Sunday, 23 October 2011

October 23, 2011

Our meeting began at 10am, but Elder Andros had to fill in for the Branch President who was away and had meetings at 9:30.  Another wild and hairy drive to the chapel this time - and it was only Sunday traffic.  The chapel is a small "proper" chapel built by the church and actually has it's own parking lot - however, you have to unlock the gates to get in.  The building is white and inside is scrupulously clean and newish looking.  It felt like and quaint miniature facility.  It had an upstairs as well.  The people are so warm and friendly.  A greeting from the sisters is a "kiss" to one check and then the other accompanied by a big hug.  Most had some English skills and the service was conducted in English - Greek translation provided. The first sister we meet was quite old and had very few front teeth and has been attending for years, but has not been baptized!!  nevertheless, there was the kisses and big hug.  They are so sweet.  There was a young couple from San Francisco doing a cruise of the Greek Islands - their honeymoon. There was an American man from Virginia, working here in an executive position for Ernst-Young, an accounting firm.  He apparently had a large house quite close to the Office and issued an invitation to us to come for a meal when his wife and kids get back from their school vacation! There are about half a dozen Filippinos in the Branch and they are very humble people - usually working as care givers and some of their employers are not the best I'm told.  A lot of "single" type folk - A husband here - a wife there - all people remaining faithful to the church without their spouses.  Most of them fighting discrimination from their families.  The meetings were wonderful.  You could feel the closeness because of the small numbers (about 40 in all today)- everyone knows everybody else and cares about them. There was a really sweet spirit.   We came home and Sis. Andros had planned Haystacks for our meal - so I was able to help really well.  The Andoses were invited to go to a members home later to be with a male member who has been caring for his dying mother - she had just passed away.  This is a great privilege for the Androses as he has not told his family that he has joined the church. The Androses will not be wearing their missionary tags as it could get ugly if they did!    There is a Zone Conference tomorrow for the missionaries and two young sisters are supposed to be coming to sleep over here in the Mission Office.  The Elders will be sleeping downstairs - there is sleeping accommodation for 10/12 down there (I haven't seen that area yet.)

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