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

Monday, November 15, 2010

Hello from Romania

Dear Mom and Dad and people:
   Howdy everybody! How are we all? I'm doing just fine. I'm in Romania now! It's pretty cool I guess. Haha, just kidding, it's pretty awesome! So my district and I got to Buc on last Tuesday. We had a safe flight and it it went pretty fast. Stepping foot on Romanian soil was kinda wierd (knowing that I'll be here for a while) but felt sweet. It was a cloudy day. We met the Mission Prez, Pres. and Sora Lundberg. They are super nice! They warmly greeted us and helped us get up and running. Then we met the Van Ormans (Mom, these are those people you know) so I talked to them about how you know them and they remember knowing Grandma. It was really cool! They're super nice. Elder Van Orman took us to the mission office in Buc (sector 1 or 6 I think) and it was a nice office. We got a cool view of the city, got interviewed by Prez, got oriented by the Van Ormans, got physicals and visas taken care of, and met our nases (our godfathers, meaning the older elders that take us out tracting the first night and help us.) mine was Elder Lyon. With him, I got to eat my first Shaorma ( burrito-ey wrap with french fries, chicken, onions, pickles, ketchup, mayonaise, and some delicious garlic sauce) So it was mighty tasty. Then we taught a lesson to some girl, Violeta (romanian) who works in the mission office but is not baptized yet. We watched Legacy and talked about pioneers and the book of mormon. It went well! Then we contacted some dude on the streets and he was interested in our message about God, so we said other Elders would call him and meet with him, as I never saw him again. Me and Elder Durand (in my district) got to sleep the night in the Lundbergs home, while my other elders slept with missionaries in their apartments all over Buc. Their house is so nice, it's like stepping into Utah! The second day, we finished up our Visas, got legalized, and went to Cismigiu Park, where we sang and read the dedicatory prayer for Romania by Elder Nelson. After, we had lunch at the mission home (lasagna and tons of Romanian juices) The juice here tastes like candy, and my favorite is the Peach. It tastes like Peach Rings juice. Yum! Then, we had a little orientation meeting and finally, were sent off to our areas!
    And so now, I am doing this email from some little internet cafe in the city of Bacau, with the 3 other members of my district, Elders Martineau (my trainer), Gunter (the district leader AND branch president), and Gauthier (Gunters comp.). Yep, there's just us 4 in this whole city of 177,000 people. I got to meet them all and they are great elders! Martineau is my trainer and he is pretty cool. He says he still has 5 months left I think, so he's about ready to go home. He's a great teacher and example, and we get along well so far. Our apartment is in some big Commie block, but it's actually quite nice inside compared to the outside. It's near the biggest church in Romania (some giant Orthodox church thats still being constructed) its way cool! Ok, just so you know, every single building here, if its not a church, is a Communist block. It feels like Buc. There are no suburbs or houses. Just tall blocks. Ok, anyways, me and elder martineau compose half of the district. Elders Gunter and Gauthier are the other half. The branch here is ridiculously small. We meet in a rented out vila (house) and there are 7-10 members who come. Yep, thats it. My first sunday here we had 7 come.  Elder Gunter is the Branch President (like the bishop) and he does a great job. That means that I am called on to participate often. My first church (yesterday) I gave a talk on the importance of missionary work, passed the sacrament, and said the closing prayer. It was pretty easy actually. other Elders from my district got sent to Arad, Deva, Buc, Galati, Constanta, Brasov, Alexandria, and Cluj.
   Also, I already got to see a baptism!!! On Friday, a man named Dorin got baptized (I had nothing to do with him as I'm new). At the meeting, I spoke on the Holy Ghost and said the prayer. I probably could have baptised him if I wanted to as he told the other elders he didnt care who did it. But I decided not to haha! I got to participate in it though! I may see another baptism or 2 in the coming weeks too! For this whole year, its been the mission miracle to get 200 baptisms by the end of December. Now, there are 115. We have 85 to go in the next month and a half! We got this! I feel like its my duty to help in that with my boboc fire! (boboc meaning duck, a word for greenie, because I'm still fired up about missionary work just coming out of the MTC). It's a neat opportunity.
    So anyways, Bacau is a cool city. Im getting used to it each day. I dont feel overwhelmed, but I still do feel a bit clueless and helpless haha. That meaning that the people here (the natives) speak so fast and mumble words that I literally dont understand ANYthing! I thought I learned a lot in the MTC, but here, its like a pushed a re-set button. I really dont know what anyone is saying, though some people speak english. yay! So Im ok with that, because I can trust in my Trainer to help me. It just takes time and speaking to get better. SO its ok that I dont understand a single word. ( well, I can pick out parts of sentences!).
    Romanians are awesome though. Me and Elder Martineau have been talking to a family and their daughter, Mihaiela, is close to baptism ( i think she has a date) her brother Daniel is already baptized, and we are also talking to the dad and mom, Mihai and Petronela. The two youngest sons are named Marius and Alin (nick named Coco) They are too young to really be taught. the little one, Coco, is flipping adorable and is so loud and runs all over the place. Its really funny. It's cool to talk with them, even though the past few days, I have been tired out of my mind from jet lag and stuff and also, the words go right over my head. It's kinda funny, I just sit there, fighting sleep, and adding my 2 cents in sometimes. But im a boboc, so its ok. I'll get there!!!
   That's about it for now. I apologize, I forgot to bring my camera to put pictures on this email. But next week I will have it! FYI, my pday is always on Monday. Anyways, Im still adapting every day and am really enjoying it so far! I love you all and cant wait to email you again in a week. Thanks for all your support and prayers! I'll talk to you later. La revedere!!!!     Cu dragoste, Elder Lee.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Romania, here I come!

Bune Ziua everybody! How are we all? I am doing foarte bine as always. Guess what? This is my last email from the MTC. That's right, I got my travel plans!!!! I'm pretty excited about that. I'm about ready to leave and get back to a real world again!
    So before I tell you (mom and dad) the travel plans, I'll tell you a little about how my last week has been. I'm doing well still, and am getting better at Romanian each day. We did our last TRC lesson and last TEC (progressing) lesson. They both went really well. We talked about baptism and stuff. I feel like I can teach pretty well in Romanian, and so can my companion! For the last devotional, we got yet another apostle. It was Elder M Russell Ballard! He gave a talk on becoming a master communicator. I loved it. He spoke on how we can teach so much more confidently if we are good communicators. I can always improve my communication skills! I got to host again with my district. I hosted one elder from Washington going to Tampa, Florida, english speaking. It was fun. Not much else has gone on here though, just learning a few more grammar principles and having some good scripture study. I haven't gotten any mail for like 4 days, so there's not much I can respond to haha! But it's all good. I should let y'all know that on Monday the 8th, I will be flying outta here, so don't keep sending letters to me in the MTC, unless you know it will get here by Saturday! My Romania address should be here on this blog I think.
   Apart from that, everything else is going fine! I'm so excited to LEAVE! So here are my travel plans:
         Nov 8: fly out of Salt Lake City at 8:35 a.m.  and arrive at New York JFK Airport at 3:18 p.m.
         Nov 8: leave New York at 5:40 p.m. (2 hour layover) and arrive at Vienna, Austria at 8:30 a.m. on Nov 9th.
         Nov 9: leave Vienna at 10:35 a.m. (2 hour layover) and arrive in Bucharest, Romania at 1:10 p.m.
   There you go. Mom and Dad, I might be calling you early morning on Mon. Nov, 8, before our flight at 8:35. I hope you'll still be home and not at work. I'm guessing we'll get to the airport at around 6 to 6:30 or something. I dont know. So wake up early in case! I could also call from New York between 3:18 and 5:40 on Monday. I don't know if I can call from Europe, but we'll see. The time difference is like 7-9 hours ahead or something, but you know my schedule, so be ready in case you hear the phone ring. I'll try and give you a call, but if i don't get the chance or if you miss my call, that's OK! We will also be able to call or Skype at Christmas too.
   So I'll need to get all packed these next few days and then we'll wake up at 5 a.m. on Monday morning to get driven outta here forever and go to salt lake airport. It's so exciting to go to Europe for the first time in my life! I feel ready to adapt to Romania. I know it will be overwhelming at first, but I don't care, that's only natural. I'll learn a lot of the language there too. I'm excited to see who my trainer will be and where I'll serve first. My next e-mail (not sure what day it will be) will be from Romania in my new area I'm pretty sure. I just wanna leave this MTC because I'm a little tired of being here, even though it's been great. I'l defs miss my beloved district and companion, and hope to see them again in Romania. I'm also quite happy to eat REAL food (and flipping good food too) in Romania, such as shoarmas and sarmales. Yummy. Anyways, I don't have much else to say and need to get logged off. I love you all and hope you are all doing great. Thanks for your prayers and letters and everything! I miss y'all! Romania, here I come!
La revedere!!!!!   Cu dragoste, Elder Lee!
 P.S: mom and dad, please start emailing me at as I will not get the mail everyday anymore there.