Sunday, September 18, 2011

Road Trip!

Last month our mission president's wife asked us to plan a senior couples conference for the second weekend in October.  We were incouraged to develop a plan that would include some time for socializing and site seeing as well as time for instruction.  We were thrilled to accept that assignment and got right to work picking out the place and planning what our activities would be.  There are nine couples in the Romania Moldova Mission including President and Sora Hill.  We chose the town of Brasov since it is centrally located and the most visited tourist destination in Romania. However, after doing some research online for hotels, restaurants, etc, I became so frustrated that Brent finally said, "tomorrow is P-day and we don't have anything scheduled until Tuesday night, let's rent a car and go check this place out."  So we did.  As he slid behind the wheel of our standard shift Dacia, you could tell that Brent was glad to be driving again for the first time in over 4 months.  By the end of the trip I was glad we don't have a car here!  But that's another story.

This is the city of Brasov.
We drove about 3 hours through the mountains.  It was so beautiful and we realized how much we missed our Colorado mountains.  Brasov is in the Transylvania area for you Dracula fans.  It is close to where Bran Castle is located.  The old section of Brasof shown above is several hundred years old and has often been used in movie sets.  When we go back in October, fall colors should be at their peak.

This is the Hotel Cubix where we will be staying for the conference.  The Chapel where we will have our meetings is visable next door on the right.  Very convenient. 

The central square in old town Brasov.

More Old Town Brasov with my companion.

Peles Castle
This is the castle we will be visiting.  It is supposed to be one of the most beautiful castles in Europe.

Resort in Poiana Brasov
Just 20 minutes out of Brasov is a beautiful little ski resort town that we will visit and tour.  There is a little old church and some lovely resorts as well as little shops where we can spend our lei (lots of lei!).

We sat on a bench in a little open field and watched the grass being harvested with a two-hand cythe (picture the grim reaper) and pitchforks.  There were no fences and at one point the cows you see behind the horse cart were wandering through the tourists.

We returned home an alternate route which was definitely the road less traveled.  It was only us and hundreds of trucks on a mountain road of hairpin turns.  When we got to the bottom it only took Brent a few minutes to unhook my white knuckles from the dashboard and pull my right foot out of the floor where I "braked" all the way down. He loved the drive! (though he wished we had been in the MINI)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

District YSA Activity

Our YSA Center hosted a district activity with YSAs coming from 5 different cities.  Because they must travel long distances using trains, buses and the metro system to get here it's not easy to get these young people together very often.  The day started with breakfast followed by Institute class.  Then there was a break to play games while we set up lunch.

We set up a potato bar and for most of them it was the first time they had seen anything like it.  They seemed to enjoy it but we found it interesting that they put all the ingredients on their plate separately.

After lunch they played games and worked on the service project.  Then there was a fireside with our District President, Brother Doru, speaking to them about temple marriage and families.  Because they had so far to travel home the dance started at 5:30 and ended about 8:30pm.  They had a good time listening to the music and playing with the balloons.

The service project was writing letters to the missionaries that are serving from Romania and Moldova..  There are 12 serving at the present time with about 4 more who have either received their call or are waiting for it.

We felt like the event was a success with so many young people coming to the Center and enjoying each other's company.  There were 8 non members that came which was a bonus.  Most of them came to Church the next day and some are meeting with the missionaries.  We loved seeing our Center full of young people.

Our YSA committee members did an outstanding job of planning, organizing, and carrying out this wonderful activity.  It's not easy when everyone lives so far away.

Cleaner Shrimp

We love the missionaries that serve here and they perform a very important service for us.  Have you seen the episode on Animal Planet where Jeff Corwin is sitting on a dock wearing a tuxedo and eats a huge meal?  Then he strips off the tuxedo and is wearing a wet suit.  He puts on diving gear and drops into the water.  He goes to the bottom and finds a cleaner shrimp which he puts into his mouth.  That shrimp then cleans all the food off his teeth.  It is so awsome to watch!  Well, our missionaries are kind enough to clean up leftover food after our activities so we don't have to carry any food back across the street.