple. We got nice thanks from both fathers for the help we had been in getting Sam and Anny to the alter.

We were near the front so when we went down to get some food, the line was not too bad. We cheated and took our dinners back to the office where we had a flat surface to put our plates. When I went back for seconds on the fruit, I found the Davises just getting their food and invited them back to the office to eat. So while they ate we talked about some of our mission experiences and about English classes. They are going to teach two English classes in a university and the elders are going to go with them.

The Davises are a typical senior couple. That is they have good health reasons for not going on a mission. In fact Elder Davises is serious enough that they had to change from going to Guam because there was no decent medical services anywhere near by. Sister Davies troops along on two bad knees. They of course have left children and grandchildren. They had a number of problems after they got here. But none of this stopped them and they do not complain. They are only interested in the positive things that they are doing and the service they are giving. It is too bad that more couples are not willing to get out of their comfort zone and serve missions.

After dinner we said goodbye to Sam and Anny and started to head out to the street to catch a taxi home. We were almost to the gate when we heard Elder Bastian asking for Mary. It turned out that he and Elder Hunter were going to sing a duet and needed a piano player who knew the hymns. So we hurried back and Mary played for them. Then once again we went out into a light rain and in just a minute was blessed with a Blue Bird taxi stopping for us.

Once we were back at the apartment I started did some more work on my talk. I have accumulated way too much information for a 12 minute talk. I will have to prune it down tomorrow morning before going to Church.

So it was a day of fun, service and good companionship. The Lord truly blesses us in many small ways and also some very large ones. Our health has been wonderful, we have learned so much, and we have had the chance to become involved in a number of programs that may help the Saints in Indonesia for many years to come.

I want to put in one thought. One part of our calling was to be shadow leaders to three branches. But instead of teaching the branch leadership anything, I have instead learned from them. They face problems well beyond anything I faced in my 8 years of being bishop. And they do it without complaining and almost always with a smile. The numbers here may be small but the spirit is huge. They truly give themselves to the Lord. It has been a privilege to serve and learn from them.

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