Sunday, February 17, 2019

Week 61: IN LOVING MEMORY OF DERALD EUGENE MILLER

Derald Eugene Miller was born on January 3, 1921 in Magrath, Alberta and he passed away on January 29th, 2019 in Magrath, Alberta at 98 years old. 

It was comforting that we were able to feel a little like we were there at the funeral and family gathering with the help of What’sApp Voice and Video.


Our son Derald Martin Miller and his oldest son Derald James Miller were able to travel to Canada to attend the funeral.

Our next generations of “Deralds” are seen here below sitting in one of Grandpa Derald’s chairs in his kitchen in Raymond, Alberta Canada Jan. 29, 2019
Derald James, Derald Martin, Charlotte McConkie and George McConkie above were captured in Grandpa’s livining room.  It is wonderful to have a photo of two of our children who were able to travel  together at a time of honoring their grandfather.It was amazing the temperatures in Canada were record lows but they thawed out quickly when they returned home. 

Rebecca hosted at her home a wonderful morning in Utah where her family and Monica’s family could attend together via WhatsApp.  Brock and his family were also able to share in the memories.

Robert and I were gathered by What’s app as were our other children.  
Record breaking cold…burrrr  temperatures at gravesite.  Derald Eugene Miller’s children….Janice Miller, Cameron Miller, Sharon Miller and Kevin Miller at Temple Hill Cemetery. (Robert Miller in Indonesia)


Robert and I are pictured here on the other side of the world in Indonesia. We felt the loss deeply when we learned the news of his fathers passing.  We had just spoken on the phone two days before he passed and had a wonderful conversation with Grandpa Miller!  Our life on earth is an opportunity and a blessing to have joy and prepare to return to God’s presence.  We know that there was a great reunion of Roberts mother and father in the spirit world.  Because of Jesus Christ we will all be resurrected, receive salvation and can live with God as families.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Week 60: 60 Days, Nights and Prayers Built Around Others in Indonesia

Like the majority of us daily life is constructed thinking and focusing on those we love… parents, spouse, children, grandchildren, extended families, neighbors and acquaintances. As missionaries in Indonesia we have added a whole new group of people to love, and focus our thoughts. Below are examples and opportunities for deep regard for those in Indonesia:

An 80 year old woman fell and broke her hip. She is a sweet friend and we drove to find her location after learning about her injury. We found her laying flat in bed on a mattress on the floor in a little room with one chair. Because of her age she does not qualify for surgery. For treatment they wrapped her entire leg hip down to her toes with ace bandage type tape. Fortunately she had a long term employment drawing blood for the Red Cross so she qualified for placement at a Red Cross care facility. Her long rehabilitation begins. It’s difficult when our personal “American” health care expectations exceed the care for patients here in Indonesia.

1. This week we celebrated the 80th birthday of a man who blew out candles on one of the few birthday cakes of his life. He shared about his life and it was a brilliant occasion. He had 4 children, two are living. One of his sons, lives with him and together they are raising the 7 year old boy of one his deceased daughters.


2. We spent time with a young couple with two children. He works occasional jobs roofing and drives a “GoJek. A “GoJek” driver uses his own motorcycle (most are about 120 CC) and similar to an Uber driver in the U.S. they pick up people all day long on their motorcycles from stop to stop. A GoJek driver can also choose to pick up food and deliver to customers. He spends 9 hours a day and on a good day can make equivalent to $17 American dollars a day. A hard working man and his family are happy.


3. A woman friend shared in the last 30 years she was married for 5 of them to a man who did not make her happy and she did not feel safe. Her feelings are still very much on the surface. She has found happiness from friends and God.

A “becak” is a vehicle to transport people. We meet with a man who pedals this bicycle with a two wheeled cart for his passengers to sit in front of him. When Brock comes in March we will rent three becaks for the 5 of us and explore in the city for a half day. He has driven one for nearly 50 years. He is happy and lives in a gong with extended family all around him.

We had a great dinner with the owner of a restaurant and his married daughter. He is a retired major of the Indonesian Air Force who flew missions in the 70’s and 80’s over now Papua and dropped relief care packages for people who were victims of war.



4. We visited with two separate elderly widows. It requires a careful plan to be effective because they are unable to read. There are actually 3 women that we will travel with to Manila that are unable to read. It is amazing what we can do to have fun and learn together when we plan properly.

An actor and makeup artist in a traditional Javanese Solo theater and his wife greet us with big friendly smiles. Their big family prepares great food for us. We sit on the floor. We discussed together the new “Come, Follow Me” home learning Church supported Individual scripture New Testament chapters for the week.

5. This is the sweetest little 3 year old girl with the name “Calista” at the church. Our granddaughter Rebecca’s daughter “Callista” (with an extra L) in Utah is 13 years old. The name is not Indonesian. We had a precious photo moment together. Calista charmed us with a perfect pose! Knowing her name made a special connection with us!



6. We spent time with the parents of one of the Indonesian missionaries this week to strengthen their faith.

7. Additional family members listened as we met with a young couple married at the Church in December 2018 and they are preparing to have their marriage performed for “eternity” (life after death”) in April 2019 in the Manila Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Temple.

8. It is hard work and takes miracles to be in tune with spiritual promptings, agency (others own responsibility to make their own choices) and keep focused. Our purpose as missionaries is to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end. Our daily lives are built around these experiences and many others in Indonesia.

 

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Wek 59: Stubbed Toes in Tight Places

Robert and I laugh in the evenings after we return home from our days of missionary ministering to our tiny little apartment.  We enter the door and Robert can sit down at the table in one of our bright green cheerful plastic chairs, then without moving out of the chair he can actually cook at the stove top, open the refrigerator and freezer, deposit garbage, wash a dish, use the microwave, reach the water dispenser, turn the lights on and off, switch the power breakers, call through the intercom the maintenance support, lock the doors and do all those activities without moving from sitting in the same one chair! 



It is amazing to live in tight places! As a result of twisting and turning around the tight spaces we have each stubbed our toes at least 100 times.  We have learned to laugh and cry at the same time. We want to remember our stubbed toes in tight places in our Missionary apartment!



Week 58: Christmas in Surakarta

One of the ways in which we spent many wonderful days in homes during the month of December was by sharing an inspirational Christmas video “O’ Come O’ Come Emmanuel’ done by the Piano Guys. This is a piano and cello duet that is absolutely beautiful.  It allows almost everyone to feel the Spirit of Christmas.   There are no words, just remarkable music and pictures of the birth and life of Jesus Christ.  It was a perfect 5 minute presentation that crossed over the bridge of language translation with quiet beautiful spiritual music and the following beautiful message:
"The Christmas season is a time to celebrate the priceless gift of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. His birth is more than the symbol of a holiday. He is the Son of God and the Redeemer of all mankind.” 

On December 20th, we had a very special Christmas Zone Devotional in Solo.  All the Jawa Tenga missionaries gathered for training,  each district sang a prepared Christmas hymn, we shared in a fun white elephant gift exchange, a beautiful buffet lunch at a restaurant a short walk from the church, and ended with the Mission President and his wife presenting a very spiritual reading and singing from Luke. It was followed by an inspirational video. 

On Christmas Eve day Monday our preparation day, we invited the Solo District which consists of 6 other missionaries and a friend to our apartment for a dinner Christmas party. We began at 3pm and ended by 5:30pm.  We sang, ate good food and shared time together like a “family”,

Christmas was a quiet day talking on the phone to all of our children and grandchildren, watching their videos of the holiday, writing letters and feeling the Spirit of Christmas. Merry Christmas to all of you our friends and family.  Happy New Year ! wow 2019!   Love, Elder and Sister Miller







Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Week 57: Treasured Photos

Elder Miller and I love the people. We go about doing good and serving people at every opportunity.There are many memories to preserve of the people we meet and places where we  teach, and visit.  





Week 56: Light Your Community

“ Needs exist all around us – some are just a little closer to home. Make the world a better place, starting in your own community.”

Jesus Christ, the Light of the World, spent much of His ministry caring for individuals, one by one. Join us this Christmas as we follow His example and find ways to share our time, love, and resources with those in need.

The week of December 10th 2018 we went to an RT (community) and cleaned out the gutters and street lines. We were served a big meal and lots of water to drink. It was very hot. Many people who live on this street work every day into the night so they were very appreciative!




Week 55: Dragon Fruit

It seems like it has been such a long time since I have been shopping in America at a grocery store.  Maybe there is “Dragon Fruit” to buy, but I never remember seeing any.….it is such a wonderful delicious fruit grown locally.  I hope you can buy it in your local store to taste!  Actually the fruit inside to eat is more purple than red the photo is not real true to color! Yummy!


Week 54: "United Nations Peace Keepers"

“Peacekeeping, as defined by the United Nations, is a way to help countries torn by conflict create conditions for sustainable peace.  UN peacekeepers-soldiers and military officers, police officers and civilian personnel from many countries-monitor and observe peace processes that emerge in post-conflict situations and assist ex-combatants in implementing the peace agreements they have signed. Such assistance comes in many forms, including confidence-building measures, power sharing arrangements, electoral support, strengthening the rule of law, and economic and social development.”

As a result of teaching the police English class we have met some outstanding young men and woman from the community.  We were told that one year here in Solo there might be 25,000 applicants (yes, 25,000)  for 100 police positions. The large number of applicants is a result of “anyone” can apply.  Just imagine the 100 who are selected … think about the many outstanding ways in which they must distinguished themselves from the mass numbers.

Recently after English class we spent a few hours in a local cafe learning from two of these young policemen.  They were each selected from the police to be included in an elite group of highly trained “peacekeepers” from Indonesia.  One has served for one year in Afghanistan and one leaves in May for Sudan in North Africa.

We are so lucky to have such amazing learning experiences and meeting such interesting people who give so much and sacrifice to make the world a better and safer place to live!



Week 53: "...and I Love My Grandmother"

The  words ….“and I Love My Grandmother”….  ring a sweetness in my ears and heart as I’m sure they do in each of yours.  It is quite revealing to hear many young missionaries say the kindest things and share tender memories about their grandmothers when they are far away from home.  In our recent zone conference I heard a young man say  “and I love my grandmother”.  What makes it really special is it lights the world when others words and feelings are expressed about the special people in their lives.  Sharing happens in different circumstances but the words said in the testimony and day to day expressions from the young missionaries of what they feel in their hearts as they serve away from their families for 18-24 months is tender. 

 I feel special when often a missionary  will say ,” Oh Sister Miller you remind me of my grandmother”!  So to all you grandmothers remember your love, sacrifice, and support is and will influence your grandchildren.    At this season of life Robert and our five children are in my thoughts and prayers every day but always mingled daily within those thoughts and prayers  are each one of our 18 grandchildren,  and even the unborn 19th newest arrival coming soon a baby girl to be born to Monica and Mark in April 2019.  Each grandchild individually by name are on our minds,  their personalities, their talents,  their situations and interests.  Each of their spirits are divine in nature and ….“I  (We) love my (our)  Grandchildren”….!!!
Zone Conference in the Yogyakarta with the missionaries.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Week 52: DEDICATION AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS CEREMONY: INSTALLATION OF 5 SEPTIC TANKS

Very close to the LDS chapel and our apartment is one of the least developed areas where some of the poorest families live in the city of Solo. The Surakarta Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints public affairs committee is involved in many projects to uplift and serve the local community in which we live.  A recently held ceremony that Elder Miller and I particpated in was we celebrated 5 septic tanks installed in this area paid for by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints local Stake. 

 I am not sure of exactly how many families live in the area but there are a lot. We walked around the streets and there were many children playing and many women hanging out their laundry,  and family generations gathered together. The families in the area were very happy with the improvements completed and becoming a reality. Today, there is only one toilet in the entire community, and the sewage runs into an open sewer.  These five tanks completed in the past 6 weeks are some of the first installed septic tanks in all of Solo which will allow additional improvements of community toilets and showers.  Septic tanks bring increased sanitation and improved living conditions.

We were privileged to be invited to attend the ceremony with many community leaders.  There was a rice food ceremony where a traditional food plate with traditional ingredients are served. One dignitary after another serves one another and it symbolizes unity in a community.  There are many symbolic Javanese traditions.  Elder Miller and I were both offered to hold a beautiful clay pot at one point in the celebration and directed to pour water over one set of septic tank covers.  The pot holding the water was covered in delicate fragrant flowers in a beautiful detailed pattern laced around the pot that held the water.  Five of us took turns and poured water over the tops of one of the septic tanks…at the conclusion the woman who is very influential smashed the pot over the lids and people cheered. There were newspaper reporters and it was a gala celebration.  The Relief Society served box bakery and meal boxes to approximately 70 people.  The breadth of our involvement and experiences as a senior couple missionary in the Indonesia Jakarta  mission is amazing






Week 51: Sprained Ankle & Steps of R.I.C.E.

 Elder Miller, on December 1, 2018 after pulling a nail out of a tree stepped backwards off a foot high curb and hit a misplaced brick edged up against the curb!  Yikes,  he tumbled completely off his feet backwards.  While falling he heard a “pop” sound even though he can hardly hear ha ha  and he was now victim to a “sprained ankle” and he limped home.  We googled proper care for his swelling ankle as soon as we got home.  It’s a common injury and early treatment can help to speed recovery and minimize the symptoms.  R.I.C.E. Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation.  After 48 hours at home off his feet, with great home care, we expect a full recovery quickly!



Week 50: Worldwide day of service

December 1, 2018  kicked off a month-long “Light the World” Christmas initiative encouraging members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to share the light of Christ through small, but meaningful acts of service on each of the 25 days before Christmas.

Elder Miller asked our contact at the “polisi” that helped organize our Police English class for a community service project idea for December 1, 2018.   He explained that there are many trees along a main street, and people over the past years hammered nails into the trees to hang signs of their choice.  The trees are suffering from the many nails that were never removed. He suggested that we missionaries remove nails from the trees.

We began at 8 am Saturday December 1, 2018 for two hours.   Eight Missionaries and 3 others came to help.  Elder Miller challenged the companionships that who pulled the most nails, he would buy hamburgers and french fries for the two winners.  In total we all pulled 404 nails.  The winning Elders pulled 159 nails.  We had a successful and great time.  There were many great experiences with the community.  Our hammer broke twice.  It took less than 2 minutes for community support.  After we went back on our way the hammer handle broke again and a becak driver stopped and he and his friend offered another repair, pulling out their personal repair tools and glue and sending us on our way.  It is incredible the service that we received, giving service.  The people in this community treat us with so much kindness it is an ongoing effort to give back!

The police told us that they heard one spectator say to a group,  “ It is amazing to see strangers from another country concerned about the trees and environment in our city of Solo”.  And the entire two hours we spent pulling nails there were community members giving back to us!







Week 49: FISH SATE' FOR SALE

This friend of ours,  goes early in the morning to the market and buys squid, and a variety of fish pieces.  He then cleans and cuts the fresh fish in his home.  His neighbor friend sits for many hours on the concrete floor in his home as she carefully puts the fish pieces and other tasty delights on the skewer.  He then sells the food to the little warungs on the street.  This fish sate' is how he makes his money…fish carefully cut and placed on little skewers sold to the individual little street carts to sell.   The people who sell, are responsible to cook, mostly grill the fish sate'.  

Walking through the streets other types of sate’ are sold which include chicken sate’ with peanut sauce, rabbit, and we have heard dog and even horse( which I’m pretty sure are in very small amounts.)  We go to visit this business man in the afternoons after he has been to the market and they have finished all the preparation of their product for selling.  Six days a week.  His wife died a year ago, and his plan is to travel with us to Manila to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints temple in April.  He wants to have his marriage bound in heaven and on earth.  

It is really amazing the food products that so many people are producing.  Many people eat on the street every day and prepare little food in their homes. There are very few kitchens.  What kitchens there are,  are often community which many families share and almost all are outside. Many use fires with pots. A  few have propane tanks.  Many people we know prepare grain mostly rice or bean and tofu snacks to sell. Most are deep fried. Then wrapped individually or in packages. These types of snack items are also sold every day for their living.  It is very inexpensive to eat on the street.  Elder Miller and I are very selective of any food that we buy and eat from the street vendors. We prefer larger restaurants and don’t eat much food from the streets to prevent food born illnesses and  be easy and mild on our American stomachs and  digestive systems.