Monday, May 21, 2012

Monks and Monasteries

Preparation Day May 10, 2012, our district went to the Stravrovouni Monastery near Larnaca with Elders Wilderspin, Neville, Jensen and Nicholls.

It is so amazing to teach with this great companionship.  They teach with power and authority as we listen in amazement and the Spirit always touches those they teach.

Likewise these.  Oops, not a companionship.  Sorry, Elder W and Nicholls (should be Neville).

Dad with cute Panyota.

The seminary kids went with us to Limassol for another Seminary Super Saturday.  Teaching these children who are the first of the rising second generation in Cyprus, is challenging, yet greatly rewarding.  We hold seminary in our apartment once a week and at the church every Sunday.  Mario is the oldest at 17, then Kali 16 and her sister Eva 14.

The Georgieva sisters.

Two seminary students from the Nicosia Branch, Sarah Martins and her investigator friend.

Elder Neville put on an apron to help with a suprise Mother's Day feast for me!

Some of the branch members that came to honor me, but in reality they were all thinking of their own mothers and missing them--me too!  We all told things about our mothers--lots of tears and sweet remembrances.

A nice Orthodox Priest let us snap this picture in the quaint village of Omodos in the Trodos Mountains of central Cyprus.

Omodos is famous for it's wineries and beautiful wineyards.  There were free samples everywhere.  We weren't even tempted, maybe if there had been some alcohol free drink, but no.

Neither were our good friends, Elder and Sister Niebuhr.

We celebrated our wonderful district leader Elder Wilderspin's 21st birthday after institute on Wednesday night!

Elder Neville (from France) with investigator, Prince Oosie.  That can't be his real name, but that is what he wants to be called.  He said, "You wouldn't want to try to pronounce my real name." He is probably right.

We went to another amazing monastery last preparation day with the Nicosia district.  This one was HUGE and covered with amazing    murals.

Elder Wu had to put on a robe to enter the monastery as they don't allow short pants.

It's hard to always be spiritual, pictured here Elders Wilderspin, Gibbons and Radnoti.

My angel of a companion!

This was an interesting mural depicting Jesus being baptized in the Jordan River by John the Baptist.  Notice that John is sprinkling water on Jesus' head.  How sad and amazingly warped a plain and precious truth can become!

All the wonderful elders we got to tour with, along with the Niebuhrs, to the Trodos Mountain Monastery.  From left to right, Elders Wu, Jensen, Nicholls, Wilderspin, Neville, Radnoti, Gibbons and Brandenburg.

Our sweet investigator Beatrice with Antonia, a branch stalwart, both from Nigeria and met for the first time at church.

Beatrice with grand daughter Beatrice at our flat after dinner last Sunday.  Teaching her and her daughter in law all by ourselves has been one of the most rewarding experiences of our mission thus far.  We are hoping they will be baptized soon.  Of course, in everything we do and proclaim and invite and study and hope and pray for,

                 We LOVE our MISSION!!!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Our Baby Girl Came to Visit Cyprus!!

Brian and Michelle flew into Paphos from their trip in Germany, where Brian served his mission, on May1st. We love them so much.  

Dad got their bags in our car and we were off to Larnaca, an hour and a half away.  We had a great catch up visit the whole way to our flat.

Brian had to put on a little skirt to go in St. Lazarus Church with us.  
Michelle looking angelic in St. Lazarus.

Brian and Michelle were a great help at institute one night. Here is one of the non LDS attendees with a broken arm.

To say we were happy to have them here is an understatement!!

We could hardly let them go, but they thought two days would be enough.  We miss them, but love this amazing mission!

Our amazing investigators--just ours!  We are teaching them all by ourselves and we even have baptismal dates set! Ruta is the mother of this beautiful baby girl, Beatrice, held by her grandmother also Beatrice.  Godwin is a member of the church and a really great man  He is father of the baby and husband of Ruta, son of Beatrice!

They came to church and afterward to our flat for lunch.  Dad always wanted to get a picture with a Nigerian in formal attire, so we took two. This is especially for his sister Julie Lindsey and Joe who served a mission in Nigeria.

Some pictures from our District picnic in Nicosia, May 1st.

Our District President, President Kosifou and wife Carolyn.

Our great Elders Nicholls, Jensen, Neville and Wilderspin had to take the bus to the picnic, so they got there a little late, but what a help they are to the fellowshipping and translating effort we do.

Dad finally won over Pantiyota after five months of trying!!

Sweet investigator, Alina, came to the picnic the day before her baptism.

Our car was loaded with these wonderful Nigerian students on the way home from the picnic--Antonia, Prince, Victor, Austin and Emanuel.

We had about 20 investigators come to the district picnic.  Wonderful day!

Dad and I went with the Niebuhrs to the very tip of Cyprus on the Turkish side--way up northeast about 80km across the Med Sea to Syria!  Is there any other wild donkey refuge on earth?

So cute!

This one got a little too close for comfort and put his head in the window!  Couldn't get a picture fast enough!

Two Turkish flags at the very tiny tip of Cyprus!

Dad on the very end!!

Cat picture of the week!