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, October 30, 2016

One more tour with Nicoleta.  Our favorite and only tour guide offered us six missionaries a free walking tour of Sibiu centre Monday for P-day.

 Because of a paint job our car needed Rand and I got to take a taxi to Centru to meet up with the group. 

  I carried everything we'd need for FHE later that evening in my swim/Uganda bag as we traipsed around learning new things about our adopted city. 

 Nicoleta loves to give natives her tour.  Most don't know that much about the city.  She says she didn't used to like history but loves it now as a tour guide.

 A kind lady graciously took all our pictures.  Her little boy joined us for the picture.

 Hauntingly beautiful

 So glad Tuesday to get our car.  Well, we thought we would get our car.  After hiring a taxi to take us the 10 miles out of town to the best body paint shop they said they wouldn't be done for another 4 hours.  We had a class to teach and no taxi to get us there so the wife lent us her car as a loaner for the 4 hours.  Surprised how roomy this tiny car felt inside.

 Kaufland, one of the biggest grocery store chains in Romania has the biggest ware house out in the middle of no where on our way to Cluj for zone conference.  This is the ware house that was snowed in last winter when no food was getting to our store in Iasi.  Brings back memories every time we pass here.

 Thanks to David Wisehart for the chopped chilies.  We've sure enjoyed chicken enchiladas again.  There's not many things we can't get here but chilies is one.

 Thur. after the Craciuns got off work we met at the cemetery to plan out our branch activity for Sat.  This cemetery is huge with the old section, the russian army section, those killed in the revolution and on and on.  Sandu took on organizing who would go where to photo graves for "billiongraves.com".

Here the cemetery had a very sophisticated web page but everything we clicked on said "page not available".  We were told you had to go to the city hall for maps and other information.  Not sure why they have this computer at the entrance to the cemetery.

Moved our Sat.  Self Reliance class this week to Friday so it wouldn't interfere with the branch "halloween party".  So proud of these gentlemen, they are really starting to take responsibility.  Did I say that last week in  our blog?  Well, they are getting more inspired every week.  What more can be said, it's wonderful.

 Promptly at three we almost had a full chapel for the party.  Many of the intermediate English class wanted to join us.  The bus left at 3:21 so we headed to the cemetery that was about 4 kilometers away.  As Rand and I drove up we saw these kooky halloween costumed teens heading into the cemetery.  Turns out they were there for our party also.  No one complained so it was OK.  They came from games night and attended last year's halloween party.  I think they were quite surprised at this year's activity, what no spook alley?

 Sandu got the map from the city hall and made copies, one for each couple with an assigned area to take photos of grave stones.  Ioan Hader found the oldest birth date, 1831.  

 Mihai claims the rock here is the oldest headstone but with nothing visible to document we could only take a curiosity photo.

 Both Mihai and Toma have family buried in the cemetery.  Toma's father passed away just a year ago.  He says he wants to do a Mormon kind of celebration for his Dad.  We wondered what he meant by that as we know the orthodox have several ceremonies for the dead throughout the first year.  But as Toma says, "the Mormon celebration is to do their temple work after their one year anniversary."  Oh, that's right.  We do have a Mormon ceremony, I guess you could call it that.

 Back at the church we had all these lovely English students come help with food preparation.  In all I think we had 23 in attendance and a good time was had by all.

 These are the two ladies (mother/daughter) who joined us for our sewing project.  They are taking the missionary lessons.

 In all we had seven members attend the party.

 Plus missionaries of course.

Costumed attendees felt more comfortable setting up in the library.  

 Got pictures of the doughnut eating contest but missed out on the mummy wrap.  Elder Swafford bagged up the used TP and took it home.  I told him he reminded me of my Dad who didn't let anything go to waste.

 Lots of fun decorations that the missionaries hung around the building.

 This was my kind of halloween; something useful in a service to others, food, games and friends to share it with.

 Mihai helping out till the end.  Mopped the floor even.

 Sunday went to visit the Cernats and couldn't figure out why traffic was moving so slowly.  A funeral was the answer with mourners walking down the middle of the street all carrying umbrellas in the rain and hail.  What a gloomy procession.

Had to end with Elder Swafford who climbed in an empty grave that had a shelf off to the side.  Two caskets can slide in there then two in the main opening.  I'd say that's enough of that theme.

At zone conference this past week we were each challenged to come up with and share a 30 second script of why we are on a mission.  Mine is still too long but here it is.                                 About one hundred and seventy years ago Missionaries from our church came from America to Europe and taught my ancestors about the restored Church of Jesus Christ.  These ancestors joined the church from such countries as England, Denmark & Sweden then moved to America.  Now, my husband and I have come back to Europe to share this same Gospel of Jesus Christ which meant so much to them and now to us with Europeans who are now encouraged to stay in their own lands and build the Kingdom of God wherever there is a people who will listen to this wonderful message that God again speaks to man and has restored his church on the earth.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Conners trip to Sibiu Romania and our tour of Transylvania.  It was hard taking about 400 pictures and choosing just a few to remember.

 Sibiu International airport, with Warrick, Danielle and Ryan waiting while Arick and Enterprise processes their 9 passenger rental.  Elder Swafford is also waiting since he needed a companion till his came in that evening so he got to be there too.

 Deva, Romania is the home of the gym that Nadia Comaneci trained gymnastics in.  Here Ryan, Danielle, Warrick, Nicole and Madeleine are standing by Nadia's bust.

 So happy to be in Deva on a day other than Sunday so we could ride the gondola to the Citadel on the hill that we've admired for many months.  We only bought tickets up then walked down.

 View looking down from gondola toward Deva

 Before going to explore our tour guide, Nicoleta gave us the first of many history lessons on Transylvania.

 To confuse any enemy the walls are surrounded by walls, surrounded by more walls.  The inner area is not yet open to tourists.  The views, as we walked around,  got us totally confused so the strategy worked and were magnificent.  We wondered how the people accomplished all this building.  Reminded us of Captain Moroni as he fortified the cities against the Lamenites.

 Heading down from our mountain top.

 We could have walked up but thought it was fun riding the gondola.

 Distance view once we were off the mountain/hill

Warrick getting a Grandpa ride.

 So fun to have our daughter visiting from home.

This leaf could be used as an umbrella.  Our tour guide mentioned that we were somehow blessed.  It rained a lot while the Conners were here but not when it was time to go exploring out of the car.

 We've been to Hunedoara several times but each time has been fun as we showed first the Soras then Leslie and Jacob and now Conners the Corvein's castle.  I didn't pay to take pictures.  Not all attractions require photo payments.  

I took a few of Warrick when he and I went looking for bugs so the rest could go up the main tower.

Almost every castle or fortress had a bride getting her picture taken.  So romantic!

Love showing our guests the main walls of what used to be the Sibiu Citadel.

 Drove through a wealthy gypsy village.  You can tell their wealth by the fancy roofs.

 Nicoleta was sure we had never seen a huge buffalo.  

Thursday we went to see the castle resort built just for children.

 Ryan ready to climb the spiral tower stairway.

 The river that ran close by was so charming and reminded us of home.  Wouldn't this be a fun place to have a Grandkid party?

 Cesatea Fagaras pond with swans.  The orthodox church always grabbed our attention as we drove through Fagaras on our way to Brasov.  We didn't realize this place was just across the street.

 How is this for teaching time?  Love the visuals

Check out the gold leafed church across the street from this ancient citadel

Nicole down in the Dungeon. 

 Throne room with fish carved in the back.

 Ryan always migrates to the weapons.

 Down this path leads to the church of the caves.

 According to Nicoleta the energy from this spiral rock formation is what draws people here from all over the world.  Kind of like Sedona in Arizona.

 Madeleine standing in the "special" spot to receive the energy

 So far my favorite shot of shepherd and sheep on our way to Bran castle.

 Love Autumn, the colors are stunning.

 Ryan, preparing to enter Bran Castle

 Conners at Bran castle entry.

 A room not normally open had a film crew in it making a movie.

 Courtyard of Bran Castle.

 Enjoying the grounds around the castle.  

 It was a cold day but as Nicoleta said the rain quit so we could enjoy the sights.

 Medes has a citadel also with a leaning tower second to Pizza's in Italy.  Frizerie stands for a hair salon.

 Nicole explained that if the church tower has four turrets that means the city has the power to condemn you to death.  

Nicole and Danielle are so photogenic.  Here we are at the Dracula horse arena. 

 Riding horses wasn't exactly what the Conner kids thought it would be.  As tame as it looks when the horse jumped out of step Ryan found himself on the ground.  whoops

 Everything here is horses.

 Wealthy Romanians come here to spend a weekend in the hotel and ride the horses.  

 Siegisoara citadel is the only citadel that is complete and in use.

 It is supposedly the town Vlad Dracula grew up in.

 Cute, traditional restaurant that we were worried the Conners wouldn't find anything they liked to eat.  So pleased that they liked the duck and potatoes.  I think it surprised them too.

 Patient waitress who waited till everyone decided what they wanted to eat.

 Conners meet Astra village.

 The restored village is full of different water run mills.  Here they made small facsimiles of the different kinds that the kids could see how it worked.

Madeliene's school day at Astra village.

 Kids took lots of pictures of this donkey.  We saw a lot of naturally made walls

 Madeleine and I liked this basket weave wall from long straight limbs.

 Madeleine and I kept about the same pace so she got in more pictures from Grandma.

 Saturday games night with the Sibiu branch and the Conners.  Danielle and Nicole made the cookies for refreshments.

 Conner girls singing "Sons of Heleman" song as the interlude number in Sacrament meeting.

 Nicoleta surprised the children and came to Sacrament meeting in her Mother's traditional costume that she wore as a dancer when she was young.  What fun memories.

 Better view of Nicoleta in her traditional dress with her boyfriend, Mircea.

 In the kitchen between Sacrament Meeting and Primary we had a little celebration like you would if you had a Romanian birthday party.  Pretty fancy candles we thought.

 The biggest Primary we've had in Sibiu Branch since we got here.

 What a fun Sabbath day.

 I made the main dish for dinner while these three made the veggie plate.

 Doughnut making for our evening desert.

 Sugar cinnamon since powder sugar always goes hard.  So annoying.

 Our biggest turn out for FHE since we came to Sibiu.  Arick and the children made it fun to discuss the topic from Mosiah.

 Tuesday was good by day.  Hope the rest of their trip is just as fun as being in Romania.

 Rand and Ryan got the van cleaned out really good so there wouldn't be any extra charges when they turned it in at the airport.

My favorite picture of Warrick.  Nicoleta asked me to send it to her as the only one she got just of him was when he took off his shirt.  Funny guy.

We enjoyed scripture reading with the Conners every night while they were here.  They don't just read but discuss what they are reading.  As Grandparents it makes us happy to see our children raising their children with strong faith in Jesus Christ.  We hope to be worthy to be with our children in the next life.  For it has been promised us that families are eternal if we live worthy to return to live with our Heavenly Father.