Monday, 25 March 2013

Police Encounter

Sounds like Elder Phelps had a little run in with the Romanian Police this week---read on!

Not much new for this week. We had our p-day changed to yesterday
instead of today. There was a missionary who was going home and her
family came to pick her up, and they wanted to come to Sibiu. So we
got to play tour guide for them and took them around the city a bit
and out to a museum on the edge of town. It's like a medevil village
museum. It's pretty cool, all out doors with tons of old houses, saw
mills, windmills, stuff like that. So we did that and went out to eat
and just walked around with them for most of the day.

We start teaching English on Saturday, we should have a pretty good
turn out, we have recieved a bunch of calls about it, We'll teach for
4 weeks and then take a break. We are going to Cluj-Napoca again on
Wednesday for a meeting, then we are going over to Arad for a Zone
conference next week. We are going to be pretty busy traveling and
things the next little while.

Funny experience of the week:

We were putting English posters up on poles around the city, that
already had tons of posters on them. I was in the process of putting
one on a pole, and a police car drives up. He told me that it is
prohibited and the fine is 500 lei. He asked what the poster was for
and I explained that we teach English as a service for free. He took
my ID, wrote some stuff down and asked some more questions. I asked
if I could read the law in the book, and he said it was a "spoken" law
not a written one, and he didn't want money anymore. He just told us
to stop, so we did. And he just wanted money. And only stopped me
because I'm American I'm pretty sure.  I've seen people put posters on
the same poles right in front of the police and they didn't do
anything. Oh well, we have pass out cards now, so we'll do that.
Funny story though.

No new investigators yet, but we have some
prospects to look for this week. I'm also working on cleaning up the
branch records with updated numbers, addresses, emails, etc. And
moving records out that need to be moved and such.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

We Got Let in a Door!! First Time in the Entire Mission!

First of all, I'm staying in Sibiu for another 6weeks. I will be transferred somewhere else on May 1st. Still district leader and one of the sisters is leaving to Lasi, and asister is coming up to Sibiu to replace her. She was in my MTC group and is coming to be in our district. I really thought I was going to leave, but that wasn't the case. I thought I was headed to Bucharest to work in the office, but instead I'll be staying here.
Hopefully we can get some things going. We are going to start teaching English again, see if we can get some investigators that way. We are having to get creative, because we have no investigators right now. We did talk to the town hall about the table, and they denied our application because we intend to distribute religious material. It is against the law, I mean them denying it, if I understand right. We are going to pursue it a little more, and see what we need to change in order to get approved.

The waterfalls were awesome. Google Search "Sapte Scari Brasov". I
am sending all the pictures, let me know if you get them. Super cool
place. I probably will go to Bran castle sometime in my mission.
I've heard it's really all not that cool. You just go to say you
went. I've heard from multiple people that Hunedoara is better, and
I've already been there.

No new contacts. We did get let in a door while we were block
knocking this last week. That was cool. First time in my entire
mission. We had a restoration lesson, and it went pretty well. We
explained everything, and then asked if they would read if we gave
them a book of Mormon, and they said no.. But they were super nice and
welcoming. Just not interested.

In regards to the remodeling of the kitchen project we've got going on at home, this was Austin's response:The project seems to be coming along. Did you guys figure out how to grow a money tree or something? Teach me if you did. Haha. (No money tree here, just a thing called a home equity loan!) Anyways,should look pretty good when it's all said and done. Is it gonna be
all just tile and hardwood or some carpet? and what's the plan for the
living room when it's done? Like another family room? or something.

Still busy being the counselor and finance guy for the branch along
with the other stuff. That's bascially it I think. We are going on a hike again today,
Should be fun.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

1/3 Through the Mission--8 Months Out

Elder Phelps is doing OK---no pictures again this week, he promises to take some this week and get them sent next time. Here's what he has to say:

Today I'm writing from Brasov, we are here for P-Day going to see some
waterfalls with ladders right next to them and hike around and stuff.
Should be cool.

We got our first 18 year old missionary
last transfer. An elder from Austria. But now they will start
coming more and more often.

We have been knocking some doors this past week, handed out a few Book
of Mormons and some pamphlets, that's about it though. We had the
senior couple from the office come up to Sibiu for an end o year
financial audit. So we were busy with that on Saturday. It was kind
of long, they had a ton of questions about the finances from the last
year and they had to go through all the documents and the receipts.
So I had to be there too, because I'm the financial guy for the
branch. It went well though and we passed, I think.

Also, we had a companion exchange with the zone leaders from Cluj one
day. So we got to spend the day with a different companion. Oh, and
we tried to go to the government to get permission to go into downtown
and set up a table and hand out stuff and talk to people. But, after
3 consecutive days of going to the town hall office, the last day,
they told us that our applications were denied. So That kind of threw
a wrench in the gears as far as the rest of the week's plans went. We
had planned on getting permission, and then we didn't, so we ended up
bloc knocking instead. That's how it goes I suppose. We might try to
go back and talk to them about it, because they just said no, they
didn't give any reason.

It's a little short this week, but we are tight on time here in
Brasov, so I'll take some pictures and send them your way next week.
I really haven't taken any in awhile, that's why I haven't sent
any.... haha.

Monday, 4 March 2013

100 Missionaries in Romania!

We are remodeling some at home and Austin's response is:
You guys better finish that project before I get home.

What are some of the Easter traditions in Romania?
I have no idea of the traditions. Probably similar to Christmas, the
whole country takes a week off work and no stores are open. And they
have big ceremonies in the Orthodox cathedrals and churches, I assume.
I'm not entirely sure. I don't know a lot of things about the Orthodox
church, so maybe you could do some research about it. The only thing
I know is that everyone here is Orthodox and not too open about

How are the new sister missionaries doing?
There is actually only one new sister, the other one was here in Sibiu
2 transfers ago, then she went up to Chisinau and now she's back. So
she's awesome, actually almost done with her mission in a couple
transfers. Her companion, the new missionary, is awesome. She is not
afraid at all to speak the language. She bore here testimony in
church yesterday on her second Sunday in Romania. No way in heck I
would have done that. And she just speaks way more than I did in my
first transfer. They're doing great though.

How many missionaries and areas are there in Romania?
There are about 100 missionaries in Romania with 16 more in Moldova.
Missionary areas include in Romania: Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca,
Alexandria, Craiova, Galati, Constanta, Ploiesti, Pitesti, Brasov,
Iasi, Bacau, Oradea, Timisoara, Arad, Sibiu, Deva. And in Moldova:
Chisinau, Balti, Orhei. We have missionaries in all those cities.
There are also some smaller places that have church groups organized,
but no branches yet.

How was your week?
We had another training thing in Cluj-Napoca last week, so we hopped
on the early bus again. My companion and I presented about
obtaining and using member referrals. It was good. Our zone is super
cool. We are all friends. After the meeting, we wandered around the
mall, and had all you can eat pizza at Pizza Hut till the bus left in
the evening. Other than that, we haven't had much to do. We've been
out trying to talk to some people but haven't had much success. We
decided the people we have been teaching aren't progressing, and they
need some time to figure it out for themselves. So we aren't going
to meet with them this week. But we are working with the Town Hall
and the branch president on Wednesday to get permission to go set up a
table in downtown and contact that way. So hopefully we can get
something nailed down, and find some people to start teaching.

This transfer is almost halfway done already and it's crazy. We have the
transfer board next week. I kind of want to go work in the office in
Bucharest and drive around and do the visa paperwork and health
insurance stuff for missionaries. And one of the Elders there is done
after this transfer, so it's a possibility. If I do, I'll be headed to
Bucharest and stay for 6 months at least. We'll see though, I think
I'd be good at it and I could help out a lot there.

Is time going by fast for you?
Crazy we are all gonna be at our year marks here pretty
quick. Time is flying. And everyone is gonna be gone when I get home.
(I think he's talking about all of the friends that left on missions after he did)