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

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Romania Bucharest Mission - THREE Countries!

Did you know our mission actually includes three countries? Many people don't because the little country of Transnistria, located between Moldova and the Ukraine, is so small it is often overlooked. And, because it will not allow missionaries in its borders not many of our missionaries even realize it is actually considered a part of this mission. We thought some of you might be interested in knowing a little bit about this tiny country and have included a note sent to us from Elder Blacoe explaining where it is, what, and how it came to be. So for those of you interested, here is Elder Blacoe:
Attached is a quick document I put together on the third country in your mission.
William Victor Blacoe
Welfare Department manager
Europe Central Area
Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic
Transnistria, also known as Trans-Dniester and Pridnestrovie, is a breakaway territory within the internationally recognized borders of Moldova. Although not recognized by any state or international organization and de jure a part of Moldova, it is de facto an independent state called the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic.
Although the PMR does not have such legal status within Moldova, it functions like a state, and is organized as a republic. Transnistria declared independence from Moldova, but within the Soviet Union on September 2, 1990, as the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic. This was declared void by then-Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachov.
After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, in March 1992, a war between Moldovan and Transnistrian separatist forces started in the region. In mid April 1992, in accordance with the agreements concerning the split of the military equipment of the former Soviet Union, negotiated between the former 15 republics in the previous months, Moldova created its own Defense Ministry. According to the decree of its creation, most of the 14th Soviet Army's military equipment was to be retained by Moldova. Volunteers came from Russia and Ukraine to help the separatist side ("Cossack Companies"). The former Soviet 14th Guards Army entered the conflict in its final stage, opening fire against Moldovan forces; since then, Moldova has exercised no effective control or influence on PMR authorities. A three-party (Russia, Moldova, PMR) Joint Control Commission supervises the security arrangements in the de-militarized zone, comprising 20 localities on both sides of the river.
Transnistria functions as a presidential republic, with its own government and parliament. Its authorities have adopted a constitution, flag, a national anthem, and a coat of arms. They organized a military and a police force (militsya). They have a postal system and stamps, although it is not internationally recognized and, apart from local mail, their stamps are of value only to collectors. Transnistrian institutions, like the state itself, have no international recognition. Nonetheless, the population is able to travel (normally without difficulty) in and out of the territory under PMR control to neighboring Moldovan-controlled territory, Ukraine, and on to Russia, by road or (when service is not interrupted by political tensions) on two international trains, the year-round Moscow-Chişinău, and the seasonal Saratov-Varna. International air travelers rely on the airport in Chisanau, the Moldovan capital. Despite the fact that when Moldova proclaimed its independence, the majority of Transnistrian territory was already controlled by separatists, 400,000 Transnistrians (the majority of the population) took Moldovan citizenship by 2007.
A 1,200-strong Russian military contingent (the Operational Group of Russian Forces in Moldova of the Moscow Military District), as well as over 20,000 tons of Russian-owned weapons and munitions are present in Transnistria. The Russian contingent was originally the Soviet 14th Guards Army, but in the late 1990s it was redesignated as a Operational Group. Moldova and the OSCE demand their withdrawal. According to a verdict issued by European Court of Human Rights, the presence of these troops is illegal (breaking the July 21 1992 agreement), and Transnistria is "under the effective authority or at least decisive influence of Russia".
Transnistria is sometimes compared with Nagorno-Karabakh, Abkhazia and South Ossetia. All four are post-Soviet frozen conflicts, and except for Nagorno-Karabakh, the tensions in these areas have risen to large-scale military conflict after the independence of Moldova and Georgia from the Soviet Union, while Russian troops and/or volunteers from Russia were largely present

Monday, September 24, 2007

Ploiest District Conference

This weekend we held the Ploiesti District Conference in Brasov. The weather was gorgeous. I wish it would be like this all year! The trees are starting to turn colors and Elder Banu reminded Pres. Ashby, myself and Elder Boardman that he would be the only one left in Romania (from this car)to see this beautiful sight again. What a brat he is! However, he is definitely entertaining. Elder Banu is from Brasov and is serving his full time mission in the Romania Bucharest Mission. It gets a little tricky whenever we have business in his home of Brasov. When ever you ask him to take a picture for you he always takes a picture of himself and then attempts to get the picture you asked him to take! Examples:

The conference was really special. Most of the chapel was full of people and the spirit was really strong. The following are a few of our members in attendance:

Last, but not least, is a picture of our wonderful, Ploiest District Zone. These missionaries are serving in Sibiu, Brasov and Ploiest.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Moldova Zone Conference

The last two weeks we have been traveling around the mission doing zone conference with our missionaries. For the first time in our mission, we decided to hold the Rom-Est conference in Moldova. We have one Russian missionary there (Elder Kozlenko) and he cannot leave Moldova to attend conferences because of visa problems. We did this so he could be a part of the conference. It was a wonderful experience and really fun for those in the zone who had never been to Moldova. However, the following pictures are not about our conference. The two photos of the food on the shelves are Branch President Verlon's "Bishop's Storehouse". This branch president is amazing. There are so many poor people in these countries that are in need of the basics of life and, President Verlon lives the gospel and makes sure he helps those in his branch who need him. The branch has very little money but he is faithful about making sure this tiny room has food on the shelves and when a member is in trouble he fills an order for them and makes sure they will eat. The small blue bags on the floor are a couple of orders he had ready to deliver. I guess this is really only significant to those of you who really understand what a sacrifice it is to give to the Fast donation fund to provide money for the poor. He truly lives the gospel and tries to run his branch the way the Lord wants it done. One of the other pictures is a young man holding a bell. His calling is to ring the bell when it is time to change classes. He does it with enthusiasm and is very happy with this calling. The last photos are of our two recently returned Moldova missionaries....Sora Ecaterina Iliuina and Elder Marin Dehtear.



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New Missionary - New Couple!

A week ago today we set Mihai Geambasu apart for his mission to Spain. He was so excited and it was such a wonderful evening. That same day we got a new couple to our mission---Steve and Joyce Hanson from California. They are an amazing couple and were trained specifically for Outreach. However, they have many talents and will be a great asset to our mission. For those of you who knew President Hanson (the last mission president here), Steve is his nephew.(They probably talked about us--hmmmm! :|)

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Mission Presidents Seminar

Once a year the Mission Presidents go to their own "Zone Conference" with the Area Presidency and other general authorities. Our trip was to the Swiss Alps in Grindelwald. It was a gorgeous place to be and the background was a wonderful setting for the amazing spiritual experience we had. We came back rejuvinated and anxious to share with our missionaries!