Saturday, January 28, 2012

Our First Baptisms

One month ago on Christmas Day, Mo and Christine and granddaughter, brought an amazing non member Iranian man to church for the first time. Abbas enjoyed church and brought his family the very next week.  We began teaching them immediately.

Abbas and Sara accepted the gospel with all their hearts. They could not get enough of the truths we taught them.  They  were and are truly golden.

From the moment we met Sara and Abbas, we could feel their hearts were prepared  by the Lord, and they were pure, sincere and elect, ready to receive the Gospel. 
Sisters Roberts and Virkamaki taught and helped us learn to  teach the lessons to these wonderful people! We will get to teach them the New Member discussions on our own!

What a blessed day this has been!  Words can't describe the feelings we have,

to see this amazing man,Abbas,

and his sweet wife, Sara, enter the waters of baptism. Tomorrow Elder Christensen will confirm them members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints!

We can only imagine the potential and influence they will have for good in the Church and Kingdom of God.

A few more pictures of the baptismal gathering at Bro. Georgevi'a pool.
 Kimmia and Pantiota (branch member Terisita's daughter) playing after the baptism.

 Abbas is a great father.  He tries to feed Korosh here, and is always so much help to Sara with the children.

 Grandpa is always a big hit with the kids, especially Kimmia.

 Korosh isn't that interested.

You can easily see that he loves me!

Some of the members that attended the baptism.

Of course, we always have to have food at a baptism-- to go with the Spirit.


Cat photo of the week.

Okay, I cheated and got it off my friend Valentin!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Shepherd

The other day we came upon a flock of sheep and thought the symbolism or our mission and gathering in His sheep might make a good picture.

The trouble was, that we couldn't get a good picture together without a camera man- and besides, the sheep just ran from me.

So we asked this "friendly" shepherd to take our picture together with the sheep in the back ground...So this is what we got!

 So we decided to bring the young elders and sisters with us a few days later on preparation day to get a real "Feed My Sheep" picture.

That didn't work too well either as the sheep ran away from Elder Neville pictured here. Larnaca is on the  far horizon.
We decided to take another route.

 We got permission from President Charles to go ride the camels!
 Tons of fun! Sisters Roberts and Virkamaki (not shown) on the first camel and Elders Neville and Deeley on the second.

 Ah, there she is!  Sister Virkamaki with Sister Roberts!

 Yes, I was a coward and didn't ride, but who would take these excellant shots? At least I didn't cut off their heads.

 It was truly a wonderful Prep Day at the Camel Park!

Feeding some of the elect, Sarah and Abbas, with the sisters. 

Their beautiful daughter Kimmia has actually warmed up to me.

Another elect!  Jamal loves to discuss the Book of Mormon and the Gospel of Jesus Christ with us. He even made some sushi for us on Wednesday. Wish we all could have devoured it, but it was a little hard to swallow.  We are glad he doesn't feel that way about the things he is being taught! He devours the gospel!

This week's stray with Sisters Roberts and Virkamaki.

Just one more shot of these wonderful elders and sisters.  They keep us young!  WE LOVE OUR MISSION! of course!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Our Flat

 I had to add this picture for our blogging buddy, Keith, who is the father of our dear Elder Held, pictured here with equally amazing Elder Psota on New Years Eve at a fish and chips cafe the night before transfers.

 This picture disappeared from the blog I just did 20 minutes ago-- Kali and Eve Georgevi, the only young women in the branch. I had to do this blog today in two seprate entries.  It just kept disappearing.  And WHERE is the spell check?  Sorry.

 My sister asked for a few pictures of our apartment here in Larnaca.  Ours is the second floor one with the nice balcony.

 We even have a swimming pool, although none of the tenants have seen anything but rain water in it.  Ah, well, missionaries aren't really swimmers unless baptizing in the sea when a huge wave catches them off guard.

 We are thankful to have a place to park our car off the street where they often get scratched and dented.  Ours is the grey Avis rental one.

This old dryer on our balcony produced lots of scratchy towels and clothes, but I didn't mind too much hanging everything outside on beautiful days.

The new dryer produces wonderfully soft, warm clothes.  Thank you Elder Christensen for the perfect gift! Only Euro 139 on sale-- about $200.

 Our convenient kitchen. Yes, that is a clothes washer, not a dish washer!
 A comfortable living room greets us as we come in the door.

There is a nice extra bedroom for guests.  I couldn't get the master bedroom, but you get the idea.

 I had to add this random picture of one of our investigtors, Christian, also a Bulgarian.  He is 19 and wants to serve a mission, but he better get baptized first!

Another out of order picture, but a typical place to find Elder Christensen who keeps a journal of our amazing mission.  I am trying to keep the picture journal, which is this blog.  Thank you for viewing/reading it. I am even learning how to comment on your comments. This mission in Cyprus rocks!  That was for the grandkids! No current cat pictures.

Our Branch

 We got to deliver some late Christmas packages to these former branch missionaries now serving in Pafos.  We spent an hour with them here at "The Pillars of Paul" ruins. We even ran into a member who had been searching for the church in Pafos, so the elders time wasn't wasted even while touring a little with us.

 I couldn't resist taking a picture of the cute former boss of a pest control company with this little vehicle.

 The same handsome guy is pictured here at his favorite kabob joint.

 Our hearts are joyful around these sweet children of our investigator, Abbas and wife Sarah.  We have adopted them into our hearts and life.

 Sarah made us a wonderful Perssian meal with all the trimmings!  She is a fantastic cook and person.

 Our branch president's first child, sweet Alexis Ivanovi.

Once a month we have a potluck after church.  Pictured here are about 3/4 of the members of our branch. 

Two of the sweet Phillipine sisters, Lucy (love the name) and Tess, I believe. They bring lots of love and bonding to the branch membership.

One of the three primary children, Pantiota with her mother, Terrasita.

These are some of the Bulgarian members who miraculously moved to Cyprus and breathed new life into our branch three months ago. They are amazing people with strong testimonies of the gospel.