Sunday, November 30, 2014

Thanksgiving for Miller Time

After a day full of teaching and proselyting we had a nice Thanksgiving meal with the missionaries at Pizza Hut last Thursday.  The pizza there is surprisingly good.  Not turkey dinner, but good.  We felt blessed. American fast food has made huge in-roads here.  McDonalds, KFC, Pizza Hut, Carls Jr, Circle K, 7-11, A&W. Hugely surpassed in quantity anyway, by thousands of roadside eating stands where you can buy an unending number of food dishes, snacks, drinks.

Sister Williams is happy whenever she can hold a baby or play with a child.  She speaks "baby".

We went to a young family a few days ago, the Kurniawans, pictured below, to meet them, for dinner (goat and chicken sate, rice and peanut sauce, watermelon!) and to share a message with them. While there the electricity went out for a few minutes.  When it came back on we sang "Love at Home" with them, we in English and they in Indonesian.  It was lovely. We talked about the importance of Malam Keluarga (Family Home Evening) and read scriptures about the importance of parents training their children in the Gospel, having fun together, teaching them to work, be honest and work hard. They want us to come back some time and show them some silly little games we used to play with our kids..."Don't Eat Pete!", Hippety-Hoppety, etc.  Indonesians don't play games, generally,  It seems not to be in their nature or culture. Maybe they are too preoccupied with things like eating and a having a place to live. Not that they don't have fun in other ways, but organized games are not a tradition.  Yet many seem intrigued by the idea.  We brought UNO, Skip-Bo, Scrabbble.  We'll see how they like them.

Moslems bury their dead.  There are graveyards like this all over the country. Reminds us as members and missionaries how much work there is to be done.

Kathy has been been sending home very brief videos of all the missionaries, and WOW have the Moms loved it!  The responses have been so touching!  Missionary couples can do so many extra things in the mission field!  While visiting with locals we can share real-life experiences that younger people have not yet acquired.  We really need more missionary couples in the mission field!  We are taking the place of three couple missionaries and are spread very thin. Below are Elders Anderson and Martineau in Surabaya Barat.


Smells are everywhere.  Mostly unpleasant ones, fecal smells, or mildew smells.  Sometimes great smells…food mostly.  You learn to try to ignore the gutters/open sewer lines, except when walking over or around them.  It’s uncommon to see concrete here in decent repair.  Looks like it has been poured/repaired a thousand times in its lifetime.  A real patchwork, uneven, broken, gaping holes.  Not a good place for disabilities.   Below is a common sight here...a roadside open sewage channel.  Watch your step! 

A welcoming couple at the Surabaya cruise ship port.  They have a floor dedicated to local Javanese culture where you can learn to draw wax batik designs, listen to live Gamelan music, paint face masks and other arts. This couple received a pass-along card!

This week on "P-Day" we were able to meet one of Keith's original missionary companions (from 1973-75) at the cruise ship port in Surabaya! Kevin and Denise Miller came in on a cruise ship and spent the day with us! It was so wonderful to spend time with them!  We took them to a small authentic batik factory and watched the Indonesian women create the patterns with hot wax, dip the cloth into a dye bath, then boil the wax off in large vats over an open fire, only to repeat the process in another area of the cloth with more wax, more dye, sometimes many times, to allow for many color patterns on the cloth. In the show room Kathy bought a batik skirt (which they altered for free in 2 days) while Keith got fitted for a matching batik shirt.  The cost was very cheap.  It cost $100 for batik material that probably took 1-2 weeks to make! 

The artists work in a group of four to six or so.  The women ( infrequently also men) draw hot wax from a central melting pot, and then use a fine applicating funnel to draw fine designs onto the cloth.  The designs are free-hand drawn on the cloth first, based on the artisan's own choice or the request of the purchaser. They have a leather pad on heir laps to prevent hot wax burns. These become very heavy with built up wax over time. 
Kevin standing in front of a man boiling the wax off the batik cloth in a large vat of boiling water before giving it back to the artists to apply more wax design prior to giving it another dye application in a different color.  He is doing this over a hot open fire.  The room tends to be smoky and hot.
Kevin has not always been so sedate.  Here he is in 1974 in a skit by his District at an all-Mission talent show.  Pak Miller on the right.
Kevin again on the right in 1974 or so.  Judging from body language, do you think this General Authority visiting on a Mission Tour had the rapt attention of the missionaries?  It reminds me a little of a New Testament scene. Maybe the 12 Apostles...
We took them to see one of the two church buildings here in Surabaya, here at Timur.  We met the missionaries at the church and Kevin testified to them that even the smallest seeds sewn in Indonesia were significant.  He told them about the sweet reunion he'd recently had with some of the families he'd baptized.  We could feel the spirit as he testified to the missionaries! 

Ok.  Here is a treasure.  Magnum ice cream, made here in Indonesia.  It is frozen heaven on a stick, rich vanilla ice cream coated with delicious rich dark chocolate and coated again in butterscotch cream.  One of these at 4 PM after a hot afternoon out riding a bike and teaching with the Elders and standing under the AC in the Indomart will rejuvenate even this 60 year old man.

As promised, our Grandchild of the Week...James with his favorite dinosaur.  Makes me think of the "jaws of hell"...

 Till next week, say your prayers, read your scriptures, and Be Thankful!

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