Friday, 30 October 2009
Athens Zone Conference on 'Οχι Day, 28th of October 2009.
What is 'Οχι Day?
'Οχι Day is the day when Greek Prime Minister Ιωάννης Μεταξάς refused the ultimatum made by Italian dictator Mussolini.
This ultimatum, which was presented to Μεταξάς by the Italian ambassador in Greece, Emanuele Grazzi, on October 28, 1940, at dawn, after a party in the German embassy in Athens, demanded that Greece allow Axis forces to enter Greek territory and occupy certain unspecified "strategic locations" or otherwise face war. It was allegedly answered with a single laconic word: όχι or no. In response to Μεταξάς's refusal, Italian troops stationed in Albania, then an Italian protectorate, attacked the Greek border at 05:30 AM. Μεταξάς's reply marked the beginning of Greece's participation in World War II.
On the morning of October 28 the Greek population took to the streets, irrespective of political affiliation, shouting 'όχι. From 1942, it was celebrated as 'Οχι Day.
'Οχι Day is a public holiday which features military and student parades.
Enough of the history. Just to let you know, none of the missionaries said "όχι" to the counsel given at zone conference. We hope to move forward with greater purpose in the work of the Lord.
President Howe, District President of Cyprus, took us on a short sightseeing tour of Nicosia. Pictured by the pomegranate tree is Elder Gessati, an area seventy from Italy, who was visiting for District Conference. Bottom left picture was taken by the freedom memorial where Cyprus was dedicated for the preaching of the Gospel.
We love going to the airport to pick up those newly arriving from the MTC. The assistants and trainers were there to welcome the new arrivals. After our traditional meal at Souvlakia Kifissias we went to Mars Hill. We were very impressed with the new elders as they read in Greek from Acts 17. Their accents and their ability to read this new language was amazing.
Wednesday, 21 October 2009
Here we are again around the table to say goodbye to those who have served faithfully in the Greece Athens Mission: Sisters Voigt and Erickson and Elders Monks, Gladson, Boyd and Kelley. It is always a bitter-sweet moment, people glad to go home to see family and friends but saying goodbye to fellow missionaries always tugs at the heart-strings.
Tuesday, 13 October 2009
The bottom left picture shows Sotiris Tondo and Fotis Stillo.
(Elder Harris with his goal to be in all of the important photos managed to jump into the photo at the last minute!) ;)
Baptism Of Fotis by Sotiris on Saturday 3rd of October 2009!
It was a wonderful experience. Until this moment we had not witnessed a baptism in the Aegean Sea. It was glorious to see the Priesthood walk into the Ocean... and with all POWER and SOLEMNITY baptise this Spiritual SON of GOD. Fotis really did seem to glow. We rejoiced together and there was so much love in evidence as we shared this spiritual experience. The next day, President Charles had the privilege of confirming him. Fotis sat in the front of the congregation beaming with delight. He had joined this family of members in Thessaloniki, and they encircled him with their warmth and fellowship.
In the main group photograph we have Joshua who is 8 years old, Evelyn who is 12, and Bujar who has been atttending the centre for young single adults in Acropoli.
In the picture on the bottom left, we have Sisters Erickson and Longhurst, with Niki. This was the first time Niki had attended an LDS baptism.
In the picture on the top right we have Elders Southwick and Kelly, along with Bujar. In the baptismal programme, Elder Southwick gave a fantastic talk on baptism. He said they were entering into the door toward eternal life. He suggested that they write down their feelings about this special night. Daniel Kutomi (who is not pictured) spoke about the Holy Ghost. He said that those who had made the choice for baptism had made the right decision, and reminded us of Nephi's conversion through the Spirit. He said Spirit to Spirit can never be erased!
Friday, 9 October 2009
Thursday, 8 October 2009
We expected them to be so tired and ready for a nap, but Elder Bell said "We are not here to sleep!!" and so after formalities at the office, and lunch at Souvlaki Kifissia, it was time to freshen up and off to the centre of Athens.
Top left: Elder and Sister Bell stand at the top of Mar's Hill.