Monday, 17 September 2012

First Area

We got the first e-mail from Austin after arriving in Romania!  Yea!! It was good to hear from him since his arrival in the country and it sounds like he's off to a great start!

City of Oradea

So, here I am in my first city, Oradea.  It's up on the northern part of Romania, almost on the border of Hungary.  It has been quite the trip getting here.  The flights were all good, but I'm still a little jet lagged.   I stayed my first night in Bucharest with some other Elders, the the next day we had breakfast with the Mission President and we got our companions and cities assigned.  After that we went to the station and hungout there for awhile and then got on our train.  It was about a 12 hour ride and we had a sleeper cabin with 6 beds on the way.  It was my new companion and the other 2 missionaries headed to our city.  There's only 4 of us here and it's a pretty big city.  We got to our apartment, I attached a picture on this email of it, and it's kinda small, but it's fine for just 2 of us living there.  We do alot of handing out flyers for teaching english.  Apparently it's the most effective way of talking to people.  We have class at the church twice a week, my first one is on saturday so we'll see how that goes. 

The language is way tough.  It's super hard to understand what people are saying.  I pick up words a lot and can understand quite a bit, but I can't talk back to people very well.  People are super nice here for the most part.  The city is pretty cool, there are a ton of old buildings and there's a lot of history here.  We take the tramvia everywhere, it's basically the trax of Oradea.  It costs 60 RON for a monthly pass which is a little less than 20 bucks, so not a bad deal at all.  People here are crazy drivers, but they are actually good at being crazy drivers, it's kinda weird.  We went to church on sunday, and I didn't understand a whole lot.  Oh, well, I'll catch on eventually.  I got to participate in the conformation of a new member though, that was way cool.   He's from Moscow and he speaks Russian, Romanian, German, Hungarian, Italian, French, and Spanish.  He's awesome.  He hangs out with us sometimes, way nice kid. He's 19 and wants to serve a mission so that's super exciting.
Chapel in Oradea
At our apartment, we only have a washing machine, so we have to let everything air dry.  We can't drink tap water, so our sink has a filter on it to make it so we can drink it.  Also, there is bloc housing everywhere, we live on the first floor of one, but our apartment is pretty nice.  All the buildings here are made of concrete basically, bad news bears if this place has an earthquake.
Desk inside the apartment
Food here is super cheap, we usually go to the grocery store and buy groceries and cooks stuff at home.  Some street vendor food is way good and cheap.  yesterday I had a better version of the American mozzarella stick.  It's like a Pizza Factory breadtwist, but it has mozzarella cheese in the middle.  Super good and it was only like 60 cents.  I haven't had really any real Romanian food besides that yet.  There's a lot of pizza here and just people selling stuff on the street.  Like I said we usually cook at home, sometimes we go out to eat.  Today we ate at a chinese place in the food court at the mall, it was alright, I got seasame chicken with french fries (not very authentic haha) anyways.

Taxis here are everywhere, and their super cheap.  But we usually take the tramvai because it usually goes anywhere we need and we get monthly passes.  But yeah, we've met with a couple members, and handed out a lot of english class cards.  The branch here is in a rented villa (house basically), we only had like 15 people at church yesterday.  The branch president is like the nicest, most humble man i've ever met.  He rides his bike in from one of the little towns right outside the city and he cleans the church every saturday by himself.  All the members are super strong, they all come to church every week and to every activity.  We are going to the city of Arad tomorrow for a zone training thing, hopefully that will be fun, that's where our zone leaders live so we have to go to them. 

But yeah, we went to the mall today, and just got done playing basketball.  I have a bunch of pictures and not a lot of time this week so I'll hopefully send some home next week on a disc.  We'll see.  But ask me some questions because I have like no time this week, we got caught up playing basketball.  I'll try to answer them next week.  But I gotta go so I'll talk next week.  Oh and I only get snail mail and packages every 6 weeks, just an FYI.  Talk to you all later!

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