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

Monday, October 17, 2011

Hello from Craiova!

Dragi Frati si Surori,

   Hello family and friends. Elder Lee here, reporting from his new city, Craiova (pronounced cry-ovah). Well, first thing to say is that I really like Craiova already. It's a pretty city. It's got a cool centru, and a nice balance of villas, blocs, and cool Orthodox churches. It's not too big (well, for me at least, after being in Buc for half a year). The people are noticeably a little more receptive to contacting than in Buc. It feels so FRESH to be here. My new companion, Elder Rasmussen, is from Fresno, CA. He went to Utah State University before hie mission. We are getting along well. He's a funny and kinda zany guy. I figured out the other day that he really reminds me of my friend, Zach Andreasen. He has a lot of characteristics in common with him. He's a smart guy (he wants to major in philosophy or linguistics). He is super good at Romanian! He's only in his 7th week in the country and speaks the language pretty well. He just opens his mouth and out comes correct grammar and declinations and pronunciation! He's super good for how young in the mission he is. I probably didn't start talking like he does till my 3rd or 4th transfer. The other elders, Elder Kopsa and Abbott, are cool. Elder Kopsa is a funny guy. He's in his 13th transfer. He's from Sandpoint, Idaho. Elder Abbott is from Orem, Utah. He was actually Elder Jones' MTC companion. I like him a lot. He played water polo or was on swim team in high school. He's a smart guy and knows Romanian pretty well already. He reminds me of one of my roommates, Michael Stevens, at BYU. Super nice and smart and easy to get along with.

   So far, we haven't done too much. We've given out english cards, done some blocs, met with a couple investigators. One thing we have to get on is finding a new apartment. I came in the city kinda in a little mess. The city was only 2 elders 2 transfers ago, then Elder Pettit and Rasmussen came in just last transfer. They had been looking for an apartment, and got back into the one left vacant by the previous other elders. But, the contract expired, so they were forced to move back into the existing apartment. Why they didn't just renew the contract?....I don't know. Elder Pettit left to be zone leader in Buc, leaving me to come in to look for an apartment. Also, he had the phone with him when he left, but missed his scheduled train. We didn't end up meeting at the gara in Buc for him to give me the phone. So we have been phoneless. Luckily, there was just a district conference in Buc, and the Spooner's went and brought it back for us. So we do have a phone now at least! I'm not too stressed at all though. I came into the transfer expecting to be stressed from the culture shock of changing from 6 months of Buc to a smaller, 4 man city. However, I am adjusting just fine. I just hope I don't get homesick....of BUCHAREST! Buc's been my home for too long. The Spooner's are awesome. They are from Michigan and Bro. Spooner works at Ford. Dad, it's "Spooner" not "Scooner" as I saw in your email. They have a very nice apartment and Sora Spooner does institute there for members and investigators. It's a very small branch (27 total members) and very little are active. I haven't met any members yet other than the Spooner's and Fratele Radulescu (1st counselor to Pres. Spooner). The Radulescu's are really the only strong couple here. The church villa is takes me back to Bacau and Deva times. I hope to meet the other members really soon. There was a big district conference in Buc yesterday, so no one came here to church. Us missionaries were told to stay and do a 15 minute little Sacrament meeting. It was just us 4 and a random investigator. I wish we could have gone to Buc. However, we will be going to Buc on Tuesday night for a Wednesday special zone conference where Elder (or Pres?) Teixiera will come. He's in the area presidency around these parts. Should be a cool day.

   We've only had lessons so far with Gina and Leonardo. Gina is a cool girl who had been taught earlier in Alexandria by my good old friend Elder Gauthier, and now goes to school here (there's a big university here). She wants to be baptized and has a date for the end of November, but she wants to be baptized by Elder Gauthier (when he finishes his mission in a month or so) So, we kinda meet with her on a daily or every other day basis to keep helping her progress towards baptism. Leonardo's a cool guy that has been taught in the past 3 months or so. He came after we had finished the short sacrament meeting, and we sat and talked with him. He believes in the church and BOM, and had a cool lesson, and even invited him to baptism. He said he needs to think. He kinda smelled like alcohol, so I'm assuming he drinks. He also mentioned he smokes. Cool guy though. Apparently, there is a guy, Alin, who was found and taught a little bit by Elders Pettit and Rasmussen. He actually had a baptismal date for last Saturday, but it didn't happen. I haven't been able to meet him yet. He hasn't answered his phone and didn't show up to church. I hear he's really cool (20ish years old). I hope we can meet him really soon. Otherwise, we have just been blocking and english contacting. I've taken a lot of pics of the city already. So yeah, everything's going well so far. I hope everyone is doing well at home. I am still excited for Miles. Can't wait to see him soon. Hope he loves the temple and Romanian food on his birthday! I wish you all well. How's the weather in Redlands? 102???? Here it's gotten pretty chilly already. Today is 8 to 12 degrees C. Well, I love you all. Keep me posted on any awesome news, and I'll do the same. I look forward to a new full week of Craiova-ness. (I really like the name of the city, especially when you roll the "r") BINE, LA REVEDERE. Love, Elder Lee.

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