Sunday, March 29, 2015

A Guest Post

by Stacy Skillman

I asked President and Sister Williams if I could steal some blog space and write a guest post on their mission blog.  We’ve just returned from an all too brief visit with them and I’m still basking in the joy from having been able to experience a little taste of their mission life and was eager to share some of the experiences and pictures of our time together. 

Our visit to Indonesia was 22 years in the making.  It has been that long since the four of us took our first vacation together over two decades ago--not long after we first met each other after moving into the Medford First Ward.  It was on that very first trip that Keith reminisced with us about his mission in Indonesia and Mark of his time as a missionary in Japan that the four of us decided that someday we’d all travel together back to those places that were rich with memories and meaning.

Their mission call had barely sprung from its envelope when Mark and I began scheming ways to justify a visit. Under the pretense that we would be more than happy to contribute to their well being by bringing them any provisions from America--should they begin to run dangerously low.   They did and so we did.  We lugged an entire suitcase full of important things like whitening toothpaste, chewable Tums, shelled almonds, and very important letters and artwork from the grandkids. 

See the artwork on the wall?  We were serious about our delivery offer!

Luckily for us, a senior mission is the perfect blend of service, sacrifice, diligence, and leadership, along with a pleasant sprinkling of relaxed guidelines.  This means that on occasion they can have some faraway friends/family pay them a visit under the auspices of, well, anything really. Especially if said friends/family are willing to roll up their missionary sleeves and help with the work.

One cautionary note: If you ever decide to visit Indonesia, my advice would be not to start from Oregon.  I think it’s the farthest possible spot away.  This would explain why we never ran into a single American tourist.  Not one.

After an epic flight itinerary we were greeted at the Surabaya airport by a thick wall of heat, two missionaries, and a faint call to prayer crooning in the distance. Within a few hours of landing, President and Sister Williams had revived our travel-fogged minds with a swift walk around their neighborhood and an icy coke from the nearby McDonalds.  23 hours on an airplane and America is still not that far away it seems. 

Feeling re-energized we were ready to plug in to mission life.  Among the many responsibilities the Williams have taken on, they often spend time in the car with a printout of the ward/branch list in tracking down members that haven’t been seen in a long time.  Searching out the lost sheep often brings a myriad of results.  Case in point was the poor sister they recently blogged about who had passed away just hours before they managed to track her down.  This day’s endeavor however, would happily bring some tender and sweet experiences.

Working from the printout, Keith and their driver Peter were able to locate the neighborhood of the top name on the list without any problem.  The man we were looking for lived in a comparatively upscale neighborhood by Indonesian standards including a security person at the entry gate. We pulled up and Keith and Peter inquired about the man and the men at the gate told us he had moved.  But we were in luck.  They quickly informed us the man had moved just a few houses around the corner from his previous address and warmly motioned for us to drive through the gates and gave us directions to the new address. Keith and Kathy, along with Peter knocked on the door while Mark and I peered from the street.  We didn’t want to overwhelm anyone by having him or her open the door to find a shock of Bule’s (foreign white people) on their doorstep.  Foreigners aren’t seen much and we didn’t want to be a “bule” bombshell.  The door opened and they bent low to speak to someone.  It became apparent that the man was not home and a small child had answered the door.  A sweet and cautious-eyed little girl.  She told Keith and Kathy her father wasn’t home so they left her with a message and a Book of Mormon and told her they would try and come back again for another visit.  A tender mercy would soon intervene in the shape of those helpful security guards who, on our drive out, eagerly informed us the man we were looking for had just driven through on his way home from work.  We promptly turned around.  Another knock at the door and we were warmly welcomed in by the man who had been told by his daughter that we had come by.

The man was kind, quiet, and welcoming.  He gathered chairs from all parts of the house and welcomed us to sit.  We were a formidable group of five.  For the next hour some really sweet experiences took place.  Keith conversed easily with him in Indonesian while Peter quietly translated their conversation for us. Life had taken some hard turns for this man and his family over the past few years and the toil and strain had taken its toll.  He was still active spiritually, although in another church.  He had picked up some habits along the way that made it difficult for him to keep a solid grasp on his activity in the church.  You could feel that the man had a strong desire to keep spiritually connected.  Keith shared a beautiful message with him and then asked him to read a scripture from the Book of Mormon.  Something remarkable happened as he did so.  His eyes began to water and he said he suddenly remembered reading his scriptures, especially about Lehi and his family, and that he realized he deeply missed those stories.  The spirit filled the room and Keith, as if following a prompting, turned to Kathy and asked her to bear her testimony.  Unlike the many times before when she had been asked to do so using English and the help of a translator to convey her meaning, she opened her mouth and testified sweetly using Indonesian words.  Although the words were unfamiliar to our ears, Mark and I could absolutely feel the unwavering conviction of her message.  As Kathy spoke, I glanced over at Keith and found him absolutely glowing with a wide smile as he watched his wife.  He was literally glowing.  The corners of my mouth broadened in response as I observed him. It seemed as if he was basking in the moment and recognized that this place and experience that had profoundly influenced him at 19 was now a shared experience between him and Kathy.  He would never have to explain the physical experience of this place or the feelings he had for the people here to her ever again because she herself was being transformed by it.  Including this moment where the spirit loosened her tongue and an unfamiliar language just flowed from her mouth.  I was so grateful for the experience.  To sit in a home of a humble man whose desire to re-connect with a forgotten faith was reawakened, to see Kathy allow the spirit to loosen her tongue and testify of important things, and to watch Keith bask in the sweetness and transforming power of mission life.

The fact that Kathy was able to share her testimony for the first time completely in this language wasn’t by chance alone.  It was a combination of long hours of study and prayer, a willingness to practice and speak with people, and lots of work.  We know that our confidence will wax strong if we have put time and effort into the studying that will enable us to respond to spiritual promptings when they come.  And that’s exactly what I’ve watched Kathy do, study, prepare, and practice.

This dry erase board leans against her headboard:

Following our visit with the man and his daughter we set off for our next missionary adventure; English Class.  Each Saturday evening the missionaries put on free English classes at the church for the community.  I was surprised to see the room fill with people of all different ages—from 7 to 70—all eagerly desirous to polish their English skills.  It’s no surprise that Kathy does a great job engaging the class on the weeks she’s there to teach; it was a really fun group to be apart of.  She allowed me to teach a short lesson to the class and tell them about snow.  Imagine explaining snow to Indonesians.  Tough assignment.  Later she split us into small groups and divided the missionaries and Mark, Keith, and I to help with pronunciation.  I got to teach with Sister Chapman, an awesome sister missionary from Australia.  The poor group we were assigned to had to listen to us banter back and forth on correct pronunciations of each word.  She vying for “ALOE—MIN—EE—UM” and me insisting it was “UH—LOO—MA—NUM”. 

The following day would find us attending church.  Keith was one of the speakers so it was a real thrill to hear him speak the language of his mission from long ago.  Throughout all of our travels together over the years I have never seen him attempt to speak a foreign language, be it Spanish, French, or Italian.  He prefers to leave translation books and home and instead speak in slow, loud English accompanied by sweeping hand gestures.  This departure from his language avoidance issues was awesome to see.  Keith is still Keith no matter what language he speaks.  I didn’t need a translator to know when he was being serious or silly.  His grasp of the language has come right back.

Kathy sitting with Kimbley at church.  We brought a mini Etch-A-Sketch and it seemed to be the perfect quiet toy.

After sacrament, as part of their missionary efforts to help train leadership, Kathy organized opening exercises and taught sharing time in Primary. The importance of senior missionaries really revealed itself during this time.  In the States we take it for granted that we all know how to conduct a meeting or organize something as simple as a sharing time.  Even the fact that most of us can pop over to the library for pictures and materials, things that aren’t quite as accessible here.  Keith and Kathy work hard to help guide and train members here to do things that those of us with vast church experience find natural and commonplace.  Often leadership skills don’t always come naturally to people who are serving in church positions for the first time.  It’s a realm that’s largely a new experience for them.

Kathy had prepared a Sharing Time lesson and Song time for the primary this particular Sunday to give the primary leaders an idea of how they could follow the general guidelines.  She also prepared two primary talks the week before and assigned them to a couple of children.  They don’t often give talks because they haven’t really seen it done.  This was a really great way to help train the leaders.  Primary really went well and it was fun to help her with Sharing Time.  Afterwards, the primary leaders were really enthusiastic about the things they learned and were eager to adapt the ideas into their Primary.

A week later we would find ourselves attending a branch in Bali.  During a Sunday School lesson a sister referred to herself and the members in Indonesia as pioneers.  As I listened to her comment, and reflected on my experiences the week before in Primary, this sister really broadened my definition of the word “Pioneer” and painted church history with a broader more visionary stroke.

There seems to be a great need for senior missionaries to go out and strengthen and demonstrate basic leadership skills to the pioneers of other nations and tongues that are so eager to participate in the gospel.  Often times people living in areas where life’s necessities require significant time to obtain and work for, have far less time to read, especially things like handbooks and manuals.  The training senior missionaries do can help to fill this gap.

Keith helping to locate the Bali Branch meeting place in a local hotel conference room.

Here's Mark helping set up for the Sacrament.  Notice the Branch President using a green suitcase.  He keeps all the branch supplies in it, including the Sacrament trays and tablecloth since they branch has no permanent home.

We got to pop in to a branch in Jogjakarta and see the Relief Society Sisters celebrating the Relief Society's birthday.  A gaggle of RS Women seem to be the same all over the world, fun, warm, and kind...and always one silly one in the bunch. (keep your eye on the sister in the white blouse at the piano, she's got some spunk!)

The four of us prepared to leave Surabaya to travel to a handful of places around the country and visit a few celebrated landmarks—places Keith never had a chance to visit as a young missionary with much stricter rules.  Mark and I were a little worried that we’d distract Keith and Kathy from the important work they’ve come here to do as they elected to come with us for a few days of travel.  

Notice they've still got their tags on.  I included this photo as proof I went. I always get back from vacations with no photographic evidence I've been anywhere.  Thank goodness for the selfie...
And the footie...

But our worries about distracting President and Sister Williams were unfounded.  This wasn’t the case at all.  In almost every place we visited, we were able to meet with members, attend branches or wards, and visit with the young missionaries called to serve there.  Along the way Keith found time to give a Book of Mormon and a first discussion to one of our boat drivers.  I think he can now officially claim to be the first missionary on a remote island with only three-dozen inhabitants.  After our explorations of the remarkable sights around Indonesia, Kathy remarked that she came back with a greater insight and understanding of the people she was serving.  It became apparent to me that this is a place where “the traditions of their fathers” holds a firm grasp on the customs and behaviors of the people, every bit as much as in the time of the Nephites and Lamanites, and seeing their history and culture helped Kathy to better understand their paradigm.

After returning to Surabaya from our little sightseeing jaunt, we attended a Zone Leadership Meeting with all the Elders and Sisters from the area.  It was tremendous to see these young missionaries eagerly engaged in mission life.  During one of the lessons taught, one on loving your companion, I caught this Indonesian Elder putting his arm around his companion.  It was awesome to see their attitudes about mission life.  These young Elders and Sisters are an impressive lot.

Be prepared, if you visit, they will put you to work...

By this time I was getting a bit hubris about my ability to sing the Indonesian hymns.  They were fairly easy to follow along.  But I got schooled when they chose the rapid fire “We Are All Enlisted”.  So much for my Indonesian Idol plans.

Not sure what hymn this is but I took a pic for you.  Looks easy doesn’t it?  Not too bad until you sing one that says “vigorously”.

The day before we left Mark got to go on splits with the missionaries.  He and Keith divided up and took off on bikes with separate elders.  The understatement of the year would be to say that bike riding in Indonesia is an extreme sport.  I think even the X-Games would ban it because of safety issues.  As mark readied to head out on his bike with Elder Davies, the young missionary looked at him and said, “I don’t have an extra helmet for you, I hope that’s okay.” 

Meanwhile I went with Kathy for a few visits.  She took me into the gongs to visit Sofi and little Kimbley who she’s blogged so much about.  This was a fun trip because Kathy was delivering an electric keyboard to Kimbley and give her a piano lesson.  Kimbley is super smart and seemed excited and focused about her piano.  Peter helped to translate when Kathy needed.  Mark’s splits with the Elders and mine with Kathy was the perfect way to end our trip.

Mark and I were grateful for the time we were able to spend with the Williams.  It was even better than the flood of memories Keith has shared with us over our long years of friendship.  He and Kathy are doing many wonderful and inspired things in Indonesia and in turn many wonderful and inspiring people are transforming them.  It was a great thing to be apart of.

Hati-Hati—A Postnote.

There’s a profusion of signs all over Indonesia that read, “HATI-HATI”  You’ll find them by potholed streets, uneven and missing sidewalks, low hanging pipes, purported construction zones, and even posted forbodingly in areas teeming with man-eating Komodo Dragons.  While the sign is meant to warn or caution, to me it is seemed a contradiction.  At no time during my visit did I ever see anyone Hati-Hati anything.  Nothing ever seemed dangerous or daunting to these amazing people.  I saw legions of mopeds drive over crumbling sidewalks, down narrow lanes with open sewers, and dart and weave past cars slowly pulling out in front of them.  I saw the volcanic Mt. Merapi sit among clustered villages with it’s broad shoulders hunched like a giant ogre with an unpredictable temper.  Hundreds of families living precariously at the foot of it while it was menacingly overdue for an eruption.  Despite all the chaos and imminent predicaments, no one ever seemed alarmed.  A car could abruptly pull out in front of a careening moped and no offense was ever taken, they simply just altered their course and continued in a forward direction.  No one ever seemed upset or uptight.  Even the villagers who knew their neighborhood mountain would most certainly devour and choke their village twice each decade, simple chose to carve out a living despite their harrowing proximity to the belching mountain and would simply rebuild if and when the time came.  This grand collective of island people have an easy way about them. Despite the cautionary signs that scatter their landscape there isn’t an ounce of hati-hati  in their hearts.  They are warm and friendly, largely forgiving, and avoid giving any offence. They thrive despite hardships.  No matter what confronts them they don’t get overwhelmed by any of it, they simply adapt and move forward.  A good life lesson. 

While visiting Mt. Merapi I took this photo because I thought it exemplified the Indonesian people.

Perhaps the “Hati-Hati” is meant for us Bule’s.  After spending time there I think the signs are there to warn those who have come to explore this island country.  Like a forewarning that the people here—especially the children, will burrow into your heart with their kindness and sweet vulnerability, and you’ll miss them when you leave.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Goats and Skills

Down the street is a large kampung, a local village encompassing many blocks and accessed through small driveable streets and many small alleyways, one of the more diverse and colorful we have found in Surabaya. Very traditional with mosques, people and their homes, animals of every sort, home businesses of small restaurants, repair shops, small retail stores...mufflers, fruit, general grocery, and small home businesses making large slabs of soybean curd for sale.  This is very commonly used in their daily diet. Here is a small corral of goats, used for meat mostly. The array of colors, smells, sounds is amazing, almost overwhelming all senses.  Animals bleating, motorcycle engines roaring, the imams' call to prayer blaring.  Heavy oppressive humidity, hazy wetness above in the sky, organic fecal smells, delicious fruity or fried smells from the kaki lima's or neighborhood warungs, TV noises sometimes seeping through the house doors, children playing or laughing, or more commonly as soon as they see you, drawn moth-like toward you where they smile and hang back a little timidly, just out of reach, unsure of what to say or do.  "Bule" can usually be deciphered from their Javanese chatter.

The Skillmans arrived from America for their scheduled 2 week visit to Indonesia to celebrate their anniversary.  We spent a few days with them doing missionary stuff...home visits, attending Church and English class, visiting less active members, and so forth.  We took them to see a small local batik-making facility where women spend weeks creating hand-made batik pieces of art.  Truly one-of-a-kind garments. The Sisters bought skirts, unique designs, for about $45 a piece.  Worth $100's in the States.  

The batik patterns are all hand-drawn, then the designs are created in a technique using hot wax using a small device looking like a tobacco pipe with a very fine pouring tip, tracing the design outline.  They essentially are creating a negative image of what they want to create.  The wax-laden cloth is then dipped in one color of dye, the cloth is washed in boiling water to remove the wax, then the process is repeated any number of times depending on the intricacy of design and number of chosen colors.  It can take 3-4 weeks to make single piece. 

Below you see chicken about as fresh as you can get (we hope).  Slaughtered, plucked and dressed.  A few loops of plastic wrap around their feet, slung across a motorcycle, and taken to market or home, or KFC.  No refrigeration used.  Listeria and Salmonella count unknown.  We never eat anything if it is at all pink.  We have thrown away countless pounds of chicken purchased at Papaya (the local high-end store) because when we got it home or thawed, it stunk badly. 

Another look out our back door overlooking the city.  

A look, selfie style, at our Mission President, Chris Donald and his wife from Australia, as we were sitting in the back of the chapel in Singapore on Bukit Timah Rd awaiting the start of a special fireside Feb 28th with Elder Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve.  

Full time missionaries have rules. Civilians, not so many.  Our friends, the Skillmans, quite comfortable with any manner of internal combustion, borrowed a member's scooter immediately after Church on Sunday, riding around the parking lot, moments before a sudden rainstorm, and essentially drenching them within about 20 seconds.  

The rear of the Church in Barat where all the cool kids hang out after church.  Here is our driver Peter with the Erikson's, a wonderful Danish family here for a few years for work, along with Brother Slamet, Elder Davies and Mark and Stacy Skillman. 

We spent a wonderful few hours with the Lewis', another Senior missionary couple living in Solo, and doing outstanding work advocating Family History work in Indonesia.  There is so much to be done here, made more daunting by the naming system here among the Javanese.  Many have only one name.  Family names are not used, and there is typically no name similarity from one generation to the next. Written records were often not kept except in royal families, especially in prior decades/centuries. Oral histories were more common. We will be helping to sponsor a Family History Week here in East Java where the Lewis' have promised to come and give hours of one-on-one time to the individual members. They are a blessing here.  I think they are encouraging members to enter into the Family Search data base as much information as they can remember or glean from parents, grandparents, and other living members, or from any written records.  Occasionally they can tie into a royal lineage and find family lines back centuries. 

We met them for dinner at our favorite Javanese restaurant. 

Only in Indonesia. This is a sales tag listing specs on a washing machine for sale in a local department store.  The small blue box on the upper right reads, "Anti Tikus"...meaning "rat proof". "Ya", of course it is rat-proof. 

Durian, a strong smelling, spiny fruit, is in many products in Indonesia.  Most locals like it.  Most foreigners do not.  I can tolerate it but would not order it if given a choice.  Below is a small kiosk in a grocery store selling Durian-everything. They put the fruit in bread, cookies, ice cream, a waste of good ice cream as far as I can tell. 

The other day I think we did a first, at least as far as anyone I know can tell me.  The husband of one our recent converts, a quasi-Moslem, drives a cab long hours, usually 5 AM until 10 or 11 at night.  Unable to book an appointment at home with him, we booked his cab instead.  We called him to a large local mall, asked him to park his car, with the car running (A.C. of course), and then proceeded to give him the 1st discussion about families, the role and need for prophets, Jesus Christ, the Apostacy and need for a Restoration, and the coming forth of the Book of Mormon.  Below is a quiet photo from my post in the back seat along with Elder Chou.  Elder Sutadiyono in the front passenger seat.  55,000 rupiahs for the 50 minute discussion...about $4.50.  

Have I mentioned the 11th plague ?...see below. 

Below is a photo of Brother Sudarsono and his cute 12 year old daughter, Dewati.  We found them, somewhat miraculously, as we were searching out members unknown to most in the Branch.  He had not been contacted in eons.  Brother Sudarsono, it turns out, was baptized in Surabaya back when they met on Jl Sulawesi, when in his teens with some of his family.  He had been sealed to his family in the SLC Temple in the 1980's.  Active for years, he had become lost, married and had children.  He was successful in business, but lost much a few years ago. His wife and children are not members, and they have attended another church, although not too actively.  His wife has some legal problems.  We stopped at their house Saturday afternoon, meeting the daughter and having a lovely conversation with her.  She loves cats which were in ample supply. Her father was at work at his cafe. We asked to return soon and meet her father, and she said she would like that.  As we were exiting past the security gate of the housing development the guard mentioned that Brother Sudarsono had just driven home past him on his motorcycle.  We immediately turned around and went right back, where we were warmly greeted.  We met with him for an hour. We taught him again about the Restoration, the Book of Mormon, prayer, testimony, and gave him encouragement as he faced challenges in his life. He expressed happiness that we had come, and promised to come to Church again.  We were so joyful when he came to Church with his daughter the following Sunday.  The missionaries are meeting with him again.  

Below a group photo after one of Sister Williams' English classes at Timur.  

Two of our fantastic and amazing grandchildren, Amalie, who is having another set of PE tubes placed in her cute little ears, and her cousin Eli celebrating a birthday with a new bike.  Way to go, both of you!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Apostles, Singapore, and Placentas

So a few days ago we received a written request from the Management at the condominium complex where we reside that we attend a new required event to make sure we were properly registered with the local government as foreign nationals living in Surabaya.  So we collected all of the requested documents and showed up at 1 PM downstairs in the event room here.  We found about 30 Indonesian bureaucrats, refreshments, and exactly 3 foreign nationals, 2 of them US!  Police, immigration folks, others.  We all quickly discovered that we already were in possession of the  "Green Card" which was the object of the event in the first place.  The next best option was what Indonesians do best...take pictures together.  Out came the cameras.  They also called the reporter from the Java Post, the Indonesian equivalent of the New York Times, along with a reporter from the local TV station.  We were on live local TV, proclaiming to very leading questions how impressed we were with the service and collegiality of the government (which is actually true!)   What was so strange for us was how eager they were to put on this show for such a mundane event.  They called us "sangat antusiasme" (very enthusiastic) and "tidak terganggu" (unbothered) with this examination of our papers. I found the officials "sangat ramah" (very friendly) and honestly stated "Ini kesempatan untuk memahami satu sama lain." (this is an opportunity to understand each other).  This article showed up the next day on the first page of the Metro section of Java Post.  

Anyway, this made us very well known apparently as we received comments from all over Java wondering if we were ok. Sadly, they chose to use photos which excluded our names tags proclaiming us representatives of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and neglected to include this fact in the article.  Unfortunately this was pretty predictable. In spite of their public claim of religious freedom, this is really in name only.  Any reference to Jesus Christ is always avoided in public discussions, although Islam is always frequently referenced.  It is blared from every minaret (hundreds of them) many times daily. 

New young missionaries in town.  We still enjoy going out separately with the young missionaries each week.  This is Elder Hayes.  We just arrived at this small gang (alley) where we entered a small one room house.  We gave a discussion on the Book of Mormon to a 65 year old man.  He was very kind and accepting of our message. 

Elder Setijawan and Elder Hayes  

The Suryadi Family
We enjoy conducting Family Home Evenings with local member families. This is an opportunity to gather as families, to counsel together, teach Gospel principles, sing, pray, make plans, play games, and for parents to teach their children. We really enjoy them.  We always play one of our silly games we played with our kids growing up..."Don't eat Pete!"  Families seem to love them.  Game playing is not a common part of their family culture here.  

Some more Family photos follow. 

Our driver Peter with his wife Vivi and son Axel, leaving after church.

One of our District Presidency, President Kurniawan, with his sleeping daughter.

Sister Aan, the wife of Suryadi, and one-year child Alecia

Ok.  Now a bit of local tradition which we would all see as distinctly "un-Western."  Following childbirth, the placenta is typically placed outside the home for a few days. Usually the placenta is placed under a plastic basket, and is illuminated at night in the narrow gangs to prevent people from tripping over them in the dark. 

All over the world are held periodically a regional Priesthood Leadership Conference.  These are typically presided over by an Apostle. This past weekend we attended a PLC in Singapore attended by Mission, Stake and District Presidencies from Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia.  Also in attendeance were Elder Rasband, presiding Seventy, and also Bishop Stevenson, Presiding Bishop of the Church. Also Elder Gong, president of the Asia Area, and our area authority seventies.

Elder Ballard entering the room for a group photo session

President Donald

Elder Ballard taught us using D&C 43 as his source material.  Elder Rasband taught us about the importance of keeping the Sabbath holy. And Bishop Stevenson taught us about the Law of the Fast. 

This is a large, 4 level church building in Singapore on Bukit Timah Rd.  This is the same site as the Chapel I attended 40 years ago during my first mission here.  The old chapel was torn down, and reconstructed to create room for 3 Wards to meet.  The Singapore Mission Office is also present here in the rear in another 5 story building.  The area has become very built-up. 

Singapore is an amazingly beautiful, orderly, clean city-state.  We saw only two motor cycles all day.  No horns at all.  No litter.  We arrived at our hotel after a 30 minute drive from the airport with only a single stop for a red light!  The airport was beautiful and incredibly large.  Mind the Gap!  A shuttle train between terminals. 

While the Brethren were involved in Priesthood training, the Sisters attended the General Authority wives in Singapore for a nice visit to a famous local Orchid and flower garden, followed by lunch.  

Sister Williams and Sister Donald

Sister Ballard, 84 yo, attended by her daughter.  

Sisters Williams, Gong and Donald

Subway at Singapore's Chiangi airport.  She is happy!

Granddaughter Amalie, an OOmpah Loompah in Willie Wonka.

Granddaughter Hope in Hawaii, walking with Mom and Dad, sporting new glasses.  She is happy her Daddy, Sam is home!

Our Tucson grandkids, Ella, Ephraim, Eli and Rhys!  Yeah!

Walking through an underground parking lot we heard clucking.  "Wierd car alarm", I thought.  Then we saw this poor creature trapped in a basket on the back of a motorcycle.  For a moment I  felt an urge to yell "Born Free" and release the trapped creature.  Instead we drove to KFC.