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

Monday, July 25, 2011

Welcome to Bucharest - Elder Jones

   Howdy folks. Elder Lee here, with his weekly report on thangs. Stuff is going well. First item of business, my boboc. His name is Elder Jones. He is from Nampa, Idaho. He went to Idaho State University before his mission. He likes soccer and skiing. He came here in a group of 13. Sora Holman, a boboaca, is also here in Mihai Bravu. She's from Pleasant Grove, UT. It's been a fast past few days. Elder Jones is getting the hang of Bucharest. He's also learning more Romanian each day. He's already a champ at handing out english class ad cards. That's what we've been doing a lot of lately. We kinda need a class this transfer. We've given out a bunch already. It's good practice for him when all we'll do is gospel contact soon. We've also been doing gospel contacting on streets and in parks. We have found a few new cool people. 2 families! We are also trying to keep working with the investigators we already have. None of them want to come to church (lately, they haven't answered their phones either.) We do have the one cool guy that IS progressing, Ali. We had a lesson with him, and it went very well. We talked about the 5 steps of the Gospel. He loves the BOM, and feels a distinguishable peace when he reads it. We told him that this peace may be his answer that it is true. He hasn't yet recieved a fo-sho answer yet, but he keeps reading. He even gave the book to his mom and sister and they are reading it too! Things went well enough to invite him to baptism, but right when I was about to invite him to a specific date, he said he was gonna go to Lebanon in a week or 2. So, we still asked him, but didn't give him a date yet. He said he would want to be baptized as he keeps reading and praying. He told us he prays about it every day. BUT, he didn't come to church, so we were disappointed because he loved church the first time and promised he would be there again. We haven't been able to get a hold of him for the past 2 days. Pray for him everybody!

   Otherwise, we still have some investigators, but none are progressing. Why can't they go to church? It's one of the most important things in getting an answer. I need to do better at getting members present in lessons with us. That's probably what would help us and our investigators the most in progressing. Elder Jones and I wanna do more member visits this transfer to get to know them more and to find members that would be good helps to our investigators. Besides that, we just need to find more people that are ready for the gospel and that will legitimately progress (as always). My district is fun. Elder Newton and Schroedter are awesome, and so are Sora Hansen and Holman. We already did some plan of salvation chalking in parcul Cismigiu. We found some cool peoples. It's hot. But I'm used to it. Time goes fast, and pretty soon, it will get cold again.

   Elder Jones is a good elder that wants to be obedient and diligent. He's keeping me in line. It was pretty weird being at the mission home on transfer day with all the other trainers, waiting to get our bobocs. Pres. Hill (who is doing well and such a cool and funny guy) spoke to us all a bit and gave us trainer packets. Then we went downstairs and Pres Hill called out who goes with who. I can't even really remember the day I was the boboc getting assigned to Elder Martineau. It's a roller-coaster out here on a mission. Never stops being interesting. That's for sure. I'm glad to still be in Bucharest. However, I might want to leave after this transfer (but I'm not sure yet because Pres. Hill might have us stay with our bobocs for 2 transfers). That's all the big news and stuff. I haven't really had any crazy experiences. My boboc is starting to have all of his though. I kinda feel like I'm a bad trainer sometimes. It takes patience. It's strange how fast things go in the mission. I am nearing my year mark...

   Well, stuff is going well. A lot of things are the same, besides the fact that my companion doesn't know too much Romanian. He's learning though. And falling asleep. He's still getting over jet-lag. I remember jet-lag. I'd fall asleep in all my first lessons. Because hey, I couldn't understand Romanian anyway, so why not fall asleep? Just kidding. But I'm kinda serious. It takes focus and effort to adjust to coming here. Enough about me. How is the fam? Mom and dad, looks like you loved your trip. Too bad it's over already. That's cool news that Jamers and Mark got a new dog and car. Send me pics. Chris still hasn't gotten any permanent job? Vai de capul meu. I hope all is going well with his searching and waiting. Well, cool stuff. The mission is sweet nowadays. Lots of bobocs, just one baptism this week (in Cluj), The Hill's are awesome, 10 bobocs coming in next transfer, etc... I guess I'm done for astazi. I love y'all. We'll talk later. Cu drag, Elder Lee

Friday, July 22, 2011

Goodbye Elder Gunter (my trainer)

I'm training a new boboc (i.e., newly arrived missionary)

    Howdy folks! It's me again. How are you? I'm doing well and am burning in the heat of a Bucharest summer. It's been a tense couple of days because of transfers. It's been a good week, but fast. It's hard to believe that this transfer is over. It seems to me that each new transfer goes a little bit quicker and quicker. I've really enjoyed it with Elder Martin. Yesterday night, we got caught in a random, fat thunderstorm and got completely drenched. It was fun. I've loved Mihai Bravu too. I probably had the best district in the mission! It's a bummer to get to the end. However, I'm still excited. I found out transfers today and got some big news. So, first of all, this next transfer is crazy. You got 15 missionaries going home and 13 coming in. Elders Bennett, Brunner, Toronto, Layton, Boehme, Gunter, Betteridge, Suppes, Mathis, Wirthlin, Johnson, and Gardiner and soras Hupp, Hansen, and Harward all leave! We have a whole lot of new trainers, a few new zone leaders, and a new AP. So, there will be 6 people from my group training and 2 will be new zone leaders. Let's see.......

   Elder Fonnesbeck will be a zone leader in Bacau, Elder Green will be a zone leader in Sibiu, Elder Mikolyski will be a trainer in Oradea, Elder Nilsson will be a trainer in Galati, Elder Nelson will be a trainer in Deva, Elder Pettit will be a trainer in Timisoara, Elder James will be a trainer in Pitesti, and that one guy Elder Lee will be a trainer in Buc Mihai Bravu. So, there's the down-low. Really strange, but exciting. But, yeah, I'll be getting a boboc! What?!?! It feels like I am still a boboc sometimes. It's super cool though. A lot of people from my group are all doing the same thing. It'll be a fun time. I just hope to be a good example. That's all that really counts. Time goes so fast. I'm at the point in my mission where all the cool old people were when I just came in to the country. My turn!

   I'm also very excited to be getting a new addition in my district: Elder NEWTON! One of my favs!! He finishes his term of branch president in Deva and is coming to be with Elder Schroedter as ZL's! OH SNAP! It'll be cool to be with him again. Sora Hansen is staying put. She will also be training a boboaca (female baby duck)! So that makes 2 bobocs in my district. Elder Martin is going to Pitesti, and Sora Ausen is going to Chisinau. Both got one and outed. I'll miss those two. There will also be 2 bobocs in the Panduri side of Buc. Lots of little baby ducks will be filling in the cities! On transfer day Wednesday, all of us trainers will go to the mission home to have a little meeting and then meet the bobocs! It's then when I meet my boboc and get to work with him. Weird! The new AP is Elder Finch, who I don't really know too well, but he's really cool. He's actually from Spanish Fork and I talked with him once and asked if he knows Tyler. He said he remembers going to school with him. Anyways, that's all the craziness.

   But yeah, I had a fun week. Elder Martin and I have been having fun.  We've talked with a guy named Andrei at Parcul Cismigiu a couple of times about the Restoration and BOM. We gave him the book. He committed to read, pray and come to church. He wasn't at church though yesterday. He's really nice and seems sincere and open-minded. He even bought us some ice cream (it was a hot day). Otherwise, we've also been trying to talk to Ali, a guy Elder Martin found in Herastrau whilst chalk-contacting. He lives in Seattle but is here for school every summer. He knows Romanian and English. He loves reading the BOM and says he feels a unique peace about it when he reads. He wants to find out about it. He has prayed and come to church once, and we hope he finds his answer. We want to invite him to baptism the next time we meet. We didn't have any investigators at church yesterday. It's kinda been a dry run in terms of that specific key indicator. But, we all mergem inainte don't we? Our family still has apartment troubles, and we really need to meet with them. It's been almost a week! It's been fun talking with all these people. I just want to keep finding more and more people so someone will get baptized! It'll be fun to still be around here for yet another transfer, hitting up the parks and trying to do better at metro-contacting. I'm gonna feel real bad if I don't do everything I can to be a good example.

   Enough about me. How are you mom and dad? Enjoying Salzburg and the alps? It sounds like you've been treated pretty luxuriously over there. What type of food have you eaten? Have you bought any cool souvenirs? What's the weather like? Tell me more about it. I guess you only have a few days left already. I hope you'll be ready to leave and not get sad. I hope the rest of the fam is doing OK. I haven't heard from Chris or Jamie in a while. I hope stuff is going well with them. Hey mom, I got that package. Multumesc mult. I like the cookies. I'll be waiting to see some cool pics of your trip. I hope all else is well. I can't think of anything else to say. Oh yeah, the other day, all of bucharest (elders, soras, APs, office elders, and even president and his wife) all joined together in centru and sung hymns/contacted people. It was fun. We sang about 16 hymns. there were lots of people that were probably thinking, "who are these ridiculous people who sing so beautifully?". We also visited Sora Gorzo as a district to eat some tasty ciorba de perisoare (meatball ciorba), chicken and rice, and sarmale. I love Sora Gorzo! But, alas, I must make an end of my speaking. Ma iubiti! La revedere!!! Love, Elder Lee     PS - I'm really gonna miss Elder Gunter.

Hot in Bucharest

What's up! It's just me again for the billionth time. I'm doing well. I kinda have a half cold half not cold. It's so HOT now! The past few days have been like 37 degrees, which in Fahrenheit is like high 90's. It's the dang humidity that makes life in a white shirt and tie kinda miserable sometimes. It's all good. I'm not too bothered by it. It's been a fun week. Elder Martin and I have been doing well. We've found some more cool peoples to talk with. There's one guy, Ali, who Elder Martin talked to while we were doing chalk contacting. He ended up coming to church and really liked it. He read 100 something pages from the BOM already and I think he could be baptized soon! I may not be able to see the progress of him or others as I may be leaving in just a week. It's not for certain, but I'm guessing that I leave cuz I've already been here for 3 months. It doesn't feel like that long. Well, I'll let y'all know transfers NEXT monday. Our one family is doing well. They didn't come to church yesterday, but we had a good lesson with them about the gospel. We talked a little more bout baptism. We didn't invite them to be baptized yet, but now they know the importance of this covenant and I committed them to pray about it (especially about the restoration of this authority through Joseph Smith) We also showed them some Motab! They have a computer and sometimes, we like to take advantage of computers and show them some stuff about the church online. They first showed us some videos of some guys singing about Isus in some type of conference with lots of people. I liked it! There was a whole band playing too, with drums and guitar. Sometimes I wonder why we can't have guitars in OUR sacrament meetings for musical numbers. At least acoustic guitars....Nu stiu. But things are going well with them, just that they still need a new apartment and just haven't had any luck with finding one in their price range.

    On Tuesday, we helped the humanitarian senior couple (the Wolsey's) to move some furniture into a bloc apartment for some people to move in. They said the people moving in have AIDS and so they invited us to help them move in beds, a table, chairs, mattresses, a washing machine, and a fridge. We put together beds and chairs, and had fun. I squeezed myself in the tiny elevator with the fridge all the way to the 9th floor. For going on lifts here in blocs, you have to close the doors so these certain buttons are pushed in order for the lift to go. But with the fridge there, the doors would not possibly close, so I had to push those buttons with my fingers, BUT, I also had to push the button for the 9th floor. So I had to stretch out my hand to hit both buttons to make it go and also hit the 9th floor button. It might sound cool, but trust me, its quite a boring story. It hurt my little pinky too. I don't know why my fingers are so skinny. Then we had to rush over to english right after, and had no time to change. It was nice to go around in normal clothes for a while. We were able to go to visit Mihaela, an former investigator, for dinner. She's so nice and invites us to dinner every once in a while. We ate some ciorba, mamaliga, and a good dish with pork and veggies. We had some tasty raspberry ice cream after. It was great. We showed her some Motab too. I also played with Arthur, her hamster. Friday was my 10 month mark. So like, I've almost been out for a year. It's trippy! On Sunday, we visited Sora Bobeanu again with the sacrament. She's just always on her bed and can't move. She has some type of cancer in her legs or something. I enjoy visits there. We read about an Atonement talk in the liahona, about how the atonement can heal all pain. Every type of pain, whether it comes from sin, sickness, accident, injury, abuse, whatever. She's such a good example. All she wants to do is just serve God. She prays every day to have the strength to serve Him. She said she doesn't know exactly why He is keeping her the way she is, as she cannot move or go to church, or talk to people about the church. However, at least one reason is because she is teaching me in our visits all about how important love, hope and faith are, and how every other worldly thing doesn't matter. She's also so funny and just happy about life. I'll miss my visits to her when I leave. Other than that, the week has been pretty basic and what not.

   Mom and dad, how is Europe treating you? I saw that you got there safely and you got to Frankfurt, then went to Switzerland. Seen some pretty places? I bet. I also read about how expensive things are there. I would not pay for any meal at McDonald's if it was flippin' almost 20 bucks! Why is stuff so expensive there? I hope you guys do cool stuff and have a fun time. Hopefully the weather stays bine. Is it as hot there as it is here? It's too bad you won't see the Holden siblings. I bet they're having a fun time though. Well, I guess my only tip is to just keep it real, ok mom and dad? Also, get me a cool souvenir, like a...I dunno, surprise me. What cool stuff is there to buy? You better buy something really expensive for me. I kid. Just remember that I'm your favorite child. I also still haven't gotten that 4th of July package yet. I'll get it soon though.

    Well, I'm about done. I hope all is well with the family. All is well here in Bucuresti. I can't believe Tyler gets home in 4 months! Time is fast, AND furious (ok, that was retarded). But yeah, the mission does go by so fast. You gotta give your all each day. Sometimes, it's easy to forget how little time you have and you just get in the flow and don't try your hardest. I sound really corny right now, so I'll stop. I love you all and we'll talk next week, when it's the BIG transfer day (when a ton of people leave and a ton of people come in.) Sper ca voi toti aveti o saptamana atat de plecuta si sa stiti ca ma iubiti!!! La revedere! Love, Elder Lee

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Welcome President & Sora Hill

Celebrating the 4th of July in Romania

Buna! It's me again. This week went really fast like usual. Hmm, what is today...oh yeah, it's Monday, July 4th. What does that indicate again?....Oh yeah, Independence Day!! Happy July 4th y'all! It's interesting to be in Romania for a day like this, but it is also awesome. We all gathered at the Panduri chapel earlier today to grill burgers and play volleyball and chilllax a bit. Some good old-fashioned American livin'. It was fun. However, I'm still waiting to see the fireworks part. I don't think I will be able to see any here. It's alright. They're overrated. The week has been nice.

   Probably the big news is that we now have President Hill and his wife here. I had the chance to meet them on Thursday at zone conference and they are pretty awesome people. They are funny too. I like that. They have traveled around the world to a few places. They come from a cool family and have already shared some really cool stories about themselves. They told about getting their call on January 6th, in Pres. Eyring's office. Even though they have been around the world some, they were super surprised to hear Romania, Bucharest Mission. They said they felt comforted right after the initial shock, and that it was a sweet experience to be there and talk with Pres. Eyring. I guess that's kinda how it felt for me. It wasn't so much of a shock, but rather a "well that's quite random" moment. Soon after, I felt a reassurance that it was where I felt I was supposed to go. And now, I've been here for about 8 months already. Snap. So, anyways, the zone conference was way fun, and I got to see some cool people including Elder Fonnesbeck, Elder Green, Elder James, etc.

   SO, the week had some rainyness, but it wasn't too bad. We got less lessons this week, but we got a new investigator and 3 to church! So, Ionuti is a new investigator. He randomly showed up at church, and we've had 2 or 3 lessons with him already. We've mainly been focusing on the Importance of the BOM, and that he needs to actually read it and pray about it before deciding it's not true. We talked a bit about baptism too, and talked about the restoration of priesthood authority to act in God's name. He's really cool, and he is Pentecostal. He can get really intense when he talks about things like the Holy Ghost, or when he prays. He also sung us a sweet song: "Dumnezeu este dragoste. Dumnezeu este Dragoste. Dumnezeu cel vesnic Dumnezeu totputernic, Dumnezeu este dragoste." God is love. God is love. God the eternal, God the all-powerful. God is love. It was fun. We all sang it together. Also, our one family we're talking to all came to church yesterday! Even in the rain! They really liked sunday school. We hope they will keep learning and reading and praying. They are looking for a new apartment right now. So nice. Otherwise, same old stuff. The zone leaders have a baptismal date on July 30th for Silvia. The district is doing well, and we're all having a fun time. We did chalk-contacting/draw plan of salvation on the ground together on Saturday in Herastrau. Same spot. We talked to some cool people.

   How has Utah been mom and dad? I hear mom almost got carried away in the river. Sounds like an adventure. How was the Shakespearian festival? I haven't been there forever. I hope you guys are having/had fun (depending on when you read this) there and are very excited for going to Europe very soon. I guess the next email you get from me, you'll be in Switzerland or Austria!  Buy me a something sweet and mail it to me ok?  This transfer is going very fast. There are only 2 more weeks left, then I don't even know what'll happen. Lots of new bobocs will come in, so I could be training already?!? I dunno. I might leave Bucharest because Elder Martin would most likely stay. Maybe I'll get white-washed into somewhere with a boboc (like Oradea or Brasov, or somewhere cool like that). I'm not stressing out. It could be fun. I hope the ward and family and friends are all doing ok. I am as always. I can't think of anything else to say. I'm out of good stories (sorry I don't have another awesome story of being physically assaulted...) I try ok! Well, I love you all. Peace be with ye. La Revedere! Love, Elder Lee.