Sunday, January 31, 2016

January 31, 2016  This past week was really good.  We started off the week with a date night and went to the movies:

Went and saw Creed which is a sequel to the Rocky movies from way back when.  We actually quite enjoyed it.  Hard to see how age comes upon us all and how we handle it.  Rocky actually had quite a bit of wisdom to impart to the younger generation.  It was fun to be out together and just relaxing and enjoying the evening.  Nostalgia!

The highlight of the past week was our Senior Couples meeting in Pafos.  It was so much fun and informative at the same time.  Pafos was at one time the capital of Cyprus and is about 90 minutes from Larnaka.  Out of the four major cities it is the smallest with about 75,000 people.  It is a coastal city and beautiful.  It is were Paul and Mark taught from the scriptures.

We met at 10:00 in the morning and didn't stop until about 8:00 that night.  Good friends, great food and fantastic scenery.

We found this 'prayer' rolls in one of the churches.  

One of the earliest known 'baptism by immersion' fonts.

Paul's pillar.  Not quite what we were expecting but so much history behind it.  It is where he was lashed 39 times for preaching in the area.

This was an interesting sight.  Tradition has it that if you tie a scarf or anything else (ex:  plastic bag). on to this old tree your wish will come true.

Posing among the ruins - not sure which are the ruins!!??

This boat run aground just two years ago in a very bad storm. They have just left it there.

It was so fun to see some more ancient history.  I never get tired of being by the ocean.  Building up  memories to last a lifetime I hope.  It is so beautiful here!

Well, tomorrow we start February 2016.  Oh me, oh my!

Loving our way through!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

January 24, 2016  This has been a full week.  Transfers, traveling, a baptism and new leadership.  Transfers were on Tuesday and we lost Elder Potter to Nicosia.  We will really miss him!  We did get Elder Kittsell from England and hopefully will have pictures to post of him soon.  He is wonderful and we are looking forward to working with him.  We were lucky enough to keep our sisters, at least for a little longer.  They are doing amazing work here.

Elder Potter

Elders Ludengor, Shaner and Sharff

President and Sister Heder came over for some training and we had a mini zone conference.  The first part of the training was as broadcast from the Church and was excellent on missionary work and keeping and making commitments  and finding investigators.  The second part was with our zone followed up on the same.  Our missionaries absolutely love being together.  WE did lots of role playing and I'm getting to where I kind of enjoy it!  Well, kind of.  

Today we went to Limasos to reorganize their leadership.  The two new Elders - Shaner and Sharff spoked.  Oh my, very impressive.  I was furiously taking notes and amazed at their wisdom.  Both the Limasos and Pafos attendance is up which is so encouraging to see.  When I say up it is up from 13 to 18 which is fantastic!  These to cities do not have the Philippine work force that the other cities do and that makes quite a difference.

My morning walks are still one of my favorite times of the day  The sunrises never cease to impress and touch my soul.  As you can see, I am a little more bundled up.  We are much cooler than we have been but really not too bad.

Here we are heating up water for the baptismal font.  In spite of all the effort made, the water was still very very cold and Marcello almost changed his mind and got out twice.

But, he persevered and the baptism went well.  Another member who is also from Romania gave one of the talks.  He has only been a member for a year but did a great job.  It was so neat in that had his talked written both in Romanian and English.  He would read a few paragraphs in one language and then read the same thing in the other language.  It meant so much for Marcello to hear these messages in his own language instead of through an interpreter.

This was dinner after being on the road since 7:30 this morning  We have just enough time to relax for and hour or so before we have seminary.

All in all it has been another great week.  When I look at my planner every Sunday night the upcoming week looks pretty calm - but that is deceiving because by Monday night and Tuesday noon the days have all started to fill up.   That is good - that is what we came for!

January is a big birthday month for our family, so a special shout out birthday to QUINN, LIBBY, GARRETT, MARCIE AND JAKE!!

Love to all and remember to love your way and look for the good!

Monday, January 18, 2016

January 17  -  Today we went to Limasos to speak in church.  I can honestly say that the speaking part has gotten easier for me.  I no longer hyperventilate before I speak.  We speak every month in one of the branches and love meeting with the other members here.  I would love to think that this will continue when I get home (the part about it being easier not speaking every month!) but I know that there is a big difference between speaking to 15 people in a branch and 150+ in a ward!

Last week they had a YSA activity so we drove 3 young ladies from our branch to Nicosia.  The group was small but they had a great time being taught and then having fun.  The had a "spoons" tournament which was super.

The champions - Elder Bramley and Alex.

This is a very short post.  Probably should have just waited to next week but oh, well.  The flamingos have returned but we haven't been able to get a decent picture of them.   That will be our quest this week.  We have transfers on Tuesday, a couples meeting, some training on Saturday, a baptism on Saturday + the regular missionary things to do.  

We will be saying good bye to Elder Potter.  He is transferring to Nicosia.  We will miss him dearly.  He is from Missouri/Arizona.  He loves sports and was always asking Bill how the teams back home are doing.  A big baseball fan but also a fantastic missionary!!!

Here he is with Marcello who will be baptized on Saturday!!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

January 4-10 - good week, but then they are pretty much all good weeks, right?!?  It started off with FHE with the missionaries and the branch mission leaders and an investigator - Marcello.  IT was fun and Sis. Lutzinger was the winner.

Look what came in the mail this week - These awesome pillowcases from our ward.  It was so fun to read the names and messages written.  Made us a little homesick and missing such dear friends.  

This is one of the roundabouts with Christmas decorations.  The decorations will probably be there for another month or so.

Two former missionaries, Elders Boyce & Smith, came for a visit from England.  It was great to see them and hear how they are doing.  Both are very busy with ward callings and schooling.  We are so proud of them.

Sis. Georgia teaching us Greek.

Elder Potter with Marcello.  Marcello has a baptism date of the 23rd.  He is from Romania.s  Not sure he wants to be baptized in the sea because of the cold.  The missionaries are trying to talk him into it because otherwise we will all have to go to Nicosia and that would eliminate most of the branch from attending. We only have 3 cars in the branch so it would be hard to get people there.

with Elder Boyce.  Elder Boyce was in our very first area in Nicosia.  A convert to the church and a fantastic young man.

The elders just love to do selfies whenever they get someone's iPad!  
Elders Potter, Smith & Deighton.  They always have smiles on their faces which makes everyone around them happy too.

We had FHE with the Branch and talked about starting the new year and goals.  We also taught about Patriarchal Blessings.  There is no Patriarch near so very few have had their blessings.  It will be such a good thing for them if we can arrange it.  We are still working with Panyiotis and Georgia to go to the temple.  Hopefully they will be able to before we leave.  They are so loved by the missionaries here (many of which are from England) so when they attend the Preston Temple they will be surrounded by a lot of people who love and support them.  It will be a great day!

Many of you know that I choose a new word each year.  I thought I had one already for the year but have been impressed to change it to this:  

See the good - be the good!

Sound familiar?  I know, I totally stole it from KBYU but I love it and it reminds me to look for the positive and be the positive.  Wish me luck!!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!  Are we ready for 2016??  Absolutely!!  We have had a great past week.  We spent the week in Limsasos with all the missionaries.  We drove down and back each day but the young missionaries spent the entire week there staying the the missionaries there.  

DAY 1:  Service and a yummy meal.  DAY 2 and Day 3:  Book of Mormon read a thon.  We read the entire book in two days.  Believe it or not, some of our missionaries had never read the entire book. Well, now they have.  It was better than I had anticipated.  DAY 4:  Photo blitz plus a photo scavenger hunt.  The missionaries all sent in their photos of the past year and we had a long long picture show.  Then we sent them out on a photo scavenger hunt with a list of things they had to find.  The most interesting item was some Jehovah Witness missionaries. They not only found some but visited with them in their church.  DAY 5:  Jesus the Christ and testimony meeting.

It was a really great week but we were super tired afterwards and went to bed at 8:00 that night!!!

Lunch this day was 'go' boxes from McDonalds.

We had a white elephant gift exchange.  

Missionaries are goofy sometimes.  This armor set was the hit of the gifts.

This last day we had chalupas and everyone loved them.  It was a nice change up from all the fast food we had most of the week.  3 of the 4 senior couples drove down and back each day.  Leaving at 6:30 and getting home at 9:30 each day.  There are no 24 hour grocery stores here so it left no time for shopping or prepping meals.  Hence we had fast food for 3 of the 5 days.  

One of my friends that I walk with in the mornings gave me this for Christmas.  they are magnet book marks.  I was really touched by the kindness and will treasure them!

Well, we are headed into 2016 and looking forward to what it brings.  The time is going by way too fast with lots left to do.  AT this point we are asking ourselves:  have we made a difference?  What more can we do?  Who and what needs our help the most now?  There is so much that needs to be done and just not enough time.  We have grown to truly love the members there.  Their experiences and lives are quite a bit different than ours but their testimonies are strong and they have a desire to grow in the gospel.

Heres wishing everyone a wonderful, fantastic New Year - 2016!!!