Thursday, 30 May 2013

Rainy in Romania Too!

Not much new to report. we had a good week all planned out, then nobody answered their phones at all! Kind of frustrating. We also had a lesson set up, but when we got there, they cancelled on us right as we were standing on the door step.

The weather this week was pretty crazy. It just dumped rain on us yesterday. So much water so fast it was nuts.
me at the bus stop in the pouring rain.
I had to speak in sacrament meeting yesterday too. It went well. I was actually scheduled to speak last week, but like I said, someone else took too much time. I spoke about love and service, and the importance of doing both at the same time. And I'm the finances guy out here in Timisoara as well, so I am still doing the same things every Sunday as I was in Sibiu.
We have, or had, a baptismal date with this 16 year old kid, but we haven't been able to talk to him all week, so he's supposed to get baptized on saturday, but it's probably not gonna happen. Everyone was just avoiding the calls this week. And we were busy with finalizing the contract for the new apartment as well. The sisters are going to move in tomorrow or the next day hopefully though. It's a super nice apartment that is actually 2 stories tall! Haha but it was in the church bugdet.

Oh, and I did an exchange with our zone leaders out in Arad. It poured rain on us out there too. But it was fun. I was with another elder, he's the red head in the picture. They had a baptism in arad last week, but they don't have a font. So we had to pack up the one here and take it to the train station with them. We just walked through the streets and on the tram and into the gara.
Carrying the font from Timisoara to Arad
Kinda short for the week. We are going over to the senior couples house today for dinner, so that should be good.

Monday, 20 May 2013

First Week in Timisoara

We got to Skype with Austin on Mother's Day.  This was one day after he had been transferred to his new area in Timisoara.  He looked great and is doing well.  It is comforting to a mama to actually see the missionary as well as talk to them----I love technology!  Anyway, here is his report of the first week in the new area---sounds like he's busy.  We have been busy at home with a big remodel.  I keep sending him photos of the progress.

Sounds and looks like things are moving forward pretty well with the remodel. Looks great. Hickory is just a great wood. Be glad you didn't have to build those cabinets. Sanding that stuff is a nightmare.

First week here in Timisoara was good. We taught a couple lessons and actually have a baptismal date for a kid. He's scheduled for the 1st of June, but it's pretty tentative. we'll see though. Other than that we've been busy cleaning out the other apartment in the city. We actually turned in the keys to move out this morning. So, going along with that we have also been put in charge of looking for another apartment, so we can have another set of elders up here next transfer. We were at the real estate office this morning, and we are going to take a look at some apartments tonight.

Sunday, I was scheduled to talk in sacrament meeting, but one of the sister misisonaries took too much time, so i got off the hook till next week. And at church we were supposed to have one of our investigators, but he didn't show up. The senior couple here with us was on vacation here this past week, and we had to do a bunch of errands for him too. So we were visiting with members and buying train tickets and such. They had their daughter, sister, and one of their friends with them and they went on a vacation over to brasov and saw a bunch of castles.
Anyways, we did some contacting in the park on sunday. One of the sisters is an art major. so she had this cool idea. She found this cool optical illusion that looks like Jesus' face, and painted it on a 4x8 piece of plywood. Then we went over to the park and set it up and people were just googly eyed and super curious. We talked to a bunch of kids. I attached a picture of me in action ( I didn't know it was taken). So that was cool.
This week we should be busy with some lessons, and also finalizing things for the new apartment when we find it. Other than that, not really anything new.

Walking only part of downtown Timisoara

Lightning storm last week

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Celebrating Easter in Romania (and another transfer)

Me and my candle
Whoa. Bit of a crazy week this last week. It is Wednesday, and I'm writing today. We couldn't do it on Monday, because everything was closed for Easter. But we got to Pitesti on Thursday, then just started to get settled in and I got a little sick. So we took it easy on Friday, then got out and did some exploring and contacting on Saturday.

And as for Saturday. It was Orthodox Easter. We got permission from Pres. Hill to attend their candle lighting ceremony. It started at midnight and was a really cool experience. We went to this monastery in a forest/park on the edge of the city, it's really cool, situated on top of a hill in the forest. So everyone brings a candle to the thing. Then at about 11:45, bells start ringing, and the priest start singing, then right at midnight, they bring a flame from inside the church. I'm not really sure where it comes from, I think they believe that it's called down from heaven or Jerusalem, not quite sure. But either way, they come out with this huge flame singing: Veniti sa primiti lumina lui Hristos! Which means "come and receive the light of Christ." Everyone lights their candles from that flame, and then they pass it on. See attached picture of me and my candle. They then proceed with a sermon and reading from the bible. The priests then tell everyone to go home, drink a glass of wine, eat and go to bed. Then in the morning, to go take their candle (which burns all night, ours burned from about midnight to after church about 2 pm the next day) to the cemetery to take the Light of Christ to the dead. Super symbolic, and kind of mysterious at the same time. It was really cool though, being with tons of people, a member from the branch actually went with us too. We participated and everything. Definitely something to remember.
All the people at the monastery, you can see the flame in the doorway, the priest is walking out with it
Sunday, we had church. I met a bunch of the members and we only had sacrament meeting, then an Easter Dinner as a branch in place of Sunday school and priesthood/relief society. My companion and I were both feeling kind of sick after that, so we studied and took a nap Sunday afternoon. For p-day, there is just nothing to do here in Pitesti, and it was the day after Easter, so nothing was open at all. We went to the mall, looked in some book stores and ate at McDonald's. And there is Subway here too, so we ate there a few days ago. But we did some window shopping, but didn't buy anything. Then we did English contacting for the rest of the day, probably one of the lamest p-days, but that's how it goes sometimes. 
Pigeons on the edge of the fountain.  They stand there and let the water flow over their feet and dip their heads in. Super funny!

Tuesday we went to Bucharest for our Zone training meeting, since we are in the Bucharest zone now. Early train, long day of metro traveling and meetings and zone contacting activities. We got on an evening train back to Pitesti, and got home to bed.

Wednesday is where things get interesting. We were almost done with studies, and President Hill calls us. He tells us that my companion will be receiveing a new companion here in Pitesti, and I will be joining another companion out in Tmisoara. Part of an emergency-ish transfer plan that's happening now, because we have several missionaries leaving in 2 weeks. My new companion is one transfer younger than me in the mission. President Hill told me I'm going there to help the English speaking branch president with translating and to be his counselor. So my stay in Pitesti is short lived and I'll be in Timisoara Saturday morning. We leave Friday and I'll be on a sleeper train from Bucharest Friday night. Big surprise, I just barely finished unpacking, and now I have to do it again. Anyways. This is a result of the mission losing missionaries, and not having enough people to fill the spots, this is why Pitesti is a 2 man city right now, it usually is 4.

Crazy week!