Thursday, December 26, 2013

 Cleaning the car off from the first snow accumulation in Chisinau, December 2013
 Christmas lights over a plaza in downtown Chisinau
 Statue of Stefan cel Mare in downtown Chisinau
 Elder Kneib in  downtown Chisinau on a cold night.
 Christmas lights over a plaza in downtown Chisinau.

 Elder and Sister Kneib's Christmas tree in their apartment on Christmas Eve.
 On Christmas morning, a kindergarten presents a program to the parents and guests "from America".
 No program would be complete on Christmas Day without the appearance of good ol' St. Nick--even in Moldova.  He noticed us in the audience!
 St. Nick gives each of the children a sack of candy and goodies.
 A group picture of all of the Christmas program's participants.
 Christmas dinner before the bell rang and everybody dished up.  This was at the Schwartz's apartment in Chisinau.  Arlana made the potatoes and the deserts.  The Schwartz's did the cooked ham and rolls and vegetables.
 Thsi is just some of the Christmas dinner eaters.  The Schwartz's gave each a hat full of goodies.  Eighteen enjoyed dinner together.
The Schwartz Christmas tree.

Monday, December 16, 2013

 Arlana's new custom-made wool-lined leather boots made by Constantin in Chisinau.
 With her new Moldovan winter coat and custom-made boots, Arlana can't feel any wind and cold except for her cheeks and nose.
 At zone conference in December the packages from the States are waiting distribution to the missionaries.
 President Ned Hill of the Romania/Moldova Mission sits with Arlana at the December zone conference.
 As a part of the zone conference, a dinner of pork roast and salads is being consumed by the missionaries who come from the Iasi and the Chisinau zones.
 The first snow accumulation of the season came to Chisinau on December 12.  It was a couple of inches of wet snow and lasted for three days before it all melted.  Shown is the entrance to our building.  Our apartment is on the first floor.  The first three windows to the right of the door is to our apartment.
 At the Philharmonic in Chisinau, a folk dance show is presented on December 15.  A member of the branch is the director of the show and the folk dance group in the show.
 All of the dancers are dressed in native costumes.  The music and the dancers were both fast.

 We sat at the Philharmonic with Sister and Elder Schwartz, the other senior couple in Moldova.  Their home is Rexburg, Idaho.  They are in the last 9 months of a two-year mission.  He has also been the mission president in the Ukraine on a previous mission.  He speaks German and Russian as well as English.  They both taught at BYU-Idaho.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

 Turkeys showing their stuff in the Moldovan village of Chistelnita, Moldova, just in time for Thanksgiving.

 Entrance to a cemetery in the village of Butuceni, Moldova.  The apple tree still has apples on it and it is November 9.
 On Bovember 9, Arlana and I went trekking up the hill to a monastery carved into the rock.  The steeple is what shows in the background.  Note the entrance below the steeple tower.  The monastery dates back to the 10th century.  Archeological finds in this valley date 2000 years back.
 This is inside the church dug out out of the cliff.  The only light is candle and sunshine through the windows.

 Below the main part of the church is a series of caves carved out of the limestone.
 Opposite to the entrance to the church in the rock is this view.  This is the Rout River.
 Here is the entrance opposite the main entrance to the church in the rock.
 Here is the windows to the church in the rock.
 On top of the church in the rock, you can see the steeple tower and the village of Butuceni below in the valley along the Rout River.
 Here is the new church located also on top of the ridge of rock and further beyond the old church in the rock.

 More of the village of Butuceni as seen from on top of the rocky ridge where the churches are located.

 This another view of the cliff side entrance to the church in the rock.  Note the people on the ledge.  Also note the entrances to other caves in the rock.  This valley was inhabited in the first century BC and they lived in the rock for protection from invaders.
 Another view of the church and rocky ridge and the Rout River below.
 Arlana walking past a village girl selling souvenirs at a corn stalk shack.
 Arlana at the entrance to the park of the rock church.  The official name is Orhei Vechii.

 Arlana inside the new church compound on top of the rock.
 Walter standing beside a old bell in the new church compound.

 A cross on top of the rocky ledge over looking the valley below.
 Members of the Chisinau Branch picnicking in the woods by a lake in November not too far from the village of Ivancea, Moldova.  The branch paid for a tour bus (a Mercedes Benz coach) to take members to Orhei Vechii and picnic for a day outing.  They like to eat!
 Some people have horse drawn carts and others have these tractor drawn carts in Moldova.  Some village streets are such rugged shape that it is impossible for cars to travel them.
 These are bee hives in Simion Condrea's front yard which he and his wife have in the form of a vegetable and flower garden.  Simion lives in the village of Chistelnita.  Our 4-wheel drive Suzuki could not manage the street to his house.  So we had to walk about a block to his front gate.
 Simion and his wife were most hospitable.  He was real happy about getting his new wheel chair last month.  It was one of many donated to Moldova by the Church Humanitarian Services.
 With very little advanced notice, Mrs Condrea invited us into her house and fed us boiled chicken and potatoes and fresh bread with home made juice.
 He is unemployed but they seem happy.  They raise everything that they eat. 
 Simion and his wife are giving us a sample of their honey from their hives.  They did not get stung either.

 Simion's garden with the bee hives.
Arlana liked the lace curtains in the front windows of Simion's house.
 This is Simion's guest room inside of his house.  It was decorated very nicely and very clean.  Pictures of his family is on the cabinet.
 This is another wall of Simion's guest room.
The memorabilia table in Simion's guest room of his house.  The are very humble and very friendly.