The old year was celebrated with a live concert on the Piazza. We went a up around 10 PM and was surprised how few people were there. Turns out New Years celebrations in Romania are celebrated more with friends and family at home, not like Christmas with so many friends and family checking out the lights and celebration on the Piazza. The young missionaries told us we got to sleep in time because the noise and fireworks were part of the new 2016 new year. Hope you all had a great New Years Celebration.
We are dressing now in layers.
Temperatures are 10-14 degrees Fahrenheit in the day
P-day on Monday you would not have thought it was winter.
Our last day of great weather was spent
at our first visit to a Monastery.
We were told that two steeples like this indicate "Christian Orthodox".
Three steeples indicates Greek Orthodox.
Don't quote us on this as sometimes our translation has something to be desired.
The sisters were so kind to go with us. They are both being transferred and another
set of Elders will move to Iasi.
We were left to wander at our leisure.
No tours or info were offered.
There was a plaque the sisters tried to read
Much of the structure is over 500 years old
and the walls surrounding the compound were used as a fortress at one time.
The inside was beautiful and elaborate.
It wasn't till we were leaving that we
saw the sign indicating taking pictures
inside the monastery was not allowed.
Thick walls and small windows gave access to the the valleys below
Steep stairs lead to the windows as shown above.
Should have taken picture to indicate size of the opening.
They were not much more than 12 inches square.
We traded our two cute sisters for Elder Avela from El Paso on the far right.
Kept Elder Swafford and Elder Hellewell and inherited
a new District leader Elder Busha from Kaysville Ut.
He will be going home in the next 6 months. They will be
a great asset to the branch here. Just not as cute.
Gypsies have some interesting customs this time of year. Some called it a bear dance.
What it really boils down to is dressing up, making a lot of noise
and begging for money.
These pictures were taken from inside our apartment.
They would have demanded money to be photographed.
These gypsies were parading around our neighborhood. It sounded like some sort of construction
project with a lot of banging and noise. I wonder if the neighbors paid them to go away.
Vasilli painted our African photo. Now he showed up at church today with a painting
for one of the sisters who has moved on.
She left instructions for us to get it to her.
We think she will be pleased.
We have been trying to figure out how to teach a Self Reliance Class starting next Sat.
First we were going to have help with the devotional. (introductory class)
Then they told us we would be needing
a translator and to do it ourselves.
We definitely weren't too thrilled to hear that.
Now we think we will have help and are so relieved.
This is the program that we dreamed of for Uganda three years ago.
It is finally available here but only part of it is translated into Romanian.
We will be teaching the "How to build or start a Business".
Brother Vasille (above) will be in our class.
Sister Stoica will teach how to get a job.
These two classes will begin a week after the devotional.
Attendees will go to either the "business" class or the "get a job" class after that.
Many of you may be familiar with "Me in 30 seconds" and
other such programs from home.
This is so amazingly inspired
and we feel so privileged to be part of training these wonderful Saints
how the Lord wants them to be self-reliant and to have the recipe on how to do it.
PEF is not available here but in Africa that would be a third class that members who do not have the qualifications for a job or to build a business could be part of.
We are so privileged to be part of the Restored Church. It has blessed our life
immeasurably. And hope we can in some small way bless the lives
of others here in Romania.