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

Monday, September 26, 2011

Congratulations On Your Mission Call To Romania -Elder Miles Knapp

Dear Family and Friends:

   Well, I'm excited, that's for sure. I just wanna say Congratulations (Felicitari!) to Elder Miles Knapp! You're coming into the best mission in the world! Oh man, it seems to good to be true. I'm happy for you Miles! We'll be seeing each other soon. Get studying on your Romanian! Man, it's gonna be so cool! Well, it's good to hear news like that. Hmm, how has this week been...

   Well, the week went fast. It was fun. We have just been doing a lot of finding, like always. It's been going well though. We have a number of new potential investigators. The mission had 1 baptism in Deva (I don't know who it is). Elder Jones and I are doing well! We are kinda out of progressing investigators. Levent isn't really doing anything anymore. However, We have Valer, who came to church yesterday. He's a really cool guy, but has been gone in Cluj for work lately. We hope to get talking with him again! So, yeah, missionary work is same ol' same ol'. We had zone conference Wednesday at Panduri (a Buc East and West combined thing). It was awesome. We talked about the Area Book, Finding, Planning, and practicing giving baptismal commitments. It was a good conference. It was also good Dominoes for the lunch. We also did something cool on Saturday. All the missionaries and members from both branches in Buc combined and went out to do service! It was part of a national clean up day called, "Let's Do it Romania!". We donned the yellow helping hands vests too! It was hilarious to see people's faces when we all crammed into the metro. The vests said "o mana de ajutor de la mormoni" We all went up north by some train tracks to pick up trash. It was some good service. We also did some more member hunting too. We talked to a less-active guy named Fratele Lupan, invited him to church, and he came on Sunday! It was good to see he came. Other than that, it was a basic week.

   I don't have much time left, so I gotta run. I hope the family and ward are doing well back home. How's work mom and dad? Thanks again for that package. I'm wearing the "Enjoy Vienna" shirt right now and have already gotten compliments on it. I have no idea what you could send me in another package now. I'd love another photo album. It's just a bummer we never took a recent, nice family picture all together. But, it's all good. I hope you're all doing well. I'm excited for this next week, especially for General Conference!!!! I hope you all watch it and love it! Well, I will go. Have a good week!!! LOVE, Elder Lee.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Thanks for the Gift Package - I got it this week!

Five Months in Bucharest and Still Going Strong

Hey there. Today is P-day. It was fun because I actually went paint balling for the first time in my life! There were 18 of us that went. Even though I'm not too big on shooting stuff and being in wars (well, besides in video games) it was pretty fun. I think I shot one or two people. I was pretty much shot every round. I don't have any bad welts. It was funny. I was just in this big green jumpsuit with my helmet and gun. It was kinda hot, but it was worth it (30 lei for 150 rounds of ammo). We played 6 or 7 rounds. I've done almost everything Buc has to offer for P-day.I think it's my 21st p-day here in the city! I'll miss the p-days when I'm somewhere else.
   The week went alright. Kinda disappointing because we didn't have a single return appointment all week. We got 15 lessons in the park though. But, no return lessons or new investigators. However, one lady we met in Parcul Carol came to church. I think she liked it, but we didn't really sit by her because she apparently is a friend of a sister member! They sat together, at at Sunday school, she sat with the sora missionaries. Our current investigators aren't progressing. They either don't answer their phone, just want help finding a new job, or don't keep commitments. Levent hasn't come to church the past 2 weeks and doesn't really know what to do about our message. He's just chilling. Doesn't want to really do anything or progress. I guess he's just not ready yet. He's a great guy though. Still comes to english classes. I'm just not sure when we'll find that person who is ready and willing and excited to accept AND act on our message and be baptized. They're out there. Still haven't found 'em. I'm becoming a master at park contacting and getting first lessons though, so I can't complain about everything. Elder Jones and I are having fun. It's also fun to live with Elder Bateman and Peterson. Now, they have to find an apartment and move. I don't know how long it'll be til they do. You'd think it would be annoying to live as 4 in a little apartment with a tight schedule, but I'm used to it, and it's not too bad. We've become efficient.

   We're doing well with finding less actives and making visits. We've had 2 visits this week. Sora Gavriluti and Fratele Mihail-Stan. Really cool people, just don't go to church. We got to know each other real quick and gave quick spiritual thoughts. I hope they felt the spirit. I think it's good to make really short 15 minute visits, so you don't bother them, and you make them miss you when you leave so fast. It's a good strategy I guess. However they didn't come to church Sunday... But, it was still a good sacrament meeting. President Hill, President Doru (a district president) and President Bulgarasu (branch president) met in a district training meeting and committed to reach the goal of getting a stake by October of 2013. They think it can happen! We just need a lot more active and temple-worthy priesthood holders. We need to work together with the members to do it. I like the goal and think it can happen. In other news, there were 2 baptisms in the mission (both in Chisinau) this week. Elder Bateman has a baptismal date for Ionuti on the 8th of October. He's a really humble and sincere guy that just gets it, loves church, and wants to be baptized. Originally, he was homeless, and also found out recently that he has liver cancer. It seemed bleak, but a miracle happened where he found some type of organization that will pay for treatments for him, give him a place to live AND work for 6 months. It's really cool. Otherwise, all is well here in Bucharest. It's kinda a hot week, but will get cooler soon.

   So, It's sad but true. BYU got beaten up by Utah. I'm sure lots of people are disgusted AND happy. I'm sure you, dad, are really happy huh! Hope you didn't break the tv with the remote during the game! All I can say is: I'm a missionary in Romania and I'm glad that I don't have to care as much about the loss. Who do they play next? I hope they don't lose any more games this season, but chances are they probably will. How is it at home and stuff? I bet both Matt's are getting excited! Miles still hasn't gotten his call? Be sure and let me know. Chris emailed me and said teaching at BYU is kinda funny. He says a lot of his students are obsessive over structure and need to know EXACTLY how to do write or whatever. I kinda remember that. I don't know if I'm like that. I got the package! Thanks! I like the little wizard Austria hat and the Vienna shirt. The food is good too. I like owning a REAL Swiss army knife too. It's very appreciated. Thanks mom and dad! Well, we have zone conference this Wednesday and General Conference is soon, so I'm excited. I hafta run! Lurve y'all! LOVE, Elder Lee

Monday, September 12, 2011

Celebrating My One Year in Romania at Ruby Tuesday!

Still Celebrating my One Year Anniversary in Romania!

Hello. Elder Lee here. I just had a year-day in the mission. We pretty much didn't do anything out of the ordinary, except we ate lunch at Ruby Tuesday's. I went all out and got BBQ ribs. It was 2 racks of bbq ribs and coleslaw and french fries, with Sprite. It was like 46 lei or something. It was good. It was the first time I've had some ribs in Romania. I was there with Elder Nilsson too, and he got some ribs and shrimp! We both celebrated our year day together! I took a picture of him in the restaurant next to a picture of Carl Malone (he likes basketball and the Jazz). I actually haven't had any time to burn a shirt. So, I don't even know when I'll get to that. Oh yeah, I almost got pooped on by a bird before we went to Ruby's. However, the poop landed on my open planner, not on me! And, technically, my year day didn't get pooped on (my planner was open to Saturday the 10th, and the poo landed on that day!) So, Elder Jones and I were scared that that meant some bad carma on Saturday night at 7, where the poop landed. However, we found out that nothing poopy happened at that time. We went through Parcul Carol and got a lesson around that time. It was a good day. I'm a year old now!

   Things have gone well. There were 4 baptisms this last week in Galati and Ploiesti. At church, we had 7 total investigators among us all missionaries. One of ours, Cristian, came but had to leave after sacrament. We were excited to see him there! We want to give him a baptismal date soon. We want to be more bold and give more people baptismal dates when the Spirit confirms we should, to let people know what we're all about! We actually kinda have a baptismal date for Levent! For the 24th of September. It may change though. It was a cool lesson, we finished the Plan of Salvation and talked about prayer. The problem is he thinks he's not "into religion" and is scared to pray (at least with us in the room, out loud) He's just so shy and hasn't quite gotten the answer. He can't see the importance of this Gospel for HIM, personally. It probably goes back to his reading and praying. He just hasn't done a lot of it this past week. He's busy working towards getting a doctorate. I hope he gets a greater desire to get an answer! But, we can only do so much for him. Our other investigators are doing alright, not really progressing. The district is doing well. Elder Bateman and Peterson are fun to be around. They're doing well, finding people. However, the last couple guys they've found turned out to be homeless (one of them, who's not homeless, asked for 500 lei to help pay for his son who got in a car accident! They aren't really talking to him anymore). We're gonna start talking to inactives and less-actives again soon too. Otherwise, things are going well here in Buc. The weather's been nice, will get hotter. 2 weeks of the transfer are already done. Oh yeah, here's a cool piece of news: President Hill and Sora Hill were at a district conference in Chisinau and also went to Copenhagen for a mission president conference thing. I forgot at which place they were told this, but the name of the mission has been changed from the Romania, Bucharest Mission to the Romania Moldova Mission! HOW BOUT DAT!

    It's good to hear the good tidings of great joy at home. I'm happy for the 2 Matt's. Congrats to them! I love them and they will love serving in Georgia and Oklahoma. Looks like both are just staying in the states, over in the south/east! That's so cool they got their calls! They're ready to be missionaries and get out and do the work! I'll be waiting to hear where Miles will be going! Romania? I wonder when somebody else is going to come to Europe or elsewhere from the ward. Seems like everyone is staying in the states! I haven't got your package, mom and dad, yet. BUT, I got a nice letter from the McClaine's, telling me that they always pray for me and told a little about how Sister McClaine's doing. They said she just got transferred or will get transferred to Luxemborg, and will probably finish her mission there. Elder Tyler Lee only has about 2 months left. Missions are exciting. It's good that the family is all well. Thanks for sending the pictures. Here's a little spiritual thought for the day, said by a member in the branch named fratele Verdeata. He shared how we don't have to be living in Salt Lake or anywhere else in Utah to be followers of Christ. We can follow him where, when, and how we want. Of course, the ONLY true way to follow him is to live His restored Gospel. Wise words from a wise man. The Romanian members of the church surely follow Christ. Well, I guess I go now. Love you. Ciao. Cu drag, Elder Lee.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Celebrating my One Year Mark in Romania

I Hit My One Year Mark in Romania!

   Howdy. Ce faceti? Bine sper. Hey everyone. It's this guy again. I've had a good week. It's been fun here. I'm liking Bucharest like always. It's a good place to stay for a long time. It is my 8th transfer! Thursday is the year mark for this elder. Hold on, so you're saying it's already been a whole year since I was in the empty sea, since I had awesome boboc days with Elder Gunter in Bacau, since I lived on the Black Sea in Constanta, since I hit up the ghetto Deva hollywood sign and fortress with Elder Newton, and since I started my Buc days with Elder Farr? Vai de capul meu! It's been a great adventure awright. Let's see how the week went.

    So the week was cool. We didn't have any of our investigators at church. But we have 4 progressing investigators: Levent, Albert, Costel, and Cristian. Lots of people have been on vacation this week, so we hope to talk with them this week. Levent has been gone, and we haven't talked with him for awhile, but we will Wednesday. He just needs to pray, and we also want to give him a baptismal date. Albert's been gone too. Costel is a nice guy. One of his dogs died though. He just needs to come to church. Cristian is a cool new guy that is always willing to talk to us. He's read some of BOM. He needs to meet us in a more quiet place though, but he always insists on just sitting on a bench with a bunch of people all over in a play ground right there. We just need to meet at the church or something! But yeah, they're all doing well. We will start visiting a list of inactive members made for us by President Bulgarasu (the branch president) next week, cuz we want to actually go with strong members to their houses. But, they are all on a Kiev temple trip this week, which is cool. There are 10 or 12 members going to the temple. They do trips every September and April. Stuff is going well in the branch. The only big thing is that there is a 10% activity rate. Yikes! 40 people come out of about 400. Asa este. The mission had 3 baptisms this week in Panduri, Timisoara, and Balti. I don't know the number for this year. The district sure is fun here. I'm actually no longer district leader. Elder Bateman is. I'm just the "other" elder. It's a nice break I guess. I'll miss being DL here though. It was fun. He and his Boboc, Elder Peterson (from Bluffdale, Utah) are still living in our apartment until the sisters move outta theirs, letting Bateman and his boboc move into the sisters. It's kinda weird all 4 of us living together, but it's fun!

   It's good everyone is doing well. I'm excited for Miles! I hope he comes HERE! It would be something cool if he did. Elder Bateman (who's adopted from Pitesti) had an opportunity to visit his family in Pitesti. I thought that was pretty cool (he did it last transfer). I'm happy for all the fellow missionary friends of mine, serving the LORD! That's all that matters in life. Well, maybe not all. I hope the ward is doing well and that Redlands is a happy city. It's cool that football is starting again. BYU beat Ole Miss I hear. But it was a lousy game for BYU. I wonder what will happen in Texas. BYU will win 21-17. It's good that the family is all doing well. Mom, for meals here, we usually cook eggs and salami, or pasta with chicken or beef. Otherwise, we just have soup or cereal or eat out (just once a week). Not much. I'm really not picky about what I eat. Thanks for sending a package. I'll wait for it, and take a picture of the stuff in it. Well, I'm about to go. Have a good one. I'll probably burn a shirt in celebration for my year mark. I'll take pictures. Stay tuned. Love you all. have a zi buna. Ciao! --Elder Lee.