Elder And Sister Brown to the Romania/Moldova Mission of the Church of Jesus Christ of LDS
Elder & Sister Brown to the Romania/Moldova Mission
Tuesday, April 4, 2017
Last blog entry in Romania
We leave this evening for Israel. We'll be there 8 days before returning home.
This past week has been most memorable and rewarding.
This is Cismigiu Park in the center of Bucharest. It is where Elder Nelson, an apostle in the latter days came to dedicate Romania for the preaching of the gospel, Feb. 9, 1990.
Missionaries come here with Pres. & Sora Ivory on this little hill to read the prayer at the beginning and end of their missions. We loved reading the prayer and being mindful of the blessing pronounced on this lovely land.
We started out the week driving from Arad out to Sannicolau Mare to find the 80 year old Zahn gentleman who was a possible relative of a family seeking family history information in the USA. Here Sora Mogos, our translator, is visiting with the son and his friend.
Finally able to meet Mr. Zahn we learned that he is not related to the family in question.
Next we talked to the secretary at the Catholic church who wasn't sure he could find anything. The pastor that would have known had retired and moved to Bucharest.
Dropping Sora Mogos off at her block back in Arad. She told us now she knows how to go about looking for her relatives, so all was not in vane.
A couple days of packing and we have our apartment back to just the landlord's belongings and four large suitcases full to the brim.
The wooly slippers I bought at Bran last fall were my favorites all winter. Now they and a lot of our other clothes went to the "Good will" container down the street from the church.
Glad for the Elders, Wilstead and Meek coming to help us pack our heavy suitcases into the car. Now they are taking a last load of odds and ends as we close this era of our missionary life.
On our way out of town we didn't pass the exit sign to the "forest" that we hadn't made time to visit. We were glad we waited till things had started to green up. This "forest" follows a river and is quite the recreation area for the community. We find this kind of thing in the mountains at home. But here it is in the low lands.
No mountain in sight, Rand says the forest is about 1/4 mile wide by several miles long.
Camping and picnic tables followed by a 4 hour drive to our last night in Sibiu.
We hadn't been able to find Toma to say good bye and today we met him as we walked through Centru. So happy to see him and say good bye.
Finally got to eat at the "Music Pub" with Alexandra & Pres. Craciun. It was great to get caught up on the branch and enjoy a meal together.
Friday driving from Sibiu down to Bucharest through our favorite views of the mountains above Sinaia.
Saturday morning we met three other missionary couples for a day on Bucharest. We started out just down the street from the mission office at one of the homes of Ceauşescu, the evil communist dictator who ruled Romania with an iron fist.
Our English speaking tour guide had no love for Nicolae and Elena Ceauşescu. He told us that for 25 years Ceauşescu & his wife as rulers considered Romanians as no better than rats. He almost starved these wonderful people to death with his plush lifestyle.
Rand standing in one of their dressing rooms with their life size models in the background.
Gold plated tile adorned many of the rooms - even to include mosaics in the gardens.
Ceauşescu's palace or the People's Palace is the second largest building in the world next to the Pentagon in the USA. Standing up close you realize the magnitude of this building. However it was impossible to get a photograph of it up close.
This is the Shurtleffs who are the new humanitarian couple working from Bucharest.
The DeSpains are the new office couple. The Majerans go home next month so they've had the present office couple to train them.
Front are the Winders, the Pathway couple who has helped us so much with Self Reliance materials and have become good friends.
Monday morning was a beautiful day and with the Winders left for Constanta, the city on the Black Sea. Here we are crossing over the Danube.
Walking along the Sea everyone photographs the Casino, an abandoned building that ought to be good for something. Sorry to say it is slowly deteriorating away.
It was a little cold so didn't go swimming, but sure had fun exploring with these wonderful people.
So fortunate to be there on a clear day. These cement things were in many areas protecting the shore line.
This was our lovely B & B, Vila Flavia. Our host was so accommodating and dotting. And the view of the sea from our dining room was gorgeous.
Before heading home we dropped by our church to meet the Soras and pick up their apartment rental contract to deliver to the office.
Our last full night was spent at the Ivory's with the DeSpains, Biehns, Majerans and Winders with Pres. & Sora Ivory and Shurtleffs standing in the back.
Pres. & Sora Ivory trying to figure out what Elder Brown gave them as a going away gift. A crazy item he found at a hardware store in Fagaras.
The Biehns first night in Buc. They will be the Humanitarian couple serving for the West in Cluj.
Last photo with Pres Ivory, his wife and the Browns.
Two of my favorite paragraphs in Elder Nelson's dedicatory prayer over the Land of Romania.
I invoke a blessing upon the people of this land that they may learn to know Thee, the only true God and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent. As these sons and daughters of Romania understand and keep the commandments, let them prosper in the land. Bless them with an increase in the fruits of the field, with abundant grains and vegetables to give them physical strength. Let their flocks and herds multiply upon the mountains and in the valleys.
Bless their widows and orphans, and their wounded sons and daughters to rise from their beds of affliction and become strong once again. Bless young and old with physical and spiritual strength, that heads may be held high in wholesome pride in their culture, language, and traditions of righteousness.
Our blog entries are getting further and further apart. Too busy with other things I guess. We'll be home on the 14th of April and invite any who want to hear our mission report April 23rd at the Country Gables building. 11 pm is the time.
Arad branch building has two entries. Neither have a bulletin board that is easy to see. This easel was missing the board supports so Rand made new ones and we fixed a broken bulletin board and dressed it up similar to the one Sora Yost and Trebas designed in Sibiu. The next activity will be an Easter party after we leave.
Weather is getting a little nicer so walking is the in thing. The bus/train station is within walking distance and we like the train engine on display out front. Time changed this morning and we almost missed getting Sora Roberts to the train station for her transfer to Bucharest. We will miss her but she is being replace by Sora Anderson from Sibiu. We told Sora Anderson not to keep following us or she'd end up back home sooner than expected.
Our view from the office window. There is a flag that is hard to see in this sunrise but it keeps us posted on the wind. Arad has a lot and when it's windy we dress much warmer than the temperature would lead you to believe
Translating equipment finally arrived. Wouldn't you know since we are leaving soon. The equipment doesn't actually do the translating. There needs to be a translator behind the mike. These are the receivers that we carry with a nifty ear piece. The translator can whisper ever so softly and we can hear them.
We have the Articles of Faith hanging on our dining room wall. Rand had these made up as a gift to our two branch members. We hope they will find a place in their homes to hang them and remember what Joseph Smith was inspired to write as our basic beliefs. I memorized them in Primary many years ago and can still remember most of them.
The temperature last week was in the 70's. Sora Mogos and Alexandra let us tag along with them on a walk at the park. We sure loved being outdoors.
Two days later Rand and I found our way back to the same park. We just can't get enough of the great outdoors.
The foot/bike path also leads to a bridge that crosses the river to a water park and restaurant. No swimming this time of year however.
For our last day together as a district a week ago we went out to eat instead of us fixing waffles. Sora Alger and Roberts standing by the lion stuck on the wall of this building.
Elder Winder, Branch Pres. of Timisoara, Elder Fawcett our district leader who comes to Arad on Fri or skypes with us from Timi. Elders Wilstead and Meek with Soras Roberts and Alger.
We wanted the experience of riding the tram so found someone to show us how to buy a ticket then road down town to talk to folks and buy a papanos. Romanians were very helpful and we ran into one of our investigators going the other way on the tram.
We were looking for tram 3 or 6 which takes you down town. This is a very nice tram. Some are a little old and scary looking.
As a senior couple we are assigned every 3 months to do apartment checks. Oradea was our assignment and after doing the checking we went to a Hungarian restaurant with two of our previous soras, Djahanbani and Gubar plus made new friends of Elders Bird and Boud. Hungarian food was so very delicious. I need that recipe.
The district had a Relief Society activity the following day in Oradea so stayed to attend. Several of our Timi members and Sora Mogos were also there. It was a fun Relief Society Birthday
Sora Gleason sat by me and translated as the program went along.
A group of the soras with Soras Negriu, Mogos, Jureschi, Nedelcu and a lady I don't know and the district Pres, Eva Costea. The last lady was funny in a skit. She had to take cues from the others and we were all laughing. I don't know her name either.
Our last Sunday in Timisoara was March 19th. Sora Gyene gave me this lovely plate as a good-by gift. She didn't know it was our last day but she was going to visit her daughter in Germany for the next couple weeks and wasn't going to be in town, so thoughtful.
Rand's last day as Branch President of the Arad Branch.
Sora Cristina Marin translated our talks and was getting a little advice from Sora Mogos. They both speak English well.
March 26th, last Sunday in the Branch Front: Sora Ana Krancs and Cristina Marin, Alexandra and Ana Mogos, Sora Piper, Cristina and Adreana Dechi. Back row: Elder Meek and Sora & Bro. Istrate, Sora Alger (Sora Roberts left this morning for Bucharest so Sora Alger is our companion for the next 24 hours), Elders Maldovan, Piper, Wilstead, Brown and Giti.
After the block everyone met upstairs where we hosted a taco salad dinner with our famous healthy raspberry cherry jello for desert. Of course they had no idea how to put a taco salad together so Sora Alger showed them how and they really liked it. Pres. Brown told me to be sure to also have bread. They always eat bread and is required when you have soup even if it is Mexican hamburger bean soup with lots of taco seasoning.
It was so much fun that the Elders are hoping to do a dinner again soon. Such loving people. We will miss them a lot.
There wasn't much food left.
Elder Meek volunteered to take the extras home. He is from Mesa and really misses this kind of food.
We went with sour cream instead of cheese. Everyone here eats a lot of sour cream but yellow cheddar cheese we seldom find.
Elders Wilstead and Meek will be staying here for the next 6 weeks. Happy days.
Elder Browns Sacrament talk: One thing he talked about was the Relief Society/Priesthood lesson manual, The Teachings of the Presidents. Just like the letters from such as Paul in the New Testament, these lessons are the words/letters to us in our day. How blessed we are to have and be able to read their words. That was not the case in other dispensations. Are we taking advantage of this great opportunity?