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

Monday, June 27, 2011

I'm going to Miss President & Sister Lundberg

Goodbye to President & Sister Lundberg

   What up y'all. So it's time for another one of these email deals I guess. Elder Lee has been doing well in Bucharest Mihai Bravu. It's been a good week. It has been the hottest few days of my mission, but then it cooled off a bit and there was a random huge storm for a little bit. I hear it'll be rainy again. Dang. Well, the work has been alright here. Elder Martin and I are getting along nicely. As Sora Hansen says, "he's a kick in the pants". That he is. Sora Hansen and he served in Chisinau together when he started his mission there. We pretty much have the best district in the mission. Today, we just got done with go-kart action as a district at a fat mall. It was pretty dang fun. It's good to get some driving in too before I forget how to drive completely. I got 5th place.

    So this week was a lot of ordinary stuff. First off, Elder Martin and I have found and talked with some cool people. First, there's Daniel (the student from Targoviste). We haven't talked with him for a week or so because he's always busy or something. We invited him to english and he said he would come but he hasn't yet. We need to get talking to him again. There's also George, a nice 30's year old guy, married, finding a job here. He's been interested in the BOM and likes reading from it. We just last taught him Planul Salvarii, but it was a fast lesson as we had to be somewhere quick. He just needs to pray and know for sure about the BOM and Joseph Smith. We also met a cool new guy named Cornel at the park. By the end of our chat, he was really sincere and wanted to read and go to church. He promised us he would come. Well, he didn't show up at church. He said that some problems came up or something. I guess we need to get doing better on helping people come to church! We haven't had any investigators come for the past 3 weeks! It's tough when nobody decides to come. But, whatevs. We will keep doing our best to get people that are interested, to actually come. Finally, we have a cool new family that we are talking with. Lucian, Mariana, and Alexandra (their daughter). They are so nice and love to talk with us, even in the midst of having to find a new apartment to move into. We have had 2 lessons with them (resto and plan of salvation). Tonight, they're having us over for dinner, and we'll probably talk about the gospel of Christ. They said they've wanted to come to church, but haven't for the past 2 times. They also like to recite the Lord's Prayer as a family. It's a cool thing to see. We talked to them about how we pray, that it is just a simple conversation with God. I also even gave them a baptismal invitation, but they said "we've already been baptised...." so I kinda dropped it...for now. We'll need to actually talk on baptism and again on the restored priesthood authority before we ask them the big question again. It would be nice to have a new family in the branch here.

   Our english classes are fun, but no one comes. The soras have beginner (with like 12 people) and us 4 elders just combine medium and advanced (with only like 3-7 people). Elder Martin is hilarious and full of energy though, so it's fun. We always start with fun sayings and idioms, and Elder Martin gives them a saying that he always likes to say. The last time, he gave them all a commitment to say "you half a meatball!" to their friends and report back at the next class. Love him. Elder Schroedter and I had an exchange Tuesday night to Wednesday night. It was fun. I love Elder "Shredder". We had a park lesson and visited a couple less-actives. OH SNAP! Ok, so on the night we started, we were in the bus heading back home. We were standing next to 2 dudes sitting. We passed the chapel and the one guy saw it and started speaking prostii (unfavorable terms) about us and our church (cuz I guess he realized WE were missionaries for it and we were right there). So as the bus stops (it's weird because we wouldn't normally get off at this certain stop) we felt like we needed to get off. Elder Schroedter gave them a polite "o seara buna" and we walked off. Just then, the one guy SLAMS his hand into the back of my head. We are off at this point and then we turned around and he flips us off and spits at us through the window. Nice guy eh? The other elders happened to be right there for some reason and saw some of it. The bus drove off. I was like, "what???". We talked about what went down and we were all a bit mad at that guy. I was fine. I coulda thrown my BOM right at his face through the window when we got off (it's got some sharp edges...), but I'm a representative of Christ, so probably not a good thing. Also, I didn't really register what happened until the bus drove off. Good story eh? I'm glad it happened because it landed a headline right in my journal and in this email. I love Bucharest!

   Anyways, things are going well as DL. Same ol' same ol'. Elder Martin and I have no baptismal dates now. However, the Zone Leaders have a new one for a lady named Silvia. She's such a sweet spirit who wants to be a member of this church and wants to go on a mission. She also likes to talk for 3 hours nonstop. I think her date is on the 16th of July. We'll see what happens. The mission got 3 baptisms this last week, and I'm excited! Why? Because one was Larisa in Deva and the other was Anton in Deva (a family member of hers)! Finally! I wish I coulda seen them. It's been like 3 months since she should have been baptized. I guess she just never came to church? Whatevs. I'm happy that they are now members of the Deva branch! I really want to go back there some day and see them all. I miss Elder Newton too. Also, the Lundberg's leave this Wednesday morning. They had a special fireside last night where each of them spoke (even Josh). They all had great talks and afterward, I got some last pics with them. The Hill's come in tomorrow. We will have a zone conference/meet the new president on this Thursday. It'll be cool. I'm wondering how different the mission will be in just 3 weeks. Pretty different.

   It's good to hear how things are going back at the casa. Mom and dad, hope you have fun in St. George and Cedar City. That hike will be fun. I think all the priests did it a couple years ago, but I was gone (or was too old to go). Take cool pictures and send me some. Stay excited for your Euro trip too. I hope Chris finds a suitable job. Too much computer-sitting for him? Ward conference sounded nice. Sounds like Bishop Larson had a good talk that can apply to me. I am really missing out on Cafe Rio (mom, everytime you bring it up, I'm like "mmm....chicken salad with delicious green dressing stuff...mmm). It's all good though. I just had some Dominoes the other day. It's good here. Thanks mom for sending me a package. I'm still waiting for a fancy photo album with me and family memories in it. Also, I decided I want some Reeses Puffs or Captain Crunch some time. I don't know why. Sweetness. I'm done for today. I love you all. Ma bucur ca am putut sa vorbesc cu voi. See you laters. La revedere! Love Elder Lee.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Bucharest is a Blast!

Bucharest is Great!

    Hello dragi frati si surori! How are you doing? Elder Lee here din nou. Time to tell y'all about my week I guess. Well, it was a good week. Elder Martin and I have been having lots of laughs and good work together. He's still not so accustomed to Buc quite yet. I think he's liking it though. I thought it would take me forever to get used to here, but it didn't. I am really liking my time here as district leader. It's a fun district and we all get along real well. Oh, before I forget, Happy Dad's day Dad! I lurve you. Thanks for having raised me in such a good home and family and doing all the many things that have helped me grow and be happy. I hope you had a great Sunday dad's day and enjoyed YOUR day. I kinda forgot it was father's day here. It doesn't exist here. It was a good Sunday yesterday though. I did make it to church this time without any food poisoning. I also gave a little talk in Sacrament about keeping the commandments. I used Mosiah 2: 22-24 and 41 or something. I like those verses.

    The week has gone a little slow, but was full of english contacting and sign-ups and lessons and things. Only 13 people came to sign up for english. That's bad. We hope more come to the actual classes. On Saturday, we as a district did some chalk contacting. Meaning we drew the plan of salvation on the ground in a busy intersection of a park path (at Herastrau) and just stopped and talked with people about the plan. It was really fun and pretty productive. Lots of people talked, but lots just flew on through on their bikes or rollerblades. It got my district leader stamp of approval. So I did end up buying a 500 gig hard drive for about 270 lei. It's super nice and will be a cool little tool to store tons of pictures and musics. It was a good investment. My first district meeting (adica, conducting one) went well. I just talked about finding people and how it is an act of faith. Good stuff.

   Elder Martin and I are talking with 2 new guys, Daniel and George. Elder Farr and I found Daniel in Parcul Cismigiu and we were finally able to set up with him because he had been busy with exams. We talked in the park all about the restoration (some guy interrupted us for awhile, man I hate that) and committed him to pray and read the BOM. He had already read half of the BOM! We're gonna talk to him again tomorrow after english class (he's also interested in free english! Who wouldn't be?). George was found by Elder Martin and me in Parcul Cismigiu too. He's a nice guy who was interested in our message and the BOM. We were able to meet him a second time and have a full resto. lesson. He's read some of the BOM and he's really interested in it. We committed him to pray about it. We hope we can keep working with these 2 new guys because it seems to me that they have a sincere desire to learn more and keep talking to us. We didn't have any investigators in church yesterday unfortunately. Our favorite Italian lawyer Salvatore is doing well, but in our last visit, he decided he did not want to go to church (our church) any more at least for a time. He said he preferred to just read and pray alone. He also doesn't understand a lot of the words spoken at church because he doesn't know completely Romanian. It bummed us out! We shared some stuff from Elder Oaks' Desire talk. We wanted to make sure he had a desire to attend sacrament meeting. I guess for now, no. But, we'll keep talking with him once a week and see where things go. Otherwise, other people are doing well. Our recent convert Iulian is doing well, but hasn't come to church for the past 3 Sundays. He said he'd come with his mom yesterday but called and said she no longer could go. It's sad. I don't want him to already be both a recent convert AND less active. Sora Bobeanu (the sick sora) is doing well. She's kinda always just on her bed, but I always like our Sunday sacrament visits. We gave her the Liahona to read. She's a good example of having complete faith in the Lord. She wants to get better so she can still do things to help others. Her testimony is rock solid.

   Yeah, the work's going well. No baptisms coming up any time in the near future, but we have a goal to get 1 baptismal date this week as a companionship. Our zone goal is to get 7 baptisms as a zone (1 per companionship in this transfer). There were 2 baptisms this past week in the whole mission. Someone from Chisinau and someone from Cluj. Pres. and Sora Lundberg are getting very close to leaving. We'll all miss them.

   It's good that all is well in the home-neck of the woods. Mom and dad, keep being excited for your big trip. Mom's taking organ lessons? That's pretty cool. I hope Chris settles with a good job that he can enjoy. I also hope Mark and Jamie's new assignments will go well. The ward is doing well as always. Mom and dad, say hi to people at church for me. Tell Bishop Larson that I miss him and appreciate him a ton for all the things he's done with us when we were all scouts. I hope everything else is all well. I'm out of things to say. I love y'all and please, keep it real. Mai vorbim ok? La revedere! Love, Elder Lee.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Still working Hard in Bucharest

Howdy y'all.Ce faceti voi? Sper ca bine. Things are going well over here in Mihai Bravu. Not too much happened this past week except transfers. Transfers come up way too fast. Anyways, it's been fun so far. My new comp Elder Martin is from Orem. He has served in Chisinau, Oradea, Brasov, and Bacau. He's a fun guy. It's been fun with him so far helping him adjust to Buc and working with him (especially doing a lot of english contacting). Being a district leader is not too different, I just have to make more calls and set up appointments. I also need to do a correlation meeting, go to PEC meeting, and conduct district meetings. It's not too overwhelming. It's been fun and it's good that I learn the ropes of district leader-ness now because pretty soon, the mission will be really young and lots of younger missionaries will have to be in leadership positions. President and Sora Lundberg leave in 3 weeks or so, so we'll all miss them. They just moved out of the mission home to a hotel so the home can be prepped for the new president, Pres. Hill.

  It has been a little rainy here for the past week. It's nice and warm though, and not too humid. The rain can really be annoying on a mission though. It's cleared up a little bit today though. My district is really fun and this morning, we had breakfast at the Wolsey's. I also saw Elder Farr today when we all met up and played ultimate frisbee. He's a funny kid. Elder Martin and I have been doing english contacting as of late in order to get a sweet new class. We've also met a few people and had some park lessons. I hope he's liking the change from Bacau to Bucharest! On Sunday (yesterday), I woke up feeling nasty sick. I had a stomach ache and bad nausea. I ended up throwing up and throwing up and throwing up some more. I think I got food poisoning from McDonalds that we had on Saturday. I wanted to try some beef wrap thing, and it was ok, but not great. So it gave me a miserable Sunday morning, but I am feeling all better now. I had to miss church, and I eventually slept off all my nausea. Fun times! I don't remember the last time I ever got food poisoned. I really don't think I have until yesterday. I don't recommend it!

  The work has been going well. We don't have any baptismal dates, but the sisters do. It has to be changed because the girl, Amelia, didn't come to church. My goal is to find people that will progress. We have a couple of investigators now, but there are 2 with whom I don't know what to do anymore. They need to come to church. We've already taught them everything. Our little Iulian is doing well. But I don't think he has come to church the past 2 weeks. Dang. He's a recent convert and needs to go, but it's not the easiest thing for his grandma to pick him up every time (she lives far away from him). On last Wednesday night, we met with Sora Gorzo with the ZL's and had some delicious ardei impluti (stuffed peppers). She's a really cool member and even says "How's it going homie" and "What's up dawg" in english! As a district, we were wanting to go to a park and draw the plan of salvation with chalk on the ground and talk to some people about it, but it has been too wet! We'll still keep trying when it gets less rainy. It's really fun to be around Elder Schroedter. He's a great missionary. Right now out of my group, he's the only zone leader, me, Elder Nilsson, Elder Pettit, and Elder Green are DL's (Elder Green is also training), and the rest are senior and junior companions in cities such as Craiova, Galati, Buc, Timisoara, Constanta, Deva, Pitesti, etc. We're all getting so old!

  It's great to hear how home is doing. June gloom I hear? That's what's happening here. I'm excited for Elder Barlow. He will be a great missionary. Mom, I know you're enjoying your big break! You guys only have a month until your trip! I think Sara and Matt Holden should also come here to Romania! How is the ward and things? I always forget what big stuff is happening. I heard from Chris, and he said they might live in Ephraim for a year. That'd be cool. How are Mark and Jamie and Kenadee doing? I like all the pics of Kenadee. Can she talk yet? By the way Dad, I received your iPhone message, so it works! That's kinda nifty that you can send messages with it. Well, I hope everything else is good. I am out of stuff to say. I'm still probably gonna buy a hard drive soon. Stuff's going good around my neck of the woods. Well, I love you all. Mai vorbim. La revedere. Elder Lee.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Birthday in Bucharest!

I'm Staying in Bucharest!

  Hello dragi frati si surori! Ce mai faceti? Eu Fac bine ca de obicei. So, hello again! Elder Lee here. Hope everyone is well. This week has been really fun. I had my 20th birthday on Tuesday. We made some cake and had a fun district meeting and went to Ruby Tuesday's to chow down. I got some southwestern quesadillas and a strawberry lemonade and loved it. We went with the zone leaders and had a good time. The rest of the day was just a normal missionary's day though. I had a fun time. This week has kinda gone slow because it's the last week of the transfer. I hate transfers!! It makes me dizzy sometimes wondering what's gonna happen. I was kinda expecting what would happen to me though, and I guessed right. Here's the lowdown: I'm staying put in Mihai Bravu, and I'm going district leader! Whaaaaat??? Crazy. I'm not a junior comp anymore! I kinda guessed I would replace Elder Farr, because he's going zone leader in Panduri (the west side of Buc). It's probably gonna be a bit of a change being the one more in charge and doing some district leader responsibilities, but yet, I'm excited. I'm excited for my new companion, Elder Martin. He's in the group below me and I met him back in MTC days. He's from Utah somewhere and I love him! Also, Elder Veenendaal is staying as my zone leader, with Elder Schroedter (in my MTC group) as the my other new zone leader! It's gonna be way cool! He's a really young ZL, but he's a great missionary. I'll also still have Sora Hansen (who's super cool) in my district, and her new comp will be Sora Ausen. Transfers are crazy!

   Hmm, not too much else has happened this week. I went on a short exchange with Elder Brunner whle Elder Veenendaal and Elder Farr went to mission council. He's been a good zone leader and he's going into his last transfer (training a new elder from Sibiu, Elder Samoila). Elder Brunner is from Las Vegas and he is hilarious. I'll miss him when he leaves. There are 4 elders leaving this Wednesday (Gulden, Harvey, Shillabeer, and Sullivan) and 4 new elders coming in. Then, after this next transfer ends, 12 elders will go home (including my favorite Elder Gunter!) and 10 or 11 or 12 new elders will come in. Basically, it's gonna be a dang young mission! Furthermore, President and Sora Lundberg leave in like 3 weeks! Then the Hill's will come in. It'll be an interesting change. I just feel like singing "ch-ch-ch-ch-changes!" by David Bowie right now! I think the mission only had one baptism this week in Balti (Moldova). I forgot the total number this year. There are quite a few baptismal dates in the mission however. The soras here in Mihai Bravu are hoping to get a baptism on June 18th I think. I don't know the person getting baptized though. There is a new office elder too- Elder Miner- from the group right under me. Working in the office is a 6 month term. I guess I avoided it (for now at least!).

   The work has gone well as of late, but no new progressing investigators. Elder Martin and I will need to get finding more and more people that will want to progress and get baptized! We'll do lots of park contacting and continue to work with our existing investigators (getting them to church especially). I want to be a good district leader and example, even if I may feel inadequate at times. But, as I said, this mission's becoming really young, so lots of missionaries will need leadership positions out of necessity. Besides investigators, we've been talking with our new recent convert Iulian and may start reviewing the lessons with him again. Also, we have visited some less active members (because they are sick) including Sora Bobianu and Fratele Manescu. Really cool people! On Sunday, Elder Farr and I visited Sora Gorzo, a member who has known lots and lots of missionaries. She is really cool, but is sick right now, so we gave her the Sacrament. She fed us some salata de beouf and her delicious ciorba de pui (chicken soup). She showed us lots of pictures of missionaries now home (mainly all their wedding announcements). Fun stuff. Anyways, Mihai Bravu's doing alright now, and I hope I can be a good district leader now.

   How are you family? I'm happy that's it's summer time. That means summer break (not for me though). I'm excited for your trip mom and dad! Thanks for all the cool news about the ward and things. Thanks to all those who wished me a happy birthday! Congrats to all those who graduated high school! I can't believe I've already been graduated for 2 years now. Well, I bet there's a lot more cool news. Mom and dad, keep me posted! I'm pretty much done for today. Hey mom and dad, I'm thinking of getting a hard drive this next transfer sometime. It would be like 300 lei (for 500 gigs), but it would be a very good investment. I can store all of my pictures and music on it. Also, I could use it long after my mission for things. Just a heads up. Well, I can't think of things to say anymore. I'm a district leader now. That's the big news. Weird. Exciting. Cool, well, I love you all and we'll talk laters!! La revedere!! LOVE, Elder Lee.