What really occurs during a President's Zone Conference. Surprisingly this did not end badly.
After Sacrament Meeting in Surabaya 1st Branch. President Cendi, Siput, Sofie and Dom, Sujono, Yoga, and others. Many gather behind the Church typically after the 3 hours meeting block to eat food brought from home.
Sister Nini's brother from SLC, Heri Sutanto, who now lives near Tooele Utah, is a Church translator, and is often the voice we hear during General Conference. Here with Alex and Nini.
Sweet Indo children. Here are adorable Kimbly, crazy man Axel with the hammer. and friend. Kimbly and I have a game we play on Sundays. She stands on the dust mop which I push around the floors after Church. We love it. I miss her. She is so sweet.
Sister Williams in the Jakarta airport.
Amazing trees here in Indonesia. I love the root structure on this tree. Looks like a snakes nest. This one is at the Jakarta airport.
Jackfruit tree down the street from our house. Jackfruit is delicious. I've never seen it in the States. They become very large!
Tree trimming, Indo-style. There is no OSHA here. One man climbs the tree bare-footed. He cuts limbs with a hand saw, or in this case a curved blade which he uses to hack at the limbs, some of them very large. I was standing by to offer medical aid. Thankfully, none needed this time. Their technique leaves much to be desired. Definitely not tree-surgeons. More like an Internist trying to do open heart surgery.
Jambu trees. These are prized. I don't much care for the taste of them. Beautiful flowers.
Mango on the other hand are delicious and cheap here. These trees grow by the hundreds here in our neighborhood. I have to be careful with low-hanging fruit as I ride my bike. These heavy fruit could do some damage on impact with my nose.
Mango tree again. Notice the plastic bags. People place these bags around the fruit. I have heard many reasons, so I don't know the truth, but variably to "stake their turf" (many locals invade the neighborhood from the surrounding villages to take fruit), protect from birds and bugs and bats, promote ripening, etc.
I collected a big handful of these beautiful tree blooms and brought them home to Kathy in a vase. The locals thought I was a crazy bule carrying all these flowers home on my bike. Kathy liked them, until many ants started climbing out of the blooms. The vase ended up on the porch. It's the thought that counts, right?
Our personal favorite...frangipani/plumeria, or kamboja here.
Sister Williams loves spending time walking in the kampungs visiting children. She keeps a large supply of candy, "Choose the Right" stickers, rings, etc.
She is amazing in her ability to outreach in love to these youngsters and their moms. They feel this, and are drawn to her. Being a beautiful red-head helps, too.
They are developing a new golf course in the hills above our current house in Malang. I ride my bike through these developments. I find it so peaceful and mentally and emotionally restoring to spend an hour each day doing this, listening to Scripture or music on my Ipod. Here you can see impressive Mt Arjuna and Mt Wilirung in the background.
Sister Endang S in Surabaya. We helped her get started in her roadside food service. Things are quite slow for her, and she is discouraged. We spent an hour last week with her challenging her to keep her commitments, attend the Self Reliance course on 'Starting and Growing her own Business", and keep going forward in faith and confidence and prayer, paying her Tithing and doing her best to keep all other covenants and commitments she has made. She has progressed so far over the past year.
We were visiting a long-time member, Sister Sulianna, recently in Malang. She was married to the former District President before he died last year, and she herself has been RS President. She showed us some old photos, many of which are mildewed and will be lost. Included were these gems, showing President Hinckley with Brother Subandriyo about 15 years ago. Below is Elder Packer with Brother Kencana. In the background is a photo of the President of Indonesia at the time, Gusdur, who became good friends with Elder Packer. Javanese traditionally usually have a single name (genealogists here have much difficulty). Elder Packer felt Brother Subandriyo should have 2 names, so he gave him the name "Joshua".
While driving to a town a few miles south of Malang 2 week ago to visit an inactive Young Single Adult woman, I'im, we came across a local village parade celebrating the Moslem New Year. Western-style brass and drum band, and several groups of young women wearing home-made costumes, and wearing traditional style head coverings (jilbab)
I assume they are holding photos of famous religious leaders.
These young woemn made dresses out of newspaper. Remarkably elaborate and beautiful. Most women here are very modest and stay covered.
Future fish tacos. Our fish pond in our home. We got these little guys when they were small.
A group of teenagers doing what teenagers do all over the world...hanging out (nongkrong) after school. We chatted briefly and gave them a chocolate bar to share.
Sunset as we drive back to Malang from Surabaya. Looking at Arjuna and Wilirung. The skies are smoky from all the fires in Indonesia right now. Bad for lungs, but makes for beautiful sunsets.
In her letter Sister Williams wrote of the man and his son who were collecting ant eggs from high in the tree tops recently using a bag on the end of a very long bamboo pole. A few days later I ran across the same man while on my back and asked to take a few pics. He agreed, smiling as I approached with my phone camera. Soon I realized the reason for his smiles. The silly bule was soon slapping ants off his legs. Oh well, made for a good picture. BTW the eggs are used as bird food.
Indonesia has adopted thousands of Western words they have adopted into their vernacular and Indonesian-ized. Any ideas what "smooting" might be? Remember, this is a Salon (another Western word they have stolen.) Whatever it is, they are charging 100,000 rupiahs for it (about $7.40). Answer below.
Sister Sulianna, mentioned above. She gave Sister Williams a beautiful pearl necklace (see photo), really a very nice piece of jewelry, especially for Indonesia. We really felt a little guilty accepting this (she bestowed this on our first visit with her), but did accept her kind offering with much gratitude.
We also met with Sister Sugiarti this week, a lovely woman who is also a very fine seamstress. She has not been to Church in a few years. Both of these fine woman came to Church this week with us. Here Sister Williams is trying on a beautiful Javanese blouse, typically worn over a batik shirt or dress.
A little girl in English class Sister Williams has befriended. Amazing English skills already.
Some scenes from a local traditioanl market we occasionally drive through....fish, vegetables, fruits, chicken, eggs, etc. Really exotic smells.
Here are hundreds of live catfish sitting in about 3 inches of water.
The worst meal of our entire year thus far in Indonesia. Do not ever order a chicken burger in the airport in Jakarta. You will be sorely disappointed. We ate the fries only. I carried our plates up to the cashier and handed them back to her. She was shocked.
Our newest grandson, learning to swim. Congrats CasSam.
I don't understand how they can trick or treat without their Grandpa, but looks like they tried. My favorite Princesses, Lily and Kinsley.
Chris has his arms full. Even Princesses and Spiderman get tired.
Rhys looking for a way out of the corn maze.
Ella being brave
(almost) Always happy James. Awesome fashion statement, Buddy! Can Sr missionaries dress like this too?
Hope loves Halloween. El Paso has never seen a cuter Princess Aurora. Good job on the costume Cassan!
Stacy and Shelley, great friends.
Hope loves necklaces almost as much as her Grandma.
Hope and Cassan
Ephraim and Malinda and ?
Marc trying to keep up with Malia.
Kinsley and her best friend
Ella, MummEli, and spooky Rhys