Romania, Bucharest Mission: Sept. 2010 - Sept. 2012

Thursday, October 28, 2010

I'm almost out of here!

Hello everybody! How are we all doing? I assume well. I'm doing just fine as always. In 11 days (I think) I'll be flying to Romania! Sweet eh? We haven't got our travel plans yet, but I'm thinking we will this week someday. I'm excited. We should be going first to New York, then to Vienna, Austria, then to Bucharest! I'll be sure to let y'all know when I get those plans.
     Well, apart from the fact that we leave very soon, I've had another great week here in the empty sea (MTC). It actually snowed for the first time here 2 days ago, but of course it didn't stick to the ground yet. It's been a bit chilly, but nothing I can't handle. It'll be cold in Romania when I get thar. Hmm, Halloween is this Sunday! Happy Halloween everybody! Thanks mom and dad for the package of treats and such. I love wasabe almonds! Well, this week, there have been a couple cool things:
     On Tuesday for devotional, we had another Apostle come speak to us! 2 in a row! That's some low odds right there. Guess who it was!.........Yep, you're right, it was Elder Richard G. Scott of the 12. He's such a deep man. And way shorter in person! He talked about being led by the Spirit. He had a bunch of points that different missionaries volunteered to read out loud in the microphones. He also talked about humility, faith, character, and even invoked upon us learning a new language a blessing (with his Apostolic authority)  for the gift of tongues! That was pretty cool. So I don't need to study the language anymore because he gave me that gift! Yay! Numai Smecher! (JK) I'll keep studying. So that was a sweet experience. Let's hope for a 3rd Apostle in a row, shall we? 
     Also, yesterday, our district was called to help volunteer in hosting new arriving missionaries. I knew Devin Rowley was coming in, but never did see him! all the Elders line up by the curb and greet and take care of the new elder, send him to his room, and send him to his class. Me and others got called to help with international missionaries. Me and another Elder in my district, Elder Ransom, ended up helping 3 sister missionaries from Russia, Ireland, and Finland. That was pretty neat. We did have to give up gymtime (fun time) to host, but it was worth it. It's crazy because not long ago, I was one of those noob missionaries getting dumped off and entering a strange new world.
    Hmm, not much else is going on, Elder Fonnesbeck and I are still teaching a progressing investigator. He's still committed to baptism on Nov. 5, and we last talked to him about legea zeciuielli (the law of tithing). He accepted it and is doing well with his other commitments. We're getting better and better at speaking Romanian, even though we're only 1/1000th of being fluent yet! It's fun! Apart from that, it's same ol same ol. Studying, teaching, having a great time with my district, etc.
      I love getting letters from y'all (and packages) so thanks for those! I hope the weather and ward and everything else is doing fine in good ol redlands. Good for Dad, being the 1st counselor now! I bet that'll be fun! Good for BYU in winning another game. I hope Heaps and the team keep improving. I can't wait to hear where Elder Fisher will be going! Be sure to let me know! I guess he'll go to Germany, Berlin! Haha! Keep up the good work Taylor. Good to hear everyone's doing well. Thanks for all your mission advice dad. I'll be sure to do what you say and try to immerse myself in the culture and keep an optimistic attitide. I hope Jamers and Mark and Kenadee are doing well, as well as Chris and Liz. Sorry about last week's email being all bolded. I don't know why it did that! Imi pare rau (I'm sorry). Thanks Andreasens for your letters of support! I miss you guys, and hope zach and Briggs are doing well and having fun!
    That's about it for today. I promise next week's email will be more exciting (it will be my last email from the MTC!) I should have my travel plans by then, so stay tuned. I love y'all and hope you are doing well. Write me and pray for me if you love me aight? Ok, good. Well, I'll talk to y'all next week then. La Revedere!!! Cu Dragoste, Elder Lee.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Six & Going Strong

Well hey y'all! How is everybody? I hope you're all doing just fine and dandy. Thanks everyone for your letters to me this past week. thanks for all your support and what not. as for me, I'm doing foarte bine astazi.
     So I've had a great week here yet again. I can't believe it's been a month and a half! we leave in like 19 days! But I'm super excited to leave this place!! Not much different happened this past week, just the same ol' routine, except there were some neat things.
     First of all, this past week, we've been teaching the lessons all in Romanian still. (We'll never go back to English again) and we've been doing great! The language is so fun and I've really caught on to learning it. With our progressing investigator Steve, we committed him to baptism and he accepted! We set a date on November 5th for him to be baptized, and he's keeping lots of committments for us. (this is all fake, mind you). so that's purty cool I guess. Also, we heard from Brother and Sister Beeson on sunday fireside (he's the executive secretary of the Provo MTC) They were great. He had his kids and kid-in-laws speak about unity in companionships, trusting in the Lord, being diligent, etc. Then, on Tuesday night devotional, we had our first Apostle!!!! Yep, it was Elder Russell M. Nelson of the 12! He talked a lot about how important our missions are for our future, teaching about Christ, keeping in touch with convert friends you make on your mission, and other good stuff. It was a neat experience. All the missionaries here treated the devotional like it was a Muse concert or something! haha. they all rushed in cuz they knew it was an apostle finally. Elder Nelson was recieved like a celebrity haha. What's really cool though, is that he dedicated Romania to be a mission! Also, his grandson is our teacher! So it was a special opportunity to have him as our apostle to speak to us (we probably won't hear from anymore while we're here :( ) We also got a new Romanian district yesterday! There are 10 elders and one sora (sister). We haven't really met them officially yet cuz their schedules are all wierd until their first monday. It's dang crazy how i was just in their position not too long ago, yet it feels like forever ago!
    we'll get our travel plans probably next week sometime! can't wait for that and the plane ride and everything. This last 2 and a half weeks I really need to do my best to get ready for the real deal. Apart from those things, there's really not much else to talk about (I know, i'm always boring, but hey, it's the MTC, nothing really fun or super spiritual really happens here, so imi pare rau--im sorry)
    Well, it was great to hear from some of you. Thanks mommy and daddy for always writing me and tellling me how things are going. I'm so jealous that Cafe Rio is now in Redlands! good for you. That place is excelent. But I had plenty of it when I was at BYU! It's good to hear that Elders Perry, Hagee, and Rowley are doing well in Ukraine and Chile. I need their addresses so I can write them! i also got letters from my best friends Zach and Briggs! I loved those, thanks guys! I heard 2 awesome nuggets of news from them: Congrats Zach for getting accepted to BYU!!! I love you man! You WILL have an infinite amount of fun there, trust me. I'm so happy for you. Also, I heard that Andrew Campbell got his call to Ogden Utah English speaking! congrats Andy! I love you man! That's so cool that you'll be on your mission soon! You'll love it! Good luck (or bafta, in romanian)
   I hope things are going well for everyone! Things are going great for me! I never thought I'd love the MTC, but I do! Thanks to my dang sweet awesome district! We always have a number 1 time! i love them and my teachers. i'm going to be ready to fly to Romania! It's all going so fast! But it's a thrilling ride. Thanks brother for your letter. I am going to finally write you this week, sorry I haven't written you yet. I hope you, Liz, and Bosco are still keeping it real. Jamers and Mark, I hope you guys and Kenadee are doing well! Thanks for your letters. Well, I'm about out of timp (time) so I'mma peace it out. Va iubesc si bafta! write me if you love me. I'll talk to y'all later! La Revedere!! Love, Elder Lee.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Time is Flying!

Buna Ziua everybody! Ce faceti? Fac foarte bine astazi. How are we all doing this beautiful Thursday morning? I hope well. I am doing well like always and am learning and growing like nobody's business here in the empty sea (MTC). So thanks everybody for all the letters this past week. I'll respond to them as fast as I can.
     So yesterday marked week 5! It's going by too fast! I will leave really soon (november 8th or 10th I think). It's super fun to be here! I haven't yet gotten my travel plans, but will obviously notify y'all when I do! I am thinking we'll fly to New York, then to Vienna, Austria, then to Bucharest. Exciting eh?
    This past week was our first week of teaching the lessons solely in  Romaneste (Romanian.) It actually went well! So far, me and my companion have taught the Restoration, the Word of Wisdom, and the Law of Chastity in Romanian. Friday we will teach the Plan of Salvation in Romanian. The first lesson went well. I actually knew more than I thought I could at this time. It's really a Spiritual experience to testify in Romanian (even if I still can't express myself fully yet!) With our one progressing investigator, Steve, we taught the Word of Wisdom and Law of Chastity. we also committed him to be baptized and he accepted! Yay! Oh, funny story real quick: so we committed him to baptism in Romanian, and I say "will you be baptized?.....Or not?" Then he stopped the lesson for a few seconds and told me never to say "or not", that it's a terrible committment! haha. He said you shouldn't give investogators that option. Be bold and don't say, "or not". I wanted to say, "or are you not ready yet?" but even that's bad to say. But, I don't care, it was in Romanian and I will not do that again! But, yeah, I'm really diggin' Romanian lessons because of how much of a growing experience they provide. I feel closer and closer to being ready to teach real Romanians pretty soon!
   So this past week, we heard from our teachers that 6 missionaries got sent home early from Romania! Yikes. It's because of disobedience. We have been told recently that Romania has a culture of disobedient missionaries here and there. Our one teacher taught 5 of those 6 and feels so bad that they were sent home early (some only had a month left!!!) Ouch. So we've been lectured to on and on about the importance of obedience and the blessings that come from it. I am NOT going to be sent home for disobedience. (because that would just suck).
    Apart from that, I've had a great week, today I did initiatories in the Temple for P-day. I recently bought a Romania mission t-shirt. Pretty cool. I've also learned the language so much more due to teaching (speaking in Romanian). I enjoyed a sunday fireside by Richard Heaton (administrative director for the Provo MTC) He spoke of how central Christ's atonement is in our lessons. We also heard (on tuesday night devotional) from Bishop Richard Edgley (1st counselor of the Presiding Bishopric) so that was cool. He spoke of 6 principles of success for missionaries. One of the things he said was just to remember who you are (that's for you dad!) I really liked his message. We've also heard great lessons from speakers at Large Group Meetings too.
    So my BYU besties Elder Perry and Elder Hagee both left on Tuesday for Ukraine! I said bye to them and wished them well. I'm pretty sure they are excited, especially to have gotten out of the MTC (they had to be here for 12 weeks! yuck) I also today saw Elder Brandon Kinser. He's here for 3 weeks and will be going to Orlando Florida. It was great to see him!
    My companion and district are doing so great, learning and growing together. Of course I love my teachers too. They are amazing examples.
   Thanks dad, for your mission stories. I love reading them. Thanks mom, for your news back home and letters. I'll write you two today! Happy Birthday Big Brother Christopher! how does it feel to be 27 already? man, you're old. hope you and Liz keep doing well in school and work. keep enjoying Bosco. Thanks Jamers for your letter. I miss ya'll and Kenadee especially. I hope she is doing well and you and Mark are doing well. Send me pictures of her in her halloween costume or something! I'd love to see her cuteness. Congrats to Andrew Campbell and Taylor Fisher for getting ever so closer to serving. You guys will love it!!! Keep it up. Good job to BYU football for NOT losing!!! yay! Hope they keep it up.
    I am so excited to be serving in Romania and wonder where I will serve first. I understand that I need to submit to the Lord's will and be patient. well, I'm out of time for today, but thanks so much for all your support. I'll write back to y'all who wrote me. write me if you love me! I miss y'all but am having fun enough to feel happy here! I'll see y'all later. La Revedere!!! Love, Elder Lee.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

One Month In, One to Go

  Hey everybody! How are we all doing this fine week? I hope you all are doing foarte bine. I myself am doing foarte excelent. It's already been an entire month! It's going by so fast now. It's still so exciting! I have just one more month before I hit the big time- Romania! I'm so flipping excited to fly there and live there and testify of the Gospel there! You all should be feeling so jealous of me right about now. Let me tell you how this week has been for me eh?
    So of course I got to see General Conference this last weekend. Twas awesome. I took about 20 pages of notes and loved every single talk. It's really a unique experience to watch general conference as a missionary. You really take to heart each talk and try to remember to apply it into your missionary life. I especially liked Pres. Uchtdorf's talks on pride and simplifying our lives, as well as all the talks on faith and the Holy Ghost (Elder Scott, Elder Bednar, etc.) We also had a firesdie Sunday night by a member of the MTC persidency- Pres. Breinholt. It was all about hymns! We sang about 20 hymns, and I loved it. I really appreciate hymns so much more now being here. On Tuesday night devotional, we heard from an Emeritus Quorum of the 70, Elder Meuenshwander (really counfusing last name, but I think I spelled it right haha) He spoke of 7 things we as missionaries can use to have better success. One thing I really liked from his message was that we need to realize that it is ourselves and our attitudes that make or break our missions. So be happy and embrace challenges eh? I'm getting so much better at all the things we do here: learning Romanian, teaching progressing investigators, and such. I just recently memorized Joseph Smith's account of his 1st Vision in Romanian! Pretty cool stuff I think. The language is so cool and I love how I am in the only district that's going to Romania (just the 12 of us!) There are like 2000 Spanish speaking missionaries here and I get sick of hearing Spanish all around me haha! I realize how easy that language actually is now, seeing other Elders have some hard times with it (thanks to 4 years of it in High School). Knowing Spanish REALLY helps me in learning Romanian.
We recently taught a progressing investigator lesson 3 (the Gospel) and it went dang good! I felt the Spirit like nobody's business and really connected with the investigator. I can tell already that I'm becoming a better teacher each day here. You need to really testify WHY the Gospel is important to YOU or else the investigator will not care about what you're saying, even if you do a perfect job in teaching him the principles! Let that be my word of advice for the day to all you preemy missionaries who read this.  One more thing, next week will be the first time we have to teach all the lessons in pure Romanian! Yikes. I look forward to it though, it should be a great and fun learning experience!
   Thanks mom for all the DearElders and letters! So in answering your questions real quick:
   I loved conference, but the camera never did show my companion up close, but he was there in the MTC choir in priesthood session. He loved it. I am glad for Zach, Taylor, Andrew, and every one else who are doing their best to become better missionaries. It's good to hear the family is doing bine! Man, I miss little Kendaee. That's adorable that she is learning to crawl. Say hi to her for me (oh and feel free to mail me pictures of her!) Good job Aunt Kim and Uncle Tom! Keep up the running! I don't know how you guys do it, but keep it up! I hope Chris and Liz are doing well in school and work. I wish Liz luck in her tests! Happy B-day to Tia Lee! 10 years old already, wow! Tell Grandma hi back! It's good to know she is doing well. Good job to everyone, EXCEPT BYU football. I heard they got killled by Utah State....really? That's shameful. I hope they improve. I'm glad I'm not enrolled there right now and wasting my money on an All-Sport pass hahah! To my friends at BYU (Matt, Kaitlyn, Lauren...) keep enjoying it. It's so much fun. Pray that BYU football will do better! ha. Dear Jamie, I am getting SO excited to go to Romania real soon! Thanks for the letter, and keep doing well.
  Multumesc everybody (thank you) for supporting me and praying for me. May I ask, keep doing those things. I appreciate it. Also, thanks so much to everybody who writes me!!! I love mail like nobody's business and desire all who truly love me to write me. I promise I'll write back when I have the time. Well, my time is about gone, so I'll talk to ya'll later. Just know that I love it here and am happy!!! I lurve you all!!!! LA REVEDERE!!!   Love, Elder Lee.