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 26, 2016
April 22nd, Thirty eight years ago Rand and Julie Brown were married in the Provo Temple. This picture is more like 35 years old, the only one we brought with us on our computer. Sometimes I forget that most my life I had dark brown hair and Rand wore a mustache. This picture was taken where we spent part of our honeymoon, on Lake Powell. At this time Rand's employer hosted a the boat trip at the lake.
Here we are in our late 60's enjoying some of the perks of serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This is Bran Castle, about 2 hours from our home in Sibiu Romania.
View of the castle in the evening the night before and close to our lodging.
Our anniversary day was bright and beautiful, a change from the last few days.
Walk leading up to the ancient castle first built of wood in the 1300. After it was destroyed it was rebuilt of stone and brick
The week was a "no black-board day" for school children which meant field trips to the local historic sights. Here are two of the chaperones who we followed behind. They were part of those hearding about 50 eight year olds. The man on the left was a father of one of the girls and the bus driver. The man on the right, a high school student who had volunteered his time. they both spoke English and began the tour with us explaining as we went along.
We were at the back of this body of students with our special guides whispering in our ear what was being said by the woman up front. The picture on the wall is of the man who first had the castle built. I think.
Rand wanted this picture of the wall where the plaster had been cut away to show the original wall.
Here is our friend at the top of the secret stairway. It had a door so not sure why it was called secret. At first their was no light on the stairway but by the time you got to the top it was lit as shown.
Looking down to the center of the courtyard
Beautiful views of the surrounding countryside. So glad the rain went away for the day.
Clothing display of the ancients. By this time we've lost our English speaking guides so all we can do is take pictures and guess.
In the early 1900's this castle was given to Queen Mary of Romania. This was one of her outfits and she raised her son and several daughters here. When she died the castle was given back to the Romanian people for their enjoyment.
We bought a book on the castle. This may be Vlad the Impaler the man some think was the inspiration for Dracula the Vampire. These two didn't have much in common but some say the reason this castle was considered the Dracula castle was because Vlad came here There is no no proof of that either. All fairy tails we guess.
Somebody's royal crown.
Weapons wall. Scary to be sure.
We loved walking around the village that you can see here from the castle.
Looking up from inside the courtyard
Can you just see Mary's family coming down these stairs to the courtyard? They were living in a very ancient castle. I wonder if they ever warmed up in the winter? Maybe they lived somewhere else in the winter. Part of the tour info we would have missed since we don't speak Romanian.
Some sort of scales in the court yard.
Court yard looking up at the zillions of school children everywhere.
Our goal as missionaries is to have meaningful conversations every day. We had had three on our tour but had lost track of our earlier guides that we wanted to give our Easter card to that directs them to the church's website that teaches about Jesus Christ and the true meaning of Easter. As we left we ran into this American from New York state. He said he was living in Germany and working with a group of non-denominationals who are trying to figure out how to use media to bring people to Christ. Wow, we gave him our East card and told him to check out the mormon.org web site to see if they could learn anything that would help them from what our church does. He was so impressed and happy that we gave him the card. Kind of surprised us. We hope these kind of "meaningful conversations" lead people to Christ as taught by the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ.
We asked him to take a picture of the two of us and include the cross at the bottom right and the top of the castle. He teased us that we were trying to get him to include an awful lot. If he only knew.
Really enjoyed walking around the beautiful grounds of the castle after our tour. There were two ponds that workers were fishing in. Neglected to get that picture.
Not sure what this stone structure was. Kind of reminded us of a theater but when we actually sat in it we couldn't figure out where the play would have taken place. A reception maybe?
After a lunch and a short nap we headed to Peles Castle about an hour away. This castle closed at 5 and we got there at 5:25. Saved for another trip. This castle is a mansion like built in the 1800s. It is well preserved and has a lot of beautiful furnishings our missionary friends in Bucharest tell us. Anyone want to join us? We can go back, we know the way.