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 2, 2016
May 1st was Easter for Romania. This the bouquet of flowers was purchased for the chapel, the only indication that we celebrated Easter at church unless you were to have heard the testimonies. Fast Sunday leaves no time for special music or other special activities unless you count the opening and closing song.
We set up the display Saturday. Just now noticing the football on the chair. The Elders were hoping to utilize it if the rain went away (which it didn't) for the Sat. night YA games night.
I spent a lot of the week preparing for the "Break the Fast" luncheon after church. The young missionaries had a branch activity on Thur. to color easter eggs and make decorations for the table with chocolate inside. So happy that there was enough food and was enjoyed by all, except maybe Eugen who wasn't sure how to eat the walnuts in the salad. Everyone lent a hand to get the food out in a timely manner.
Romanians honor at least the Easter Sabbath. There wasn't a shopper at any of the parking lots in Centru.
Decorating eggs here is quite the art form We saw an egg with a rose leaf design. These were tiny chicken eggs with plain die. Below are wooden hand painted eggs. We have Christmas eggs that are real and quite beautiful fragile.
We didn't quite finish telling about our tour last week. After our anniversary day on Friday we started home Saturday morning. On the way we stopped at Rasnov to see the citadel on top of the hill above. We thought it was a castle but it was an ancient walled community.
This is a refrigerator magnet we purchased at one of the souvenir shops in the citadel. We thought it was a better view of the structure than any we could take. It is a photo glued on a slice of a wood limb.
There were three of these gates that an enemy would have had to get through to enter the village.
Rand pretending to be one of the warriors so I could take his picture. Looks like the whole cut for the face doesn't match the painting of the man in armor.
You could see the enemy coming for miles in any direction
Most of the dwellings have decayed to the point that walls are all that is left. This view is from the high point of the citadel
High Point with Romania flag to mark the spot
View of the village from windows made to protect the men behind them ready to protect their home and families.
These men were professional knife throwers. The man on the right had injured his back so could no longer throw. You can see the targets in the background
Sunday we had a surprise visit from Sora Remsburg. She had served part of her mission in Sibiu 3 years ago and had returned as visitors with her parents and a sister. Some of the members knew her and some of the missionaries had her as a teacher at the MTC. We love anyone that will come and help bring up our attendance numbers at church.
Sunday was the last full day for Elder Cochran in Sibiu. He left Monday for his new assignment in Galot. We surely will miss him and wish him well.
To commemorate this group of missionaries we had a dinner Sunday evening at our home. The Sisters will stay another transfer and Elder Hellewell, who is the Branch 1st counselor will be here at least one more transfer. I told Elder Hellewell, who has served with us 6 of the 7 months we've been out that there must be something we need to learn from each other before he'll be allowed to go somewhere else.
Elder Cochran will return to Mesa AZ, his home town, the month before we return next year.
Monday was a red letter day for us as we prepare the baptismal font for Camelia's baptism that evening. Because the font is always up it mainly needed dusting out. The font is also downstairs where the YA play ping-pong and the room doesn't often get cleaned. It took us a while to get the area respectable for the ordinance. I must say it looked like a whole new place when we got finished.
Sora Yost made a very lovely baptismal program from online photo of Christ's baptism.
Here is a fantastic picture of those responsible for Cami's conversion. On the right are Soras Djahanbani and Yost. The holy spirit was always so strong when they taught. I was fortunate to sit in on some of the lessons. Cami herself who never wavered in seeking to learn the truth and Elder Hellewell who baptized her.
I was asked to give the talk on the Holy Ghost which was my privilege. Again I wrote it all out and Elder Hellewell translated as I gave it. Cami understand English quite well but there were friends and other investigators who did not speak English.
Cami and her son Stephon thought we would enjoy a culture experience by attending the celebration Friday night held by the biggest Orthodox church in Sibiu. Rain did not turn away the crowds and the place was packed with people many carrying umbrellas that dripped even more on us and put out our candles that everyone carried. Not sure what the significance was for them since we weren't even interested enough to ask.
Lots of pageantry that Romanians have told us are big business and they prefer not to be involved with the family religion. It is our privilege to invite them to our simple meetings filled with the spirit that teaches true principles whether you're in Phoenix, Jinja, Iasi, Sibiu or anywhere else in the world where the Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints is established.
Camilia and 13 year old son Stephon
Saturday we drove out to finally meet the Coda family. Sora Coda grew up in the church in Bulgaria where she spoke Spanish. Then her parents moved to Italy where she met her husband, language # 2. He wasn't there but is Romanian so this is where they come back to when they can, language #3. The oldest daughter is the only one that speaks a little English. Bro. Coda left for Germany the morning before we came for our visit. Their oldest son, 14 didn't want to come out for the family picture. We hope to supply them with church material as Sibiu, the nearest branch is over an hour away. We've heard they do come to the branch when they can.
We had been shown their home on our way to Roger's. It was not the right one. Here is the right house which took us some time to find.
Had to take a picture of the sign to Roger's vacation home. This must be new as we'd never seen it before right in front of the Coda home.
Easter afternoon we were invited to Cernat's for a lovely Easter dinner. Since we had eaten not to long before with "break the fast" we were hoping we could do their meal justice. With two Elders we did fine and Elder Brown and I loved the lamb.
Probably not legal but how do you get 6 people 10 miles in a 5 passenger vehicle?
While preparing my talk on the Holy Ghost for Cami's baptism I ran across this description by Parley P Pratt. Elder Hellewell said it was too difficult to translate in the short time he had so I just gave it to Cami after her baptism. This is what a latter-day Apostle who knew and loved the Prophet Joseph Smith said: "The gift of the Holy Spirit quickens all the intellectual faculties, increases, enlarges, expands and purifies all the natural passions and affections, and adapts them, by the gift of wisdom, to their lawful use. It inspires, develops, cultivates and matures all the fine toned sympathies, joys, tastes, kindred feelings and affections of our nature. It inspires virtue, kindness, goodness, tenderness, gentleness and charity. It develops beauty of person, form and features. It tends to health, vigor, animation and social feelings. It develops and invigorates all the faculties of the physical and intellectual man. It strengthens, invigorates and gives tone to the nerves. In short, it is as it were, marrow to the bone, joy to the heart, light to the eyes, music to the ears, and life to the whole being." I love this quote and have set a new goal in my life to live worthy of this kind of help and direction from the Holy Spirit.