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

Monday, August 29, 2011

I'll be Staying in Bucharest for another Transfer

What's up dragi frati si surori? How goes life? I'm doing well. Sorry, but this email might be a little short cuz I'm short on time. Well, the big news about transfers isn't all that big, actually. It turns out that I'm staying put with Elder Jones! I'm excited. That makes 4 transfers in Buc (half a year!) Everyone else in this district is saying put too, except for Elder Schroedter (he's going to be ZL in Arad!) I'll miss the dang heck outta him! He's excited though. He loves the west (he was in Timi for 3 transfers). I can't believe it's already gonna be my 4th here in Buc. It goes so fast. Also, in a week and a half, I hit my year mark. What? The other Elder Lee is almost done with his mission in Denmark. That's just weird It's an exciting/weird thing it is. There are not many big changes in the mission, just a couple of senior couples moving cities, and also, President is putting more missionaries in Buc and Ploiesti. That means one new companionship here in Mihai Bravu...guess who they'll be??? Elder BATEMAN and a new boboc!!! I'm excited to be around Elder Bateman again. They're actually gonna live in our apartment until they find a new apartment to live in. Sora Hansen and Holman are staying put too. It's Sora Hansen's last transfer she'll be starting. Elder Newton is staying and getting Elder Nilsson from my group (who has been in Galati for the past forever).Lots of people are staying in one city for 4 transfers. I'm also kinda jealous that Elders Mikolyski and Fonnesbeck will be ZL's together in Bacau! 2 of my favorites!!! It's looking like a fun new transfer eh?

   The week has gone well. We have 2 new progressing investigators now (Levent and Albert) It's going well with Levent. He has been to church twice now. We hope we can give him a baptismal date the next time we talk. He just needs to pray to receive that answer. We invited him to come with us to eat at Sora Gorzo's. He liked it! We ate ardei impluti and ciorba. Our finding efforts are starting to pay off and we are seeing fruits! I like fruits! They are sweet and juicy. Especially watermelon. Anyways, Things are going well. We aren't really working as much with members at the moment, but we may make it part of our new zone goals this next transfer. Elder Jones and I had a great transfer together and we are excited to stay here. It went fast. I'm excited for burning a shirt for my year mark, and it's aready gonna be GENERAL CONFERENCE in this next transfer. We will be able to see it cuz we're in Buc. Score. Other things are going well. Daniel the "prophet" is not our investigator anymore. We tried!!! We had a lesson with him and fratele Radu. Daniel decided to give us his life story for an hour and tell us how he was called to be the Lord's missionary set out to close the Lord's new covenant with the children of Israel (for reference, see Ezekiel 9 and 10, Jeremiah 31:31, as these are the scriptures he always quotes.) Just not going to progress. He came to church again though, always ruins priesthood meeting by raising a big discussion about his divine calling and all that. Nice guy though. Just not going to talk to him anymore, unless he wants to progress. Haha, dad, I remember that story of the guy who believes we all came from spiders. I'm not sure who is more off in the head. Probably Alan. It's fun, missionary work.

   Well, it all goes well. I'll just be here for another 6 weeks, doing the work and all that. I'm excited. I hope all is well in the home and family and ward. Thanks for the pics mom and dad. Thanks for all the news! It's great that everyone is doing well, including all my mishkanary friends! If anything else is new, be sure to let me know. I'm sorry, but I can't think of what else to say. I am low on time too, so I guess I'll leave y'all alone. have a great one. We''ll talk in September. Ma Iubiti!!!! Va doresc sa aveti o saptamana plecuta si desavarsita si asa mai departe!!! Sper ca tot merge bine in vietiile voastre. Numai bine. Ciao!!!! Cu MARE drag, Elder LEE.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Four Months in Bucharest and Still Going Strong!

Four Months in Bucharest and I'm Still Doing Great!

Hello everyone! Elder Lee. This week was a good one. Elder Jones and I are having fun. We're still finding people! We're doing well with our zone goal. So far in August, we have 57 new investigators, out of 84. We need to get working!!! Only one more week. We have good news! One of our investigators, Levent, finally decided to read a little from the BOM! He also came to church yesterday! Da bebelus!!!! So, he's progressing again! We're glad for him. We talked with him on Saturday about the Atonement and some of the Plan of Salvation. Also, we kinda have one other new investigator, who showed up to church again, for the second time. He's the one that thinks he's called of God. Daniel. We're gonna try to talk on Wednesday. There's just something off with him though. He only does what the Lord tells him. For example, when we tried to set up for a day to talk, he had to pray about it. After he prayed right then and there, he said, "the Lord says we can talk on Monday at 3" I said we can't cuz its our p-day. So, he prayed again. "The Lord says we can meet on Wednesday". We were like.....ok....So yeah, he thinks he's like a prophet. But, he's a nice, deeply religious guy. We're still finding more people that will go to church. The goal is going well.

   Elder Schroedter and I went on an exchange for 2 days. We finally got the office elders to help us renew our visas! If you remember, my group's visas all expire THIS November. So, we finally did some stuff to get that underway (health physicals and photos and stuff...the same things we did on our first day in the country.) It was fun. I love Elder Schroedter. I also love Elder Newton. I love my whole district. It's a blast. The week has gone well. We got 13 lessons and 4 new investigators. I'm not sure how many baptisms the mission has gotten since the year started. President Hill and his wife are doing well and have just finished tour for interviews. They are so cool. Also, they have decided to take soccer off of the "contact sport" category and allow it for every missionary to play now. Before, it had been disallowed. Lots of people are happy. I, however, don't really care much. I'm terrible at soccer and every other sport, except ice skating. Ice skating is allowed here, I just have never done it here yet. We did chalk contacting yesterday night in Parcul Tineretului. It was fun. The weather has been cooler and not rainy lately, so I can't complain. It's already transfers in a week and a half. I find out what happens in a week. Maybe I'll leave? I'll have been here in Buc for 4 and a half months! I wonder where I'll go.... It's been a blast being a trainer and having a boboc. Transfers just keep going faster and faster. Ce sa fac?

   It's good that the family is doing well. Tell Camron and Rurika I say hi and felicitari! (congrats). I hope work is all going well. School's starting up again! I'm sure everyone going to BYU is gonna have some fun. It's good to hear that Elder Gunter (I mean Leckie) is there now! Hopefully I'll see him around by the time I get back. Any other big news? Thanks mom and dad for the pics of your trip and Zion. Looks pretty. I'll be awaiting that package mom! Thanks for everything you send. Well, I'm about done. I'm doing well. Buc is fun. I'll find out about transfers next week! I love you all. Have a good one. Ciao! Love, Elder Lee

Monday, August 15, 2011

Singing in Bucharest

All is still well in Bucharest

Hey everybody. It's me again. I am having a great time here. It's another Monday yet again. I wonder how many Mondays I've been here. Bucharest is just a fun place. Today is actually Maica Domnului day, meaning the mother of the Lord day. The Orthodox religion sets a day aside to honor the mother Mary. It's cool. We're not doing anything specific for it though. Anyways, it's been a good week. Just a lot of the same. Finding investigators and hunting for members. We made a list (on the rainy days) of all members in our sector. Now, we visit them by grouping 5 or 6 into one area and finding them with their addresses and a little map. It's fun. So far, we've had no real success (they haven't been home). But we still have a lot to go through and find.

    Elder Jones and I (Indiana Jones) are doing well together. We are having a lot of fun. We've been quoting a lot of King of the Hill lately (when Hank always says "dang it Bobby!" and Bobby says, "but dad!" and Hank says, "that's asinine!") Stuff like that grows our companionship and helps us to have fun. We've been through a lot of parks, and found 3 new investigators. They're not really solid though. They're all old. But, we're doing our part to help in our zone goal of getting 84 of 'em this month. So far, the zone has 34! We haven't had any baptismal dates yet, but Ploiesti is doing very well. They have 6 baptismal dates over there! English class is going well. One student, Valer, is interested in church, and he was gonna come to church yesterday but had a problem and couldn't make it. He's gonna go to Cluj for 2 weeks soon. So, we hope after then, we can start talking with him! We've had no investigators at church still. (the soras did though!). However, there was a guy there named Daniel. He had gone to Panduri a year ago, so he knows about the church. He knows a lo about it. Somehow, he has a triple combination, and has a ton of stuff hi-lighted! He claims he's been called by God to be a missionary and that God told him to check out a lot of churches. He's interested in our church history and the Liahona magazine. I was like "cool!", but it turns out that he's a little fanatical. I asked for his phone number, but he said "that's not how the Lord works. I go wherever he calls me and I don't have any schedule, so I can't say when we can meet again." I asked for his address so we could visit him and talk, but he said his address is in Cer (heaven). So, I dunno. Nice guy though. Dressed in white.

    We didn't do anything out of the ordinary this week. Our shower rod had problems staying up, so we bought a new one. However, we were idiots and didn't measure it. So we just got a random one that was a little more expensive, thinking that the more it costs, the better it would be. When we tried putting it up, it was half as long as it needed to be! We spent 70 lei on it. We felt retarded. So, we figured out that the old one wasn't actually broken, just rusted. So we fixed it up and now it stays again. We also bought a nice cheapo little dolphin curtain for it.

    We only have about 3 investigators now. One is scared to read and pray, so we are kinda dropping him for a time, until he maybe shows up to church. The other one is going to Kazahkstan pretty soon for his work, so he'll be gone. The last one, Elisabeta, is a 77 year old lady who we found in a bloc. We talked about God and prayer with her, and tried to visit again, bu she didn't answer. So, we just need to find more people that can keep commitments and go to church. It's all good though! My district is doing well. Training is going well. Today, we had pancakes and root-beer floats at the Wolsey's for breakfast! On Sunday, we did sing-contacting with the other Buc district. It was fun, and we got to talk with some people too. It was kinda funny, cuz right in front of us there was a little drunk guy arguing with a security guard. He dropped all his stuff and broke his beer bottle and went back up to the guard and got all in his face. It was fun to watch. There wasn't any fighting though, just arguing. We were all singing, but kinda stopped to watch, so it was a little weird cuz we were just mumbling the words- our attention more upon what was happening. We decided to start singing "Love One Another"! It was funny.

   So, I'm all good. I hope the family and ward are doing well. I'm pretty sure that they are. Mom, could you talk to my friends on Facebook or something and ask them for their addresses so I can start writing some peoples? I don't know anybody's addresses! I feel guilty not writing anybody. Also, some of my favorite hymns include: Joseph Smith's First Prayer, Master the Tempest is Raging, I Believe in Christ, I Know that My Redeemer Lives, How Great Thou Art, Praise to the Lord the Almighty, Be Still my Soul, etc. Those are some ideas. Get the ward to sing 'em mom! Well, I'm about done. I love you all. have a good week. I will have a good week too. Loves. Elder Lee.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Still the Best District in Romania!

Still Having Fun in Bucharest

Hello peoples. How are y'all. How are you parents? Thanks for all the cool news and stuff in your email. I'm excited for Matt and the other Matt to prepare to get out on missions! I'm excited for Taylor Adams too. He will love his mission. Haha, it's awesome that Sarah and Matt were able to see Elder Shillabeer in London! He's a really cool guy (yeah, he is British and is from London, I think) He just went home 2 transfers ago. I was able to meet him in my first transfer when he was district leader in Iasi. We have never served around each other though, but I guess that's cool that he thinks I'm on "fire"! The Holden's must have had a blast in Europe and para-gliding and all. Also, thanks mom and dad for the pics of Switzerland and stuff. Super pretty! I'm very excited for all the good things going on in the family. I heard Chris is getting a job at BYU-- He told me in an email that finally Dad will like him! haha! That'll be pretty cool, teaching older students. He'll have fun! Man, I'm missing out on Kenna and all her words she's learning. I wanna also see Millie, their dog! I'm happy that all is going well, in the family and ward. All is going well over here in this neck of the woods!

    Elder Jones and I have been having a good time. We get along well and we have had some funny moments and times. He's a champ. He says he already understands half of what is being said (if it's a gospel topic). He's learning fast! He's been very diligent and obedient. He's an example for me. We've basically been doing a lot of finding. Lots of parks. It's been fun though, and we've been able to talk to lots of cool people. Our zone goal is to find 84 new investigators in the month of August. After each companionship gets one, they text the news to Elder Schroedter and Newton. Then they mass-text us all to give us the news and keep a running count. So far, as a zone we have 12! Elder Jones and I are doing a good job in finding people. Something that bugs me though is church attendance! Not a lot of people are people of their word! I'd like to just see someone at church! It's all good though. We have a very small investigator pool of around 3 people-ish. We haven't made contact with our old family Elder Martin and I found, but they did tell us they finally moved! Otherwise, Ali is moving back to Seattle in a few days. Our only real investigator is Levent. He is so cool and sincere, but the problem is that he is scared to read and pray. We need to tell him that this matters to HIM. He has a relationship with his Heavenly Father, and there's no need to be scared or think it's a fake thing to pray and find out if a book of scripture is His word. We will talk with him Tuesday. He comes to English class too. By the way, english is going well. Had a few less people on Saturday though (just 7 came). But it's fun!

    Interviews with the Hills and the AP's went well. It was fun to talk with them.They are really some cool people. Qualified to be the leaders of this mission. Dad, I was able to tell Sora Hill about how you went to Law School around the same time as her. She thought it was cool, but doesn't remember your name. I told her that you've been at Reid and Hellyer for a while. She asked about me and the family. The APs had a cool little message about D&C 4. We talk about that a lot in this mission. But they had a cool little object lesson where they each had a pocket-knife, one broken, and the other in good-shape. They compared them to a sickle, and asked us: " are we using a broken sickle, or are our sickles good and strong? Are we solid tools in the Lord's hands?" They also talked about serving with all of your "heart, might, mind, and strength" and that might means a combo of the other 3 traits. (Their names are Elder Frandsen and Elder Finch). Fun stuff. We had it at the mission home. On Friday morning, we helped move a member (Fratele Banu, who is sick and doesn't come to church) into a new bloc. Lots of heavy lifting! It was fun though. It's a nice thing to get in normal clothes and do service. Reminds me of doing good ol' service in the MTC every Monday morning, cleaning toilets!!!! Thursday was "park day"! All we did was parks. All day! It was fun. We got 4 lessons and had a dinner break. Days full of finding are really not bad at all when people like to talk to you and you have little bench lessons. The time goes long though, when no one seems interested. My district is doing well. It's been fun together. It's already the middle of the transfer!!! Being a trainer is just fine. It's really a fun thing.

    That's about all the good stuff going on around here in Bucharest. The time goes very fast, daily, weekly, monthly. Today is my 11 month day! I hit a year very soon. It's weird. Pretty soon, summer will be over, and fall will come around again. Anyways, thanks for the news from home and the ward mom and dad. Keep sending me awesome pics! Don't be surprised if you notice that I'm spending more money on my personals card. Elder Jones and I wanna go shopping for some stuff. I really want some new ties and a shirt or two. I got some cheap shoes for 35 lei. that's like 11 or 12 buckaroos! I like 'em alot. Well, time to say bye again. I look forward to another week! Hope you all have a good one. We'll mai vorbim in curand. Love y'all. Pace Domnului! Love, Elder Lee.

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Best District in Romania!

Working Hard in Bucharest

Hello dragi frati si surori. I'm Elder Lee. Stuff is going well here. Another week has passed. Today is August 1st. New month. That means it was Elder Lee's dad's birthday yesterday. Happy birthday dad! I hope you had a good one and also enjoyed the Les Miserables play in LA! Well, what happened this week. Let's try and remember some stuff.

   Did lots of english contacting. The other Buc zone leaders put newspaper ads about it and we've received a lot of calls from people who have seen it and were like, "what? free english? Snap, I gotta go learn some free english!" So we had 26 sign-up sheets filled out, but hopefully more people show up tomorrow for the first class. We hope to find some people prepared for the Gospel in our class, because we need more investigators! People have just not done anything about our commitments and invitations to come to church and read and pray about the BOM. It's all good though. They have their agency, and now, they just aren't ready for the Gospel. We made a visit to Iulian, our recent convert, who is doing well. We also made a visit to Sora Oros, a member in the branch. She is so funny and such a strong member. We talked with her about our goals to work more with members and shared with her 1 Nephi 13:37 (read it!). She always calls us "Americanilor" or "frumosilor" (which means pretty boys pretty much). We met a cool new guy in a park, named Levent. I think his family is from Turkey. He is from a city near Constanta, and is here studying sociology. He came to english sign-ups and we talked again about the BOM. It was a good lesson, and we hope he reads and prays and receives an answer, because he told us he would read. We had no investigators at church yesterday. It was a good meeting though. Elder Newton gave a good talk about repentance. We went to Sora Gorzo's after for some food and sang some hymns and shared a spiritual thought. Then we saw Sora Bobeanu, who is still doing alright. We ended yesterday with sing-contacting! We just sung some good hymns and talked to people who were stopping, listening to our angelic voices. Anyways, we've just been through lots of parks. We just need to FIND people! Not just that, but find LOTS of people and pray harder and have more faith that we will find those who are READY!

   Elder Jones is getting better at Romanian quicker and quicker. We're doing well together, just trying to be super obedient and diligent. He's a funny guy, and we get along well. I've been having a fun experience showing him the ropes and telling him all about how crazy Romania is (street dogs, water filters, gypsies, lack of dryers, blocs, etc.) He's having a fun time seeing and learning everything. I hope all the other trainers are doing well with their bobocs. I'm sure they are.

   I'm excited that Chris finally got his full-time job at UVU that he wanted all along. I'm sure he was getting super down. It's nice to see miracles every once in a while. I'm sure he has a solid testimony of enduring trials with faith, and that the miracle can ONLY FOLLOW faith. Everyone, read Ether 12:6 in the BOM. It's true stuff. Things will be going well for him and Liz. I'm excited that the family is doing well. I hope y'all continue to do well. I hope the ward is going well and that Taylor Adams loves his mission. they go too fast, I tell yah. Well, the only announcement is that we have interviews with president Hill this Saturday (dad, I'll be sure to tell his wife about law school.) Hmm, What else is going on. I can't think of much else. This is a boring and short email, but I'm about done now. I love you all and keep on keeping on. Mai vorbim. Ciao! Love, Elder Lee