Friday, April 27, 2012

More Experiences in Cyprus!

The sign says not to climb up these ancient steps of a monastery built in the 9th century AD, on the north shores of Cyprus, so this cute man just sat on them.

Beautiful architecture of a time long ago, when Catholic Monks lived within this massive structure.

We found one of the few members of the church in Northern Cyprus, David, who graciously showed us the sights.

Northern Cyprus has some beautiful mountains that made me homesick for Utah and Idaho.  Can you see Dad, like Samuel the Lamanite crying repentance from the wall? No arrows, however.

We ate at a really quaint little restaurant owned and operated by this nice man, his wife and cute daughters.  We didn't have a Romanian Book of Mormon.  We need to be more prepared--oh, and also no proselyting on the Turkish side, yet!

The sweet little girls served us the delicious lunch.

This week we got to go to Zone Conference in Nicosia so I snapped this photo of Elders Rahal and Christensen.  He has always been one of our favorites.

Last Sunday we invited a few people for lunch after church.  It just kept growing and growing until we had 14 of us! It really felt like having the family over at home, except we didn't have any leftovers!

We had a nice surprise today when Elder Wirthlin's son, Elder Joe Wirthlin and wife, came for lunch with our mission president.  So, so enjoyable. His sister, Anne Farnsworth, was mission mom in Florida when Waltman's served there a few years ago, so it was fun to say nice stuff about them.  It was also very enjoyable to have them tell about growing up in a home where their father became an apostle of the Lord. This Elder Wirthlin will be a mission president in July serving in New York.

We love to include our wonderful district of elders Wilderspin, Nicholls, Neville and Jensen pictured here with new member Mariellena.  She speaks only Greek, so the elders translated everything that was said for her.

President and Sister Charles with the elders, listening to Elder Wirthlin.  We love these wonderful people--such a dynamic mission president.  They give their all to all, all of the time.  We will miss them greatly as they leave for home (England) in July.

Couldn't download my cat picture, so you get this.  Not quite as cute, but not an animal to disrespect! They always look ready to spit! Did I forget to mention that we LOVE our mission!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Other Sheep and Shepherds, goats and kittens!

Cat pic of the week is Dennis in Oklahoma with Twister's kittens.

I just couldn't resist holding this little kid!

Some of our sweet Filipino sisters on a Easter break with us--Lyn, JoAn and Leah.

Here they are at the Camel Park with Leah's friend, 

Sort of making a donkey of himself. Ha.

These girls rarely get out, so this was a real treat for them and us!

We got to go to Nicosia for our Super Saturday on Thursday during Easter break.  Here are Dad and cute Eva Georgieva at one of the few bowling alleys in Cyprus.

All three of our seminary kids got to come with us, Eva, Kali and Mario.

The whole great group of kids liked being together in the mall where we ate lunch.

Elders Niebuhr and Christensen lead the group.
 These kids never smile when I want them to, so I had to say something stupid to get this reaction!

I love this sweet girl, Suzanna, from Nicocia.  I felt a close connection with her the first time we met.
The Nabrotzky family from Lebanon came for a visit to our branch in Cyprus during Easter break.  We got a rare treat when they began to sing to us.  They are VERY talented and a great LDS family working abroad for a few years.  We hope they will come back to see us soon.

Sarah is twelve and sings and plays like a rock star.  Each of their children are smart and very talented.

No celebration or Easter would be complete without the Georgieva's feeding all the hungry missionaries in the branch!

We also got to visit Paphos branch on the Greek Easter.  I told Elder  Held to cut it out!  Elder Rahal is always a gentleman.

There, that's better.  Maybe I shouldn't touch them.  We love  all the elders and our mission!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Following the Footsteps of Paul and Maybe Lazarus

We went to Salamis, Cyprus last Saturday to tour the amazing ruins  where Paul and Barnabus first stepped on Cyprus. These ancient Roman/Greek columns date back to 1100 BC. I especially loved this ancient statue of the Geek God Vigil!

Elder Christensen looks a little more down to earth here.

A road the Apostle Paul could have walked on, and it would have been old then.

Elder and Sister Niebuhr, serving in Nicosia, showed us the sights. 

We loved being where the Apostle Paul walked, but we didn't really come to sight see, we came to meet with these amazing Nigerian members, students at the Eastern Mediterranean University in Famagusta.

Jolly, Godwin, Benson and Destiny were such a delight to be with for a couple of hours.  We had the sacrament together and bore testimony to each other.  It was such a sacred and sweet moment. They are not able to come to church as they are restricted to the north side of Cyprus, where the church is prohibited.  Thankfully, the Turkish government does allow some freedom of worship for the students on this campus.

We felt such a close connection to these kids immediately.  How I wish they could have the blessings of  the gospel with them always. 

It was hard to say good bye, not knowing when we would see them again, but hopefully they will hang together until we can get a church group organized for them.

So today was Preparation Day and we took the elders in our district with us to St. Lazarus Church.  

What great missionaries, Elders Neville, Jensen, Nicholls and Wilderspin.

You can't keep the glow out of their eyes even in a different church.

We bought a few icons to remember the patron saints--these are of St. George.  I think he slew a dragon or something in Britain?  Can't remember, but these two British Elders know!

I couldn't resist taking this cute picture of Elder Jensen outside a flea market.

Or this one of Elder Wilderspin giving this store owner The Book of Mormon.  These elders never give up spreading the gospel to all they meet--even on Preparation Day.  That is just another reason,

I can't take credit for this one, I got the cat pic of the week from Cannon's FB.

Fluff Dog Millionaire!