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

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Elder Swafford showing the excitement of Sibiu branch receiving the broadcast with Pres. Uchtdorf in Bucharest Monday night.  This is our second Apostle to visit Romania in less than a year and the first member of the first presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints to ever visit.

Sora Lund, a former missionary to Romania also joined us for the broadcast.    Elder/Pres. Brown is getting proficient at setting up the projector and all things computer.  

Tuesday is swimming/gym day.  As I waited for Rand to come up from the gym I took pictures of the lobby that I want to remember.  The lady on the right is the one you pay for your swim.  She was just leaving the ticket booth when I took the picture.

In the lobby are mirrors and hair dryers.  Since all the swimmers have private dressing rooms they put the hair dryers and mirrors in the front lobby.  Feels kind of funny drying and styling your hair in such a public place. 

 Stairway down from the main floor to the gym.  It is such a fun place to get in shape.

Tuesday was hectic with member issues after swimming and packing to leave for the Missionary Convention.  It was a needed break for us and especially for Rand who didn't even have to drive.  A taxi took us to the train station and we enjoyed a 6 hour ride to Bucharest.

Beautiful scenery of the mountains near and beyond Brasov.  We're not usually this close to the mountains.

Spent the first night in Bucharest at Hotel Triumf.  This building was built in 1932 and served as a bank.  Later, remodeled as a hotel.  It is old but close to Romania's famous Arc de Triumf.  

We've seen pictures of the Paris monument and it's maybe 1/3 taller than this one.  We had to get up early for a 5 minute walk to catch this photo before we headed off to the meeting with Pres. Uchtdorf at Panduri branch.

 We were finally able to meet face to face with the Winders.  They are over Pathway and Self Reliance for the mission.  Sora Winders and I have such a good time visiting and comparing notes about our first missions to Africa.  They actually were in the MTC with one of our Uganda friends, the Holyoaks.  They were called to Romania just a week before their grandson received his call to the same mission.  How fun would that be?

 Reconnecting with our former missionaries as we wait for Pres. Uchtdorf to come.

 Our newest couple missionaries the Aldemans and Days

Pres. Uchtdorf finally arrives with Elder Kearn, the 70 over Europe and the Boom's another 70 from the Netherlands.

 We all got to shake Pres. Uchtdorf's hand.  He asked us couples where we were from.  When Rand told him we were from North Phoenix, close to Glendale he threw his arms around us.   Wow, how special that was.

Elder Kearn, Pres. Uchtdorf and Pres. & Sora Ivory with six Romanian missionaries that will be serving soon. 

 After a wonderful conference we all loaded the busses for the 3rd most beautiful castle in Europe.

We barely made the 2 1/2 hour trip in time to catch the last tour time at Peles castle.

Our English speaking guide inside the castle.  This is not a very old castle, built in the early 1800's for the king and queen of Romania.  

 Much woodwork in dark elegant wood.  

 Ceremonial crown

 Weapons display room

 The dates on these books from the library with some in the 1700's.

 This dining room seats 18 on each side.  I figure if you put a couple chairs on each end our whole family would just fit.

 Looking from a hall way into another room.  Lost track of them all.  This one had such a high ceiling there was a beautiful sky light of stained glass.  This was the only castle in Romania built after the invention of plumbing and electricity.  It had both installed and was very modern in it's day.

 Outside in the court yard we wanted to just hang out and enjoy being at the castle.  Since we were the last tour they rushed us out.  That's OK, we then headed to Cantacuzino Castle

 Charming sunflowers planted between other flowers about every 3 feet.  This castle had a van Gogh exhibit.  Could that be why the sunflowers?

 After a hectic day we finally had some free time to enjoy the scenery and go exploring.

 Vincent van Gogh exhibit was closed by the time we got there.  

After a lovely time to explore we dined on the patio under the stars with statues looking on.

 In the ball room we found ourselves for the last part of the day - a musical program put on by the talented missionaries.

 One wall of the ball room featured portraits of rulers from as far back as the 1500's.

 At the bottom of the stairs was this pedigree chart of the royalty.

 Thursday we all met in matching shirts for an early morning devotional in the conference room of our hotel.  We love hearing the testimonies of the missionaries and their amazing stories of their conversion.

 Buffet breakfast here we come.

 Today's program will be in Brasov chapel.  It's big enough to house the whole mission for a conference with the Boomes.

 What is holding up traffic?  Rand wanted a picture of this road edger(mower).  

 What a wonderful meeting we had with Elder Boom of the 70's and his wife.  They host a open house at their home every Tue night when they are at home for the missionaries to come by with their investigators.  They were so inspiring and are an example of members who have stayed in their own country and been blessed by the Lord for doing so.

 Dinner after the missionary meeting at Pres. Ivory's favorite Italian restaurant in Brasov, Il Prato with the Winders

 Edwards who are serving in Moldova

 Cooleys who also serve in Moldova

Vogelsberg, humanitarian couple in Moldova 

 Majerns are the office couple in Bucharest

 The Aldemans who serve in Baco

Booms with the Jeppson's who are the Humanitarian couple for Romania

 Some of the missionaries in Moldova have Russian name tags. Check that name out.

 Wow, we surely were fed well.  After this delicious desert we headed for the train station.

 A little slip up in communication.  The tour director didn't know we weren't going back to Bucharest with the rest of the missionaries so we just barely missed our train.  Luckily a member of the church from Cluj  (Bobo) was at the train station and helped us get on the next train to Sibiu.

 What a surprise Sunday when the Davis showed up.  they live in Sibiu and will be here for the Basketball season which ends next May.  He graduated from the same high school as Sora Armstrong.  She remembers him playing basketball when she was a Sophomore and he was a senior.

Our visitor was John Gay.  Turns out he is the son of Elder Gay of the 70 who over sees the Self Reliance program for the church.  John agreed to stand by our sign advertising our program that will begin next week.  The materials are all now translated into Romanian so we're ready to go.  John is an avid motorcyclist and was here on vacation with a biking group riding the beautiful Fagaras Mountains.

A few of my notes from Pres. Uchtdorf's talk:          Being grateful is the attitude we need for a positive life.  The important things of the gospel can be summed up in the "Plan of Salvation".  Where did we come from, why are we hear, where are we going after this life?       For us CTR means current temple recommend.  (Doesn't transfer into the Romanian language however).        Life may not be easy but we can be happy.  We love Pres. Uchtdorf.

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