Friday, October 30, 2009

Gabi and Sarmale

After another week of computer challenges I am back to posting at least for now. First a continuation of our great visit with Gabi from Romania. Wednesday evening after our tour, Gabi made Sarmale which I talk about in the previous post about Gabi. Here are more pictures of the process. Then Thursday evening he made Langos (which is a fried bread with cheese and sunflower seeds - it was fantastic) and Chorba (a soup which is also delicious). Gabi made so much food we called up two families (Greta's and Valla's) and asked if we could bring dinner over and they were happy to have us as they were just getting home from work and had nothing ready. We fed 14 people and still had food left over - Gabi is quite the cook. The pictures are of two of the 8 different sites we visited. Just as we finished the last place of our tour for the day we saw what looked like a vehicle way off the road and two people standing outside the vehicle. I asked Gabi "Do you think they are waving at us?" and he said "I think I can see some hands above their heads." So we drove to where they were on some very bad roads. They had driven through a steam running over the road and somehow had gotten off the road and were stuck in the mud. They asked us to pull them out (we have a very small Skoda). I asked if they had a rope and he said no. I said without how can I pull you out. He then said he saw a rope on the side of the road about 500 meters back. We back up and found the rope. With some jerry-rigging we got the two cars connected and as I had to drive back into the water, I was concerned it was not going to work but I pulled them right out. They were very lucky we even saw them and since it was late in the day and we never saw another vehicle on the road they may have just had to spend the night in their car.
The last two pictures are of a hot springs named Dead Man Springs because one night a man walking through the area fell in and even though he was rescued died the next day from the burns.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Another Great Baptism

Today was another very special day. It started with Zone Conference which as always was a very spiritual experience. We are blessed with great missionaries who taught, gave talks and bore testimonies. President Olauson also provided great training and spiritual insight to help each of us be better missionaries and to be our best.

Following Zone Conference we had Nina´s baptism. Nina is originally from England and will be returning home in three weeks as her work contract here has come to an end. Nina came to Church the first time in December 2008. We have been teaching her sporadically throughout this past year as her family in England has been very upset with her for talking to us. About two months ago she began to sense we were teaching her something important. The Holy Ghost helped her make the decision to find out if what we were teaching was really true. Once she made the decision to be baptized, she has been extremely happy (even with being sick for a week) as you can tell in the pictures taken at her baptism.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Gabi Is Here From Romania

While we were serving in Romania in 2005-06 we made many friends and this week Gabi came to visit us. He arrived yesterday and we took a quick tour of Reykjavík as the sun was shinning before heading out for the Golden Circle Tour where the sun wasn´t shinning. This morning we had Dutch Babies for breakfast and head out on the South Coast Tour minus sunshine but the clouds were so high we could see for miles and it was a great day with no rain and very little wind. This evening Gabi made a traditional Romania dish called Sarmale for dinner tomorrow along with some of our Icelandic friends to enjoy a truly Romanian dinner with langos and meat ball soup.

Another Great Baptism

Sorry about not posting for awhile but I have had considerable computer problems for the last week plus and am still getting trying to get things working again. Last Friday October 16 we had another great baptism in Reykjavík. Eyþor Franzson Wechner was baptized. We have known him since early this year and he has been very active in the YSA program including being one of the Family Home Evening leaders and he also plays the organ in Church. One of our first experiences with him was at his school recital at the state church. It was wonderful to be able to be at his baptism. The man who baptized him joined the Church last November and is such a strength to the Church in Iceland (that is another story).

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Religious Freedom

I just read the transcript of Elder Dallin H. Oaks speech given at BYU-Idaho on 13 October 2009. I recommend it to everyone as it provides both a perspective of what is happening to our freedom and what each of us must do to protect it. Click on the title of this post to go to the transcript.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Interesting Food

One of the fun parts of being on a mission is the chance to try different foods or in some cases the need to try something different. Iceland has been no exception. We have both enjoyed the food here way too much. Leg of lamb is definitely at the top of both our lists. I have also added many delicious fish entrees. Now it may seem odd we are also learning to like food from India, but there are more food selections from India here than we have ever seen before. Tonight we had a Spinach with Cottage Cheese and Sauce (basically soup) that came in a foil pouch. We just had to immerse the foil pouch in boiling water. It sounded good but out of the pouch it did not look so good - we both laughed as we both thought at the same time it looked like a new born's diaper. It wasn't bad but a little too much garlic. But then we looked at the package and saw the best before date was July 2009 and we just bought it today, maybe that caused the garlic to be too strong. We will continue to try and hopefully enjoy the great foods of the world.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Always Learning

It sure is good we can continue to learn even when we become "elderly". (The Elders mentioned they were teaching an elderly man age 65.) My learning experience has to do with a large whole frozen trout Heimir gave me last week. I mentioned to him the delicious trout dinner Sveinbjörg served us and he went to their freezer and gave me one he caught. When I asked him how to cook it he just shrugged. Yesterday I decided to try and fix it so I invited the Elders since Eileen won´t touch fish. I wanted to fix it like Sveinbjörg´s but she said I just buy the fillets already to cook. I went on line and found a demonstration on how to fillet a trout and then how to skin it. The picture is a 9x13 dish with the two fillets covered in sun dried tomato pesto. The other is of course Elder Fillmore and Elder Walsh and me about to enjoy the trout and the rest of a delicious dinner. The trout turned out delicious and so tender. Eileen sure is missing out but then again she didn´t have to fix it either.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Unusual District Meeting

Last night we didn't go to Reykjavik due to the weather and change in plans of the YSA's we were to take. Today we woke to even worse weather. I called Valla and Gummi and asked how the drive to work was this morning and she said we haven't gone yet as we are waiting for the roads to be cleared and watching the winds. I then asked Gummi if the Elders should come from Reykjavik for our District Meeting this morning and he said NO. So it was decided to do the meeting via Skype. The Reykjavik Elders went to the Koyle's apartment and the Selfoss Elders came to our apartment. The pictures are (1)the missionaries in Reykjavik, (2)Elder Walsh and Elder Fillmore presenting their teaching assignment and (3)listening as Elder Smith taught. Sometimes we just have to use unusual means to accomplish the work.

One blessing of last nights weather was the Elders called on me to teach Nina as the member who was scheduled to be there was stuck in Reykjavik. It was a blessing to again teach Nina. When we have people to teach who are willing to listen and keep commitments as Nina does, the Spirit is also present during the teaching. We all felt the Spirit and she accepted the commitment to be baptized. What a joy to see people come unto Jesus and accept His gospel.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

An Apostle of Jesus Christ Testifies of The Book Of Mormon

Sunday afternoon or I should say evening as it was for us in Iceland, we were privileged to see and hear Elder Jeffery R Holland an Apostle of Jesus Christ testify of the truthfulness of The Book of Mormon. It was a powerful testimony one that each of us needs to have in our well of strength, in our store of "oil" so we are not deceived. Clicking on the title of this post will take you to that marvelous testimony of Elder Holland.

Winter Wheels

As referred to by Arnar, I had our winter wheels put on today. The law says studded tires can be installed after October 15, but according to several friends, if the weather is bad you can put them on earlier. Last night Gummie asked me if I had put them on yet and I said no I am going to have them put on tomorrow. He said go early as there will be lots of people doing it tomorrow because a big storm is due in tomorrow afternoon. I arrived at 9 AM figuring that was about the time they opened and sure enough there were 10 cars ahead of me. I left the car and guessed they might be done between 10:30 and 11. I walked to the Church and did some record keeping work and walked back at 10:30. They had just started so I wasn't far off. I also had them put plastic ties on the hubcaps in hopes of not loosing any this change over. We have lost 4 so far and don't want to loose any more.

The storm sounds like we are in for it but so far this morning it doesn't look bad. Last night the forecast was up to 33 mm of snow and 40 m/s winds which converts to 89 mph so it could be quite the storm. With a trip to Reykjavik tonight and again tomorrow we are going to keep an eye on this one.

Monday, October 5, 2009

General Conference - FOOD!

What a great weekend! We traveled to Reykjavík Saturday and Sunday for General Conference and it was a wonderful weekend in all respects. After Friday´s experience being stuck on the mountain, it was great to wake up Saturday morning to see the mountain we were stuck on Friday and unable to see through all the snow. But as you can see the mountain looks beautiful all arrayed in white. So off to Reykjavík for Women´s Conference (delayed broadcast) and Saturday Morning Session live. The women enjoyed a potluck before their session.

Sunday we returned for the delayed Priesthood Session at 9 AM followed by the delayed Saturday Afternoon Session. Then a potluck was enjoyed by all before finishing the day with the Sunday Morning and Sunday Afternoon sessions live. While most all languages are translated and beamed around the world from the Conference Center in Salt Lake City, Icelandic is translated here in Iceland so we have both English and Icelandic sessions going on at the same time. As the title implies we were fed both spiritually and temporally - they were two great days.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Blind Obedience

People of faith are often accused of blind obedience to the commandments of God. The next two days we will be listening to our Prophet, Apostles and other leaders teach us what God has inspired them to teach. It will not surprised me to criticized for wanting to be better and follow the counsel given in these meetings. In my studies today I came across this quote from Elder Spencer W. Kimball - “Is it then blind obedience when we, with our limited vision, elementary knowledge, selfish desires, ulterior motives, and carnal urges, accept and follow the guidance and obey the commands of our loving Father who begot us, created a world for us, loves us, and has planned a constructive program for us, wholly without ulterior motive, whose greatest joy and glory is to ‘bring to pass the immortality and eternal life’ of all his children?” I say no and I welcome the guidance we will receive the next two days in the World Wide General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

If any of you fear our obedience might take away your freedoms let me quote Joseph Smith who saw God the Father and Jesus Christ and by them restored the Church for us today. These are from the Articles of Faith - #11 We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may. And #12 We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.

Two more thoughts come to mind -
Jesus taught, “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31–32 ) and “happiness is the object and design of our existence; and will be the end thereof, if we pursue the path that leads to it; and this path is virtue, uprightness, faithfulness, holiness, and keeping all the commandments of God” - the Prophet Joseph Smith.

Another Perspective

Today we had a great District Meeting in Reykjavík. Started with snow in Selfoss this morning so we left early and although it was a slow trip it was OK. Coming home was a different story and too long but thankfully we had two Elders who pushed us quite a distance up hill before we could get any traction. We made it home fine (not sure for a while). Then we opened an email from a friend with this video. Sure puts a different perspective on life. The Savior our Redeemer is willing to do whatever it takes for us just as this man did for his son.