Monday, 25 February 2013

O Zi Buna

Elder Phelps is doing well in Sibiu, Romania.  O Zi Buna means "Have a good day," I think. . . 
Here are my questions to him this week:

What will/do you do as a district leader? What do you do as the counselor in the Branch presidency? Do you tract in Sibiu or set up in the park like you did in Oradea? Do you do service like you did at Caritas? Where is your current companion from? How was the conference with Elder (Dr. ) Kent Richards? I used to work with him---nice guy.
Me looking out the tower window
Things are good. Our time here is spent mostly focusing on the few
investigators that we have even though they aren't really progressing.
We try to teach them as much as we can. Just trying to hold on to the people we have now. As a district leader, I plan and conduct a district meeting every week, report our goals and numbers each week, and make sure everyone is home and safe every night. That's basically
it, sometimes present things at zone training meetings. As a counselor, I do all the finances for the branch (well I'm the branch clerk as well) and we sit on the stand in sacrament meeting. Speak sometimes. I'm speaking again in 2 weeks. And along with that, we usually have to bless and pass the sacrament almost every week. We haven't really looked into setting up a table here, maybe we will though. We don't do service either. We need to find something like that.

The conference was good. Long train ride (6 hours each way). It was
an hour and a half leadership meeting then right after that it was a
FOUR HOUR main session. No breaks. Holy cow it was long. He
presented a ton of stuff. Mostly from the scriptures. That's what I
liked about him, he always taught from the scriptures. But the story
back to Sibiu was funny. We didn't have time to take the last bus
back on Thursday, so we planned to take the 10 am train. We stayed
the night in Bucharest and got all ready to go. We stayed across the
city from the gara and where the sisters stayed. So, one of the
office elders came and picked us up and took us to the station, but
the other office elder (he's new in the office and to driving in
Romania) took a wrong turn and got to the sisters' apartment at 10
am..... So we missed that train and went to lunch, then got on the
3:30 train back to Sibiu. We had luggage for 3 people and some
supplies and books of mormon. So much stuff. Everyone was getting
mad at us for having too much stuff on the train. But they were all
off by the time we got to Brasov. So we finally got to sit down for
the last 3 or 4 hours of the ride. We got into Sibiu, and had to take
almost 3 taxis because of all the bags. We first went to the sisters'
apartment and lugged all their bags up 4 floors of stairs and went
home after that. It was an expensive taxi ride, since he had to wait
while we helped them. Oh well.

My new companion is in his 15th transfer. So he's almost done. He is
from Layton, and graduated from Northridge High School. He's cool and
we're getting along just fine so far.

All in all, things are good, we are still searching for some success,
and we planned to have some this transfer, so it should be good.
We'll be going to Cluj-Napoca again on Thursday, for our zone training
meeting. Should be fun. My district is awesome. One of the sisters
is fresh from the MTC and she's super hyped about missionary work and
full of faith. Which is good. And her companion is cool too, she's
been in Sibiu before and they brought her back because both sisters
left last transfer. So I'm not the only one who knows the city and
things.

O Zi Buna,

Elder Phelps
Wedding on the Bridge of Lies, viewed from the tower between Piata
mare and piata mica

Monday, 18 February 2013

Elder Phelps, aka. New District Leader and First Talk Given in Romanian

Austin didn't send any new photos this week, but here's the latest!

Things are good this week. We didn't teach very many lessons. Just
one. We had a lesson with our investigator and the senior couple from
Brasov. It was good, she's heard all the lessons, knows it's true,
but doesn't want to be baptized yet. It's kinda frustrating. That's
just how it is I guess.

We are going to Bucharest again on Wednesday for a Mission Conference
on Thursday. Elder Kent Richards is coming to talk to us. He's a
counselor in the Area Presidency. So also, transfers are going to
happen at that time. The next transfer is only 4 weeks because of the
changed MTC schedule. So I'll be in Sibiu for 4 more weeks. My current 
companion is headed to Ploiesti to be a new zone leader. I will be the
district leader in Sibiu.   My new companion is the same age in the mission as
my first companion. And also we are getting 2 new sisters, one who was here
before, and a new missionary from the MTC. So it should be fun.

Cool thing of the week. I gave my first talk in sacrament meeting
yesterday. I took about 15 minutes about prophets. it wasn't as bad
as I thought it would be. Way easier than my farewell talk, but there
were only 10 people at sacrament meeting that day, so that's probably
why. But it was good. I'm getting more and more confident in my
language ability. Finally. Takes forever to learn another language.
But it's coming along nicely.

Monday, 11 February 2013

A Visit to Hunedoara Castle

We have a zone conference in Bucharest next week, and Elder Kent F. Richards is going to be speaking to us.  You probably know him, he was director of Surgery at LDS Hospital or something like that.  Should be cool, we are leaving on Tuesday to go down for that. And yes, there is a mission area in Brasov.  We have a senior couple there, 2 sisters, and 2 Elders. 

Hunedoara Castle
Our castle visit was pretty cool.  We got on the bus in Sibiu at 5:30 in the morning and rode for about 3 hours to Deva, where we met the rest of the missionaries in our Zone from Cluj and Deva.  We rode another bus for about 20 minutes out to Hunedoara where the castle is. It is way cool, I'll get some pictures sent of it.  We hungout there for awhile, ate some pizza for lunch then we headed back to Deva and played cards and ping pong at the church for a bit.  Then some of us went to the old fortress on top of a mountain in the middle of Deva. It's pretty small, but it has an awesome view of Deva.  And it's mostly destroyed, apparently an ammunition explosion blew up most of it like a bazillion years ago.  It's mostly ruins now, but it was still cool.  We rode this tram car thing to the top instead of hiking. We went back to the church, then caught the bus back to Sibiu.  It was a super long day, but it was fun.  Hunedoara is way pretty.  Google Seach "Deva Sign on the mountain" they have a sign like the
Hollywood sign on the mountain, but it says Deva.

The Fortress (Cetate in Romanian) at Deva
If you want to look up the real Hotel Transylvania, it exists. It's in a town called Sighi┼čoara.  A few hours north-east of Sibiu.  I haven't been there, but I want to, and my companion was there last transfer, and said it was awesome.  Check it out. http://www.hoteltransilvaniasighisoara.com/ro/.

It was kind of a weird week, since we changed p-day and such.  So we
didn't teach very many lessons, only 2 I  think, but it was good.  We
are back on track for this week. That's about everything exciting that
happened.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Keep Calm and Visit Romania

Picture I took in downtown of a sticker on a pole and the walking
part of downtown in the background
Not much more to report for this week.  We have been busy teaching
some lessons this week.  Pretty good week.  But we still haven't heard
from the guy that was supposed to be baptized.  Hopefully we can get
in touch with him this week to touch base and get a date set for him.
We have another investigator, who we are helping to quit smoking.  He
has a date set, and we are working with him towards that.  Other than
that we have one more.  She is  the sister of a member here, and we
have been working with her.  She isn't progressing all that quickly,
but we are just doing a little at a time.  The senior couple from
Brasov come to Sibiu and we have lessons with them and her once a
week.  We are getting closer to a date with her, and she has expresed
that she wants to be baptized so that's exciting.

We have just been busy teaching, going to the gym, ice baths in our
bathroom.  Also, we are eating pretty healthy.  We bought a ton of
vegetables and fruit and we do smoothies, because Elder McBride has a
blender, so those are good.  We are going to Huneodoara on Wednesday,
and Deva, to see some castles, so that should be fun.  Not much
besides that,

I know it's not a lot, but my mind is blank.  We didn't really do
anything super exciting this week.  I'll report on the castles and
stuff next week.

Podul Minciunilor.  The Bridge of Lies.  In Piata Mica. One of the
oldest cast iron bridges in Europe