Tuesday, 2 October 2012

3 Weeks in Romania

We didn't hear from Austin last week and so Derk and I both gave him a bad time and told him he'd better get in touch.  Turns out (his side of the story anyway LOL) that he did send an e-mail and for some reason we didn't get it.  So, he sent it again and so we got two yesterday.  Here are the highlights:

September 24, 2012
There is just so much stuff to say and no time to say it all! haha.  But things are going well.  My companion is awesome.  We get along super well.  He has a sense of humor similar to mine, so we always understand each other's jokes and stuff like that.  So we get along great.  He's from Orem, Utah and graduated one year earlier than I did.  He's been in the mission for 10 transfers so like a year and 3 months.  We workout in the mornings like situps and pushups and pull ups and stuff.  Some mornings we run over to the park not far from our house and do some stuff on the benches there.  As far as English classes go, we had our first one on saturday, and only 6 people showed up.  So we told them that we can't teach if there are only six, so we have another class tomorrow and hopefully more people will show up.  We go to a different sunday school than the rest.  The branch president teaches our class and we bring investigators and such to it.  There are only a few youth that come.  One girl who is 16, and the recent baptism, who is 19.  But that's it.  There's only 2 kids in the nursery as well.  The language is still tough.  I understand lots of words, but I don't really put them together very well.  But it's coming slowly.  I hear it all day everyday so that helps too.
All of the blocs here have like a little deck, but ours is all closed in, that's where the sink and stove and fridge are.  We have a washer in our apartment, but no dryer, so we have a drying rack for that.  Kind of a pain.
It's way fun here. Crazy thing here is, everyone cares more about their cars than what/where they live.  We saw a Ferrari last night and I've seen Porsches all over and Audi's and BMWs and VW are everywhere.  People just buy super nice cars with all their money.  I've also seen a few Maseratis around as well.  And, every car here is diesel.  All the cars use it.  And gas is expensive.  It's like 6,40 lei per liter.  That's like 2 dollars a liter.  So way expensive, but somehow, everyone drives cars still.  Also, not very many American cars here.  I've only seen like 2 Dodges, there are some Fords, but not a lot.  Mostly European made cars, some Asian made ones too, but hardly any English made or american made.  There's actually a Porsche dealership right across the street from the mission office in Bucharest.  People are also always cleaning and washing their cars too, there are so many car detaling shops.
There are tons of stray dogs around too.  Some of them look super scary, but none of them ever bother people.  They just bark at stupid things and at each other.  There's a big white one that looks like a wolf that lives by our bloc, we see him every morning walking to the tramvai station.
For General Conference, we are supposed to have an internet connection at the church so we can watch it there, but it's not for sure yet.  So we'll have to watch it on delay at a computer somewhere if we don't get the connection.  They'll set up a projector in the chapel if we get that connection though.  Hopefully they can get it set up.
I've only really had one real Romanian meal.  We eat at this lady, Ana's, house once a week. She's a professional cook and feeds us tons of food for only 15 lei.  She's a non-member, but has been feeding and taking care of missionaries for over 10 years.  She loves having us at her house.  And the food is awesome.  They make a lot of tomatoish soups here, but they are way better than the United States tomato soups.  When we went there, we had a tomato based soup with potatoes in it, then lasagna (which was good) and this "banana salami" for dessert.  It was this chocolate dough with cookies in it, that was wrapped around a banana.  The way she described making it, the method  was similar to cinnamon rolls.  It was good.  She says she is our mom in Romania and she needs to take care of us.  Funny lady.

October 1, 2012
Well contrary to popular belief,  I did send an email last week.  But I sent it to you again so hopefully you'll get 2 for this week.  Anyways. Things are going great here we don't have very many people we are teaching right now.  But we have several people who we teach English to, with a spiritual thought at the end of the lesson.  And the seem to be interested in what we say in the spiritual thoughts.  We invited them all to Church, but they were all busy this week, so maybe next week.  Also, Saturday night, we met with a man who has talked to the missionaries before and he read the Book of Mormon.  He said that what we believe is very similar to what he believes a member of the Orthodox church.  He said all the religions he has investigated have the same vision and purpose.  Which is good.  So we invited him to church and he was busy too.  So maybe next week.  He told us a lot about his son. His son works for the EU in Luxembourg.  and he speaks like 4 or 5 different languages and his daughter in law who is married to him speaks like 7 or so languages.  That's the crazy thing of Europe.  Most people speak more than one language.  For example, here in Oradea, many people don't speak Romanian and only speak Hungarian, since we are close to the border.  And many speak both Hungarian and Romanian.  So it's pretty interesting.
Cool thing of this week.  We made an ad for the Church and had it put up in one of the busy bus stops at downtown.  I attached a picture of it.  That's not what it looked like when we took it to the agency.  We showed them what we wanted and they put together an awesome looking ad for us and put it up there.  We had the mission president approve it and the office payed for it and everything.  So hopefully we can reach out to some more people that way.

I bought a coat today at a secondhand store.  only 52 RON, which is less than 15 bucks and it's plaid grey and black.  They have second hand stores all over here with cheap clothes. 
That's all for now!  Love and miss everyone!
Elder Phelps

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