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

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

A quick trip back to Sibiu on Feb. 21-22 and we were giddy with excitement.  With so many memories and things we wanted to do 

Forgot to get a photo of our favorite corner and hotel we stayed at but took pictures from the Continental Forum of --- 

Neptune swim pool and gym entry directly behind our hotel

What better way to unwind from a four hour trip than to go swimming.  This time my favorite director was there and was able to tell him good bye.

 View from our hotel room of the city and road we passed on daily to get to the church.

 Met with Alena for one last hair cut in Romania and we connected on face book so we can stay in touch.

Dinner that night was extra special meeting up with Nicoleta our favorite tour guide and her boyfriend.  We took the soras with us and hopefully at some point she and her boyfriend will decide they want to know more about the church.

 Reason for the quick trip - Rand had agreed to be a witness for Florin in court.  Florin wants to have visiting privileges with his 6 year old daughter and hopefully the court will agree that he can have time with her.  The decision will be made next month but we won't need to go back.  The court had to hire a translator which was a bit of a nuisance for Rand to be a witness.  

 Spring is in the air and the Browns are starting to go walking around the neighborhood for exercise.  Not too far away they are building this soccer stadium.

Construction on the stadium at present.

Rand standing by the statue across the street from the stadium to be

Rand not standing by the statue.  

We're wondering if this is the church the architect was referring to that is being built.  

 Finally got to see Adriana Decsy.  She is a nurse that works nights.  She was showing us the "spring flowers" she makes for women to wear March 1-8th.  She makes them originally from something like play dough then paints them to sell or give to friends.  She gave the soras and I each one.  Adriana is the family history specialist in the Branch.  She bore her testimony to us of the importance she feels towards our ancestors.  It was so heart warming to hear.

 Another evening we were invited to visit Lidia and Costi Istrate.  Lidia loves to cook and had made us Googos.  It is a dough thinner than doughnut dough that is dropped by the spoon full into hot oil.  So delicious with Nutella or homemade apricot jam drizzled on top.

 The Istrades and the Browns, Lidia hopes that her husband will soon join the church.  He comes with her to church but as yet has not joined.

 Sunrise view from Rand's office.  We can see a Romanian flag in the distance that tells us if is is windy or not.  The days are warmer and clear but a wind makes things still coat and hat weather for sure.

 Full view of the Arad branch building.

The Soras went with us to Timisoara Branch again Sunday.  They were hoping to make a visit afterward but it didn't work out.  Disappointing maybe isn't a strong enough word.  We have four more Sundays with the two branches.  We are exhausted by the end of the day maybe not from the physical but mental.  Sitting through hours of church in another language is exhausting.  Rand says I should take notes to stay awake.  Did he forget that I don't speak the language? Not sure what to take notes on.  Funny man.

In a hundred small ways, all of you wear the mantle of charity. Life is perfect for none of us. Rather than being judgmental and critical of each other, may we have the pure love of Christ for our fellow travelers in this journey through life. May we recognize that each one is doing her best to deal with the challenges which come her way, and may we strive to do our best to help out.
Charity has been defined as “the highest, noblest, strongest kind of love,” the “pure love of Christ … ; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with [her].”
“Charity never faileth.” May this long-enduring Relief Society motto, this timeless truth, guide you in everything you do. May it permeate your very souls and find expression in all your thoughts and actions.

President Thomas S. Monson,  So thankful for a prophet.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

This is our outside view from our apartment window.  Our 12 story apartment building actually has a parking lot to look out on.  Many apartment buildings don't have much parking because most apartment dwellers don't need a car.   Public transport is cheap and can get you about anywhere you want to go.    

The other morning Rand asked what the day looked like.  I realized I had quit looking outside.  Kind of depressing when this is your view.  Been foggy for most of the time we've been in Arad.  Course you need to take into account - it is winter.

This is the city hall designed by Eiffel of Eiffel tower fame.

We found it the other day so decided on p-day to go check it out.

The front walkway leading up to the building was beautifully tiled.  Since it was valentines day the view wasn't quite as impressive.

The entry door handle is about eye level.  Wonder why that was?

On each side of the stairway was featured a painting of Queen Ana and king Ferdinand.  Both have now passed on.

This architecture student from Cluj came up and  asked if I was a tourist since I was taking pictures and he could see I hadn't been given permission to go into the building very far.  I told him I was and he, "said follow me".  I did and he told me some about the building but mainly that he thought it was a shame that tourists weren't allowed to view the chambers where the city fathers made their decisions.  Above was a balcony where the citizens could observe what went on.  

 The area I was allowed to photo graph

Looking down into the ruling chambers the citizens balcony.  Lots of gold leafed statutes and figures.

 Ceiling was magnificent.  

 Looking across toward the other side of the balcony.

Gold leafed statues on the balcony.  My friend asked if our church was the new one being built in town.  I told him, "no, we don't build fancy churches.  But we do build beautiful temples".  He had heard of our temples.  He said he studies the principles of Frank Lloyd Wright.  He was impressed that I had been to his Taliesin West studio/school in Scottsdale.

 While waiting for Rand after my inside tour I found this memorial to those who were killed from Arad in the 1989 Revolution  in Timisoara. 

A tall apartment building across from the mall with tiled picture of life in Romania.  One day I want to have time to study it and not just zip by in the car.  Someone was quite creative.

 Rand and I drove with the Elders out to the Banatean family that lives in Sanpru German about 30 minutes from Arad on a small country road.  Bro. Banatean used to be the Branch President.

New district meeting with a waffle breakfast: left to right Sora Alger and Sora Roberts, Elder Meeks from Mesa AZ,  Elder Wilstead and Elder Winder & Elder Faucet who serve in Timi but is the new district leader.  Last district meeting was skyped from Timi.  Elder Brown on Right and Sora Brown not there but taking the picture also part of the district.

 Same line us as the previous picture except Wilstead and Meeks traded places.

 Sora Alger reminded me of someone, but who?  Oh, the girl who played in parent trap 2.

 Great turnout for our Relief Society activity in Timi Sat.  What a fun bunch of ladies and I did learn everyone's name.

 Sora Jureschi

 Sora Negriu

 Sora Gyene, Gabi

 Sora Nedelcu (Tinka, who was the first convert in Timi)

 After our activity we had a pot-luck lunch.  I made my healthy fruit jello.  They had never seen or tasted anything like it.  Sora Gyene made pancakes then rolled cheese up in them and baked.  Nothing like anything we've ever had at home but tasty.  The others just brought store bought goodies.  The Timi Elders were invited to join us and the Sora missionaries from Arad for the lunch.

 Back to Timi the next day for afternoon church.  Three visitors along with the district leadership to sustain Elder Winder as Branch President.  Sora Nedelcu wanted her picture with the two American visitors.

 P-day again and we had to check out a park we had passed getting the missionaries to an appointment on Sat.  This was a WW 1 - 2 memorial with statues from both wars.

Best Angle for this humongous statue of multiple scenes of WW 2.

 Sora Day told me that she hadn't been able to find any fabric stores here in Arad.  So surprised when we stumbled across a fabric and notions store after we left the memorial park.  So happy to find I don't have to go to Timisoara or Sibiu to get items for our projects.

While preparing a talk about the Savior this song/poem has come to mean a lot to me.

Where can I turn for peace?
Where is my solace
When other sources cease to make me whole?
When with a wounded heart, anger, or malice,
I draw myself apart,
Searching my soul?

Where, when my aching grows, 
Where, when I languish,
Where, in my need to know, where can I run?
Where is the quiet hand to calm my anguish?
Who, who can understand?
He, only One.

He answers privately,
Reaches my reaching
In my Gethsemane, Savior and Friend.
Gentle the peace he finds for my beseeching.
Constant he is and kind,
Love without end.