Another week of "firsts"
First time to shake an apostles hand, first time to make chocolate chip cookies a fine Danish chocolate bar chopped in chip size pieces for the missionaries and Julie's first time to drive.
This is the train station that Rand drops missionaries off in the middle of the night.
Nice to see it in the day.
Close to the train station. Rand said quick take that picture and send it to Paula.
So there you go Paula.
Just down the street from here is where our friend Lidia lives in similar apartment as the ones pictured here. We asked her what it was like living in Iasi under Communism. She said it was cold and dark. No lights after dark and in the winter it was cold. She said there was only hot water for two hours a day. Umm, is that what we want in America?
Tuesday night was a broadcast of the European
Leadership, Pres. Kearon and Elder Ballard.
Members watched on the big TV but because it was
being translated into Romanian we grabbed our computer and
watched in English in the library next door with Elder Hellewell.
Wed. we traveled to Bucharest (Elders call it Buch)
We had a new GPS app on the phone called I-go.
Not very good at using it but when we saw this sight
we knew it worked. This cow stands outside a restaurant next door to
the mission office. Without this landmark
we may not have known that we were there.
Wed. evening was our first meeting to hear Elder Ballard in person.
Members, missionaries and investigators were invited. We spend 1.5 hrs
traveling 8 km. during computer traffic to get to the meeting.
After already traveling 7 hours from Iasi we were exhausted.
Wouldn't you know, the first half of the meeting was in Romanian.
Wow, we had not thought of that possibility.
So glad when the Kearns and Elder Ballard spoke in English.
They each had a translator for the Romanians.
Travel to our hotel after the meeting was much easier.
It's going to be very beautiful when they turn on the Christmas lights.
Panduri chapel in Bucharest where our meetings were held.
It was large and spacious, could almost be a stake center.
Thursday morning we again attended meetings with Elder Ballard
and each got to personally shake his hand. Such a thrill
Elder Brown and I on my birthday in front of the Panduri Branch with
the chocolate chip cookies for the missionary dinner
My favorite story Pres. Ballard told was of the famine in Ethiopia in 1984 when
members of our church contributed $6,000,000 to help alleviate their hunger.
Elder Ballard was asked to be in charge of seeing that the money was used
properly. He told about finding the one member in Ethiopia and together
they held a sacrament meeting. After the ordinance was performed
and they had born to each other their testimony Elder Ballard
felt impressed to bless the country that the famine would
end and that there would be rain. Shortly after ending
the prayer they heard a clap of thunder and it
rained for the next 5 days. A miracle!
Ethiopia was part of the Ugandan mission. We knew members who were from
there but since PEF was not used there we never traveled to that country.
Elder Chatterton who know serves in Buch shaking hand with Elder Ballard
Elder Ballard is 87 years old. He was on a European tour and had
already been to a couple countries before coming here. He left
after this meeting for Greece and then Ireland. What stamina
The Bauco sister, Wyatt and Rouston shaking hand with Elder Ballard and Elder and sister Kearons.
Elder Ballard was a great teacher with many good ideas for finding
the honest of heart who will help build the kingdom in Romania.
He challenged us to be the greatest teachers too.
Many converts need to be retaught the lessons
then asked if they understand and if not
Elder Brown and I were praying for a miracle. I guess we've gotten soft in our old age.
We were weary of sitting almost two days straight and at 3:30 pm Thur it was time to
head home. How were we going to survive? We had Sora Lunt and Cutler with
us and they made it fun. The last hour they got Rand talking about his hunting
adventures. I also drove some on this trip. My first time behind the wheel.
It isn't any different than at home if you're out in the country that is.
Saturday was English sign up from 10 am -2pm. We had over 50 sign up for beginning.
We also have intermediate and advanced classes as well. They didn't have as
many sign up but they will be plenty full. The Elders will teach the advanced class and
the Sisters the intermediate. Elder Brown and I will teach four classes of beginning with
a program my brother Dennis told us about called "Daily Dose". They haven't been using it in Iasi right now but others have used it in the past and we found most of the materials in the church library.
You don't have to know Romanian to teach this class so we are excited to learn how to teach
English to non english speakers.
Later that afternoon we held our first Relief Society activity since I was put in as RS activity counselor. We made the same flowers we made in Uganda by melting the edge of satin fabric Finding the fabric, beads, clasps and hair clips was so much easier
in Romania than Uganda. Rand and I did it all ourselves.
The BYU girls all came and took up one table. They were very creative and made it fun.
My friend Lidia really wanted to make a purple flower like mine
Sister Maria and Geneviva ward members who attended
Claudia our 16 year old investigator was very proud of her creation
We have a new look in this multicolored flower.
The two on the left are English students who are also investigating
the church. Cristina on the right was our first member to visit
Mircica and Doina displaying their creations
Pretty girl who is visiting from USA and helping at an orphanage
This will be a fun week preparing for our Thanksgiving Feast. The Branch President spent just over 150 lei ($36 dollars) for a 10.8 kilo turnkey (almost 24 lbs). We hope we can find a pan to cook it in and that it fits in our tiny oven. I guess we can always cut it in half and cook half in our oven and the other half in the oven down stairs.
One of our activities during the meal will be to have everyone say what they are thankful for. Rand and I are really feeling blessed to be here with so many at home praying for us and supporting us in this endeavor. It is such a privilege to share the Book of Mormon and the restored gospel with these wonderful people. It has blessed our family immeasurably and know it will bless all who read and come unto Christ. Happy Thanksgiving to all our friends and family at home.