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.

My Photo
Location: Bucharest, Romania

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

District Conference starts a miracle...

Two weeks ago we held District Conference in Bucharest. One of our members came and brought four or five deaf people with him from his city of Alexandra. One of the people stood up and translated into sign language. It was so fun watching them because of the huge smiles on their faces. They often nodded their heads in agreement with what was being said. They asked us if we would come to their city and teach them the gospel this next week and we agreed to do so.
Not five or six people showed up but almost 100 were there waiting for us! Instead of an intimate discussion it was like a huge church meeting! They were so happy and accepted Books of Mormon of the elders. They agreed to read their assignments and made us promise to come back next week.
It reminded me of the early missionaries in the church who converted hundreds of people in towns in England. I don't know what will happen here but I do know the spirit was strong and their hearts were open. The rest is in God's hands. Now we have to figure out how we're going to do this! A problem we are happy to tackle by the way! Posted by Picasa

The Ultimate Discussion!

No, you're not looking at a church meeting---this is a "discussion". These people were glued to us and to our message. So many times missionaries walk in buildings and people get mad at them or spit on them. We walked in here expecting a few people and there were 72 people who stood up and clapped when we walked in! We couldn't believe it. We work so hard to find the House of Israel to teach and here they were--waiting for us!--scores of them!
The people were humble and extremly attentive. They all received Books of Mormon and eagerly set up another appointment to learn more. The miracle of this is that a member set up this meeting. He happens to have been a member for ten years and is very faithful. He and his wife travel an hour and a half each way to come to church each week. He is a potential leader in this town. If there are many baptisms here we have a good man who could take care of this branch. You can't say the Lord isn't watching out for his people!
By this second discussion people were coming up to us and asking to be put on our "list". We were a little confused at first until we realized they meant the "list" for baptism.
Read the story in Alma chapter 32 about the people who were cast out of the synagogues and you will know a little bit of who these people are. The priests here often kick these people out of the churches because of their handicap. They believe in God, love their families and want to worship and teach their children about Christ. Our message spoke to their hearts. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, May 20, 2006

John & Lenore - Mission Photo (for our kids!)

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Elder Nelson comes to visit...

What an honor it is for our members to have an apostle of the Lord visit them. I can't tell you what a wonderful experience this was. As our meeting houses are very small we rented a hall at the Expo center in Bucharest and had about 700 members from all over Romania and Moldova attend. Thanks to the generosity of friends in the U.S. and couple missionaries many people were blessed with a train ticket and the opportunity to hear this wonderful man speak. I wish you could have seen the many tears and joy in the faces of our members. It was a dream come true for them and one they know will not be repeated very soon.
Elder Nelson dedicated the land of Romania for the preaching of the gospel on February 9, 1990 on a small hill in Cismigiu Park. This park is very beautiful with many trees, gardens and a little lake. The land was dedicated two months after the people revolted and overthrew the communist leader, Ceausescu. Religous freedom was now a possibiity and the missionaries entered Romania.
These photos are of Elder Irion with his grandfather, Elder Nelson, and Elder Nelson's new wife Wendy. It was night time and very dark but Elder Nelson wanted to visit the site where he dedicated this land.

Posted by PicasaPresident Ashby goes over the dedicatory prayer with the Nelsons and Elder and Sister Paul, a member of our Area Presidency.

The Romania Bucharest Mission!

This is a photo of our May Transfer meeting. Rarely is our whole mission together but, because of Elder Nelson's visit this week all of our missionaries were in Bucharest. We took this picture because we know it will probably not happen again! All but two or three of our missionaries are here. We currently have about 120 missionaries. John and I are in the middle of the first row. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, May 06, 2006

A few more faces...

To see the beginning of this story please scroll down and start with the entry "Flooding in Romania".

These photos show the faces of people waiting for help and trying to face difficult times with bravery and determination.

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"Indiana Jones", Pres. Ashby and the Security team!

So many people were involved to make this project a big success. A local charity in Bucharest donated guards and trucks to go with us. We thought that was silly at first but we learned that when people are hungry things can get a little disorderly and chaotic! They were worth their weight in gold!

Elder Johnston and President Ashby pose with their small army or guards!

Daniel and our chief-Big-Voice! His booming voice keep people in line and organized!

And last, but not least, our small army of missionaries who did all the work on our delivery day. Many other missionaries were involved with the packing and loading and we love and appreciate everyone who made this project such a success. Posted by Picasa

Tents and food

One thing that really impressed us was how these sweet ladies tried to make their tents into a home. The tents were clean, beds made and their few belongings were organized. They were trying to make the best out of a very trying and difficult situation.
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You brought us food

One woman picked up her bags of food, looked at us and said, "We were completely out of food today and didn't know what we were going to do...and then you came to us with food."

Another said, "You are Mormons. The Othodox brought us little crosses a few days ago, but you brought us food. Thank-you."

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The children

Innocent and so cute. They played with us, they laughed and were so happy for the things we brought. We know they don't realize the great stress their parents are under and we were glad for that. They were well-mannered and thanked us for everything we brought.

The tents in the back ground are from the military and are now the homes of these displaced people. They are worrying about winter as they fear there will be no help for them to rebuild their homes.
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The people

This was a very humbling experience. Many of these people were hurt and sorry they had to ask for food. They were embarressed and we felt so sad for them.  Posted by Picasa

We filled four big trucks....

...and traveled to villages where these supplies were needed.
The first was a village where many people had been waiting for hours for us.
The second was a tent city in the middle of farm land. It was tricky getting our big semi-truck though all the dirt roads to get there, but we made it.
The 3rd was a tent city not far off the main road, and close to another village, where the people living in this village had not suffered any damage to their homes. The people living in this tent city came from a village that was completely submerged in the river. Not even the chimneys on their roofs are showing. It is as though the village never even existed.

President Ashby poses with our wonderful truck driver. He drove places in that truck where I wouldn't take my SUV!

Beginning to distribute the food. Posted by Picasa

The Service Project

Once we had evaluated the devastation we knew the biggest need was clean water and food. The Romanian army had gone through and provided tents for many of the people and that was a blessing.

The church headquarters donated thousands of dollars and the Johnstons ordered and bought food, hygiene items, blankets and water.

For two days members and missionaries worked like crazy to organize the food and the hygiene items into individual packets to be distributed.
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Complete villages are destroyed

These pictures give you a small idea of some of the damage. There are complete villages buried in deep water. Everything those people knew and loved is gone. Many people escaped with the clothes on their backs and not much else. I don't think they believed the river would come as fast as it did and do as much damage as it did.

These homes are sitting in deep, muddy and litter strewn water. The homes are crumbling from the bottom up and eventually are all falling apart into the water. Posted by Picasa

Flooding in Romania

This past week has been busy and very tiring. Our Humanitarian couples, the Johnstons, have organized a service project for us to help people who have lost everything they own in the recent flooding of the Danube River in Romania. As we traveled through the south of the country we saw much devastation. This sweet, but sad little lady showed us her home. It has about 5 feet of water in it and the roof is collasping down into the home. The river is 10 kilometers out of its bed and now looks like a huge lake. The half of the village not affected fear the waters coming over the top of these sand bags to reach and destroy their homes too. Half the people are now living in tents on the hillside and getting food and water is a major concern. Posted by Picasa