Monday, September 28, 2015

One of my favorite foods here...sate ayamchicken sate, served in brown waxed paper.  Goat and beef and pork is also good, although you don't see the latter two here much.  There is rabbit and horse if you're really feeling exotic. 10,000 rupiahs buys you 10 sticks, plus peanut sauce, finely sliced, small red onions and some rice or lontong.  The sauce is what makes it. They cook the skewers over charcoal which they fan with woven bamboo fans.  

Our local pet and animal supply street below.  In 1973 this small street was dedicated to just selling fresh flowers.  I have vivid memories of walking down this street one evening when I first arrived in Malang in November.  The air was cool, It had rained earlier.  I saw one of the most beautiful sunsets of my life here, and the smell of merpati...fresh jasmine filled the air.  What a sweet memory. 

Now it is called Pasar Burung...the bird market, although they also sell many other small animals...cats, ferrets, rabbits, fish of all kinds.  We found all manner of tropical forest birds, songbirds, owls, and such. .We bought tilapia and gurame here for our fish pond at home. 

In the more rural parts of the country you still see hard-working local men and women carrying loads over their shoulders, as seen above.  He is carrying two baskets filled with small sticks collected for firewood and perhaps some projects. Carried via a broad, flat teak wood stick, balanced over one shoulder. The stick bounces rhythmically, creating an interesting syncopation as he walks. 

Below is Brother Sukri, recently baptized in Malang Branch.  He is married with two teenage children.  He is the only member in his family.  He was born into a Hindu family.  His wife and children are Moslem, as was he, although only infrequently attended mesjid. We had a nice Family Home Evening with him a few days ago together with his wife. He will be receiving the Aaronic Priesthood this coming Sunday. Below are seen Brother Sukri together with the Malang full time missionaries, Elders Wintolo, Ngikku, Lieske and Shaner, and Sisters Antonio (Filipino) and Suyoto. 

One of my own personal joys of returning to Indonesia is the chance see some of the results of the Lord's loving and all-powerful hand along with our labors 40+ years ago when I served here in 1973-1975. We have met over 30 members here...brothers and sisters, nephews and nieces, children and grandchildren...closely related to members my companion and I taught and baptized many years ago.  Many of these have themselves also served as faithful mothers and fathers in their family, Branch and District Presidents, and full time missionaries, including one as a Mission President.  

Below is one of them, Brother Ari and his wife Lusy.  They have two children.  We visited them this week and held FHE and challenged them to full activity. They plan to attend the Temple with us next February to be sealed together.  He has three older brothers, as well.  They are all the nephews of Suharto, one of the first baptized members of the Church in Malang.  Elder Suharto became the 2nd full time native Indonesian missionary of the Church here.  Ari also served a mission along with his brothers.

Below is Sister Caroline and her Moslem husband, Vondi, and children.  Sister C is the daughter of Sister Endang S in Surabaya.  Sister Williams has been instrumental in helping this family overcome obstacles in their lives and come back into activity.  Sister Caroline has returned to church in the past two weeks.  Her baby was blessed last week.  The missionaries are now visiting with us and teaching the Gospel lessons. Vondi is also participating and attending church.  Below we are playing the Williams Family tradition, Don't Eat Pete.  We have played this game with dozens of Indonesian families now.  We always leave the game with them as a small remembrance. 

Vondi, Christine and family at church for their child's blessing.  Vondi is wearing his work uniform.  He sells food goods from the back of his motorcycle.  Working on Sunday is a common problem of employment here.  Friday is the holy day for the large majority of the public.  Obligation to work on Sunday is one of the reasons we are emphasizing self-employment with such fervor.  The Church-sponsored Self Reliance course is going great!

Above is the younger sister of Brother Suharto, Sister Susmiyati, mentioned above. Here with her member husband, Brother Suseno Handoyo. 

Below is our current Branch President, Pres Sugeng Winanto, along with his sister, Mistri, who serves as the District Young Womens resident. We are the home of Sister Telly Rikye, a lovely widowed woman from Manado who is the head surgical nurse at a local hospital.  She put on quite a food spread for a few church members.  

Sister Mulatsih, wife of Pres Sugeng, Sister Mistri, and Sister Telly. 

Brother Tatiet, a former missionary, now Counselor in the Branch Presidency and also Branch Mission Leader.  He is a lot of fun, very active, kind-hearted, gregarious. 

Bro Iwan Santoso, a wonderful Latter-Day Saint here.  Former Branch President and also District President, now on the High Council and District President of Sunday School. 

Two of our lovely Young Single Adult sisters, Nunuk, recently baptized in Surabaya, and also Engga, a returned missionary in Malang. 

For P Day a week ago I took the four full time missionary Elders with me to visit Mount Bromo Tengger National Volcanic Park. We saw beautiful scenery. 

Terraced fields with potatoes and cabbage, etc on these steep hillsides. 

Elders Shaner, Lieske, Wintolo and Ngikku and Ari, our driver.  Mt Semeru in the background, the highest peak in Jawa, occasionally emitted gas, steam and ash, keeping us aware of Who is really in charge. 

Looking out on the Sea of Sand. Sounds like a good name for an album.  And below is our album cover...

We have crossed the sand and climbed the cauldron and the 247 concrete steps leading to the rim of Mt Bromo, and are looking back down at the Sea of Sand and the rectangular Hindu Temple and surrounding crater rim. 

The horsemen were very disappointed that 5 bule's would not rent their horses for the short trek up the mountain.  They really are small horses.  I think we did the horses a big favor.  Their owners, not so much. 

The Hindu temple situated at the base of Bromo on the Sea of Sand. Still an actively used religious site, though in need of repair and maintenance. 

My driver, Ari, also works for ISIS in his off time. 

Above, Lehi in the Wilderness.

Not a blood moon, but beautiful, all the same.  Look close.

The mists gather precisely at the rim of the crater of Bromo.  It is quite dramatic. On the left side the valley below is totally shrouded in mists and cloud.  On the right, clear and beautiful blue skies.  Winds scour the crater of all mist. 

We recently witnessed the annual Moslem (and therefore National holiday) of Eid al (Idul) Adha.  This is a day of blood sacrifice dating back many centuries, and has it's roots in the same Old Testament traditions we are familiar with, although the theology is totally different.  The symbology of the Savior is lost to them.  In any case on this day individuals and communities purchase animals, typically goats and cows, to be sacrificed in recognition of the need for repentance and purification.  

Below we witnessed a goat trussed up and carried on a motorbike between two adult men the day before Idul Adha.  It was not a good time to be a goat. 

The morning of Idul Adha I arose early and went to a local village mosque on the invitation of Binti, a young Moslem woman and employee of the Indonesian Internet Company Telkom who has been very helpful installing our Internet connection here. 

Above you see a beautiful and calm pastoral scene of a freshly planted sawah

10 meters in front of this placid scene was the killing grounds for 3 cows and about 15 goats behind the mosque.  After morning prayers, a rather rowdy group of volunteers dug small pits, and in a somewhat disorganized and irreverent manner cut the throats of these trussed animals, followed by bleeding, skinning and dressing in rather unhygienic manner. The meat was then cut into small portions, weighed and divided into 1-2 kg parcels to be given to all village members.  

Some of the photos are a little graphic. 

Ari and the long-eared goat.

This draws a crowd, families and many young unattended children.  

Indonesians are never shy about a photo-op, even when the blood is flowing one meter away.

An old tree branch becomes the butcher block. The fresh meat is placed on an old blue plastic tarp which they also walk on in their bare feet, and which was just swept clean.

Back to happier and less violent scenes. 

A rice field ready for harvest.  To keep the birds away from the ripe grain, an array of plastic raffia and plastic bags are arranged across the field, all inter-connected and attached to a tall stick in the center, attended by a member of the village who would periodically shake the stick, making everything flutter and keeping the birds away.  Sort of a low-tech Patriot missile system.  The old woman, yelled in Javanese, "why do you want a picture of an old ugly woman?"

A Javanese man tending a field the old-fashioned and traditional way.  Two water buffalo and a heavy wooden plow.  

More pictures of the bird and animal market. 

The local insect salesman...crickets and larva for sale to feed pet birds. Pet birds are extremely popular here.  Many homes have small cages hanging from the ceiling or porch. Many beautiful song birds live on the thousands of islands here.  I hope they are bred for this trade, although I suspect much illegal bird harvesting occurs. 

A large praying mantis Kathy found on the wall near our front door.  Kathy says that in this Moslem-predominated country, she thinks the mantis is doing sholat.

Trying my hand at making fresh-squeezed orange juice. By far and away the sweetest orange juice I have ever tasted anywhere.  Exceeded only by the sweetness of Kathy's famous no-bake chocolate cookies.  I think this is the first time in a year. Also very popular with the Indonesians.  They are Choco-holics.  

The infinity pool in front of the restaurant in our housing complex, looking out onto the 7th hole of the golf course.  Our home is in front of the 7th tee box.  Have not swum here. 

The bomb motif is very popular in this neighborhood. 

Kid Time!!!  Photos received this week from home.  Keep them coming!

Beautiful Cassandra and Hope

Holding hands, ok. (but wish it was with Grandpa)

Marc and our newest yellow-belt Holden.  He is a natural. 

Lily on a mommy date. James off to first day of school.  

Love to all.  Be good, love each other, serve God. 

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