Our mission continues to be a challenge and a blessing. A CHALLENGE because we're shuffling about as fast as we can go and a BLESSING because ...we're a part of the great army of 52,000 Mormon missionaries who serve all over the world. Our clothes are starting to fray and our shoes are wearing thin, but we wouldn't have it any other way. This post represents all we did in just one week.
Our final project for the year benefited a special AIDS intensive care unit. We went shopping to IKEA with the social workers and trusted partners, Mary Veal and Ana. The project called for soft comforters which would keep very critical patients warm and cozy. Humanitarian funds bought 40 of these.
Our taxi driver assisted in the stacking and delivery back to the hospital while we caught another taxi back. The logistics involved in a simple shopping trip make our job very grueling.
A week later, we stopped by the hospital and we were able to snap this picture of one of the comforters spread over the bony body of a very critical young adult.
She looked so peaceful and we felt money had been well spent.
This is Nina. We were able to spend some year-end money to buy this sweet woman a walker. We found her six months ago when we delivered a wheelchair to a neighbor and she asked if we also had a walker. Ummmmm no, but... and we finally just went to a pharmacy and bought her one. We jumped in another taxi and with a partial address and our good memories, were able to find her again. Imagine her surprise when we appeared at her door! She was flabbergasted and immediately started to cry and hug us. Denny adjusted it to fit her and we kissed her good-bye. This is why we love our mission. We have experiences like this almost every day or, at least every week!
Denny turned 64! We had a party with all the senior missionaries and President and Sora Lundberg at Ruby Tuesday and had a real American hamburger!
A few days later...
A container arrived from the Humanitarian Center in Salt Lake City. We called on the army of young missionaries to help us with the unloading. Hundreds of boxes of hygiene kits, school kits and home-made quilts were unloaded in under 2 hours--a record! We all have bruises from flying boxes but it was great fun to work side by side with these exceptional missionaries.
Two days later...
We jumped on a train and took an 8-hour ride to Timisoara to meet with an NGO. Luckily, our wonderful friends and missionary couple serving with us in Bucharest also had business in Timisoara so we made the trip together. (That's our story, and we're sticking to it!)
Here we are in Timisoara.
The week ended with another great baptism bringing the total for the year to 129. Iulia is a medical student and decided to be baptized as a Christmas present to Jesus Christ, to herself, and as a surprise to her mother, who was baptized almost a year ago. Sora Holden and Sora Olson are great missionaries. Sora Holden just completed her mission this week and is now home in Redlands, California (my stomping ground!). Sora Olson is in her last transfer.And finally...
As Elder Ferrin's last learned missionary skill before returning home...he mastered popcorn catching! Elder Ferrin, WE MISS YOU! Transfer week is always exciting and very busy. This week, we said good-bye to missionaries we have come to love like our own children (almost!). Eleven more arrived in Romania and the work continues. We love being missionaries!