It’s been a
good week here in sunny Ploiesti.The
weather is pretty warm, but usually we have a breeze to keep us cool.It really only gets hot when you are on
public transportation, with 50 other people.Quick culture fact: Many Romanians believe that the movement of air
(current) into the open hole of your ear is the leading cause of cancer, common
colds, back pain and any other bodily ailments you can imagine.So to fight this horrible deathly air
movement, people either stuff their ears full of cotton, or they keep all
windows shut.Now imagine a bus with a
capacity of 55 people packed with just over 70. Then imagine that all the
windows are shut and it is a little over 25 degrees Celsius outside.What you come up with is me and the lady next
to me mixing sweat between our exposed arms pressed up to each other on the
bus. Plus the eager man, who clearly forgot his deodorant, behind you trying to
get off the bus 150 yards away from the stop.
If you don’t
remember, I spoke in church about two weeks ago. It was the first time I have had to speak in
church in Romania. Well on Saturday
night at about 9:00 PM we were in the store getting stuff to bake banana bread,
when the branch president called and asked that I speak again the next morning!
Tavi, our investigator, came to church
again this week which is cool too!
We also had our
zone conference up in Buch this week which gave us time to get outta Ploiesti
for a day. It was nice to see that I was taken care of by my mom when I found a
package full of Kraft mac n' cheese. It’s amazing what you'll miss after 7
months in a foreign country.
The language is
going alright. I wouldn’t say that I’m near fluent yet, but I do understand
almost everything that is being said now.The grammar is slowly coming and I need to work on some more
Well I have a new companion. Elder
Rose is 20 years old and originally from Bountiful Utah. He lived just west of
the Mandarin and moved when he was in the 9th grade all over the place, now
finding home in eastern Texas. He is a big boy and very intelligent. He spent
his freshman year at Harvard before coming to Romania. He has been on his
mission for 22 months and knows what he is doing. He actually was a Branch President
in his last area (Galati).
We did some service this week. There
is a member who works at an animal hospital and asked that we do some cleaning.
I think we were all expecting something really gross considering we have seen
some of the hospitals here for people. We got there and it was surprisingly
clean and nice. It was easy work, just cleaning
windows and mopping floors. I asked the member where I could get clean mop
water and she took me back to this room with a giant metal table with knives
around the whole room. She then looked
at me while filling up my bucket and said "this is where I work - dissection.
I only work with the dead animals . . . cadavers!"
As creeped-out as I was, I managed to
say "cool, very interesting!"
The weather is slowly working its
way out of the craps. We've had a few
thunderstorms here and there, but it’s alright. We’re also getting our new English classes
ready and advertising for that but nothing too exciting.
Remember Tavi? The investigator with a baptismal date a few
weeks back. He showed up to church
yesterday which was cool. If you
remember he told us "I don’t really have time to meet anymore, but if I
have time on Sundays I will try to make it." It was cool of him to show-up.I guess we will just see what comes of
Hope you guys are doing alright! I
love and miss ya!
It was sweet to Skype most of you yesterday! It’s weird to see faces and voices I recognize! Hope all the momma's had a good day and know that I love you.
This week was contact marathon. We literally walked over 30 miles
and spent lots of time contacting people. It’s been pretty slow for work though. The only lesson we taught this week was to Paul.
He is a guy in his 50's who is all about
gathering information. He kept
explaining to us what other religions believe, along with the big bang, Darwin's theory
and everything else going on in the world. He talked for an hour straight without us
getting a word in (a typical Romanianism).
We had a surprise activity on Saturday for the senior missionaries that
are going home. About half the branch
showed up and it was a pretty big deal for everyone. After we ate and people spoke, we had
traditional dancing and music going on. I
was the only guy that jumped in on the dancing with the ladies (kind’a dragged
in).All the other Elders were laughing
and taking pictures of me.
Mother’s Day went well. Dearden
and I had flowers for all the widows and old ladies in the branch, which is
more than you think. I also had to speak
in sacrament meeting for the first time on my mission. A little intimidating, but was told I only
made two mistakes in Romanian and I spoke as a Romanian would. We Skyped for the rest of the day and played Settlers
of Catan while our companions were Skyping.
Hope everyone’s doing okay and know that I miss you guys!
It’s been a long week. You remember Tavi right? He was the investigator of ours that had a
baptismal date. Well it’s been hard to
get a hold of him lately and when we finally did this week, he said he was just
too busy for our discussions – yikes!Luckily
we are still meeting with people like Alin, a young kid from Barcanesti. We take a 10 minute bus ride out from Ploiesti
to a super humble little street with tons of people, trailers being pulled by horses
and neighbors building each others houses. It’s been sweet and we are excited
to keep meeting with him.
The culture here is another world entirely. It was illustrated perfectly this week by a
man I spoke with on the street. You know that Romania has just busted the
chains of communism and is still fighting the formally corrupt society.The man explained that after the revolution,
people had no idea what to do with their "freedom." To better explain that idea to us Americans,
he said that it is the same thing that happened when Abraham Lincoln freed the
slaves. They only knew how to be slaves
and pick cotton. Romanians are climbing their way out of this rut and trying to
broaden their abilities and mindset. It’s
still funny and unusual to get cut in line at the store by an old women, or
have someone wave their finger in your face as you try to speak with
Not much to tell of this week. We
had our last interviews with President Hill and find out next transfers this Saturday!
Super excited to skype this week and talk with most of you! You guys are awesome! Have a great week!