Tuesday, July 31, 2012

When Did Badminton Become an Olympic Event?

Presenting the Arad District and YSA Badminton Team
We are ready to represent Biserica Lui Isus Hristos A Sfintilor Din Zilele Din Urma!

Have these racquets always been this small? 
I'll just coach.

But Elder Wahlquist is in top form.

Eni had to leave the game because her shoe fell apart.
We need a new sponsor.

We put her in charge of the treats.
Did you say the Olympics don't provide treats after each event?
Then count us out!

Is there a jumping competition?
Sora Cook, Elder Myers, Elder Harrison and Sora Remsberg

How about a "ridiculous poses" event?

What's next - cheerleading as a sport?
(please no nasty emails.....)

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Baby Ducks

When a new missionary comes into the country they are affectionately referred to as bobocs (Elders) and boboacas (Soras), Romanian for baby ducks.  So when we went visiting teaching to our dear sister, Sora Cranaci, and saw her newly purchased baby ducks, I couldn't resist the opportunity to blog about it.  Until the end of this transfer Sora Cook is our own little boboaca.

Soras Cranaci, Remsberg and Cook with ducks.

The ducks are absolutely adorable but they are not pets.  She has a dog for protection, chickens for eggs and pigs to eat and sell.  Three of the five pigs we met last month have been sold.  So we won't get attached to those ducks.  

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Stork Update

Remember when we posted about the stork nests that we see as we travel through small villages along country roads?  We have discovered that villagers believe that having a stork nest in their town brings good luck.  Lately we have seen that the eggs have hatched but have been unable to get a picture.  Finally we had success!

Not only could we see the babies but the mother feeding them.  Our mission president, President Ned Hill, is a bird watcher and has some wonderful stories from his bird watching excursions all over the world.  I have never been too excited by birds but watching the life cycle of these storks has almost made a bird watcher out of me.  Almost......

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A Tour of Castelul Bran

The Castle Bran was made famous by the author Bram Stoker in his book "Dracula."  It is a fortress in the Transylvania region of Romania and was built about 1438. It is unclear how much connection Vlad the Impaler, better known as Dracula, actually had with this castle. We do know that at the very least he traveled through the area.  But that doesn't stop the owners of the castle from making this one fine tourist trap!   So let's take a little tour.  Keep up now. We're walking, we're walking....

No stopping for shopping.  You can see Bran in the background and these shops, and many more, will be here when we come back down. This place gives new meaning to the term "tourist trap."

Be careful on the path up to the castle, it's raining just a little.

To your right we see a little moss covered cottage that a peasant may have lived in.

Here is our first view of the castle.  Are you frightened yet?

Be careful going into the castle, Elder Wahlquist.  They were a short people.

Stay with the group, Sora Wahlquist. No need for pictures, you can buy a postcard later.

Anyone in the group want to try going up this little, dark, winding stairway?
I didn't think so.

How about in here?  No.

And here we have the inner courtyard.
We have a wonderful Halloween party here every October.
Tickets are available at the gate.

Time to leave, so hustle out this back door and get to those shops.

Take one last look back and then off you go to spend more money.

Didn't I tell you there would be plenty of time to shop?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Sunflowers Make Me Happy!

Lately we have been doing some traveling on assignments, mostly on narrow two-lane country roads, that take us through small villages and lots of farm land.  Romania was once considered the breadbasket of Europe and as we see miles and miles of corn, wheat and potatoes we know why.  But the crop that we find most interesting and beautiful is sunflowers.  Here sunflowers are used for cooking oil, among other things, and all the bottles of oil in the stores have a picture of a sunflower on them.

How can you not smile when you see a field of sunflowers?

Sunflowers follow the sun during the day and then reorient themselves during the night to face the rising sun.

Here they are turned toward the sun and I feel a sacrament meeting talk coming on! The savior is represented by the sun and we should always turn towards Him and not look toward the darkness for guidance.  What do you think?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Timisoara Relief Society Quilt Activity

We took the quilt project on the road.

Timisoara is a city about an hour away from Arad.  There is a very small Branch there with a missionary as the Branch President. One of the missionary soras is in the Branch Relief Society Presidency. We were asked to bring some quilts to tie for a RS activity.
Elder Schrodter with the RS President, Sora Negriu.

Soras Elizabeta, Gabi and Valcaneatu tying the other quilt.

Sora Negriu with Elders Martin and Schrodter.  They are so proud of themselves!

Sora Elizabeta, Sora Bulloch, Sora Gabi, Sora Zimmerman, Sora Valcaneatu and Sora Wahlquist with second completed quilt.  Those quilts will find a good home in Timisoara.  It was fun to sit and visit with these lovely sisters as we worked on this project.

And with every Relief Society activity throughout the world there are refreshments.  Sora Zimmerman is explaining to the Romanians how wonderful the Texas sheet cake made by Elders Schrodter and Martin is.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

No Fireworks But Still a Great Day

I don't care what Elder Howells says.  We won that war and we wanted to celebrate!

So the Arad District got together for a picnic.
We grilled hamburgers.
(Sora Cook, Elder Harrison and Sora Remsberg)

We made root beer.
(Elder Harrison making hamburger patties, Elder Myers and Sora Remsberg)

Is this really going to work?

Yes!  Root beer!

We took the picnic inside because of the heat.  We even had potato salad and veggies with HiddenValley Ranch dressing.  A treat, indeed. 

We finished with cake and root beer floats.  Casian, an investigator who joined us for the picnic, loved the cake but thought root beer tasted like medicine. 

Happy 4th of July!