Friday, 11 March 2016

the car

March 11, almost the birthday of  a sister, Happy birthday , Cheryl. It has been a cold rainy day here, typical after one washes a car. So in Moldova, when you get a car wash, it is never done by you and it often involves all the inside like a detailing. So the top 2 pictures are of our car, a 2013 Opel, getting the final phases of a clean. 4 guys working on it for 45 minutes, all spotless and for 110 lei or about $6. They got a tip. Often one hears of a poor work ethic in eastern Europe, I would refute that as these guys were good and hard working. Any street or cleaning crews work very hard for poor wages and there is no work ethic problem, they could teach western culture a thing or two about work. Very impressive. So the 3rd picture is another car on the sidewalk along the main street, beeping to get people out of the way. It is amazing how a nice reserved polite population turns into some crazed fiends when behind the wheel. Honking is continual, bad drivers are the rule and it is something else. It is hard to compute as people otherwise are polite, care for women with door opening, giving seats to women and the elderly. All else is a polite society, but not driving. Have to get over it, I guess. Pic #4 is an Armenian orthodox church, a very pretty little church along one of the streets. Pic #5 is Elder Allphin ( R from Alpine , Utah) and Elder Bekker from Tel Aviv. These are 2 very remarkable missionaries. They are called a zebra companionship as Elder Allphin speaks Romanian and Elder Bekker speaks Russian.  Elder Bekker is the only elder from Israel now in the field, he is amazing, speaks fluent Russian, Hebrew and English. Elder Allphin is a spiritual giant, a humble dedicated missionary. He is just outstanding. Both incredible workers and just genuinely nice people. Pic #6 is Elder Nango ( R, born in Puerto Rico, convert of 2 years) and Elder Swafford (L from N Carolina) Elder Nango is a bit of a goof as is his comp. My initial impression was not good, but they have taught with us and he is a really good ,wonderful elder. The more I see him, the more impressed I am. Paying his own way and a truly remarkable teacher. By the way, time to pay tribute to some of my instructors. I had a language coach, Aaron Gerber, Armenian speaking , who was a great help. My real tutor, Christian Covey, from Provo, has been outstanding. We have reconnected for a couple of sessions, before he moves on to other school issues. It is hard to describe the way I feel about this man, he has encouraged and challenged me, especially thru some hard times. I am far from fluent, but he is the reason I have learned what I have. He is just great and he knows how thankful I am for him. We continue to get busier, just back from a FHE tonight. Mostly Russians there tonight and mostly non members. It was a lot of fun, they do love Canadian cookies. We like to think they come to spend time with our scintillating personalities, bu I know better. Tomorrow the day is packed, and that is good. I also started with a new language coach and it looks very positive. My goodness, the world is full of fine young people. It is just a pleasure to meet them. It makes us better people knowing them.

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