All good things…..

“Old age subtly creeps up on you; but when it arrives, its’ effects are hardly subtle….”

This is a hard post….For several months, I have had a headache 24/7.  MRI’s of the head and neck, x-rays, blood tests, have all been negative.  The doctors here are stumped and have shrugged their shoulders as to the cause or a solution.  (One suggested maybe it was acid reflux….)

So after a lot of prayer and discussion, DeeAnn and I have decided to return home to see if some of US doctors can find what’s going on.  Before we leave, we have a few projects to get organized but the plan is to depart November 2 at 6:00 am and 24 hours later (6:00 pm plus the 12 hour time difference) we will be in Abilene, TX.  We will spend a couple days there to visit Holly and her family (she’s up to four children now), then go to Joplin for a couple doctor appointments, then go to Kevin’s the following weekend and visit with him.  Then, we will figure out or see what’s next.

This is heartbreaking and a very hard decision.  We love Indonesia and the people.  We will so miss Indonesia and it will be very hard to leave.  The people are so kind, so nice and so friendly.  We have been accepted with open arms, made wonderful friends and hopefully made a few lives better through our Humanitarian projects and LDS Charities. What a blessing it’s been in our lives to have been here and to be engaged in the Lord’s work.  Our lives will never be the same.

There are lot’s of questions still to be answered – not the least of which is what’s going on with my head?  Most of you know we sold our home, cars, furniture – everything (except my golf clubs) – so we have no “home” to go home to.  Good friends have graciously offered to let us stay at their place until we have some answers, so for now, we’ll do that.  Clearly, that’s not a long-term solution, but it will work in the short term.  We’ll just have to have faith and let the Lord direct our path.

Trust in the Lord with all thy heart and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all they ways, acknowledge Him and he shall direct thy paths.  Proverbs 3:5-6

Thank you all for reading my blog.



Last week we were in Manado on Friday, so we stayed over for a Saturday P-day and went to Bunaken.  You can Google it for more information, but Bunaken Marine Park is a small island off Manado famous for scuba diving and, for those not licensed or less adventurous, snorkeling.  Wow!  I wasn’t able to take any underwater pictures, but I kept thinking what a great time Heavenly Father must have had when He created the fish and chose their colors.  Bright yellow, blue, orange, white – and everything in between – and stripes, solids, polka dots, etc.  What a great experience!

At the docks
Headed over to the island


On the beach with one of Indonesia’s many volcanoes in the background
Absolutely stunning…



Do whiter people exist anywhere??!


Lunch on the beach
We made short work of the fresh grilled fish…
Headed back…
A great day…..

It was a great day and a chance to view some of Heavenly Father’s beautiful creations – the peaceful island, the blue water, the reef, the beautiful fish.  So glad we took the time to do this!

Refugee School Flood

Today was a normal Monday – our day to teach at the Refugee School.  And it started out that way.  We taught our classes at 10, then at 11, then walked to Domino’s for lunch.  While we were there, it started raining.  And not just raining – POURING!

Right outside Domino’s.  I’m thinking ‘how am I going to cross the street without getting my shoes wet’?  Answer: I don’t



The water got deeper….
By the time we got back to the school, the water was mid-calf deep….forget about not getting the shoes wet!  Even though we had umbrellas, we were soaked!


This is the little street leading to the school – the water was about 18″ deep.

So we thought, ‘wow, it’s really raining, and oh well, we got wet’.  Well, it kept raining, and pretty soon, the water was coming into the school!


So whoever was in the school pitched in trying to keep it out….
DeeAnn scooping water



What’s a little water??!!



Pulling up the carpet – hopefully it’s salvageable….LDS Charities just bought it a few weeks ago!
Moving the furniture to a dry room


Zoha – a little cutie!!
Somali ladies trying to leave

Needless to say, our afternoon class didn’t meet as we all pitched in to work.  Eventually, it stopped raining, and finally, the water subsided.  We pulled up the carpet, squeegeed the rest of the water out, and cleaned up as best we could.

As we were finishing up, I noticed the neighbor across the street was trying to clean up his house with just he and his wife.  So we went across the street and helped him out.  Hopefully, we the Refugee School earned a little goodwill with the neighborhood!  (No pics because my phone died!)

What a day!

Young Single Adult BBQ

DeeAnn and I are the YSA advisors in the Tangerang I Ward.  They wanted to have a BBQ on Saturday night, so we took a 2-hour Uber ride from our apartment to Tangerang.  Proof once again that nothing is easy in Jakarta!

BBQ’s are a little different in Indonesia in terms of food- in the US there’d be hamburgers, hotdogs, potato salad, etc.  Not so much here….Actually, there were “sausages”, sort of like hot dogs (but they really aren’t to be trusted).  They had squid, shrimp (complete with shells) and really good chicken.  Rice, meat and some watermelon.  We brought canned baked beans, some Doritos and Cheetos and brownies.  (FYI – chips are about $5 per bag)

While the food might be a bot different, BBQ’s are identical in terms of fun, fellowship, and a good time!

Vien cooking squid



The great YSA’s


We REALLY enjoy our contact with these great YSA’s.

Zone Conference

Zone Conferences are always fun because we get to be around these fantastic young missionaries and listen to great counsel from President Rowley.  They are held every 6 seeks or so..


Snack time – donuts are always popular
Uhh….you have something in your teeth…
Couples – the Grant’s (Bandung), the Jensen’s and us.
Sister Fuglsong (Australia).  Nice teeth…
Sisters Stefani and Oktaviani….matching batik dresses
Observing during role-play training
President Rowley training


Pizza for lunch – always a hit
Sisters Suparmo and Patton


Insonesian “Happy Birthday” song

Odds & Ends

Carved watermelon centerpiece on the breakfast buffet
Getting out of school
Barn in the village of    , near Solo
Natural woodcarving near the hotel in Solo
Woodcarvings – each at a reasonable $50.
kid cutting up a garlic in a warung
Tongseng – a lamb stew found in Central Java.  Very tasty…
Trash recycling in the middle of the block


this is a very typical living room of a house in Central Java
Typical Masakan Padang food – fried fish and chicken
Staying in the shade
A load of cattle feed
Not sure how ‘restful’ this rest area is….
But the toilet of this rest area was amazingly clean!
Traditional becaks are still heavily used in Solo
“gas station”

Yayasan Lentera Surakarta

YLS is the small orphanage in Solo for children with AIDS.  We finally got a project approved here, but it’s been so long since it was originally submitted that we needed to stop and confirm if their list of needs was still their list!  As it turns out, they have been recipients of some things donated by kind donors, such as a new fridge and a washing machine.  Since our last visit, they also found out the government is renovating a building for their use!  And they will now have the capacity to take up to 30 children!

With pak Mulyono (head of the orphanage) and Michelle, the oldest resident at 12.
The newest resident –  one-month old…
Two members of the Solo Stake helping us – Br. Rudy and Sister Budi (Stake Public Affairs head)


So after confirming their needs, it was decided to meet in the morning at Lotte Grosir, a Sam’s Club-like store.


Packing it all in boxes
Pak Pulger (Orphanage head) on the left, the crew from Solo Stake and us.  
Unloading the van
Yaysan Lentera is down this very narrow street – too narrow to drive the van



Even some of the kids helped!
Having fun delivering!


The kids with some of the goodies!
With Salina (from Papua) and Pomo (one month old)
Pak Pulger was thrilled!

We first read about this Yayasan several months ago in the Jakarta Post.  Finally after a long review in Hong Kong, the project was finally approved and we were able to lend a hand to this worthy cause.  Kids with AIDS – tough situation.  In fact, since our last visit, 5 children have passed away.  They do have great news though – the government is refurbishing a new home for them so they will be moving December 1!  Their capacity will increase to 30, so 18 more kids will get to move in.  We are so grateful for the LDS members who donate to the Humanitarian Fund that allow us to then find partners like Yayasan Lentera Surakarta and help then with the good work they do.  We know this is the work the Savior would do if He were here.