Monday, June 29, 2015

Monday morning:

Today is a wonderful day - the sun is shining and we had our walk at the seaside.  We are looking forward to this week:  a new month, payday, a new president, missionary lessons, talk preparations, Sunday lessons to prepare, etc.  The month of July will mark the halfway point of our mission - hard to believe isn't it???  It has really gone by fast and the next few months promise to do the same.  There is still so much we want to do and accomplish.

We took the sisters out to a nearby city to do some contacting and saw this herd of goats making their way down the road.

This day we went to visit a sister in the city of Agia Napa which is a tourist community.  During the months of November through April it is pretty much a ghost town but once the good weather comes it is booming.  This is one of the coastal areas that is very popular.    Sis. Miriam is from the Philipines and her service contract is over in September.  She has been here for 8 years.  We are so excited for her to be going home to her family.  

 The colorful boat you see is truly a PARTY boat in all ways.  The music was blasting and I know they were way over the 'person' limit.  People just kept getting on and on.  In the top picture you can maybe see the big black boat that is decorated to be a pirate boat - another party boat.

This was one of the small seaside places that people and families can come to spend the day. So incredibly beautiful.  This little lagoon was only about waist deep and perfect for young and old.  There is almost always a nice breeze blowing to keep things a little cooler.

WE always find a chapel when we go sightseeing.  We loved this one because of its blue roof. It is up on a hill overlooking the sea.

OKay, I know this is kind of lame but I had to celebrate that I actually cooked a whole meal.  It doesn't happen very often!  WE usually just grab something on the way home or fix something fast and easy.  I actually tried making the cauliflower rice that everyone is talking about.   Not too bad (I liked it better than Bill did).

We are doing great.  We have learned so much over the past 9 months and yet we know there is still so much to learn.  How grateful we are for this opportunity and adventure.  I sometimes wonder how we will adjust when we get home - our schedule is so different than what we knew and who knows what the future will hold.  But that is what makes life great isn't it?  You can experience new things and learn and grow and share and serve.  So grateful for the Lord's tender mercies which we see every day here and know are happening at home.  He truly does listen to and answer prayers.  His plan is a perfect one that we each must try to live and help others along the way.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!   Yes, it is Father's day here in Cyprus even though they have never heard of it.  For us it will really just be another Sunday of speaking in church, meetings, and some missionary work down at the seaside.  We are going to do some whiteboarding (setting up a whiteboard with some info on it and trying to get people to stop and talk).  We are really hoping that the police don't come and make us stop.  Will let you know later how that goes.

Here is a pic of Elder Jacobsen coming out of one of our favorite places:  Zorpas.  It is a chain of bakeries that are very popular in Cyprus.  There are a lot of them around along with a lot of other bakeries.  They eat a lot of bread here.  It's freshness doesn't last very long but it is very good - they also have good prices on pop and stay open 24-7.

We spoke at the Limasos branch today and then had lunch with the other senior couple, the Binghams.   Homemade enchiladas - YUM!  They had this mimosa tree out in front of their apartment.  It was brilliant orange just like the ones at home that are pink - made us a little homesick.

There was a big sand volleyball tournament here over the weekend.  Kind of fun to watch although not very good volleyball.

This is a betting store. Big business here in Cyprus.  There are probably 1-2 of these stores on every block downtown.   They are open 24-7 and always busy.

The work continues.  Our missionaries are fantastic and they never complain  -- just continue to go out and look for new investigators.  We Love Them!!!  This week they taught a gentleman from Italy.  Thank goodness Sis. Indelicato is Italian.  He is very Catholic and unlikely to change but was very nice and said the sisters could come back again.  

I know I look pretty frumpy here - but what ya going to do????

Sunday night we took the missionaries down to the seaside to whiteboard.  They really liked it and gave out a lot of books and got quite a few phone numbers. Keep your fingers crossed that some good things come from it.  We will definitely do it again.  The elders were famished when we were done so we brought them home and fixed them waffles -  they loved them but then again they were very, very hungry.  All in all a good week.  WE are gearing up for the next one.  Pres. Freestone is coming for his last visit - it will be hard to say good bye.  He has been amazing and taught us so much.  He served here with his wife as a senior couple then got called as the president.  They have been gone for 4 years - WOW.  We are so grateful for his service and devotion.  

His favorite thing that he always asks the missionaries is:

What are you going to do when you get home?  -  SERVE THE LORD!
What are you going to do for the rest of your life  -  SERVE THE LORD!

I love this.  I say it to myself often and when I do, nothing seems too hard.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Well this was a really busy week but few pictures to show.  The good news is that all the bikes worked well and none needed fixing - a big step in the right direction.  The biggest event of the week was that we had transfers on Thursday.  I'm not sure we've mentioned that when we have transfers in our mission everyone, and I mean everyone, gets transferred.  The whole mission is whitewashed as the missionaries say.   Since our mission is fairly small it is like a party because we pretty much all meet at the airport to pick up and sent out the transfers.  They have so much fun catching up and visiting with each other.  Sometime it is hard to get on our way.

We were sad to see Sisters Deeley and Mueller leave us but were excited to get Sisters Indelicato and Linekar.  Sis Linekar is brand spanking new from the Preston MTC.  She is from England and a little shell shocked.  She kept mentioning how warm it was and I was thinking - you aint' seen nothing yet sister!  I'm glad that there is now someone else struggling with the Greek language but I know that it won't be long before she is speaking like a native.  We are glad she is here with us.

We lost Elders Tornor and Mead and picked up Elders Teal and Dixon, both from England.  How grateful we are to the English for supplying us with such wonderful missionaries.  They hit the ground running and have some great plans for our area.

Lots of cancelled teaching appointments this week but we are all hopeful for the coming week.

Went to church today and there was a young lady from the States who works for BYU in the English department.  She is on her way to Israel and ended up in Cyprus for the weekend.  Such a fun visit we  had.  It was Pot Luck Sunday and she stayed and pitched right in serving and cleaning up.  She mentioned how wonderful it is that wherever you go in the world the church is the same you and you always feel right at home.

Found a great fish & chips place here in Larnaka.  We will be going back often I'm sure.

Today we had our first district meeting with our new missionaries - very impressive.  They have some great ideas to try to 'hasten' the work.  Here they are:

Sister Linekar from England and Sister Indelicato from Italy

Elder Teal from England and Elder Dixon also from England 

Looking forward to great things.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

I love Sundays!  Sundays in the mission field are the best.  You get to attend church, partake of the sacrament, be spiritually fed and connect with branch members and missionaries.  IT is also a day when you take stock of yourself and what you are doing (or supposed to be doing) and try to figure things out so you can so better.   There is so much to be done out here.  How do you find that fine line between leading and guiding to just being compassionate and doing it all for them.  I'm trying to recognize other's choices and ways of doing things are going to be different than mine and that is okay.  I am here to help and serve.

To recap the week, we made 4 trips to Nicosia on mission business -- mainly bikes.  Yes, the saga continues.

We really are beginning to think that a local bike shop is trying to sabotage us.  The missionaries take the bikes  in and the very same day the work  comes undone.  The pedal falls off again and then they put the wrong tube and liner in.  It just never ends!  So now whenever we have a bike issue we are taking them to Nicosia.  It is an inconvenience but we know that we can trust the people there and will get quality work and products.

Just a couple of fun signs that reminded us of home.

This aqueduct was built in 1746.  It was used up until 1939.  It is right in the city of Larnaka.  Pretty amazing to even comprehend how it worked for all those years and up until fairly recently.

We visited this church and were so glad we did.  One of the finest ones we've seen.  IT was built in the 11th century and has one of the rarest mosaics in the world. It is of the Madonna and child with two apostles on either side.  

The site was probably the best kept one we have been too.  They actually had real  grass!  The whole setting was very calm and serene.  Not commercialized at all.

Not sure you can see this very well. It is at the end of our street and the boys meet there daily.  I took the picture through our car window because I'm not sure how they would feel if I just walked up and took a picture.  They meet pretty much daily.  I'll try to get a better one later.  So typical of this culture and area.

Well, blogging must be good for the soul because I feel better already.  Hope everyone is having a great summer so far.  It seems strange to not have been part of the end of a school year.  It seems like a lifetime ago!