Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Robbinsovi visit the Robbinsovi and Jeden Rok!

Doug and Suzanne came to Prague on their way to visit Jane and family in Switzerland! We walked and walked,and talked and talked and had alot of fun seeing this beautiful city together.On Charles Bridge.
Elder Waldo tries to fit into the band!

Along the Vltava.

Eating "Praguers" (apparently Prague claims it was first to come up with the hot dog, not Frankfurt.)
To quote Suzanne: "The BEST hot dog I have ever eaten!"

On Sunday a Robbins' cousin: Mike Stokes was in town. He was in the Czech Republic for business . He came to church and with us for dinner. It was fun to become acquainted with such a nice relative.

Last Monday was our 40th dinner and Family Home Evening. We invited our Branch President and his family to join us. We had a record turn out with 16 young adults (members and investigators) with missionaries and the Pilka Family we had 28! Which brings us to the miracle of Family Home Evening: We never know how many will come. But as Mor, my grandmother said, "If there is room in your heart, there is room in your home". or in our case the Relief Society Room. We fix the food, bless the food and it seems to feed everyone who shows up as long as they aren't too late.

We just reached our one year mark, jeden rok!
We realize:
how fast the time is evaporating,
how little of this language we really know,
how diligent and faithful the missionaries in this mission are,
how much courage it takes to change your life and prepare to make covenants,
how blessed members of the Church of Jesus Christ truly are,
how much Heavenly Father loves all of us and is aware of the details of our lives,
how much He has blessed us and our family!

We have our running shoes on for the last six months.
"Faith is the power,obedience is the price, the spirit is the key,
love is the motivation and Christ is the reason"
James E. Faust

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Are you Kidding?

The last time we got a reaction from our grandsons on our blog was when we posted photos of the rat that took up residence with us. We think they will react to this post.

We have been asked to assume the responsibilities of the CES couple who are leaving this month. We traveled with them to attend a seminary/institute class and stopped on the way in the city of Kutna Hora. One of the busiest and most productive cities in medieval Bohemia thanks to it's silver deposits. Now however, it is famous for a massive cathedral and an Ossuary or the Bone Church.Yes, those are real skulls and bones behind Elder Robbins!!!
The story is that soil from Golgotha was brought to this area and everyone wanted to be buried in the "holy" soil. Thousands were buried in this area and eventually someone with alot of time cleaned 40,000 of those skeltons and sorted and arranged their bones!!!

There are pyramids of sorted bones like this in four corners of the church. We would like to be here when these guys are resurrected!

Amazing!!! Waldo must be in there somewhere!

These chaps must have met a brutal demise.

This chandelier was constructed out of every bone found in the body...

and a coat of arms made from bones.
Talk about irony. Thousands of peoples' bones handled, sorted, decorating a church and made into chandliers and coat of arms and this is what is written on the admission ticket:
"You are entering a pious space. Conserve, please, respekt to the dead. Do not touch the bones."
Are you kidding!?!

On to a live subject. The Andersons, the new office couple, have arrived and now we will have time to be the part-time CES Couple. Jack of all calls, but master of none.
The European Auditor Couple, the Wilkinsons, from Germany came to town and we all went out to dinner. Small world as a member of the church: Elder Wilkinson served 6 years in the Stake Presidency with Arnie Augustin, Amber's father!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Frieberg Temple and more

Last Saturday we had the privilege to attend the Frieberg, Germany temple with the youth from the Czech Republic. It was so good to be in the temple again after a year without that blessing. We watched our youth transformed into angels as they participated in the baptisms and we were able to attend a session. It is a beautiful little temple and we felt again the great spirit of the work that goes on in temples all over the world. Even Waldo (where is he?) enjoyed the visit.

Freiberg is about a two hour drive from Prague, if you ride with Brother Wicker on the autobahn or a three hour drive by bus! The temple as most do has a miraculous story. It was built behind the iron curtain at the suggestion of the Germany Democratic Republic. In 1978 the GDR decided not to grant visas to those wishing to attend the temple in Switzerland because it feared people would not return. The communists insisted that children be left behind as assurance that parents would return. Of course, sealings could not be performed without the entire family. The church explored every option but could make no progress with the government. The saints began to fast and pray for divine help. One day as Thomas S. Monson, then a member of the Council of the Twelve met with government leaders, THEY proposed a simple solution. " Why not build a temple here?" No argument here! Land was purchased in 1983 and two years later on June 29, 1985 the Frieberg Temple was dedicated. They would not allow the statue of Moroni to be placed on the temple, but when the temple was renovated in 2002 Moroni was added. We are so sorry that we didn't get a photo with Moroni!

Sunday dinner with the Armstrong Familyand Bro. Ogle. We felt right at home with their blonde and redheads!!! These are Americans who are living in Prague for the next four or five years. They are learning the Czech language bit by bit. Brother Armstrong, however, said the opening prayer at church Sunday and thanked the "fruit" (ovoce) instead of "God" (Otce) for the "ice cream" (zmrlina) instead of "this day". As Grandma Carol would say, "...the poor soul". Everyone laughed during the prayer, but patted him on the back for giving it a good try. Later, he confessed that he just threw in the only Czech words he knew and hoped they landed safely. The Branch President told him after not to worry for he was sure the Lord had a keen sense of humor.

One of the blessings of this mission is getting to know so many faithful and wonderful young people, this is Shannon Wilde who was here over the summer on an internship with BYU. She brought much fun and friendship to the YSA group. But on the downside we have to say "Good-bye" ALOT!!

Anna also left us to return to her homeland in the Ukraine. We will certainly miss both of these special young ladies.