Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Back to work

April 19 2017  It is a very early morning and is very quiet. Deb and the other sister missionaries left yesterday for Bucharest for a sister conference, so I am alone for a few days. Not that one is ever alone here, with multiple young missionaries calling frequently, for one thing or the other. We are just after Easter, with all its traditions in this country. Deb and I went to a cathedral on Saturday night just to see some of the traditions. Some are nice- like people greet each other with Hristos a înviat- or Christ is risen.  That is nice. Other parts, not so nice for us. The big cathedral was open to the throngs- there were 2 large kiosks to buy candles and icons as one comes in- it reminded me of the temple w here Jesus threw out all the money traders. A small candle- 50 lei. And the prices go up from there. Everywhere was a slot to put donations. People were also in a line to get food blessed by a priest- also at a price. There were many who went around the church kissing pictures and icons- the contamination was hard to fathom. It all was very unusual to us, and very ritualistic , very little thought at all. Overall, interesting, but uncomfortable. No one smiling, just going through some rituals which seemed to an outsider designed more for money than worship. Sunday we had a large group over for dinner, it will be come our tradition here. They do like our food. We had  a nice meal with our branch president and his wife on Monday night. She made a killer sweet cheese pie- absolutely delicious. She is Russian, from Rostov and one of the nicest people we have met here. They have a young baby boy who loved being held, Deb is good with this. Yesterday, after seeing Deb off, I was able to help 4 elders as we cleaned an apartment for an elderly member who desperately needs a lot of help. He is in an old building, infested with cockroaches, and we took out 20+ large bags of garbage. He needs a home, which is an impossibility here. I was up most of the night thinking over options for this poor man, in the early phases of dementia. There is simply no infrastructure or help here for these people. Food, cleaning , toileting, all are an issue. The solution, dont have one yet. It was an eye opener for the elders. Hard to open a drawer and have roaches run over your hands.Or to clean maggots from a refrigerator. We will ponder and pray about this. Oh, and our little vehicle we like to call a car, had a dreadful noise, found out there are serious problems with the suspension. It is now waiting for parts- for 3+ weeks and is not safe to drive. So back on the bus, and considering our options there as well. I think the multiple holes on the highways and byways finally took their toll.
The next few pictures are from an Ester egg dyeing activity we had, hope you appreciate the small space and the seriousness all had , this was serious  business. Victor at the end is very intent.

Some were wood, some were real eggs

Remember Elder Bekker? He is back as a U of Utah intern, with a beard

This was Moldovan roulette, 6 people had an egg to hit against their forehead, one was not boiled. Elder Welling in the middle had  the egg on his face. Notice Chiril trying to tell whether he was the lucky one?

The next few pictures are from the display in the park, There were 20 pictures of the Savior at different parts of his earthly life, depicted.

Sister Cooley arranged all of this , getting the pictures  and permission. Every day the police checked to see if permits were in place.

Elder Huntsman

2 fine Ukrainian missionaries at the table, Sister Strader and Elder Soloviov

Next couple of pictures are from the park, Cathedral park. It is nice and green  here, unlike the snow we left behind in Canada

These little purple flowers are everywhere

An interesting sculpture, it seems to be Mary crying, holding a crucified Christ. Deb quite liked it, especially the tear, Myself, not so much.
So to end this post, anyone got a car to lend? We may be renting for a week or so. I was n the bus yesterday, and while nice and interesting, it is hard to get our materials around.

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