Alex's Mission Address:

Elder Alex McLean Ditto

Romania/Moldova Mission
Bdul. Primaveril Nr. 19-21 Et.1 #13
Sector 1
011972 Bucharest

Email -

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

End of a Chapter, Beginning of a New

Hey all!!

This was a whirlwind of a week. I don't really have a crazy story this week, but I do have a few highlights and tender mercies that we were blessed with as Elder Meek, Elder Atkinson and I worked our tails off. Winter decided to come back and we had to face snow storms, sickness, and new assignments, but through it all we kept on humming "Called to Serve"... one of the most special things about being a missionary is the "missionary mantle." We are endowed with power, ordained servants of the Lord Jesus Christ to bring souls unto Him. This calling is the most rewarding, and joyful thing I have ever done. Every time when I think I can't go on, or I have learned it all... the Lord always gives us another trial or opportunity to grow and come closer to him. 
Sora Gorzo

Here are some of the highlights this week while being a missionary in the land of the Republic of Moldova:

Exchange to Orhei

Our zone leaders felt like it would be a good use of our time to join forces with Elder Baker and Elder Wilkes in the small town of Orhei (45 minutes north of Chisinau) for a half a day. On Monday night, we had a lesson, and then grabbed our night packs and searched for a "maxi taxi" (ghetto shuttle bus). Much to our chagrin, the maxi taxi station was empty, and it didn't look like we were going to be able to get to Orhei. We then saw a little maroon Dacia Logan with a green "taxi" light. We asked the guy if he would be able to take us all the way to Orhei. The man didn't even hesitate and within two minutes we were on our way! I won't say if there were seat-belts or not in the back seat, but we did make it to Orhei safely and ended up paying the guy 400 lei ($25). 
Street Boarding on the only "big" street in Orhei!

The next day we labored with all our might to bring souls unto Christ, despite battling the freezing temperatures, and my cold. We gave away THIRTEEN Book of Mormons, and found several people that were interested in the unique promise contained in the book. 
Just like old times

Elder Baker is the best!

Alex Temporal and Spiritual

Alex had been coming to our advanced English class for a while and one day confronted us about taking private lessons. We agreed to teach him English for thirty minutes and then to teach him for thirty minutes about what we believe. One meeting turned into many, and within a month, we were able to set a baptismal date with Alex for the 17 of March
The Elders and Alex

Alex is unique as I have been able to help him develop spiritually, as well as temporally- helping him prepare for an interview with his dream company. Something that I love about our church is the attitude of ensuring that self-reliance. The modern-day prophets have emphasized this in so many ways throughout the years, and seeing people struggle in Moldova temporally has echoed this truth to me. I am grateful for the humility and desire that Alex has to improve his life so that his family might have a better future is inspiring to me. I know that living the gospel of Jesus Christ is truly the way to true happiness- following the council of the prophets ensures safety in this life!


I met with Andrei [the man that had lost the church for five years after being baptized in Czech] at the new market just the other day. Andrei told me that he has been coming home with empty pockets- that he hasn't been able to provide his family with income. 
Andrei Gondiu - My brother.

This man has rock solid faith- he like Paul glories in his infirmities, but recognizes that he needs to find a way to provide for his family. I shared with Andrei a scripture that I had recently read.

Mosiah 24:1414 And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions.

This scripture truly calmed his soul. I testified to him that the Lord knows his sufferings, and will provide a way to provide for his family. Like Alex, Andrei is a true warrior and an inspiration to me as who I want to become as a father.

Restoration with humble family

We were able to meet with a family who I met on the street last Sunday in their home on the 9th floor of an old block on the outskirts of Chisinau. There we had a traditional Moldovan meeting with fruit tea with organic honey, fresh walnuts, cookies- the works! We taught them the message of the the restoration and testified of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, and showed them how they too could receive this witness.
The Best Two Years

I love missionary life, and I love Chisinau. 
Action shot
I made the Elders heart pancakes for Valentines day!

...and that's why the Lord sent me back to Bucharest!

SURPRISE!!!! Yup, I took an early morning plane and arrived this morning. 
Peacin' out of Chisinau

As I walked up the airplane stairs onto the plane, I took one last glimpse at the hills around Chisinau. The Lord truly put me through a refinement process I never would have imagined here in Chisinau. Now I am closing this chapter and beginning another one as an office elder in the capital of Romania. I am excited to see how the Lord will use my talents and what I will learn in these last six months as a full-time representative of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Hurrah for Israel!

All my love,

Elder Ditto
Brother Virlan... I look up to this man

Dorin... my first friend in Chisinau!

Elder Griffeth... a life long friend

Elder Walch
Visiting Fratele Hanganu

Victor gave his first lesson in Sunday school... he rocked it even at 84 years old!
Elder Rybitsky
Elder Sargysan

Monday, February 12, 2018

Going for Gold!!!

I'm feeling very Olympic today, how 'bout you? I must say, opening up and seeing "OLYMPICS" as the subject title on four of my emails made me a bit giddy, just like good 'ol Sanka Coffee from Jamaica. You know, the Olympics are actually kind of similar to missionary work... everyone getting all together and competing in many different events. Before my mission I don't know if I ever thought of missionary work to be a conglomerate of many different "works."  I guess I thought I would just be tracting and teaching all day. While that is a great deal of what I do here, there is SO much more to missionary work than just freezing you "royal Rastafarian nee-nees off" as Sanka would say. Missionary work is the work of bringing souls unto Christ. How do you bring souls unto Christ?

I guess I will share three different ways that fulfilled my purpose as a missionary this week. Keep in mind that I am serving in a trio right now, which has provided us with more people to work with, as two companionship's work join into one.
Love these guys!

I have had the blessing of working closely with the members of the Chisnau 1st branch while serving as the 2nd Councilor to the Branch President. The poor guy doesn't have much help from the few priesthood brethren that we have, so that is why I am helping him in the branch presidency. A recent convert by the name of Victor (he is 84 years old), has been having some issues with his living situation. He asked to meet with me and he described his situation. We created a plan, and then I felt like I should offer to give him a blessing. After explaining the purpose of a priesthood blessing, and asking him if he had the faith to receive one, my two companions and I laid our hands upon Victor's head, and gave him a blessing, like Christ did in the times of old. In the blessing, I felt prompted to promise Victor that he would have a place to sleep for the rest of his life (his landlord kicked him out that morning). We all gave sweet Victor a hug and he went his way. Later that day, Victor called me and told me that he tried to go back to the place where he had been staying. Miraculously, the landlord allowed him to stay there again that night, and every night until the 15th. Because of Victor's faith and the power of the priesthood, the Lord provided Victor with a way to have a place to sleep. 

This story is quite touching because of the fact that probably not one of us has had to think "where will I stay tonight?" That is not to say that God thinks less of our trials than of others, for he is the God of all the earth, our Heavenly Father! Victor's faith and this opportunity to help a brother by the power of God, witnessed to me that God loves and cares about each one of us!
Catedrala Centrala

Have you ever wondered what an Orthodox priest looks like? What about teaching the gospel to ten of them?

We got a phone call from the District President on Monday, asking us to prepare an hour-long lesson on our beliefs for a group of priests and priests-in-training, as part of an orthodox "build bridges with other religions" exercise. We were pretty nervous, yet excited. We were then asked by the head guy to focus on our beliefs on the after-life. Hmm interesting! We prayed and sought for inspiration, and line-upon-line, we prepared ourselves. The biggest piece of inspiration that we got was to start with the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ- to testify of the reality that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and by the power of the God, he translated a book of holy scripture, known as the Book of Mormon, to unveil some plain and simple truths that were lost from the Bible. 
Our Orthodox/Mormon Convention extravaganza!

As a testified of Joseph Smith, namely of the First Vision, I felt the spirit burn within me, testifying to me and to those orthodox priests that Joseph Smith did see God the Father and His son Jesus Christ. Throughout the discourse, we were asked (more like tested) with some difficult, deep doctrine questions, but God helped us answer, and we always came back to the restoration.

I know that those who had a contrite spirit and broken heart, felt of the truth of the things we said. Man. What a cool experience!
A lesson with Marina and her Mother.

To cap it all off, God blessed us with some really amazing people to teach. I am really thankful for the time I have had here in Chisinau, to see many people progress in the gospel! One guy who Elder Quist and I had been working with, named Alex, committed to baptism this week! He started off with only a desire to believe in God, and now is seeing the fruits of having faith and keeping the commandments! Another man who was a referral from the Facebook efforts of some other missionaries, also committed to baptism this week. Our lesson with him was very powerful, and the spirit truly witnessed to him that our words were true, and her recognized that this is the way to lasting happiness.

Though I am not watching the Olympics, I feel much more privileged to work in the Lord's vineyard here in Moldova! I feel humbled to be an instrument in the Lord's hands, and helping a variety of his children develop greater faith in him. 

Let's go for gold and bring souls unto Christ!

I love you all!

Elder Ditto!

Monday, February 5, 2018

Change, but still on the Lord's errand

Hello all!!

Well I have reached the end of my emailing allotted time once again... too many great and exciting things happening all at once [deciding on BYU-Provo housing for the fall]! I am currently emailing with my fellow Romanian Elders in Chisinau, but without Elder Quist. 
Saying goodbye to Elder Quist... He is going to do great in Constanta!

He has left to Constanta on a special assignment to be with an Elder who's companion had to go home due to medical reasons. It was sad to see him go, but as I watched him walk to customs through the airport, I couldn't help but smile, knowing how much he has grown, and thinking about the wild times we had together getting thrown into a foreign country and expected to swim!

Life is full of changes!! Starting July 1st, Romania will join with the current Hungary mission forming it's own mission (Romania/Hungary Mission), and Moldova will join with Kiev, Ukraine mission! Craziness!!! 
Pday Tennis Sesh!

President Hettinger asked us to share a story of faith in Jesus Christ from this past week to him, and I thought this was such a cool story that I want to share it with you all as well!

It was late and Elder Quist and I were wiped after teaching our weekly English class. Although tired, we were both excited to finish the night by visiting a family that we had found while block knocking a few weeks ago. They had received the message of the restoration really well, but we struggled to keep in contact with them. We decided to just visit them and when we knocked on the door, no one came. Elder Quist said that he was sure there were people in the apartment, however.  Saddened, we did not give up!

We set out to knock doors on one more block before calling it a night. We got to the 10th floor and as we walked up the extra flight of stairs after the 10th floor, (for some reason that is how the buildings work here), a scrap of paper caught my eye. I picked it up, to find that it was a 200 lei note! That is a lot of money! I showed it to Elder Quist and we came to the conclusion that it must belong to someone that lived on that 11th floor. We knocked on all the doors, but no one answered the doors. Elder Quist gave one more knock and then finally a man opened. We told him the situation and he said, "I have never seen two guys so honest! No one is like this!" He then told us that the money was not his, but would ask the little old lady next door. She opened the door after several attempts of ringing the doorbell, and the man inquired of the lady if the 200 lei was hers. She (also) honestly said "no," but she was hoping that we had found her keys that she had lost that day. Inspired by the Holy Ghost, I am sure, I decided to give that little old lady the money. 

The man returned and thanked us and had almost closed the door when I stopped and asked if he would be interested in a message of Jesus Christ. He stopped, and reluctantly opened the door. That led to a discussion (interrupted by the little old lady giving us homemade cabbage placinte) about the Book of Mormon and ultimately the message of the restoration. He had many questions referring to the Bible and was concerned that there could not be another testament, and it was then when the gift of tongues came in! Bible references, my best teaching skills, and pure Romaneste flew out of my mouth, followed by the purest testimony of the Book of Mormon uttered by Elder Quist. The spirit was burning, I felt like we were Nephi and Lehi from the book of Helaman, "behold, he saw through the cloud of darkness the faces of Nephi and Lehi; and behold, they did shine exceedingly, even as the faces of angels. And he beheld that they did lift their eyes to heaven."

The heavens were with us, and this confused man was able to receive some answers to his important questions, by the power of the spirit. Denis is going back to the Czech Republic and I pray that God will guide him to the missionaries, or the missionaries to him. It was our faith in Christ that caused us to act and then make a difference!

Andrei, our good friend who was also in the Czech at one point, is at a period of difficulty right now. the piata where his little clothing store was, was just bought by the supermarket, Kaufland. Everyone had to evacuate, and we were able to help him move to another location. 
Andrei's old spot for selling clothing

Getting the job done.

No more piata... just junk

The new location isn't as good but he has faith that the Lord will help him provide for his family. We found out that his wife is not very supportive of his religious choice to be Mormon, but Andrei wants to help her see that Mormons really aren't that scary! We are getting him a church produced New Testament kids' edition so that they will read to their little boy!

I love being a missionary, and I love seeing the results and trials of my faith, as well as others'.

I would love to write more, but you will have to wait six more months to get all the stories!!!

Love you all!

Elder Ditto

Monday, January 29, 2018

A peak into Moldova and the power of serving

Note from mom: Elder Ditto had to skip writing us all a letter this week 😢 as he had to focus and pump out several essays for scholarship deadlines. I thought instead of skipping a week I might share some bits and pieces from his essays which give a glimpse into life in Moldova and his feelings on giving service. Also, I think he had a zone conference this week and so he was able to visit with his Romanian missionaries.

Took Petru out to play some billiards!

Walking down the cold and wet streets of Chisinau, Republic of Moldova is not an easy sight to take in- manholes with the arm and hammer branded on the metal, old soviet blocks (concrete apartment complexes) that are over-inhabited and under-kept, and the frequent sight of homeless people begging for one leu (10 cents in U.S. dollars) so that they might buy a loaf of bread to stay alive another day. It seems as if this country is slowly rotting away! Upon getting to know the humble people of this post-soviet country, however, I have learned that people hold onto hope that they might one day overcome their difficult circumstances, and create a better future for themselves. Throughout the world, all men, women, and families are actively seeking to have a better future. Unfortunately, money is a great deciding factor in this life, and the majority of people do not have a clue as to how to find crucial financial stability.

This journey in Moldova has animated my dream of helping people with their financial life by becoming a personal financial advisor. Attending Brigham Young University will help me achieve my educational and career goals so that I might one day be able to help my friends in Moldova become financially smart.
The Romanians of Moldova - taken at Zone Conference

Serving and being an active member of the Church in my youth ensured a continuing attitude of heartfelt service and a growing testimony during my mission. I had opportunities to serve in the bishop’s youth council, in quorum presidencies, and as the seminary president of my class. When the call came to serve in the branch presidency of a struggling Moldovan branch, I was ready to use the Christ-like attributes I had learned while serving in Church to help my brothers and sisters.
Getting ready to "Heart attack" the branch president's door for his birthday

Living overseas for two years has opened my eyes to the rich advantage of learning from other people from a variety of backgrounds. The many service opportunities I participated in while growing up and living at home are what has helped bind all of my talents and qualities together. Participating in the local community leaf rake, painting fire hydrants, creating a playground for local Hispanic immigrants, and other efforts instilled in me a love for people and for God. When my missionary hero, Elder Randy Day, passed away unexpectedly while we were serving together in a town in western Romania, I was put to the test to see if I would turn outward when everything was telling me to think about myself. I was able to breach the barrier of self-pity and help those who truly needed comfort. The service that I rendered at that time truly helped me understand the importance of taking advantage of the opportunities that we have each day to be leaders and servants.
Elder Griffeth... love this guy

Elder Jacobson - so awesome to see this guy!

Monday, January 22, 2018

God numbers his sheep

Hey fam! 

Well another week came and went here in Chisinau- and it didn't go without some awesomeness!!!! Thursday morning we woke up to a good four inches of snow on the ground, and it didn't stop all day! The snow really beautified the earth and gave me a new feeling of rejuvenation in a lot of ways- I'll be honest- I miss me some mountains!!
Chisinau man!!!

The draining system isn't the best here...
A beautiful sunset

Though the snow was noteworthy, the real highlight of the week was in the works far before that. Today I am going to tell the story of Andrei.

At least six years ago, Andrei was living in Holland trying to find work so that he could feed his family. Without knowing a lick of Dutch, he lived there off and on being employed. Somehow, he found The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who took him in and fed him spiritually. For a period of time, Andrei learned about the restored gospel, and attended church regularly in Holland. Looking for more work, he moved to the Czech Republic where he found the church with his brother and both were baptized in a small branch five years ago. 
Standing in front of the neighborhood church

Fast forward to the first week of 2018, Elder Quist and I were doing some contacting on a chilly morning in our area of Riscani, Chisinau. We hadn't had too much success that morning, and frankly, we were just praying that we would survive the cold until lunch time (a greatly awaited time of day). We both saw a man in a beanie, that looked friendly enough to talk. We stopped and we asked him if he had heard of The Book of Mormon before. He said that he knew who we were and that he could come back in ten minutesIn ten minutes was lunchtime... but we waited for this man. 

In good fashioned-Moldovan standard time, he arrived twenty minutes later... BUT HE CAME BACK! He said that he had a Book of Mormon but lost it, and would like another copy. He explained that he had been to church in Holland and really like the Mormons. We got his number and parted ways.

For the next two weeks, we tried to schedule a meeting, but were having difficulties on both ends making it work. Finally, this Saturday, we met Andrei in a little market where he sells second-hand clothing. 
The Piata where Andrei works

We chatted for a little and then asked if we could share with him the message of the restoration. He listened intently and seemed to really understand what we were saying. After the story of Joseph Smith, I felt inspired to ask him if he had already prayed to know if Joseph Smith truly was a prophet of God. He said he knew that Joseph Smith was a prophet because The Book of Mormon is true. That kind of surprised me! And then he asked us if he could tell us something deep...

"Baieti- deja m-am botezat la biserica voastra. Am chiar un certificat!" Which, being interpreted, "Boys, I was already baptized in your church... I even have a certificate!"

We were speechless!!! This dude Andrei, was a member of the church! We came to find out that after he was baptized in the Czech, he had to leave quickly because he couldn't get a visa and returned to Moldova. Since then, he had never met another member of the church... for five years!! I testified to him that the fact that we met each other wasn't a coincidence! In God's timing, according to His plan, he led a lost sheep back to the fold. 

1 Nephi 22:25 And he gathereth his children from the four quarters of the earth; and he numbereth his sheep, and they know him; and there shall be one fold and one shepherd; and he shall feed his sheep, and in him they shall find pasture.

At that moment, this scripture came to life. I know that God truly does care about each and everyone of us. If you don't believe that, read Andrei's story again! This was a huge testimony booster for me. The fact that I am on the Lord's errand, about his important work. The fact that The Book of Mormon is the word of God. The stinkin' fact that I am in the tiniest, poorest country in Europe, yet witnessing that the worth of every soul is great in the sight of God. 
a little artsy shot

The story of Andrei continues. He has three sons and a wife who are all not members. We are hoping to meet him and his family this week and bring the spirit in to their home!

So, if you ever feel lonely, sad, remember that God numbers his sheep. If you are looking for a way to help someone but don't know how, remember that God will use you to help one of his children! You just gotta show him you are ready!
Winter is here!!

All my love,

Elder Ditto

PS. THE PACKAGE CAME!!!!! Made my whole week!!!!!! You guys are the best.

Also, shout out to the Dave Ditto fam and Aunt Laurie, Uncle Dan and Aunt Laura, and Grandma Ditto for the SWEET packages!!! I was not expecting those, and let me tell you- it is hard to ration all that candy!

ALSO, thanks to all those who sent Christmas cards, letters, emails, etc. I am pretty sure I have got the biggest fan club ever. FEELING THE LOVE!!!!

a couple of question and answers:
  • Do you have enough money while in Moldova?  Yes!!  Everything is so cheap!  We eat at home every morning and then eat out for lunch.  Dinner we sometimes eat out and sometimes cook.
  • Are you serving in the branch right now?  Yes, I was called to be the second counselor in the Branch Presidency a few weeks ago.  I am also a district leader.
  • How is Elder Quist doing?  He's loving missionary work! PUMPED!!!! We are having fun together, and doing good work.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Munca Misionara in Stilul Iernii!

Good morning fam!!!!

Well this week was cold. BUT AWESOME! Elder Quist made the comment that in Canada it is like -22 Celsius (here is like -2), but he never had to stay outside in that kind of weather. So, we are grateful that is is only -2 degrees Celsius! 
Bravin the cold!
Older man in a small town called Ialoveni

Cold means that people are inside, or at least trying to find warmth. That same friend who was going to have to live outside, ended up finding a place to stay for a week. He works outside all day, and when we met up with him, we offered him an extra coat and gloves that we had lying around in the apartment. His face lit up and said that he would love that so much. We ran home and brought him those warm layers, along with some hottie hand-warmers that I had gotten, and a treat. The gratitude that he expressed was simple and from the heart. Elder Quist and felt a lot warmer after that tender experience. 

We saw the Lord work through us in many ways this week. I have been really striving to listen to the still small voice that we call the Holy Ghost, and acting at all costs on the impressions that I receive. This led to us back tracking where we walked to find a man and his son, who turned out to be interested in hearing our message! I am reminded of Elder Rasband's talk about being a first prompting responder. I know that as we follow the promptings to do good, to talk to someone, or whatever it may be, the Lord will use us to bless His children. 

As we went about doing good, and talking with everyone, the Lord gave us little miracles, in ways that we weren't expecting. During a long night of block knocking,  a young man walked down the stair well, and immediately looked at the Book of Mormon that I was holding. He was intrigued, and wanted to know more! We testified to him of the truthfulness of the book, and he took one. Hoping to meet up with him this week! 


Another night, we were block knocking (we do this a whole dang lot!), and didn't have much success until the last door, when I mother opened the door and accepted a return visit to hear our message. Last night, we taught well, not the family but her three teenage daughters Elvira, Maghizar, and Samaia the restoration... I wasn't expecting that and was frankly quite uncomfortable at the beginning as we sat in the small kitchen with the girls. Thankfully, we found out that the mom and forgotten that the day she scheduled with us was her birthday and was going to have guests over!!! That meant next time it was going to be the whole family!!! But in those 45 minutes, we taught those daughters of God about their Heavenly Father, His plan that he has for us, and the guidance that he has given us. We showed them that their questions can be answered through studying the Book of Mormon. It was a really amazing experience at the end of the day!
Eu sunt in reprezintant al lui Isus Hristos!

Orthodox church in the works of being built... they build everything with those weird brick paver things

So, in spite of the cold, the rejection, seemingly awkward experiences, and random challenges, this week was quite wonderful. I know that the Lord blesses us after we show our faith in him... day in and day out. And after the trial of our faith, we see how much the Lord truly did bless us!
Elder Coberly is headed to Romania... Had a pizza good bye lunch to celebrate his awesomness!

Sora Gorgos...a wonderful and humble woman

This is a very Europeany posed picture

I love you all!!! Keep being awesome and good luck on finals!

Elder Ditto

Monday, January 8, 2018

Rejoice! The Lord is King

Hey fam bam!!!

First of all I just need to give a big shout out to momma for putting together those AMAZING posts about the family happenings during the Christmas time... I laughed out loud way too many times seeing all of the great pictures of each one of you! So thanks, mother dear!
Artsy shot!

This week was just a rock solid, dirt hard, full of little tender mercies, great week! As I looked over my journal, I picked out a few events that really portray missionary life here in Moldova. This week really put life into perspective, and I found a couple of great scripture stories that helped me continue to stay courageous and do hard things!

We have spent a lot of time on the streets and in soviet-built blocks this week. This has brought some cool experiences, some scary ones, and also heart-wrenching. Moldova really is at another level of poverty and corruption. I have seen so many people scavenging through the garbage to find something to eat, right next to a brand new BMW. I have also talked to kids that have absolutely nothing but a little souvenir that they are trying to sell. I have also talked to these kids and have seen their humility and faith in God. I am friends with someone who we had been teaching who has no place to stay until he gets his small salary in a week so he will have to stay on the streets. Imagine getting 100 dollars (maybe) to live on every month. This is the majority of people here. As a missionary I do not have permission to give money, so I try to think of other ways to help these people. I know that the Lord looks after his children, though. And that although our lives are different and we all have our own trials, all of them will be for our good, if we put our confidence in the Lord.
I feel like the Lord has opened another chamber of my heart -- I am just LOVING the Moldovan people!

One of my favorite experiences this week was teaching a young father what it means to repent, and that the Lord invites all to learn of him, no matter what mistakes you have made. The spirit was there, and I saw the Spirit enlightening the man. 
Elder Quist and I with friends.

Just ten minutes after that in the same block, we knocked on a door when a younger man opened. In Russian he asked, "How did you get in here?" (Luckily) he spoke English... and quickly commanded us to leave. We told him we that we didn't want to bother him, but he insisted that we leave the block. He put on his shoes and "escorted" us out of that block. It blew my mind how big of a contrast those two experiences were!

Luke 622 Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake.

23 Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.

This is a very humbling and invigorating promise from the Lord Jesus Christ himself! I have nothing really to add to this... this what it's all about! 
Putting our crockpot into good use.

I bought a little Nativity made out of corn husks by this man.  I hope it makes it home okay.

Rejoice! the Lord is King.


Elder Ditto