Wednesday, 16 March 2016


Well, sorry as there are a lot of pictures today. We travelled up to Bălți to teach a class on temple prep, before some new members go to Kiev next week. We have now been to 3 cities doing this, improvising lessons as we go. The members in Bălți all were Russian speaking, with a 17 year old, Sasha, who speaks fairly good English. We had Elder Savage translate for us. We were met here by Boris Tocan, a member who speaks 8 languages and who helped us avoid a bad hotel that we had booked. A very nice gentleman whose wife is a lawyer in London. Wow. There are amazing people here and it has been a blessing to meet so many new people. Sasha had stayed overnight in our apartment in Chișinău a few weeks ago. As we travelled today, we saw literally hundreds of people out in the vineyards pruning the grape vines, I really think I could get some lessons. It was a cool day, but sunny. The highway, well, I am sure it was smooth 25 years ago. It reminded me of highway 61 near Manyberries. The first 2 pictures were on the highway, a very interesting set of statues. No placard or sign, just 6 men hugging each other. ? I dont know why, maybe they survived a war or something. #3 is just a very interesting sign to Dumbravita, with a big stork. We saw several nests today, but no birds. #4 was an amazingly elaborate church with a monastery in the back. Interesting thing, it is beautiful and was in an impoverished village with dirt roads and horse and buggy.  #5 was the Church graveyard there. We were looking for graveyards to photograph, at least 3/4 of the graves were unmarked. Half the names were in Romanian, half in Russian. #6 is the branch President in Bălți, teaching Elder Morgan on the L and Elder Kramer on the R, their Russian for the day. He spoke only Russian, and was a wonderful, kind man. # 7 is sister Edwards with Elder Savage, our translator on the L and Elder Kohler on the R. #8 is the Church building, 2 stories, rented and incredibly spacious. It was a bankrupt liquor store, I heard the members prayed it away to get the building. Nice and ironic eh?  # 9 is a rat trap, about 4 times the size of a mouse trap. Luckily or unluckily, no rat yet. I think it could easily catch a cat. Bălți is a city hit hard by the economic downturn of Moldova. It has lost 30,000 people in 15 years. As you drive around, you see tough times. This country still has some major challenges. Mostly Russian spoke here, hence no Romanian elders or sisters here. We will drive home in the morning, but feel grateful to have met some more amazing members. Deb learned not to talk about people, she was talking about a guy, a nonmember, who was working on family history. He seemed to understand no English at first, until she said something about him, Then we realized he spoke excellent English. Luckily what she said was positive.

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