Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Health Falls

Last night I came down with the flu and when the Elders called to see if we could go see some sights on Preparation Day - today, I told them probably not as I not up to even thinking about it. Elder Fillmore quickly said that is OK and we will pray for you. I woke up this morning figuring I had at least a day of the flu to look forward to but instead the Elders prayer turned it into only a 12 hour flu. We also had planned dinner for our Branch Mission Leader who is leaving for Denmark to get married in the Temple and live in Denmark (I am the new Branch Mission Leader with Arnar leaving). So we did not have much time and Elder Teodoro said there were some falls near by. We drove an hour up into the higher elevations and found the first falls called Health Falls. It is even more beautiful than the pictures. We then headed down another road which had not been traveled since the last snow fall. The car was having trouble maintain traction so I had to disappoint Elder Teodoro as we backed back out to the highway. The next falls he wanted to show us was on a road that was not only not traveled but has a foot high drift across it. This one we almost got stuck on. So we only have the one falls to show today. We got home in plenty of time to prepare dinner but the oven would not heat so we were debating about taking dinner somewhere to cook when our guest called and said he had a problem. His best friend had also invited him to dinner and he didn't know what to do. I told him to enjoy dinner with his friend and we would see him tomorrow night at the YSA activity. So for today all has worked out. In case you are wondering where Sister Bremner is - it was too cold to get out of the car!

Thai Music in Iceland

This is part of the fun that Tree was referring to when we come back to visit next time - see post on the hooks. She is very proud of her kids and had them play for us. Of course Elder Teodoro enjoyed joining in with them since there was an extra instrument.

Where Else But Iceland!

We are teaching a Thai family who have lived in Iceland for 9 years. The mother speaks a little English and Icelandic and the kids speak mostly Icelandic and Thai. It has been interesting but the most interesting event so far was giving them service. Sunday they could not come to Church as they need to tie hooks. The mother works gutting fish when they need her, cleaning a rest home when they need her and tying fish hooks on lines for the professional fishing industrywhen she can get them. She stills says it is better than living in Thailand. She has been able to send money home to her family so they could buy a car and a tractor. The Elders said if you come to Church we will help you tie hooks. They came and so we went Tuesday to tie hooks. She earns approximately $0.80 per 100 tied hooks. Luckily Tree and her two kids can tie quickly or you could call it slave labor. In the hour we were there we only managed to tie 900 hooks between the 4 of us. We offered to come back and tie again and Tree said no you come back for fun next time. I think we were too slow for her. She has 50,000 to complete by Friday so she has both the money to pay the rent and so they will give her more to do. There seems to be a lot of Thai in Iceland who want to do the work so there is competition in getting the hooks to do.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Lily Jane Bremner

Now that we have another great picture to share of our newest granddaughter we can also share her name.  Heather and Lily are now home.  To see more pictures you can go to their blog by clicking on the link Heather and Randy´s Family Blog on my list of some of our favorite blogs.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Westmann Islands for Sacrament Meeting

What a trip we had to the Westmann Islands to have Sacrament Meeting with the one member family and several investigators. When we started on the ferry the sea was mild but then we got into gale force winds and while I was getting sick the gale force winds actually got Mom sick for the first time. It got really bad near the end and I felt sick the rest of Friday and most of Saturday. We taught lessons on Friday and did some service work. Then the member family invited us to dinner. Mom was amazing - she not only ate the first helping of fish but had a second. There were two fish dishes. One was fried Haddock and the other was a casserole with Haddock which is the one Mom ate and liked as there was lots of flavor with curry and other spices. I liked both as the fish had just been caught and it was so delicious and melted in your mouth. When we left their home the winds were so bad the mirror on the wall was moving and I almost got blown down the stairs. Saturday morning we got up and prepared for Sacrament Meeting with a total of 9 from 12-1. On the way Mom almost got blown over. After we left the meeting the Elders wanted lunch. I still could not think of eating since we were to get on the boat again at 4. I was not looking forward to going home as the sea continued to get much worse - winds were 40 m/s with gusts to 50 m/s (which converts to 89 to 112 MPH) . Just as they finished lunch the boat called and said due to weather the trip home was canceled. Yea now what do we do. We went back to the hotel and got rooms again. Since the Elders room had not been cleaned yet they got a slight discount. I asked if breakfast could be removed from our bill as I would not be eating it. Said no it is a cost of the room they just break it out for accounting purposes. I was hoping to get it removed because it isn't worth what they charge and I didn't want to eat before getting on the boat at 8:15 this morning. The desk clerk told me I must eat before getting on the boat as that helps with the seasickness. She also told me I should get a cabin to lay down and do it on my left side. I thought well I'll try the breakfast since we have to pay for it but I wasn't going rent a cabin too. We got on the boat and the captain said it was going to be a rough ride so I got the couch in the lobby and laid on my left side with feet on the floor as I was sharing the couch. It was very uncomfortable but I could feel my stomach starting to turn before I laid on my left side. After I turned it settled down and I spent most of the three+ hours in that position. It was definitely a very rough ride but no one in our group lost it. Mom said she was sick and that is unusual for her. So I really think the big breakfast and laying on my left side helped. She had breakfast but did not stay on her left side the whole time. We got off the boat and drove straight to Church and were only 1/2 hour late. Not bad for being stuck in the Islands overnight. As I have been writing this blog I have notices everything is rolling. It is an odd experience to feel like the room, the table and the computer are all rolling up and down. I guess that what 3+ hours on a roller coaster can do to you.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Grandchildren - What a Joy!

Our 18th grandchild arrived early this morning. This is the notice we received
"Little Baby Bremner Born March 13 @ 7:09 am. 8lbs 15 ozs. 20 in long."

This is our 7th Granddaughter and the second since we left on our mission. Seeing these beautiful little girls entering into our family while we are so far away is difficult but we certainly looking forward to seeing them when we return.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

How the Truth Has Changed

Today we took our Elders to Reykjavik for transfers. Elder DeCelle is now in Reykjavik with Elder Higgins and Elder Fillmore is now in Selfoss with Elder Teodoro the new Assistant to the President. As it is also Preparation Day we decided to take another tour of the National Museum. It is a fantastic museum and it is free on Wednesday. There is a new temporary exhibit on Early Christianity in Iceland and there are several permanent exhibits dealing with Christianity in Iceland. As I was listening to the explanation of the figure of Jesus (image to the right) I remembered when we toured the early cathedrals of Spain and Romania how it seemed the early artist - painters and sculptors - had a clearer understanding of the original plan of salvation than they do now. In Spain and in Romania the earliest paintings clearly showed the Godhead as three distinct individuals not as 3 in 1 as many have come to believe. Then today in this carving of Christ on the cross, Christ is depicted standing on both feet, with his head uplifted, crown on his head, eyes open. According to the museum these are features typical of the Romanesque style of crosses common until about 1200 AD (this one is dated from the 12 century). They then said the image changed with the Gothic crosses, where Christ is depicted wearing the martyr’s crown of thorns, hanging in a deathlike dejected pose with head bowed and one foot on top the other. To me the early sculptors saw Christ as triumphant as we know he was as he completed the work His Father gave him to do. He was not the downtrodden martyr as portrayed today. In another exhibit covering the time period of 1000 to 1200 AD we learned the only glass windows in Iceland were in Churches. They explained the glass represented Mary, God was represented by the sun and Christ was represented as the rays of light coming through the glass. While I have my thoughts on that I will leave the concept to your thoughts. Sorry about the quality of the image but I had to go on-line to find a picture on the Museum website, copy it out and then photograph is on my computer screen.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Great Zone Conference

Saturday, President Olauson - our mission president came to Selfoss for Zone Conference. We had a change in the Assistant to the President and so the old and assistant, the new assistant and the President provided the instruction. All three gave great instruction. We learned more about missionary tools - our mission website and the baptismal calendar from Elder Soelberg. Elder Teodoro taught about Urgency and the need to use Faith, Expectation and Passion in the work and how those relate to two other missionary tools. President Olauson began his teaching by giving each of us the coin shown above. Coins are a military tradition and he was a Navy Chaplin, He explained when he was a Chaplain, he and the other LDS Chaplains decided they wanted a coin to use and this is the coin they developed. He received permission from the Area Presidency to give them to each of the Denmark Copenhagen Mission missionaries. He presented them to each one of us in the traditional handshake with coin in the palm of his hand. If you open the picture, you can read about the history of coins and what inspired this particular coin. He then taught us about charity and our love for the Savior. He teaches with many experiences from his time in the Navy and it adds so much to the Spirit of his teaching, He challenged each of us to teach with more power by referring to "our Savior" and even more "my Savior" rather than "the Savior" for He came to earth for each one of us individually and He gave His life for each one of us. He knows each one of us and He loves each one of us and He wants each of us to return to Him.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Our Newest Granddaughter

I have been very negligent posting pictures of our newest Granddaughter. I guess I have been thinking of this blog as more our mission blog when in reality it is our family blog so I will try to be better at keeping current with the wonderful events that happen in our family. Roxie Jane was born to Heidi and Doug on December 29, 2008. She is a beautiful little girl full of smiles as you can see in the one photo. According to Heidi today she is also full of giggles. Roxie Jane was named after one of Doug's great grandmothers. The dress and bonnet Roxie Jane is wearing was made by Eileen. We now have 17 grandchildren - 6 of them are girls and we are expecting two more girls - one very soon and the other in May. As you can see our family is growing and thus the title of our blog.

Lunch Icelandic Style

We were downtown Reykjacvík yesterday and the Elders wanted to have pylsur for lunch and of course why not at the famous pylsur stand (made famous by Bill Clinton). This is an outdoor stand with stand up tables which you will note are covered with ice. A pylsur is a lamb hot dog sitting on a bed of first minced fresh onions then minced fried onions. Then they squeeze two sauces on top of the dog - one is like a flavored mayo and the other a type of mustard - we refer to both as pylsur sauce. They are good and so far every time we have stopped to have one it has been very cold and still there is always a waiting line. Might be the lines are due to the price - approximately $2.50 which is very reasonable for a good hot dog. They were 50 krónur higher in October so we think this is the winter price. The wind was blowing so hard and it was below freezing as testified by the ice on the table - it is just all in the experience.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Much Like Minnesota

The winter here in Selfoss is much like Minnesota except not as cold and the snow melts. But they have the same phrase here as we have at home "If you don't like the weather just wait 15 minutes."It has been snowing just about every day but then it warms up and occasionally the sun comes out or it rains. Yesterday was an extremely beautiful day in the mid 30's and bright sun most of the day but today we have had mostly snow with a brief period of sun while we were in Church.

I have to remember to give myself time to clear the snow off the car before we head out to appointments so we aren't late. Most of the time it is not a problem but on the days is is covered in ice it is a bigger challenge. The car picture was a few weeks ago but the Church was yesterday. As you all know, Eileen's love of Family History includes stopping at churches and cemeteries even in Iceland.

The other picture goes along with one of Iceland's favorite myths. The myth has to do with little people. Whenever something is missing it is blamed on the little people. The owners of the rock on the right and left sides of the pictures provided little doorways for the little people to enter their homes.