Monday, June 27, 2011

Dinner Party!

We were recently invited to a farewell dinner party for President and Sora Lundberg who will be going home to Utah on June 28 after serving 3 years here.  We don't know why we were on the guest list but we were thrilled to be asked.  The hostess is a great sister who was in the first group of three people to be baptized in Romania 20 years ago.  Her name is Doina Biolaru.  She and her daughter, Dana, who also joined the Church a few years later while in France, have been stalwart members here.  Doina is one of the translators for the Church.  She helped translate the Doctrine and Covenants into Romanian, worked on the hymnal and is now translating the songs from the Children's Songbook. The dinner party was lovely with a very eclectic group of guests.  Some were non members and English, French and Romanian were the languages being spoken. The menu was authentic Romanian food and everything was delicious.  Her home looks out toward the Palace that Ceausescu was building when he was killed.  It was called the "People's Palace."  Now it is where the Romanian Parliament meets.

Last March there was a commemoration on the 20th anniversary of the first baptism in Romania.  Doina had prepared a narrative and pictorial history for the event which was in Romanian.  Because she wanted to send a CD of the program to some of the past mission presidents and missionaries,she had also translated it into English. Because of her accent, she asked me to come and read the English script for the CD.  It was an interesting experience for me and the story is wonderful.  We were reminded again that "by small and simple things are great things brought to pass."  (Alma 37:6)


Monday, June 20, 2011

Happy Father's Day!

Father's Day is not celebrated in Romania but I wanted to wish the best mission companion ever and best father ever a happy day.

Hugs and kisses to the fathers of all my darling grandchilren.
They say "La Multi Ani" here for every celebration, so
La Multi Ani!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011



I want to take this opportunity to apologize to family members and friends who have gone on missions.  I had no idea how wonderful it is to receive news from home.  I will try to change my ways and be a better letter writer.  I'm assuming that receiving packages is even more wonderful.........


We received a visit from Elder and Sister Asplund who serve out of Germany as the senior couple over the Centers for Young Adults in Europe.  While they were here we had the Elders take us to the home of Irina who is one of our YSAs.  We needed the Elders because no one in the home speaks English.  They were so happy to see us and had the table set with refreshments.  Irina is finishing her schooling in marketing and her parents are entertainers.  Her father plays the violin and her mother sings.  Their home was very humble but they expressed their gratitude for our visit and even gave Sister Asplund and I a small piece of jewelry as a gift. We hope to have many more visits with our YSAs.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Panduri District

This is our first mission district.  We meet every Tuesday morning for a district meeting.  It is great to be with these missionaries who are working so hard in Romania to bring the gospel to people who have only had their freedom to choose for 20 years.

Zone Leaders
Elder Vekony - from Hungary
Elder Betteridge - from Tacoma, Washington

District Leader
Elder Johnsen (right) - from Utah
Elder Horgmo - from Norway

Sora Bennett - from California
Sora Harward - from Ohio

Elder and Sora Wahlquist - from Parker, Colorado

Elders and Sisters enjoying milk and cookies on transfer day.

I finally conquered the chocolate chip cookie problem.  Thank you to everyone who helped.  It seems that the butter here in Romania has a higher fat content (I really needed that!) so there are some flour adjustments that had to be made.  

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

This is why we are here.

"The Center for Young Single Adults is the result of a powerful revelation that Elder L. Tom Perry had the night after President Gordon B. Hinckley called him to be over the Central Europe Area.  Elder Perry had a dream from which he awoke and said that he had received one of the most powerful revelations of his life.  It was made known to him that the success of missionary work and the future strength of the Church in Central Europe here would come from the Young Single Adult aged members...Because of this revelation, Outreach Centers for YSA are being established throughout Europe.  The Center is a place that the young single adults can come to as a refuge from the world."

Here are some pictures that will give you and idea of what we are doing. There is a large area on the lower floor of the Church building with ping pong tables, a foosball table and an area for visiting and watching movies.  But those pictures are for another time.

Elder Wahlquist working the room.

We usually have 8 - 12 YSAs come for Institute and then a meal. There are almost 200 YSAs in the Bucurest area. We have our work cut out for us!

We'd like you to meet some of our new friends.

She was the first YSA we met here.  She taught us how to buy our bus, tram and metro pass. She speaks very good English and we use her a lot for translation.

She is a delight and never misses an activity. She speaks some English.

He has been a member about two months.  He was placed at the Church as a night guard by a Security Company and since he was staying at the building all night, he started reading a Book of Mormon while there.  He liked what he read and liked how nice the people at Church were to him and to each other so he asked to have missionary lessons.  He spoke in sacrament meeting this past week and told his conversion story.  It was very inspiring.  He speaks no English but he can understand some of what we say to him.

He has been a member less than a year and is a licensed attorney.  He loves all things American, especially their sports teams. He speaks very good English and likes to practice on us.

We will miss her terribly.  She is leaving for American next month.  She is a school teacher and returned missionary (Russia).

She is a non-member who comes to all the activities.  We can always count on her to stay and help with the dishes.  She speaks just a little English but she can play speed scrabble just fine.  She is holding an article by Elder Ballard that the sister missionaries gave her to read.

There are more pictures and stories to come.  We are very grateful for how kind and welcoming they have been to us.