Sunday, 1 May 2016

Easter, Paște and food #1

May 1 2016  It is Easter Sunday here, a little late from the Easter we know and love, but still Easter and a celebration of the Savior and His resurrection. This is a big deal here. About half the city has left for villages to visit with family, and those who were left went to evening Easter services late into the night. Easter here is Paște, hence the title. We were meeting with Pres. Covali this week, discussing some of our responsibilities and he told us about half of the members would be gone today- he underestimated. Next Sunday is Easter for the dead- families go to the cemeteries, have a lunch or dinner. They also take food for the deceased family, get this blessed by their priest- for a price- and then leave food for the dead. Odd to us, a strong tradition to them. We will go to the cemetery the day after just to see. We have noticed that much preparation has taken place in the cemeteries to prepare the family plots for Easter for the dead. So church today was quiet, and the service was cut to Sacrament meeting only- after there were only about 10 members besides the missionaries. What else happened this week? We spent a lot of service labelling and loading/unloading supplies from the Dutch charity for the poor of Moldova. We finally finished on Friday, after 4 solid mornings of this work. It was good to do some physical work. We got 2 new green missionaries this week, Sister Nicol from Layton , Utah, to be with Sister Brinkman. But best of all, Elder Jerome, a fellow Canuck from Raymond, to train with Elder Brown. That was the best part, Elder Brown likes to tease Canada, now he gets to train a Canadian, or rather , we get to train him. It will be fun, trust me. So it was good. We also have been asked to register youth for 2 programs this summer in Hungary, FSY for 14-18, like our EFY, and a Young Single Adult conference the next week in August for 18-30 year olds. So we have begun, travelling to Bălți yesterday to start registering. A nice 2 hour drive- the country side is gorgeous now, all green with crops starting up. We will travel there every other week to teach, alternating with Orhei. We were there last Tuesday, teaching in a flower shop. Very nice. One sister could not get off work, so we went to her. We really get to meet some of the nicest people you could ever meet here, such a pleasure for us. We had a baptism on Saturday, Artiome, a nice Russian speaking  young man- there will be pics. He is just a gem, so pleasant. I was able to speak at the service, in English, the Russian is rather weak or non existent. All week it felt like we were running. Good example- Friday, we left the apartment at 8 am, getting home after 9 pm. Lots to do. I do miss dirt, but will find someones garden when we have some time. I will split this week as there are a few pictures, I am afraid.
This is Artiome, a fine young man. He has become good friends with Nina, who loves everyone, but especially herself in a picture.

Sevghi, on the left, is just waiting on a mission call. She speaks English, Romanian, Russian and Spanish. Wow. On the right is Marina, getting baptized in a month.

The young lady with the glasses is Valeria, just recently baptized, as well as a few others. What did I say about Nina?

On the way to Bălți, we saw several guys cutting hay with a scythe, and then loading it onto wagons. We could not tell if this guy was waving or blocking his face. Nice wagon, but a slow way to do hay.

We think our good friend, Lee McClung, needs a scythe or 2 as he does lawn work, the horse would be a nice touch too.

We dont know the type of bush, but they looked like pink feathers from the road.

The flowers are actually very delicate and white. This will be interesting to follow. Some people were stopping and getting big bunches of these. By the way, bees like them too.

This large tree is everywhere, along roads, in parks , and is beautiful. As you can see, large white flowers everywhere, with large attractive leaves. I had not seen a tree like this before, or at least had not recognized it , do not know the type.

More of the same.

Statue of Stefan cel Mare și Sfănt. He is by far, the most famous Moldovan , with every town having streets, statues, etc. Nice touch, the crow,eh? You will see another crow in 2 pics.

He won 56 of 58 battles in the late 1400s, and saved these countries from the Ottoman empire.

The aforementioned crow.

One more of those trees in Stefan cel Mare park.
I will continue next post. We had heard this place was beautiful in the spring, it all was true. Only problem we see, the grass is rarely mowed, and then with scythes, sickles and the occasional push mower. We have seen one ride on, a rather poor excuse of a mower. Lots of grass is over 30 cm tall.

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