Grandma Chubby's Stuff

I hope you enjoy my postings. My husband and I are serving a mission in Romania and have had some wonderful adventures. Each of us have experiences in our life that make us different from that time forth. These experiences have done that for us.

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Location: Bucharest, Romania

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Romanian Crest

In the summer of 2004 we first visited Peles castle. This beautiful castle was built by King Carol, a German who reigned in Romania during the last half of the 19th century. He was a good man. On his royal crest are these three words....Nihil Sine Deo....and we believe they exemplify his own personal beliefs. This crest is used today on all official documents and the words "Nihil Sine Deo" stand as a symbol for good and a nation under God. In Latin these words literally mean, "Nothing Without God". This is rather ironic considering the oppression the country was under during the rule of Communism.
When we first saw this crest in Peles castle we were immediately touched by the symbolism it represents for Romania. As missionaries we understand that in order to be happy and free, we do all things under the direction of our Father in Heaven. He loves us, he guides us to happiness and eternal life. When men follow the Savior and keep the commandments it is to them as it was to Captain Moroni's people: "Those who were faithful in keeping the commandments of the Lord were delivered at all times...(and) there never was a happier time among the people of Nephi." (Alma 50:22-23)
This is what we desire for Romania---to be a free and happy people with the blessings of the gospel in their land. Our mission is to help these people find God and truly be able to dedicate their lives to doing nothing without the direction of the Lord. Therein lies happiness. Posted by Picasa

Peles Castle

It was a beautiful spring morning when we stopped to walk around Peles castle on our way home after speaking in the Brasov Branch. This castle belonged to King Carol and was built in the mid-1800's. It is gorgeous and is kept in immaculate condition. King Carol was a German king who did much to improve Romania. He built railroads, improved the road system, cleaned the cities and really helped bring the country to a higher level of prosperity. He sold his own properties in Germany and built his castles with his own money. He was a good man who had only one child, a daughter, who died at about age 9 of an illness. His heart was broken. But he loved Romania and loved her people. It was in this castle, on the ceiling of the Arms room, that we found the old Romanian Crest. The words "Nihil Sine Deo" are in the middle of the crest. This means "Nothing Without God" in Latin. We too can do nothing without God and adopted this as our mission motto. Posted by Picasa

A handful of dynamite!

Who would have thought we would run into a baby lion at Peles castle? He wasn't too happy about being picked up and there was a battle of wills before the little guy finally settled down and agreed to be held. Lucky for President Ashby the baby's nails had been trimmed! Posted by Picasa

Baby Lion rests for a minute...

We got the picture when this little guy got tired of fighting John! He was a cute as could be but what a handful! Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Dima gets set apart for his mission to the Ukraine

A few days ago we had the opportunity to set apart another young man from our mission area to serve in the Ukraine Kyiv mission. Dmitrii Radion Fotesco is from our Branch in Chisinou, Moldova. He was so excited and nervous, all at the same time and was actually shaking part of the time. He couldn't take the grin off of his face. It was so fun to be with him.
John had a great interview with him and our office elders and assistants helped set President Ashby set him apart. He was in our home for a few hours and then left to fly to Utah and the Provo MTC.
I want to share one thing with you that really touched us concerning this event. Elder Thomas, who along with his wife, serve as our Humanitarian couple in Moldova. He wrote a little note to us that night after Dima's setting apart, and I would like to share it with you. It said:
"It was great to send another Saturday Evening Warrior down to you to be set apart this morning. This makes four missionaries serving from our branch. As we came home from the airport this morning in the maxi-taxi, Vova, the next missionary to send out, mentioned to one of the members that he got up at one o'clock this morning and walked to the airport to see Dima off. What faith this young man has. He joined the church in July of 2005."
This really touched us as we know that in order for him to walk to the airport he would have had to walk for at least 5 or 6 hours. The people here have so little money and yet they continually sacrifice to do all they can to show love and support to one another. Posted by Picasa

One last thing....

Whenever my mom made pie for us she always rolled out the extra dough and cut them into round shapes with a drinking glass. She then put little dabs of jam or cinnamon sugar on each one. She baked them and we had wonderful cookies. I loved them and for old times sake I did it today! Only problem was I put too much jam on them and the jam burned all over the pan. John didn't really like cleaning that part up but he did it for me. Ummmm good! Posted by Picasa

This one's mine!

There is no such thing as "pie" in Romania and John was so happy to get one that he peeled all the apples and cleaned the whole kitchen! It was great for me and we had fun together. Now, back to work! Posted by Picasa

Pie is for "P" day!

It's not often we get to take a "preparation day" but today we did it and of course, John wanted apple pie! As you can see, he very enthusiastically helped me make it. I'm not sure if more flour got on the crust or on him! Posted by Picasa

Thursday, March 16, 2006

The Iasi Primary Class

This is a picture of our curent primary in the city of Iasi. In an earlier entry I told you about a boy named Vasile who was coming to church every week. Since he started coming last fall we now have a Priary class of about ten little boys. Four of the boys are his brothers and the rest are friends. The boys dress in their best (as you can see!) and come to church. Usually 2 or 3 come for Sacrament meeting but once Sacrament meeting is over the rest all show up for Primary. They love Primary. They love the scripture stories and the songs. They are innocent and pure about coming to church. I don't think they know why they love it but it makes them feel good and they always show up. Sometimes one of them may say bad words or be naughty and the teacher makes them leave and go home. She tells them they can come back next week if they will try again to keep the rules and not say inappropriate things. These boys have never been taught anything about language and this seems to work the best. They are understanding the consequences of the choices they make. They love to come to Branch activities and always show up for those.

We are really excited because this is the biggest Primary we have in Romania. We miss seeing Primary children in our Branches and who would have ever thought our biggest Primary would consist of all non-member little boys who come on their own. They found the church on their own and their parents are not involved. But who knows....seeds are being planted right now so that perhaps one day, when they are old enough, they will make their own choice and join the church. They may be instrumental in helping the church grow in Romania! We love them! Posted by Picasa

Primary boys in Iasi, Romania

We caught these four young boys on the steps of our church as they were just arriving to come to Primary. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The Ashbys and the Moodys

After zone conference in the Mihai Bravu capella we pose for a picture. It turns out that John and the Moody's have a lot in common. As we drove hour after hour I learned about every person who ever went to Provo and BY High schools during the 1950's. They have a lot of common friends and neighbors and it made the driving time pass quickly. A lot of water under the bridge but it's true that old friends really never die! Posted by Picasa

Yes, we're really here!

Just had to show you we really were out on this cold, snowy day. We took a little time to show the Moody's around. Besides looking at Palaces and beautiful churches, we took them them to a locals piata (shopping bazaar) and went shopping. Sister Moody looked at a pile of rusy screw drivers and pliers carefully laid out on a blanket and wanted to know if this stuff really was for sale! "Of course!" I said. Many people shop this way because they can get what they need very cheaply. Sister Moody bought a beautiful red wool skirt made by a Romanian lady and was very happy about that.
John and I ended up getting a contact for the missionaries to visit. This young man spoke English and was interested in what we had to say. Hope it all works out! Posted by Picasa

A Palace of Stefan Cel Mare

The last ten days have been very busy as we have been on zone tour throughout the country with Dr. Moody and his wife Evelyn. They are now serving as our Area doctor and live in Germany. Dr. Moody gave a 2 1/2 hour presentation on everything you wanted (and much you probably didn't know you wanted!) to know about your body and how to stay healthy. He was quite entertaining and very informative! Hopefully this will help cut down on our sickness calls!
This palace is in the middle of the city of Iasi. It is said that the king only stayed over night here a total of two days once it was built. What a is really beautiful! Posted by Picasa