Sunday, July 7, 2013

Youth Conference/Village

 Youth Conference for Turkey was in May. Youth Conference was last week for Bulgaria. Both groups had a great time. We took the youth on a hike up to a waterfall on Friday afternoon they loved it. The YW learned how to skip rocks (most of them anyway) and thought that was awesome.
We are so blessed to have Wayne and Randi in Bulgaria with us. They are the CES couple for the country.  They always have the YSA and Youth Conference's planned out and ready to go. Not sure what we would do without them. Thanks Wayne and Randi for coming to Bulgaria and putting up with US:)

BOYS what more can I say?
 We were in a small village outside of Karlovo (карлово). I love the small villages over here, I could so live here. Life would be so much simpler. I loved the village, I loved the people from the village, I love their friendliness and their curiosity as we were doing a service project.

I have so many favorite things over here, but one of them is the carts, I LOVE THE CARTS!!!!
Life would shut down over here without them, they use them for everything.  I have noticed that the Bulgarians generally pull their carts with donkey's and the Roma use horses, not always, but most of the time. The land is so fertile, grass grows all over, they just tie the donkeys and the horses to a stake somewhere in town or on the hillside and let them eat,  lots cheaper than buying hay I suppose.

YES I did it!  I got my picture taken in a cart. Silly goal, but that was my goal before I left Bulgaria! It helps when you're with the youth that speak Bulgarian and can ask the driver to stop.  What a nice man, I'm pretty sure he thought I was crazy, but, he just smiled!

 The land like I said is so fertile. Wild flowers grow everywhere, this country really is so beautiful. There are bright and vibrant colors everywhere you look. The country side is like a hugh flower basket full of every color you could think of.

In the summer the country is a blanket of yellow as far as the eye can see. The sunflowers add to the beauty of this amazing country.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Great to see GOOD FRIENDS in our neck of the Woods

What a wonderful treat for Michael and I to have Rhys and Pam come and visit us in Bulgaria! We had a half day to see Sofia and they off to Ruse for Branch business. Not sure how I got this picture without    Pam and Rhys, but the branch members loved them and they fit right in with their newly acquired Bulgarian phrases. 

 OK, this isn't Bulgaria, it's Turkey. It just so happened that the cruise the Weaver's were on stopped in Istanbul. We were scheduled to be there for a branch conference and met up with them for a day. It was so nice we had an official P-day, it was great!!!!!
 Rhys picked the authentic Turkish restaurant for lunch. It was great with flaming food and seats on the floor. It was really a fun place to eat, as we watched the ladies make our bread.

                                Turkish ice-cream is the best. If you come to Turkey you will had to try it.

 Some sights from the market. This Building has to be very old, you have to love weeds, they can grow anywhere.

We went to the Castle, the Hagia Sofia, the Blue Mosque, the Hippodome, the Grand Bazar, the market and by the spice bazar. And this is what we did to Rhys and Mike, the sign behind them says, "please don't sit on the steps." WHOOPS!  It was a great day, we had so much fun with great friends and have wonderful memories of our time in Bulgaria and Turkey with them. Thanks Rhys and Pam for your friendship. We love you guys.

Hagia Sophia, Turkey

The Hagia Sophia was and Eastern Orthodox cathedral from 537 to 1453, except between 1204 and 1261, when it was converted to a Roman Catholic cathedral. From 1453 until 1931 it was converted to a Mosque. As of 1931 it was opened as a museum representing all religions associated with the building.

This is the foundation of the original Hagia Sophia.  It was built as a church between 532 and 537 on the orders of the Byzantine Emperor Justinian. 
As a Mosque the pagans could go no further than this outer hall.
The Christians could go into the second hall
Only the Emperor could go through this door
When the cathedral was taken over as a mosque the crosses were broken off the doors and made into different design

Inside the main hall the domes along with other areas of the church were designed with pure gold mosaics. The value of the gold used today would be 8 billion dollar. As a mosque the pictures were covered with plaster or destroyed.

                                                    Marble vase dating back 2000 years
                                        The walls are covered in marble as well as the floor
Didn't get all of the circles, but there is the center circle with 12 smaller circles representing Christ and the apostles.
                                            Candles and candles sticks a gift from egypt. Altar of Mosque.

                                 The Virgin Mary, Jesus and John the baptist. (gold mosaics)

                     Pagan symbols on the outer hall of the main room ? representing Zeus