Monthly Archives: May 2008

30 May 2008

30 May 2008 – Friday

A rather interesting day for us. Other than doing some things by e-mail we did not do much in the way of missionary work – or at least nothing connected to our ERS call. We spent the morning working on getting things sorted and packed. It turned out that we really did not have extra room in our luggage – in fact we are going to be way over as far as size is concerned. The weight should be fine.

We were going to go to China Town because President Marchant made if sound like a must. We invited the Walkers to go along and they were happy to join us. Unfortunately it turned out either we never found it or the President’s idea of a great place to visit is very different from ours. We ended up going to some obvious tourist trap that was basically shop after shop of cheap goods. We only stayed long enough to take a quick tour. On the positive side we had a great time talking to the Walkers and we got to see some of the country we had not seen before.

The Walkers suggested that we eat at a place only a few blocks from the mission home. It was quite good and not too expensive. I had a good piece of salmon and Mary had French Onion Soup. Again the chance to talk to the Walkers was the major feature of our late lunch.

I then made a major mistake. We were heading back out to Tangerang to go to the Sadiyono house for a farewell get together. I decided that since it only took 45 minutes to get near there on Wednesday and Sam said it should take about an hour tonight, I decided that 75 minutes would get us there right on time. Unfortunately we were a little late getting out the door and the traffic was terrible so it took almost 2 hours and we were an hour late. Since we were the guests of honor everyone had to wait for us.

Once we got there, things went really well. We had a great Indonesian meal – the beef was the best I have tasted since we were here and the watermelon was perfect. After eating Agus and Chatrine sang for us, gave us a couple of beautiful presents, and then Chatrine sang a poem that she wrote for Sister Pier while Agus played his guitar. Their were tears in both sisters’ eyes. We then took lots of pictures and said our many goodbyes. We have become great friends with this family and hopefully some day we will see them again. We also said goodbye to Elder Prause and Elder Laki – I told Elder Laki to keep studying English.

While we were finishing up, Elder Herman got a call from the Bautista’s. Their daughter had to go to the hospital and they wanted the Elders to give her a blessing. We volunteered to take them in our car and save them 45 minutes to an hour getting there. Elder Herman invited me to join them and I was happy to do so. It seems their daughter has something that causes her temperature to fluctuate between 99 and 104 degrees. On the positive side she seems to want to play at times and is eating well. Elder Djarkodi anointed and Elder Herman sealed the anointing. It was good to see and hear the Elders use their priesthood.

After the blessing we said goodbye to the family and we took the Elders to their home. Once again we got to say goodbye for now to a good companionship. The trip home took less than ½ the time of the outward trip. Even so we were not home until after 10:00 and it did not take us long to do a couple of things and then go to bed. The Lord truly blessed us today.

29 May 2008

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Us with Anny’s HS English Class.  Last view of an unusually clean ERS office. Mary closing the door to the office for the last time on our mission.

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My last meal from BYU – I ate it all. Goodbye to JCO Donuts – our  Thursday stopping place for donuts. Much better than Krispy Kreme.

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Our last District meeting – Elders Burr and Thiemann, Elders Laki and Herman, Elders Prause and Djarkodi. We have been truly blessed by working with all of these elders.

29 May 2008 – Thursday

In the living room we have a clock that has a very audible click as each second ticks by and is gone forever. The whole day seemed like that clock. Each action seemed to be another tick that closed off the past. It does not seem real as we say goodbye to many people and places for the last time. I take lots of pictures to try and hold or recall the memories but of course they can never replace the actual place or people.

We had a very busy day. The morning was full of continuing to pack. We cleaned out the refrigerator. Stripping it down to just the things we will either give to the mission home or use over the next few days. As I walk through the apartment it is strange to see bare walls and shelves. It is starting to feel like we are creating a tomb.

So I do not get maudlin I will keep this short. We went to the Limbongs’ school and had our picture taken with the HS English classes. They were a lively bunch of young people and it was fun bantering a little with them in English.

Next we went to the office and cleaned up our computers and other things. Unfortunately there was no internet so there were some things we could not get done. Two senior sisters from Thailand were visiting the Family History Center and they could not get on line to fully train sisters Stephie and Yoshie. Hopefully some day they will get the problem solved or perhaps not. We posted a sign saying the office would be closed, turned off the lights and air-conditioner and closed the door for the last time.

We then went to the mission office where I had my last BYU meal. I had a last talk with Elder Subandriyo. He told me that there was a professor at BYUH who is interested in our Intensive English Class for the Philippines. Elder S thought he would get in contact with us. It would be nice if all the work we put in on it would be put to good use in other countries.

I spent time working with sister Autin and Titik on vocabulary. It is a real shame I did not start this earlier. It would have been good for everyone including me. I have arranged to continue the vocabulary training via e-mail. I need to send them next weeks work. Mary taught her last class and they gave her a very nice table cloth and napkins set. Earlier sister Stephie gave us a batik map of Indonesia. It was something we had hoped to buy before we left so it saved us looking for one. It was even in blue – most we have seen are in brown – so it is perfect for us.

We had a lot of last goodbyes – Elder Subandriyo leaves for Cambodia tomorrow so we will not see him again. There is no tears but we feel we are leaving close friends and hope that we will see them again. We should really try to get to Indonesia at least once before we are too old. But perhaps we will be back here in January or February of 2009 – if that is what the Lord wants.

We headed for Tangerang. We both slept as much from emotional as physical tiredness. We stopped at the mall and JCO for our last donut and Chocomint iced drink. District meeting with Elder Thiemann and others was a trip down memory lane he and Elder Roper were at our very first District Meeting in Tangerang. It was a good meeting and we added a couple of comments to a good lesson on teaching the restored gospel.

We had a fun last English class – I reviewed just about everything we have learned. We played both bingo and Go Fish. It was almost like a family home evening with Agus and his family. The Elders joined in the games so it was good for them. I really wish we had more people at our English classes but we do what we can do. We did not have to say goodbye to anyone because we would all meet again tomorrow night at the Sadiyono’s farewell.

By the time we got home we were again exhausted but I stayed up to work on the journal and the many pictures I took today. Mary continued to work on sorting out things that need to be moved. It was a great day and it was good to do a number of things that are connected to our mission and not just getting ready to go home.

28 May 2008

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The missionaries we were with today. Sister Sadimin – the second from the right – will move to Solo tomorrow. She is a wonderful missionary and gave up much to serve. The elders from the Tangerang  branches and the Assistants to the President. Starting on the left in the middle picture – Elders Prause, Thiemann, Herman, Burr, Laki and Djarkodi. On the right in the end picture are our host the Kusumarmantos.

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Mary with her beautiful batik shawl, Diandra Subandriyo, and a man resting or sleeping on his motorcycle. We are going to miss all the interesting sites of Jakarta but perhaps this experience will open my eyes to the interesting scenes in Utah and the US.

28 May 2008 – Wednesday

Slept well and had no desire to go to the gym. My excuse was that we needed to clean up the apartment at somewhat before our guests arrive early this morning. It turned into being a real P-Day – that is Preparing to Go Home. We started in one corner of the apartment and went through everything. We put them in five boxes or stacks – things we need now and will need in Hong Kong, things we want to keep but do not need until we get home, things that we will leave for the Rebers, things that we will give to others, and trash. So we had to make many decisions and filled lots of boxes – and still are filling them.

The sisters did not come until 8:30 because they had trouble getting four young ladies out of the house on time. They seemed to have a great time playing tennis and then taking a hot shower. But the real treat came when we let them go through the food we still have and they thought they had died and gone to heaven. They were especially happy to see the many cans of soup and the cereal.

We continued our P-day by going to the latest and greatest multiplex in the city to see the latest edition of Raiders of the Lost Ark. Unfortunately the special theater that provides bed like seating – really more like comfortable loungers – does not open until 6:30. So we had to settle for one with large comfortable seats that rock. Tickets are only $3 but pop-corn and other goodies are almost as expensive as in the US. I thought the movie was good entertainment and reminded me of a comic book based one. It is surprising that someone hasn’t produced a comic book based on Indiana Jones – it seems like a perfect story.

By the time we got out it was late enough that we did not have enough time to go home before leaving for the Kusumarmantos for dinner. But unless the traffic was terrible, it was also too early to go. After a short discussion we decided that it best to just go and not hurry. Sam took the long way, did not hurry and we still got there almost 45 minutes early. The other guests – the elders from Tangerang along with the Assistants to the President – were 45 minutes late so we had lots of time to talk to the family before dinner. I asked if they had pictures from their mission – Agus did not go but his wife did – so we could see if there were any other people we know in them. We also got to see pictures of their wedding which was very formal and beautiful. Their ceremonies really put Western weddings to shame.

Once we ran out of things to discuss and look at. The musical group gathered around the piano and asked Mary to play. While they practiced a song the branch choir is going to sing sometime in the future, I found a short novel to read. I did not get through but it was light and enjoyable reading.

When the elders finally showed up – they were delayed because they had a chance to teach a discussion just before they left – we had dinner. Chicken sate, mie and nasi goring, fruit and ice cream. They prepared so much food that even 6 elders and Sam could not eat it all. Which turned out to be great for the elders because the Kusumarmantos insisted that they take all the extra home with them. Before we left he family gave Mary a lovely piece of batik for a shawl.

Agus volunteered to drive the Tangerang 2 missionaries home and so we drove the T1 group to their house. It added about 45 minutes to our trip home but they were so grateful for the ride I could not complain. What worried me most was that Sam was not going to get home until after 11 and needed to be back to our apartment at 8:30 tomorrow morning. Luckily the traffic was light and we made good time from Tangerang. It was even shorter because I slept for about half of it.

So we had a very nice P-Day, supported most of the elders and sisters in Jakarta, and had a wonderful evening with a family we have grown to know and love. I almost forgot – Elder Thiemann reminded us that he was at our first District Meeting in Tangerang some 17 months ago and now he will be at our last. As the D&C says – one continual round.

27 May 2008

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Mary’s Staff English Class and her protecting the donuts. We have gone around this fountain many times but this was the first time I really noticed the public art project. The traffic cooperated and I got this great picture. I am sure there are many wonderful things we have not seen or noticed in our travels around Jakarta. Maybe the next time we are called to serve here we will do better.

27 May 2008 – Tuesday

Not much sleep for me. It was not that I was thinking about what we needed to do or about going home. I just woke up after sleeping for 3 hours and could not go back to sleep for over 2 hours. But I did get to read and study Indonesian for most of that time so it was not wasted.

Mary really wanted to get pictures printed today so I spent 2 more hours going through all our files and gathered up the pictures I felt we should print. We will have multiple copies of many of them made to give away. I did not get them onto a memory stick until after Sam had arrived.

We went to the office where of course the internet decided not to work so I could not get a number of things done. Hopefully there will be at least one day before we go that I can work there. I still need to get files off Mary’s computer and then clean it up. Mary worked on getting things ready for the area book – which is not in as good shape as it should be.

Agus Kusumarmanto came in and we talked about what should be done after we have left and before the Rebers came. He wanted to know if he should come in and open the office one day a week and we did not think that would be a good use of his time. We suggested instead that we post a notice that anyone needing help call him and arrange a meeting. We also talked about workshops, etc. that would come about while there was no couple here. We suggested that he just give the Walkers any expenses that need to be reimbursed. Before he left he invited us over to his house for dinner tomorrow night.

The sisters dropped by and wanted to know if they could come over to the apartment and play tennis one more time before we leave. I asked if they wanted to play tennis so they could take a hot shower and they laughed. They want to come at 8 a.m. which is a little early but we said sure. Later I reserved a court for them.

I almost forgot that sister Utami came to the office with the last of Mary’s wardrobe – five pair of slacks and a blouse. This is going to have to last her until we go on our next mission. Hopefully she will find a new tailor where ever we go.

After everyone left, we closed up the office and the chapel and headed towards the mission office with a plan to stop and get the pictures I had separated out last night and this morning printed. Sam convinced us to stop at one place but after about 15 wasted minutes we decided to go back to the one we had used before. It was further away and a little more expensive but we knew they did good work.

We stopped at KFC for another comfort lunch. It is quick and not very expensive. Once again I was surprised how busy they were. The middle class is rising in Indonesia. While we were eating it was decided we would drop Mary off at the mission office and Sam and I would go get the pictures printed. And so we did – except we could only leave them and come back after Mary’s class.

When we got back to the office I had a chance to sit down with Elder Subandriyo and talk about a couple of the projects that I will leave unfinished but moving along. I will keep them up until the Rebers get here. I think he realizes that we are not going home and forget about Indonesia because he asked me to help host some Indonesian dignitaries who will be coming in October. It was a job that President and Sister Marchant did before they were called.

Mary’s English class gave her a farewell party today – she will still teach on Thursday and so we had an early dinner. They are a good group and I think that they appreciate Mary’s dedication in preparing lessons. It would be good if Elder and Sister Walker continued them until the Rebers come but who knows. They are very busy keeping up with all the projects that are going on all over Java. They do not spend many days at home right now. Today they were in Bogor and may have stayed for the Rotary Club meeting to keep in touch with the NGOs that are so great.

After the party we went to pick up the pictures. There were about 350 of them. So that makes about 700 – 750 pictures we have had printed in the last two weeks. Mary kept busy this morning and tonight putting them into albums and sorting them to give away over the next few days. Total cost for all 700 pictures was under $75.

We had great news from Hong Kong. We have a great room near the temple and the Baldwins – who we met about 3 months ago – are going to shepherd us around. They have all but the last day planned out for us. Another one of those tender mercies that missionaries seem to get in abundance. Elder Kane had got us $200 US in Hong Kong dollars so we will arrive with some local money. We can exchange for more or use credit cards while we are there. Speaking of money, we are going to end up with just enough Rupiahs in our account to settle our bills before we leave. Whatever is left we will either sell to the Rebers or donate to the scholarship fund.

Pictures and this journal continued to be my main concern this evening. I also wrote some letters to families with missionaries in Indonesia I have come to know. I will miss being able to tell them some about their sons and send them pictures. They seem to really appreciate it.

I can not imagine why I have not fallen asleep while writing this. If I do not sleep well tonight I would guess I will not sleep well again until I get home.

End Note: Just before getting into bed I managed to stub my left foot on one of the suitcases – filled and unfilled – that we have sitting around. It turns out that I really did a nice job of it because the middle toe is a lovely shade of black and blue and hurt like mad.

26 May 2008

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President Sujud Ariano and Family – Sister Ariano was the one who wrote the beautiful poem for us. Elder Herman and his friends. They loved him because he let them take pictures with his camera. Proud father Agus Sadiyono and his daughter Dinda

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Jemmy Mongan relaxing while his wife teaches the youth a traditional dance. Mary and Elder Prause as he is interpreting for us. The Manurung family one of our Home Teaching families who we will miss.

26 May 2008 – Monday

A very nice and busy day. We spent a regular morning including reading from the A&P in section 76. Sam and Anny came at about 10:00 and we spent a couple of hours packing up some things. I packed suitcases with all kind of things and it appears that we are going to be underweight for the trip home. We just have to be careful and not buy too many souvenirs in Hong Kong.

We met the Kanes for lunch but instead of going to Chili’s as we had planned, we ended up at a very noisy BurgerKing instead. For some reason Chili’s was closed until 5 today. But as Elder Kane said, it was not the food but the company that counted. We talked about a number of things including our plans – we should get to see them sometime late in July or early August in Utah.

While the ladies were powdering their noses, Elder Kane and I talked about how we did not find our mission experience as any kind of sacrifice. The Kanes feel they could not have had a better mission if they would have been allowed to pick any in the world. We have had a wonderful experience and it has made us eager to go on more missions as long as we can.

It was strange saying goodbye to those two wonderful people who we have shared so much with over the last 18 months. We have made friends for life and we will keep in touch. I think sister Kane had a few tears in her eyes as we said our last goodbye.

We then went to the mission office to drop off some things including some of the boxes that will be stored for the Rebers and music of sister Penni. I reminded the translation department that they needed to turn in their home work. The President was up in Bogor showing sister Hinckley the Gong Factory. Elder A. Smith is the new Assistant to the President – replacing Elder Bastian.

We got a wonderful surprise letter from Elder Roper that said a lot of nice things about his experience with us. It is nice to know that we touched the lives of some of the missionaries who served with us. We should get to see him in September in Provo as he is going to the Y.

We then made what will probably be our last trip to Sogo and BreadTalk. I tried to buy enough orange juice to last me until we leave. It is strange closing doors for the last time and knowing that you probably will never open them again.

Back at the apartment I took a short nap while waiting for it to be time to head to Tangerang 2’s Family Home Evening. The traffic was not bad and we made it there early. We got to watch the youth practice a traditional dance that they will perform for Youth Conference next month. People came in groups and it got started about 45 minutes late. President Sujud got stuck in traffic and it could not start until he got there. So it life in Jakarta.

Sister Tandiman had two of her sons from the US here for a visit. They had not been here for at least 8 years. One of sister Mary’s daughters and her family is also here visiting for the first time in many years. Their two children speak English but do not seem to know any Indonesian.

They showed slides from their recent picnic – everyone claps when some pictures come up. I am never quite understood why some did got laughs and applause and others did not. Then all those who were visiting gave short talks. We were given a turn but all we said was good bye and thanks for all the wonderful memories. Then sister Ariono – President Sujud’s wife read us a touching poem that we did not understand until it was translated. It did not matter what it said, just the effort and thought was enough reward.

They served dinner and I had rice, dog and dessert. The dog was a little too spicy for me but if I did not know it was dog, I would not have been able to tell it from beef. If it has a distinct flavor it was lost in the spicy sauce.

We took some pictures and said goodbye to a lot of people. As I said goodbye to brother Looky asked me if I was going to keep up our blog and I said I was. It turns out he has been reading it for a long time and thanked me for writing about his son’s sickness, death and funeral.

The trip home was a breeze and even with a short stop to drop off a camera at the mission office for the Walkers, we were home in under an hour. I count that as another of the Lord’s tender mercies. Another one today was just missing a demonstration that tied up part of a main street that we use. Our exit was just where the demonstration ended.

Back at our apartment, I worked on pictures so we can get copies made tomorrow or Wednesday. Then we can get them distributed before we leave or at least leave them so others can distribute them for us.

It has been a remarkable day and one we will remember for a long time. Below is the translation of the poem that Sister Ariono read to us. We are going to have the original in Indonesian framed so we can always be reminded of the people of Indonesia.

Poetry of Love

For Beloved

Sister and Elder Pier

Language .

has hindered me

to become close to you

Language .

has stopped me

to talk to you

Language .

has restricted me

in expressing my love to you

But . no!

I can still see the expression of love

through the gentle gaze of your eyes

I can feel the warmth of your love

through your hand shake

I can feel the spirit of the gospel

through your footsteps

And . your testimony in the gospel

has stuck

in the deepest soul

strengthen me to move forward for the future

Farewell .

We love you and will always miss you

Tangerang, May 26, 2008

Signature

Nani Ariono

25 May 2008

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Mary with sister Tandiman who is the matriarch of a faithful family. She and her husband were early members of the church here and their family are found in many branches. Unfortunately brother Tandiman has not been well but sister Tandiman faithfully comes and plays the piano for T2. Next is the Bautista family who are from the Philippines and are investigating the church. The last picture is a young lady who was born either just before we got here or right after. I have posted pictures of her father carrying her in one of the slings they use here. As you can see she is a doll and even let me take her picture.

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Mary with Judi Guttormsen at the English Branch farewell. Judi said that she wanted a good picture because the last one I took at the graduation party was terrible. The bright temporary murals are on the fence around a building that we have watched being built for our whole mission. We next to it at least 3 times each week and it has been fun to see it develop. I like the last picture because it shows one of the carts they use and a part of the rock wall that bends around one of the corners.

25 May 2008 – Sunday

Our next-to-the-last Sunday in Indonesia. It does not seem possible and it really has not sunk in. We were up early to get ready to leave at 7:15 for the Tangerang chapel. I found myself re-writing my talk on the back of my nicely printed one. As I was writing last night I pretty well knew that I would change it before we spoke.

Since it was the 4th Sunday, Sudirman was closed off for the walkers and bike riders. Sam found another way to the toll road and we got there in plenty of time to say hello to the members.

Mary and I spoke at both branches and bore our testimonies in Indonesian. I got better with the second one and should have been able to do it all but through in something that had to be translated. President Gjarot translated for both of us. My talk felt good and I noticed that in T2 I had most people’s attention – I did not do as well in T1 but since President Paul and President Gjarot both mentioned some of the things I spoke about, I think it was the right subject.

It was good to see the Bautista family at T1 – they are the nice family from the Philippines who are investigating the Church. This is the third time they have come. After the meeting I mentioned to them that I knew what they were feeling because I had sat where they were 50 years ago. They would be a great addition to the Church here in Indonesia or in the Philippines.

As soon as the second sacrament meeting was over we headed for the English branch farewell party. It was a nice gathering of many of the families we have come to know over our mission. It provided a good lunch – Mary made brownies – and we got to say goodbye to many friends. Hopefully we will meet some of them again some day. At least one young man is going to the Y in the fall. It would be great if we could see him before we leave again.

We are reading in chapters 70-76 in the A&P. We just started 76 with it’s powerful testimony of Jesus on the right hand of His Father. ‘Of all the testimonies that have been given…He lives!’ That is the testimony all members of the Lord’s church must have. This knowledge leads to keeping His commandments and enjoying the blessings. Including the blessing of this mission.

24 May 2007

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Soewigno’s home and store – very nicely landscaped. Us and the Soewigno family. Their excellent small restaurant. The serve about 100 bowls of Mie Ayam a day.

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The Salim family and Us. A fruit stand where they hang much of their fruit instead of stacking it neatly. I love the colors. A first for us – a balloon as a motorcycle load. At least it should not be heavy.

24 May 2008 – Saturday

A day that was a good one all the way through. The Lord truly blessed us and granted us tender mercies. The morning was devoted to study, exercise, and reading the A&P. I posted my journal and some pictures. The time flew by and Sam was soon knocking on the door. Strangely enough I have not really started on my talk for tomorrow.

We went to the office and after getting Mary settled in, Sam and I went to run some errands. When we got back, the front gate was locked and since I left my keys with Mary, there was no way to get in. But I had been prompted to plug in the desk phone before we left – I told Mary it was so if she thought of something else she needed she could call me. Instead I had to call her and ask her to come out to the gate and let us in. I count this as a tender mercy from the Lord.

The internet was humming so I was able to send off some e-mail that I was in the middle of when the power went off yesterday morning. I was surprised that Hani was not at the chapel so he could use our computers but I supposed that he was busy elsewhere. Mary worked on printing more ‘Go Fish’ cards for the elders to use.

We had to leave at noon so we could go out towards the Depok to visit brother Soewigno’s store and restaurant. I slept part of the way so it was a quick trip. We had a delightful time, got to meet his family – wife, son and daughter – see their store, warehouse and restaurant. We also got to eat his Mie Ayam which was delicious, see his house, visit his container garden that included a number of fruit trees and a flowering plant that had some of the biggest and strongest thorns I have ever seen. What impressed me most is that he and his wife has built this up by hard work and careful management. It shows that the possibilities for success in Indonesia is unlimited if you dream, plan and work very hard to accomplish your dream. He started after his mission by selling fruit that he grew himself.

After taking some pictures and saying goodbye we called our home teaching family – the Salims and asked if we could drop by to say goodbye. Usually it takes us over an hour to get to their house but we were only 15 minutes away so it was an easy trip. They are a very nice couple and I wish we could communicate directly instead of through Sam. We only stayed about 20 minutes and took some pictures. Johan was not there – he was working but we should see him next Sunday at Jakarta Raya. We thanked them for their hospitality and friendship and bid then Selamat Tinggal and they wished us Selamat Jalan.

In the evening we went to the chapel so Mary could play for choir practice. I used the time to write my talk. It just flowed and I think it is quite good. I do not think I will have time to give it all but I am prepared for everything from 10 to 20 minutes.

By the time we got home it was almost bedtime, so I read some from the Teachings of Joseph Smith and turned off the lights on a good day. A day filled with small blessings and friendships. A day that allowed us to serve and be served.

23 May 2008

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23 May 2008 – Friday

Ok so we may be getting just a little trunky – that is we are thinking more about what we need to do before we go home.

At the office today we had great internet connection and I was working my way through the things I needed to do when they turned off all the power to the whole area. Luckily we have the battery back-up so we could save what we were doing and shut down the computers. Sam went out and checked if he could find out when it would come back on but they would only say they had no idea.

We called it quits and came back to the apartment where at least some things could be accomplished before we went to have lunch with our friend Rudi.  We met him and Yanni Mongan from Tangerang 2 at a restaurant that served traditional Indonesian food and had gado-gado – which is basically vegetables and rice in a sauce. In this case it was peanut sauce. After that we had something that was definitely not traditional – some very good ice cream. It was nice to meet with Rudi and talk some about our brief friendship. I doubt if we will ever meet again in this life, but I hope that sometime we will on the other side.

After lunch we went to the mission office for just a few minutes to deliver the Tangerang elder’s weekly reports and to talk to the translation folks for a few minutes. The President was busy talking to the office elders – they are very busy because right now there is only one assistant and he is in Medan. So they get to do all the work. Then we made a quick stop at Sogo to get some orange juice and of course a visit to BreadTalk for our next-to-the-last bunch of goodies.

We came home and basically did not much except read from the A&P, work on this journal and pictures. Our date night was watching the first two episodes of the life of John Adams that was made for TV. It was pretty good and they seemed to stick to history well. I like the fact that Abigail Adams is shown as the strong and intelligent woman that she was. That their marriage was one between equals and filled with love. I need to read her biography. Before turning off the light I read from the Teaching of Joseph Smith in Indonesian. It is at times challenging.

22 May 2008

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Bicycle loads are sometimes more fun than motorcycle loads but are not as often seen. We saw two today which were quite good. The first is empty plastic containers going to be recycled. Notice that it is passing an empty trash cart that has probably just dropped it’s load and is going back for another. The second is something very bulky and probably not very heavy but it makes an interesting picture. The last is one of the public street cleaners. Notice the broom – hand made, even crude but it works very well for the task it has been assigned.

22 May 2008 – Thursday

I had a good morning starting with going to the gym and studying Indonesian. We read from the A&P and other wise kept busy until it was time to go to the office.

It was one of those frustrating days at the office. That is the internet was not working and so I could not do any of the things that I had planned to do. Much of it I can not do at home because we do not have a current edition of Microsoft Word. So I kept busy writing vocabulary exercises and tests until I finally finished both word lists. Then I made up some things for tonight’s English class. Mary worked on her English classes for the office and tonight.

We got to the mission office in plenty of time for Mary’s English class. I spent some time with the translators working on vocabulary. They are my test group for the lessons and tests I have been making. We went through how they were pronounced and I corrected those tests they had completed. We agreed that they would send me five sentences each day using the vocabulary words and I would correct them and send them back.

I talked some with President Marchant. His desk was covered with paperwork that he needed to get done. It is one of the things I do not think about when considering the work a mission president is faced with.

After Mary finished the lesson we headed towards Tangerang and went to the mall until it was time to go to District Meeting. We bought Jco donuts – the next to the last time we will be doing that here in Indonesia – before leaving the mall.

District meeting started a little late – Elder Djarkodi and Elder Laki were working together so Elder Herman and Elder Prause got to go out as a companionship. Elder Djarkodi is rather quiet but he is very spiritually strong. He kept the meeting on course and gave a good lesson on how to judge your success as a missionary. He got everyone involved which is always good.

We gave Elder Herman some pictures and I asked Elder Prause for his mother’s e-mail address so I could send his family some. We also brought Elder Herman a letter from his mother. We found it interesting that his mother mentions that we sent her some pictures via e-mail.

Other than Agus and Catherin’s family, the missionaries and Sam and Anny,  we only had one student. Billy is a fine young man and it was good to see him again. My class studied prepositions and then I taught them ‘Go Fish.’ It started out slow because no one knew how to play but as they started to understand how it worked they got more involved and had fun while learning.

Agus and Catherin liked it so well that we told them we would print off some sheets that they could then cut up, paste on cards and have laminated so they could play the game with their family. We talked a little about the fact that it seemed like yesterday we were at their house with the Lieshmann’s for their farewell dinner. We are going to miss their family and I think they will miss us. Everyone enjoyed the donuts.

The trip home went smoothly and I spent the next hour or so working on pictures and the journal before going to bed. I need to stop taking so many pictures each day.

21 May 2008

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Us with brother and sister Limbong. The Limbong family.

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A couple of pictures of things we saw as we slowly went on some of the smaller streets of the city at night. There are small stores everywhere. The middle picture is the back of a truck that was right in front of us for longer than we wanted. I think it tells a lot about its life and also the lives of those who work with it. Motorcycle loads still surprise and amaze me – color, shape, and amounts vary – notice the very large bag that he has between his knees.

21 May 2008 – Wednesday

Woke early enough to study Indonesian before going to the gym. After breakfast we read from the A&P and then neaten the apartment so the cleaning lady had a chance. But it turned out that she did not get our message to come early today.

At 10:00 the Sisters showed up to play tennis for an hour. Sister Findlay has been trying to do this for weeks and today it finally worked. After getting them signed in and playing I got my camera and came back to take some pictures of them in action. I ended up hitting a few balls to sister Findlay – very poorly I am afraid – and worked up another good sweat. I do not think I will take up tennis as a sport anytime soon. I did have a tennis class when in jr. high and did terrible. I could not ever learn how to serve.

After they were through we invited them to shower and Sister Findlay and Coleman was happy to do that. It is the first shower with really hot water they have had since they came to Indonesia. They also got to use Mary’s hair dryer and then we gave them Magnum ice cream bars before sending them on their way. Both sisters said it was the best P-day they have had. I just wish we had been more diligent it doing this earlier.

Sam came while the sisters were still here and loaded up the last of our packages that we are going to ask the Wisers to send for us. We also are giving them our little present in thanks for their support and help. I hope we get to meet them again some day.

After dropping the packages off at the Wisers we went to the office to turn in our Kitas so they can change our visas before we leave. We also dropped off some pictures that we had taken throughout the year of the staff. It still does not seem real that we have less than two weeks here in Indonesia.

When we got home we had about 2 hours before we were to leave for a dinner appointment with Anny’s family at their university/home. I worked on pictures – I really must stop taking so many – and then tried to take a short nap.

The trip over to their place was easy and we had a great time. I was surprised to find that Anny’s brother and mother spoke much better English than I had thought they did. We had a typical Indonesian meal – at least a typical middle class one – of rice, chicken sate, roasted chicken and vegetables. We had some interesting table talk and we found out more about how the parents got together. Anny’s brother, sister-in-law and their daughter were delightful. The little girl is beautiful and we have a number of pictures of her.

After dinner they gave us a beautiful traditional Batak weaving from Sumatra that is worn over the shoulder and across the chest. We gave them one of the angel Moroni plaques we bought in Jogya. It was a nice evening and we will take that memory and their friendship with us.

The trip home was twice as long as going but I managed to fall asleep so it did not seem all that long. It was amazing how the traffic had changed. All the streets were packed with cars and the intersections were a mess. The police did not seem to even be trying to keep a good flow going. But it is Jakarta and so it is best to be patient and go with the flow. At least I do not have to drive.