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, November 27, 2016

The Surviver

Haven't done the fall pruning yet.

Five new crowns at about 1/8th the cost it would have been at home

Elder Swafford leaving Sibiu Monday morning with Elder Winder and Brown. Elder Winder became our companion till 11 pm that night when Elder Dixon arrived.

Except for Elder Hellewell we've served the longest with Elder Swafford

Sora Armstrong left Monday afternoon.  She had several branch members come to say good-bye.  She will be home for Thanksgiving.  So lucky

 Sora Gubar spent the next 30 hours at our house.  Such a delightful girl and so fun to share doing things.  She's an only child, third generation member from Kiev, Ukraine.

Florine on the left joined us in our planning meeting.  Elder Winder and Dixon are from Idaho, Sora Gubar and Straider were both born in the Ukraine (however Sora Straider was adobted and is now from USA).  Then there is the two from Arizona, Phoenix to be exact.  

 This week we did a lot of shopping and baking, with little travel.  Here is our cranberry sauce made from cherry juice and crasins.  We loved the recipe but the friends didn't know what to do with it and were a little surprised that we put in on the turkey.  We brought a good half of it home.  Guess that sounded to weird to them.

Thursday was pumpkin pie day

Friday Rand took Mihai and the Elder's to Mihai's garden up by Alba Iulia.  I stayed home and finished the prepreparation for dinner on Saturday.  Saturday Rand helped me get the dressing in the crock pot then tied up our almost 15 lb. turkey for the oven.

The turkey had a lot of tears in the skin and not tied up like they are at home.  We decided in order to have a moist turkey we'd tie up and secure in place as much as possible.

We have a small but very efficient convection oven.  It worked great to seal in the juices.  Then set the temp low to cook for the next four hours. It was absolutely beautifully browned but forgot to get that picture.

Serving table and desk from the library since we needed more room.

Made custom table cloths so that we could seat as many as possible on our four tables.  

Started out our program with Elder Dixon telling about the first Thanksgiving in America with this picture displayed through the projector onto one wall.

Sora Gubar telling everyone to write what they were thankful for on the feather sitting at their place.

Florine asked me to sit by them and talk to his girlfriend, Bianca.  We are hoping she'll be interested in the church.

Sandu with the Thankful turkey.  Looks like the turkey feet got erased.

Had all our tables on the top floor for our dinner and we still didn't have enough, 24 seats and 30 showed up.  Wow, were we pleasantly surprised.  Luckily some came a little late so it worked out in the end.

Maryana, an English student made this lovely patter of veggies, meats and cheeses.  Would love to learn how she does the vegie flowers from tomatoes.

Florine's 6 year old daughter, Loana, I think.

Marcel, Nyela and Paige Davis, our basketball friends living in Sibiu for the season.  Glad they could join us.

Sora Doncu (center) is the active member.  So happy that Sora Armie and Simona came.  They were like old friends.  We still need to get them back to church on Sunday.

Great friends, our English students.

 While we've been busy with Thanksgiving preparations the rest of Sibiu is fully into the Christmas season.  Liars bridge covered with lights.

 Love this view of the bridge.

Musicians with a Santa to entertain the children.

We're hoping to find bacon from the country like we found in Iasi.  Cheese store was all we found. 

Missionaries under the Christmas lights.

Needless to say our favorite scene.  Still haven't found a nativity to purchase that depicts Romania.

Found this interesting article that reminded us of our trip to Kenya with Kensie and Josh three years ago.  

After performing with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir for their 2013 Christmas concert and starring in a new BYUtv movie set to premier this Thanksgiving, John Rhys-Davies has had more exposure to Mormons and LDS culture than most in the movie industry.

Rhys-Davies, best known for his roles as Gimli in Lord of the Rings and Sallah in Indiana Jones, recently finished filming Winter Thaw, a one-hour BYUtv production based on Leo Tolstoy's classic short story "Where Love Is, There God Is Also." The film portrays the story of an embittered cobbler who has given up on God and his faith—until his dead wife appears to him one night, saying God will soon visit him.
After working with Mormons over the past three years on a variety of faith-promoting projects, Rhys-Davies shared what he thinks about Latter-day Saints and some of their unique traditions."You're a strange community to us on the outside, but I find you very warm and very welcoming and very friendly—a considerate people," Rhys-Davies says."I like you. And you make it very clear you are willing to put up with me despite the fact that I am far less godly than you guys are . . ."I'm not just blowing smoke at you—it's true. You are an odd lot. But you make me welcome and I like you . . . Some of the answers you have found are so interesting."

Thoughts on MissionariesOne particularly interesting Mormon practice that Rhys-Davies has come to admire is that of LDS missions.While sharing his experience of living in Africa and watching boys from the Maasai tribe prepare to kill a lion in order to become a man, Rhys-Davies notes, "Most boys want to know what manhood is. Am I brave? Do I have any braveness in me?"That's the reason the Maasai practice their manhood rituals. "And that's the reason [boys] go out and join gangs and pick fights and things like that," Rhys-Davies shares. "But Mormon youth has this structure of a mission, and it makes men, and good ones too. . . ."[You] send people away from home with no contact with home except on birthdays or Christmas or something like that—to go to an alien country and to have to go out and meet people and make contacts. I meet these young men and they must go home night after night with a sense of abject failure. And [then they] have to get up the next morning and try and do better. When they finally manage to go home they will have matured and nothing again in their lives will ever be as hard and difficult as that."The ones that survive—and I imagine most of them do—turn out very splendid and very successful and quietly confident men. Nothing can be as bad. If I can do that, I can do anything, and that's a very significant ritual you have evolved. Very impressive."

To Bradley Brown, the Romania/Moldova missionaries and missionaries all over the world we salute you and know that you will be blessed for your work.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

We celebrated a bunch more birthdays this past week.  Florin,  Sora Day and myself.  What fun to finally get the package Leslie sent me May 25th of 2016.  Why it took almost six months our proprietor couldn't explain.  She finally said, "that's Romania".  Is that the excuse for all things that don't make sense?

Cute octopus crochet by Kirsten, a bunch of fun letters from the Findlay grandkids and the day planner I needed last July.  I finally made my own which I'm going to be glad to replace.

 Cernats always want us to take a picture.  Their son, Ioan finally wrote us from his mission in Manchester UK to thank us for keeping in touch with his parents and for the birthday card we sent him from the Branch members.

 Christmas tree cinnamon role refreshments for FHE.  With no Thanksgiving to help hold off Christmas Romania has had Christmas stuff since the first of November.

 Our friend, Florin wanted us to come to his court case.  I didn't know cameras weren't allowed.  Lucky I didn't get in trouble.

 We all were there in support and hope that he can soon have visiting rights with his 6 year old daughter.

One pose with Florin and the other I am in.  

This block (apartment) we pass under on our way to the "Material, Textile and Notions" store.  One day a local told us this is where the army and police under Ceaușescu had a stand off and the black holes were bullet holes.  There is a whole section at the cemetery for those who died in 1989 revolution.

Sora Armstrong will be finished with her mission this coming week and really wanted to visit Alba Iulia.  Since there were some who had requested materials from the church we drove the Soras over with the two purposes in mind.

A rose given by a bronze statue

Enjoying the main walkway then down to the restaurant we've been to before.  The place was so empty but were pleasantly surprised that the restaurant was open.

Not sure we'd get to see Sora Armstrong again after we left for Oradia and district conference so we had this "Pose" taken.  We were notified later that she won't leave Sibiu till Monday so we'll get to say good-bye in person.

 Equidor not Arizonian "native american",  Rand always likes to visit with these men who know little Romanian but was happy to speak in English.  Centru is filled with Christmas shops selling everything from these items to all kinds of food and Christmas gifts.

 Friday we made it a point to be there for the lighting ceremony.  Projectors make all the buildings around Centru into a winter wonderland.

Everyone in town seemed to be there.  What a happy bunch of people.  

Then the music started.  Hope this movie works.  

 Sat. night this is who the leadership meeting included.  Pres. Ivory and Pres. Geambasu, Aradia Branch President and Arad branch leader & District counselor Pres.  Days,  District Relief Society presidency, Rand and I and the Craciuns that we brought up with us from Sibiu.  Sandu Craciun will be the branch president soon.  Our job was to groom him to be ready to take over.  

Dessert with raspberry and surprise, a fig for garnish on the side.  

Sora day and I have birthdays one day apart.

 President Ivory's son, Ellis who is expected to travel with his parents to a lot of boring meetings and has learned to entertain himself tackling the elders as you can see, stealing their name tags for something fun to do.  Sound fun Jasper and Hugh?  He is 13 too.

We were almost late Sat. night getting from our hotel to the church so Sunday morning we got up early and walked the 1/2 mile to figure out how to get onto the one way road that passes by the church.  

GPS wanted us to drive down the walk way.  We had the same problem in Iasi.  Someone forgot to tell the satellite when they convert a road into a walk way.

The Oradia church building probably seats the most in it's chapel than any of the other rented churches but it only has one floor and not many classrooms.  Not sure how they have three English classes going on at the same time the way we do in Sibiu.

We thought the heat had been left on in the church it got so warm.  On the way home we checked the weather.  We hope to get this type of weather for the next while.

President Hinckley said.  "you have as great an opportunity for satisfaction in the performance of your duty as I do in mine.  The progress of this work will be determined by our joint efforts.  whatever your calling, it is as fraught with the same kind of opportunity to accomplish good as is mine.  What is really important is that this is the work of the Master.  Our work is to go about doing good as did He"           "This is the work of the Master, Ensign, May 1995, 71