Sunday, April 26, 2015

It has been a busy week.  There has been a lot of illness here on the island with the younger missionaries.  Not quite sure what is going around but almost every companionship has someone ill.  WE have everything from cold and flu to depression.   WE have made numerous trips back to Nicosia taking missionaries to the doctors.  There is a really good doctor there - Dr. Lucy - who is great to work with.  She is from the states but married a Cypriat years ago and lives and practices here.  She is a very good doctor and likes Americans and Europeans which helps.   WE pray every night for their well being and that we won't have any more have to go home!!!

Here's Elder Jacobsen using his carpentry skills.  Putting together a shelving unit for the bathroom.  Thanks goodness for IKEA!

This is the name of our new street.  It helps me know where I am and it is a name I can recognize.

We had a fun branch activity watching "Meet the Mormons."  No one here had seen it sow they really enjoyed the evening.  Again, I cry every time - both at the football mom/wife and with the missionary mom at the end.  You will be glad that I now can get through "Called to Serve" without crying.  It may be impart that I am trying to sing it in Greek and don't have a clue to what I'm saying!!!
The first line, phonetically would sound like this:


You see what I mean?!?

I'm liking the oven in our new place.  So far thing have turned out okay.

This young woman is Despina.  She joined the church at age 16.  She was actually featured in a video about Cyprus when Elder Christopherson came last summer.  She is an outstanding young lady and so energetic and happy.

This is Joe and Kim.   They are from Tazmania but spending a couple of months her and in Athens.  He is a podiatrist and doing some internships.  We love having them here even if it is only for a few short months.  It is so wonderful to see valiant members serve wherever they are.

This is where we get the car washed.  There are lots of car washes around because no body owns their own homes and have access to water and such.

This was the scene this morning at the beach.  It is going to be a gorgeous day and they are getting ready for the crowds.  They put up all the chairs, covers and umbrellas.  We may just venture down again this evening to see what it is like then.

Sunday, April 19, 2015


Yes, we are now in Larnaca and loving it.  After multiple trips back and forth daily we are now pretty much here except for a trip back once or twice a week to handle some finances for the mission in Nicosia.

A few things we have noticed is that the humidity is a lot higher here on the coast.  Sometimes things don't even get dry after being hung out all day.  This will take some planning and adjusting.  WE have been combining our apartment things with those of the previous couple(s) -  (we had to shut down our apartment in Nicosia).  So we have a lot of duplicates PLUS the fact that 5-6 other senior couples have lived in this apartment and they all collected A LOT of stuff.  We are going through everything and purging what is way out of date, no longer useful or just plain not necessary.  We have multiple outdated manuals, instruction booklets, etc.  It is a long process.

We have been walking down on the waterfront each morning and loving it!  They have set up some small exercise stations that Bill does and I take off and head down the coast for 1.5 miles and then turn around and come back.  The weather is beautiful and the scenery every better.

The sunrise that greets us each morning.  We are about a 15 minute walk away.

Lots of hotels and they just announced we are getting six more.

One of the local mosques.

Looking down the street at Lazarus's church.

We are trying to find out where to shop and get gas and things like that.  Everything is new right now. We did find a farmer's market on Saturday which was fun.

We had zone conference on Friday and it was, again, wonderful.  I am amazed at the things we are taught and by the people who teach us.  Pres. & Sis. Freestone are such rocks and teach us so much.  I want to be like them when I grow up!

A 'selfie' during a break.

Our little but awesome zone.  Even though our numbers are small they are mighty in spirit. 

We attended our first district planning meeting on Saturday. We are so fortunate to have an Cypriat husband and wife in our branch.  Very unusual.  Pantiotis and Georgia are wonderful and so enthusiastic about the gospel.  Pantiotis is our Branch Mission leader.  They have the missionaries out every week and feed them wonderful dinners and then help discuss the missionary work for the area.  It will be wonderful working with them.  They are learning English while we are still trying to learn Greek.  I think - I know - they are a lot further along than we are.

Us with Pantiotis and Georgia

The younger missionaries helping with the dishes.  They only broke 2! 
Georgis, Sis. Dealy, Elder Tornor, Sis. Mueller & Edler Dastrup.  Elder Dastrup is actually from Chicago and one of the few American missionaries here.

We attended our meetings today and they were very good.  Such a melting pot of nationalities and personalities. 

The sister missionaries asked me to help today with the Young Women's class and their lesson was on grace.  One of the attributes of grace the lesson said was to endure to the end.  I shared with them Bill's thought on enduring to the end:  ENJOY to the end.  I loved that and constantly change the words whenever I read them.  I am going to try to ENJOY to the end of this mortal experience and hope that I can have a positive influence on those around me.  So with that, I hope you all ENJOY your coming week and find someone to share the gospel with.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Easter - Part 2

Yes we are still celebrating Easter here.  This week it is the Eastern Orthodox Easter Celebration.  They celebrate all week with different happenings in the community and at the churches.  The majority of the stores close up and the people enjoy spending time at the parks and with family.  They put up Easter decorations just like Christmas.  They also light huge bonfires and set of fireworks all night long.  Literally, ALL night long!


We have spent the week wrapping things up here in Nicosia.  It is sad to leave.  Here is a last Greek pita at the old city and a stop at the farmers market.  We will really miss both of these places.

Our weather has been pretty typical for this time of year here.  Cool in the morning, the sun comes out and it is beautiful and then the clouds come in and it rains.  We are enjoying it though because everyone tells us that once the heat comes there is little relief.

One adventure this week is that I starting practicing my driving on the left side of the road.  Bill was a little nervous to say the least.  I'll get better I promise!  (I drove home from church today and we made it safe and sound.  It helped that no one was on the road because of the holiday!)

In our new home town - Larna

PSca - they have these down at the waterfront for people to ride in.  This reminds me of Cinderella.

Today we watched the Sunday morning session of conference.  I had already watched it and made notes but watching it again I heard new things.  How grateful I am for the leaders and their words of counsel and guidance for us  One of my favorite questions today was:  Is the gospel still wonderful to you?  Just asking myself this question makes me stop and say YES! and then ponder and list all the ways and why.  So grateful to have it in my life and the life of my family  Life is good and we are so blessed.  

Have a great week!

P.S.  This picture is for Dawna.  They have lots of franchises here.  Fitness is a pretty big business here and the gyms are always packed.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Easter Week #1

This was a good week.  We were able to help the elders and sisters out.  Our darling trio of sisters have to split their time between two cities that are 90 minutes apart.  Right now they spend one week at each place and then trade.  They are upbeat and working hard.
Sisters Indelicato, McKenna and Bakewell

This is the Hansen's last week here.  They have served valiantly for 23 months and are heading back to Idaho.  They will be greatly missed!!!  We spent Saturday afternoon and evening with them.  They took us to the Larnaka mosque which is supposedly where Mohummad's mother-in-law is buried.  We then went and ate at a great Chinese restaurant.

Here are the Reeves and the Hansens (in the middle).

This was inside the mosque. Very different from the Greek Orthodox sites at the are completely covered inside with icons and paintings.  This was very minimal and only used occasionally.

We had the opportunity to go and visit Jacob and another new member in the Turkey side.  The new fellow's name is Ambassador Chad and is from Zimbabwe.  He is a student in international relations. We had the sacrament, a short lesson and a good visit.  They are excited to have found each other and each have 2 more years of schooling.  

This will be a busy week with trying to shut down our apartment in Nicosia and prep for the big move.  I'm starting to panic big time as I think about all of our new assignments and  how and if I can do them.  Bill is so patient and just reminds me to take it one day at a time and to breathe.

Just had to add this pic.  Ice water is a rare thing here.  You never get ice in a restaurant unless you specifically ask for it and then they give you 2 ice cubes.  AT home I always had a glass of ice water on the counter and so this makes me feel right at home.

Oh, did I tell you we have another Easter coming up?  Yes, the Greek Orthodox celebrate Easter this week.  Everything closes down starting on Thursday with major celebrations at the churches each day ending on Sunday.  It will be fun and interesting to observe.

We got to watch 2 sessions of conference (Saturday's) at church yesterday.  Loved every minute of it. We had a pot luck dinner in-between sessions.  Loved the spirit of the brethren and their timely messages.  Love to all!