Sunday, 22 January 2017

Busy with baptisms

Jan 22 2017, so first of all, sorry to those who worried about us last week, we were just very busy with a variety of things and did not get any blog writing done. We are still alive. We did have a tragedy in our mission though. One of our senior missionaries in Arad, Elder Randy Day, died on Jan 17, unexpectedly, He appeared to die quite suddenly and was found in his car. Our prayers go our to his wife, Sister Day, who is not able to get his body home until this coming Thursday. A very difficult time for her, and a sobering time for us. Deb and I had joked how she would get my body home, won't say what she decided on, but it certainly was not a humorous time. There has been a lot of individual one on one counselling and self reliance work lately. Winter let up a bit for a while, but we did have a dump of snow 10 days ago, we were unable to go to Balti, for the first time we had to cancel. Our Institute classes are going again, and my medical classes began. I did a class on what will you die from in Moldova. Did you know they have now the highest alcohol consumption per capita in the world, and also the highest rate of liver disease? Heart attack rates are also abysmal. A smoking rate of 45% in men is not helpful either. The older I get, the wiser the Word of Wisdom becomes. We have been apartment  hunting, trying to solve some chronic problems.We have some landlords who feel it is their right to enter whenever the missionaries leave, 2-3 times a week, to check the place they own. It just does not work well. Some nice baptisms, very nice young men. One , Arty, had his road to Damascus experience and is a wonderful young man. He investigated for close to 2 years. The boys, Nikita and Dima Stefanovic, have lived with their uncle for over 6 years, they are 15 and 12. Mom lives in Moscow working, Dad ??? This is a common problem here, parents leave and work else where, often abandoning children for many years. Some are supportive, many are not. We have dealt with many who have no food or money because a parent just forgets to send anything. Sad. So this week we had a photo scavenger hunt in our Malldova, closest thing to an American type mall. It is definitely a place for the wealthy. We had sent the young people all over, they had 34 pictures to obtain. Stupidly, we asked for one picture with a security guard, of which there are many. Soon one was coming up to us, so we feigned no other language than English. He was soon frustrated and left. Another soon came, told us to move coats, again we were pleasantly ignorant of the language- which this time we were as it was Russian. Deb gestured that she would move them onto the floor.We soon found to do anything in this mall, one needs written permission from management, and no games are  to be played. We did finish the activity, but likely will never be able to repeat it. We were also English at a traffic check stop type thing. The poor cop just said good bye to us, could not say anything else. It may not be fair, but it sure was enjoyable.
Christmas decorations are still up. This is a typical outdoor tree, decorations carefully thrown on  in large collections.

The next 2 pics are where Deb buys material, in a place called Gemeni. The shops are small booths, and this one has a lady that speaks English to her. You can see the whole shop here.

Around the corner, another shop and its materials

From left, Elder Lemon, Elder Hubbard, Elder Jensen, Artemie Stratulat, Elder Gore, Elder Gerber-Kai, and Elder Welling

Elder Jensen, Arty and Elder Green. Elder Jensen was the right elder in the right place for Arty.

Elder Sargsyan from Armenia, Russian speaking. He is the elder we had to arrange an MTC experience from Madrid with. He speaks Armenian and some Russian

One of Deb's favorites. What is the date? Jan 21, Deb wishes us to leave our tree at home up longer now, we were thinking of maybe March.

Dima, Elder Vashchenko, Nikita and Elder Griffeth. just before the baptism. These boys were so excited to get baptized

Elder Griffeth, Elder Vashchenko, Anatoli and Valeriu or something and us. Deb had made them both quilts and they just love her. Let's just say her cheeks were damp from kissing.
Dima and Nikita. They also love Deb and are regulars at our Institute class. They are real treasures.
So a death always makes one sober. We are thankful to be alive and to be here. Challenges aside, meeting some people is just such a blessing in our lives.


  1. Hurray for all the baptisms! You both look so good! Love you!

  2. Elder Jensen is from my home stake in Indiana! This is so much fun seeing Moldova again and seeing people I know.