Sunday, November 30, 2014


This past week was a very busy one but a very good one.  We went to Larnaca to pick up Elder & Sis Manning from the mission office.  Yes, we are still working on the finances but making progress.  We were lucky enough to see the flamingos. They winter here and there are literally thousands of them.  This picture is a little far away and hopefully another time I will get a better one.

We spent the week getting ready for District Conference.  Lots of meetings and preparation.  The conference was great and were all left inspired and motivated.  We had our area authority come, Elder Christopher Charles and his wife.  They are from England but he is Greek by birth and she is Muslim by birth.  They have an amazing conversion story.

On Friday, we had a Thanksgiving dinner for our missionaries.  They are all from the UK but had heard about American Thanksgiving dinners and wanted one - so why not??  Finding a turkey over here is not easy, especially at the last minute.  Next time we will order in advance.  It was fun nevertheless and they loved it.  My favorite part was when we went around the table and each said what were were grateful for - we all really focused on the important things and especially our Savior and His love for us.   

(notice Bill's beverage of choice? Yes, the habit continues)

Our two wonderful sisters:  Sister Hall and Sister Hubey

Elder Deighton

We love these young missionaries and the work they are doing.  Elder Deighton and Sis Hubey came out just 3 weeks before us so we are all still the greenies in the mission.

This is a statue of Markious - ruler here in Cyprus during the mid 1900's.  He was the political and spiritual leader of the Greek Orthodox Church and Cyprus.  This statue is in the old city where we love to go and explore.  He was a Greek Cypriat and both loved and disliked by many.

We are waiting to go to another planning meeting.  This next week promises it be another busy one which we like.  Downtimes are hard - we like being busy and tired.  At our conference today we had quite a few investigators which was very encouraging.  WE also had a pot luck afterwards and fed close to 75 people.  All the members bring something and they really put on quite a spread.  I took spicy meatballs that you cook in the crockpot and they have become quite the hit with the missionaries along with Marilyn Roberts' banana cake.  Thanks Marilyn!  We have such a diverse branch membership that you really get a little bit of everything.

The Christmas spirit has started here.  It seems a little surreal to me.  Hopefully we will be able to experience some wonderful traditions and happenings.  love to all.

Monday, November 24, 2014


This past week we had some wonderful happenings.  The first was a baptism in the Mediterranean Sea.  The girl's name is Jane.  She is Phillipino and works as a domestic.  She was so sweet.  What an amazing setting.   The fellow on the far left below is a native Cypriat who was baptized with his wife a few months ago.  Truly amazing.  They give up so much when they join the church.  They are speaking in our upcoming conference. The fellow on the right is getting ready to go on a mission soon.

Here are some pictures of the old city.  It is surrounded by a rock wall.  It is divided in half by the 'green line' between the section ruled by Turkey and the Cyprus section.

Here you can see a mosque and one of the many old, narrow streets.

Here we had Greek pitas and were serenaded by this fellow.  They put french fries in the pitas and gyros.

Found this little (or not so little) guy on my morning walk. They are a popular item at the grocery store but pretty sure they won't come home in my basket!!

There is a nice nursery just a couple of blocks from our flat.  I pass it every morning on my walk.  I decided to buy this little geranium to brighten up our space and because it reminds me of my mom.  She loved and grew geraniums for many years.

We had a pot luck after church this past Sunday.  Since Sunday is the only day the majority of our members have off we wanted to have something where we could meet and mingle.  It was a huge success. We had 35 out to our meetings that day.  We are really trying to develop and unity among the members and hopefully we are headed in the right direction.  This branch is the closest thing to family that most of them have.

We have District Conference coming up - lots of meetings and things to do.  It will be wonderful to hear from our local leaders.  Bill and I both get to speak and will also be taking part in the auxiliary training sessions.

Monday, November 17, 2014


Today we went on an outing with the missionaries in our zone to Kourion.  It is about 90 minutes from Nicosia and is the site of some ancient (100 AD) ruins.  The missionaries loved the break from their regular schedule and the weather and sites were beautiful.

This is an amphitheater that is actually still used at times.  It is one that when you stand in a certain spot at the bottom and just speak in a normal voice you can hear it everywhere in the theater.

These are views of the Mediterranean Sea - so incredibly beautiful.  The restaurant shown here is the same one we ate at when we came here two years ago with the Drakes.

Some of the remains of Apollo's temple.

The sisters.

The elders - enough said.

The remains of an alter.

This is called the sacred road leading to Apollo's temple.

Apollo & his wife at the end of the sacred road!?!?!

All in all it was a really good day.  We went back to Limassol and had lunch.  It is heartwarming to watch these missionaries interact with each other and to get to know them better.  They are so good!!!  We were tired but happy when we arrived back to our 'flat.'

Tuesday, November 11, 2014


Well, I guess we must be becoming true Cypriats.  Bill has mastered driving on the left side of the road, I have mastered not flinching every time I think we are turning wrong, and Bill has become a horn honker.  I tried and tried to get him to use the horn at home and he wouldn't but here it is a different story.  You have to honk to survive in this traffic.

Also, we have deposited junk on the curb.  I know, sounds horrible doesn't it?  But apparently here it is very normal that if you have something you don't want you just find an empty lot and leave it there and someone usually comes and gets it.  So, last night under the cloak of darkness, we dropped off two broken chairs and an old microwave on the vacant lot across the street.  Yes, sure enough this morning all were gone.  Now if someone would just come get the old mattress!!
Seeing this makes me so grateful for Santa Clara and home.

Not the prettiest site to see every morning!!!!

We also went over into the Turkey side of the island.  We went to visit a member who lives there.  His name is Jacob and he is a student.  Student visas don't allow them to cross over the "green line" so once a month we will be visiting him to give him the sacrament, a short home teaching lesson and just see how he is doing.  He is amazing.  So incredibly humble and a smile like no other.  Think Adam Heini (Timo).  He shared with us his conversation story and his testimony.  He has two more years of school so hopefully we will become good friends.  He is from Nigeria, a convert and a return missionary.

This is us with Jacob and Sis. Bingham.  She is from Oakley, UT

North Cyprus is so very different from where we live.  You cross the boarder with your passport and cannot wear your missionary badges or ties.  Everything is quite depressing.  There is no color - everything is gray or tan.  No trees, flowers, grass, etc.  The people all look very serious and suspicious.  It made us very grateful to cross back over into Nicosia and arrive home (thanks to our trusty GPS Garmin).

Another Cypriat quality we have adopted is drying clothes on a foldable clothesline.  Very few apartments have dryers.  AT first I thought that would be difficult but it really is bad at all. Here is ours on our deck.

The sun really does wonder for bleaching whites.

Bill had to go to the bank to make an appointment for a visiting mission official on Friday.  Here you just can't go to the bank and talk to someone.  You have to make an appointment.  So while he is gone I decided to make some bread (thanks Dawna for the recipe and demo).  Hopefully it turns out.  I like to take the missionaries something when we have District meeting. That is tomorrow.  Did I mention how amazing our missionaries are?  

Friday, November 7, 2014

Well, we must be learning a lot because things have definitely slowed down and we are able to catch our breath a little.  Our weather is still fantastic but you can tell the cooler weather is just around the corner.

We have been busy helping the missionaries get their 'go bags' ready and then making sure their food storage is up to date.  A lot of what we do is missionary support and aid.  Some of our teaching appointments have cancelled which is disappointing.  We also have driven down to Larnaca twice but it has been at night so we have missed seeing the beautiful coastline.

We did meet a new young member.  Her name is Ingrida and she is from Latvia.  She has been a member for about 6 weeks.  It is had for her to get to church because she works 6 days a week and her day off is seldom Sunday.  But she is devoted and hopefully good things will work out for her.

These are the wonderful missionaries in our area.  Sis. Huby from France, Sister Hall from England, and Elders Deighton and Boyce also from England.  Both Sis Hall and Elder Boyce are converts to the gospel.  They are a joy to work with and amazing missionaries.

Working away in our little place.  You can see the little washing machine in the background.  Very small and there is no dryer.

Again, as you can see, you park wherever you want!

Hope all is good back home!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Lots to learn!

Well we have been here for almost two weeks and have learned a lot! and there is still a lot more to learn.  I forgot to post a photo of us with one of our trainers at the MTC.  It was Elder Nick Gubler from Santa Clara, UT.  His parents are Shan & Sue Gubler.  He was darling and it was so fun to have someone from home.

This week Bill had special training so he can do all of the finances here on the island.  A wonderful couple from the mission office came for 3 days to train.  Needless to say at the end Bill's brain was hurting a little!!!  This couple is from outside of London and were so very,very nice.

Here I am with Elder and Sister Manning.  We are taking a lunch break at KFC.  We are still getting to know our area and haven't found any local eateries and who doesn't like a good chicken leg now and then??

This morning on my walk I went down to this large park.  IT was really nice and very pretty.  It takes about 15 minutes walking to get there.  Today was my first day but Bill and I will go back together.  They have a large children's area, tennis courts, etc.  One thing I have noticed on my walks is that people don't like to look you in the eyes - maybe is it just me they don't want to look at.  It probably didn't help that was wearing a Washington DC t-shirt.  They really don't like America too much here.  I have enjoyed walking every morning.  Have met a cute older (80) gentleman down the street.  He is out every morning sweeping his front porch and sidewalk.  He speaks a little English so we someone manage a little conversation.  I usually just smile and say "kalamera" which is good morning.  Who knows, I may pass out a Book of Mormon sometime down the road.  I'll have to get a picture of him to post.

This is Elder Jacobsen at the grocery store.  It is two levels and you put your cart on this little trolley that takes it up and down.

Elder Jacobsen and Harry - investigator at the Halloween Party. He just arrived here from India 3 weeks ago.  He is a student.

Musical chairs - a party staple.

Sister Tess - a return missionary

These 3 sisters did a great job putting the party on.  They are wonderful members.
Sisters Rhoda, Bernadette & Sally

Tomorrow we are heading to Larnaca to visit another senior couple.  It is on the coast so it will be fun to see more of the island.  All is all is has been a very good week!