Elder And Sister Brown to the Romania/Moldova Mission of the Church of Jesus Christ of LDS

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

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Settling into the city of Iasi
Monday, Oct 19th
Our last breakfast at the Ramada North Hotel, Bucharest
Not sure we ever adjusted to the fair of poached egg, fish, and lots of
veggies.  The breads were amazingly delicious - our favorite.
We learned that Romanians don't know what homegrown grapefruit tastes like.
We only tried theirs once

Getting out of Bucharest Monday morning was tricky.  Glad when we finally reached the 
open road.  Luckily Elder Smith told us about the roads.  Each direction
of traffic gets 1 1/2 lanes.  You straddle the dotted line until you 
want to pass someone.  After Uganda, Elder Brown
simply sailed to our new town 6 hrs. away.

Do you see the example?  Kind of small

 When we got to Iasi (pronounced Yash) we called the Elders who had no idea how
to give directions of how to meet up.  They told us to ask anyone
where the Palace Mall was.  I guess we found all
the non English speakers cause it sure took
a while before we found the Palace.

Our residence is the 4th floor of the church marked on the map with the green dot
above the Silal (canal)  kind of left center. Palace mall is to the right.

Bedroom with views of the 5 cathedrals

 Living room with lots of stuff the elders left behind.  
Part of the living room, kitchen and bathroom are not easy to use as the beamed ceilings 
drop to low.  We put up barriers to remind ourselves not to use those areas.  
We've only banged our heads a few times.

 Two views of the living room above.
Below is stairway that leads 
from apartment to church.

Kitchen view A
 Kitchen view B.  Stove is really technical and we had to have the landlord 
show us how to turn it on.
 Dials on clothes washer reads like a foreign language.  
I guess because it is a foreign language.  
Similar to the Ugandan washer we had we know that
once your clothes are in there they are held hostage
for at least 2 1/2 hours. 
Unless of course you know to use the Mini cycle which isn't so long.

Two of our favorite views from our bedroom windows.  First is 3 of the 5 cathedrals 
and the other is autumn leaves just below us

We had a couple days to overcome our jet lag that we hadn't gotten over since coming to Romania.
We did a lot of walking between organizing, shopping and sleeping.
These are some of our favorite pictures.

 Palace left below
 All hot water is piped from a central location along tops of walls.
This only works till it comes to a driveway in which it goes up, over 
and back down.  The main lines are much bigger and would
have been a better example.
Wonder if we will ever run out of water?

These cars were covered in 1/2 inch mosaic tiles.
Should have gotten a close up.
They were exquisite

Front side or entry side of palace.  It is being refurbished.
To the right is another long section of the palace with 
beautifully trimmed gardens.  We didn't have our
camera the day we discovered there
was another whole side to the palace.

This is the cathedral that is lit up at night. The tower is visible from many blocks away.  
The other cathedrals disappear till the sun comes up.
We were surprised the first morning at the view.
(see above photo of cathedrals)
 Yes another cathedral with right tower being remodeled
 Closer view of the palace

 Are any of our grandchildren going to be princess 
for Halloween?  This may be the princess
that once lived at the Palace.

 Looking for ice cream.  This shop was closed.  It's kind of cold here.
 Inside the Palace mall we found a yogurtini of sorts.
Our new favorite food, crinkly paprika potato chips
We won't need a garden this mission.  This lettuce is delicious
and very beautiful.  Carrots and other veggies are plentiful too.

Our first meetings with members and Sister missionaries, 
Sisters Weaver, Kitchen and Lunt. 
The missionaries conduct a FHE/Book of Mormon
reading class every Wed. eve.  The missionaries have an 
activity and refreshments along with the 
spiritual message from the members.
Elders Chatterton and Swafford's picture didn't turn out.
Will try again next week.

 Saturday we helped out with our first English class.
The community is invited to come learn english for free.  
There are three levels taught in 10 lessons.  
Afterward we provided a pancake breakfast of sorts and
the participants were invited to stay and socialize.  
The missionaries were happy that more stayed this time 
and an active game of pingpong 
kept everyone entertained.
Investigators often come from these classes.

 Kitchen duty

Went with Sisters Kitchen and Weaver to visit a member who had her teeth pulled.
She hadn't been to church as she was self conscious of her smile.
We'll take a picture of the sister when she gets her new teeth and is ready for it.

Wow, we don't have to park on the street.  So happy when we found the garage 
that belongs to our building.
 Romania has indoor baptismal fonts.  
This one sits between the garage and the back of the Chapel.
The second floor houses the bishops office, library and the Sunday school room.
Third floor is the Relief Society room and kitchen.
There is no primary children and only one YW who wasn't there today.
We do have a bunch of BYU students volunteering at an orphanage.
They often double the size of Sacrament meeting.  

Today in Sacrament meeting Elder Brown and I were asked to 
bear our testimonies,  first time since arriving.  
We had an interpreter which was a different experience.
After The block I was asked to be the second counselor in the RS 
and Rand was asked to be not only the second counselor of the Branch 
but to work with the Elders.  
Elders President works on Sunday and has not been attending.

This is Pres. Radu Stoica of the Bucharest Romania District.  He lives
in our Branch and is the main interpreter.  Next to him is his girlfriend who was
visiting this weekend from Poland.  She served a mission to Chicago.  
We'll have to find out how they met.
The lady in purple is Pres. Stoica's mother and speaks no English.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Oct. 12th was the red letter day for shipping out.  We had a leisurely morning
enjoying our last day in USA.
 Sister, Jane dropped us off at the airport. 
They were so good to us.  We could have stayed at the MTC for the
weekend but it was much nicer with family.  
We met a lady from their ward who served as one of the first missionaries in Romania.  Unter's had Kirsten Abel over for dinner Sat. night and we were able to pick her brain 
about our new country.
Neglected to take a picture.

Salt Lake International airport.

On board ready to take off

The mission had these business card made up for us
when we arrived.  Elder is a hard word to say but
Sora for Sister I can remember.

This is the back of the business card.  If you want
to call us just add a +4 to the number you see
there on the right.

 President Ivory had us go to a zone conference first thing Wed morning 
We actually skipped Oct 13th.

We were on the same flight with Sister Ivory's parents, Richard and Mary Cahoon.
 I was looking forward to hearing what they had to tell us
at the zone conference.  I'm afraid I slept through most
of it.  I managed to stay awake for President Ivory's talk at the
very end of the conference.  
 It was at Ploiesti Branch about an hour away from our hotel.

So relieved to find that almost every where we go someone can speak to us
in English.

Elders Boydston & Gunsay drove us to the zone conference.  
They reminded me of Bradley who is serving in Ecuador.

They think traffic here is terrible.  We don't say much but if you were to add
driving on the wrong side of the car and on the wrong side
of the road with motor cycles zooming all around 
and pot holes to dodge then
they would have a hair raising experience.

After the zone conference we road back to Bucharest on the train.
We had these Elders to help us.
We had to wait at the church 1 1/2 hrs then take
a taxi to train.  After the train we waited at McDonalds
for the office elders to come get us and return to the
Hotel.  What a long day

Next day we attended a district meeting with a couple elders and four sisters.  Elder & Sister Stratton
got us to the meeting.  They also had us over for lunch and visit.
The Elders Everton and Soberg have taken in their suit pants and tightened their 
shirts to look more Armenian.  Sisters Smullen,
Jerez, Routson and Elliot looked like well
dressed missionaries.

 Mihai Bravu branch building where zone conference was held.

Friday we were escorted by the K Nelson missionary couple.
They don't like to drive so we had a subway experience which
took us down town.  Large mall in the background which was
hard to navigate

Second largest building in the world in the background between us.
One day we'll get close enough to see the whole thing.
The only building larger is the Pentagon in the US

Subway took us to a wedding of a couple in one of the branches.
  All weddings much be performed by
the government.  A crowd waited in groups till their name was called. 
Samona is a new convert.  In a year they plan to go to the temple

Fancy building where marriages are performed 

After witnessing temple marriages this marriage
certainly was lacking in anything spiritual.
That didn't dampen the spirits of the couple.  Got 
kissed on both cheeks by the groom.

Down town Bucharest has some very lovely buildings and gardens 
not destroyed by the Communists.  Ate at a restaurant with string quartet.

Self Reliance workshop Saturday.
This picture is Matthew Mathias from France.  He
is the regional specialists.  The materials
we had been waiting for in Uganda are
finally available and they are excellent.
We have been asked to teach what Bro. Mathias
taught us when we get to Iasi.  We will
drive up there next week.

The Stratton with Mihai Bravu branch president 
and the main Romanian/English interpreter.  
He may be short in stature but tall in spirit.
I've yet to get all the names down though.

We sat by the Branch President of Iasi branch,  Pres Pitualan.  
Here we are discussing the assignment given us in Self Reliance 
with Mariana Bucavana a very sharp new member.

Wedding open house for Simona and Romulus Sat. night at the
Harris apartment.  They all live in one bedroom apartments
Built by the Communists.  They are ugly outside but they 
are pretty nice inside.

A bit of room for a dance and the Priesthood leadership of the 
district and branch entertained us.  The daughters
of the man on the right were dying of embarrassment.
We were all having a good laugh

Streets are lined with ugly apartment buildings in Bucharest.  Not even
the Mission President has a free standing home.  His is a very
nice townhome/condo

Another shot of streets in Bucharest.  
We took our first drive this morning getting ourselves and
a visiting PR couple from Germany to church.  We ran into each
other at breakfast.  They needed a ride to church so
we canceled the couple that was going to pick us up and
followed them instead.  Sunday morning traffic is
a good place to practice driving and easier to follow someone.

Our pretty green Opel.  Been a long time since we drove an Opel.  
 It had 44 kilometers on it when we got it.  It is going to
be interesting packing all our luggage in it tomorrow
for the 7 hour trip to Iasi.