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

Monday, May 30, 2016

Yes, it is rose week.  Every town has them blooming on the round about and along almost every street.  Most yards have rose gardens too.  These two are growing in our front yard.  Often the colors are all the same: rows of yellows, row of oranges, white, pink or a combination.  One really attractive combination we saw yesterday was on our way to Deva.  The round about with Red and white roses in full bloom.  Where was my camera as we zipped by?

Remember our pink front yard?  That has disappeared and now the most dominant color would be orange.   With one lovely white rose bush in the middle.

Grandma Howlett would have had a name for these.  I'll just call them a lilly.

 Going back to last Monday, on our trip home from Oradea we stopped off at Alba Iulia.  The town square was named after Alba Carolina (not this statue however).  The square was built in the middle of a maze of walls designed to keep the intruder out.

 The flower design on this poster describing the place can be seen all over Romania as a unique remembrance of this place.

 Here is Rand walking down the middle of this wall area.  the walls were high and sometimes quite thick.  Several walled areas had been cleared out to house a very cool pizzeria, a lovely spot on a very hot day. 

 There were a lot of gates to this complex.  This is the main one

 Which crosses over the mote which now is just a lot of lawn to mow.

 Same gate from inside.

 We missed the changing of the guard at noon but found this fellow along the main path where the guards march.

 Unique to this area were several statues.

 Main orthodox church within the maze Carolina

 View from orthodox porch of the catholic church also inside the maze

 Found it was fun taking pictures of steeples - framing them with arches of another church.  Everything was so clean and well kept.  

 Outside the maze waiting for the Sisters to find us.  Elder Brown is resting in the car so I'm stuck with taking selfies.  The orthodox steeple visible in the background.

Sister missionaries are always having fun.  Once we get in the car they usually fall asleep.

Back in Sibiu it was cold till the weekend but the missionaries finally got their wish to have games night outdoors.  In honor of Sora Djabanhani (that I know call DJ) they played soccer.  She loves and played soccer for her college back home. 

 The missionaries found or were found by some younger fellows who love soccer.  They made it fun for everyone.  Elder Jardine was more than twice the size of some of them.

 We had all skill levels and a good time was had by all.

 We're still working out the kinks in our Deva sacrament meeting.  This time we took the Soras instead of the Elders.  We wish we had a bigger car and could take everyone.  Without Elder Hellewell there to conduct it was a little strange to put it mildly.  President Brown was not just presiding but conducting which was hard in another language.  The Gentleman, second from right, Bro. Andronic  the Elders found last time we were there.  He lives about 30 minutes from Deva.  Nice to get more to add to the group.    

 Our first trip down this road last Feb. we saw this nest and took a picture.  Here we have the mother stork inhabiting the nest.  We think she may have flown up from Uganda but who knows.  They don't live here in the cold.

 One day we'll stop and see what kind of trees are growing under this net.  It goes for acres.  Earlier in the year the netting was tied back.  Does it keep out birds or just shade the trees from the sun?  Maybe it's some other reason we don't know about.

Even gas stations have roses.

 And next to the pink rose I took a "Posea" of a red bush while Elder Brown pumped gas.

 Ene, over church facilities made a visit from Bucharest and called to thank us for keeping the church yard so nice.  It takes Rand quite some time to mow all the lawns.  He has to be quick to get it in between the rain.  I just tend the flowers in the front and dig dandelions.  Right now we have no dandelions.

 Wow, this plant came out of the shadows today.

 This little guy was a bulb I planted a couple months ago.  Should have kept the packaging because I can't remember it's name.  I was afraid being on the North of the building it wouldn't have enough light to do anything.

Hope you are planting flowers in your life and making a difference in the world. Some plantings are with others by helping them be all they can be as they grow and bloom.  Some plantings are just with yourself as you grow and blossom in whatever you are doing.  We see some progress with the people we are helping to blossom and some heart ache as they take a step or two backward.  The goal is to never give us, right?

Sunday, May 22, 2016

First time we ate a chicken with four legs we were surprised there was such a thing.  Now we know better and try to find this combination as we both like dark meat.

Maybe we're seeing the last of the rain.  If so it ended with a spectacular surprise.

Driving the sisters to invite inactive members to come to the church this Sunday for district conference.  We have it set up to broadcast from Oradea where the district president lives.  While traveling about we got close enough to get a picture of the town's famous gypsy castle where the king's son is suppose to live.

 It wasn't as beautiful as we expected.  The fancy roof typical of other gypsy homes is built on a normal block building.

Friday was travel day to Oradea for the Sat. zone conference and Sunday District Conference.  I had never seen red poppies growing wild in Arizona.  Had a hard time getting a picture as we zipped along on the road to Deva

 Herds of sheep are seen along the country road side.  They are so picturesque.  In winter the shepherd wears a sheep skin.  Haven't been close enough to get that picture.  Now it's warmer will have to wait till next winter.  Can you see the shepherd sitting right along the side of the road.

In Oradea we found some red poppies along the river by our hotel

 First stop about 2 hours from Sibiu was the Corvins castle, the one Harry Potter's movies were patterned after.

 This is the entrance over the mote.  The entrance used to be on the other side back when it was originally built in the 1400.

 So far this is my favorite castle.  

 First stop was the torture chamber.  Could have left that one out.  Tends to give you nightmares.

I'd say this was a hard way to learn the difference between right and wrong.  Forced to sit on nails with arms tied down over more nails must be what our founders called cruel and unusual punishment.  

 Some photos of weapons behind glass doesn't work out so well but Elder Brown wanted this one taken.

 The main hall - does it remind you of the Harry Potter movie when the students were in the cafeteria?

 Rand called this the "man cave"

 Quite a large central court.  It filled up before we got through with our tour.  Remodeling in the 1860's added the roof back on.  It has been remodeled several times since.

 Read the description of this well.  Quite the story.

Last time we went looking at castles the weather turned out great.  How did we get so fortunate again?

On the left were deep rooms that housed bears where you may be tossed in if you were convected of a crime.

 The earlier entry.

View of center court from other direction.  Sora Yost and Djahanbani were with us.  It was Sora Djahanbani's first trip to see a castle.

 The guard's t-shirts made us feel welcome.  Phoenix Protect if you can't read it.

 Took the Sister's to see the 1975 Romanian gymnastic team

 We wondered why the shortest distance from Sibiu to Oradea was listed as the slowest.  We thought we'd been transplanted back to Uganda.  Sometimes the road was so bad we thought it was ending.  

 Hotel with our first outdoor pool.  Took the rest of the evening to warm up.  I wasn't surprised that I was the only one swimming.

Saturday we enjoyed a great Zone conference.  That evening we went for the first time to dinner with the mission president, three other couples and the 70, Elder Odondo who came to preside and speak for the Sunday District Conference.   He is the CEO of a crop science company that is studying how to feed the world's growing population.  He encouraged us to think smarter and to figure things out so we can follow God's plan.  Satan has sold us the idea through our political leaders that the solution is to cut back on having children.  This is exactly opposite to the commandment we've been given by our Heavenly Father - to multiply and replenish the earth.

 Sobergs on the left and Nelsons on the right.  Sister Soberg is the native Romanian who came to America and married a fellow dentist.  their son is also serving at this time in Romania.

 Got to sit by and get to know Isabella Gembasu, wife of the district President, Florine Gembasu.  They shared their conversion stories at the couples dinner.

 Here we all are, leaders of the Romania West District

Stayed at a different hotel each night.  Somewhere Elder Brown lost his favorite black Levis.  Hope he can find them before heading home Monday.

 District conference was followed an hour later with a fireside by Elder Odondo so food was set up before the first meeting started.

So thrilled to have 87 attend the District meeting.  Our little branch in Sibiu had the meeting broadcast to them where they counted 7 more. 

Our missionaries from Sibiu were sitting in the back

Had a delightful time visiting with the members between meetings.  Such friendly warm people.

 These are the four members from Timesoura I got acquainted with.

 Three of the five branches have missionaries for Branch Presidents like Elder Brown.  Cluj branch does not fit that model. This is President Iepure and his wife and they have two boys.  A rare scenario.

 We heard "the mushroom" was the thing to see in Oradea.  Not sure why they call it a mushroom.  It is a lovely hill with a view in all directions.

 Wild roses are in bloom.  Can you see the pink ones in the foreground?

 Oradea is a little warmer than Sibiu.  We expect the roses in Sibiu will be lovely like these soon.

We learned in Zone Conference that in Finland they do not have a word for repentance.  There they would speak of improving or progressing.  Romanians have the idea that to repent you confess to a Priest and you are done.  We decided that whether you have a word for repentance or not "Positive Change" is what we will all work to accomplish so that we can have the spirit with us as much as possible.  Happy Repenting.