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, January 25, 2007

First Missionaries Return to Moldova!

Here they are! The first group of missionaries called to serve in Moldova! They are Elder Sperry, Elder Shawver, Elder McKeeth, Elder Woodhouse, Sora Durfee and Sora Trujillo. Wednesday, January 24th, was our Transfer meeting. I wish you could have seen the energy and excitement. Elder McKeeth was called first as the District leader. The fun thing about this is that when missionaries were kicked out of Moldova two and a half years ago, Elder Kidd was one of the two missionaries arrested. Elder McKeeth came in the country months later and guess who his dad/trainer was? Yep, Elder Kidd! (I found that piece of trivia out after transfer meeting!) Right after Elder McKeeth was called, Elder Sperry was called to be his companion and not only were all the missionaries cheering but everyone started clapping and the clapping didn't stop until well after Elders Shawver, Woodhouse, Soras Durfee and Trujillo were called. Everyone was so happy! The dream has become reality! We sang Strange Rodul with as much power and enthusiasm as I have ever heard it! Last night the missionaries all boarded a train and arrived in Chisinau this morning. The best part was that each of them proudly wore their name tags! Even when we were in the country before we were not allowed to wear name tags. The sisters had their apartment ready for them and moved right in. We also have one apartment ready for the elders and it will be shared by all four of them. We are in the process of looking for another apartment. This week we received a letter from the Area Presidency telling us our missionary complement has been raised to twelve more missionaries. All the prayers and fasting of many missionaries, past and present, are answered! The prayers of our members in Moldova are also answered. They are so happy to have the missionaries back!
This group is the six mini/temporary missionaries that are serving with our full-time missionaries in Romania this transfer. It's the biggest group of temporary missionaries we have ever called at one time. They are all excited and have helped make it possible for our full-time missionaries to return to Moldova! Many people are working for the work to progress in Moldova. We love you all and thank you from the bottom of our hearts! Thank you to everyone who has fasted and prayed for this to happen!
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Monday, January 22, 2007

Getting ready to go into Moldova . . .

The last couple of weeks have been really busy! Once we got the go ahead to return to Moldova we really started the ball rolling! About a week and a half ago President Ashby took one of his Assistants, Elder Stokes, with him to Moldova to get some things in motion. One of the main things they wanted to do was to thank the Minister of Cults for his help in the process. They presented him with a beautiful church statue of the family called "Family Ties". He was very touched and thanked them profusely. They accomplished a lot in two days and as they finished their work and were coming home, Sora Lofgreen wrote me an email talking about the things they did. I thought it would be fun to include her words here:
"What a whirlwind week meeting with attorneys on Visa issues and President Ashby's visit. He came to thank the Minister of Cults and the govenment for recognizing the Church and we got to round out his itinerary. He also met with our NGO's (Non-Government Organizations) counterpart - the Humanitarian arm of the U.S. State Dept. and the Society for the Blind; interviewed the 18-year old young man who has been so helpful to us with computer issues, for the Melchizedek Priesthood; gave a young lady her mission call - Moscow, entering the Provo MTC on 3rd of April; met with the Branch leaders, YSA and missionary committee to prepare for return of missionaries; met with the CES/Outreach couple; spent half an hour making street contacts; gave the first discussion to the non-member mother, who lives here in Moldova, of a recent Romanian convert and gave her an inscribed Book of Mormon; attended the opening of the container of sweaters, hygiene kits and school kits for the Society of the Blind that we've been expecting since early December and met with the Society leadership; took the senior couples to a very nice lunch; and spent the afternoon with his Assistant and our interpreter (Russian and Romanian) selecting missionary apartments. Other than that, he would have had some time for sigjhtseeing! :) The first missionary pair will likely be here before the end of the month and have an aprtment waiting for them. We wore our missionary badges all week! Previously, we wore them only in Church. This week we proudly wore in public our badges that say "Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints"! President Ashby noted that bronze plaques (in Russian and Romanian) are being made for the Villa (Chapel) here identifying it as a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. To say that the people are excited is a bit of an understatement. Karen and I are now speaking in the small Orhei (Ore-hay) Branch about an hour away on Sunday. Couples could not give talks, lessons or blessings previously.
As you can see, official recognition brings a host of changes. And it will bring many blessings to the nation of Moldova, as President Ashby noted to the Minister in their discussions."

This couple photo is of the Lofgreens and I thought their comments explained very well what went on there last week!

The first photo is of Elder Stokes with Oxana and her son, Stas, the two members from Moldova (who are living in Romania) whose mother President Ashby and Elder Stokes gave a first discussion to while in Moldova.

The last two photos are of President Ashby meeting with the charity organization members, the Lofgreens, and helping as they unloaded the truck of donations for the blind society.

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